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Take a peek into Budapest’s reopened secret baths

Writers

  • We Love Budapest

  • Jász Annamária

1/16/2019 5:58 PM

After a major overhaul, a newly modernised wing of a vintage spa complex is now welcoming visitors deep in distant District XX. Reopened to the public after 13 years, four of the indoor pools at the Pesterzsébet Iodine-Salt Baths contain rejuvenating waters of differing temperatures. Saunas, a steam room and a salt chamber are other features at this new spa centre. See how to best enjoy this hidden healing haven.

As recently reported by We Love Budapest,an old pool complex tucked away in south Pest has just reopened. While construction works still affect the outdoor area of this historic spa, part of its indoor facility has been made available to the public, featuring warm-water pools of natural remedies, an infrared sauna, a salt chamber and a steam room. A traditional Finnish sauna also installed here can accommodate 20 people at any given time.

Photo: Polyák Attila - We Love Budapest

Featuring a unique blend of bromide, salt and iodine, the healing waters sourced from a nearby spring help gynaecological problems, improve circulation, reduce inflammation and soothe the senses. To enjoy this specific liquid remedy, you have to plunge into the spa's smallest pool that contains the yellow-hued, mineral-rich water.

Photo: Polyák Attila - We Love Budapest

Then the same properties are blended with thermal waters in the adjacent pool, while an octagonal-shaped plunge site provides more space for melting muscles. Towering above it all is a dome enhanced with fine mosaic work. An activity pool in the adjacent hall of the baths features stationary aquatic bikes.

Renovation is ongoing to modernise the rest of the baths. Currently, the ticket office is housed within a shipping container, while the lockers are operated by staff. If all goes to plan, bathers can enjoy seven additional pools for outdoor swimming and recreation from this May. These developments will include a wave pool, a plunge pool and a children’s pool.

Photo: Polyák Attila - We Love Budapest

Built in 1936 on a mineral-rich spring, this Turkish-style site always featured indoor and outdoor facilities, including a wave pool. Financial woes forced the baths to close in 2005. Renovations began earlier this year, allowing for the reopening of the four indoor pools of temperatures ranging from 34°C to 40°C.

While the baths are still operating in an initial test phase, their cosy and relaxed atmosphere is worth the 1,900-forint admission.

Photo: Polyák Attila - We Love Budapest

You can reach the baths by taking tram 2 from the Pest riverbank to the Közvágóhíd terminus, then change to suburban railway line H6. Alight two stops later at Pesterzsébet felső, before a five-minute walk to the spa. Bus 23 also goes near the baths from Boráros tér.

Pesterzsébet Iodine-Salt Baths

Address: District XX. Vízisport utca 2 Open: Daily 9am-7pm More details (in Hungarian only)

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