The Gellert Hotel is well known for their thermal baths and swimming pool, with a total of 12 pools to indulge in. Built in 1912 – 1918, the Gellert Baths draw thermal water from natural springs in Gellert Hill that is right next door. The water is rich in minerals and thought to be therapeutic. If I had not tried the Gellert Baths (or Gellért fürdő in Hungarian), I would not know I could be so water-loving.
The Gellert Baths are public so it’s not exclusive to the hotel guests, although they do get to use it for free. The bath entrance is a different entrance, which is located to the right hand side of the hotel.
As you enter the Gellert Baths complex, the warm-hued reception is where you buy the tickets. Basic ticket start at HUF 4900 (16 Euros) which includes a locker on weekday and HUF 5300 (17.30 Euros) on weekend. Optional services such as massage and mud treatment are at an additional cost. Pricing info can be found on Gellert Baths’ Official Website.
Do bring your own swim suit, slippers, towel, swimming cap (compulsory for one of the swimming pools), shampoo and shower gel. You can rent or buy these items at the reception which tend to be pricey.
You will be given a plastic wrist-band resembling a watch, which actually is a magnetized key to your locker. The lockers are a bit of a maze to get through so you might even need to ask for direction in this large complex! The lockers /changing area have designated male and female section that all seem to be in one common space, segregated by signages instead of a physical partition. Do find the right changing area as you don’t want to be in the male changing area! I did see one guy that had put all his things in the female area and it was definitely awkward for the ladies with him around.
This is one of the indoor thermal pools at 36 ⁰C; my favorite temperature. There’s also a symmetric thermal pool just opposite this one at 35 ⁰C.
I love the interior with the tall arched ceilings and glass cupola, decorated with mosaic tiles. Green tiles are used as the base color, while Hungarian embroidery motifs flank the ceiling. It definitely felt kingly, sitting in the pool, looking up and gazing at these gorgeous patterns.
I spent all my time (4 hours or so) relaxing in these thermal pools, going to pools with different temperatures from time to time, without even using the magnificent swimming pool and wave pool!
This is another section housing two indoor thermal pools. The interior is charming albeit it is a bit too cluttered for me with the sculptures and polka dots.
This thermal pool is at 36 ⁰C.
This one is at 40 ⁰C – I couldn’t go into this pool without going “oooh, aahh” because the water was too hot and I couldn’t sit in this one for more than 5 minutes without getting up to drink some water or going back to the 36 ⁰C pool.
Another indoor thermal pool at 36 ⁰C, located just behind the indoor swimming pool.
The outdoor “adventure pool” at 36⁰C is right next to the wave pool.
The indoor swimming pool is grand and Romanesque with all the pillars. Do note that a swimming cap is compulsory in this pool otherwise you will not be allowed in.
The wave pool (26⁰C) generates artificial waves, mimicking a seaside frolic by the waves. I didn’t really play in this one as it was cold for me.
If you love sauna, sauna facilities with 19⁰C immersion pools are available for you to enjoy.
The Gellert Baths were my first European bath experience. It was fun, soothing and I couldn’t get enough of it. The pools are well kept though I could not say the same about the shower facilities, which could do with some revamp. The Gellert Baths complex is big and a bit confusing in terms of layout. It can take some time to navigate through to find the indoor pools and sauna but once you get pass that, it’s time to relax 🙂
Gellert Spa Official Website
Address : 118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi ut 4, Hungary.
Tel : +36 1 466 6166
Getting there : By Metro Line 4. Trams 18, 19, 47, 49. Buses 7, 7A, 86. Get off at Szent Gellért tér Station.