As promised, here I’ll give you a list of bars and “cool” things to do in Budapest.
Thermal Springs and Spas
First of all, you must know that Budapest has extraordinary thermal baths and spas where tourists and city residents come to relax. A bit of history can’t hurt: Romans colonized this area during the 1st century AD and established their capital Aquincum at the West of the River Danube. The choice was certainly strategic since it was in the heart of Europe, but they certainly wanted to enjoy the thermal springs as well.
When the Ottoman Empire ruled the city (1541-1686) new baths were constructed always on the Buda side. NB: the city is split by the Danube, the West Side is Buda and the East Side is Pest. You can visit Király Baths which still in use. The main attraction is the picturesque cupola-topped pool inside. It really worths the visit! Is like a time travel… you just need to sit in the pool surrounded by these magnificent arches and set your imagination free.
Another baths I strongly advice you to go are the Széchenyi Baths. This spa is among the largest complexes in Europe and it has dozens of pools with different shapes and temperatures. The place has a certain resemblance to Roman baths, however you can also find saunas and extremely cold pools reminiscent of Northern European traditions. The only negative aspect here is that is often crowded… Nevertheless if your are interested in epic parties, once a week during the summer the organize ¨Sparties¨ all night long in the Baths!
The last must-go spa is the Gellért Baths inside the Hotel with the same name. The building was built in 1918 on the same place where old Turkish Baths were before. In addition to the colorful mosaics, marble columns, stained glass windows and statues, you can try the wave pool (inaugurated in 1927!)
In addition to the baths, you can also try oil massage, fish foot pedicure, foot massage and other exotic healthcare therapies as well. Hard to be stressed here!
Budapest is full of amazing bars with crazy decoration inside and very cheap beer! Behold! Here comes the top 3 places among the huge number of bars I’ve been since I arrived:
- Szimpla Kert: this place is just crazy! There is a courtyard inside with abandoned cars where you can sit and all kind of old chairs, lamps, plants, bizarre signs… It’s nice to have a drink during the afternoon, it is a “quiet” place with a high speed wifi if you have some work to finish. But when the evening arrives, the place is completely crowded. If you like shishas you can also have some at the bar.
- Instant Bar: this place is as crazy as Szimpla Kert regarding the decoration. Here the “ambiance” is much more psychedelic, the main theme is animal fusion. Is an old house with more than thirty rooms, I strongly advice you to discover all the rooms! Here you can dance in one of the three dance floors: electro, retro/hip hop or international music, you will certainly find what you are looking for.
- A38: one of the best places to party all night long. It has been chosen a couple of years ago as the best bar of the world by the Lonely Planet. Concerts are organized down in the cargo hold from 19h on, and then you can continue the party on the upper dance floor. No neighbor problems since you’ll dance on the Danube!
Bonus Track: TRAP
I deliver you here my “coup de coeur”: the name is TRAP which stand for Team Race Against Puzzles. You are in a room and the only thing you know is that there is a bomb somewhere that you have to unlock by typing a bomb code (3 attempts only). This code has to be found by solving a set of puzzles and enigmas. You will need to be smart and fast, remember that you are a team since some problems require at least 2 people. It was a crazy experience for me! (even if the bomb exploded whilst I was solving the last enigma…). Just try it!