Hungary is a real magnet for those wanting to embrace the spa culture. Blessed with thermal waters the city has many baths, some built by the Ottomans. Who would know on such an unassuming street in Budapest that a thermal bath lay beyond the doors. Kiraly is the oldest bath in Budapest and was built by the Turks in 1560. I just had to investigate.
Kiraly Baths have separate ladies day and so I ventured inside to be met bu a lady at a kiosk who spoke only Hungarian. Here if you want to use the baths and have a massage afterwards you need to arrange it there before bathing. I was led down some stairs to a changing area and told to undress, emerging in a bikini to clucks of disapproval from the attendants who proferred a mini “apron” designed to cover the private area. Wondering whether it was meant to be worn to cover virtually nothing – I wandered through to the pool to nods of approval from the ladies. The thermal bath or pool was set in a cavern type setting with a beautiful domed roof. Ladies bathed nude which was fabulous and in complete peace and tranquility. And so, keen to experience the wonders of Hungarian thermal bathing, I slipped into the water and bathed in a delightful setting and the nudity was just the most natural thing in the world.
Afterwards a massage given with vigour refreshed my muscles which had been carrying a rucksack around Europe. I felt squeaky clean and refreshed, and able to take on the world.
In Hungary the baths are very different and some allow nudity in single gender sessions. Most are mixed and a bathing suit is required.Check the etiquette carefully before you bathe.
Fő Utca 84, 1027, Budapest,Hungary