8 Kiwis, 8 huge hangovers, in the “City of Spas” – there was a light at the end of our self-inflicted dark tunnel.
Thanks to the city having more thermal and medicinal water springs that any other capital city in the world, Budapest has held the title of “The City of Spas” since 1934. There are 118 springs which provide 70 million litres of thermal water – per day! Budapest’s thermal waters were enjoyed by the Romans as early as in the second century, but it was only during the Turkish occupation of Hungary in the 16th century that the bath culture they are now famous for really flourished. Today, there are 15 public thermal baths in Budapest, with temperatures ranging from 21 to 78 degree’s Celsius – quite a contrast to the minus two degree days we were experiencing.
If they were good enough for the Romans, they were good enough for us New Zealanders. We bared our freezing bods and did an extreme version of the bikini run in to Szechenyi Bath. Comfortably soaking in bath water of 38 degrees, we quickly predicted we would be staying awhile. It was an odd experience being in a tiny bikini in the freezing weather to say the least – but seriously; best.hangover cure. ever.
After a tough afternoon of bathing, we wrapped back up in all our layers and went back to our IKEA haven of an apartment for a wee nap – via a quick Kolbasz (traditional Hungarian neon orange sausage) on the side of the road. We let some zzz’s and the medicinal spring waters work their magic and then ventured off in to the night in classic tourist form. We bought tickets on the Big Bus Night Tour of Budapest. We had been told by many that the city was at it’s best at night – we were pretty impressed by day so were interested to see the city’s evening ambiance and these beautiful Budapest’s illuminated by night – the minus eight degree night.
Words can not do this city justice at night, not even pictures can – so you’ll have to take my word on it. Simply mesmerising. If we could have have moved our mouths in the freezing cold, our jaws would have dropped.
To follow this majestic night tour, as a group we decided to treat ourselves to a night out at one of the fanciest, most highly recommended restaurants in Pest, Menza. We drank divine cocktails and ate three course traditional meals with fantastic service – and it cost us less that £20 each….
We ♥ Budapest!