Easter in Budapest

Easter is just around the corner and Budapest is waiting for you with great weather, some wind and lots of cool activities. It is often risky traveling in Easter, because you might end up at a destination where everything is closed and you can not really do anything.

Easter in BudapestIn Budapest there are great activities available every day and a popular activity such as the Szechenyi Thermal Bath is ope every day throughout Easter. When it comes to shopping most shops are closed on April 8th and 9th (Sunday and Monday), but except from that they are open every day. If you are looking for shopping on April 8th and 9th, we suggest that you join us on an excursion to Szentendre.

In Szentendre all shops are open (even on April 8th and 9th) and here you will be able to combine a wonderful atmosphere with wine tasting, shopping, marzipan museum and a little guided tour. Read more about the tour here!

If you are thirsty because of the nice weather you can also come on a brewery visit on April 8th and 9th. The big wine dinner and the excursion to Etyek is also available on these days (and all other days during Easter).

Most Budapest museums are open during Easter, so if you are looking for some knowledge about a special topic, read more about the different Budapest museums. One of the best museums in Budapest, the Museum of Fine Arts is open every day during Easter.

For some Easter is not only about sightseeing, museums and excursions, but it also serves as the foundation for their lives; the belief in the birth, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If that is you, it might be interesting to know that there are several churches where you can attend Easter services in Budapest.

In St. Stephens Basilica there is a service at 10.00 on April 8th, and there are services there at 8.30, 10.00, 12.00 and 18.00 on April 9th. This is the nicest location for an Easter service in Budapest. If you would like to attend a more charismatic church then another church has service at 10.00 on April 8th, while Calvery Chapel has services at 8.00, 10.00 and 12.00 on April 8th.

Budapest is waiting for you with amazing and wonderful Easter programs. Come join us, and enjoy the beauties of the Hungarian capital, some delicious goose liver, and a beautiful panorama on one of the many trips on the Danube.

If you are looking for information on Easter market in Budapest, click on the text. If you would like to go on a river cruise in Prague instead, click here.

Read more about Easter masses in Paris here

Gellért Bath or Széchenyi Bath: Where to go?

Budapest is the city of thermal water and hot springs, a beautiful city of great architecture and a history of oppression and revolutions. So, when you arrive to Budapest you will of course want to see the most important attractions of the Hungarian capital, get to know the history a bit and we all know the most effective way to do this is with a private guide.

On such a tour a typical question is though: Where should I go to check out the hot springs of Budapest? I have heard about the Gellért Thermal Bath and another one in the city park which has a name very hard to pronounce…  We of course know that the guest is thinking of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath and even teach them how to say it in the beautiful Hungarian language. And after the little Hungarian lecture it is time to answer the question; Where to go: Gellért or Széchenyi?

Main hall of the Gellért Bath
Main hall of the Gellért Bath

Gellért Bath:
The current location of the bath has been recognized as a place of hot springs for several decades. Though, the hotel and the bath was constructed on the spot between 1912-1818 in beautiful Art Nouveau style.  The bath expanded in 1927 and 1934 with a wave pool and a bubble bath.

Today the bath is by many said to be the one with the most beautiful in Budapest. The interior design, especially the main hall with the glass roof and the gallery in Art Nouveau style is beautiful. The outside pools, especially the wave pool, can be a lot of fun for families and kids on a sunny day, but one big minus with the Gellért Bath is that the outdoor pools are often closed (especially late autumn, winter and early spring). Once arriving to the Gellért Bath the entrance fee is a bit above 4000 HUF. Once the swimsuit is on women will first enter into a pool for “women-only”, and men will enter into a pool for “men-only.” These are the only pools for one-sex only, and after this all other pools are for both men and women.  The Gellért Thermal Bath is open every day from 6.00 – 20.00.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath - outdoor pool
Széchenyi Thermal Bath - outdoor pool

Széchenyi Therml Bath:
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath was first constructed in 1913 and extended in 1927. It is made up of two thermal springs, which temperature is 74 °C and 77 °C.  The building is made in Neo-baroque style and it has a total of 3 outdoor pools and 15 indoor pools. Throughout the years the building of the Széchényi Thermal Bath has turned quite dirty, but in the last 5 years a lot of improvements have been made, and it is yet again almost perfect.

In the Széchenyi bath all pools are mixed, which means that the swimming suit needs to be kept on all the time here. The entrance fee is around 3500 HUF, and you will get a normal locker to put your clothes in while swimming and enjoying yourself in the pool. It is also possible to get a cabin for some hundred forints more. The outdoor pools stay open throughout the entire year, except for a few days a year when small work needs to be done. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is open every day from 6.00 – 22.00.

Where to go?
So far we haven’t really touched this question, as we have only been describing the different thermal baths. Below we will list some different arguments promoting either option:

Pro Gellért Bath arguments:
– Beautiful indoor hall and architecture
– Good location in the centre of Budapest, on the Buda side of the Liberty Bridge
– Great outdoor localities (when pools are open), and the wave pool is great for children
– One separate men/women pool (for someone this might be a plus)

Pro Széchenyi Bath arguments:
– Great outdoor pools throughout the entire year, one with current, jacuzzi and other fun
– A whole lot of indoor pools, and after renovation the indoor part looks nice as well
– Cheaper entrance fee, and longer opening times
– Great location in the City Park next to the circus, the zoo, the amusement park and Gundel (negative as well, as that means quite far from the centre).
– All pools are mixed, so you can be together with your loved ones all the time
– Even when a lot of people are visiting, it is never too crowded…

Playing chess in Széchenyi
Playing chess in Széchenyi

These were just some arguments. If you disagree or have any other arguments, feel free to write a comment in the comment field further down on the page.

Final conclusion:
If we would have to visit one thermal bath in Budapest, it would probably be the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The outdoor pools are the major argument behind this conclusion, while the location might be the reason why we would recommend some people visiting the Gellért Bath (if the live in near the Gellért Hotel and only have little time in Budapest). In any case it is wonderful to visit these baths, but Széchenyi is in our eyes a bit better and more worth visiting than the Gellért Bath.

SPA in Budapest

 

Budapest Easter advices

Easter services in Saint Stephens Basilica
Easter services in Saint Stephens Basilica

Easter is here and larger and smaller groups use this holiday to visit Budapest. We have written a few advices to help you get the most out of your Easter here in Budapest.

1) Our guides still have spare time, so do not hesitate to contact us for a private guided tour
2) The Szechenyi Thermal Bath in the City park is open every day throughout Easter
3) Normal shops are closed Sunday and Monday, but open every other day.
4) Restaurants have normal opening times and our wineprograms are available every day
5) The nicest church in Budapest, Saint Stephens Basilica, has services Friday at 18.00, Saturday at 18.00, Sunday at 10.00, 12.00, 18.00, 19.30 and Monday at 8.00, 10.00, 12.00 and 18.00.

These were just some advices. We hope you found them useful and wish you some great days in Budapest. If you should need any help, just write us an email!

Ten spring activities in Budapest

Szechenyi Thermal Bath
Szechenyi Thermal Bath

The sun is shining, it’s 15-20 degrees and you are in Budapest. It is a normal spring day in the capital of Hungary. Here follows some advices on how to spend such a day in Budapest. This might be a real top 10 list of activities, but rather a list with ideas for different nice activities that can be done on a sunny spring day in Budapest.

Ten nice spring activities in Budapest

1) Cross the Elisabeth Bridge and walk to the top of the Gellert Hill. Make some marvelous pictures!

2) Go to Raday Utca or Liszt Ferenc Tér and buy something to drink in one of the outdoor cafes/restaurants

3)  Budapest Zoo! Great place to be when the sun is shining.

4) Travel with the Libegő (chairlift) between Zugliget and John Hill (János hegy). Get there using bus 291 from Nyugati Pályaudvar. Afterwards enjoy the fresh air and the view from the Elisabeth tower.

5) Buy some sun lotion and swim in the outdoor pools of the Szechényi Thermal Bath

6) Do a half-day trip to Szentendre with shopping, wine, marcipan and food

7) See Budapest from the Danube while on a dinner cruise

8) Sit down somewhere and try to learn some useful Hungarian phrases. Below you can find some suggestions.

9) Get more knowledge about the different special drinks from Hungary in our „Drinks of Hungary” program

10) Smile to the people around you, simply because life is good and Budapest is beautiful!

Some useful and some useless Hungarian phrases:
–         Süt a nap (the sun is shining)
–         Kérek egy hosszú kávét (a long coffee please)
–         Hol van McDonalds? (where is McDonalds)
–         A nevem Bill Clinton (my name is Bill Clinton)
–         Nagyon szépek a jegesmedvek (the polar bears are really nice)

10 things to do in Budapest when it’s cold!

10 things to do in Budapest when it’s cold!
10 things to do in Budapest when it’s cold!

It can get quite cold in the winter in Budapest. What to do if you visit Budapest on such a day? Beneath you can find ten advices:

1.) Go to Széchenyi Thermal Bath and swim in the 38 degree outdoor pool
2.) Go on a wine dinner with 5 courses and 6 wines
3.) Visit one of the many shopping malls in Budapest
4.) Get hold of some tickets for a performance in the State Opera
5.) Do not forget the private guided tour (with car)
6.) Go from confectionary to confectionary and taste Hungarian cakes
7.) Visit a private spa for relaxing massages and treatments
8.) Let a Hungarian dentist fix your teeth
9.) Plan your next stay in Budapest during summertime
10.) Join a Danube Cruise with dinner at 19.00 in the evening

We wish you a pleasant stay in Budapest!

Hungarian Thermal Bath Culture Day this Saturday

Szechenyi Thermal Bath
Szechenyi Thermal Bath

This coming Saturday, October 9th, is the Hungarian Thermal Bath culture day. This is great for everyone, as almost all baths in Hungary give discount on their entrance fees. For the Budapest baths this means that all visitors only needs to pay 50% of the actual entrance fee. So, if you would like to visit the Szechenyi Fürdő or the Gellert Bath for example, this Saturday you can do it for half price.

In addition three Budapest baths have special opening times this Saturday; the Gellert Bath, Lukács and the Rudas Bath have special program between 21.00 and 03.00 with food, tea, live music and other specialities! The entrance fee for this program is 2500 Forint per person.

December 4: Night of the Baths in Budapest

Szechényi Fürdő
Szechényi Fürdő

We are currently working on giving our visitors an overview over open restaurants, thermal baths and so on December 24, 25 & 26. In the reply we got from Budapest Gyógyfürdői Zrt. they gave us the information we were looking for (which can be found in the “Christmas in Budapest” article) and some more information about the Night of the Baths which will be arranged December 4, 2009.

Night of the Baths 2009
The Night of the Baths is the evening/night where you can swim and enjoy the thermal water in Budapest until after midnight and enjoy nice programs as you do so.

In the Gellért Bath there will be music from the 90’s, in Rudás Fürdő there will be bellydancing and in Szechényi Fürdő there will be live music entertaining the guests.

I guess it will be quite cold outside on December 4, but if you stay in the water you will for sure enjoy even the outdoor pools at the Szechényi Thermal Bath (which by the way is extremely nice and has a great atmosphere after the sun has gone down)!