Bucharest and Budapest are the capitals of the two neighbouring countries: Romania and Hungary. Due to their similar names, they have been confused one for the other since the beginning of time. Although they sound similar, Bucharest and Budapest could not be more different.
However, our travel experts have decided to find their best common attractions, so that any independent or group traveller can discover these amazing cities in the most relaxing way possible.
Besides the incredible architecture, culture, food, people and nightlife, Bucharest and Budapest perfectly complete each other if you’re looking for the ultimate spa, wellness and detox experience, while visiting two of the most beautiful cities from Eastern Europe.
Budapest is known as the City of Spas due to the many natural warm spring waters considered to have healing properties by the Celts, the Romans and by everyone who enjoyed them for so many centuries.
There is a Hungarian bathing culture and a tradition of enjoying these medicinal waters from early to old ages with great respect and patience. After all, there are around 1000 natural spring sources in Hungary. Aqua therapy is a regular medical practice for Hungarian and foreign patients and it’s common for the doctors here to prescribe water treatments.
The Gellért thermal bath is the most famous and the most expensive historical bath in Budapest. Hosted by the Gellért Hotel, a stunning Art Nouveau building, the bath is over a century old and it is a symbol of Hungarian wellness and comfort.
The Gellért bath has several indoor thermal and swimming pools, two outdoor pools (an adventure pool and a wave pool) offering medical and beauty treatments, massages and many more. There are different available packages you can choose from 1-day to 14-days all-round treatments. The price for an adult per one day is around 22$.
It is worth every penny as these thermal waters are reckoned to help in cases of chronic and semi-acute arthritis, blood circulation problems, degenerative illnesses of joints, illnesses of the vertebral spine, pains of the intervertebral disc, aortic stenosis and neuralgia.
The Széchenyi thermal bath is one of the largest wellness complexes in Hungary and even in Europe with no less than 21 pools! The entrance ticket which is also around 22$ per adult includes the use of saunas, gymnastics and aqua fitness. Plan a full day here just to try the pools, the variety of massages and these special thermal waters which are highly efficient after orthopaedic injuries.
The Rudas Thermal bath was first established during the Turks occupation, in the 16th century is now a complete wellness centre, with an indoor octagonal pool, several therapeutical swimming facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and a drinking hall, providing drinking cures from three different springs. One of them, the Juventus spring is supposed to have anti-ageing properties, but all of them help with hypertension and rheumatism. The price per adult is less than 20$ per day.
The Lukács Thermal Bath was built at the orders of Saint John’s knights who care for the sick using these healing thermal waters. With a rich historical background, this bath had its first spa hotel and a daytime hospital opened within its facilities . Nowadays it offers to its visitors beautiful bathing facilities, a drinking hall, a wide range of medical and spa treatments, as well as different wellness services. The price per adult is around 15$ per day.
Less known than the above and more intimate is the Veli Bej bath, one of the oldest and most beautiful baths in Budapest, being established in the 15th century. Also known as Császár baths (Császár Baths is in the same building as Hotel Csaszar Budapest)it is one of the best preserved Ottoman-baths, with five thermal pools with different water temperature and a water composition which helps joint ailments, calcium deficiency and chronic arthritis. There is also a cluster of saunas and steam rooms, a Himalaya salt wall, as well as different massage therapies. If you stay at the hotel you might have free access to the baths. The price per adult is around 11$ for a day, so it is one of the most affordable spa and wellness retreats in Europe.
Another small thermal centre preserving the beautiful Turkish architecture is the Király baths. Since its beginning, the water has always been brought from the area of the current Lukacs Bath, because the Turks established it far from the springs to ensure the opportunity of bathing in case of an eventual siege of the city. Children under 14 years old are not allowed in the bath, therefore it is the prefect pick for a quiet, relaxing an more intimate spa experience from 11$ per adult, per day.
If Budapest is well established on the map as the city of spas, Bucharest is still striving to become reckoned as a wellness and spa retreat. Romania holds over a third of all thermal springs in Europe and as Hungary, it has many resorts on its territory, some of them dating from thousands of years ago.
Therme Bucharest is the largest wellness centre in Europe based on thermal waters. Located in the North of Bucharest (15 to 30 min drive from downtown Bucharest) it is spectacular, looking like a lavish botanical garden, with a lot of natural light and plenty of attractions and facilities for children and adults alike. You should reserve at least 3 hours to ensure you will try at least some of the indoor and outdoor pools, the salt library, the terraces or the themed saunas. The prices start from 13$ per adult and the children under 3 can enter for free.
Bucharest it is a new spot on the map of wellness and spa tourism; however, in comparison to Budapest, it’s providing a more wholistic approach, integrating detox, meditation and yoga retreats.
Infrafit Clinic is a medical centre specialised in detox, weight management and biological medicine for healing, health recovery, but also for the prevention and health maintenance.
The medical team includes specialists and consultants from all over the world, ready to offer specialised treatments and programs for different goals and health needs: detox programs, pre-detox and post-detox raw-vegan programs, de-stress and weight loss programs, anti ageing and nutrition programs, as well as cell and tissue regeneration innovative treatments. Infrafit is a centre located in the centre of Bucharest, that can offer accommodation and support for the patients during their DETOX programs. Another detox and wellness centre is Youness luxury wellness, located near Bucharest, in the middle of nature, away from the urban stress. There is a 10,000 square meters garden, a beautiful private forest nearby and a river. The 5 stars facilities, its own treatment centre and own doctors make it a heaven for anyone who wants to re-start his health and well being. A full 5 day detox camp with everything included(accommodation, organic food, different therapies and treatments, massages) costs around 400$.
In terms of corporate wellness, in Bucharest you can find plenty of venues and ideas, including a SPA Team building, starting 33$ per person. If you’re looking for a different way to reward yourself and your employees, to thank them for their achievements, a spa team building is an investment in their well-being inside and outside their workplace.
EdenSpa in Bucharest has a solid experience in this kind of corporate events and it offers a large variety of therapies so that everyone can enjoy and relax.
The younger generation has never heard about one of the most famous Romanians, Ana Aslan, but ask your grandfathers and grandmothers about Gerovital. This doctor discovered that procaine has anti-aging effects and used it to develop Gerovital H3 and Aslavital, some of the top anti-aging products in the world.
In 1952 Ana Aslan founded the first Geriatric Institute in the world, recognised by the World Heath Organisation. In its glory days, at these institute some of the greatest world personalities came to undergo specific anti-ageing treatments: Yma Sumak, Salvador Dali, Charlie Chaplin, Pablo Neruda, Jaqueline Kennedy, Aristotel Onassis, Indira Ghandi, Marlene Dietrich, etc.
The institute is still open and is still providing the same personalised original “Ana Aslan” treatment according to the age and pathology of each and every patient.
Our last pick is a top rated yoga retreat, located at a 3 hours drive from Bucharest in the beautiful village of Pestera (the Cave), in a national park overlooking the beautiful Carpathian Mountains. It is a calming and soothing resort, where you can relax, detox, meditate and enjoy the Transylvanian hills and nature. The Akasha wellness resort is designed to nurture your body and soul and to make you reconnect with nature and your inner self.
Bucharest and Budapest: two cities, two different cultures, two travel experiences and one incredible combo trip. In terms of spa and wellness retreats there are few capitals in the world which offer such so many wellness options at more affordable prices.
Let us FIX your next trip in Bucharest and Budapest!
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