By Tatyana Kogut
There are more than 60 thousand mineral springs and 1150 thermal springs in Hungary. It would be foolish not to use these riches, that is why Hungarians have built 55 hydropathic establishments and 67 thermal hotels here. They also develop medical and health tourism.
The country’s capital, Budapest, is the leader in this sphere. This is one of the most beautiful European cities and the first spa capital in the world (there are about 130 thermal springs found here). Budapest can offer around 70 bathhouses and public thermal baths: old Turkish and modern, moderate and luxurious, democratic and aristocratic ones. First therms were built here by the Greeks, and bath industry reached its prosperity at Turkish times. There are several Turkish baths in Budapest, including Kiraly, Rudas and Szechenyi – the last one is the largest bath in Europe, with 12 various pools. As for Budapest citizens, they like visiting Lukacs bath, with water arriving from Rozsa Hill springs. Many hotels also have their thermal pools, Gellert hotel among them. In 1930s the hotel was very popular for its mosaic floors and glass ceiling.
Those who come to Hungary to get some medical treatment prefer staying in hotels with thermal pools and wellness centers. Two of them are located on a quiet and green Margit island, amidst Danube. Here you will find Danubius hotel complex – Danubius Grand Margitsziget and Thermal Margitsziget, connected by an underground tunnel. Guests are offered medical treatments which can be ordered straight at the hotel or included in room rates (but note that prices are higher in the first case). Some tourists also prefer a stay at Danubius Health Spa Resort Helia, located opposite Margit, or at modern Aquincum 4-star hotel.
Those who want to do the sightseeing are usually offered combined tours which include a tour around the capital of Hungary and spa treatments at local resorts. Some of such resorts are located by Lake Heviz 200 km from Budapest. Heviz is one of the largest and famous Hungarian resorts, its situated by the world’s biggest natural thermal lake, which has a unique microclimate. Its temperature is 28-38 centigrade at daytime, so you can bathe here all year round. Heviz offers numerous hotels, pensions and guesthouses, but only huge hotels have their medical bases. Among them are: Karbona, Lotus Therme, Aqua, Heviz, Rogner Hotel & Spa Lotus Therme and Panorama.
Another thermal resort, Hajdusoboslo (also called “Mecca for the rheumatic”) is becoming more and more popular with tourists. It is located 202 km east of Budapest, or a 2,5 bus ride from the city. The resort is renowned for its large bathing complex in the open air, which includes a lake and 13 medical, children and sports swimming pools. In 2000 the first Hungarian aquapark was opened on its territory. Initially the park occupied a 6200 sq.m. territory, but two years later it doubled in size. The bathhouse offers 40 different medical treatments. So if you want to be healthier, Hungary is the destination for you.