Budapest: why it is the ideal spa break holiday


panning the fabled Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the start of the Great Plain to the east, Budapest – comprised of Pest on the east side of the river and Buda on the west – is arguably central Europe’s most beautiful city.

It certainly has the architecture to back up that claim, everywhere you wander. From the exquisite 11th-century Matthias Church, perched upon Buda Castle hill, pictured above, to the iconic neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament building in Pest – not forgetting the remarkable three-way Margaret Bridge straddling the Danube and linking east and west – Budapest is rich in Instaworthy landmarks.

But Budapest is more than just a pretty face – as you’ll soon discover when you book your next city break there with British Airways Holidays

An ideal winter break location

Matthias Church is one of the most unique in Europe, inside and out

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There’s good reason why beautiful Budapest – a tale of two cities – is not only a feast for history buffs, but also a must-visit for those of us in search of unforgettable spa experiences and a chance to unwind like never before.

Budapest lies on a geological fault separating those hills and flatland, and more than 30,000 cu metres of warm to scalding (21°C to 76°C) mineral water gush forth daily from over 500 thermal and mineral springs. It’s the world’s only city with such natural attractions, Budapest has become a major spa centre and the perfect winter weekend break location.

Spa city with a rich history

The unmistakable Hungarian Parliament building watches over the iconic river Danube

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Budapest has taken advantage of its wealth of mineral water since the time of the Romans and `taking the waters’ is a still very much a tradition today. Getting out of your clothes and into hot water should be one for your bucket list when you visit the city of the Magyar.

Not everyone goes to the baths just to relax, however. The warm, mineral-rich waters can also relieve a number of specific complaints, ranging from arthritis and pains in the joints and muscles, to poor blood circulation and post-traumatic stress.

Benefits of booking with British Airways Holidays

An extensive Customer Promise will give you extra peace of mind

  • If your holiday is impacted by a major travel restriction you can cancel for a full and speedy refund
  • A guaranteed refund within 14 days if British Airways Holidays has to cancel and cannot fulfil your holiday
  • Book now, pay later with deposits from £60 per person, and pay off the balance in as many instalments as you like. Balance is due four weeks before travel for short haul trips
  • When you travel with British Airways you’ll notice extra safety measures throughout your journey. There are also enhanced hotel and car hire safety measures to ensure you can enjoy your holiday safely
  • A dedicated 24-hour, seven-days-a-week holiday helpline for any issues while you’re away. And if your plans change or the unexpected happens, British Airways Holidays will prioritise getting you home as soon as possible
  • ATOL protection for all holidays – meaning your money is safe and you can rest assured you won’t be stranded abroad

Budapest: experience the traditional and modern

The extraordinary Margaret Bridge connects east (Pest) and west (Buda), and Margaret Island

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Some of the city’s dozen or so traditional baths are legacies of the hammam-loving Turks, who popularized public bathing during their occupation of Hungary in the 16th and 17th centuries. Others are Art Nouveau marvels – another box ticked for architecture buffs – and there are also spick-and-span, very modern establishments with wellness centres offering treatments from A to Z.

Which one you choose is a matter of taste and what exactly you’re looking for. Here are five for your consideration…

Rudas Baths


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These renovated baths built in 1566 are the most Turkish of all, with an octagonal main pool, domed cupola set with coloured glass and massive columns straight out of a One Thousand and One Nights film set.

Gellért Baths


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Soaking in these Art Nouveau baths has been likened to bathing in a cathedral. The indoor swimming pools, with a spectacular arched glass dome and gushing Zsolnay ceramic fountains, are the most beautiful in the city.

Széchenyi Baths


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In City Park’s huge ‘wedding-cake’ building, with 15 indoor thermal baths and three outdoor pools, these baths are unusual for their size, bright and clean atmosphere and high temperature of the water (up to 40°C). Don’t miss one of the chess matches being played on floating boards in the outdoor pools.

Veli Bej Baths

Veli Bej

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One of the oldest (1575) and most beautiful Ottoman-era baths with five thermal pools, Veli Bej got a new lease on life after reopening several years ago.

Lukács Baths

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Housed in a sprawling, 19th-century complex, these baths are popular with keen spa aficionados and the waters are meant to cure just about every affliction.

More reasons to choose British Airways Holidays

  • A baggage allowance of 23kg per person is included – so there’s no extra costs to add on
  • Quality accommodation options to suit every budget, from 3* to 5* there’s something for everyone
  • Extensive flights from the British Airways network: so you’ll be able to find a flight that suits your schedule
  • British Airways flies to centrally located airports so you can be sure of good transport links to your final destination

To book your perfect winter city break to Hungary, please visit


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