Below Freezing? Time to Put On Your Bathing Suit

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Fight the chill with a visit to the hottest place in Hungary.

We know what you’re thinking. Turkish baths conjure up images of hairy men lounging by tiled pools. But here in Budapest, we think a visit to the baths is the perfect antidote to the winter blues. It doesn’t matter if you’re recovering from an intense workout, lengthy travel, or wild night of partying: Let the Turkish baths set you free.

Every After Hours Athlete needs a place to wind down. The thermal springs under the city have natural healing qualities, and at many of the baths you can throw in a full rub down with a massage, get your zen on with aromatherapy, or dry off in a hot sauna between sampling each pool. We like to go with our teammates—lounging in the warm pools and taking quick, refreshing dips in the cool ones.

If you read about Turkish baths online, it can be confusing. Some seem like you have to go in the nude, others appear to be separated by gender--definitely do your research before you dive in to a spa. Our recommendation? Szechenyi Bath and Spa. There you can get totally pampered—affordably.

Despite the frigid weather, this is the best season to go to soak in an outdoor pool. Float on with your teammates and make sure to stay around until dusk to watch the sunset from the outdoor bath. We love watching the thick steam rise into the cold air. While the sky fades into different colors, the Roman architecture that surrounds the outdoor pools is illuminated. It’s epic.

And, once the sun goes down, it’s time to dry off and drink up. Night is just beginning, and after a relaxing day at the baths, you’ll be charged up to party until sunrise.

Photos courtesy of Melanie Witkower