What is your favourite activity on Friday night? Mine are masks, bath tubs and wine! What about “going out, restaurants and socialising with friends” I hear you say. I am a parent, remember? Restaurants will have to wait for the next 18 years! I have […]
Why do you travel? I travel for sights and food. Actually, I am not sure what makes me more excited when I am going to a new place: sights or food? Probably both in equal measure! When I went to Budapest, I signed up for […]
Budapest can be enjoyed at every season: in the summer you can appreciate balmy weather, while enjoying your coffee on numerous terraces that the city has got. In the winter you can go to the Christmas market or warm yourself in thermal spa waters.
There are many baths in Budapest to choose from: some are close to the city centre, some will take a bit of time to reach. Some baths have got the modern look about them and some are more traditional, preserving old grandeur and beautiful interiors. For me, the choice was clear – Gellert Baths, as they are walkable from the city centre, just on the other side of the river and interior inside the baths is a like a jewel box. I also discovered during my visit that they had one thermal pool outside, which was an added bonus of enjoying warm water, when it was really chilly outside.
Gellert Baths are located in the Hotel Gellert and form part of the complex , where in the olden days people, who were well off, could come and take the waters. The interior is certainly reflective of the Old Europe with lots of open spaces and marble statues, which greet you immediately upon the entrance.
Once you paid for your admission, you are given the bracelet, which you will use to lock your cabin. When you buy a ticket , there are two options: first one with Soviet-style cabin or a private changing space, which looks luxurious and you have much more space as opposed to the cabin option. It certainly is worth extra pennies, especially if you are with the family.
If you selected a basic option, then you will be greeted with changing cabins a-la Soviet style. There is some charm in them as wel, I felt I was transported into my school swimming lessons in a second!
Once you changed into your swimming costume, you have a variety of options: big pool (bear in mind that you need to either purchase a swimming hat or bring your own), thermal pools with different temperatures, outdoor thermal pool, saunas with different temperatures, steam room, ice pool, showers with different streams… are you still with me?
Yes, you can spend a whole day there trying out the facilities, but we felt that around 3 hours was sufficient time to enjoy majority of them.
Thermal water pools and showers are located in an area, which kept majority of the original Art Deco design and it is a pleasure to be there and just look at the details on the walls, benches and fountains. There is plenty of drinking water, which you can help yourself to.
You will see suggested times as to how long to spend in the mineral pools, as it is not good to be there for a long period of time. One of the thermal pools is considerably hotter than the other and you will see that it is less crowded, as it becomes quite hot to sit there even for 5 minutes.
One of the highlights for me was the outdoor pool and the sauna. It is a little bit of a distance from the main building to the pool, but you will enjoy going in the warm pool even more and would not want to leave! Sauna is located next to the outdoor pool and there is a massive bucket, filled to the brim with icy-cold water, which you can jump into after the sauna, and refresh yourself!
All in all, it is a great way to spend an evening in Budapest! Unfortunately, Gellert Baths advise that their thermal pools are not recommended for children, but there are Paskál, Palatinus or Csillaghegy Baths, which are suitable for children.
After you finished with your thermal water sessions, you can either relax with a cup of something warm in the Gellert Bath’s cafe or walk/get a taxi to a restaurant and indulge in hearty Hungarian fare. This is exactly what I did and wrapped the evening with foie gras and delicious apple strudel!
Disclaimer: My visit was hosted by Gellert Baths, but all opinions are my own.
My absolute treat at the weekend is a cup of coffee, preferably with a piece of cake…. in silence. Once you become parent you start to appreciate simple things in life. You no longer need all-nighters to feel that you are a bright young thing, […]
We visited Porto in the off-season during autumn school holidays, which fell on the end of October- beginning of November in 2018. One of things I always wanted to do is to go on a river cruise in the Douro Valley, which has been placed […]
When you come to Lisbon, you will notice that tiles or azulejos in Portuguese, are everywhere. It is part of the city image and you will find a hard time finding two identical designs. If you are a graphic designer or even remotely interested in patterns and design, Lisbon should be a must-see place for you.
I was interested to learn about the history of the tiles in Portugal and see some examples, so one morning we headed to National Azulejo Museum. You can either take a local bus or a taxi, as museum is quite a distance from a nearest metro station. However, once inside it is great for buggies and have got plenty of lifts to transport you between the exhibition spaces.
The museum itself is located in a convent and there are a lot of material inside, much more than meets the eye at first. In fact, tile enthusiasts might want to come back to the museum the next day, as we certainly did not have enough time in 3 hours to see everything in detail. The building itself is lovely, with enclosed courtyard, and there is a small garden space immediately in front of the entrance to the museum.
On the first floor you will learn about the history and how the tiles are made with early examples of azulejos. Upper floors display examples which are more recent and you would also be able to walk around a whole church inside with fantastic tiled interiors. And watch out for the crocodiles!
The museum gets quite busy after midday, so if you want to have a bit more space to yourself I suggest to come to the opening time.
I also loved the fact, that the museum has the section on contemporary ceramics.
One of the museum highlights is the longest azulejo panel in the world, which stretches for 23 meters in a dedicated room. The panel was made before the devastating earthquake of 1755 and shows certain monuments and parts of town and how they looked at the time of the panel being made. Museum curators have done a fantastic job in identifying the elements, which you can still see in contemporary Lisbon, so you can visualize what the city looked like 300 years ago and now.
There is an entertaining side to the museum as well, where you can take your pictures with kids. We had great fun trying to fit into the head holes!
Disclaimer: National Azulejo Museum hosted our visit, but all opinions are our own.
When you travel, have you noticed, that you skin sometimes does not like local water or moisture levels in the air? My skin is quite particular, as while it is mostly all-right when I am at home, it starts a little strike as soon as I go abroad. I reckon this is partially due to the fact that I cant take my full cleansing routine with me. Also, as the weather gets colder and the air get drier, I constantly find myself fighting with dry skin patches here and there.
Recently, I discovered Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm, which is a great all-rounder and its smart packaging of 45 ml is perfect for travelling, if you take hand luggage only. Here are a few snaps from my trip to Budapest in November with Eucerine Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm, which kept me company in the cold and the rain.
As I mentioned, it is got perfect travel size of under 100ml, so it went into my transparent bag for the security check.
The texture of the balm is similar to Vaseline: slightly oily and it does leave a shiny trace once you put it on. But I liked the fact that the balm does not have any smell and it is absolutely transparent, so I was happy with the application.
Usually I used it twice a day, once in the morning, before I set out on my adventures in Budapest and then at night, when I was going to bed. I found that even after a few applications the result was visible, my dry patches were disappearing and skin was looking smooth and moisturised again.
I also took it with me to beautiful Gellert Baths and used it on my feet after taking the bath. My feet definitely get neglected in winter period as they are constantly in socks and boots. Sometimes I forget, that actually they need as much attention in the winter ( if not more ) as I usually give them during summer months.
Budapest is full of cake shops, and me and cake are two best friends! After I had my daily intake of cake, I used the balm to keep my lips moist and stop them from chapping in cold weather. Eucerin Aquaphor Balm was perfect for this task.
Most of all I liked the fact that the balm is multi-functional , so if you are travelling , you can just take it and use it for different things. Next time when we go on a family trip, the balm is definitely coming with me again. The balm only has 7 ingredients, and it is absolutely safe to use for babies and their delicate skin. Also, Letitia is at the age where she is constantly exploring the world and with it come scratches, grazes, you name it. I will definitely be packing the balm for all my future travels!
This post is an entry for the BritMums #MyAquaphor Challenge, sponsored by Eucerin. Discover the benefits of Eucerin https://www.eucerin.co.uk/product/aquaphor/soothing-skin-balm-45ml
On a rainy afternoon in November, I set off to experience the Thermal Spa Experience and Gold Turkish Delight treatment at Ironmonger Row Baths, which are not far from the Old Street station in London. The Baths were easy to find and I was directed […]