Healing Waters and Mineral Springs
Eastern Europe has known for aeons what many of us are only now waking up to. You can maintain wellbeing on a daily basis through drinking mineral rich waters straight from the Earth.
Especially in centres along the Danube such as Budapest and the Pannonian Basin there is a centuries old tradition of drinking mineral waters for the wide-range of wellness benefits, including the treatment of conditions ranging from hypertension to rheumatism and respiratory disease.
In the city of Budapest (one of the most beautiful wellbeing destinations in the world) you will find water therapy (or balneotherapy to be more correct) taken to a level like nowhere else.
Budapest features a host of therapeutic baths ranging from the basically functional to the beyond opulent and grand. No wellbeing trip to Eastern Europe is complete without visiting one of Budapest’s magnificent healing spas.
The Fountain of Youth
Tucked right beneath the Erzsebet bridge linking Buda to Pest you will find the Rudas Ivacsarnok – a deceptively grim looking grey bunker that hides a an amazing wellness secret.
Everyday, three types of warm mineral water are served on tap. These come straight from the mineral springs beneath the city, and are used to combat a huge range of health conditions – from simply getting older to more complex respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
Rudas Ivócsarnok (“Drinking Hall”) is mostly frequented it would seem by the elderly residents of Budapest. Here you can drink the health-giving thermal waters for which Budapest is famous – hot and fresh straight out of the ground. That’s as organic as they come!
Located very close to the far more famous Rudas Thermal centre, the hall is a small, single-room construction where you may see old ladies and gentlemen waiting for their turn with empty bottles in hand.
The set up is unsurprisingly simple. Walk up to the register and pay the princely sum of 40HUF (about 15c US) then hand your slip of paper to another attendant waiting to serve hot, sulphurous water bubbling out of taps.
There are three options available to you, and a range of ailments the water is said to alleviate. For the sake of simplicity, and the fact that you are most likely just passing through, try Juventus – said to promote all-round wellbeing, relieve hypertension and generally make you feel better
Because all three types of water are warm, and the one with highest sulfur content smells like eggs, think less “refreshing pit stop” or “Instagram moment” and more “Get it down fast!” The odour can be off-putting but without the sulphur you don’t get the goodies – so just hold your nose if you have to
Even if the minerals don’t work, the warmth of the elixir will – cutting through the chill of an otherwise icy winter’s day.
How To Get There
The Drinking Hall is a bit hard to find. The easiest thing to do is ask directions to the Rudas Baths.
First you should get to the Buda side of Erzsébet bridge (the closest tram stop is Döbrentei tér, or you could cross the bridge from Pest. You can walk easily from District VII, the Jewish quarter, or the Inner City. Once across, look for the entrance directly under the bridge. If arriving directly to the baths, the drinking hall is about 300 metres past the front entrance – again, beneath the bridge.
You would be forgiven for thinking you are about to enter a Soviet era bomb shelter, instead of a healing centre. But take heart.
Once you step through the doors of the Ivocsarnok the staff will do what they can to help you taste the very best that the fabulous city of Budapest is built upon.
And if you plan your day right, you can head next door to the amazing Rudas Baths complex where you can soak away the hours enjoying an incredible atmosphere of winter wellness.
Stars-Travel Rating – 7/10…… You have to like the taste of sulphur 🙂
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I’m a professional astrologer, coach, and Ayurvedic consultant, originally from Australia but now travelling the world. At Stars Like You, the focus is on happiness. We publish great astrology articles, as well as well-researched pieces on nutrition, wellness and Ayurveda drawn from years of clinical experience.