Spa bath + party = SPARTY. In order to spend our very few hours in Budapest efficiently, my friends and I bought tickets for the Széchenyi Thermal Baths’ sparty, granting us after-hour access to the famous Budapest baths. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, six American girls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in an unfamiliar aspect of Budapesti nightlife. For those curious about a Hungarian sparty, I have done all of the dirty work and outlined everything there is to know about hanging out for 5 hours in a steamy pool with hundreds of your closest friends. So if you’re planning on one day attending a sparty, or are still not exactly sure what I’m talking about, you can find here the knowledge that I wished that I’d had before my nighttime Széchenyi Thermal Bath experience.
- We arrived at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths about an hour after opening to avoid lines, because we had not purchased “XPRESS” tickets. Our wait was only about 5 minutes, indoors.
- Everyone received a wristband at check-in that could electronically secure any chosen locker. The lockers are located in the bath house, separate from the outdoor pool. Spacious and safe, the lockers can hold a few pairs of winter boots and thick jackets without worry of running out of room.
- Regular entrance to the sparty cost 40€, but my friends and I purchased tickets with drinks included for an additional 5€. We got two drink tickets each in hopes of avoiding inflated prices of drinks that I’m sure, if purchased directly from the bar, were well above what we paid.
- We had considered the fact that uncovered liquids in a pool wasn’t the best idea, but once in the baths, my friends and I found that spilled drinks were the least of our worries. If you think too hard about what we were actually sitting in, it’s a little unsettling.
- Colorful lights and loud music quickly distracted our young, careless minds from sanitation to remind us that we were at a party! The lights set a fun, spirited atmosphere, but the music was only mediocre. One, generic techno beat carried on throughout the night, making us wonder what the DJ was actually getting paid to do.
- Though it seemed as though the crowd was more male (65%) than female (35%), my friends and I never felt uncomfortable. In fact, we chatted with a few, very nice people, and even met some fellow Terps! Additionally, although there was a clear majority of attendees under the age of thirty, we spotted some older couples mixed in the crowd.
- The Széchenyi Thermal Baths’ sparty website explicitly stated no form of videography or photography allowed, so we left the GoPros at home and phones in the locker. Silly us for following the rules. Many people had a drink in one hand and a camera in the other. We eventually brought our phones out onto the pool deck to capture our experience, but were annoyed that listening to instructions left us without our own sparty footage.
- The party took place from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., and we stayed nearly the entire time, talking with each other, enjoying the warmth of the water, and the presence of the crowd. For college-aged students, attending a sparty is a unique experience that I would recommend to other adventurous adolescents while abroad.
- Széchenyi Thermal Bath
- Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146, Hungary
Nyugalom, Szerelem, SPARTY