When we think of bucket list-worthy thermal baths, a few iconic sites come to mind: the Blue Lagoon in Iceland and the Pamukkale pools in Turkey. But just two hours away from the popular Szechenyi baths in Budapest, there's another impressive bath worth visiting. And this one is in a cave.
The cave bath of Miskolctapolca
Miskolctapolca is a suburb of Miskolc, the third largest city in Hungary, with a surprise attraction for spa-seekers. The cave bath of Miskolctapolca is unique in that the thermal waters flow through a natural cave, creating passages that beg to be explored. The water is said to contain healing properties for those with joint pain.
Bathers get to explore a unique cave system, lazy-river style, which is a win-win for anyone who loves a good adventure but is equally excited to soak the day away.
There are six different pools throughout the cave that are back-lit and connected by bridges and tunnels. Each of the pools vary in temperature, but none will give you that too-hot-to-handle feeling you might get at other European thermal baths. Because the water has a lower salt content, there's actually no time restriction; you can stay all day if you'd like.
For a better experience
Feather and the Wind
You’re likely not going to find this cave bath on many Europe travel itineraries but it’s no secret to the locals who have been coming for decades. To increase your chances of enjoying the bath free of crowds, you'll want to visit close to opening or closing.
Anyone who knows me can tell you I'm not a morning person and yet I seem to avoid hitting the snooze button while travelling if it means I get to be the first to walk through the doors. Or in this case, the first to swim through the cave.
Plan your visit:
The indoor cave bath is open all year, except for the month of January when they close for maintenance. The outdoor pools are open seasonally.
With admission starting at $12 CAD for a half-day visit, it's a great place to unwind and recharge, whatever the season.
You can also make your day as luxurious as you want with an on-site massage, sauna and even float spa options, all of which are all listed on their website.
More of Miskolc, Hungary
Feather and the Wind
If you’re keen on exploring more of the area, Miskolc is surrounded by the Bükk Mountains and a scenic train ride takes you to the nearby village of Lillafüred. Here you’ll find an impressive lakeside hotel, smaller shops and restaurants, plus various trails for hiking. The Bükk Mountains offer some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the country and are also home to hundreds of caves for those who'd rather swap bathing suits for hiking gear.
How do I get to the cave bath of Miskolctapolca?
The intercity trains in Hungary make it easy to get to Miskolc with hourly service from Budapest’s Keleti station. Within two hours, you’ll arrive at Miskolc Tiszai and can take tram 1 or 2 straight into town. This thermal cave bath is just one of the great sites worth visiting in Hungary, a country full of charming cities, delicious foods and plenty of budget-friendly options.
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