How to Barely Strip and Dance the Night Away in Budapest, Vol. II

The good news is that – for its annual outdoor swim/disco/bacchanal on December 30 at Budapest’s (and Europe’s) largest Belle Epoque public bathhouse, the Szechenyi – producers expect a minimum of ” only” 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). ), slightly above the freezing point. It’s around 11 p.m., because the rager traditionally begins. At 1 a.m. on December 31, the weather gods should be smiling down on revelers by raising the temperature to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius) for the last two hours before closing at 3 a.m. on December 31.

Not that a single one of the more than 2,000 expected guests who have booked for what has become known as Szechenyi’s “Spa-rty” can care about something as trivial as the weather, although they parade between bars and pools in their best summer swimwear.

Because: The Szechenyi’s two huge, constantly warm 77-degree outdoor pools—heated by natural hot springs whose waters must be cooled before being channeled to the pools for spa guests—envelop the writhing masses in a gentle native embrace. In that sense, we could say that, like a kaleidoscopic detour if you’re already in Europe, coming down to Budapest for this invigorating party is just the tonic to get your mind into its proper “rebirth” mode as the new year dawns. . Your party character is reborn as an eel, water moccasin, otter, seal, alligator. Pick one, hit the “dance floor” and go, the new year is just around the corner.

A few notes for savvy travelers embarking on this mode of ringing in the old and ringing in the new: The event’s founder/uber-producer is Laszlo Laki, whose Cinetrip/Sparty group organizes these now-famous multi-party club nights. Budapest baths over the past twenty-five years. This means they’ve had a lot of practice, and the production, so to speak, can now be seen as seamless. One best books online.

At Szechenyi, when you sign up for your locker, you receive an electronic wristband that doubles as a wallet to the many bars and snack places to fuel you through the night. There’s also what we’ll describe diplomatically as a robust team of extremely fit lifeguards and security, who are extremely well-mannered but don’t tolerate any nonsense. Groups are welcome.

Mr. Laki’s esteemed advice is: “In the thermal baths of Budapest, thanks to our beautiful hot springs, we have been bathing for more than a thousand years. We have manners. You also. When you come to Budapest, please bring your own. In short, it’s a safe space at the Sparty New Year’s event, and a more unusual mix of Belle Epoque and New Europe is hard to come by.

The parties traditionally take place on December 30 because the Szechenyi is open 365 days a year, and its regular customers want to access it on New Year’s Day, and especially on New Year’s Day to sweat the inevitable price of excess. So theoretically you could book for the Sparty on the 30th, retire to the hotel, book in the afternoon of the 31st for a few hours of resuscitation, then come back for your third bath of the weekend on New Year’s Day. .

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