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Open water lake swimming

pool & open water training


Swimming and the gateway to adventure!!

The burning desire to go swim in different locations doesn’t seem to stop or weaken after 8 years of open water swimming. It almost gets stronger because the more you explore the better you get at navigating around.


I invited myself on the Budapest swim trip as Liz, who is swimming 50 swims to celebrate the big 50th birthday!! What a way to embrace the next chapter. 


What a city - Budapest!!

The city was clean, drivers didn’t try to take you out while cycling. Everyone was obedient and followed the traffic signals. Hiring bikes and bombing around the city allowed us to cover so much. The cycle lanes are organised and used as cycle lanes!


I did get told off from a rather stern Hungarian lady who worked at one of the indoor pools. Normally each pool complex has about 4/ 6 pools and so many doors leading into different areas. Well, I kept going through the wrong doors, which set me off with the giggles. I went to the toilet, came out and there was the Hungarian lady. I had a personnel escort around the pool complex. She wasn’t having any of my nonsense or poor sense of direction.



Here are all the details of our trip. Some of the indoor pools were a bit out the way but you make your own choices of places to swim.


Flights: Wizz Air from Luton to Budapest

-      Remember to take a water bottle and refill at Luton airport.


Accommodation: 7 Season Holiday Apartments


The holiday apartment in the 7 seasons was situated slap bang in the centre of Pest. Great location to get to everywhere and outstanding restaurants within minutes’ walk. Proper coffee machine with a mini kitchen. I would only get the studio apartment if you don’t mind sharing a bed and there are only 2 of you.


Transfer from the airport one way is included in the accommodation cost. Loved that!!!



Alfred Hajos National Aquatics Complex


The first indoor swimming pool was on Margaret Island, which is in the Danube River, between Buda and Pest. The pool facility has four floors, covers an area of about 80,000 square meters, has eight indoor and outdoor pools. No lane rage happening here!!



We walked from the apartment, passing the incredible Hungarian Parliament Building. The architecture of the building is incredible!! Seeing the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial was moving.


The memorial was to honour the Jews who were massacred by fascistHungarian militia belonging to the Arrow Cross Party in Budapest during the Second World War. They were ordered to take off their shoes (shoes were valuable and could be stolen and resold by the militia after the massacre) and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank.


Dinner at Twenty Six


The next day was go, go!!


Breakfast: Levante breakfast 




BVSC Laky Karoly Swimming Pool


The pool was a bit further out, so we cycled. This was the pool I had a personnel escort from the Hungarian lady!



We wanted to swim in the Duna area pool, but it was closed for the Hungarian open qualifiers.

Duna Arena:

Bike hire: Download the MOL Bubi app.

We hopped back on our bicycles and headed over to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths.


-      Booked online. We went for the basic ladies’ lockers.

-      You must bring flip flops and a swim cap.


The pool was incredible!! We loved the outside pool and soaking up the sun on the sun loungers. I would try go a bit out of season because I can imagine the pools will be absolutely rammed in peak summer. I took my phone into the pools without any hassles.




Balagan was nice, but our first choice would have been  Mazeltov. Do book as it’s very popular.



Last day:

Breakfast with a grand piano and a building which will blow your mind away. Beautiful!!!


The funicular to Buda castle was closed so we used the hop on, hop off castle bus.

The official Budapest castle bus took us up to the castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. The cost was 15 Euros per.



Fat mama for a biggish lunch before heading to the airport.




Tax ride £25 from the apartment to the airport. I love that the taxi fares are displayed on the doors of the taxi, so you know where you stand with the costs.


Receiving the bill in the Hungarian currency, the forint, looks like you have bought a car instead of a breakfast. We didn’t withdrawal any cash, only used cards.


Looking to buy a Hungarian gift the Central Market Hall was very impressive.




Other pools:

Gellert Baths


Lukacs Baths



Top 25 must-see attractions in Budapest:

1.    Hungarian Parliament Building

2.    Chain Bridge

3.    Buda Castle

4.    Fisherman’s Bastion

5.    Matthias Church

6.    St. Stephen’s Basilica

7.    Hungarian State Opera House

8.    Heroes Square

9.    Central Market Hall

10. Liberty Bridge

11. Vaci Street

12. Music Fountain on the Margaret Island

13. Shoes on the Danube Promenade Memorial

14. Széchenyi Thermal Bath

15. Vajdahunyad Castle

16. Gellert Hill

17. Cafe New York

18. Gresham Palace

19. Historic metro line M1

20. Buda Hill Funicular

21. Margaret Bridge

22. Hungarian National Gallery

23. Andrassy Avenue

24. Nyugati Railway Terminal

25. Dohány Street Synagogue

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Sounds fab Heather! Definitely on the travel list!


Great write up, very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

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