There are many good spas in Europe, but far too many of them are located in remote corners. Still, it’s fine to combine a city break with wellness. You just have to choose the right big city. Here are five suggestions that will allow you to combine spa with top nightlife, great restaurants, shopping and all the other big city life has to offer.
Norwegian tourists have fully discovered that Icelanders know nightlife better than ourselves. Reykjavik is bubbling over with cool restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes. Everything is within a short radius, making the city perfect for a different city break. If you want a spa and wellness on top of it all, this is one of the better destinations. Most four- and five-star hotels in the city center have a wellness area and a gym. Among the best options are CenterHotel Thingholt, Hotel Borg and Hilton Reykjavik. You can pay to use the hotels’ wellness center and gym if you choose another accommodation.
Wild nature right nearby
If you want to combine city life with seeing more of the wild nature in Iceland, there are several options just outside Reykjavik . One of the better spa and sports hotels is the ION Adventure Hotel. From Reykjavik it takes about half an hour to get there. The entire hotel complex is centered around outdoor activities, exercise, health and wellness.
The blue lagoon outside Reykjavik
The icing on the cake when it comes to spas in Iceland, however, is the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, about 40 km southwest of Reykjavik. The lagoon is a geothermal outdoor spa, with mineral water that holds about 37 degrees all year round. Here you can get all kinds of medical skin treatment, spa treatment and massage. There are separate private areas in the lagoon for those who are willing to pay, or for those who stay at the resort’s luxury hotel. From Reykjavik it is also possible to book day trips to the Blue Lagoon.
Budapest is probably the capital of the world best known for spa tourism. It provides the city’s 120 hot springs. It can almost seem as if it’s just building a hotel, and then drilling a little in the ground, and vips you have a spa hotel underway! The Hungarian capital is also a top destination for those going on a traditional city break. Besides a distinctive and exciting nightlife, you will find good shopping, impressive architecture, rich cultural life and lots of wonderful restaurants in Budapest. It also helps that the price level is significantly lower than we are used to at home.
Top spa hotels in Budapest
There are many famous and popular hotels with their own spas in the city. Perhaps the most pleasant option is the Danibus Health Spa Resort located on Margaret Island, in the middle of the river Danube which separates Buda and Pest. The most famous, however, is the Danibus Hotel Gellert. There you will find a total of 7 pools with water from the natural springs, 2 of which are outdoors. Gellert is an impressive sight, and you should stop by even if you choose not to live there. The spa area is one of the best you can come across.
Sparty all night long
Most spas in Budapest have their own times for ladies, and many combine well-being and treatment with great restaurants, cafes or bars. In this city, it is also popular to go to “Sparty”, ie spa and party in one. Such fun is frequently arranged at Rudas Bath, as well as occasionally at Gellert, Szechenyi, Kiraly or Lukacs Baths.
Traditionally, the northern part of Portugal is associated with hot springs and spa stays, especially the towns of Chaves and Vidago. There it was common with spas all the way back to Roman times. The central parts of the country also have a well-known access to geothermal water that is rich in minerals. If you want to find a hot spring south of Lisbon, you have to go to Caldas de Monchique just north of Portimão on the Algarve coast. The nearest options for those who want a little out of the capital are Termas do Estoril, Termas do Vimeiro and Caldas da Rainha. Estoril is the closest, and also the most well-developed area seen through the eyes of tourists.
The hotels with the best wellness center in Lisbon
Lisbon is still one of the better capitals in Europe for spa tourists, despite the fact that there are no hot springs there. Among the best spa hotels in the city center is the Altis Belém Hotel & Spa in the Belém district. There, guests have access to a state-of-the-art wellness center with full service, indoor and outdoor pools overlooking the mouth of the Tagus River and the sea beyond. Another very good hotel with top spa facilities is Corinthia Hotel Lisbon. The hotel’s wellness center is among the city’s largest and most popular. In Lisbon’s old town is one of the most luxurious options, the PortoBay Liberdade hotel. The wellness center that wins awards for service and quality.
Spa chains and centers
In addition to the many hotels with spas, there are an impressive number of steam rooms, saunas and free-standing spas and wellness centers in Lisbon. The FloatIn chain has three departments, all of which are centrally located in the city. Here they are absolutely superb for massage, and with an atmosphere that helps one to really let go of stress and stiff necks. Another name that is worth noting is Sayanna Wellness which is located in selected hotels in the Sana chain. In Lisbon you will find Sayanna Wellness in the easily recognizable spa hotel Myriad, and in the hotel Epic Sana. Both hotels are among the very best and most expensive, but the spa areas are also open to guests who do not stay there.