It’s no secret we dabble with the flashpacker lifestyle. Champagne lifestyle, Cava budget is our way of life which has resulted in quite a few spa days during our travels. This post is to not only list our top spa breaks for couples but shares the best spas in Europe based on budget, atmosphere and fun factor.
A little R & R does the world of good but shouldn’t cost the earth, so we have also included a few money saving tips! Just because you are travelling on a budget does not mean you can’t indulge in a couples spa day and these European spa days are some of our favourite memories from travelling we guarantee they will be yours too!
BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND
Let’s start with the most expensive and arguably the most famous European Spa – The Blue Lagoon in Iceland. The Blue Lagoon is a Geothermal Spa (with water temperature around 37-40°C) and is a 20 minute drive from Keflavik airport so the ideal stop over spa spot!
With Northern lights dancing above during Winter, and 24 hours of sunshine during Summer it is one of the most romantic spa breaks for couples. We spent 3 hours here, during which we experienced all 4 Seasons so it’s one of the best spa breaks in Europe regardless of weather!
We loved every minute, particularly the mud masks swim up bar and one of the best meals we have ever had. You can read our full Blue Lagoon guide here, including how to get there, essential tips and more!
Although the most expensive European spa from our list, we did find quirky accommodation in Reykjavik which was “cheap” (for Iceland.) Did we mention it had a hot tub on the roof? The perfect spot to watch the Northern lights and the perfect place to end your couples spa day. You will also get a cheeky discount if you book for the first time through our post!
Price Of The Blue Lagoon
- €54 for the Basic Package including:
- Face Mask
- €77 for the Premium Package including:
- 2x Masks
- Restaurant Reservation & glass of bubbly
To save money, we recommend booking the Blue lagoon transfer as part of a tour – some include entry (which will save you even more money) others just include transport, but busses from the airport can be expensive so why not book it as part of your itinerary? Click here for a bargain!
Fun Factor Rating: 9/10
Bopping in the warm geothermal waters with our mud masks on during a snow storm was like no other European spa we’ve ever been to!
Atmosphere Rating: 9/10
Although tickets sell out, capacity is capped per day so it never feels too crowded! Perfect for relaxing – unless a snow storm hits which happened to us. The atmosphere is so different in the evening or in Winter when the sun sets early – it is spectacular to enjoy the Blue Lagoon lit up.
Money Saving Tips for the Blue Lagoon
It’s no secret, Iceland is expensive however if you book your Blue Lagoon entry as part of a tour this often results in a discount. The blue lagoon is the most visited tourist attraction in Iceland with the Golden Circle the second. By booking a tour to do both it often results in a discount and you could save some serious money on transport too! Book here.
SZÉCHENYI THERMAL BATH BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Széchenyi Spa Budapest is the biggest and most popular of all thermal baths in the city. At over 100 years old, Széchenyi thermal bath Budapest is also one of the biggest natural hot spring baths in Europe! Due to this, we cannot deny it is crowded, noisy and lacks that relaxation factor unless you head for our secret spot. If looking for a couples spa day, we have a sneaky tip for a private oasis that guarantees tranquillity amongst the bustle of the thermal baths.
It is The Palm House, which is on the roof of the Széchenyi thermal bath and one of the most peaceful couples spa day we’ve ever had. Over the years, it is believed 100 million bathers have enjoyed the warm medicinal waters of Széchenyi Spa Budapest so you can imagine it’s popularity on a daily basis!
The Palm House however, offers an exotic oasis for those who want to escape the busy thermal baths and crowds of other bathers. During our visit, we were accompanied by a mere 4 others in The Palm House! Expect palm trees, exotic plants, glass walls and roof, comfortable chill out areas and hammocks, a soothing atmosphere, fruits and herbal teas.
The best part is there is not a huge price difference, in comparison for the privacy and relaxation offered in return. We loved the contemporary space and indulgence factor of The Palm House, whilst also being able to access all Széchenyi thermal baths when we fancied. Making it the perfect couples spa day as you can have the best of both worlds!
Price Of The Széchenyi Thermal Baths
The Széchenyi baths price is one of the cheapest spa breaks for couples on this list. Both entry to the Spa & Accommodation in Budapest is very affordable. If you book via here we can guarantee you will not only get it super cheap, but it also includes skipping the queue!
Entrance to the Palm House however, is not included in the standard Széchenyi baths price. This makes entry exclusive, heightening the tranquillity and calm. We paid around €50 per person and our ticket included the following –
- Fruit Bowl
- Herb Tea in Pot
- Full day access to the Palm House Spa Oasis(open 10 am to 6 pm)
- Bath Ticket to Széchenyi Thermal Baths
- Private Changing Cabin in the Baths
- Guided Tour of Széchenyi Baths
- WiFi in the Palm House
Fun Factor Rating: 8/10
If you’re idea of fun is a couples spa day on a rooftop, hidden from the bustle of the Széchenyi baths then you’re in for a treat as it is genuinely an oasis in the centre of the city. Dare I say it, we found it a little too quiet and didn’t mind being amongst the action. Having the option to jump between the two is a definite bonus.
We later discovered the Széchenyi Spa Budapest run Summer Spa parties – sparties for short. This is our idea of fun indeed, running from 10:30pm until 3am with DJs & light shows. It sounds 10/10 fun factor, if anyone has been let us know if it was as fun as it sounds!
Atmosphere Rating: 9/10
As previously mentioned the Széchenyi Spa Budapest is very busy so if you desire that relaxed vibe, definitely upgrade to The Palm House. The atmosphere there is everything you’d dream for a couples spa day – a lazy afternoon in an exclusive, calming environment.
Money Saving Tips for Thermal Baths, Budapest
- A standard ticket allows you all day access however you can save money and avoid the crowds by booking for an evening or morning ticket. For example, you can book a two hour ticket between 6-8am which is cheaper, and you can watch the sunrise over the city. Also note, it is cheaper (only slightly but also less busy) during the week than weekends.
- There are numerous deals online that offer combo tickets for entry to the Széchenyi baths and treatment such as a massage. There are also many ticket deals which include free transport from your hotel! We recommend taking a look here for the best prices of combo tickets!
THERME BUCHAREST, ROMANIA
Admittedly, this was our favourite European Spa from the entire list as so few people have heard of it and it was incredibly cheap despite the luxurious atmosphere! Therme Bucharest was a definite highlight from our Backpacking Europe trip and we would return in a heartbeat.
Bucharest is such a vibrant, fascinating city with Therme Bucuresti the cherry on-top, making it one of the best couples spa day we’ve ever had!
Firstly at 30,000 sqm and 8 pools, Spa Bucuresti is enormous! There are pools inside and out, divided into 3 areas. This reminded us of the fun factor of the blue lagoon – you can watch the sun go down and bathe under the stars. The only difference, a pint in Therme Bucharest was a mere £2 not £7! We loved watching the pink sky reflect on the pool, whilst relaxing in the outdoor bar areas. Then we headed inside where the stunning lights transformed the spa into a kingdom of colour.
Therme Bucharest is divided into three areas:
- The Palm – Named due to the surplus 500 palm trees. This is the heart of the spa, complete with heated beds and therapeutic pools. Each pool had different minerals offering various benefits for your skin and well being. Also no children are allowed in The Palm for added relaxation making it the perfect couples spa day.
- The Elysium – This was our favourite area as it was home to 6 themed saunas. Including a Nordic style sauna where you entered sub zero temperatures naked, a Himalaya sauna lined with Himalayan salt walls and The Hollywood Sauna. The Hollywood sauna played David Attenborough wildlife documentaries on a cinema screen as you sat and baked in the heat. Completely surreal!
- The Galaxy – The entertainment area aimed at children, with flumes and a wave pool. Needless to say we enjoyed it a little more than we should have. Who said a couples spa day can’t involve racing down flumes? It definitely adds to the serenity of Therme Bucharest, that this is the only area with children. The other areas are strictly adults only.
Price of Therme Bucharest
Therme Bucharest prices are amazing value for money. A child’s ticket is 50 Lei and Therme Bucharest prices for adults are 96 Lei (approx. £18) for an all day ticket.
Similar to the Blue Lagoon you are given an electronic bracelet which all purchases are loaded onto. It is not only the entry fee which is cheap, Therme Bucharest prices are all very affordable. The swim up bars offer beers for around £2 a pint and cocktails approx. £4 making it one of the best spa breaks for couples due to it’s affordability! All together now… Champagne lifestyle, Cava budgets.
Fun Factor Rating: 10/10
Therme Bucharest was like no other couples spa day we’ve ever had. We stayed for 7 yes, SEVEN hours as we were having that much fun. From the cinema sauna to the swim up bars, flumes to delicious food and no kid zones you need to book flights to Bucharest asap!
Atmosphere Rating: 10/10
Due to it’s huge size (30,000 sqm) there were so many hidden spots in Therme Bucharest to relax in complete privacy. The saunas and pools were never crowded and the staff were all so friendly.
Money Saving Tips
- Outdoor shoes were not allowed in the changing areas, so we had to purchase flip flops there. You could bring your own to save money!
- With our Therme Bucharest visit lasting 7 hours, you’d maybe agree we got great value for money with our full day ticket. There are cheaper options for 3 hour tickets, or tickets for just certain areas if you are on a time (and money) budget!
LES BAINS DE LA GRUYERE, SWITZERLAND
We stayed with a local family in Switzerland thanks to Workaway. It is an amazing scheme, where in return for food and accommodation you volunteer a few hours a day. We were so fortunate to stay with such a kind family who ran a glamping site with luxury treehouses. As a treat, they booked us into Les Bains de la Gruyere which was a European spa experience we’ll never forget.
Read more on how you can stay in over 170 countries worldwide for free as well as our top tips to ensure your dream host says yes, in our Workaway guide.
Located at an altitude of 900m in Charmey, Les Bains de la Gruyère has most breathtaking backdrop of the mountains of la Gruyère and during Winter, the spa is surrounded by snow. As we visited Switzerland in October the pre-alpine landscape was insanely beautiful, trees a fiery orange and the temperature crisp making the outdoor thermal pool even more inviting. Depending on the season, the natural spring water which is rich in mineral salts, is heated to 34ºC.
Les Bains de la Gruyère have three large swimming pools with two indoor and one outdoor, all with stunning panoramic views of the Swiss countryside. There is also an array of water features such as swan-neck showers, mini whirlpools, massage nozzles and jets. There is Nordic and Oriental steam baths such as sauna, hammam and Turkish baths, as well as several areas to relax and soak up the tranquil atmosphere.
This is one of the most romantic couples spa days that we have had. You can even turn that spa day into a full couples spa break, as mere metres minutes away is Hotel Callier. This means you can wake up to the stunning surroundings before bathing in the spa’s calming waters. You can check out availability of the hotel here.
Price Of Les Bains de la Gruyere
We booked the 3 hour ticket and felt this was the perfect amount of time. We timed it during sunset for added wow factor and loved watching the landscape and spa transform under darkness. Les Bains de la Gruyère is open until 9pm on weekdays and later on weekends. Ticket prices are as follows:
- 26F for a 3 hour ticket (approx. £20)
- 37F for a 5 hour ticket (approx. £30)
Fun Factor Rating: 7/10
Due to the idyllic spot in the most serene landscape you visit for the view, not the fun factor. Unlike our other European spa visits for once, there was no swim up bar or alcohol heightening the health factor and adding to the serenity. All in all, perhaps a tad too grown up for us two backpackers.
For an added fun factor, the Callier chocolate factory is a mere 10 minute drive. Spend your morning indulging in the exciting history of Callier (with unlimited samples) before a relaxing afternoon at Les Bains de la Gruyère. The ultimate Swiss experience!
Atmosphere Rating: 10/10
As mentioned, the intention of this European spa is pure relaxation and the ability to soak up the clear Swiss air. No cameras are even allowed which added to the tranquillity as there was no fighting with selfie sticks or distractions. Simply us and the beautiful Swiss countryside.
Money Saving Tips
- We would recommend booking the cheaper ticket for 3 hours as this was more than enough time at Bains de la Gruyère.
- If you are looking for a truly special couples spa day attend on a Friday (between October till March) as they host a Candlelight evening. At no extra cost (entry fee is the same as normal) the outdoor pool is transformed by candlelight creating an even more romantic feel to this unique spa.
BEER SPA, PRAGUE
Prague reminded us of a city from a fairy tale – ornate architecture, cobbled streets and our own idea of a fairy tale ends in a beer bath. Just us? If you fancy a European spa with a difference this will not disappoint! After a very busy yet rainy 2 days in Prague this was the perfect relaxing escape.
One of the best spa breaks for couples not only because the spa is located in the middle of such a romantic city, but you book a private room with no other guests. The room has a sauna, hops filled hot tub, a straw bed and the best part – unlimited beer on tap!
Price of The Prague Beer Spa
We paid £105 for two people for one hour, however you can arrive early and begin enjoying the beer from the minute you arrive. You are then invited to stay after your hour is up to enjoy the beer further. Although we spent nearly our entire Prague budget on this couples spa day, it was so so worth it!
Fun Factor Rating: 10/10
It was even more fun than we imagined. We knew beer would be involved however we didn’t anticipate just how much. We also had no idea of the benefits the hops would have on our skin and left so relaxed and silky soft, even if we had cancelled all health benefits with alcohol consumption. It was such a unique experience that we dedicated an entire post with all our tips & advice for your Prague Beer Spa visit!
Atmosphere Rating: 10/10
One of our favourite couples spa day because it is completely private. You have the entire room to relax and enjoy without waiting for other users, sharing facilities etc. You could even bathe naked if you wished. The atmosphere was heightened by the friendly staff – both in the way they encouraged us to drink up and stay longer but also their knowledge of the beer spa products and health benefits.
Money Saving Tips for Beer Spa Prague
- As mentioned earlier, arrive early to make the most of your visit. Although the beer spa is expensive on a backpacking budget, for how much beer you can enjoy we think it is fantastic value for money.
- Pay in the local currency of CZK rather than Euros for a small saving. Our tickets would have been £10 more expensive if we’d paid in Euros!
This Post Has 14 Comments
Great write up. I’ve heard such good things about the spa baths in Budapest but then the Blue Lagoon in Iceland looks amazing! Can’t decide which one to visit now. Perhaps both?!
Rio | OppositeTourists.com
Do it. You will not regret it – so entirely different yet equally epic!
I’ve only been to the Blue Lagoon and the baths in Budapest. I never really thought of adding more spas into my itineraries but I think I need to!
Sometimes travelling the world can get tough y’know…a little rest & relaxation always goes down well ha!
Wow I love the sound of ALL these places, particularly the one in Iceland with the swim up bar!! Putting it on my bucket list!
Swim up bars should be rolled out across all venues I feel…
OMG Therme in Bucharest, yes! I went there last year and it was incredible. Worth every penny spent, it was absolutely wonderful! I am not a sauna person, but man! those saunas there are just amazing.
You’re the first person I’ve ever met that’s also been, we need to spread the word of this fabulousness haha! I’m the exact same, really struggle in saunas but it was unreal!
Wonderful & relaxing! Great ideas for a few European getaways!
This is such a fabulous post! I must admit that I’m a little jealous that you got to visit all of these! LOL! The beer spa in Prague is so interesting to me. I really love that it left your skin feeling so soft, but I’m curious about the smell?!?
That was exactly my worry – that we’d leave smelling like a pub carpet haha!! It wasn’t like that atall, it did smell almost yeasty but not alcohol like atall. Such a fun day out, can’t recommend it enough!
I love the look of the greenery in the spa in Bucharest – I’ve always wanted to visit Romania. This experience definitely goes on the list! There are also some lovely spas in my home country of Austria – you should check out the spa “Rogner Bau Blumau” if you are ever there!
OOh we’ll definitely need to take a look, our spa bucketlist is forever growing!
A great post giving me a few spas to add to my list. I’ve been to Széchenyi and had a beer spa before, but now thinking about a weekend break in Romania to go to Thermae Bucharest. It sounds fabulous and I’ve long wanted to return to Romania – it’s so good to see it getting a positive mention.