The biggest relaxation and wellness centre in Europe, Therme Bucuresti is an ‘Everyday Holiday’. With three separate areas to discover featuring 9 pools, 6 saunas, 4 wet saunas and 16 water slides (possibly more now) you’ll definitely need an entire day. Did I mention it’s also the largest botanical garden in Romania with 800,000 plants?
This was by far one of the biggest highlights of my visit to Bucharest, only a very close second to my Eat With a local experience. While a spa day may not be your usual activity whilst travelling, I urge you to try this one. It’s unlike any other spa I’ve ever visited and is truly a hidden oasis. As of July 2023, the group plans to open a further wellbeing centre in Manchester, UK.
Where to Catch the Free Shuttle Bus to Therme Bucuresti
So first things first, how do you get there? Well as I’ve already hinted, the wellness centre provides a FREE shuttle bus from Bucharest centre. There is a purpose-built bus stop on the Piata Romana. You can board the bus from the front, middle and back. There’s no need to see the driver, just board the bus and off you go. There are a couple of stops on the way, making the duration around 30 minutes or so.
The shuttle bus runs Monday to Sunday with different timetables operating, so be sure to check the timetables before you go. The first shuttle bus leaves 8am on a weekend and 9am on a weekday, running then around every one to two hours.
The return shuttle bus stops at the same place you’re dropped off outside Therme Bucuresti, and likewise runs at set times. It’s one bus that runs backwards and forwards. At busy times, it’s a bit of a free for all so you’ll just have to push and shove unfortunately.
Which Zone to Visit at Therme Bucuresti
When we arrived at Therme Bucuresti via the free shuttle bus service, the entirety of the city also had the same idea but.. it was the Sunday before New Years Eve so I guess we all needed a pamper session.
When we arrived inside the centre, we had to queue on the left for The Galaxy and on the right for The Palm and The Elysium. I’m unsure if this was due to the popularity of the place on the day, but keep an eye on the screen above the desks as to where you need to queue to enter your desired zone.
A tropical garden, hydromassage beds, relaxation pools, restaurants, terraces, pool bars, wet saunas and sands of therme beach can all be enjoyed in The Palm. A vast timetable of activities takes place in this zone including aqua shape, hydrobalance, yoga, pilates, face masks, live music, DJ sets, thermotherapy and more. This – together with the Elysium – is the zone I enjoyed.
Prices start from 59 Lei per adult for 3 hours (approx £11.36)
The Elysium is the wellness area that can be accessed via the Palm. In the Elysium you’ll find themed saunas, calla shower, infra-red beds, relaxation pools, terraces, pool bar, massage facilities and the mango tree restaurant. Activities taking place in this area include an ‘aufguss ritual’, yoga, Pilates and stress away massages. You can find the full timetable for this zone on the website to be sure to get the most out of your visit. Rates for the Elysium include free access to the Palm and Galaxy areas. (according to the website in Jan 2018)
Prices start from 79 Lei per adult for 3 hours (approx £15.21)
The Galaxy is the place for a family vacation, right here in Bucharest! If you’re travelling with children, it’s really the only zone you an go in since both the Elysium and The Palm are adult only. However, you won’ be missing out with its vast array of facilities including; a relaxation pool, wave pool, waterslides, relaxation area, restaurant and snack bar, galaxy beach, alt library, wet saunas, hydro massage beds, infra-red beds, pool bar, interactive water playground, play station area with consoles and terraces.
Be sure to check the activities timetable for a peeling and face mask and games with fairy tale characters.
Prices start from 49 Lei per adult for 3 hours (approx £9.44)
Choose How Long You’ll Visit Therme Bucuresti
For any of the zones, you have the option to stay for either three hours, four and a half hours or one day. Personally, four and a half hours definitely was not enough since there’s so much to see and do. You could easily spend a day here, so if that’s an option for you I’d say go for a whole day!
You pay for your desired zones and duration before entering, where you are then issued a numbered wristband for your locker and purchases. Any purchases made during your visit – such as drinks – are paid on exit.
Top Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit to Therme Bucuresti
Make the Most of the Day
The centre is open well into the evening, closing as late as 11pm on weekdays and Sundays, and midnight on Saturdays. This really gives you some flexibility over your visit, and allows you to make the most of your day. So why not pair a free walking tour with an afternoon and/or evening visit to the spa?
Pack Flip Flops and a Towel
It’s mandatory to wear flip-flops in the shower areas, and like any spa, you need to shower before entering so there’s really no way to avoid this area. If you forget, you can purchase flip-flops from the front desk using your wristband. They aren’t too expensive to purchase, but they will save you time and a bit of pocket money to bring your own. Unless you want a souvenir then, by all means! Towels and robes are also available for hire.
Your wristband will have an allocated number which will lock and unlock the matching locker.
The Use of Mobile Phones
You can use your phone around the pool – there’s free WiFi – but they’re quite strict about letting you use it within the pool – that includes Go Pros.
Find a Lounger
When we arrived at Therme Bucuresti The Palm, despite the area being rife with loungers, bean chairs and more we could not find a single free bed. This is because most seemed to have claimed a lounger with their towel, and then wandered off to enjoy the facilities. If in doubt, do it like the locals do right? So we eventually found a free lounger and did the same.
I left my towel and book on my lounger and this was left alone, so if you’re lucky enough to bag a lounger then claim it so you have a good base to come back to throughout the day.
Check the Therme Bucuresti Website for Occupancy Levels
While it was incredibly busy during our visit – more than normal I’m led to believe – there is an occupancy level on the website. On the top right-hand under the menu, you’ll notice three coloured bars – green, blue and pink. Click on this and it’ll show you the occupancy per zone to gauge how busy it is.
Download the Therme Bucuresti App
The MyTherme App is a useful tool to access all of the information and opportunities going on during your visit. While there are usually timetables listed outside of each facility, it’s impossible to keep track of them all. The app also lets you check how busy it is, check the schedule of activities and allow your priority access to all areas.
Check the Activity Timetables
As I entered the pool and made a beeline for the pool bar, I got caught in an aqua aerobic class and had to shimmy my way through the crowd – all good fun though. While we were steaming ourselves in a steam room, an attendant walked in with some sort of sugar scrub and an algae mask. While I have no idea what instruction he gave, I followed the crowd and took full advantage of this free facial / scrub. During this time, the steam room where this took place was closed so be sure to get there early and find a seat inside.
While it’s a whirlwind of activity inside, don’t forget to head outside too! We visited during the Winter months when it was dark, but the outside underwater Jacuzzi loungers held a certain appeal – and of course, the water is heated. There is a beach that can be accessed from The Palm, but this wasn’t an option for us.
Take Full Advantage of the Pool Bar
In the Palm, you’ll find a few pool bars. While you’re floating around, the bar staff remain dry to serve your drinks. You log your purchases using your wristband, which you pay for at the end of the session on exit. The cocktails are very reasonable and all manner of drinks are available from the bars. You have full permission to drink your cocktail or beer in the swimming pool – it’s very surreal.
With a function to translate into English, the website is very informative with a significant FAQ section that should provide answers to any queries not addressed in this article.
This is just one of the reasons Bucharest was named on ROL Cruise’s emerging cities should you be visiting in 2019