Therme Bucuresti: A dip into bliss at Europes biggest Spa

Therme Spa Bucharest Exterior

When I booked my flight to Romania, a few people asked me “why?”. They know I rarely travel to a destination without reason. Often there’s a big attraction or draw that makes me go “I have to see that!” and then I find other little adventures, hidden gems, or secrets along the way. So when I said I was going to Romania, they knew me well enough to know I had found something. And it had to be something special for me to book a flight straight away. Well most of them did anyway. Some of them, and there were a few, tried to correct me when I said I was flying to Bucharest. They’d say “I think you’ll find it’s Budapest Brad ” well no that’s the wrong country entirely but thanks for playing. But for me, Bucharest’s big draw was the Therme Spa just outside.

There are spas all over Europe, many in my own backyard London. But Therme is special. Not only is it luxurious, but it’s the biggest in Europe. I had only been to a spa one time before in my life, the St. Pancras hotel as a break between Xmas and New Years Eve. But I loved the experience and was keen to go to another. If you’ve read my posts about other trips, you will know I’m not the sorta man who does things in half measures. If given the choice of a spa day, or flying abroad to the biggest spa in Europe, then that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. Next thing I know I’m up at the crack of dawn boarding my plane to Bucharest.

Lockers and Wristbands

I was in Bucharest for a long weekend, and chose to visit Therme on the Saturday. We got an uber directly from the hotel which was fairly priced, but there are shuttles from the city. Therme opens at 9am but even though I arrived early people were already being let in. When you arrive you are assigned a wrist band. The wristband is a wireless key you can use to open and close your locker. It’s also how you can make payments. It keeps a track of every purchase and at the end of your experience you can pay before leaving.

You need to wear flip-flops when walking around. If you left your own at home they have them for sale along with a robe for rental. Despite forgetting to pack swimwear and having to buy some in duty free, I did remember my own flip flops. They looked very comfortable and good quality, so they’d make a great souvenir from your day. I did rent the robe and towel though which I absolutely loved. The robe was soft and thick, perfect for when you just got out of the water.

Therme spa is made up of three areas. The main spa area and the treatment area, these are for adults only. The third section is Galaxy, a water park filled with slides and other rides aimed at families. Depending on your ticket you can have access to just the Galaxy or all three areas. 

Galaxy at Therme spa Bucharest

Booking my treatments

The first area I walked out to was the main area known as the Palm. This is a giant pool which is both inside and outside the building. I didn’t have time to enjoy it just yet though. I wanted to get a few treatments whilst there and have the full therme experience (the sacrifices we have to make travel writing). But with Therme you can’t book any treatments in advance. I was a bit concerned at first by this, thinking I was doing something wrong. But it makes sense when I thought about it. You can only book treatments on the day in their reception area. This stops people booking and taking up slots, and then not showing. Spaces go quickly, so we had to get there early. 

So I made my way straight up to the reception in the Spa area, Elysium. By the time I arrived there was already a queue. I booked a Malagasy massage (369 LEI) and the receptionist recommended the Urban Defence Facial for men (199 LEI) each for an hour. Therme had barely been open when I arrived and yet the spaces they had remaining were for 1pm and 4:30pm. But I was happy with that, so I tapped my wristband to pay and secured my booking. 

The Palm

Therme The Palm in Bucharest Romania

I made my way back downstairs to the main pool in the Palm. You can swim or relax, and enjoy drinks in the swim up bar. What was most popular was the chocolate frappes, I’d see these being sent out in batches. One guy was not taking orders, instead tucked away in a corne. Constantly making these frappes to keep up with the demand. Of course I had to try one and it was delicious. Exactly what I needed when I didn’t fancy alcohol. 

If you want to head outside there’s seating out there too. You can head out the door and relax in the sun, either in the pool or on chairs. There’s even a door in the pool, letting you swim straight through without trekking water everywhere. The bar extends out here too but you have more chance of being served indoors. Bucharest was going through a heatwave during my visit, giving me beautiful weather. The sun was so bright I didn’t spend a huge amount of time outside as I didn’t have any sunglasses. Instead relaxing amongst the indoor trees on one of the many loungers. 

When you arrive, one of the first things you want to do is secure a lounger for yourself. It’s easily done and standard rules apply. Just lay down your towel to stake your claim. If you rent a towel from Therme you will see a sea of the same white towels. So just make sure you remember where you placed it. 

A choice of saunas

With a place to sit and come back to, I decided now was the time to explore. Therme Spa has eight different saunas for you to relax in. Each with their own unique theme and a different temperature. So you can hop between them all day to find the one that’s suited for you. One of my favourites was a sauna that had bricked walls. Each brick was made entirely of Himalayan Rock Salt. Others were made to replicate a rainforest, or had fantastic views overlooking the rest of the spa. There was one I didn’t get to visit but it has constant rainfall and replicates swimming in a storm. Unfortunately this was in repair when I arrived, but I will return one day to try it. 

Almost every hour the Saunas have an event around them. Often this is adding balls of ice mixed with essential oils onto the coals, causing their scent to fill the room and your pores. Outside the entrance to each room you can find a full timetable, showing what times and experiences are available. You don’t have to attend them all but I would recommend visiting even just for one.

Full-Body Massage

Before I knew it it was time for my first treatment for the day, I started with a full body massage. At the reception I was greeted with a healthy juice filled full of antioxidant berries so even my insides got a treatment.  From here I was taken into a darkened room for my treatment. I love a massage, and it certainly helped to get rid of any tension and knots I picked up from my RyanAir flight. I had chosen the Malagasy Massage, using Katrafay pure extract from the bark of the trees in Madagascar. This is mixed with hemp seed oil and active hemp (cannabidoil) extract. The benefits of this massage include releif from anxiety, headaches, insomnia and pain relief.

Unfortunately an hour is never enough, and I’m pretty sure I fell asleep as before I knew it my time was up. But considering how cheap the massage was (compared to UK prices) it was so relaxing. They gave me a healthy juice as well which was filled full of antioxidant berries so even my insides got a treatment.

Lunch at Therme Spa

This healthy shock to the system though was immediately nullified by my next action though. I wanted to eat in the posher restaurant next to the spa, but they were having issues with their ordering system, so instead I tried the food court downstairs. It’s here that my spa experience fell a bit flat. The food here isn’t the best, but it’s not bad either. It’s reasonably priced and tastes ok. But my issue was with how to order. Therme has set up touch screen machines where you can go through the menu and order, similar to McDonalds. But there aren’t enough of these machines for the amount of people, so you often end up queuing for a while.

Another frustration is there’s no distinction between which machine is for which section. Multiple times in the day I queued 15-20 mins to find out I was at the wrong machine. At one point I really wanted an ice-cream, but gave up when I waited behind a large and indecisive family, only to find out that I had the wrong machine. Still, at least when I eventually got my food it was ok, I had a burger and the later on a steak too, both of which I enjoyed. I did manage to find a cake and ice-cream stand that was relatively quiet, so I often came back to this one for drinks or treats. 

Back to relax

I had some time to relax before my next treatment, so went back to my lounger and decided to relax. My friend was getting her treatment so I had some time alone. The couple next to me decided to start up a conversation, asking about where I was from and how I found Bucharest. Then they started to get racist so I swiftly ejected myself from their company and went into the sauna to wait out until my next treatment. 

Urban Defence Facial

I was next due to get my Urban Defence Facial. There’s a variety of different facials to choose from, I opted for Urban Defence as it was designed for men’s skin and the receptionist recommended it for me. I was taken into a lighter, brighter room this time and relaxed into my chair as various creams and serums were used on my skin. The products they use are designed to deeply hydrate your skin and improve the production of collagen, fighting off signs of aging. They finish the session using a cedar oil and sandalwood beard oil to nourish the hair strand.

Therme Spa the pakm at night

After my hour was up, I rejoined my friend and relaxed by the pool. At various points in the day there were exercise classes in the pool, and it was fantastic watching how many people got involved. As the sun started to set and the night crept in, the lights in the pool grew brighter and music louder. It was a long day and you can only do so much relaxation, so we agreed to get dinner here and head back to the hotel. 

Dinner at Therme Spa

It was a bit easier this time to get food now the crowds had thinned, but still I queued behind a family only to find I was at the wrong machine. I decided to end the day with steak and chips, and some ice cream to finish, however my band wouldn’t allow me to pay. It turns out there is a spending limit for the band. Which makes sense, it stops any heart attacks when it comes to paying the bill.

However the difficulty comes in paying the balance off so you can continue to spend your money. There are no payment facilities in the spa itself, so I had to head out to reception in my robe and pay it off using the machine at the entrance. Meaning I had to walk the entirety of the facilities and back again just for dinner. Not the best but easier than heading out when we got back to the city. 

After eating we changed and made our way out where I had to pay off my bill (for the second time) as I had just added my meal onto the band. We called an Uber which was quick, and made our way home. Luckily our hotel was amazing, so we made the most of the soft sheets and went to bed, relaxed and rejuvenated.  

Therme Spa FAQs

How do I get to Therme Spa?

There are shuttles available from central Bucharest. I found the easiest way to be an uber though. It was really quick and easy being picked up and driving straight there. It’s about a 10 min drive from the city.

How do I book my ticket to Therme Spa?

The easiest way to book a tour is with Get Your Guide. I have used them on many of my trips and the process is always so easy. They have plenty of options to choose from. I have set up a widget below so you can check availability, I always select the prices in the local currency when I can. Or you can click here and check out more tours. By booking through my widget or link you won’t be charged any extra but I may receive a small commission which helps support the blog.

Can I book treatments in advance?

No, treatments can only be booked on the day. This ensures a higher rate of attendance but does mean you have to get there early to get a slot.

What treatments are available at Therme Spa??

For a full list of treatments it’s best to check their website directly, which you can do using the link below.

Read about the available treatments here

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