Have you ever thought of Bucharest, Romania as a spa and wellness destination? If not, then add Therme Bucharest to your bucket list.
Therme Bucharest, one of the biggest wellness, relaxation and entertainment centres in Europe, has an indoor temperature of 30°C/86°F and a water temperature of 33°C/91°F, every month of the year.
The thermal water makes its way from deep underground to supply 10 pools, 6 saunas, 4 wet saunas and 16 water slides.
Therme Bucharest opened to the public in 2016 and we have been visiting this amazing place at least once a year since then. Read why below.
The location of Therme Bucharest (Therme București) was determined by the geothermal water, which is extracted from a depth of more than 3100m. It then passes through a complex process of decalcification, desulphation, decarbonization and, ozonation before reaching the pools.
The geothermal water is extracted at a temperature of over 80°C/176°F and is used primary as a heating agent for the relaxation areas. After passing through a 5 steps treatment system, it is used in the swimming pools, where the temperature is of about 33°C/91°F.
It features 37,000 sqm of wellness, leisure and spa space spread over two floors. There are 10 indoor and outdoor pools surrounded by 800,000 plants, making it the largest indoor and outdoor botanical garden in Romania. How cool is that? During the summer, the place is also surrounded by the largest urban beach in Europe.
There are also 1500 palm trees from four continents, making Therme the largest palm plantation in Europe. The first time we visited this place, we noticed the tropical landscape created by the palm trees, which we immediately associated with an exotic holiday, similar to the landscapes we saw in Mexico and in the Dominican Republic.
How to Get to Therme Bucharest and Where to Stay
From Bucharest: you can go by taxi or by car (1600 parking spaces are available). Alternatively, bus 442 takes you from Bucharest, Piața Presei Libere straight to Therme; you can check the timetable here.
From Henri Coanda Airport – Otopeni (OTP): the airport is fairly close to Therme and perhaps a taxi is the best way. Having said that, bus 442 also stops near the airport and can take you to Therme.
In case you’re wondering where to stay we would highly recommend Hotel Cismigiu. You can find more about our experience and read our review of Hotel Cismigiu here where we also have an exclusive 10% discount waiting for our you.
Lockers and Changing Facilities
At the entrance, you will be given an electronic bracelet with a number. Keep this bracelet with you at all times as this is used to lock and unlock your locker; gives you access to the different zones and is used for payment.
The number on your bracelet corresponds to the locker that has been assigned to you. Each of the three zones has their own changing facilities, bathrooms, showers, hairdryers and lockers.
The locker is big enough to fit in a small cabin luggage suitcase, so if you are coming from or heading to the airport, you don’t need to worry about where to keep your hand luggage.
The changing cabins are very practical but were a bit confusing at first, as they have doors on both sides which you lock simultaneously by pulling down the wooden shelf. If you don’t lock the door, someone might surprise you from the other side 🙂
Do I Need Cash for Therme?
The cashless system is super smart – you really don’t need cash or a bank card…until you are ready to leave. Whatever you consume during your visit (have a look at the food and drinks section below), you just need to tap your electronic wristband and pay for it.
This applies to the bars and restaurants, the paid massages, entrance from one zone to another (unless you paid for all zones) and so on.
Once you are ready for the day, make your way out to reception and hand in your electronic bracelet. This will be scanned and you will be asked to pay for any charges incurred on your bracelet.
You can pay for your own consumption or for multiple bracelets at the same time.
Which Zones to Visit at Therme Bucharest?
There are three zones at Therme Bucharest – Elysium (14+), The Palm (14+) and Galaxy.
You can get access for 3 hours, 4.5 hours or whole day. The pricing is very flexible depending on which zone(s) you want to visit and for how long.
Our best advice is to visit all zones and spend a whole day at Therme. There is so much you can do and so many facilities for you to enjoy, a few hours are just not enough.
More information about each zone below.
By far, this is our favourite area, so it only makes sense to talk about this first. If you love a good sauna, then you would love the Elysium zone.
This is the wellness area, featuring themed saunas, panoramic mineral indoor pool with a pool bar, à la carte restaurant, large terrace and relaxing outdoor spaces.
The saunas are great but what makes them even more special is the Aufguss rituals the Aufguss Masters perform. During certain sessions each day, you can experience the Aufguss therapies in which the heat in the sauna and the essential oil aromas are controlled by rhythmic movements using towels and fans.
In case you’re imagining someone coming and slapping you with birch then you’d be pleased to know that’s not the case. The sessions are non-intrusive and very privacy and inclusive conscious.
Needless to say, Therme is the largest saunas complex in Romania with 6 dry saunas and 4 wet saunas where 300 people can enjoy at the same time. The dry saunas are in the Elysium area, so we will talk about them first.
This sauna offers a great panoramic view, so you can relax in the hot sauna (70°C/158°F) while admiring the palm garden. This place is also great for meditation, if this is your thing.
As the name suggests, this French style themed sauna aims to send us, at least in thought, to the green pine forests surrounded by bright purple lavender fields of Provence in France.
Here you can have an aromatherapy session any time of the day with infusion of at least 6 oils. The temperature is 75°C – 90°C/167°F – 194°F, so be prepared … it can get really hot.
During the Aufguss session, they even give you a little pot of organic honey – wait! don’t eat it 😉 – put it on your body – it will feel great!
Learning this trick, we actually started doing this a few years ago and during our ski holiday in Bansko, we always take honey from the breakfast buffet for the after ski saunas we do.
Special thanks to Andreea (Aufguss Master) for the personal session and for allowing us to take photos.
Is this a sauna or a piece of art? The décor of the sauna is really reminding us of an almost Oriental architecture similar to what one might see in Turkey.
It sure is impressive and makes you feel in a different world. Some of the Aufguss sessions can include body lotions/treatments or birchwood scents. The temperature here is 60°C – 80°C/140°F – 176°F, so it’s a much more tolerable sauna.
Yes, you guessed this right – this is pretty much a cinema sauna where you can enjoy a short documentary and a Dolby 7.1 surround sound system. The temperature here is only 60°C/140°F so fairly tolerable for most people.
Tip: If you visit on Saturday or Sunday, join the Light Storm Aufguss session. During our recent visit, the Aufguss Masters Alexandru and Andrei impressed us all with their rhythmic movements and towel skills.
The walls of this sauna are actually made of massive blocks of Himalayan salt; if you don’t believe it, you can always taste the walls 🙂 The blocks are litten up in different colours and in the evening, this place looks magical.
This is a good sauna to start with, if you are not an experienced sauna-goer as the temperature here is only 50°C – 60°C/122°F – 140°F.
Tip: If you get the chance, join the Prana session where you can practice breathing techniques. The Himalayan salt has an immediate beneficial effect on your airways and combined with the guided breathing session, you will notice the different in just 10-15 minutes. You will find that you’ll have a very good sleep that night.
The sauna is made entirely of natural wood and can get really hot in there. The temperature is up to 90°C/194°F. This is probably Paul’s favourite sauna and he loves the Siberian Aufguss therapy, which takes place daily.
The Senior Aufguss Masters tend to run these sessions and so you’ll definitely feel their experience with every bit of water they pour onto those hot stones.
To further raise the temperature they sometimes even through ice on the floor to get the humidity levels even higher which equals a higher perceived temperature.
Hope your blood pressure is in order as this sauna takes no prisoners!
After the Sauna
After each sauna, you are encouraged to go out on the terrace and also to take a cold shower. The shower is actually quite impressive as well – it has the shape of calla lily flowers, hence the name Calla Shower.
After this, you can stay at the large terrace and use the relaxing outdoor spaces in this area. This is the place to enjoy a nice sunset view as well.
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This is probably the most famous area at Therme. You can relax in the indoor and outdoor pools, enjoy the fine-sand beach during the summer as well as the jacuzzi, three mineral pools and one wet sauna.
You get to see lots of tropical vegetation and can use hydromassage beds, sun loungers and a restaurant with a healthy and appetising menu where you can have the best Lebanese chicken (more in the food section below).
This is one of the most spectacular swimming pools we have been to. You can enjoy a jacuzzi (there are a few), hydromassage beds and thermal water of 33°C/91°F.
Another great thing about this pool is the pool bar. You can enjoy a nice cocktail (we are fan of the pina coladas and margaritas) and either have it indoors or enjoy it in the outdoor pool.
Tip: Check when the Aqua Gym session is and join it. It’s great fun and a nice workout to energise you for the day.
The main pool is connected through a corridor with the outdoor pool, so you can walk freely without getting out of the water. The thermal water outside gets to 36°C/97°F and is particularly nice during the winter.
You can enjoy a hydromassage outside as well but by far my favourite part is the Crazy River. Just relax and let the current of the water carry you around.
These are three pools enriched with mineral salts, with recommended time of 8 minutes in each pool for different health benefits.
You can choose between the Dead Sea salt pool (don’t go there if you have any cuts or wounds – we know from first hand experience), lithium pool and calcium & magnesium pool.
Rainforest Wet Sauna
This is the only wet sauna located in The Palm area. The highlight here is the scrub and clay mask you can get, if you join one of the scheduled sessions, so definitely check the activities programme.
Tip: You can only take part in the session if you have a seat in the sauna (limited to 16 people), so make sure to go early and take a seat a few minutes before the scheduled time.
This is the family friendly area with waterslides for kids of all ages, an indoor wave pool, an outdoor pool with pool bar, a sandy beach with palm trees (summer only) and the Galaxy Relax zone for health and pampering! A bit of something for everyone.
Below we have listed some of the areas you can explore during your visit.
At Therme, you will find 1.5 km of the most spectacular slides system in Central and South Eastern Europe. But hey, who said waterslides are for kids only?
I enjoy waterslides as well, hence why all hotels we book in Turkey have nice aquaparks and waterslides.
There are so many slides to choose from, but by far, my favourite slides are:
- The Galaxy Slide – this might get a bit scary but it’s definitely worth it
- Pulsar Slide – don’t forget your inflatable
- Andromeda Slide – two people can go together on the inflatable
Tip: there are different inflatables – blue for children and yellow for adults. Make sure you pick the right one, otherwise you won’t be allowed to go down the slides.
Here are you can enjoy three different wet saunas – Herbal Essences, Oriental Garden and Tropical Rain.
Similar to the wet sauna in The Palm, you can attend session with body scrub and get a face mask. Definitely check the daily schedule, so you don’t miss out.
Relax Pool and Salt Library
You can enjoy the thermal pool and have a drink at the Relax Pool Bar. Here you actually have tables in the water, so you can socialise whilst sipping your favourite cocktail.
Next to the pool, you will find the Salt Library, which is made of massive blocks of Himalayan salt. If you don’t get to visit the Himalaya Sauna in the Elysium area, you can discover the benefits of aerosol therapy here.
Outdoor Galaxy Pool
Similar to the outdoor pool in The Palm, you can enjoy this one all year round as the temperature of the thermal water is 33°C/91°F regardless of the temperature outside.
Here you also have underwater hydromassage beds and can enjoy the view of the lake. The last time we went there, the water lilies were looking beautiful.
Infrared Light and Hydromassage Beds
In the Galaxy area, you will also find Infrared Light and Hydromassage Beds. The hydromassage beds are also available in The Palm area, please note these are paid.
The infrared therapy is meant to have an immediate effect on your body, however I felt like a roasted chicken, perhaps I should give it another try. You can also find more infrared light beds in the Elysium area.
By now you should have a good overview of Therme Bucharest and the different zones you can visit. Based on our past visits, here are some practical tips we feel we should share:
- Bring your swimwear
- Have your flip flops ready. Alternatively you can buy some from the Therme shop
- Don’t forget your towel. If you do, you can rent towels and robes
- Check the programme for the day to make the most of your time at Therme
- During busy times, go to the respective sauna/steam room at least 10 minutes before the session is due to start
- Always bring your towel to the sauna, otherwise you will be refused entry
- Use the towel racks to keep your towel dry
- Stay during the evening to see Therme’s beautiful lights
- Use the myTherme app to collect Zen points
- Check the website or the app for occupancy levels, if you are flexible on when to visit
- Bring shampoo, if you are fussy like me. Although shampoo/shower gel is provided, my hair doesn’t like it, so I always bring my own shampoo with me
Food and Drinks
There are a number of bars and restaurants in each zone for you to choose from. The food and drinks are reasonably priced and you are spoilt for choice.
Where to Order From
We tend to use the following:
- Greens Restaurant (Galaxy) – rotisserie, burgers, pasta, fish, selection of desserts and ice-cream and many more
- Humboldt Restaurant (The Palm) – sushi bar, Asian corner, fish and seafood options, steak and burgers, selection of desserts and ice-cream and many more
- The Palm Pool Bar (The Palm) – cocktails, ice coffee, water
- Se & Zn Pool Bar (Elysium) – water, vitamin drinks etc. to keep us hydrated in-between saunas
How to Order
At the restaurants, you are encouraged to order your food through the self-service machines. These are actually very good and each item comes with a photo, so you know what to expect.
These are spread across the restaurants but certain machines are for desserts only, so do pay attention where you are ordering from.
To order your food, make your selection on the touch screen machine and pay for your order using your contactless bracelet. You will be given a number.
You will need to monitor when your order is ready, so you can collect from the till.
At the bars, you would order from the bar staff and they will scan your contactless bracelet at the time you place your order.
My absolutely favourite is the Lebanese chicken with rice, served with salad and tzatziki-like spread. The first time I tried this chicken, I had it for lunch and for dinner. Yes! This is how good it is. I like my ice coffee and frappuccino in the morning and then go for Pina Coladas.
Paul tends to go for the Carpathian burger (served with traditional Romanian vegetable spread) or any other burger on the menu. His favourite cocktail is Margarita and the bar staff at The Palm are pretty good at preparing this cocktail.
In terms of desserts, we always treat ourselves to something sweet and everything we have tried has been exceptional. No favourites on the dessert front, everything is yummy.
From all of the above, you probably gather that nature and water are at the heart of Therme, creating a true oasis with everything from exciting wave pools and waterslides to affordable luxury SPA experiences.
This place is huge – as many as 4,000 visitors can relax and have fun at the same time at Therme Bucharest.
Therme Bucharest is absolutely amazing and definitely worth a visit. Whether you live in Romania or are just visiting Bucharest, make sure to add this to your list.
After a day at Therme, you feel refreshed, re-energised and relaxed. We heard Therme Manchester is due to open in the coming years, so we really can’t wait to visit that one as well.
Why not watch our video and see what your experience could be like:
Ready to book? Below are some recommendations to get your trip started:
- Flights – we use flight aggregators such as Skyscanner and Google flights to find the best options. You can find more information about finding cheap flights here.
- Accommodation – would recommend booking your accommodation through an aggregator such as Booking.com or Agoda to get the best rates. We also use TripAdvisor to read reviews.
- Transport – consider Rentalcars.com for car renting or if you rely on public transport, you can use Omio for trains, coaches, ferries, airport transfers and even flights.
- Activities – a great option is GetYourGuide or Viator for tours, excursions, experiences and tickets to many tourist attractions.
- Luggage storage – if you need to store your bags whilst exploring the destination, you can use Radical Storage to find your closest luggage storage and enjoy your journey until the very end.
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