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Neptune Bathhouse

Băile Herculane is a spa town in Caraș-Severin County, Romania. The history of this town goes way back to second century.

There are 16 natural springs with thermal mineral water, scattered along the Cerna for about 4 km, in the neighbourhood of the town. Nine hydro-geological drillings have been performed to obtain flow increases.

Get in[edit]

  • By road: The spa is 5 km far from the National Road DN 6 (E 70), which links the western part of the country to Bucharest;
  • By train: Herculane rail station on the international railway Bucharest-Timișoara-Budapest;
  • By plane: the nearest airports: Craiova (160 km) and Timișoara international airport (170 km). The closest important town is Drobeta-Turnu-Severin (47 km).
  • Băile Herculane is posted in south-west of Romania, at the crossing of the 450 52I N parallel with 230 52I E meridian, in the same position with Venice and Nice.
  • It's just off European route E 70, 380 km from Bucarest.
  • The nearest airport is at Caransebes – 70 km away.

Get around[edit]

Map of Băile Herculane

The town is narrow but long - to walk from the train station on the main road all the way to the northern end at Hotel Roman takes over an hour. There are three distinct parts of the town. The village/town where most people live in the south, a large development of hotels (mostly built during the communist era) in the middle, and the historical center in the north. Each of these areas are easily walkable on their own.

A minibus operated by the municipality runs every day and costs 2 RON. It starts in front of the railway station and ends in the historical center at Piața Hercules, and stops at dedicated bus stops along the route.

Departure from railway station: first bus at 6:15, then roughly hourly, until 21:00. Return from the center starting at 6:45 with the last service at 21:20.

See[edit]

Church of the Transfiguration
  • 1 Băile Herculane Railway Station (Gara Băile Herculane). Baroque railway station built 1878-1886, considered one of the most beautiful in Romania.
  • 2 Șapte Izvoare Spa (Ștrandul Șapte Izvoare). Outdoor swimming pool with hot spring.

Do[edit]

Bathing[edit]

Unfortunately the large bathhouses from the Austro-Hungarian Imperial days are closed due to neglect and bad management during the 90s. Therefore, don't expect quite the treatment you will find in Budapest or Karlovy Vary. Luckily, one of the fairly unique features in Baile Herculane is that not all of the baths are commercial and inside buildings - when you walk along the river you will spot various pools in the open air, right in or next to the river. Some of them have a different colour from the river, and in colder weather you will see steam rising from them. These are very popular with the locals - don't be shy, just bring your regular swimwear and a towel and jump in.

If a managed pool with sauna and other facilities is more your thing, then a stay at one of the renovated Communist-era hotels south of the historical center is the way to go, such as Hotel Minerva, Bacolux Afrodita or Hotel Domogled.

  • 1 Băile Venera, Strada Castanilor 33. 24/7. Two pools, one larger pool with sun loungers and a small cafe and some small interior baths - and right below it a smaller square concrete pool right with improvised changing facilities on the river which is free - and more frequented by locals. Just show up and see for yourself which suits you better. Free.
  • 2 Natural thermal pools. 24/7. Two small public pools right on the river just north of the town, directly behind the large brutalist structure 'Hotel Roman'. No changing facilities. Free.
  • 3 Bazin Termal La Cădițe (5km up the road from Hotel Roman). 24/7. Two small pools on the river, improvised changing facilities, upkeep by volunteers. Water has temperature of 58˚C. There is a small café just above it on the road. Can get quite busy in the summer months but it's maybe even better to visit during the colder days of the year. Free.

Hiking[edit]

The forest above the town is crisscrossed by marked trails. There are short well-signposted routes ranging from 1.5 hours to a full day, or you can start a longer trek here going on the ridge on either side and continuing all the way across the Carpathians. The trails for this area are most accurate on the Czech Mapy website/app as it uses the same colour scheme as the markings on the trees, and data is based on OpenStreetMap.

Buy[edit]

The historical part of the town has a few small shops and street stands selling ice cream, snacks, bathing suits and magnets. There are many cornershops throughout the town as well with the regular products. A western style supermarket opened in 2021 near the train station at the entrance of the town. 1 Penny Market, Strada Trandafirilor 149.

Near the end of summer there are many people lined up at the parking spaces just before the historical center, selling fresh fruits from their own gardens from the boot of their car. Some also sell syrup and palincă made from these same products.

The old center has no ATMs, but there are multiple in the hotel area (Strada Complexe Sanatoriale), in the village south of the hotel area, and inside the larger hotels. BCR, BRD, Raiffeissen, Unicredit.

Eat[edit]

Near the Stone Bridge

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]


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