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Best Thermal Baths in Budapest: A Relaxing Getaway Guide

Budapest is known as the “City of Baths” and is a great place for those who love spas. The city is built on a fault line and has 120 hot springs that feed an array of historic thermal baths.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

Want to make the most of your time at the best thermal baths in Budapest? Here are some tips!

These tour and city passes will save you money and time.

Whether you’re here for the long term or just visiting, finding the best thermal baths in Budapest is a must for a relaxing and enlightening experience while learning about their history and customs.

Top Thermal Baths in Budapest

Széchenyi Baths

Széchenyi Baths is one of the best thermal baths in Budapest and the largest in Central Europe. Located within the picturesque City Park, it boasts an impressive backdrop that enhances the relaxing experience.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

With an extensive selection of 18 pools, including indoor and outdoor options, it’s no wonder that we highly recommend Széchenyi Baths. The healing waters are sourced from the same natural hot springs that locals have enjoyed for centuries.

Pros of going to Széchenyi Baths are the vast array of pools and services, such as saunas, steam rooms, massages, and even a food court.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm daily
  • Mixed gender: every day
  • Number of pools: 18
  • Address: Állatkerti krt. 9-11, Budapest 1146
  • Tickets: Check rates and availability here.

Gellért Baths

Nestled on the Buda side of the Danube River, Gellért Baths is another top thermal bath in Budapest. Regarded as one of the most beautiful spas in the city, it boasts stunning Art Nouveau architecture that will impress visitors.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

The healing waters of Gellért Baths are renowned for their therapeutic qualities and are drawn from thermal springs rich in magnesium, calcium, and other essential minerals. It’s no wonder this bath is one of the most Instagramable places in Budapest.

Pros of visiting Gellért Baths include the elegant ambiance and a fantastic selection of pools, saunas, and steam rooms.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 6:00 am – 8:00 pm daily
  • Mixed gender: every day
  • Number of pools: 10
  • Address: Kelenhegyi út 4, Budapest 1118
  • Tickets: Check rates and availability here.

Rudas Baths

Rudas Baths is a thermal bath located beside the Danube River, with a rich historical background dating back to the 16th century.

The bath interior features a striking central dome and smaller domed chambers, creating a unique and magical atmosphere, perfect for relaxation. In addition to the historical baths, the modern wellness section offers therapeutic services.

Pros of visiting Rudas Baths include the historical setting, modern wellness facilities, and the rooftop pool with a fantastic view of the city.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 6:00 am – 8:00 pm daily (10pm to 3am on weekends)
  • Mixed gender: weekends; single-gender: weekdays
  • Number of pools: 11
  • Address: Döbrentei tér 9, Budapest 1013
  • Tickets: Check rates and availability here

Lukács Baths

Lukács Baths is another top thermal bath in Budapest, located in a tranquil park on the Buda side. It’s known for its healing waters and has been enjoyed since Roman times. Today, the complex offers a range of indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and wellness services.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

Pros of visiting Lukács Baths are its excellent therapeutic services and the relaxing park setting.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
  • Mixed gender: every day
  • Number of pools: 7
  • Address: Frankel Leó út 25-29, Budapest 1023
  • Tickets: Check prices and availability here

Veli Bej Baths

Veli Bej Baths is one of the oldest and best thermal baths in Budapest. Housed in a beautiful Ottoman-era building, it has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century. The circular pool under an impressive dome provides a serene, relaxing atmosphere, while the spa also offers other pools and wellness facilities.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

Finding the Veli Bej Spa, also known as Császár Baths, can be quite challenging. This Turkish bath complex has been beautifully renovated and is located opposite the Hotel Csaszar swimming complex. However, it is now fully accessible to the public. You will find a café and a beauty salon at the main entrance.

Pros of visiting Veli Bej Baths include the calming ambiance, historical setting, and exceptional architecture.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm daily
  • Mixed-gender: every day
  • Number of pools: 5
  • Address: Árpád fejedelem útja 7, Budapest 1023
  • Tickets: Check prices and availability here.

Király Baths

Founded in the 16th century, Király Baths offers a truly historical thermal bathing experience. The unique octagonal pool sits beneath a large domed ceiling, evoking an enchanting atmosphere.

The modest facilities may be smaller than other baths, but the authentic and intimate feel will leave a lasting impression.

Pros of visiting Király Baths are the historical charm and intimate, relaxing atmosphere.

Things to know:

Dandár Baths

Dandár Baths is a lesser-known thermal bath in Budapest that offers a more local and authentic experience. The cozy and friendly atmosphere is perfect for those seeking a calmer, less crowded bathing experience.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

The main pool is housed within an elegant Art Deco building, while the outdoor pools provide a serene environment to enjoy the healing waters.

Pros of visiting Dandár Baths are the friendly atmosphere, affordability, and a peaceful environment.

Things to know:

Palatinus Baths

Located on Margaret Island, Palatinus Baths is a popular choice during the summer months due to its beautiful outdoor pools and park setting. The complex features a diverse range of facilities, such as wave pools, thermal baths, and slides that cater to both adults and children.

Pros of visiting Palatinus Baths include the scenic location, family-friendly atmosphere, and numerous recreational options.

Things to know:

  • Hours of operation: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm daily (limited facilities in winter)
  • Mixed gender: every day
  • Number of pools: 13
  • Address: Soó Rezső stny. 1, Budapest1007
  • Tickets: Check prices and availability here

Each of these thermal baths in Budapest offers unique experiences and exceptional facilities. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, therapy, or recreation, these Budapest hot springs are waiting to welcome you to their healing waters.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

Special Features and Events

Night Bathing

Night bathing is one of the best experiences you can have at Budapest’s thermal baths. Several of these spas, including the ancient Ottoman bathing house, offer late-night hours on Fridays and Saturdays, sometimes even until 4 a.m. This provides a unique ambiance to enjoy the healing waters either under the stars or surrounded by stunning architecture, making it an unforgettable experience.

History of Thermal Baths in Budapest

Roman Influence

The history of thermal baths in Budapest goes back centuries to the time when the Romans first colonized the area. They were attracted to the region due to the abundant thermal springs found beneath the city. The remains of these Roman-era public baths, such as Thermae Maiores, can still be seen in today’s northern Budapest.

Ottoman Rule

During the Ottoman rule in the 16th century, the Turkish conquest of Hungary in 1526 brought about the construction of more Hamman-style baths (called ilidzas). Some of these baths that are still in use today include Rudas Baths, Király Baths Experience, and Veli Bej Baths.

City of Baths

The moniker “City of Baths” was well earned by Budapest as it sits on a fault line, with its thermal baths naturally fed by 120 hot springs. In the early 20th century, some of the city’s most popular spas, such as Széchenyi Baths and Gellért Baths, were constructed. These art nouveau spas are some of the best Budapest thermal baths that locals and foreigners alike continue to enjoy.

Looking for the best thermal baths in Budapest? This complete guide has everything you need.

What is the average Thermal Bath like?

Budapest’s top thermal baths have indoor thermal pools of varying temperatures. Some have saunas, steam rooms, ice-cold pools, and massage rooms. Most are open every day, and some are gender-specific. 

Nudity is no longer allowed. Bathhouses provide loincloths and apron-like garments. Towels are also available for rent. Some baths offer medical treatments and spa services.

Why Visit a Thermal Bath?

For centuries, people have been visiting bathhouses in Budapest because of the healing properties of thermal springs. These springs have been known to help relieve pain and illness. While there is no scientific proof that they facilitate healing, many believe that the minerals in the water can enhance the effects of standard treatment. Even if you do not seek healing, bathhouses are great for relaxing sore muscles and relieving stress.

In addition to the healing benefits, bathhouses in Budapest are also great for socializing. The best ones have been designed to allow guests to easily interact with each other, which many tourists use as an opportunity to get to know the locals.

Things To Know When Visiting A Thermal Bath in Budapest

Water temperature

The water in the thermal baths is usually within the range of 30-40 degrees Celsius. 

Ticket prices

Tickets give you access to the baths, the cold pools, the steam rooms, and the saunas. Admission to a thermal bath typically costs between €10 – €20 for a two-hour visit. This charge also gives you access to a small locker to keep your things. If you visit briefly, some baths will offer you a refund. 

Best Times to Visit

The best times to visit bathhouses are when very few people are there, like in the mornings between 6:00 am – 9:00 am. Visiting during peak hours like the evenings or the weekend means sitting in a bath full of other people pressing around you.

Practical Tips and Etiquette

Dressing and Locker Rooms

When visiting the best thermal baths in Budapest, expect to find locker rooms or changing cabins available that allow you to store your belongings securely. Lockers are usually operated by a wristband provided upon admission.

Remember to bring your towel, or you can rent one at the bath for a small fee. You’ll typically find showers and sometimes even hairdryers in the changing area. We recommend showering before and after using the pools to maintain cleanliness and hygiene for everyone.

Swimwear and Flip Flops Recommendations

As you relax in Budapest’s thermal baths, remember that swimwear is generally required. All major baths, such as Gellért, Széchenyi, and Lukács, require appropriate swimwear.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring flip-flops or water shoes throughout the facility. Not only do they provide comfort and protect your feet, but they also help maintain hygiene within the baths.

Bathing Rules and Customs

While enjoying Budapest’s hot springs and thermal baths, here are some essential rules and customs to follow:

  • Remember that the water’s minerals may affect sensitive skin, so be cautious if it’s your first time.
  • Observe each bath’s designated pool temperatures and recommended durations, usually posted in the pool area.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water often. Some baths offer on-site drinking fountains with thermal water for its curative properties.
  • If you visit the wellness section, note that it might require an additional fee or a separate ticket.
  • Silence is appreciated in some areas, so be considerate and avoid loud conversations.
  • Nudity is not permitted in most Budapest thermal baths, with some exceptions like parts of Rudas Bath.
  • For safety reasons, avoid jumping or diving into the pools.

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