It is best to visit the thermal baths of Budapest early in the morning if you want to avoid the crowds. June to September are peak months because many tourists have booked a city trip to Budapest.
Bring your own towel, as well as a bathing cap if you wish to swim in the olympic pools. Flip-flops are always handy, even though you can rent them (just like towels).
Wearing a bathing suit is mandatory in every spa in Budapest, so if you want to swim completely naked, you’ll have to look elsewhere… Don’t wear jewelry at all and make sure you don’t lose your wristband, because otherwise you’ll need to pay a fine.
Also, don’t forget your sun cream and/or a hat to protect your head. The sun in Budapest is incredibly powerful during the summer months, and there isn’t much shade near the outdoor pools.
You can bring cameras without a problem, and if you don’t want to use them anymore you can always leave them in your locker.
To visit one of the thermal baths of Budapest you must be at least fourteen years old.
1. The Széchenyi baths
The Széchenyi bath, or better the Széchenyi baths, are perhaps the best-known thermal baths in Budapest. They have been there for over 100 years and consist of no less than eighteen different swimming pools, both inside and outside. It’s even claimed that the water has medical power. In addition to splashing in geothermal swimming pools, you can enjoy a massage, go to the gym or just relax at the pools with a beer or wine.
Tickets cost $19.50 or €16.50 including a locker. Prices may vary depending on the type of massage you wish, with the cheapest massage taking twenty minutes and costing 37 euros or 44 dollars, including entrance.
In the summer there are also great “sparties”, usually Saturday from midnight to three o’clock in the morning. Specific dates and times can be found on the official website.
Address: Allatkerti Krt. 9-11
Phone: +36 1 363 3210
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 6am – 10pm (3 outdoor pools), 6am – 7pm (all baths including service), open every day of the year including holidays and national holidays.
Tickets: From €16.50 or $19.50
Another nice address for a spa in Budapest are the thermal baths of Gellert. It’s even the most famous art nouveau bath house in Budapest! This beautiful building is more than 100 years old and therefore a great experience to unwind in. The Gellert baths are sometimes also called the “Palace of the Baths”. There are ten baths of different sizes and temperatures. The interior makes you think of a maze, so don’t get lost!
In the Gellert bathhouse you can also sweat out everything in the sauna or enjoy one of the many different types of massages.
For a ticket you pay eighteen euros or twenty-two dollars and during weekends and holidays you’ll pay 65 eurocents or about one dollar extra.
Just as in the Széchenyi baths, the Gellert baths also organise special sparties. The most well-known one being the Cinetrip Party.
The biggest parties are organized in the previously mentioned Széchenyi baths or the Lukacs thermal baths, however.
Address: Kelenhegyi út 4
Phone: +36 1 466 6166
Opening hours: Daily from 6 am to 8 pm also on public holidays such as May 1st or Christmas.
Tickets: Starting at €18 or $22
Rudas is one of the other well-known bath houses in Budapest. This is a thermal and medical bathhouse built in 1550 during the Ottoman period.
In the restaurant you can enjoy delicious Turkish-Hungarian fusion cuisine. Since 2014 there are four new swimming pools with panoramic views bringing the total to seven, including a rooftop swimming pool.
In addition to various types of massages offered, there is also a sauna and steam room.
During the week you pay about 15.5 euros for a ticket (18.5 dollars) and during the weekend another four euros ($5) will be charged. For this cost you can also use the wellness facilities.
If you only want to relax in the thermal baths, it will cost only eleven euros during the week and 12 euros in the weekend. Here too there are special rates for students.
Address: Döbrentei tér 9., Buda Erzsébet Bridge district I
Phone: +36 1 356 1010
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday and Sunday from 6 am to 10 pm and Friday and Saturday from 6 am to 4 pm.
Tickets: Starting at €15 or $18
For a spa in Budapest that is less touristy than the Széchenyi baths or Gellert you must be in Lukacs. Here you can immerse yourself in warm hot water and enjoy the local atmosphere.
Also, this is one of Budapest’s bathing houses that looks a bit like a labyrinth where you easily get disorientated. In addition to two big outdoor swimming pools, there is also a “sauna world”, including a Finnish sauna, an infrared sauna, an ice hut and a Himalayan salt wall. Different types of massages are also offered here.
For a day ticket with a locker you pay eleven euros or thirteen dollars. If you wish a cabin, then you pay one euro / dollar more.
The festive season lasts from October to April and during this you can visit one of the “magical bath parties”. Psychedelic music, colorful lasers and steaming hot water certainly provide an experience to never forget. Tickets usually cost around 35 euros or 42 dollars.
Address: Frankel Leó út 25-29
Phone: +36 1 326 1695
Opening hours: 6 am – 10 pm (Sauna world from 9 am to 9 pm, except Monday when it’s open at 2 pm).
Tickets: Starting at €11 or $13
The construction of this less well-known spa in Budapest started in 1565 by Arslan, the Pasha of Buda. The bathhouse doesn’t have a direct hot spring because the Turks, who built it, also wanted to make use of it during a possible siege. Kiraly is Hungarian for “king” and this name honors all of this bath house. Therefore, you need to be here for a royal bathing experience. It contains one of Budapest’s most beautiful baths with an impeccably impressive roof vault.
In addition to saunas and steam baths, massages are offered. There are only three thermal baths and an immersion bath, which makes it less appealing for you to spend a full day here. For a short bath experience, this is in any case the ideal destination.
For a morning ticket (until twelve o’clock) you pay about four euros ($5) including locker, if you want a cabin then you pay about five euros or six dollars. A day ticket with a locker costs just 8 euros ($9.5) and one with a locker, nine euro or ten and a half dollars. For students and seniors there are special discounts.
Address: Fő u. 84
Phone: +36 1 202 3688
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 9pm (the entrance closes at 8pm).
Tickets: From €4 or $5
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.