Budapest is the spa capital of Europe. It is home to more thermal and medicinal baths than any other capital city in the world! 125 in total! With a history dating back to the 16th Century, they are an integral part of Hungarian culture.
The mineral-rich waters are said to be medicinal, and bathing in the warm pools is said to help relieve a variety of conditions and diseases. Plus they are a great place to relax after a long day exploring the city!
No trip to Budapest is complete without a trip to these historical baths! But with SO many baths to visit, it can be difficult to decide which one to go to. Many baths also have their own strict rules victors need to adhere to. Therefore to help you make a more informed decision, here is my mini guide to some of the best thermal baths in Budapest!
Széchenyi Baths are the largest medicinal baths in Europe. They are also, by far, the most visited baths in Budapest. One of the first things you notice about the baths is the stunning historical architecture. The pastel-yellow buildings were built in 1881, so Széchenyi is actually one of the newer baths houses.
The complex consists of 18 pools, 15 pools are indoor and 3 are located outside. And you never have to worry about being cold while outside – the pools are a comforting 37 degrees Celsius! Every Saturday you also have the chance to attend one of the most popular parties in town – a Sparty! Yes, that is a party in the baths! They are known to be a lot of fun and often feature film screenings and dance parties.
However, if that is not your thing, they also a perfect place to relax during the day. There are even a large amounts of sunbeds dotted around the outdoor pools, so why not make a day out of it!
There are many different types of tickets depending on your needs/ how long you want to stay. But a general day ticket with cabin usage costs 5,700 HUF (Approx. £15.60/€ 17.90)
Open 365 days a year – 6am – 10pm
The baths are located in close proximity to Heroes Square, just on the outskirts of the centre. It is thoroughly connected to the centre by all public transport and many bus tours.
18 pools, saunas, steam rooms, plunge pool, massages, swimming lessons, fitness centre, beer spa
No restrictions, all genders allowed at all times
The Gellert Baths are one of the most grand baths in Budapest. They are part of the famous Hotel Gellert, which boasts impressive Art Nouveau architecture. This complex dates back to the 1920’s, when its innovative thermal waters mainly attracted the rich and famous. Gellert is still a popular bathing spot for the elite, and many celebrities have been spotted here!
The baths consist of 10 pools – 8 indoor and 2 outdoor (+ 1 wave pool!). It used to be gender-separated, but since 2013 they have been integrated. As well as the famous thermal pools there are also many other medicinal services available, such as – thai foot massages and aroma therapy.
They may be a bit pricier than the other baths in Budapest, but the spectacular architecture and the quality of the baths make the extra cost worthwhile!
A full day ticket with locker usage costs 5900 HUF (Approx. £16.20/€ 18.50)
- Indoor pools – 365 days, 6am- 8pm
- Outdoor wave pool (May-October), 6am-8pm
The baths are situated right next to the River Danube, on the Buda side of the city. They are also located next-door to the Citadel and opposite Liberty Bridge. They are in walking distance of the city centre and accessible via all public transport.
Finnish sauna, steam-bath, underwater jet massage, aroma + foot massage, hot stone massage, thai massage, pedicure wellness, herbal bath, red wine bath, private bathing for couples
No restrictions, all genders allowed at all times
Rudas Baths is definitely worth a visit as it was first built in 1550 during Ottoman rule, so it is one of the oldest in Budapest! Although having undergone recent modernisation, it still maintains the crucial, notable elements of a traditional Turkish Bath. These elements can be seen in the beautiful central octagonal pool. This pool, surrounded by a 10 meter dome also has special light effects! As colourful small glass drops on the dome allow the sunlight to breakthrough the roof in distinctive colourful rays.
One of the key selling points of these baths is the panoramic rooftop pool! This vantage point offers a spectacular view of the Danube River and the Budapest skyline. The rest of the baths consist of 6 thermal baths and 1 larger pool. In the past, the Rudas Baths were exclusive to men, but today, it welcomes both men and women at weekends. There is also a woman-only day during the week!
A Bath ticket with cabin usage – thermal pools only (Weekday – 3700 HUF/Weekends – 4300 HUF)
- Swimming pool + thermal baths (Mon-Sun, 6am-10pm)
The baths are located in close proximity to the Gellert Baths. They are right next to the famous Elizabeth Bridge on the Buda side of the River Danube. Additionally, they are in walking distance of the city centre and accessible via all public transport.
Sauna World and Wellness area, massage, including skin firming, medical, deep nourishing massage, underwater jet massage and pedicure
- Men only days: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
- Women only days: Tuesdays
- Saturdays and Sundays: co-ed
If you are heading to visit some of these wonderful baths in Budapest – make sure to check out my guide on the 10 things you must see and do while you’re there!