Source: Joachim Lesne on unsplash.com

The capital of Hungary is a place with many names, one of them being “The City of Spas” thanks to all the great Budapest bath houses located in the city. Also known as the “Spa Capital of Europe”, the rejuvenating benefits of the Carpathian Basin’s thermal waters are a well-known “secret” of the Hungarians. Get ready to soak in all the information you’ll need with our complete Budapest Bath guide (with tips and recommendations included) for a wonderful water-filled holiday.

So if you’re looking for a vibrant and versatile holiday getaway, but also a safe haven where you can rest and fill up your energy tanks, Budapest should be on the top of your list of cities to visit. An accurate picture of Budapest is one where steam arises from the outside pools of the Széchenyi Baths, where friendly local pensioners are happy to play a game of chess, and all you have to do is indulge in a heavenly soak in the hot thermal waters! Prepare to get ready to relax like the Romans, and explore the best thermal baths of Budapest! You just can’t leave the city without trying out the experience of a thermal spa and bath house…

Source: Hans Vivek on unsplash.com

The Origin of Hungarian Thermal Baths & Spas

The Romans were the first to introduce bathing culture in the region, and archaeologists have found the remains of baths of the onetime Pannonia. After the Romans, came influence from the Ottoman rule (Hungary was occupied by the Turks back in 1541, for over a century), with various Budapest thermal baths founded and influenced by the Turkish still exist today: the Rudas Bath, Rác Bath, Király Bath and the (oldest) Vali Bej Bath. It’s also good to know that Budapest spas and in general, Hungarian thermal water is an integral part of national culture and plays an important role in the everyday life of Hungarian citizens. The country has over 1,000 thermal springs, with a record 123 in Budapest alone! All in all, Budapest baths offer an endless stream of health benefits to discover, with the city boasting the most baths in Europe.

Source: Robbie Hott on flickr.com

The Benefits of Hungarian Thermal Water

If you’re curious about why and what makes Hungarian thermal water and the baths of Budapest so special, we’re happy to give you some background information.

The main reason why thermal water is such an important asset to Hungary is its healing properties. Hungarian thermal water hasn’t changed over the centuries, and even in 2019, the water still works wonders for an array of health problems. The waters of thermal spas are rich in dissolved minerals (the exact type of mineral varies between water sources), and has a profound positive effect on physical well-being and mental problems, such as:

  • The Blood Circulatory System – Sitting in soothing, hot Hungarian thermal water helps tense muscles relax and veins widen, and by doing so the cardiovascular system works better, with an improved flow of blood through the body. Remember, a healthy body equals to a healthy mind!
  • Arthritis – Damaged joints or any disorder that affects joints can cause a lot of pain including swelling, stiffness and a limited amount of motion in the joints affected. Due to the beneficial effects of water, soaking and swimming can help ease discomfort, and the high mineral content in thermal water can be absorbed by the skin, which helps to relieve arthritis.
  • Stress – Thermal water and wellness lovers alike are encouraged to go for sauna and massage sessions at Budapest bath houses, as the medicinal waters and steam cabins have their own relaxing microclimate.

For a good balance, our top 3 recommendations would be the Széchenyi, Gellért and Rudas Baths (at Rudas there’s even a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city), but in our guide below we’ll give you an in depth insight to all the Budapest thermal baths and spas you need to know about!  

Source: Tim Marshall on unsplash.com
Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu

Opening hours:
Every day: from 6am to 10pm
Pump hall: from 9am to 5pm (except Sundays)

By public transportation:
Trolleybus 72 and the millennium underground train.

Why is it special?

The Széchenyi Thermal Bath of Budapest is the largest medicinal bath complex in Europe with a record 21 pools, and a winner of the IMJT (International Medical Travel Journal) award. The beautiful neo-baroque Széchenyi is located in a beautiful castle-like building in City Park and has been open to the public since 1913, with it’s water supplied from a thermal spring with a temperature of 76°C. The entrance ticket includes the use of saunas, gymnastics and aqua fitness services. If you can, take a visit on a Saturday evening to experience one of the most popular Budapest nightlife events, the legendary SPArty, or Budapest bath party series. Prepare for a blast!

Special Services:

  • Drink therapy
  • Thermal Beer Spa
  • Balneotherapy
  • Private tub-bath
  • Bath parties every Saturday

Pools, including:

Thermal section:
11 thermal water pools (indoors), 28-40°C
1 cooling pool (indoors), 20°C
1 immersion pool (indoors), 18°C
1 50m swimming pool, 26-28°C
1 activity pool (outdoors), 30-34°C
1 thermal water pool, 38°C
2 immersion pools
1 learning pool (indoors)

Water Composition of Széchenyi Thermal Bath:
The water supply for the bath is provided by the Saint Stephen Well Nr.II commissioned in 1938. The hot-spring healing water is filled with calcium, magnesium, hydro-carbonate, and also contains sodium and sulphate, with a significant content in fluoride and metaboric acid.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • Orthopedic and post-accident treatments

Gellért Bath

H-1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4.

Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu

Opening hours:
Every day: from 6am to 8pm

By public transportation:
Underground 4, tram 19, 41, 47, 49 and 56, buses 7, 107, 109, 133 and 233.

Why is it special?

Gellért Thermal Bath has been open to the public since 1928, built in Art Nouveau style right at the bottom of lush green Gellért Hill, the historical bath is one of the most beautiful in Budapest. It offers both health and wellness services, such as aroma and thermal massages, spa pedicures and private bathing – all set below frescoed ceilings and intricate architecture. In the summer, the outdoor wave pool is a top attraction!

Special Services:

  • Spa Beauty Package (entrance ticket includes locker usage, disposable towel, bathrobe, slippers, swimming cap, hair rubber, 100 ml Thermal Spa shower gel, 100 ml Thermal Spa shampoo and 75 gr Thermal Spa massage cream)
  • Electrotherapy
  • Day time hospital
  • Spa physician consultations
  • Curative gymnastics
  • Inhalation

Pools, including:

Swimming pool, 27°C
Thermal pool, 36°C
Outdoor pools:
Wave pool (only available in the summer season), 26°C
Thermal pool, 36°C
Thermal baths, 35-40°C

Water Composition of Gellért Thermal Bath:

The bath’s water supply is sustained from the spring accesses established inside the Gellért hill. The hot spring water contains a healthy dosage of calcium, magnesium and hydrogen-carbonate as well as sulphate-chloride, also containing sodium and fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Spinal deformity
  • Chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • Discus hernia
  • Neuralgia
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Circulatory disturbances
  • Inhalation for the chronic diseases of respiratory organs

Lukács Bath

H-1023 Budapest, Frankel Leó u. 25-29.

Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu

Opening hours:
Every day: from 6am to 10pm
Sauna World: 9am to 9pm (from 1 April)
The sauna world opens at 2pm on Mondays.

By public transportation:
Buses 9 and 109, tram 4, 6, 17 and 19 and by suburban train HÉV on the line to Szentendre-Békásmegyer, “Margit Bridge” stop.

Why is it special?
St. Lukács Thermal Baths has all sorts of great pools to visit, including swimming and leisure pools, saunas, and wellness programmes. Another fun fact: the Hungarian thermal water at Lukács Baths is believed the most effective of all the baths in Budapest, so it’s definitely worthwhile to try. The hammam massage (treatments vary, but the general process is that you first soak in the pool/steam room, then you’re rinsed, exfoliated, and massaged!) is also a unique service provided in Budapest.

Special Services:

  • Underwater traction-bath for men and women (upon medical prescription)
  • Carbondioxide bath (upon medical prescription)
  • Underwater water jet massage (upon medical prescription)
  • Medical massage (upon medical prescription)
  • Mud treatment (upon medical prescription)
  • Infrasauna
  • Steam bath
  • Himalaya saltwall

Pools, including:
Swimming pool 1, 26°C
Swimming pool 2, 22°C
Leisure pool, 33-35°C
Thermal pools, 32-40°C
Underwater traction pool, 33-35°C
Kneipp pool, 22oC
Plunge pools, 19-25oC

Water Composition of Lukács Thermal Bath:
Hot spring water with calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate and sulphate, chloride, also containing sodium and a substantial content of fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • Spinal deformity
  • Post-accident rehabilitation

Dandár Bath

H-1095 Budapest, Dandár u. 5-7

Source: dandarfurdo.hu

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday: 6am to 9pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am to 9pm

By public transportation:
By public transportation: Tram 2 and 24 and buses 23 and 54.
The thermal bath is located in the vicinity of the Boráros Square.

Why is it special?
The Dandár Thermal Baths located in the 9th district first opened in 1930, and has been awaiting visitors with various services and discounts ever since. The bath was expanded with two outdoor pools and a sauna world in 2014 and the thermal department was restored in 2015. Dandár bath even has its very own drinking fountain supplying high-quality healing water – a perfect way to stay hydrated during your stay!

Special Services:

  • Hydrus package
  • Orange Happiness Massage
  • Elderflower Harmony Massage
  • Treatment with Mátra Mountain Herbs
  • Treatment with Kolop medicinal mud
  • Treatment with Hungarian Wines

Pools, including:

Thermal bath 1, 20°C
Thermal bath  2, 38°C
Thermal bath  3, 36°C
Open Air Thermal bath 1, 36°C
Open Air Thermal bath 2, 38°C

Water Composition of Dandár Bath:
Hot spring water with calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate and sulphate-chloride, also containing sodium, with a substantial content of fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • degenerative joint diseases
  • chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • discus hernia
  • neuralgia

The Turkish Baths of Budapest

Király Bath

H-1027 Budapest, Fő u. 84.

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Opening hours:
Every day from: 9am to 9pm

By public transportation:
Tram 19 and buses 9 and 109.

Why is it special?
The Király Thermal Bath is a small Turkish bath located in the city centre of Budapest, with an ever so rich history. The construction of the bath began in the year 1565 during the Ottoman Rule and was the go-to bath for the Turks. Its thermal water is provided from Lukács Thermal Bath, as it doesn’t have its own spring. Still, there’s plenty to enjoy, including beautiful architecture, the steam chamber, the hot air chamber, the wellness Jacuzzi and even a fitness room.

Special Services:

  • Tub bath (with curative water)
  • Underwater water jet massage
  • Medical massage
  • Logic game programme provided by ImagineBudapest: Prisoners of Budapest – Escape from Király Bath

Pools, including:

Thermal pool 1, 36°C
Thermal pool 2, 32°C
Thermal pool 3, 40°C
Immersion pool, 26°C

Water composition:
Hot spring water with calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate and sulphate, also containing sodium and with a substantial content of fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • Discus hernia
  • Spinal deformity
  • Neuralgia
  • Post-accident rehabilitation

Rudas Bath

H-1013 Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9.

Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu

Opening hours:
Swimming pool: 6am to 10pm
Wellness and Sauna World: 8am to 10pm
Steam bath: 6am to 8pm

By public transportation:
Buses 7, 8E, 108E, 110, 112, 907 and 973, tram 17, 19, 41, 56 and 56A.

Why is it special?
The Rudas Thermal Baths is another staple on the Budapest bath scene, it was built more than 450 years ago, also during the Turkish rule. Interesting fact: The Rudas Bath is the only bath where on certain days the pools are only open for men and on other days, for women – so make sure you check beforehand. Also, since 2014 Rudas offers a new wellness section and a sauna world, and the use of the steam chambers and the Finnish sauna are included in the ticket. Lastly, when visiting, make sure you take part in the unique programme of bathing in the rooftop panorama pool – be prepared for stunning views that overlook the city!

Special Services:

  • Tub bath (with curative water)
  • Underwater waterjet massage (upon medical prescription)
  • Medical massage
  • Water massage
  • Treatment with Mátra Mountain Herbs
  • Treatment with Kolop medicinal mud
  • Treatment with Hungarian Wines
  • Budapest Spas Cosmetics

Pools, including:

Thermal pool 1, 16°C
Thermal pool 2, 28°C
Thermal pool 3, 30°C
Thermal pool 4, 33°C
Thermal pool 5, 36°C
Thermal pool 6, 42°C
Swimming pool, 29°C

Wellness department:

Hot water pool 1, 32°C
Hot water pool 2, 36 °
Juventus pool, 42°C
Immersion pool, 11°C
Rooftop pool, 36°C

Water Composition of Rudas Thermal Bath:
Radio-active hot spring water with calcium-magnesium-hydrogen-carbonate also containing sodium and sulphate and with a significant content of fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Chronic and sub-acute arthritis
  • Discus hernia
  • Neuralgia

Veli Bej Bath


1023 Budapest Frankel Leó u. 35.
(Located in the same building as Hotel Csaszar)

 

Source: csaszarhotel.hu

Opening hours:
6am to Noon, and 3pm to 9pm

By public transportation:
Buses 9 and tram 4 or 6.

Why is it special?
Veli Bej is one of the oldest Turkish baths in Budapest, with the healing waters in this location dating back to Roman times. The Turkish bathhouse, originally named Veli Bej, was built in the 16th century during the Turkish era. After the Turkish occupation the bath was renamed to Kayser Bad, Császár Baths in Hungarian, and later it was given to the Order of Hospitallers, who used the waters healing properties for curing the sick. When visiting, check out the main attraction, the traditional octagonal pool under the Turkish dome!

Additional wellness-services included:

  • Finnish sauna
  • Infrared sauna
  • Steam bath
  • Full body shower
  • Jacuzzi
  • Kneipp-Walking

Water Composition of Veli Bej Bath:
The waters are rich in calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate, sulfate and sodium, with a significant content of fluoride ions.

Therapeutic suggestions:

  • Degenerative joint diseases
  • Chronic and semi-acute arthritis
  • Spinal problems
  • Post-injury healing
Source: Benni Asal on unsplash.com

General Bathing Tips

What to take:
Although almost all baths offer a service of renting, as this comes with an extra fee, a money savvy option is simply just to take your own! Read on to find out what you’ll need.

  • Swimming cap
    Due to the high number of visitors and health and safety regulations, the swimming cap rule is taken quite seriously.
  • Slippers
    In the scorching heat of the summer, the concrete and tiles leading up to the cooling water can really heat up like fire, so make sure your feet are protected.
  • Towels
    Again, at most pools it’s possible to rent a towel, but costs can add up and start to get a bit pricey, so we recommend you take your own.

Keep in Mind:

      • Water Temperature
        On average most pool temperatures are somewhere between 35-40 degrees, and there’s usually a recommended time limit placed beside the pool area. Once you’ve had enough of the heat, there are also cold water swimming pools to cool down in too.
      • Extra Services
        Sauna, private baths, health and beauty services – you name it, and there will be a bath that has it! Buying tickets is also easy and it’s possible to buy tickets beforehand, online.
      • Weekdays vs. Weekends
        Budapest thermal baths are hot spots for locals too, and many flock to the pools on the weekends for a family outing or for a special spa day, so if you can, it’s best to visit on a weekday to avoid the bustle and hustle. Also, this way for sure you’ll be able to a find a spot in the shade and/or sun, whatever suits your taste!
      • Time of Day
        A lot of baths offer discounts depending on what time you visit, normally the tickets are cheaper in the morning and aftertoon, so do check for best prices online.
      • Budapest Bath Parties
        In the past few years a new party form has cropped up, where the historic Széchenyi on Saturdays have opened its doors to hosting bath parties! Famous for summer night spa parties, these events now even have their own name: SPArties!

The Most Important Baths of Budapest

Széchenyi Bath
Szechenyi Bath Budapest
Source: Waldo93, Pixabay
Budapest, Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Állatkerti körút, Hungary
Gellért Bath
Gellert Thermal Baths
Source: Joachim Lesne on unsplash.com
Budapest, Gellért Thermal Bath, Kelenhegyi Way, Hungary
Lukács Bath
Lukács baths
Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu
Budapest, Lukacs Baths, Frankel Leó Way, Hungary
Dandár Bath
Budapest Dandár Bath
Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu
Budapest, Dandár Thermal Bath, Dandár Street, Hungary
Király Bath
Budapest, Király Thermal Bath, Fő Street, Hungary
Rudas Bath
Rudas Bath Budapest
Source: budapestgyogyfurdoi.hu
Budapest, Rudas Baths, Döbrentei tér, Hungary
Veli Bej Bath
Budapest, Veli Bej Bath, Árpád Fejedelem útja, Hungary
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