Budapest Baths

The Real Budapest Baths Experience

The Turkish baths in Budapest are without a doubt one of the highlights during your stay here. I highly recommend that you come across the real Budapest Baths experience and visit as many as you can during your stay.

If time is of the essence, there are a few that I can suggest that will ensure you can make the most of your trip - Szechényi Bath, Gellert, Rudas and a few others which we will look at in more detail in a moment.

Budapest can be so many things for the traveler - but sometimes it is best just to take some time to relax in one of the Turkish baths and spas and perhaps contemplate how you will spend the rest of your time here.


Even if you are not the type of person to enjoy bathing in hot water and steam - I advise you to visit them anyway for their beautiful architectural features and to learn about the history of Budapest's pride and joy!



Why Should You Experience the Budapest Baths?


I think that everyone should experience a Turkish bath or spa once in a lifetime and in my opinion there is no better place than Budapest! Budapest Baths are ranked as having some of the best Turkish spas on the globe. Rudas baths and Király baths have remained as Turkish baths in style and atmosphere, so if you want to experience a real Turkish bath, these two are the ones to visit.

All of the original Turkish architecture of the ancient Ottoman Empire can be viewed at these baths such as colored glass windows, the spectacular octagon shapes of their pools and the domed structures atop buildings.

Budapest baths Gellert Interior Bath

The architecture of some of these baths is just as glorious as the experience of a long soak in medicinal waters. What makes this experience all the more pleasurable is the favorable costs, the entrance fee as well as the extra services such as massage are all at an affordable price!

This experience is a unique one, so if you are in Budapest, do not miss it out, it could be lifetime opportunity. Due to the ever growing popularity, many of the spas now specialize in new massage therapies to keep up with trends and yet they still offer more traditional therapies too.

The choices go further than therapies too - with nearly all of the best baths having pools of variable temperatures. If you have ever wondered "Why Budapest?", then what I have to say next could be very interesting. Photo by Marc Veraart

The city actually sits on Earth that is dotted by underground springs - the very water that provides the ultimate bath experience.

Budapest counts with at least 15 public thermal baths besides the luxury thermal baths and spas you can find in some luxury hotels such as the Corinthia Royal, Ramada Plaza and the Thermal Hotel Margit Sziget.




Which Are The Best Budapest Baths to Visit?


Széchenyi Spa


The first thermal baths complex in Pest, Széchenyi is set in a gorgeous complex of yellow buildings, a wonderful mix between ancient architecture and modernized elements. This is one of the most popular and opulent of all Budapest's Baths.

It was designed by Győző Czigler and Ede Dovorzák and built in Neo Baroque style between 1909 and 1913. Since its construction, Széchenyi has gone through some enlargements and renovations that have made the beautiful bath house Budapest is very proud of. 'Szecska' (this is how locals call it) is one of Europe's largest public bath houses.

Budapest baths Szechenyi Bath

Széchenyi baths complex is fed by a 1,246 m depth spring, the deepest and warmest of Budapest. This medicinal water is distributed between 12 indoor and 3 outdoor pools of various temperatures for visitors to enjoy. Even during cold winter evenings this thermal water is hot enough to soak in and relax under a starry sky . This is one of local's favorite things to do in Budapest in winter time.

The outdoor section has been opened since 1963, the middle pool is for swimming and swimming caps are required, the right pool is very hot and is mainly for relaxing and soaking. The pool on the left is a jet massage and adventure pool with several water jet elements that alternate every 15 minutes.

Indoor pools are mainly medicinal pools with different water temperatures for you to choose from.

In this beautiful spa you also find a wide variety of wellness services such as infra sauna, mud packing, and Finnish saunas, steam baths, massages of all kinds and therapeutic and cosmetic and treatments. All in all there is a lot to enjoy and discover in Széchenyi baths.

Good to know

*Although, it is possible to rent towels on the spot, it is a bit expensive, so I advise you to bring your own, as well as flip flops to wander around.

*A regular entrance ticket costs 3,400 ft and includes the use of a locker in a common changing room, access to all indoor and outdoor pools, saunas and steam baths, as well as to the gym.

* There is a type of ticket that cost 3,950 ft and it includes the use of a private changing cabin as well as private showers.

If you stay less than two hours, a small refund is given. Once you buy your ticket you are given a wristband that works as the key of your locker.

There is a type of discount ticket that costs about 500 ft less if you enter the bath complex after 7:00 pm. Keep in mind that the closing time is at 10.00 pm. In the weekends, all types of tickets are slightly more expensive.

*Széchenyi baths is a mix bath, both women and men can swim and soak at the same time.

About the changing rooms

*If your ticket includes a locker, after you enter the complex using your wrist band, you need to find your way down stairs where there are common changing rooms separated for women and men.

*If your ticket includes a private cabin, after entering the baths area using your wrist band, on the same level you will find a hall way where you need to show your ticket to an assistant who will show you your changing cabin number on a reading machine on the wall.

* You use your wrist band to open the cabin's door.

How do lockers work?

*It might sound a silly question but you will be glad to know it once you are there. Choose an open locker, store your belongings, close the locker then press your given wristband against the door knob to lock it. Make sure it locks properly.

In case you don't remember your locker number, there are some machines on the wall that read your wristband and tell you the locker number.

Széchenyi baths are open daily from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, except for some public holidays.

Address: Állatkerti körut 11.


Gellert

Gellert Spa and hotel has long deserved its fame and remains one of Budapest's premier spa experiences. There is an abundance in Art Nouveau elements, mosaics, colored glass windows and sculptural works to make the experience just as eye-pleasing as it is relaxing.

The spa complex hotel and baths was built by Ármin Hegedűs, Artur Sebestyén and Izidor Stark in 1918 as part of a great effort to make of Budapest a city of baths.

Budapest baths Gellert Spa

Wonderful sculptures, Zsolnay ceramic mosaic tiles, frescoed ceilings, neo-Romanesque columns and tinted glass feature opulence and adorn not only the interior, but also the open-air pools and facilities. The thermal baths were opened to the general public in 1927.

In Gellért baths complex you will find a labyrinth of thermal medicinal baths separated for men and women, a pool for mixed bathing, a nice outdoor heated pool for swimming and a 36 degree heated spa pool, steam rooms and Finish sauna.

The healing waters you find in Gellért baths come from Gellért hill's thermal springs, discovered as early as the 15th century. These waters are recommended to treat spinal problems, circulation diseases, , neuralgia, and degenerative diseases of the joints. Their rich content in calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate, sulfate and sodium, with a significant content of fluoride ions make them a great alternative to find cure and relieve to many conditions.

Good to know

*Although, it is possible to rent towels on the spot, it is a bit expensive, so I advise you to bring your own, as well as flip flops to wander around.

*The entrance ticket price varies depending on what you choose. At Gellért baths you can buy a basic ticket with locker or you can buy a ticket with a changing cabin. There are different prices for day tickets, for afternoon tickets and for swimming pool use only.

A basic ticket gives you access to all indoor pools, the outdoor baths, the sauna and steam rooms. Once you buy your ticket you are given a paper receipt and a wristband that works as the key of your locker. Keep the receipt at hand, it will be requested inside.

How do lockers work?

*It might sound a silly question but you will be glad to know it once you are there. Choose an open locker, store your belongings, close the locker then press your given wristband against the door knob to lock it. Make sure it locks properly.

In case you don't remember your locker number, there are some machines on the wall that read your wristband and tell you the locker number.

*If you wish to use the swimming pool, a swimming cap is required. If you don't have one, you can buy or rent one there.

Opening hours: Gellért baths are open daily from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. Thermal baths are segregated for men and women from Monday to Saturday. Sunday is a mix day when ladies and gents can enjoy all baths.

Address: Kelenhegyi út 4-6. District XI Buda


Rudas

At the foot of Gellert Hill, the Rudas baths is another one I recommend for its well-preserved octagonal pool and 10 meter diameter dome. This used to be a men-only spa experience, but some years back it also opened its premises to women on Tuesdays.


Rudas Baths is one of the most beautiful Turkish baths of Budapest and one of locals’ favorite. This unique bathhouse is believed to have been built in the Middle Ages (1550) by the Pasha of Buda Sokol Mustafa. Although, the greatest development of Rudas started during the Turkish occupation when the baths culture blossomed significantly in Hungary .

It was then when Rudas’ octagonal pool, with its amazing dome with tiny colorful glass windows was built.

Budapest baths Turkish Rudas Bath

Between 1715-1831 Rudas Baths went through a great development, extensions were added and surrounding area became a popular meeting point for upscale audiences which brought the construction of large and small inns around the baths complex. As a result of a big renovation that started in 1880 and ended up several years later, a steam bath and a swimming pool were added to the complex.

Although, this amazing 500 years old bathhouse has gone through renovations and reconstructions throughout the years, it nicely preserves its unique architecture, enchanting Ottoman style interior and its Turkish traditions and character.

Until 2005, Rudas bathhouse was exclusively for men use only. But in 2006 women got their right and were allowed to enjoy bathing facilities as well, so Tuesdays became women-only day. The rest of week days remain men-only days and weekends are open for both sexes.

Budapest baths Turkish Rudas Bath

Rudas thermal baths complex consists of 6 pools of different sizes and temperatures that vary from 16°C /62°F to 42°C/114°F , being the octagonal pool the most attractive of all due to the magic sunlight entering through the tiny glass windows give to the atmosphere.

Medicinal waters from Attila, Hungária and Juventus thermal springs feed the pools of Rudas bathhouse . These medicinal waters are rich in natrium and calcium-magnesium-hydrogen-carbonate and sulfates that contain a significant amount of ions that are highly recommended for several medical treatments such as joint diseases and low calcium concentration in bones.

Locals strongly believe that drinking these medicinal waters make a great treatment for conditions such as kidney stones and arteriosclerosis. If you want to taste the medicinal thermal waters of the Juventus spring, look for the drinking spot on the main hall of the building.

For swimming lovers, the swimming pool is in a beautiful two level Classicist style building inside the complex. This pool’s water temperature is 29°C/88°F.

Good to know

* The entrance ticket gives you access to the pools, steam chambers and Finish sauna. Several types of massages are offered by an extra fee.

* Like in other thermal Budapest baths, when you pay the entrance ticket you get a wristband that grants you for the baths and a locker. In Rudas you will also get an apron type cloth to cover yourself when moving from pool to pool in case you decide to go nude.

 Rudas  Bath Pool

* On single days, it is up to you to wear your swimming dress or not. You will find that many people enjoy nudity, especially locals. If you are not used to it, you might feel out of place at the beginning but soon you will feel comfortable.

* Rudas Bath offers weekends night bathing from 10 pm to 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays which makes a very appealing night out program and actually it is very popular in Budapest.

* Lockers work with the wristband, the same way we described above for other Budapest baths.

* A day pass with a cabin costs HUF 2,900 during the week and HUF 3,200 on the weekends. Morning tickets cost 2,200 (9 am-12. )Friday & Saturday night bathing ticket’s price is HUF 3,600.

So, get ready your swimming dress, flip flops, a towel and have a unique experience in Budapest.

Opening Hours: Rudas Baths opens its thermal pools from Monday to Sunday: 6 am to 8 pm. Fridays and Saturdays you can enjoy night bathing from 10 pm to 4 am.

Address: Döbrentei tér 9. Budapest 1013. To get there trams 18 or 19 from Battanyi tér ( Red Metro Line station) to Döbrentei tér.


Király

Király Bath is frequented by the gay community, so be aware of cruising if you are not that way inclined! Although you shouldn't bother too much and if you come on Sundays you can enjoy the company of a mixed crowd. Try the hot steam room followed by a splash in the cool water pool outside - just take your own bathing towel with you.


Lukács

I advise you to try this on a Tuesday as it is half-price entrance fee. Both the whirlpool and jacuzzi are a must and be prepared to wear a swimming cap in the main pools (bring your own or purchase one at the baths). If you are looking for a Budapest Baths experience without the tourist crowds then I recommend this one.


Rácz

This was renovated recently and will very soon open as a Spa Hotel. The contemporary design is really stunning and works surprisingly well with the 16th century architecture of the baths. The hotel and thermal spa resides in Buda Park and offers fantastic views from its gardens. As one of the Leading Hotels in the World - you couldn't go wrong checking in a for a short stay.


Enjoy the real Budapest Bath's experience!!

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