The Ultimate Guide to Budapest Thermal Baths (Hungary)

Here's your ultimate guide on Budapest thermal baths about etiquette, what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect. Read further to learn more!

If you are planning to visit the beautiful Hungarian capital of Budapest, then you are probably aware that it is not just famous for its remarkable architectural designs, amazing food, and rich history but also its ever so famous thermal baths.

It is indeed bizarre to think that such a city with interesting historical past would be known for its baths, but this is nothing new. There are about 120 natural hot springs that feed most of the capital’s thermal baths. Although a lot of tourists do come here for a nice relaxing dip at these spa houses, locals also frequent these Budapest thermal baths.

In this post, I would like to broaden your knowledge before you visit some of the famous spa houses in Budapest and know a little bit more about the do’s and the don’ts before you visit.


The Ultimate Guide to Budapest Thermal Baths

Thermal Baths Budapest Hungary
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via Flickr | Thanate Tan

History of thermal baths

Before the Ottoman arrived in Hungary, the Romans were there first. As we all know, Romans during ancient times are famous for many things, and that includes advanced medicine, modernity, and bathing culture are the ones worth mentioning amongst all other things.

That said, Romans has built small bathing houses within their mansion while in Hungary and has introduced this culture briefly. However, after their fall and the Ottomans arrived in the picture, they are mainly the ones who are responsible for building larger bathhouses that we know today and introduced bathing and spas to the locals.

Where To Go: Relax in Szechenyi Spa Entry & 3-course Gundel Gourmet Menu

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via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

Why you should go to thermal baths

Thermal baths have been known for their healing properties and other health benefits. However, there is no scientific proof about this, so you have to take this information as a grain of salt. However, one good reason I can assure you, which is perhaps the only reason I went there is for its relaxing properties.

Most of the spa houses in Budapest do not just offer entry for the baths but also other services such as massage and spa treatments. Going for a dip at thermal baths is one of the most relaxing experiences you can give yourself after exploring Budapest on foot.

Where To Go: Pamper yourself with a massage treatment at Budapest’s Széchenyi Thermal Baths

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via Wikimedia Commons

Tips before visiting Budapest thermal baths

  • Check for open wounds – it is always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you do not have any open wounds as you cannot be sure what type of bacterias there are in the pools, and you might risk yourself with an infection.
  • Be aware of the schedule – most spa houses have schedules, and there are days meant to be just for men or women or mixed genders. If you’re traveling with a significant other, make sure to double-check this and plan accordingly!
  • Arrive early to avoid big crowds – it is best advised to arrive very early as soon as the door opens first thing in the morning to avoid crowds or come very late for an evening dip.
  • Or buy your tickets ahead of time – you can buy yourself an entrance ticket ahead of time online for most big Thermal baths in Budapest like the Szechenyi Baths, so you don’t have to queue and can make sure that you don’t waste time.
  • Be comfortable with your skin (and of others) – in Europe, going naked in front of many people in the privacy of a communal changing and shower rooms are completely normal. If you’re not too keen on this, this is a good time to learn as no one mind it. This is the same for most public saunas in Finland or other countries that have similar cultures.
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What to wear to Budapest baths

  • For women – normal swimming suits or bikini’s are totally fine!
  • For men – swimming trunks or shorts
  • For children – swimming attires
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What to bring to Budapest baths

  • Towel – you can rent one in most bathhouses, but it is still best to bring your own.
  • Refillable water bottle – tap water in Budapest is safe to drink, so bringing your water bottle will generally save you a few euros.
  • Flipflops – if you’re coming in summer, the pavement can get hot, plus it is more comfortable to walk around with flipflops and easier to get around the common shower rooms.
  • Sunglasses – if you’re coming in summer, make sure to protect your eyes!
  • Toiletries – bring whatever you think is necessary for yourself (soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • Swimwear – bring proper and decent swimwear with you
  • Swimming cap – if you want to swim at their normal pools, they prohibit people from swimming without a cap, so be aware of this!
  • Bathrobe – if you’re coming in winter, it can get really cold if you’re out from the hot water, so it is advisable to bring something warm.
  • Snacks – there are cafes inside the thermal baths, but if you want to bring your own, this is possible.
  • Dry bag – since you’re going someplace close to water, bringing a dry bag will ensure that your belongings will stay dry and protected.
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Budapest thermal baths temperature

Heated by several natural hot springs, thermal baths in Budapest are naturally hot all-year-round, and it stays between 36°C to 37°C. It is a comfortable temperature, just a bit above our normal body heat, so it is enjoyable and relaxing.

Meta description: Is it your first time in a thermal bath and don’t know what to do? Read this post and learn about the thermal bath etiquette!

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