Budapest is widely known as the City of Baths. With naturally heated mineral waters flowing underneath Hungary’s capital, the emergence of thermal and spa baths has been enjoyed by its inhabitants as early as the 16th century.
From the Celts to the Turks and the tourists of today, each thermal baths in Budapest is celebrated for its natural ability to aid in the restoration of physical and mental wellness.
They say a trip to Hungary is not complete without bathing in one of the thermal baths in Budapest. Its restorative feature is more than enough to silence the apprehension you may feel when you hear the words ‘public bath.’
However, if you are indeed not one to partake in such shared activity, don’t hesitate to visit any of the facilities that are open for touring. The grandiosity of the baths’ architecture is something worth spending time for.
We have compiled a list of the best thermal baths in Budapest – from the most popular properties to the least crowded pools. Whichever you prefer, you are guaranteed to have the most relaxing spa experience in the City of Baths.
Don’t know what a thermal bath is? Here’s our full guide about Budapest thermal baths – read here.
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Top 5 Thermal Baths in Budapest that Locals Go to! (Hungary)
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Considered by many as the best spa in Budapest, Széchenyi Thermal Bath boasts of its waters that reach temperatures as hot as 75 degrees Centigrade.
Széchenyi has 18 indoor and outdoor baths that are open throughout the year. The lavishly decorated palace that houses these pools are found in the green City Park.
From the inside, you will see marble statues and intricate columns that speak of its long history dating back to 1913. Széchenyi is one of the largest thermal baths in Budapest, with a maximum capacity of 1,800 guests.
A bath ticket with cabin use is priced at €21 on weekdays and €22 on weekends. This includes a fast track entry to Széchenyi Bath, full-day access to its pools, and access to a private changing cubicle.
There are thermal and aromatic massages offered on-site, which you can avail at an additional cost. If you wish to be picked up from your hotel, a standard rate of €12 applies.
If you do not intend to bathe in Széchenyi and would like to explore its neo-baroque interiors, they offer a guided tour that runs for 15 to 20 minutes.
Do you want to skip the line and get into the baths without waiting? Here’s a skip the line ticket you can buy online to avoid waiting.
Lukacs Baths is a day spa in Budapest located in the Buda side close to Margaret Bridge. There are 5 thermal pools in Lukacs with temperatures ranging from 22 to 40 degrees Centigrade.
Its waters come from the natural Budapest hot springs running beneath the city. Other than that, the bath also has other indoor and outdoor pools, including an ice bath, a Kneipp bath, and a plunge pool.
A full-day ticket with cabin access costs about €12 on weekdays and €15 on weekends. You can enter Lukacs Baths for free if you have the Budapest Card, complete with free locker access for storage.
Lukacs is one of the Budapest baths that has become highly modernized, with the addition of advanced technologies conducive to hydrotherapy.
There has been a time when spa parties are held in Lukacs – complete with live DJs, neon bright lights, and lots of drinking. All these have been transferred to Széchenyi early this year of 2019.
Gellért Thermal Bath
Gellért is a thermal spa in Budapest, which is housed in a palace that speaks of Art Nouveau characterization in every corner. It has five indoor thermal pools with temperatures that range from 36 to 40 degrees Centigrade. There are six other pools utilized for specific purposes, such as steam and sauna.
On a weekday, a Gellért Spa ticket with cabin use is priced at €22. On weekends a €23-rate applies. Additionally, the bath offers various massages such as Thai and Aromatherapy. Coming here with your loved one?
You can book a romantic getaway, which includes access to the property’s thermal pools, a massage for two, and a dinner cruise at River Danube.
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you can tour the Gellért Thermal Bath if your plan is only to look around the facilities. It costs €6 and comes without a guide.
Rudas Baths are located at the Buda side of the city and below Gellert Hill. It is open daily, with a special day for ladies every Tuesday. Its establishment dates back to the 16th century during the Turkish occupation – part of the reason why you can find Turkish-inspired architecture all over the property.
There are six steam pools in the palace with temperatures that range from 16 to 42 degrees Centigrade. Its waters are rich in minerals and are said to promote relief from various illnesses. One large swimming pool and dry and steam sauna facilities can also be found in Rudas Baths.
An adult thermal ticket with cabin usage is priced at about €11. On weekends and holidays, the price goes up to €13. Additional rates apply if you would like to avail of their wellness massages.
Night bathing is permitted in Rudas Baths on Fridays and Saturdays.
Király Thermal Bath
Király is a Budapest thermal bath with waters being fed by Lucaks. Its four thermal pools have temperatures that range from 26 to 40 degrees Centigrade.
Regarded as one of the oldest Budapest thermal baths, its construction began in 1565 but has suffered from numerous damage since then. Full restoration is projected to be finished by the year 2020.
Set in a courtyard in Fő utca, Buda side, Kiraly is the embodiment of a classic Turkish bath. One look inside the facility and you will feel as if you went back to the Middle Ages.
Its Turkish domes have small holes that provide dim lighting to the pools, adding serenity to the whole Budapest spa experience.
A daily ticket with a cabin facility at Király costs €8.70 on weekdays. They charge €9.30 on weekends and holidays for the same package. Budapest Cardholders can enjoy a 20% discount on daily rates. Király only accepts guests who are over 14 years of age.