Budapest is sometimes called: the City of Spas. This term is quite accurate, and you can find dozens of thermal baths in Budapest.
When reading other blogs and websites, it sometimes feels as if there are only 2 or 3 spa baths in Budapest, but that’s definitely not the case. There are plenty of choices and there is absolutely no need the visit only the most popular ones around when visiting Budapest for a few days!
Some of these thermal baths are extremely busy and popular, while others are actually hidden wellness gems.
Depending on what you want and need, different bathhouses can be a match for your wellness wishes.
In this article, we provide you with a wide range of options when it comes to choosing your ultimate Budapest hot springs experience. We’ll sum up the various spa baths in Budapest, the admission fee, the crowds, and the address.
All of these factors are important when deciding where you want to go and relax!
Have a look at the map below to find the different Budapest baths.
Széchenyi Thermal Spa - Grandeur in Budapest
The thermal spa complex of Széchenyi is the largest and most visited in the entire city. These famous baths are extremely popular and thus: busy!
But they’re also among the largest spa complexes in Europe, so even though it might be busy, there’s loads of space to accommodate all of the visitors.
This wellness spa is located in the city park near Heroes Square and Vajdahunyad Castle
In 1881, the underground natural hot spring below Széchenyi was first used. The first version of the actual spa house was built in 1913 and eventually finished in 1999.
Széchenyi Baths are natural, medicinal hot pools which contain loads of minerals and other healing components.
Széchenyi Thermal baths are for a mixed audience all the time.
Each Saturday, legendary parties are held in the pools of Széchenyi. This Turkish bath is currently the only place where you can attend a memorable thermal bath party.
What’s so special about Szechenyi
These are the largest Budapest baths and among the largest in Europe.
This one of the younger baths. It is built in Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance style in order to impress!
There’s a rooftop Palm House you can access for an extra fee.
Practical information Széchenyi
Gellért Bath House - Popular thermal spa in Budapest
While Szechenyi might be the largest and most majestic, Gellért Baths are definitely the most beautiful.
Gellért Thermal Baths in Budapest are located at Gellért Hill.
When it comes to popularity and crowds, Gellért is right on top of the list, together with Szechenyi and Rudas.
The Gellért spa house was built in 1918, long before Budapest got the title of Spa City. These thermal baths have always been very popular amongst locals and visitors.
These pools are open to women, as well as men, all day, every day.
There used to be occasional parties at Gellért baths, but at this time, all parties are at Szechenyi baths and no longer in Gellért.
What’s so special about Gellért
The chambers in this thermal spa are beautifully decorated with different shades of blue tiles… bottom to top.
So, Gellert baths resemble a Turkish bath the most!
Practical information Gellert Baths
Rudas Baths - Thermal spa mostly for men
Number 3: Rudas bath is the third in row of super popular Turkish baths in Budapest.
Rudas bath house was built in the Ottoman period and was renovated for current use. It was first built in the 16th century and reconstructed in 2004.
At Rudas, you can bathe in 11 different indoor pools and 1 outside pool on the roof terrace, all of which are also accessible in winter. Most of these pools are medicinal.
Women can only bathe in these baths on Tuesdays and on the weekend. All the other days, Rudas is exclusively for men.
What’s so special about Rudas
From the bath on the roof, you get a wonderful view over the Danube.
The building is also built in Ottoman style, which looks really authentic!
Practical information about Rudas Spa
Kiraly Thermal Baths - Travel back to communist times
Kiraly Bath was built in the 16th century, just like Rudas and the Veli Bej baths. So, these three are the oldest thermal baths in Budapest. Not much has been renovated, so you get an ancient vibe here.
Even though the place is quite small and old, it’s an interesting thermal bath to visit, exactly for that reason! The pools have been completely renovated and restored in… 1950!
There’s the typical octagonal pool, surrounded by a few smaller pools and the decay that just suits the environment. If you’re looking for a modern and shiny bath environment, Kiraly might not be right for you. But if you’re into seeing this how they used to be, this is your place!
It’s a reasonably small thermal bath, but it is quite popular, so it can get crowded at times.
What’s so special about Kiraly
These Budapest baths have not been renovated since the 50s. So they’re ancient and worn down.
You can really get the communist and tatty vibe.
Practical information about Kiraly
Lukacs Baths - Healing waters for worldwide visitors
The exact location where Lukacs Baths are now has been in use since the 12th century. These hot spring was used in its original, natural shape.
Only in the 19th century, an actual bath house was built and the healing powers of the water attracted medical tourists from all over the world, as they still do today.
The place is somewhat smaller and more modest than Gellert and Szechenyi baths, but it’s built in the same style.
The large inside pool is round and completely tiled with a gentle colour. A lot of the facilities are modern and slick. There are 2 outdoor pools and 4 indoor pools, all varying in temperature. Most pools can also be used during winter months
What’s so special about Lukacs
Check out the marble tablets of gratitude on the wall of the courtyard, which are donated by healed visitors in the past.
Practical information about Lukács
Császár Baths or Veli Bej Baths - historical pools
Veli Bej Baths or more recently named Császár Baths are located on the Buda side of the city, not too far from Margaret Island.
These Turkish pools are the oldest spa baths in Budapest. They date back to the 16th century and were originally built by the Ottoman invaders. Later they were renamed and given to the Hospitallers Order of Saint John, who used it for helping the sick.
The baths have been restored recently, but you can still get the old school and quiet vibe here. There are a large octagonal bath and a few smaller pools.
Men, as well as women, can visit these thermal baths during the designated opening hours.
What’s so special about Veli Bej
These baths are not really commercially operated. You can visit them to find peace and quiet and it’s not crowded.
Als, Veli Bej are the oldest and purest, natural hot springs in Budapest. There’s not too much that has changed, and they look authentic.
Practical information about Veli Bej
Dandár Turkish Bath - Healing water for the local people
Dandár bath is one of the under-the-radar baths you definitely need to go to if you want to experience a quiet and non-touristy thermal bath! It’s located in District IX, a little South of the tourist areas.
There are 3 indoor baths with variable temperatures and 2 outside pools.
The pools are quite modern and sleek, meaning that you won’t find too many Ottoman or Roman influences in the interior. People that come here, are in it for the hot water and not to discover medieval design!
Men, as well as women, can always visit these baths. There’s no exclusivity!
What’s so special about Dandár
These baths are not historical, nor are they Turkish baths, but they are relaxing and reasonable quiet!
Practical information about Dandár
Dagaly Baths - Local hot springs outside the city center
Dagaly Baths are located in the North of the city and it’s mostly visited by locals. So, it’s not too popular with tourists. In these baths, you can get some quiet time away from the crowds.
The baths were first built in 1948, but expanded later and got renovated over time. Today, you can swim in 8 different pools with varying temperatures. Some of them are indoors, while others are outside.
What’s so special about Dagaly
These are the types of thermal baths you can find all over Hungary. They aren’t historic or bombastic. People visit these baths because of the hot water and its healing powers.
Practical information about Dagaly
Palatinus Strandfürdő - water fun for the entire family
The Palatinus Strand fürdő is located on Margaret Island and aside from being a thermal bath complex, it’s also a great place to spend an entire day during the summer. It was the first place in Budapest where outdoor pools were available.
Palatinus offers 14 different pools, most of which are outside. On the domain, you can find slides, pools for children, and playgrounds. So these are one of the few thermal baths in Budapest where children can come and play.
These baths are mixed, so men and women are welcome at all times.
What’s so special about Palatinus
The location on Margaret island is green and forested. These baths are a great location for ‘beach’ time with the children.
Practical information about Palatinus
Paskal Strandfürdő - Local hot spring experience
Paskál is another strand fürdő, which is Hungarian for ‘beach’. These baths are located outside the city center in District XIV.
These baths are the youngest in the area. They were built in 1989.
Aside from the thermal pools, there are also a few large outside swimming pools. A total of 9 different pools are available to guests. The thermal bath complex also has a wellness centre on site.
What’s so special about Paskál
These are thermal baths and open-air baths, which are also a lot of fun in summer.
You can visit them all year round and for various reasons.
There’s also a wellness centre.
Practical information about Paskál Strandfürdő
Pro Tip: The Budapest Bath Museum
If you’re interested in the fact that medicinal hot water flows naturally underneath the capital of Hungary and you’re eager to learn more about it… Visit the Bath Museum in District III.
The main draw of the museum is the cool fact that you can wander around the very first thermal spa complex ever built in Budapest.
The Thermae Maiores or Great Bath dates back to the 2nd century and you can visit them for free. You can find this archaeological gem at Florianski Square in District III.
What you need to know about thermal baths in Budapest
- Swimwear is obligated: no nudity
- Popular baths can be extremely busy
- Weekends are the busiest
- Water temperature is between 30 and 40 degrees Celcius
Benefits of thermal baths
Due to the composition of the water in the thermal baths in Budapest, people with different health issues can benefit from bathing here.
The medicinal baths have components like calcium, sodium, fluoride, hydrogen carbonate, and sulphate chloride.
Bathing in thermal baths can help with these conditions:
- joint problems
- back problems and spine issues
- spinal issues
Conclusion - Which are the best Budapest thermal baths?
Each of these baths has its own charm and character. Thus, they all have their functions!
There are 3 types of thermal Spas in the city: Turkish baths, historical baths, and regular thermal baths.
Turkish baths look exquisit, and they have this Ottoman vibe to them. In this category, Kiraly and Rudas are the main bath houses.
Historical baths date from a younger era between 1900 and 1950. These baths are built to impress. They are large, bombastic and made to accommodate loads of people. Szechenyi and Lukacs baths are the main spas in this category.
Gellert is the one bath house that kinda falls in between. Maybe that’s exactly why it’s so popular!
Check out the official website for the thermal baths in Budapest here.