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Battle of the Budapest Baths

Tags: bath pool

Dubbed the ‘City of Baths’ or the “Spa City”, Budapest is a city rich with 120 thermal springs, many of them dating way back to the 16th century. A haven for spa and wellness lovers, ‘taking the waters’ is as routine as buying groceries. No trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to the historical baths, but the important question is “Which Bath?”. Here’s our take on each of the Baths in Budapest and we hope that after going through your options, you can make an informed choice.

Battle of the Baths - Top Baths in Budapest


Amongst the 120 thermal baths, we have narrowed down the Top 6 Baths in Budapest.

1

Gellért Baths

USP - Most Famous & Popular in Budapest

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The Gellért Bath is the most grandiose of all the baths in Budapest and is a part of the famous Hotel Gellért on the Buda side of Danube. It is a perfect blend of Art Nouveau architecture and healing thermal spa making your time there not just relaxing but a visually appealing retreat. Despite the high ticket prices, tourists flock to this bath hence be prepared to stand in queues unless you grab the skip the line tickets.


Get Directions
View Map
4 Kelenhegyi Way, 1118 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
8 thermal baths
2 outdoor pools
1 indoor pool
1 wave pool

Facilities available
Steam-bath, Finnish sauna, underwater water jet massage, refreshing, medical, aroma and foot massage, hot stone massage, classic thai massage, pedicure wellness services, herbal bath, Cleopatra bath ritual, red wine bath, private bathing for couples with a separate sauna

Nature of Bath
Co-ed

Opening Hours

  • Indoor pools – 365 days (even on public holidays like Christmas/New Year, Easter)
  • Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

  • Outdoor wave pool (May - October)
  • Monday – Sunday: 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM

2

Széchenyi Baths

USP - Sparties ( Spa-parties)

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Széchenyi Bath is the largest medicinal bath in Europe with 15 lavish thermal baths and 3 swimming pools supplied by two thermal springs. A whirlpool of activity, locals are seen playing chess on floating boards even while it is snowing and their Sparties ( spa- parties) every Saturday are amongst the most popular parties in town. Sparties go on till 3 AM and feature film screenings along with dance parties and laser shows.

Get Directions
View Map
9–11 Állatkerti krt, 1146 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
11 indoor thermal pools
1 indoor swimming pool
1 outdoor adventure pool
4 additional indoor pools

Facilities available
Saunas, massages, swimming lessons, fitness center.

Nature of Bath
Co-ed

Opening Hours
Open 365 days

  • Thermal & Steam pools
  • Monday to Sunday 6.00 AM – 7.00 PM

  • Outdoor swimming pools
  • Monday to Sunday 6.00 AM – 10.00 PM

3

Rudas Baths

USP - Rooftop pool with overlooking splendid views

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The Rudas Baths is a Turkish style bath built in 1560 during the Turkish Era. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful baths in the city and retains many of the key elements of a Turkish bath, exemplified by its dome and octagonal pool. The bath's thermal water is known for its healing powers making it a popular choice amongst tourists. In the past, Rudas Bath was exclusively for men, but today, it is open to both sexes on the weekend and there is a women-only day during the week as well.

Get Directions
View Map
9 Döbrentei Square, 1013 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
6 thermal pools
5 wellness pools
1 swimming pool
1 rooftop pool

Facilities available
Sauna World and Wellness area, massage, including skin firming, medical, deep nourishing massage, underwater jet massage, pedicure

Nature of Bath

  • Men only days: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
  • Women only days: Tuesdays
  • Saturdays and Sundays: co-ed

Opening Hours

  • Swimming pool and wellness section (co-ed)
  • Monday - Sunday: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
    Friday & Saturday: 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM

  • Thermal pools
  • Monday - Sunday: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
    Friday & Saturday: 10:00 PM to 4:00 PM

4

Veli Bej Baths

USP - Oldest Turkish Bath in Budapest

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Formerly known as Császár Bath, Veli Bej is one of the Oldest Turkish Bath in the city. Oozing with an old world charm yet equipped with 21st century spa facilities, this spa is the less touristy than other Baths in Budapest making it a popular choice for those who want to stay away from tourist hordes and enjoy some quiet time bathing away the cares of the world. Veli bej was recently renovated, hence it is in excellent shape. Moreover, they do not allow over 80 people inside at a time, hence if the bath is full, you are put on a waiting list.

Get Directions
View Map
7 Árpád Fejedelm Way, 1023 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
1 big central pool
4 small pools
1 indoor swimming pool

Facilities available
Finnish, infra and steam saunas, kneipp bath, jacuzzi, massage

Nature of Bath
Co-ed

Opening Hours
Open year round except on closed over the Easter Weekend and Pentecost.

  • Thermal Pools
  • Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM– 11.45 PM and 3:30PM – 8:45 PM
  • Massages
  • Monday – Sunday: 9:00 AM– 11.45 PM and 3:30PM – 8:45 PM

5

Lukács Baths

USP - Bustling with locals

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Lukács Thermal Bath is the most popular bath amongst the locals, so if you’re looking to mingle with locals, this is where you ought to head. If you have a Budapest Card, you gain free entry here. It is a popular choice amongst the literary circle as you see many writers and artists lounging here. The Sauna World here is said to be the best sauna in town too. You also have the party goers as they host fabulous DJ nights and laser shows on Saturday nights from October - December.

Get Directions
View Map
25–29 Frankel Leó Way, 1023 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
4 thermal pools
2 outdoor swimming pools
1 outdoor adventure pool
1 wave pool

Facilities available
Sauna World with Finnish, infra, steam, naturist and salt saunas, Himalaya salt wall, igloo, tepidarium, heated roman seats, mud treatment, massage, including aroma, refreshing, medical and under water jet massage, private bathing for couples.

Nature of Bath
Co-ed

Opening Hours

  • Baths
  • Monday to Sunday 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM

  • Sauna
  • Monday: 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM & Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

  • Drinking fountain
  • Monday to Friday 10:00 AM – 6.00 PM

6

Király Baths

USP - Secluded bath with most affordable tickets

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Yet another Turkish Bath that dates back to the 16th century, Király Bath is painfully authentic, nestled in an old world charm . With 4 baths of varying temperatures, it is a co-ed bath throughout the year. The main pool is situated under a classic Ottoman dome dotted with skylights making it the most beautiful part of the baths. The tickets for this bath is the cheapest compared to all others in Budapest making it an affordable choice.

Get Directions
View Map
24 Fő Street, 1024 Budapest

Number of Pools and Baths
4 thermal baths

Facilities available
Finnish sauna, massage, including medical, refreshing massages, foot massages and underwater jet massage

Nature of Bath
Co-ed

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Sunday
  • 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Save €6 on your first booking with Headout when you use promo code 'GOBUDA'!


Budapest Bath Tickets


Széchenyi Spa Skip The line Tickets with Locker

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  • Medicinal natural hot spring waters in the 18 pools
  • Skip the Line entrance through Hungaria Koncert
  • Optional massages and spa
  • Private cabin usage
  • 10 saunas / steam cabins
Book Now - €18

Gellért Spa Skip The Line Tickets with Locker

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  • Skip the line access to Gellért Spa
  • Full day spa access
  • Private cabin access
  • Optional massage
Book Now - €19

Széchenyi Spa: 50 Minute VIP Massage for Couples

budapest bath house
  • 50 minute harmony massage for 2 people
  • 2 tickets to the spa
  • Private cabin access
Book Now - €60.50

Gellért Spa: Couple's Private Bath

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  • Private bath for 3 hours
  • Fruit bowl
  • Bottle of sparkling wine
Book Now - €45

Gellért Spa: 50 Minute VIP Massage for Couples

budapest bath house
  • Skip the line access to Gellért Spa
  • Private cabin access
  • Harmony Aroma Massage (50 min)
Book Now - €61.50

Battle of the Best Baths - Széchenyi Baths & Gellért Baths


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Széchenyi Baths
from €18
Book Now
Gellért Baths
from €19
Book Now
Ticket Inclusions A skip the line access to the Gellért Baths with a full day access to the spa, optional massages and private cabin + Private Locker
Learn More
A skip the line access to the Széchenyi Baths with a full day access to the spa, optional massages and private cabin + Private Locker
Learn More
The Good
  • Outdoor pools are open throughout the year
  • There are many indoor pools , hence bathing during the winter months is taken care of
  • Entry fee is cheaper than Gellert
  • All pools are co-ed. This allows you to be with your partner, family.
  • It is much bigger in size hence how many ever people turn in, it never gets overly crowded
  • Open hours are longer than Gellert
  • Towel rentals are available
  • Pools have currents and jacuzzi as well
  • Good location in the centre of Budapest
  • Bathe in style inside the Art-Nouveau styled hotel
  • 13 pools in total and indoor warm pools
  • Towel rentals are available
  • Small thermal baths are available for private bookings
  • The modern outdoor pool features a wave machine which gives the feel of a wave pool
  • Access to large terrace above the baths to soak in the summer rays
  • One separate men/women pool
The Bad
  • It is located far from the city centre
  • Lines for locker lines tend to be really long during holiday season
  • If you’re not comfortable being in the pool with the opposite sex, you don’t have a unisex pool option.
  • Outdoor pools remain closed during winter
  • Swim caps are mandatory for the central pool which takes away from the experience
  • The baths are on multiple levels and complex to navigate.
  • Lines for lockers tend to be long during peak holiday season
  • More commercialised and touristy making the ticket prices higher

Verdict - Which Budapest Bath should I go for?


This decision depends 2 things:

The kind of experience you are looking for

If you’re looking to experience a Turkish bath, then you have the Rudas and Veli Bej . If you’re looking for a good outdoor bath, then Gellért, Széchenyi or Lukács are your best options. If you’re interested in sauna, we would suggest Lukács as it has the a great complex called the Sauna World. If you’re looking to mingle with the locals and experience the baths like they do, then Lukács is your calling. If you’re want to bathe in a pictursque location, Gellért Baths are hands down the most beautiful of them all. For a traditional and more authentic experience, you can head to the ancient and untouched Király or Veli Bej.

The season of your visit

If you’re in Budapest during summer, you should choose places with the outdoor pools as it is a popular choice. Gellért, Széchenyi or Lukács have big outdoor pools. Rudas too has an outdoor pool but it is smaller in size.

If you’re in Budapest during winter, indoor pools are a better choice and since most of the baths have indoor pools, you can pick any from the lot. Veli Bej has the maximum indoor pools, so if you’re looking to spend time in alternating temperatures, Veli Bej would be a good choice. The outdoor pool at Széchenyi is open year round, so if you want to experience an outdoor pool during your visit in winter, you can head here.

Know Before You Go To The Budapest Baths - Practical Tips


  • As of now, online tickets are available only for Széchenyi and Gellért Baths. For the rest of the baths, you are required to purchase a ticket at the venue.
  • A general admission ticket on HeadOut covers entrance to the bath along with a locker + private cabin and massage option. Tickets bought at the counter are inclusive of admission only.
  • It so happens that the ticket options with lockers are cheaper, hence opt for them as you will anyway need the locker to store your belongings. Cabins are a great option if you have a lot of belongings and if you need privacy while changing. Not all baths have cabins though.
  • Don’t leave your flip flops in the locker as you will need them to walk around. If it’s summer, the stones will be hot and if it’s winter, the stones will be icy cold. To avoid discomfort while walking from one pool to the other, keep your flip flops on.
  • Most baths provide extra services like massages, saunas, jacuzzi, kneipp bath, etc. Some of these are chargeable.
  • Most baths are equipped with a cafe or restaurant, hence you can grab a quite bite without moving too far.
  • The baths attract a mix of locals and tourists. Most locals are here to relax or to make benefit of the healing powers of the thermal water. Do respect others space and maintain decorum while using the baths. Splashing water and diving into the pools are not usually appreciated.
  • If you’re pregnant, do check with your doctor before visiting the baths.
  • In certain pools, bathing caps are compulsory. Do carry one and if you have forgotten, you can buy one at the bath
  • Towels are a required accessory too, however if you forget yours, you can buy one. There is no rental system.
  • Children below 14 years of age are not allowed into thermal baths.
  • Considering that most saunas are co-ed, you are required to wear modest swimwear.
  • During the sauna, you are required to slip out of your swimwear and wrap towels around. Make sure you are adequately prepared.
  • Water is available in water fountains all around the baths. You can refill your bottles here.
  • Consumption of alcohol or cigarettes is strictly prohibited in all the baths and pools.
  • Bring your toiletries as you cannot buy or rent them. Blow Dryers are however available in certain baths.
  • Photography is not allowed in certain areas of the baths. Do respect this and refrain from clicking pictures.

The post Battle of the Budapest Baths appeared first on Headout Blog.



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