The spa culture in Budapest started flourishing in the 16th century during the Turkish thralldom, when the Turks have started buildings spas at the base of the Gellért-mountain. As time went by more and more spas appeared in Budapest. They not only have recreational and relaxing affects but they are also very important historic pieces and architectural masterpieces.
Many people believe that the visitors of these spas are mostly Hungarians, and that is simply not true. 70 percent of the visitors are tourists and a lot of them are returning spa enthusiasts. Some spas organize programs that are very popular amongst young adults. One of these places is Rudas Thermal Baths. They have been hosting evening parties with music and screenings for 10 years and the place acts as a “party bath” on the weekends.
Behold, the 5 most popular thermal baths of Budapest:
- SZÉCHENYI Thermal Baths
We could say that this is the Times Square of thermal baths. If you travel to New Yorks, Times Square is one of the main attractions and most likely the first place you visit. It’s the same with Széchenyi bath, which is the biggest one in Europe. More than 1,5 million people visit because of the many possibilities the bath offers. 21 pools, saunas, treatments, aqua fitness, steam chambers and so many other activities that will freshen your soul as well as your body.
Fun fact: he nickname of Széchenyi Thermal Bath is “Szecka”. The water comes from the deepest well in Budapest, which is 1246 meters deep. When the water arrives to the surface its temperature is 76 Celsius, which is 168 Fahrenheit. During the winter you need try out the pools that are outside. You are in for a very special experience!
Széchenyi Bath hosts one of the most talked about and popular activities of the city: SPArty. It is held every weekend and all the party lovers are welcome. The attenders can enjoy the electronic beats while they can admire the antique walls and soft waves of the Bath.
- Rudas Thermal Baths
The five star Rudas bath was built 450 years ago. If you want to experience a real Turkish bath you need to visit this place. The base of the bath was founded on an original Turkish spa. It had a semi-globe dome that covered the bath, which was surrounded with eight pillars. Later they added a modern wellness department. If that’s not enough, there is also a roof terrace, with a thermal Jacuzzi (operating all year) from where you can have a breathtaking view of the city. The Rudas Thermal Bath is the place to visit during the weekend if you want to relax rather than to party. On Fridays and Saturdays during the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM the bath is open to anyone who would like to have a chill night and enjoy the benefits of Rudas.
- Saint Gellért Thermal Baths
This is the second most popular bath of Budapest that is also part of the Gellért Resort. Their indoor and outdoor pools as well as their saunas are open all year and they are real treats for Instagram lovers. All of indoor pools have turquoise Zsolnay ceramics from top to bottom and when the sunlight is beaming in on them, taking a wonderful picture is very easy.
You can basically ask for anything in this building, which was built in a secession style, including therapeutic treatments, tufa massage, spa pedicure, chocolate treatment or maybe a Cleopatra bath.
4.Saint Lukas Thermal Baths
Those who have visited the Lukács bath think that it has one of the most effective thermal water, plus it also has wonderful wellness department, aqua fitness ad saunas as well. During summer you need to visit the rooftop where you can sunbath peacefully and enjoy the view of the city as well as the champagne bed. Budapest’s one and only hot mud treatment can be found here and the bath is famous for the thermal water and its exceptional services. You can also bump into some Hungarian celebrities, because they love to visit the place. The bath has separated woman’s and man’s swimming pools and an adventure pool.
- KIRÁLY Bath
The reason why this bath is located farther away from all the springs than all the other baths is that they wanted to have baths during war times as well. That is why the Király bath is in the city center and doesn’t have a direct thermal water access. The water comes from the Lukács Bath area. Although the building was damaged during the second world war it has been renovated around 1950 and it become once again what it was: an exquisite art relic. This place has seen a lot during the centuries and if walls could talk…You are in for a time travel if you decide to visit the Király Bath. Besides the four indoor pools there are saunas, steam baths and massage service. All these programs are just waiting for You!
A few tips before you head to take a bath:
- During the weekends the Baths are usually full. So if you don’t want to squeeze yourself into the pools we advise you head there during the weekdays. Especially if you want to relax there rather than have a social experiment.
- Although bathing is an activity you can enjoy all year around, you need to try the thermal water experience out during the colder months. It has a stimulating and refreshing effect and because most of the baths’ have outdoor pools you can enjoy the relaxing effect of them during winter.
- All baths have extra services and their prices are not included in the entry fee. Do your research beforehand and you won’t miss anything.
- Even though it’s obvious, we do want to emphasize it: swimming suites, sandals (flip flops) and towels are always necessary, so bring them with you. If you are going to use the swimming pools, bring your swimming cap.
- The thermal water fanatics can purchase the mineral infused water (which is meant for drinking). The Széchenyi, Rudas and Lukács baths even have sulfur infused wells just in case if you want to take some medicinal water home with you.