Budapest, also known as the City of Baths, is the capital of Hungary. The Hungarian capital has a bathing culture that dates back to the Romans. Geographically, the location of Budapest is on a fault line where Buda hills collide with the Plain, resulting in more than 100 thermal spring jets.
1. History of Budapest Thermal Baths
The history of the baths goes back to when they were part of the Roman Empire. Ruins of 3rd-century massive thermal baths were found in the Óbuda district, near Flórián tér Park, which had hot and cold water bathing tabs.
Some thermal baths are still operative in Budapest, and most currently running ones were built at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the Turkish-era hammams are still visible and still maintain charm & tranquillity.
2. Things to Know Before You Visit
Some important crucial you must remember when going in for a thermal bath are mentioned here.
- Bring sandals or slippers when walking between the indoor and outdoor pools, because the wet floor gets very slippery and there might be chances of falling.
- In the thermal baths, avoid staying in the hot thermal baths for more extended periods. Twenty minutes is the optimum time. Staying more in the baths may cause health problems.
- Children aged 14 and above are allowed into the baths. Children below the age of 14 are not allowed.
- Pregnant women should avoid bathing in thermal pools.
- Smoking is not permitted in any of the baths in Budapest. Smoking is prohibited even in open spaces.
- One must also carry bathing soap, shampoo and any other personal cleaning items.
- For many of the baths, you can book a time slot in advance. It is better to do so to avoid confusion.
- All baths provide lockers. You can also rent a locker cabin to protect your valuable belongings.
- Many of the baths also provide saunas and steam facilities.
- If you have long hair better, you better tie it before entering the baths.
- Visitors can choose baths as per budget and needs. On the weekends, usually, baths are open the whole night or past midnight.
3. Inside Baths in Budapest
Each bath has its specialties – some are Saturday night baths, some have a wine tub, some have a drinking hall, and some have a rooftop hot tub.
Taking baths outdoors in the warm thermal water and then in a snow-frozen pool is the most magical experience. The baths are open annually and can be enjoyed in all seasons.
4. Thermal Pools in Budapest You Should Visit
In Budapest, several thermal baths are available. Some built in the 16th century are still working, while others are made with spas and other facilities. Some of the thermal baths in Budapest also have outdoor pools and indoor pools.
In the bathing complex, there are 15 indoor and 3 substantial outdoor(open-air) pools of different temperatures. Due to the vast complex, it’s advisable to follow the site map. Otherwise, it can be tricky to navigate.
This largest bathing complex has saunas, steam rooms, aqua fitness equipment, whirlpools, and jets inside and outside.
2. Rudas Baths
Rudas thermal pool is a Turkish type built in the 16th century and is still a very actively in-use bath and spa center. It has an octagonal shape pool. The temperature of this place ranges from 32 degrees to 40 degrees.
This is one of the very unique thermal baths in Budapest that hosts same-sex days as well. This means men and women can enjoy the thermal bath facilities together without discrimination.
3. Gellért Baths
Gellert is the best if you are looking for privacy and is therefore considered best suited for couples. Located at the bottom of Gellért Hill, with stained-glass windows and colorful tiles on the walls, Gellért is the finest piece of art nouveau architecture.
It’s the most precious historic bath in the city; here, you can experience royalty with dignity. There are also several small pools, baths, and closed enclosures, which can be booked & used privately, making Gallert the first choice for couples.
4. Veli Bej Bath
It is considered the oldest and the best stylist Turkish bath. It is located secretly inside the Budai Irgalmas Rendi Hospital.
Veli Bej is open every day but is closed only on Easter Weekend and Pentecost. It is one of those thermal baths in Budapest with indoor thermal pools, where you can find two steam chambers, a jacuzzi, and various massages.
Ruins of original piping built by the Turks can be seen if you walk to the sauna from a pool.
5. Lukács Baths
Lukács Baths is considered a purely medicated pool and was built in 1880. The pools are famous for the treatment of various illnesses, and you can find facilities like an infrared sauna, steam bath, Himalayan salt wall (for the treatment of respiratory infection), and weight bath to treat spinal problems. Many services for massages, reflexology and medicinal treatments are also available here.
There are also swimming pools & a sunbathing terrace outside. A unique underwater traction bath with a temperature of 36°C is also available here.
6. Dandar Baths
Dandar Baths is located outside the city and was opened in 1930. Apart from the bath, a wellness center is also present here. The locals’ first choice is Dandar, as some consider Dandar Baths to come closest to Budapest’s traditional feelings.
The outdoor pool is most enjoyed during winter evenings. Nearby Dandár is the Zwack Unicum Museum, a collection of the iconic Hungarian herbal liqueur
5. Final Note
In most baths, the water source is natural springs and thermal geysers. Many baths offer discounts for shorter stays. Ticket prices on afternoon slots on weekdays provide reduced prices.
Email addresses of pools are available online or on the bath website. You can get more information about pricing and everything there.