Thermal Baths, Budapest
Budapest may look safe but it is not at all. From the very first minute in Hungary they try to rip us off. They do it successfully, they are very good on this.
We visited thermal baths, they overcharged us and our towels also stolen!!!
We parked our camper van just outside of thermal baths - at 6 pm - busy with a lot of people outside and a lot of cars parked as well. When we came back, the side window of our van was broken and almost everything valuable stolen - GPS, Camera, Laptop, ski equipment and more.
The car alarm and siren was very powerful but seemed that no one gave any attention!
We visited police but we were unable to report it cause no one was talking English, so we just lost our time there!
Very bad experience!
You have to go to one of the Turkish or thermal baths. There are many thermal baths in Budapest and there are even more outside of Budapest. The best ones are:
Order a body massage and pedicure for your feet. It's affordable and the thermal bath will do you good. Many people from all over the world go to Budapest for only this reason.
Some of these baths were built by the Otoman / Turkish empire hundreds of years ago and even the ones not built by the turks are very old .
The little pools inside them have signs indicating the water temperture in each one. It ranges from freezing cold to very hot. This water smells funny but you can get used to it. It heals your nervous system, your skin, your lungs and many other illnesses.
Budapest is fortunate to have some of the world's finest
Turkish baths. Not only do the baths boast original
Ottoman architecture (consisting of wonderful
octagonal pools, cupolas and colored glass windows)
but offer a unique - and sometimes hedonistic - bathing
experience. And while some, such as the Széchenyi
Gyógyfürdõ are more recent, cheap entry prices and
expert masseurs - who happily rearrange your limbs
and muscles in ways that you thought (up until now)
were impossible - are common to all!
Try to make/find a couple of hours soaking in one of the baths. It is a wonderful and very relaxing experience and very much a part of Budapest. Also, very reasonably priced. I would not buy any of the services or treatments (massage, etc.), just the soak.
Two popular ones are the Gellert Baths and the Szechenyi Baths.
The Gellert is in a beautiful castle-like building attached to the famous hotel and stands majestic on a hill facing the Danube. It is about a 10 minute walk (or a 2 minute tram ride) on the same side and street (sort of) as your hotel. There is a convenient tram hub outside the Gellert and some of the trams from there run right past your hotel door. These baths are divided into seperate and private bathing areas for men and women. However there is another swimming pool in a different area nearby where both sexes can swim laps together, appropriately attired, and with mandatory bathing caps. Bring your own cap if you plan to use this pool, to avoid being given something that looks like a blue grocery shopping bag to put on your head. This pool sometimes has amazing sparkling bubbles in the water at one end.
The private bathing areas are large, bright and cavernous (no personal space issues) and are in an art deco style. Both side have been recently refurbished. There are also pools of different temps. and a very hot sauna.
The Szechenyi baths are in another direction but also near lots of tourist attractions so you may find yourself close to them at some point. These are largely outdoor pools, (theres lots of indoor stuff too) and are a lot of fun. Both sexes bathe together here in the large open air heated pools and bathing suits are obviously required. There is also a large pool for laps. This is the place you see people playing chess in the water. One of the pools has bubbles and jets all over the floor and sides and a whirlpool feature in the middle that is not to be missed : a circle of very swiftly swirling water and everyone in it gets whipped around at great speed. Be careful of theft here. I had a rucksack stolen outdoors, later found tossed deep inside the building. Camera, book and towel untouched, but a small amount of cash was gone.
Your hotel is situated in a great location and if you're facing the river as you say you are, you will have a view of the parliament buildings straight ahead. I've met friends for drinks there but not stayed myself.
Please post a trip report when your return. My first visit was for just 2 days 4 years ago and was crammed with no end of things to do as I'm sure you will find yours to be. Visit one of the many famous cake houses for coffee and a slice of amazing cake, the Museum of Terror, a night at the Opera even if only to marvel at the interior, and a walk up castle hill to the citadel (right beside the Gellert), in addition to many other common tourist activities. Budapest is a very beautiful city and I hope you have good weather.
Can't wait to return at the end of October for my 4th visit in as many years.
Széchenyi Fürdo is the biggest in thermal bath in Europe. It's build in 1909, and rebuilt in 1927. The thermal water of Szechenyi Bath containing sodium, calcium, magnesium and sulphates, which is good to cure rheumatical diseases. Strange to see a public bath in a majestic building like this. It looks like a castle.
I went in January the coldest time of year when it gets dark really early and to be honest it really added to the pleasure. We went in the out door pools and by night it gives thermal baths a whole new feel. Steam rises from the hot water and you can see dark silhouettes bobbing around disappearing into the 'fog'. You have to run from one pool to the other as you are dressed in nothing put your swim wear. Taking some kind of flip flops is a great idea.
There are several on door pools as well as saunas and steam rooms which are fun to explore even if you can't bear the heat for long. We had lots of fun in the colour and aroma saunas!
In the winter you have to get there before seven when they stop admitting people.
The swimming pools are mixed but the changing rooms separate. If you don't want to get changed in front of other people you can also hire a cabin. It costs 2600ft for a normal ticket but if you come out before 2 hours you get 400ft back.
The Szechenyi baths are one of the most expensive in Budapest but also far prettier than most therefore I recommend splashing out to splash around in these wonderful baths located in Varosliget (the city park). The yellow building that surrounds the pool adds to the magical atmosphere.
If your feet are frozen from sight seeing then what better way to warm up again!!! The baths, of course, are great any time of year, but in the summer I am sure a cold water pool would be more refreshing. There are two out door pools, one very hot and the other tepid. The ones inside range in temperature and also have medicinal properties.
The lobby of the Széchenyi baths is quite spectacular. It`s a not really big but richly decorated cupola room. To be noticed the nice mosaics on the cupola and also a very strange statue wich I really don`t know, what represents.
You can buy your ticket here. If you don`t have any paper released by the social insurance, you must pay the entire entrance fee wich is about 2200-2400 HUF (8,70-9,50 EUR). But if you abbandon the facility in less than 3 hours, a machine at the exit gives you back a percentage of the admittance fee.
Of course you must pay an extra charge for the other services like for example the different kinds of massages.
Gelert baths are the oldest and most famous baths. The temperature of the water is roughly 44ºc. They have MANY different kinds of pools and activities. Including a private bath just for two, the communal swimming pool or thermal mineral bath!
Men and Women used to be separated. When I went a couple of years ago this had changed. Be careful, this still may to be true for other thermal baths in Budapest.
Another point to remember is that you must wear a swimming hat in the pools! If you don't want to wear the pastic bag type thing they give you: bring your own.
You can find many others:
All over the city, but mostly in central areas. Look for details at the homepage of Budapest Medicinal Spas & Thermal Springs Co.
P.S. Remember if you forget your swim suit you can hire them from the Gelert pools! You have to put a deposit down which you get back upon returning the swim suit.
The history of this thermal bath goes back to 1550. It was built by the order of Turkish Sokullu Mehmet Pasa. It is a typical Turkish bath with the octogonal dome. It has been renovated in 2006 and now the interiors look much better than before. The main pool is surrounded by smaller pools having different water temperatures. There is also sauna and steam bath available. My favorite part is the resting room with the comfortable coaches. After spending some time in the pools and sauna, you feel really light and can even fall asleep there.
Gellert Baths, Kiraly Baths, Rudas Baths, and Szechenyi Baths are some of the most famous Turkish baths in the city. These pools typically offer a large main pool, plus numerous smaller pools with varying temperatures along with talented masseuses. The Gellert Baths are located in the famous Gellert Hotel at the bottom of Gellert Hill near the Cave Church and are open to hotel guests as well as the general public. Kiraly Baths date back to 1570 and sport a gay clientèle. Rudas Baths are located at Döbrentei tér and are the oldest baths in the city. Szechenyi Baths, in City Park, are perhaps the busiest baths in the city and claim a variety of patrons from old men to young children.
Recently renovated (in part), Széchenyi is the largest medicinal bath complex in Europe. And what an experience - right from first sight, as you arrive at this magnificently over-the-top wedding cake of a building with its ornate excesses, domes etc.
It's a fantastic experience. There's three outdoor pools in the courtyard (wonderful backdrop of the bath-house), one of which is thermal (and heated) but where's there's also fountains to swim under, moving water corridors, chess boards in the pool (all celebrating the curative aspects of water) - and then there's the medicinal baths themselves - saunas of different temps, steam rooms, plunge pools etc... They can smell a bit strong (sulphur) at times, and the extreme wet/damp has got to the infrastructure making them look a bit neglected etc, (but then with all that water and damp...) but the key point of such baths is not the state of the ceiling - the water is changed, the medicinal rooms are cleaned etc.
It's a highlight of a trip to Budapest - and it's also cheap and throughout its extensive opening times, is mixed for male and female use. Open 6am - 7pm, Monday-Sunday (May-September - closes at 5pm at weekends the rest of the year).
And we were certainly glad of the heated outdoor pool - in spite of the sunshine, it was freezing and its Easter in April. A few minutes after these photos were taken it began to snow!! It was a wonderful moment - sitting in the heated pool with snowflakes melting all around you.
Part of City Park, it can be reached by the metro at Hõsök tere (and a short walk across the square and park) or the baths' metro itself - Széchneyi fürdõ
The Széchenyi Fürdő is the biggest thermal complex, not only in Hungary but in Europe.
Originally it wasn`t so big. It was constructed between 1909 and 1913. It soon became so popular that it needed to be expanded. The newer parts of the thermal facility were constructed in 1927, in the same, neobaroque style like the older parts. The thermal water of Szechenyi Bath containing sodium, calcium-magnesium-hydrocarbonate and sulphates, with significant fluoride and metaboric acid contents, is ideal to cure rheumatical diseases.
The Baths is Budapest were absolutely hilarious! It is quite bizarre to go to the baths and expecting an image of silence and relaxtion but in reality it is loaded with old men playing chess half naked! It is a fun experience it is a great way to meet the locals who are extremely friendly! I loved it and I cant wait to go back to relax and chat again!
What an experience. If you're vain...don't go. You have to wear a public bathing suit...and they're hideous...and compared to other thermal baths around the world...it is not impressive...but a great experience....none the less.
I looked like a complete idiot in the swimsuit provided...but I just tromped out to the baths..and enjoyed the company.
A must do when in Budapest is to visit one of the many thermal baths. As Budapest lies in a geological fault there are many hot springs. The Szechenyi baths were built, and extended, in 1909 - 1926. Here you will find many pools with water of different temperatures. Beside each pool there is a sign telling the temperatures of the pools.
I liked the outdoor pools very much. As the air was much colder than the water, steam was rising from the water, and with the sun shining behind it was a very nice view. I wish I had got the camera with me. In one of the outdoor pools there is a jacuzzi and a stream. Going from the outdoor pool to the inside you will in winter have time to get cold and it is then nice to go straight to the sauna and sit there for a while.
As you arrive to the baths you pay for what you want to do, only bath, pedicure, massage etc. Then a woman will give you a locker room where to change and leave your stuff. You will have one key and the women will keep the key for the second lock.
The price is different depending on what time you are visiting and how long you will stay.
The entrance a Tuesday afternoon was 2300 ft. If you stay less than three hours you will get 400 ft back (I got 400 ft back, but my sister who were ready a few minutes after me didn?t get money back).