Thermal Baths, Budapest
' Kiraly Fürde' or the kings bath was one we
hadn't been to. The first stone was put down
here in 1665 by 'pacha Arslan'.
He never bathed here. The man fell
in disgrace the year after.
Anyway , the water contains a lot of things ,
chlorine , sulphate , magnesium , alkaline salts , ..
The bath is one day open for woman and
the other for men. So please check if you want
This is also the only bath we visited were
you go bathing nude. Some of the visitors
have a kind of bib they bind before their
genital section. The bath has a steam room
and you can jump right after in a very cold bath.
A very nice dome were the light thriftily comes
in above the nice warm octagonal pool.
There are some hot rooms and the hottest little tub
we found these days. Not too many people
could stay in or even put a foot here. I loved it.
There is one thing I need to tell.
This place is also used as a meeting and cruising
place for gay men. I didn't expect that.
And that meeting isn't very subtile either.
I was amused . Bit I can imagine not everybody is.
So if you are a little conservative this is
definitely not a place for you.
Yes , we already did quit some distances
and our feet were telling us it was time for
a real break. How about some bathing?
I chose the 'Lukacsbath'. I know it is completely
the other side of town. It is less known then
the Géllert bath or the Széchenyi bath where
they drop of tourists with busses.
This bath is connected with a hospital.
Most people come here to bath in the
light radioactive water to get relief for their
We did struggle a bit to find our way to the
dressing rooms , to find the right lockers
section...but it all was worth it.
The Lukacsbath has an outdoor bath that
you can only use if you wear something on
your head. So , bring it with you if you really
want to swim. Or do you want to borrow
a used one from the lifeguard? Just asking.
The outside section is also open all year
I was told.
Lets go inside.
The bath has a steam room , and afterwards
you just jump in the 16° cold water to get
your blood circulation in action. Then there is
this round bath with warm water.
This bath was left behind by the Turkish
halfway the 19th century. So it has got this nice
old authentic edge. It also looks like it could
use a visit from Debby Travis - a restauration
is needed. There are also a few bassins that
are smaller with water at different temperatures.
But what I remember most is the unforced
and relaxing atmosphere here. Men and woman
talking... the dome of the Turkish bath is filled
with an orchestra of voices. I loved it.
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!
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 Szechenyi Medicinal Bath and Swimming Pool is the largest medicinal bath in Europe. Two thermal springs supply 74 and 77 degree hot water. The open-air swimming pool offers a pleasant experience all year round. It is opened daily from 06:00-19:00 from 1 May till 30 September. From 1 October till 30 April it is opened Mon-Fri 06:00-19:00, Sat-Sun 06:00-17:00.
There are also the Gellert Medicinal Bath, which was built when Budapest's major bath policy was implemented (1912-1918). Royal family members, politicians and artists have stayed in one of the most prestigious hotels since the 1920s - Gellerts' Hotel. The art noveau building has retained the glory and elegance: you must have an ice-cream or a coffee on the terrace. In addition to the thermal bath, the Gellert has an open pool, a pool with artificial waves in a park, and a convertible effervescent bath - an architectural rarity. The existence of the Gellert contributed to Budapest being awarded the title of "international spa city" in 1934, and it was a venue of the foirst International Bath Congress in 1937. Nowadays it is opened for anyone: open-air pool: daily 06:00-19:00 from May till September; medicinal bath: Mon-Fri 06:00-19:00, Sat, Sun 06:00-17:00. From 1 July till 31 August, on Friday and saturday 20:00-24:00 bathing with music.
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 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.
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.
While in Budapest, you just HAVE to visit baths and relax! Gellert, Rudas, Kiraly, Gellert, Széchenyi etc. - your back pain has no excuse for its existance anymore! This time we have chosen Margitsziget (bus number 26). Its a beautiful Danube island and there are several baths to choose from. Before deciding for a baths - do check their opening time as in low season they are mostly closed on Sundays! (Which is horrible.) For young people - have a party at Gellert baths! Its crazy - till 3-4 a.m. with DJ-s playing music.
XI., Kelenhegyi út 2-6.
Phone: 466 61 66
(Bus 7, Tram 18, 19, 47, 49)
The fountains are 200 years old. The bath itself was built in 1918 in art nouveau style, and is probably the most famous among all baths in Budapest for its architectural beauty are highly remarkable. Massage and other medical services are available.
You can buy tickets to the thermal bath from 6 am to 6 pm on weekdays, from 6 am to 12 on Saturdays and Sundays. Entrance to the swimming pool is possible from 6 am to 6 pm on weekdays, from 6 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Entrance fee: only to the thermal bath 700 forints ; daily ticket valid for all areas: 1200 forints, cabin 300 forints (You don't need to pay for a cabin, if you go only to the thermal bath). On weekdays after 5 pm and weekends after 2 pm special entrance fee for bath and pool together: 700 forints.
II., Fô utca 82-86.
Phone: 202 36 88
(Tram 4, 6, Bus 6, 26 to Margaret bridge, on the Buda side, then walk or take bus 60, 86 for one stop towards Battyány tér.)
For men Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 7 am until 9 pm, for women Tuesdays, Thursdays 7 am - 9 pm and Saturdays 7 am - 1 pm.
Entrance fee 450 forints.
I.,Hadnagy utca 8-10.
Phone: 356 13 22
(Bus 7, 78, Tram 18, 19)
The small bath on the Buda side near Elisabeth bridge, built in the 15th Century, is the only one open also on Saturday afternoons. Massages available.
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays 7 am until 6 pm, for women Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 7 am until 6 pm,
Entrance fee 450 forints
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.
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.
The Open-Air Bath, located on the Margit island, in a nature conservation area, was opened as a beach on the bank of the Danube in 1919. With the construction of the large pool it was transformed in 1921 into an open-air bath.
Owing to its high popularity it had to be expanded, therefore an architectural project tender was launched in 1937, as a result of which the plans composed by Istvan Januky were accepted. The current installation was completed o?n the basis of these plans. Its pools are supplied by the thermal springs of the Margit Island. In the second half of the 1980s, a five-path chute was built. The open-air bath, also equipped with a wave-bath pool, allocated in a park area, is visited by many foreign guests, in addition to the Hungarian ones. There are sports grounds and playgrounds for children, offering excellent distraction facilities for all age groups. In 2002 the pools of the Open-Air Bath were modernised, they were equipped with water filtering and revolving devices. The swimming pool was shaped into three sections: swimming pool, fancy pool and beach pool. Of these, the fancy pool is expecting visitors with neck shower, effervescence generator and whirling corridor.
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!
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.