The best Budapest Spa Experience – A Guide to the top Budapest Spa baths

Since our first thought about visiting Budapest, the ideal day that popped in our mind was a Spa Experience. Budapest is really special, and it is not a hazard to say that we are in love with this romantic city. Actually, our visit to the city wasn’t just a single Budapest Spa Experience. We were literally jumping from one location to another. Just searching for the relaxing mood we have lost in our daily routine in London. Obviously the best in order to enjoy the city is to settle in a Budapest Spa Hotel, that has got spring thermal water amenities for you.

This is our attempt to make an order and write a complete guide to the best Budapest Spa baths. There are many locations in the city, and some of that is already well known. Names like Gellért or Szechenyi will sound familiar. But others like the Ruda Baths or Lukács Baths will sounds really out of the tourist radar. So, let’s call this itinerary an off the beaten track guide to the best baths to visit in Budapest.

We have explored those relaxing temples in an awkward season. This guide will be easy to follow even when the outside temperature goes low, close or below the zero. Thanks to the hot Budapest thermal baths, you can explore the city and enjoy a Spa experience even in winter. This is also the right place to have a nice and relaxing massage for cheap. In many centres, you can grab the deal that with 10 euro you will enjoy 20 minutes, professional massage.

Budapest Spa Guide

Budapest thermal baths in winter - Gellért Baths and Hotel
The Art Decò Intern of Gellért Thermal Baths of Budapest, Hungary

Not just a simple guide, but an itinerary where start to plan your ideal day in the spa of Budapest. Many of the best hotels in the city has got their own facilities, with thermal baths, Sauna, steam room, massages, oil therapies and many other services. So, the best option you have, if planning a trip to the Hungarian Capital, is to check your accommodation, and be sure they have a Spa experience in place. If you are not fancy a popular hotel, you can always experience the facilities of the hotels as a guest, just paying fee entrance.

The below list instead contains the best baths to visit in Budapest, even if is your first experience in a Spa.
Best baths to visit in Budapest:

Gellért Baths and Hotel – The best Spa in Budapest for us!

Rudas Baths – Enjoy it at night

Kiraly Bath

Széchenyi Baths – Most popular bath in Budapest

Veli Beji Baths

Lukács Baths

Dandár Baths – Off of the Tourist radar Spa in Budapest

Palatinus Strand Baths – Family-friendly bath in Budapest

Danubius Health Spa  Margitsziget

Why you should plan Spa breaks in Budapest?

Great, we are ready to take you on a relaxing trip to heaven. Budapest has been the temple of relaxing mood for three whole days for us. We are aiming to be back anytime soon, in order to experience again the amazing Spas and thermal baths of the city. If you are here, you are looking for a kind of escape from the routine, daily duties and frustrating commuters, arguing with your boss. Nothing is better and rejuvenating than a spa breaks in Budapest.

The best things are that we are not trying to sell you a package like an agent, but we are here to explain to you our amazing experience.

Outdoor pool of Gellért Spa in Budapest
The Outdoor hot swimming pool of Gellért Spa in Budapest

Budapest is cheap, and that was at the beginning the reason why we want to visit the city so much. The second reason was that we love photography, and the city has some of the best landscapes in Europe (by the way, check out our list of the top 10 photography places in Budapest). The other reason was that it was a secret birthday present for Alessia, and out of our love for poking around any city in the World, I want for her the best memories. What is better than a full day in a Spa, with a massage, drink and relax?

The entrance ticket to the spa is, even so, cheaper than you can think a full day jumping from one place to another. We didn’t plan it, but that was how our day turned out once we learned the game.
There is also some package that is really a bargain and you can buy it before heading to Budapest, cheap and full itineraries ready for you.

Famous Spa in Budapest

There are many spas in Budapest, but some are already famous. Locations like Gellért Baths or Széchenyi Baths are really popular, with events taking place all year round, and big parties especially the one at New Year’s Eve. Some other locations are out of the list of famous Spa in Budapest but are still worth a visit. Those Spa, are almost whispered by locals, that keep very well their secret places. The Ruda Baths are one of them, with the night opening is one of the top spa baths in Budapest. Below you will find the list of those famous Spa that you have to try in your next visit to Budapest.

Thermal baths in Budapest Map

Gellért Baths and Hotel – Best Budapest Spa hotel

The amazing majolica of the Gellért Spa of Budapest
Budapest intern majolica details of Gellért Baths

This is not just a bath but is a hotel complex. The style of the Gellért baths is unique, you will be surrounded by amazing colours and Art nouveau style that will blood your mind away. This is for many has the best and beautiful indoor swimming pools. But you can also enjoy the outdoor hot swimming pool and a Swedish sauna. Named by the locals as the Cathedral is a picturesque spa compared to the most classic one, and it allows them entrance to both, man and woman all times. The Gellért Baths have been for us the best thermal bath experience in Europe so far.

Location: Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 8 pm
Special Opening: Outdoor pools open in winter
Popular Days: Weekdays mainly for locals, in the weekend popular for tourists.
Pools: 8 indoor, 2 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF 5,900 – €19 (Get the ticket here)

Rudas Baths – Charming Spa at night

Octagonal Outdoor pool of Rudas Baths
The octagonal outdoor hot pool of Rudas Baths. This is an advantaged point to admire the beautiful Budapest’s Landscape

This is an amazing complex, with a modern touch and welcoming all the guest with a hot pool, steam room, sauna, various temperatures pools and an octagonal outdoor pool. A stylish Turkish baths, but with modern touch architecture and a skyline bar in the middle area. Most of the weekdays are man-only, with a few days mixed. You can also enjoy the Rudas baths at the weekends and at night with a mixed entrance.

Location: Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9, 1013 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 8 pm
Special Opening: Friday and Saturday from 10 pm to 4 am – Tuesday only Man accepted
Popular Days: Weekdays mainly for locals, in the weekend popular for tourists.
Pools: 11 indoor, 1 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF5,200 – €17 (Get the ticket here)

Kiraly Bath – Traditional Turkish bath in Budapest

Turkish Architecture of the Kiraly Baths and the Octagonal indoor pool
The accurate details of the Turkish Architecture of the Kiraly Baths and the Octagonal indoor pool

This is one of the oldest bath in Budapest. Same as the Ruda bath that we have explained before, it is one of the medieval Turkish baths in Budapest that can be dated around the 16th century, built up by the Ottoman Turks during the invasion.
The indoor octagonal pool of the Kiraly Turkish Bath is an example of traditional architecture.
This is the ideal place for spa lovers, more intimate atmosphere. The perfect place for a couple who love to relax and skip away from the chaotic routine. The bath is using the power of the geothermal spring waters that run under the Buda Hills.

The Kiraly Bath complex has got the old octagonal thermal pool and other 3 smaller pools filled with spring hot thermal water, plus a fancy jacuzzi that can fill 4 or 5 people at a time. In the summertime, you can also enjoy the green garden outside, ideally for sunbathing. Unfortunately, this bath hasn’t got any outdoor pool.

Location: Budapest, Fő u. 84, 1027 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 9 am to 9 pm
Special Opening: None
Popular Days: Weekdays
Pools: 4 indoor
Entrance price: HUF 3000 – €10

Széchenyi Baths – Most popular bath in Budapest

Széchenyi Thermal baths outdoor swimming pool
Széchenyi Thermal baths outdoor swimming pool

This is the biggest thermal baths in the city. The Széchenyi Baths have got 15 thermal baths and three swimming pools, one outdoor. The temperature, even for the outdoor pool is set at 38°C. The marble, columns and old statues make you feel staying in a temple. It will be clearly called the Temple of relaxing in Budapest. This is the right place where resting the mind and the body and let you be kidnapped by the amenities of the place. We didn’t try, but some say that has got the best massages in town. (You have to try it, those are some suggestions for you).

The Széchenyi Baths are located in a strategic area of Budapest, close to Heroes’ Square, one of the most important sightseeing of the Capital and the city Zoo. This is the most loved by locals and tourists that recognize this as the perfect and best thermal baths in Budapest.

Location: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 7 pm
Special Opening: Outdoor pools open until 10 pm every day – Popular night parties and New Year’s Eve Special Event.
Popular Days: Everyday is busy, weekend especially for tourists
Pools: 15 indoor, 3 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF 6000 – €19 (Get Szechenyi Baths Budapest tickets here)

Veli Beji Baths

Veli Beji renowed indoor swimming pool
The relaxing atmosphere of the Veli Beji indoor swimming pool

Quite an off the beaten bath in Budapest, a location that is out of the radars of many. The Turkish bath of Veli Beji has been recently renovated in 2011. The complex has got five thermal pools. It is not the most attractive location for tourists, but worth a try for who is planning Spa breaks in Budapest.

Location: Budapest, Árpád Fejedelem útja 7, 1023 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 9 pm
Special Opening: None
Popular Days: Weekdays
Pools: 7 indoor, No outdoor pools
Entrance price: HUF 2700 – €8 Weekdays – 3300 – 10€Weekend (Maximum of 3 hours stay)

Lukács Baths – Off the beaten path in Budapest

Another location out of the popular choices. The Lukács Baths are meant for Spa lovers. This complex of baths was named after St. Luke and is located close to Margaret Island on the side of Buda. The Lukacs Bath is one of the most historical thermal baths in Budapest, and today is taking its place on the top of the relaxing locations in the city, after the renovation of 2011.

Visit this bath is mostly addressed for people who have got health problems, that needs to be cured by thermal water. In this building, you will find 3 pools, one outside and a unique Himalayan Salt Room for curing respiratory problems. It is becoming really famous thanks to the Saturday nights parties, that will make unique your Spa break in Budapest Hungary.

Location: Budapest, Frankel Leó út 25-29, 1023 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 6 am to 10 pm
Special Openings: None
Popular Days: Weekdays
Pools: 4 indoor, 2 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF 3900 – €13 (Free Entrance with the Budapest Card)

Dandár Baths

This is maybe one of the most hidden spots in Budapest, a Spa highlights that just locals know. The Dandár Baths are located outside of the city centre, that makes it a really off the beaten path place to visit in Budapest. Like the Gellért Baths is in an Art Deco building that can be dated back to the 1930s.

it is mainly frequented by locals, that loves the quiet and calm atmosphere, without buzzing and the outdoor pools. The complex is open also in winter, and in the evening it gives the best. This is also one of the cheapest Spa in Budapest, that is still giving the service as old time.

Location: Budapest, Dandár u. 7, 1095 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6 am to 9 pm – Saturday and Sunday opening at 8 am
Special Openings: None
Popular Days: Weekdays
Pools: 3 indoor, 2 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF 2000 – €7

Palatinus Strand Baths – Ideal in Summer

The outdoor wave pool of Palatinus Strand Baths
The ideal place where stay in family in a hot summer day in Budapest

This is more than just a Spa, in the summertime when the weather is nice, it becomes the largest complex of Spa and waterpark. Located on Margaret Island is the best baths in Budapest for families. Dated back in 1912 when was opened to the public, it was the first open-air bath in the city. Despite the treatment of thermal water are not recommended under the ages of 14, the kids can enjoy the waterpark outside of the thermal area.

In fact, the internal Spa bath area is restricted to the kids, except for some indoor thermal pools where they are allowed. The Complex works all year round, the outside area, with the pools are opened just in summer, with exciting activities like the water slides and the wave pool.

Location: Budapest, Soó Rezső stny. 1, 1003 Ungheria
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 8 am to 8 pm
Special Openings: Summer outdoor swimming pools and water slides
Popular Days: Weekends
Pools: 4 indoor, 10 outdoor
Entrance price: HUF 2600 – €8 Weekdays – HUF 3000 – 10€ Weekends The 3h tickets are discounted and can be lower for family and kids.

Danubius Health Spa Margitsziget

This is another Health Spa in the earth of the city, close as well to Margaret Island, is a modern complex compared to the previous one. This is the ideal location for special medical treatments. This special Spa is making the best of using the Island’s three natural thermal springs. Not just a Spa, but also a hotel complex that will allow you to relax 24h.

Location: Budapest, 1007 Hungary
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6.30 am to 9.30 pm
Special Openings: None
Popular Days: All Year
Pools: 6 indoor, 1 outdoor
Entrance price: From 80€ for a full day and night stay

Best Spa Baths in Budapest for us

Relaxing day at the Gellért Spa
Relaxing day at the Gellért Spa

This is our favourite section of the article. The list of the Spa baths in Budapest is not that long, but for sure you can clearly understand by the list on top that even us have our favourite location where to relax in Budapest. Our unanimous choice is going on Gellért Spa and Hotel, it is a magnifique location, and you will end up swimming in a long pool surrounded by art and history.

The architecture of the spa is unique and the facilities will give you the sensation to be treated like a special guest. This is the ideal location where spend a whole day in a spa in Budapest. Try to get out in the hot spring pool, in cold winter to feel the breeze. It was just amazing. I will bet that your mind will be back at that sensation every time you are telling the story of this amazing trip to your friends, it is what happens to me, every time.

What to take to Budapest Baths

Gellért upstairs gallery indoor - View from the restaurant

Despite all baths could have a different entrance policy regarding swimming suit, towels and swimming cap, the below list will help you to bring the essential kit for your next Spa experience in Budapest. The swimwear is allowed in most of the Spa in Budapest is the bikini, one-piece and speedo too. Remember that you are in a public space and nudity is not any more allowed in the thermal baths of the city. Remember always to carry with you flip flops or slippers, in order to enter in some areas you have to wear it. Also, bring your own towels. You can rent bath sheets in any Spa in Budapest for a small fee, but it will help you to avoid the queue and get a fast entrance to some of the facilities.

The Spa complexes allow you to use your own soap and shampoo, this is not a complimentary service in the shower, that remains free or for a small fee. In order to get into some of the swimming pools, you have to wear your own swimming cap, like at the Szechenyi Spa Baths. The swimming cap is available for purchase at the entrance shop. Out of this list and not really necessary but highly suggested is to carry a waterproof wallet, the same that you use on the beach. It will allow you to bring your valuable belongings in the thermal water pools. Remember to carry with you cash, that some of the complex not accept cards, or for small payment they require cash.
That’s is all you need for your next relaxing day in a Spa in Budapest:

Swimwear

Flip flops

Towel

Soap and Shampoo

Swimming cap

Best baths to go to in Budapest

Best view from the Intercontinental hotel of Budapest
Enjoy a cup of tea at the Intercontinental Hotel of Budapest after a relaxing bath in spring thermal water

Despite our love for the Gellért Spa, it is not the only place to visit in Budapest. Another of the best baths to go to in Budapest is for sure the Szechenyi Baths. Those are absolutely the most popular and think you will know very well the outdoor pool, with the typical Art Nouveau style. This is in the top 10 attractions of the city, and bring many tourists every year.

Not many people know that you can even enjoy an amazing relaxing bath at night. Not all the baths establishments allow guest to have a relaxing bath at night. The Ruda Baths do, on Wednesday night. The entrance is for about 3 hours and you can experience everything but just in different hours, until 4 o’clock in the morning. You can enjoy an outdoor round hot pool, looking at the Danube River and the dark and lighted cityscape of Budapest.

As we have said in the opening of this paragraph, our best suggestion for you is to experience the Gellért Spa. Unique and magnifique place where enjoy the best Spa break in Budapest Hungary.

Budapest thermal bath history

You can’t head to Budapest without knowing a bit of the history behind the traditional way to spend a day of a local. The thermal activity underneath has been known since the 1st century AD, when the Romans settled in the area. There are still the remains of the Thermae Maiores (The main baths). Afterwards, the Ottomans invaded the city in the 16th century, this is the time when some of the most known thermal baths of Budapest have been founded. The Rudas, Király and the Veli Bej have been built up during this period. 

The history will give to the Ottomans the credits to bring in Budapest the culture of the Turkish Baths. The 20th century was the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, recognizable as the Budapest’s golden age. Some of the most important hammams have been renowned and take a new life, built up in old classical buildings like the Széchenyi Baths and Gellért Thermal Baths.

Budapest Thermal Baths in winter an experience unique

Relaxing day at the Gellért Spa and hotel of Budapest

Despite the common sense that wants you to relax in Budapest when the sun is up, and every city in the World looks fabulous. Budapest is a city ideal to hit from Autumn on, Winter even cold is also the best time to visit the Hungarian Capital. When the temperature goes down, and you feel that a hot cuppa is the only things that can warm you up, that’s when a flight ticket to Budapest can rise from the giving up.

The Budapest thermal baths in winter are a unique experience, cheap and lovely. This is also the perfect gateway for honeymooners. Why spend a lot of money planning a trip to Paris, expensive, chaotic and overrated (we don’t think that, but most people does).

Planning a winter escape to Budapest is easy. The city is a Capital and has got everything you need for a perfect holiday. Also, it is named as the Paris of East Europe, for the charming night lights, the amazing sightseeing and the romantic atmosphere.

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