Must Visit Thermal Baths in Budapest


One experience you must try while you are in Hungary is visiting one of our thermal baths in Budapest. Just ask any local, we are obsessed with these things. Everybody has their ultimate favorite, so here comes the valid question: Which one should I choose if I have a limited time here? As your local guide, let me help you to make this decision.

After you finish this article, you’ll have a clear picture, of which are the best spas in Budapest and why these places are so unique anyway. So let’s dive into it!


Budapest, the City of Spas

The city is built on a geological fault line and most of the hills are from limestone. That is the main reason why it has 118 natural thermal springs that deliver 70 million liters of thermal water every day. The water is very high in natural minerals, so it is therapeutic in many different ways. The younger visitors use it mostly for leisure and as a cure for hangovers  (it really works 😉), but if you have rheumatologic or cardiovascular issues it can help with those too. 

There are two versions of bathhouses in Budapest, the “modern” ones, which were built in the late 19th century, and the traditional Turkish ones which the locals use since the 16th century and they are all on the Buda side. The main difference between the two is the size, the modern ones are usually bigger with more pools, but those are the ones most of the visitors hear about, so if you want to avoid the crowds it is worth visiting them early anyways. In some Turkish bathhouses, there are separate men’s and women’s days, especially on the workdays, so it’s worth checking their website in advance. 


How to prepare

If you can, take swimwear, a towel and a pair of flip-flops. In most thermal baths, you can rent these accessories, but it is best to bring your own. You have to wear swimming caps in the lap pools. It is worth preparing a little post-bath package, with soap, shampoo, and any other personal cleaning products that you would need after you finish soaking. You can always book tickets in advance.


My Favorite Thermal Baths in Budapest:

Gellért Baths

Gellért Baths in Budapest

Gellért Baths in Budapest

Let’s start with my absolute favorite. It is the second-largest thermal bath in Budapest, and it has mostly indoor pools. As an architecture fan, it is the perfect example of Art Nouveau, just because of the interior decoration it is worth a visit. It has numerous thermal pools that range in temperature from 26°C to 40°C and an indoor swimming pool, and in summer you can enjoy the outside wave pool as well.

It offers other various wellness services such as medical massages, saunas, and steam cabins. If you really want something unique you can sink in an intoxicating crimson concoction of curative grape-based substances like red wine, pomace, and grapeseed oil. 

For tickets and any updated opening times and services check out their website.

Entry fee from 9400 HUF

Open: Daily 9 am-7 pm 


Széchenyi Baths

Széchenyi Baths

Széchenyi Baths outdoor pools


That is the one you’ve already heard about probably. The biggest thermal bath in Europe. It is part of the modern late 19th-century bathhouse group. It has 11 thermal pools, many steam rooms, a huge sauna with a chill area, and plunge pools.  Again it’s worth a trip just because of its neo-baroque architecture, but since it is the most popular one it is busy almost all the time, so if you want to enjoy the experience at its fullest, arrive as early as possible. 

Visitors to the Széchenyi can enjoy so many special services that I don’t even know where to start. I think the most unique one is when you soak in a blend of mineral-rich thermal water and the natural extracts used to brew beer (malts, hops, brewer’s yeast, and barley) at the Széchenyi’s Beer Spa. This unique combination stimulates metabolism, helps remove harmful substances from the body, and eases fatigue, stress, and hangovers. On top of that, guests can pour an unlimited amount of beer on tap within reach of the tub. 

For tickets and any updated opening times and services check out their website.

Entry fee from 9100 HUF

Open: Daily 9 am-8 pm


Rudas Baths

Rudas baths in Budapest

Rudas baths in Budapest


The biggest advantage of this place is the location. It is right at the Danube and most importantly it has an open-air rooftop pool, so you can enjoy the city view while soaking in healing thermal water. It has a very traditional 16th-century half with a beautiful dome decorated with colorful stained glass, but the rest of the bathhouse has more of a contemporary design. Besides the extra rooftop pool, it offers you the same services as in the modern ones: a swimming pool, several other heated tubs of varying temperatures up to 42°, and a sauna and steam cabin. 

The Rudas still have single-sex days; on Tuesdays, it’s ladies-only, while Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and Fridays mornings are for the men. Weekends are mixed. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Rudas is open through the night between 10 pm and 3 am. 

For tickets and any updated opening times and services check out their Website.

Entry fee from 5900 HUF

Open: Daily 6 am- 8 pm 

Special night opening: Fri-Sat 10 pm-3 am



Veli Bej Baths

Veli Bej Baths in Budapest

Veli Bej Baths in Budapest


This Turkish bathhouse is the hidden gem of the list. This is your perfect option for the ones who like to avoid big crowds. It is on the northern Buda side close to the Margaret Bridge (the yellow one). The centerpiece is a typical octagonal Turkish pool topped with a dome. The main pool is surrounded by four small plunge pools of different temperatures. Of course, it has an additional sauna with fresh ice, an infrared sauna, a steam room, leisure showers, a jacuzzi, a small swimming pool, and a Kneipp basin. The place went through a recent renovation but they kept some of the original parts from the 16th century, like the original walls and water pipes discovered were preserved and put on display to provide an intriguing sight today.

The baths are operated by the Order of Hospitallers and accessed from a hospital, many coming here to be healed. It is still very frequented by the locals as well, so it can be crowded at weekends, but it is the most ideal for relaxed bathing.

For tickets and any updated opening times and services check out their Website.

Entry fee from 4000 HUF

Open: Daily 3 pm-9 pm