For thousands of years, both locals and the visitors in Budapest have enjoyed the steaming thermal waters. There are even visible remains of public baths that were built and used by the Romans. Then there were the Ottomans that were particularly fond of Buda’s thermal baths. Some of their hammams are still in use today (Veli Bej, Kiraly, Rudas).
Then there are the bathrooms that were built during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, at the start of the 20th century. Some of the best-known baths from that period are Gellert and Szechenyi.
But, let’s not delve in the past, and let’s take a glimpse into what’s hot and trendy these days. Here is an overview of the top five thermal baths in Budapest.
#1 Lukács Baths
Lukacs Baths are one of the oldest ones in Budapest, dating from the 12th century. It was very active even during the reign of the Turkish era. However, nowadays there is no authentic Turkish bath in Lukacz Baths.
In 2013, a large sum of money was invested in its modernization. Its thermal waters come from the János Molnár cave which is considered to have the best thermal quality waters in the city.
The Lukacz baths feature indoor and outdoor pools, a variety of saunas, wellness centers, spa pool thermal bath, underwater traction bath, gym, restaurant, sun terrace, beach stuff shop, and so on.
#2 Kiraly Baths
The bath was built almost 450 years ago by the Turks. The bath uses the same thermal wells used by Lukacz baths, which means visitors get to enjoy premium thermal water.
After the defeat of the Turks, Kiraly Baths were used and rebuilt by the König family. The baths were last renovated in the 50s.
However, despite the fact that it could use a facelift, Kiraly Baths are one of the most authentic baths within the city walls. There are three medical pools in which the water temperature ranges from 32° C to 40° C, plunge pool in which the water temperature is 26° C, and a Jacuzzi in which the water temperature can range from 32° C to 36° C.
#3 Széchenyi Baths
This is by far the most famous bathhouse in Budapest. Széchenyi with its 18 pools (3 indoor and 15 outdoor) attracts more than 1.7 million tourists every year. The Kós Károly Walkway Baroque entrance is especially impressive. Its only downside is that it is regularly packed with tourists, both local and foreign. If you hate big crowds, go there earlier in the morning so that you can truly “soak in” everything that Széchenyi can offer.
#4 Gellért Baths
Széchenyi may be the most popular thermal bath in Budapest, but Széchenyi is nothing shorter in terms of great thermal pools decorated with turquoise ceramics. The indoor pools at Gellért feature their own sky windows that allow plenty of sunshine throughout the day. Thanks to that, as well as the turquoise ceramics, the baths look very enchanting, which makes them popular with Instagram fans. There are two outdoor and eight indoor pools.
#5 Dandár Baths
Dandár is situated in an art deco building, outside the city center. It has only two outdoor and three indoor pools, but it offers a true Budapest experience as almost 90% of all visitors are locals. Its hot outdoor pool is particularly pleasant during dreary winter nights.