Soaking in the Szechenyi Baths: Budapest, Hungary
Updated: Jul 19
One of the top tourist attractions in Budapest is visiting one of the thermal baths in the city. I enjoyed my visit to them so much that I figured they deserved their own post. There are five main baths scattered throughout the city, so visitors definitely are not lacking in options. On my trip to Budapest, I chose the Szechenyi Bath, which is also the largest and most popular of the five. The baths are located in City Park – great for a stroll after your bathing; and the architecture of them is beautiful, like much of the rest of the city. A day-long ticket (from open to close) with cabin access – basically a private changing room – costs €24, which was definitely worth it for a day of relaxation!
The baths were the last stop on a two-week-long tour of Europe with my sister. We had done lots and lots of walking, so soaking in the hot water for the morning was a much-needed treat! The Szechenyi Bath has 18 different pools in a wide variety of temperatures – if I remember correctly, the coldest is 16º celsius (60º to us Americans); and the warmest bath was 40º (104º). Allison and I spent about three and a half hours here, and we both agreed that we got our money’s worth. In fact, we were in the water so long that our toes and fingers resembled some very shriveled up prunes!
Let me start by saying the Szechenyi Baths are huge. You will get lost, I can guarantee it. They do have maps they give out, however, carrying a paper map around with you in a place full of water has its drawbacks. We decided to just plunge right in (literally!) and just wander around the complex, jumping from bath to bath. Some of them are fairly small – the colder pools tended to be more like plunge pools, as I don’t think anyone wants to just relax in 16ºC water! However, the warmer pools are much larger. Most of the bath complex is indoors, but there are also two pools outdoors that are kept heated so they can be used all year round. One of these is a lounging pool, but the other has lanes for laps, so if that’s your thing, this is a great place to do it! There are also several saunas located around the pools – great for spending a couple of minutes in before braving that super cold pool!
Things to know
The Szechenyi Spa Baths are completely co-ed unlike some of the other baths in the city. This makes them a great choice for couples or families.
The Baths accept visitors of all ages but do not recommend the usage of the baths above 36ºC for those under 14
You can also book a variety of different spa treatments during your time at the baths
The baths do provide a rental of towels and swimwear, although they do recommend that you bring your own
Lockers or a private cabin (whichever is included with your ticket price) are a safe place to store any valuables you might have
Overall, the thermal baths of Budapest are a great activity to add to your next trip. They are a hit for all ages – students, families, couples, and grandparents. The variety of baths throughout the city means that every visitor will be able to find a bath that suits them best!
I can’t wait to return to Budapest to check out the other four baths that I didn’t get the chance to visit!
Have you visited any thermal baths before? Which one was your favorite?