Széchenyi – Your must-visit thermal baths
If you can only choose one thermal spa during your stay in Budapest, then, without further ado, book a pass for Széchenyi Thermal Baths. These are without a doubt the most famous in the capital, known throughout the world for their exceptional Renaissance Revival architecture, their sheer size and, not forgetting, the quality of their calcium- and magnesium-rich waters.
The spring lies 1246 metres underground and when the water spurts up at the surface, it reaches 76°C. The place, built between 1909 and 1913, is the largest complex of its kind in Europe. The buildings are set majestically around a superb, central, yellow courtyard: you stroll quietly around, moving from one pool to another, testing out the seats and deckchairs dotted about the place… around the 18 pools, 3 outdoors and 15 indoors. Some of the indoor pools are used for back-muscle-building exercises, others are just for aquafitness classes, which explains why they are only 1.5 metres at their deepest.
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths also have massage booths, hammam Turkish baths and a sauna. You will be hard pushed not to find something you like. So sample the various pleasures throughout the day in a warm and friendly atmosphere. And rest assured: even if you come in the depths of winter, the water temperature still only varies between 27 and 38°C in the outdoor pools. That is why the place is famous for its chess players who stand in the pool, heads hung quietly over a game. If you are in a party mood, then book tickets for the weekly Saturday night Spa Party. Fun-fuelled action is guaranteed.
Állatkerti krt. 9–11
+36 1 363 3210
Intimate atmosphere of Király Baths
Are you looking for a more intimate atmosphere? Then Király Baths are just the ticket. No imposing building to boast about, but a 16th-century exterior that looks like oriental ruins. In fact, the baths date back to the era when the Ottomans ruled over the city. And they have hardly changed ever since. The dome of the main bath filters the daylight and only lets a few beneficial rays pierce through.
Tranquillity reigns. You feel completely at one with the world. All around, there are stone alcoves where you can sit on a bench under their arches between two swims. Gently, you dip your toes in one of the three indoor pools. Unlike other spas, Király Baths were not built near a spring. The water comes from a larch-wood aqueduct. You then adventurously try the cold-water pool located near the whirlpool bath. Or maybe, you would prefer the wooden sauna which can accommodate up to 60 people.
Fő u. 84
+36 1 202 3688
Gellért – Luxury, calm and sensual delights
A lover of luxury, you will be in your element at the Gellért Baths, part of the hotel of the same name. Built at the same time as Széchenyi Baths, they are part of Hungary's heritage and their fame spread across its borders a very long time ago. Located at the foot of Gell*ért Hill, which has stunning views over the city of Budapest, their elegance cannot fail to charm.
As soon as you step inside and look up to the large glass roof sitting on top of the Art Nouveau gallery, you are immediately struck by the beauty of the place. Elegance is the essence here. The indoor baths are decorated with porcelain and ceramic mosaics from the famous Hungarian company, Zsolnay. The patterns and colours on the stained glass are no less impressive. Marble statues dotted here, there and everywhere remind you that this place is dedicated to well-being. Everything has been designed with relaxation in mind.
Over the decades, the baths have expanded and new services been added. You can choose a hot-stone massage, balneotherapy, sessions in the inhalation room and even chocolate treatment! The original soul of the Gellért Baths lives on, embodying the luxury of bathing establishments of days gone by.
Kelenhegyi út 4
+36 1 466 6166
Rooftop experience at the Rudas Baths
There are two sides to the Rudas Baths. The first echoes the history of Hungary which was under Turkish rule in the 16th century, the time that these thermal baths were built. You admire the dome above the large octagonal pool surrounded by majestic columns in amazement. The architecture alone is worth the detour, like an invitation to step back in time. Immersed in these baths, you will benefit from the soothing waters, known for their healing properties for joint and muscle pain. Treatments on offer include firming and moisturising massages with aromatic plants, scrubs, pedicures and much more.
The other side to the Rudas Baths is much more contemporary, in evidence in the Wellness and Sauna area and especially on the roof of the baths. Here, you will find a relaxation area like no other. Sit in a bath at 36°C with views over the city and the Danube which are second to none. Deckchairs and chairs are dotted all around the hot tub, for you to enjoy some unforgettable time out. The spectacle is even more magical in the evening as the lights of Budapest come on one by one.
Döbrentei tér 9
+36 1 356 1322
Palatinus : en famille
Enfin, si vous voyagez en famille, partez à l'aventure dans les Bains Palatinus. Le complexe s'étend au cœur d'un cadre verdoyant, particulièrement agréable pendant la belle saison. Les piscines extérieures permettent à tout un chacun de s'amuser ou de se reposer : toboggans, vagues, bassins d'apprentissage pour les jeunes enfants, piscines thermales avec des températures différentes… petits et grands y trouveront leur bonheur.
La journée se passe dans la bonne humeur générale et si la faim vous assaille, il est possible de pique-niquer sur place ou de profiter d'un des points de restauration rapide. Il ne vous reste plus qu'à emporter dans votre valise tongs, maillots de bain et serviettes.
Soó Rezső stny. 1
+36 1 340 4500