Planning a trip to Budapest in Hungary? The question everyone wants to know, which are the best baths in Budapest?
How do you decide which relaxing thermal bath or spa is right for you, with so many to choose from?
Budapest is known as Europe’s top destination for hot springs, with over 123 springs in total! Of course, that means plenty of options for relaxing in thermal baths to try out on your trip!
During my winter trip to Budapest, after a busy day exploring the city I spent a wonderful long afternoon at Rudas Baths which was amazing.
To help you decide which Budapest baths right for you I’ve asked travellers which thermal baths and spas they visited in Budapest and why they think they are the best one!
This is a rundown on the top four best baths in Budapest, including the location of the baths, costs, tickets, tours, optional extras and highlights to help you choose which baths to try on your Budapest holiday.
From the popular Szechenyi Baths to the luxurious Gellert Baths, plus a couple of other baths you might not have heard of. Read here to help you decide which one to visit on your holiday.
Click to go to the Budapest Baths of your choice or scroll down to read about them all!
There are a few more thermal baths at the bottom of the post.
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Best Thermal Baths in Budapest
Map of the best baths Budapest
Here you can see where each of the top 4 thermal baths is located in Budapest, as well as a few other options that I’ve included at the bottom of this post.
As you can see, with the exception of Szechenyi Baths, they are located on the Buda side of the River Danube.
Hopefully, this map will help you plan your Budapest itinerary and which baths you’ll end up visiting!
If you’re still planning your trip, then you might want to check out my 3-day itinerary for Budapest to help you decide where to fit everything in!
Rudas Baths address: Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9, 1013 Hungary
After pondering which was the best baths to visit in Budapest, I opted for Rudas Baths for my thermal bath experience. Situated on the Buda side of the Danube it is a short walk across the bridge from the Central Market.
You have the choice of the ‘Thermal area’ (3,500 HUF), the ‘Wellness area’ (3,300 HUF) or a combined package (5,000 HUF).
I opted for the combined spa package as I wanted to experience the traditional thermal baths and the rooftop pool.
First, I entered the traditional thermal area, it was ‘Ladies only’ day so many local women were bathing in pools, some topless or completely naked.
Are Rudas Baths the Best Baths in Budapest?
This part of Rudas Thermal baths is almost 500 years old and it’s a magnificent structure. After enjoying the 5 different thermal pools, even braving the 42 degrees pool which was crazy hot, I went to explore the more modern section of the baths.
By now it was dark outside and the views of the city lite up at night were simply amazing. Now I love the city at night, but sitting in a heated rooftop pool made it even more enjoyable!
- For me, the Rudas Baths are the best choice for thermal baths in Budapest because they include something for everyone.
Top tip – take your own flip-flops to wear in the thermal baths (Lost yours? Get new ones for your trip from Amazon)
Recommend by Becky from Becky the Traveller
“At Christmas, I went home to Hungary to visit my family.
I was eager to visit the Rudas Baths during my time in Budapest, as seeing pictures on my Instagram of its cool rooftop pool overlooking my city always made me homesick. There is a thermal and wellness part of the baths.
The thermal baths part has set days when only men or women can visit it, so check before you go.
I visited with my boyfriend and we only got a ticket for the wellness part, which was cheaper. Our main interest was the pool overlooking the city and the wellness ticket gave us access to it.
I suggest turning up early in the morning as otherwise, you will have to wait to get in the baths. We arrived at lunchtime and had a 40-minute wait!”
Recommended by Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl
Read Next – When is the Best time to Visit Budapest?
Szechenyi Baths address: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary (In the City Park)
The Szechenyi thermal baths were built between 1909 and 1913.
They were the first ones built on the Pest side of the Danube River and the source of their thermal waters comes from the second deepest well in Budapest, which reaches temperatures of 76C degrees! Ouch, that’s hot.
Check availability here Skip the Line: Széchenyi Spa Full-Day Entrance Pass
Why pick Szechenyi Baths?
“Szechenyi Thermal Baths (in my opinion) are the best thermal baths to visit in Budapest.
Over 100 years old it’s the largest medicinal baths in Europe with 15 indoor baths and 3 large outdoor pools – all of which are perfectly heated to various temperatures – you can hop between them for hours without getting bored!
Add in the fact the indoor pools are located in a beautiful old building filled with Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance architecture, these baths are a feast for the eyes as well as therapy for your body.”
Recommended by Vicki at Make time to see the world
- Shop online for your perfect swimwear now before your Budapest trip.
“Szechenyi baths have to be the most iconic thermal baths in Budapest, with the Neo-Baroque yellow exterior and steam rising off the external pools it’s super Instagrammable.
Szechenyi Baths is a complete maze of various saunas
The interior of the Szechenyi Baths is a complete maze of various saunas, steam rooms, hot and cold plunge pools and jacuzzis to explore (if a little bewildering) you can easily spend hours relaxing here.
You can even play a spot of chess in the external baths. I also visited Szechenyi for the renowned Budapest bath party known as ‘Sparty’ – a pop-up nightclub within Budapest’s baths and it was certainly a wild night!”
Recommended by Laura at The Travelling Stomach
“You can spend the entire day at the Szechenyi Baths and still fail to bathe in each pool. The baths are usually well-populated, with an assortment of locals and tourists.
Personally, I think they are usually a little too crowded and I’d rather go when there are fewer people splashing water all around you!
For the party mongers, every Saturday Széchenyi throws its gates open to another of Budapest’s notorious bath party events – the SPArty.
In hindsight, it feels like a health hazard with so many drunk bodies inside the hot pools at night temperatures, lots of alcohol, urine and who knows what other bodily fluids flowing freely in the ‘medicinal’ waters.
Don’t get me wrong – it is an experience; the production is extraordinary, the amusement pool with all its tricks and games is innovatively used by party-goers and it’s a cesspool of adrenaline and testosterone (since the male-female ratio is usually 2:1 or 3:1).
Nonetheless, I’d highly recommend at least one visit to the majestic Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Spa (possibly more).”
Recommended by Sanket at Nomadic Lives
Lukacs Baths address: Budapest, Frankel Leó út 25-29, 1023 Hungary
Lukacs Thermal Baths are popular with tourists in Budapest, mainly because it is included free as part of the Budapest Card. A great way to get some good discounts on your Budapest trip.
The free option with the Budapest Card includes a daily ticket to the baths with a locker, normally 3,900 HUF/4,100 HUF
But it is also said to have the most medically effective water of any of the baths in Budapest. Although, I’m not sure how you would prove this! But if you’ve been walking around the city a lot it’s the perfect way to relax.
Buy your Budapest City Card here before your trip!
Why pick Lukacs Baths?
“While in Budapest I visited the Lukacs Thermal Baths. I originally wanted to visit the more popular Szechenyi Bath, I am quite happy we ended up going to this Thermal Bath.
One main reason is due to the sheer amount of people that visit the Szechenyi Bath compared to the Lukacs Baths.
The Lukacs Bath is more of a local feel, whereas Szechenyi seems much more a tourist hub.
Frankly, when you’re visiting these thermal baths – you’re sitting in a pot of hot water, I think the fewer people in there the better don’t you?
I would describe the Lukacs Baths as a more local feel
One of the main things I liked about this thermal bath in Budapest was that there were many options and pools of ranging temperatures. If you got too hot in one, you could cool down in another.
Or if you got too cold in one you could go heat up in the sauna.
Then, if you tired of sitting in a tub of hot water you could do laps in the swimming pool. I liked that there were many options for all your needs.
If I could do it again, I would definitely bring my own flip-flops. I made the huge mistake of not bringing my own and didn’t want to purchase any while at the baths. Big mistake – I’m cringing now thinking about the state of my feet walking around everywhere.
- Lastly, I recommend bringing an eco-friendly water bottle. Sitting in those baths dehydrate you quickly and you’re mighty thirsty when it comes time to leave.”
Recommended by Michelle at Itinerary Shelly
Book in advance here – Skip-the-Line: Gellért Spa Full Day Ticket in Budapest
Gellert Baths address: Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
“Imagine a place dripping with so much luxury that it almost feels like a fantasy, where you immediately want to relax and lay back, and where you could almost swear you see Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan strolling across the room out of the corner of your eye.
That’s the Gellert Baths in Budapest.
If you’re looking for a luxurious thermal bath experience that will make you feel like royalty for the day, the Gellert Baths are absolutely the baths for you!
Gellert Baths are absolutely the Baths in Budapest for you
We felt so completely relaxed at the end of our day at Gellert that it was all we could do to emerge out of the warm, tiled pools and stumble into the locker rooms to get dressed again.
In hindsight, that would have been the perfect time to spring for a massage at Gellert’s spa. On our next visit, we won’t make that mistake.”
Recommended by Kate from Our Escape Clause
Why pick Gellert Baths?
“Gellert Baths is one of the most stunning bath complexes in Budapest, oozing old-world style. Located on the western bank of the Danube, it’s easy to reach for anyone staying in the Buda side of Budapest or just across the river.
Gellert Baths is one of the most stunning Thermal Bath complexes in Budapest
The one downside with Gellert is that if you want to bathe outside in the colder seasons, there’s only a single smallish heated outdoor pool, which can become crowded. On the evening I visited, it was overtaken by a large group”
*Prices are based on weekday prices with a locker.
Costs are more on weekends and for cabins.
Recommended by Shandos from Travel Nuity
How to decide which Thermal Baths is best for you?
Those are the recommendations from travellers that have tried each one of these gorgeous thermal baths in Budapest.
But how do you decide which one is best for you?
Although, there are plenty of baths to choose from in Budapest, think about what you enjoy most. Do you want to say you visited the largest thermal baths in Budapest (Szechenyi Baths) or maybe having a rooftop view of Budapest is more important (Rudas Baths)?
Each Thermal Baths are unique in their own way but ultimately, as with most experiences, it’s who you go with, who you meet whilst you’re there that will impact whether you have a good time (or not).
My recommendation is to go with your instinct, usually that’s right you’ll have a fantastic time in Budapest’s Thermal Baths. Of course, if you plan to visit one at the beginning of your trip, then you could always go again before you leave!
More Thermal Baths in Budapest
Want to try a different bath in Budapest?
Here are a few more thermal baths that you might like to check out
Check prices & find out more about the Budapest City Card here
Top tips for visiting the Thermal Baths
Whichever baths you choose to visit, here are my best top tips to enjoy your visit.
- Remember to take a bottle of water with you. The baths have water taps but it’s easier with your bottle on the side of the pool to keep hydrated. I love my metal Sigg bottle, it comes on every trip with me.
- Allow extra time, once you’re in those baths it’s pretty hard to move. Don’t plan any tours immediately afterwards so you’re not rushing.
- Take a pair of flip flops with you – pick up a cheap pair now from Amazon.
- Don’t forget your towel (saves paying to hire one). I use a Cotton Hammam towel, perfect for trips because it’s lightweight and is quick-dry too. You can choose your favourite colour here.
- Travelling on a budget? Most of the baths offer cheaper rates during weekdays instead of weekends. Check before you go.
Are you visiting Budapest soon?
Do you have any questions about which are the best baths in Budapest to suit your thermal bath and spa needs?
Ask me in the comment section below 🙂
Plan your Budapest trip here
Still deciding what to see and do on your Budapest trip. You can read my Budapest guides, tips on the best things to do right here. Or check out the great tours from Get Your Guide, see below.
Click here to read everything on Budapest or simply click the link below that will take you to my posts
- 3 days in Budapest
- Things to see and do in Budapest
- Caving in Budapest
- Best cocktail bars in Budapest