Disclaimer: Due to Covid-19 some of the places and venues mentioned below have temporarily closed down. Please check their websites and social media channels for up to date information.
Budapest is full of thermal baths (both indoor and outdoor). The outdoor thermal baths are particularly popular among visitors of the city for their picturesque architecture and open-air setup. If you are planning a day trip, it can also be worthwhile looking into the massage packages that many of the thermal spas offer.
Budapest locals have been enjoying the healing properties of the thermal waters for centuries, so it is no doubt that this is a must-see within Budapest. Which bath you choose may be based on exactly what you are searching for - whether it be for a five-star hangover cure, impressive architecture, a good massage or even just a relaxing day.
Budapest is known for having more medicinal spas than any other European country, having more than 1,000 hot springs beneath the city.
A thermal bath is a hot or tepid bath that is run from hot springs, it is often used to provide relaxation and stress relief, as well as being historically known to treat diseases and ailments. They are typically above the temperature of the human body and are heated by the earth's mantle before being passed further to the surface to warm the baths - this form of heat is called geothermal heat.
More often than not ,Budapest's baths will have a series of thermal pools, massage rooms, steam rooms, saunas and ice-cold pools. Some of these venues even have outdoor pools for swimming laps, or large outdoor pools with fountains to bathe in.
The most popular of these outdoor pools are Széchenyi, Gellért and Palantinus . The other main baths that contain outside pools for swimming in Budapest are Csillaghegy, Dagály and Lukács.
When entering the baths it is recommended that you bring a towel and a pair of flip-flops / slide on shoes as the floor can get very slippery. Most thermal baths also typically offer these items for rent if you don't have access to them prior.
Some of the baths have lap pools and wearing a swimming cap in these is required. A lot of the baths will tend to give you an electronic bracelet up on payment of entry which will be linked to a locker to store your belongings.
The biggest of Budapest's outdoor baths and the main 'tourist' bath is named Széchenyi. This bath is located right within City Park and is a very common place to relax and unwind in Budapest - especially used by many travelers as a hangover cure after a big night out at the bars in the city. This bath is typically open year-round and is home to the popular event called ' Sparty,' a spa party on Saturday nights.
Gellért baths are often considered to be one of the most beautiful baths in Budapest. It tends to be less crowded than the more popular baths whilst still giving you the relaxing and healing properties of a thermal bath visit.
Gellért is also well known for its well-priced spa and pampering packages as well as for being architecturally impressive. This spa is the perfect choice when wanting to have a day out in Budapest and visit a beautiful yet not overcrowded bath in the summer.
This spa is located on Margaret Island and has an outdoor bath and a waterslide, wave pool and outdoor pools for swimming. It is the perfect place to take your family on a day out as Margaret Island is also a popular tourist destination. The island has a 5 km loop track surrounding it and has open park grounds everywhere as well as a petting zoo and many bars.
In summer this island is very popular and is often packed with guests having picnics, exercising or visiting the baths at Palantinus . As the weather in Budapest gets to and above 30 ° C this is a perfect place to spend a hot summer day.
As you can see Budapest is known for using what was naturally provided in the area to create these gems of both architecture and history to please all who visit them. There is a pool in Budapest at these baths to suit anyone wanting to go for a swim and a certain temperature sauna or spa or even a pampering package to meet the needs of anyone wanting a relaxing day out in these hot springs.
Outdoor Spaces and Parks in Budapest
City of Baths: The Best Thermal Baths in Budapest