Budapest, ‘City of Baths’
Budapest is the largest Spa city in the world which has a number of great baths, spas and outdoor pools worth visiting. Thanks to a unique geological feature, Budapest 'sits' on over 120 hot springs that feed the city's famous bathhouses. Our Capital earned the title 'City of Baths' in 1934, but its rich spa heritage dates back to prehistoric times.
Many of the thermal baths in Budapest are century old, most importantly the Turkish baths, like the Kiraly Bath, Rudas Bath or Veli Bej Bath (the former Kaiser Bath or Császárfürdő). Interestingly enough, the most popular bath complex in Budapest, Szechenyi Baths and Pool, was only opened at the end of the 19th century (in a makeshift house, later on transformed into a beautiful palace). Another Budapest bath, which is architecturally equally stunning, or maybe more, is the Art Nouveau spa baths complex, the Gellert Baths at the foot of the Gellert Hill. Needless to say, the Turkish baths are unique with their original octagonal Turkish pools covered with mysterious domes with colourful glasses.
The most popular thermal baths in Budapest visited by tourists are Széchenyi Baths, Rudas Baths and Gellért Baths.
Mixed (co-ed) or Segregated Baths
These days most of the thermal baths
- are fully mixed (co-ed) in Budapest, like Szechenyi Baths, Gellert Spa, Lukacs Baths or Veli Bej Baths (or very recently Kiraly Baths, the first Turkish baths built in Budapest),
- While other famous spa baths are segregated on certain days or most of the week, like Rudas Baths (which is co-ed at weekends). In Rudas Baths women only bath days in Rudas Bath: Tuesday. Men only days in Rudas Bath: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Mixed on certain days – both women and men can swim and soak at the same time at weekends.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
One of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It's also the first thermal bath of Pest. Its thermal springs were discovered in 1879; they are the deepest and hottest (74 - 75 C.) thermal wells in the capital. It owes its existence to Vilmos Zsigmondy, a mining engineer. On his initiative, successful deep borings had been performed in the City Park, where later, in 1881 already an "Artesian bath" was in operation. The neo - Baroque baths were built in1913, the swimming pool in 1927. In the middle of the 1960s, further transformations took place, including the creation of a group thermal section in bathing suits as well as a daytime outpatient hospital (complex physiotherapy department).
This medicinal water is distributed between 12 indoor and 3 outdoor pools of various temperatures for visitors to enjoy. Even during cold winter evenings this thermal water is hot enough to soak in and relax under a starry sky. The reconstruction of the pools of the swimming section, their equipment with water filtering and circulation devices was completed in 1999. The so-called fancy bath includes a whirling corridor, underwater effervescence production, neck shower, water beam back massage installed in the sitting banks and many other services.
Széchenyi Bath won the ‘International thermal medical bath of the year’ award at the International Medical Travel Journal’s gala dedicated to medical tourism awards in 2016.
Gellért Thermal Bath
One of most popular baths for tourists visiting Budapest. We find records about the "miraculous" springs spurting up on the territory of the Bath from as early a date as the 15th century. These springs were later favoured by the Turks as well, as they were larger and hotter than the Buda baths of the period. In the 17th century, the site was named Sárosfürdő (Mud bath) because of the fine spring silt that was pushed up together with the spring water and settled at the bottom of the pools.
The spa is built in a secession style and decorated with a wealth of original Art Nouveau furnishings, artistic mosaics, stained glass windows and sculptures, although the interior of the hotel built alongside has lost many of these fittings over the years. In Gellért baths complex you will find a labyrinth of thermal medicinal baths, a pool for mixed bathing, a nice outdoor heated pool for swimming and a 36 degree heated spa pool, steam rooms and Finish sauna. It has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, children's pool, thermal baths, steam bath, saunas, and offers various massages, and curative services.
The St. Gellért Bath opened its doors in the year 1918, but it offers quality services nowadays, as well, where almost all the health service is available. The bath is developing its services continuously according to the visitors' needs; so many new services are being introduced. Mixed bathing during all week long both thermal departments of the Gellért Bath can be visited by both men and women during all week long. So we can offer opportunity for ladies, as well, to relax and cure in the beautiful milieu of the male thermal department. Number of pools: 12
RUDAS THERMAL BATH
Rudas Bath is probably the most popular medieval Turkish bath in Budapest, which is found a few steps in front of the rocks of Gellért-hegy. Bath was built in 1550, and then reconstructed by Pasha Sokoli Mustafa in 1566. Some of the Turkish-period features are still used today: the octagonal pool, the four small corner pools, each with water of a different temperature, and the characteristic Turkish dome.
You can take a Turkish bath as a steam bath too, as Rudas Bath offers a complex bath and wellness experience, including a hamam (Turkish sauna) as well as an ilidza (Turkish “Ilica” for warm thermal spring). In its drinking hall, the water of the springs Hungária, Attila and Juventus can be consumed for the purposes of a drinking cure.
In the bath, there is a daytime outpatient hospital operating with a complex physiotherapy department. It offers 6 pools with varying water temperatures from cool to hot. There's also a swimming pool. In 2014 the brand-newing of the Rudas Bath was inaugurated, complete with a restaurant, a rooftop Jacuzzi and a bar.
Until 2005, Rudas bathhouse was exclusively for men use only. But in 2006 women got their right and were allowed to enjoy bathing facilities as well, so Tuesdays became women-only day. The rest of week days remain men-only days and weekends are open for both sexes. Rudas is open at night every Friday and Saturday.
Margaret Island, "The Spa Island of Budapest”
Located between Margaret Bridge and Árpád Bridge stretching 2.5 kilometers long and up to 500 meters wide, and surrounded by ancient trees and historical ruins. Experience the power of nature on tranquil Margaret Island, located just 10 minutes from the city centre. Margaret Island has remained the huge park of the capital with a fascinating atmosphere which is made even more special by sacral mementos from the Middle age, by alleys and by smaller lakes.
The UNESCO-listed Water Tower is more than 100 years old, and is one of Budapest's iconic sights. Further places of interest include musical fountains, the Palatinus Beach and the Alfréd Hajós National Sports Swimming Stadium.
Can be found 2 nice four stars hotels on the island, channel old-style charm. The thermal spa facilities can be used by guests of both hotels: fantastic pools and thermal baths filled with the natural, mineral-rich, healing waters of Budapest. The natural, thermal water was originally brought to the surface in 1886. It enters the spa at a temperature of 70°C but is then cooled to 34°C, 36°C and 40°C while retaining its unique, curative ingredients.