Budapest has several spa baths (‘furdo’), and if you travel to Budapest, you should definitely try at least one of them, but possibly more.
The question is which baths are the best in Budapest?
Let’s see which baths locals and tourists, and professionals redeem high. It depends on what your priorities are, as each bath in Budapest has its own character with strengths and weaknesses.
The short answer is Szechenyi Baths (for all, & the best for families with teens, or for party goer young people), or Rudas Baths (for all, not so much for families) and Palatinus (for families, and who love green parks).
Did you expect Gellert Spa as a silver medalist? Well, Gellert spa massages seem to be better reviewed by bath guests than Szechenyi Bath massages, but otherwise Szechenyi is better – thought by many!
Interestingly enough, Gellert Spa Bath is a great divider when it comes to expectations and reality, but Szechenyi Baths and Rudas Turkish Bath are somehow steadier in the reviews.
While Budapest baths have all natural hot springs with all sorts of pools, they are all different, and unique in their own ways.
Most Hungarians and fellow travellers would suggest Szechenyi Thermal Baths (18 pools: thermal baths plus swimming pools and special pools for fun) or Gellert Baths (13 pools: thermal baths plus swimming pools and special pools for fun) in the first place (the latter for its aesthetic beauty, massages, but perhaps less for its thermal fun).
Mind you, the overall ratings show that Szechenyi Baths was a real highlight for tourists (see Szechenyi Baths Ratings), while Gellert Baths seemed to be a let-down (see Gellert Baths FAQ). Of course, one of the follow up questions is: Szechenyi Baths or Gellert Baths?
Rudas Baths is pretty popular and fun too: Rudas Baths was built in the 16th century by the Turks, so it is a bit of a time travel bath with a fantastic, still functioning octagonal dome Turkish bath (only the roofs are historical), and several other pools, including a swimming pool added in the 19th century.
Rudas Baths are especially popular among party-goer people: there are all-night-long CineTrip parties occasionally, which offer soaking, clubbing, dancing, and strong audio-visual effects at the same time – like a video disco with a ‘water circus’ show: but all wet). Rudas is the only bath which is regularly open until early dawn on Friday and Saturday evenings (late night bathing without party or music).
Lukacs Baths is actually one of the hidden gems of Budapest. Lukacs (say look-arch) has its own strong clientele, who are mostly Hungarians. Although Lukacs Furdo has less architectural charm than the Art-Nouveau Gellert Baths or the neo-baroque Szechenyi Thermal Bath, its prices are very attractive compared to the average market fees.
The recent charm of Lukacs Bath is the bath party series on Saturdays dubbed Lukacs Magic Bath sparties (launched in late November 2012, resumed in March 2013). These Saturday parties are the winter equivalents of the Szechenyi Bath Summer Saturday bath parties.
But there are still more baths in Budapest, and we have not stopped saying the BEST!
Kiraly Baths used to be highly popular especially among male bathers in the old days (it was rumoured to be the gay bath).
Since May 2011, Kiraly Baths, one of the few historical Turkish baths in Budapest, has switched into ‘full time mixed bath’ mode. No more single sex days.
If you are into authentic historical things, and would love to visit a smaller Turkish baths at a more affordable price, which is not so crowded, Kiraly Baths would be a good option (the other more popular option being Rudas Baths, or the little known Veli Bej Baths). Note: Kiraly Baths has not been restored recently.
Racz Baths is very much expected to open their gates again, since 2010 – currently under a liquidation process… But once it opens, it may very easily become one of the top tourist attractions in Budapest, Hungary. Due to open in 2013.
Off the Beaten Track Budapest Baths
Which are the baths in Budapest where you only find locals? We have quite a few off the beaten path thermal baths and pools, lidos in Budapest, which has an amazing water culture with lots of nice baths.
Dandar Baths is quite smallish with its three thermal pools. If you want to mingle with locals only, it might be a good bet, and at a very cheap price. Natural hot spring water baths.
Dagaly Baths and Swimming Pool is pretty big and very popular, all the more on hot summer days – mainly among local Hungarians as it’s tiny bit off the city centre (at about Forgach utca metro station on the blue line), and definitely off the beaten track.
The baths in Pesterzsebet (5 pools) are about an hour’s journey from the city center.
Csaszar Baths now known as Veli Bej Bath has been restored, and is a fairly priced, nice bath by Lukacs Bath and the Margaret Bridge.
More about Budapest Baths & Spas
- Which are the Best Baths in Budapest, Hungary?
- Which are the Best Baths with Kids in Budapest?
- How Much are Bath Entrance Fees?
- What Healing Effects do Budapest Baths have?
- Which Baths are Mixed in Budapest?
- Which Baths are Turkish Baths in Budapest?
- Are there Waterparks in Budapest?
- When is the next bath party in Budapest?
Please help us keep updated. If there are any changes in the above, send your comment in.
Last updated on Best Budapest Baths: September, 2013