Budapest is well known as a spa city in Europe. There is numerous water springs that runs under the city. It’s impossible to visit Budapest properly without experiencing its interesting spa culture. The city has a long history of bathing that dates back to Romans and Ottoman Turks, so you have several options of places where to go. The most popular baths for travellers are Gellert and Szechenyi bath. If you want to try something different, there is an interesting Turkish bath Rudas with a view to the Danube River.
It’s impossible to visit Budapest properly without experiencing its interesting spa culture
On my third day in the city, I woke up early in the morning excited because it was bath time! My choice was the biggest and the grandest of Budapest baths, the Szechenyi Bath (Állatkerti krt. 9-11). How to find this place? Szechenyi Bath is situated in City Park (Városliget) on the Pest side. Take the yellow metro line (M1) to Széchenyi fürdő or just walk like I did. It’s an easy 40 minutes’ walk from the city center. I highly recommend walking because you can see so much more of the city that from the metro. On my way to the bath I found the Heroe’s Square (Hősök tere) at the end of Andrássy Street. This square is important cultural place for locals and cool place for tourists to take photos.
There’s a reason why I woke up early to visit Szechenyi Bath. No lines to the cashier, no crowds, just peace and silence. It was nice to relax in the pools with some locals. After 1 PM the place was full of people and there was even a tour guide with a group in the entry hall.
How much is the entry to Szechenyi Bath?
The tickets are a little cheaper on the weekdays than on the weekends. You can choose all day ticket with a locker (4900 HUF/5100 HUF) or a cabin (5400 HUF/5600 HUF). At the cashier you will get a wristband which you can use to enter or leave the bath and also to lock your locker. In my experience the staff was very helpful. Szechenyi Bath is open every day (even on holidays) and there aren’t separate days for women or men like in some other Budapest baths so this place is suitable for couples too. Remember that you can buy the entry tickets also online to avoid the lines.
What to bring to the Budapest baths?
Take a plastic bag, towel, swim wear, flip flops, shampoo, bottle of water and remember to remove any jewelry before entering the pools. Girls no need for hair dryer! Towel was very helpful when you move from inside pools to outside pools, especially if you visit the bath on a cold season. If you wish to take some photos it’s not forbidden but do respect others. Just take a few snaps and leave your camera in the locker.
Swimming in Szechenyi
Szechenyi Bath is a huge place with 18 pools (3 of them outside). I even managed somehow to get lost in there. It was relaxing to try all the different temperature pools. My favourite place was the whirlpools and water jets in one of the outside pools. The architecture is quite impressing. All the beautiful details made me feel like I was swimming in a royal palace. Cool thing I learned that soaking in relaxing baths is not just for fun but also for medicine use. There was a separate hospital wing where they heal people with joint problems. In the entry hall you can see a sign on the wall which informs that the thermal water in the pools is radioactive and contains different minerals (sulphate, calcium, magnesium, fluoride et cetera)
Another sights around Szechenyi
After all that bathing I was so hungry. There was a great lunch place in the City Park close by to my next destination Vajdahunyad Castle. When I saw this castle and the courtyard for the first time I thought to myself that if I would be a princess, I would live here. Well that’s a fantasy but the reality is that Vajdahunyad Castle is not actually that old. Inside the castle is just a museum for those who are interested in Hungarian agriculture. Despite of the beauty of the courtyard. there was some peaceful homeless people sleeping in the back of the building. I was so sad that a couple of tourists – who didn’t seem to respect homeless people – were taking pictures like they were a tourist sight.
Click pictures below!
Have you read all my previously posts about Budapest?