Budapest has earned a reputation as the city of spas’ thanks to its abundance of traditional Turkish bathhouses, stunning spas and a celebrated beer bath.

Visiting a bathhouse may well be on your Budapest bucket list but knowing which is best for you can become confusing with so many to choose from. 

To help you wade through the options, here’s a breakdown of Budapest’s best baths to bathe in so you have no excuse not to dive in.

Thermal Baths Budapest

The Best Thermal Bath For Instagram

Perhaps the most famous of all of Hungary’s baths are the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. The palatial-looking spa has popped all over social media, with trendy influencers snapped outside the custard-yellow, neo-baroque building, dipping into the steaming, powdery-blue waters. 

While the two outdoor heated pools usually steal the limelight, the complex is actually made up of 18 pools – indoors and outdoors – ranging from 36 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius, as well as a sauna and steam room.

And if that wasn’t enough, Széchenyi also offers beer baths. That’s right! You can hops’ into a spa for hydrotherapy and brew your own beverage.

Szechenyi Baths

The Best Thermal Bath For Treatments

The Gellért Baths come in at a close second when it comes to Budapest’s most famous baths. And with its stained-glass windows, mosaic interiors and Roman columns, it’s not hard to see why.

Celebrated since its opening in 1918, it’s remained a must-visit recommendation by locals and travellers for decades.

Fed by thermal springs from the nearby Gellért Hill, the baths feature pools at 26 C to 40 C, as well as treatment rooms which offer carbonic acid baths — which are said to relieve cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure – and red wine, pomace and grapeseed oil massages, for hydrating and regenerating the skin.

Gellart Baths Budapest

The Best Thermal Bath For Night-Bathing

If you’re looking for a traditional Turkish bathhouse, Rudas Baths is the spot to visit.

While not as elaborate as either Gellért or Széchenyi, Rudas Baths date back to the 16th Century and its historic octagonal pool offers visitors an alternative evening activity to clubbing or bar hopping in Budapest. 

Open until 4 am, every Friday and Saturday, why not opt for the unique experience of night-bathing?

Rudas Baths

Photo courtesy of Bex Walton.

The Best Thermal Bath For Sparties

Lukács Baths is a great option to end the day if exploring all that Buda and Pest have to offer have taken their toll on your weary limbs.

Aimed at serious spa enthusiasts, Lukács Baths is home to magical waters which boast cures for spinal deformations, vertebral dislocations and even calcium deficiency! Additionally, the baths offer infra-red saunas, weight baths to treat spinal injuries, a Himalayan salt wall to supposedly ease respiratory problems, as well as a host of reflexology and medicinal treatments!

It’s not all work and no play, however. The venue is host to serious sparties’, where throughout winter, visitors can swim, soak and shimmy into the early morning, entertained by laser shows, DJs and film screenings until 3 am.

Lukács Baths

The Best Thermal Bath For Relaxation

Ditch the DJs and party-goers, and instead, lie back and gaze at a classic Turkish dome dotted with starry lights as your muscles are soaked in steaming waters and massaged by underwater jets.

A great option for those looking for some me-time’, the Ottoman-era attraction has actually teamed up with more contemporary Lukács Baths so that visitors to Király Baths can also enjoy the benefits of the healing spring waters but without the crowds. 

Exploring Hungary on your own? Here’s how to explore Budapest as a solo traveller.

Choice Hotels