Spread all throughout the beautiful city of Budapest, you will find many of it’s world famous thermal bathes. With some dating back hundreds of years, to the days when personal hygiene facilities were not available in every household, these baths have an incredible history to them. Their beautiful architecture is just of the many reasons why you need to visit at least one. Here is our guide to Budapest’s Thermal Baths: Why You Need to Go!
During our short visit to the vibrant city of Budapest, we visited two different thermal baths, Lukacs and Szechenyi. Both of these baths were similar, yet completely different when it came to the size, facilities, architecture and general enjoyment factor. But before we dive into the details of these centres of relaxation, let’s talk about why we decided to go and what to bring!
Why Visit the Baths
As I said before, the thermal baths of Budapest are famous throughout the world. No visit to this incredible city is complete with spending an afternoon relaxing in at least one of the baths. Whether your visit to Budapest is to drink in the culture, learn the fascinating history, relax in the sun or indulge in the (rather cheap) local beers, you will find all of the above at the baths.
Our main reason for visiting the baths was due to the incredible heat Budapest was experiencing, as well as the fact that we were living out of a tent. Rather than wandering around in the 35oC heat, we decided to pack up our swimsuits, towels and a packed lunch and spend the day relaxing in and out of the water. Time to get zenned out!
What to Bring?
During your visit to the baths you will require, the very least, a swimsuit and towel, however we recommend you bring a few other items as well. There are bar and restaurant facilities, shoe rentals, towel rental and even shops selling bathing equipment, such as goggles, caps, towels, dressing gowns and much more. However, all of this added together will prove to be a very expensive trip, so we suggest packing them yourself and saving the money for more important things (beer..).
During our visit, we packed the following-
- A good book
- Soap and shampoo
- A packed lunch and water bottles
With all of the above, you will be able to spend an entire day here, enjoying the many fantastic facilities, without spending a penny above the cost of entry.
Now let’s talk about the baths themselves!
The first bath we visited was the Lukacs baths, located on the Buda side of the river. Although this is one of the smaller baths available, we highly recommend a visit! Thanks to our Budapest Cards, our entry to this bath was completely free. We spent the afternoon relaxing here, enjoying its many hot and cold pools, the steam room and saunas and most of all, the Jacuzzi seats and lazy river on the outdoor section of the baths.
Lockers are included with the entry to the bath and cabins are available to rent if you have larger bags, so don’t worry if you are a backpacker like us!
The second bath we visited is located on the Pest side of the river, in the centre of the City Park. The Szechenyi thermal baths are possibly one of the grandest and most popular baths in Budapest. The splendid architecture of these baths make it a sight any backpacker must see!
The huge complex consists of three large, outdoor pools, as well as multiple indoor pools of varying temperature. There are multiple sauna and steam rooms, as well as plunge pools to cool off in. Spend the day lounging by the outdoor pool and topping up on refreshments at the many bars surrounding the complex, before finishing off with a sauna steam and even a massage if you want!
When we visited this bathhouse, it was a Saturday and therefore extremely busy. We would recommend going during the week and during office hours, to avoid the heavy traffic of locals enjoying this spectacular sight.
Once again, lockers are available on the standard ticket and cabins are available for rental. Since we were visiting these baths on our way to the train station, we had our entire luggage with us. We therefore decided to rent a cabin, which proved to have plenty of room for all of both of our bags.
Which One to Choose?
Overall, we would have to rate the first baths we visited, the Lukacs bathhouse, as our favourite. This may be because of how busy the other thermal baths were, but it is also due to the wider range of attractions available. The thermal pools felt warmer and cosier and the Jacuzzi seats were amazing! In addition to this, the tickets were also cheaper, which would have been a big deal to us if they weren’t included in our Budapest Card anyway.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visits to the bath houses and can recommend them to all backpackers, whether you be budget or luxury, for your visit to beautiful Budapest.
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