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Budapest - Széchenyi Baths

The Széchenyi Baths in Budapest

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The Széchenyi Baths are the most famous thermal baths in Budapest. Nestled in a magnificent setting, they epitomize relaxation and rejuvenation! Follow the guide ! 👙

⚠️: The Széchenyi Baths popularity often leads to lengthy queues, particularly during the high season. To save time, it’s advisable to book your visit in advance: Skip-the-line Tickets for The Széchenyi Baths.

💡 The Captain’s tip 💡

🧐 Want to know more about the history of Budapest? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the city. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!

💤 Are you looking for a hotel in Budapest? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Budapest? Advice & recommendations

🏛 Planning your trip to Budapest? Take a look the Captain’s detailed article on the best things to do: A Guide to Budapest

👶 Planning a family adventure to Budapest? Discover all of the Captain’s top tips in the article: Exploring Budapest with the Kids: Family-Friendly Activities.

Brief history of the Széchenyi thermal baths

Budapest, an ancient thermal town

While the Széchenyi Baths are the most emblematic thermal baths in Budapest, there are plenty of other bath complexes in the Hungarian capital! Why this craze for thermal baths?

The answer is simple: the city once was under Roman rule, and then, much later, under Ottoman rule. And what do these two cultures have in common? Their love for the thermal baths, of course. The Romans and then the Ottomans found thermal springs in Budapest: a godsend!

Although they have long since left Budapest, the tradition of thermal baths has remained and is deeply rooted in Hungarian culture!

And the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?

The Széchenyi Baths, Széchenyi gyógyfürdő in Hungarian (good luck trying to pronounce that!) were built at the beginning of the 20th century.

The thermal baths were named after Hungarian politician, writer and economist István Széchenyi, nicknamed “the greatest Hungarian” for his contribution to the political and cultural life of the country.

Located in the heart of Városliget, literally the “City Park”, the Széchenyi Baths are a sumptuous example of neo-baroque architecture. Construction of the Széchenyi Baths lasted four years, from 1909 to 1913, and the thermal baths instantly attracted immense crowds. On the first year, more than 200,000 visitors came to the newly opened Széchenyi Baths. In 1919, the number of bathers was multiplied by 4.

In 1927, the thermal baths were enlarged. Today, the Széchenyi Baths include 3 outdoor pools and 18 indoor pools.

Between 1999 and 2009, the bath complex underwent extensive renovations: in ten years, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths were entirely refurbished. They are now open to both men and women, while some sections were originally reserved for men or women only, with public areas open to all.

As of now, Széchenyi Thermal Baths top the list of tourist attractions in the Hungarian capital. It’s a good idea to secure your tickets ahead of time if you intend to pay them a visit!

Budapest - Széchenyi Thermal Baths - exterior

The water of the Széchenyi thermal baths: therapeutic virtues?

As soon as you’ll enter Széchenyi thermal baths, you’ll definitely notice a very recognizable (and slightly unpleasant) smell: sulfur, of course!

The water contains calcium carbonate, magnesium bicarbonate, chlorides, sulfates, alkalis and fluoride.

It is said to have many therapeutic virtues, including relieving joint pain, arthritis, gastritis, inflammation of all kinds or calcium insufficiency.

Budapest - Széchenyi Thermal Baths - interior

Visiting the Széchenyi thermal baths

The Széchenyi Baths rank high on the list of the largest thermal baths in Europe. And it goes without saying that this immense thermal complex is absolutely gorgeous. Visitors neo-baroque yellow buildings are incredibly picturesque!

The Széchenyi baths include a set of indoor and outdoor pools, the temperature of which varies between 18 °C / 64.4°F and 48 °C / 118.4°F, as well as hammams (moist heat) and saunas (dry heat). But the Széchenyi baths are mostly famous for their large outdoor pool.

To experience a session at the spa like a true Hungarian, Captain Ulysses recommends going from one pool to the next.

Budapest - Széchenyi Thermal Baths - outdoor swimming pool

Practical information

Getting to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are located in Városliget, on the eastern bank of the Danube (Pest), in the 14th district.

You’ll find a subway station and a tram station right next to the bath complex: Széchenyi Fürdő station, served by subway line 1 and tram line 72.

The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours also stop near the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.

Admission rates

Admission rates vary between 5,200 Ft (16 €) and 6,200 Ft (19 €) They (with or without individual cloakroom).

The thermal baths are very successful with locals and tourists alike, so you’ll have to be prepared to wait in line for a while. Captain Capitaine Ulysses recommends booking skip-the-line tickets in advance, especially since the price difference is really minimal.

👉 Széchenyi Spa Full Day

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If you feel like the entrance tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths are too expensive, know that there are many other thermal baths in Budapest. They might not be as grandiose, but they’re definitely cheaper and / or less crowded:

Last recommendations

It goes without saying, but remember to bring your swimsuit and your towel! You can also bring a pair of flip flops: they may not be very elegant but they can come in very handy!

If you want to take a dip in the sports pool, you will also need a swimming cap. If you don’t have one, no worries: you can buy one on site.

👉 Skip the lines: book your tickets and visits in advance!

👉 Find the perfect place to stay in Budapest!


👉 Looking for tips and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!

🛏️ Accommodation:
Booking ($: Avenue Hostel | $$: Agape Apartments | $$$: Hotel Moments Budapest)

🎟️ Guided tours, cruises, skip-the-line tickets…:
GetYourGuide, Tiqets and Civitatis

🎫 Citypass:
The Budapest Card

🚐 Transfers:
Airport transfer

🚌Transport in Budapest:
Hop-on hop-off bus tour | a russian jeep | Trabant

✈️ Flights:

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Széchenyi thermal baths

Jorge Franganillo Ryanne lai BRJ INC. Alex Proimos Tiomax80

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