One of the largest and most famous thermal baths in Europe, Budapest’s Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdo) are one of Hungary's most visited attractions. Soaking in the mineral-rich baths, with startling blue pools set against a backdrop of a grand neo-baroque palace, is a quintessential Budapest experience. It’s also a luxurious one, especially when coupled with a visit to the spa, which offers everything from saunas and mudpacks to rejuvenating massages and balneal therapies.
Tickets to the Szechenyi Baths include full-day access to the 18 outdoor and indoor pools, thermal baths, and spa facilities, with optional massages and treatments available. (Note that massage treatments must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.) The complex also houses a bar-café, gym, sundeck, and spa shop. For a hassle-free experience, prebook your tickets and enjoy skip-the-line access through a private entrance; opt for a tour that includes hotel pickup and drop-off; or combine your visit with other top Budapest activities such as a cruise along the Danube River or a city sightseeing tour. Non-bathers can also experience the architectural marvel on a guided tour of the historic baths.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Szechenyi Baths can get very busy, so purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance or be prepared to wait in line.
- Bring a swimsuit, towel, and flip-flops, or rent them upon arrival. All tickets include access to a private changing room or a locker.
- The Szechenyi Baths and facilities are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Szechenyi Baths are located in central Budapest’s City Park. The easiest way to get there is by metro; take the Yellow M1 line to Szechenyi station. The baths’ main entrance is located opposite the Budapest Circus Building.
When to Get There
The Szechenyi Baths are open daily year-round, and the thermal waters mean that swimming in the outdoor pools is possible even in winter. The baths can get busy, especially during the peak summer season, so to avoid the crowds, visit on a weekday and get there early to enjoy the baths before the midafternoon rush. For a different experience, arrive on a Saturday evening in summer, when the baths play host to the Szecska parties and stay open until 3 a.m.
The Healing Powers of the Szechenyi Baths
The Szechenyi Baths’ thermal pools are typically heated to between 68°F and 100°F (20°C and 38°C), and are famous for their high levels of calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, sodium, and sulfate. The mineral-rich medicinal waters have long been reputed for their healing properties and are reported to help conditions such as degenerative joint diseases, arthritis, and post-injury treatments. If that’s not enough, the saunas, steam rooms, infrared sauna, gym, mudpacks, and range of massages and physical therapies will help ensure that you leave feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated.