Gellert Spa and Bath Experience in Budapest, Hungary
Updated: May 22, 2019
Just like hotsprings in Korea, Japan, or in Taiwan, Thermal baths are a must-visit when in Budapest, Hungary. In the past, bathhouses are venues for information exchange and communal gathering due to the misty steams from the water and the noise of running water, hiding all your secrets from others around. Now, it has become a place that both locals and travellers frequent to relax and recharge, some even seeking relief from the healing properties of these medicinal baths.
Why Gellert Bathhouse?
The Gellért bathhouse is the second most popular bathhouse in Budapest (with Széchenyi taking the top spot) and is right next to the old but grand Hotel Gellert. The bath is over a century-old now, welcoming guests since 1918. Besides walking through the grandiose main hall that is free-of-charge, consider paying just a little bit more to enjoy the century-old bath and spa!
For those who do pay to get into the bath, you'll be pleased to find that the indoor pools are extremely #instagramworthy with a glass roof that allows all the sunlight to enter. The columns at the side of the pool certainly also remind one of the roman columns. Besides the indoor pools, you'll also get to soak in some sunshine in the outdoor pools!
How to get to Gellert Bathhouse?
Gellert Bathhouse is located at the Buda-side of Budapest, just at the bank of the Danube River. It is located within the compounds of Hotel Gellert and you can easily get there via metro Szent Gellért tér or the multiple buses and trams that crosses the river.
The entrance to the bath is at the right side of Hotel Gellert, where you'll see signs directing you there when you've arrived at the hotel.
Gellert Bath and Spa
Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
Opening hours: Daily, 6.00am to 8.00pm
When to visit Gellert Thermal Baths?
Gellert is the perfect bath to visit all-year-round! In summer, you'll get to enjoy all of their pools including the outdoor wave pool where you'll find yourselves surrounding by the hilly Gellert hill at the back.
In winter, the indoor pools give you no excuse to not go as you'll be in warmer temperatures indoors and if you would want a relaxing soak, head to the outdoor thermal pool and sauna!
How much does it cost to soak in the Gellert Thermal Baths?
Adult Ticket with Locker Usage - 5900 ft
Adult Ticket with Cabin Usage - 6300 ft
Weekend and Holiday Tickets:
Adult Ticket with Locker Usage - 6100 ft
Adult Ticket with Cabin Usage - 6500 ft
Children under the age of 2 get to enter for free but they have to be potty-trained in other to enter the pools. Also, thermal water is not that suitable for those under the age of 14 so thermal bathing is really more of an adult thing!
Since Gellert's cabin prices aren't all that more than a locker ticket, you may just want to get a private cabin to change and store your things if you have more than one person visiting the Gellert Bathhouse. Especially for conservative Asians who don't like to change out in the nude, a cabin is recommended. That being said, we saw many toilets available within the compound where you could possibly head into a cubicle to change (that may not be the case for other bathhouses).
You can get tickets at the door or pay a little more to get skip-the-line tickets online!
Massages and Treatments are priced differently and you can get to view prices here.
What to bring to Gellert Bathhouse?
Bring along a change of clothes, a towel, a bathrobe would be handy too, as well as a pair of slippers. Slippers are important especially when you head to the outdoor pools. Should you wish to swim in the swimming pools, you will definitely need some swimming caps too.
Since thermal waters can be rather drying, females may just want to bun up their hairs or bring along some conditioner to use after the soak!
Our experience at Gellert Bathhouse!
Gellert bath house was the first on our list when visiting the Buda-side. We decided to take a relaxing soak in the thermal pools before heading up to hike the Gellert Hill for the citadel. Perhaps we should have done it the other way round as the hike down was pretty long and we could use a good soak then!
We arrived at the bath house around 10am and it was pretty empty for morning soak. There were quite a bit of people queuing for the tickets so if you do want to get in quickly, don't forget to get your skip-the-line tickets online before heading over to Gellert Bath.
We decided to get a cabin so that we could store our things and change! After getting your tickets, head into the bathhouse entrance and be walk underneath the baths to get into the changing rooms!
Here, the still cool walls certainly make heading to the baths an experience and also reminds you of how old the baths are!
You'll first arrive at the cabins after the walk through the chilly passageway. There are quite a number of cabins and you are assigned one if you purchase the ticket with cabin. Access to the cabin is via your wristband and you'll sufficient space for two!
Lockers are located one storey up and they were really tiny! =/
Thereafter, head to the indoor or outdoor baths of your choice. Some bathing etiquettes when in Budapest baths is that you will have to shower before heading into the pools. No one likes to be in a dirty pool so do your part! You'll easily find showers all around the compound so you have no excuse!
For the swimming pools, like the central one shown here, you will have to wear a swimming cap in order to enter. Here, it is really more for those who want to have a good workout. The indoor thermal baths are at the back of the swimming pool. There are also supposedly a few more at the side but we couldn't quite access them. Perhaps they were closed for the spa customers?
The indoor thermal bath was kept at a nice warm temperature of 36 degree celsius. Unlike the picture of the swimming pool, here's where most of the people are! Although the marble structures were quite nice in the thermal bath, it was a little too dark and crowded for our liking so we decided to head outside!
Gellert's Outdoor Pools
Heading outside is a challenge especially when in Winter. It wasn't full on winter when we were there but it was still a chilly sub 10 degree celsius. Here, it would be good to have along your slippers as the ground will be far too icy! It also protects your feet from any form of pebbles since you are really outdoors!
Pictures aren't that great of the outdoor pools because my hands were shaking so much from the cold! The outdoor thermal pool experience was splendid! The waters were blue, warm, and ahhhh... we love those jet stream bubbles too!
We liked that the pool wasn't too overcrowded and we had a space for ourselves at the corner of the pool. After soaking for a little while to get some respite after braving the chill winds from running inside to this outdoor deck, we also decided to check out the sauna room at the side of the thermal pool.
The sauna's located in this little wooden hut and woah, it was HOT! We went in and steamed for a little while before heading to soak in the icy cold bucket you see in this picture, just for a few seconds. It was the BEST experience as it really did awaken and freshen you so much!
The sauna experience was great too because there's a small window that allows you to view the outside and gets some sunlight in. We hated those sauna that are dark and most of the time, you don't quite know what people are doing when they are huddling together...
This one was nice and we could just stand around or sit around while people-watching the rest of the thermal pool users.
After a few rounds of sauna + icy cold pool dipping we decided it was time to leave! As much as we couldn't bear to, there was still so much more to see in Budapest!
First-time travellers to Budapest should definitely head to the Gellert Bath and Spa even if it is touristy. Just like the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, it is an experience like no other!