Szechenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary
Updated: May 22, 2019
The Szechenyi Thermal Bath is the largest outdoor thermal bath in Europe and the first thermal bath of Pest. Even if many have claimed it to be extremely touristy, it is definitely still a must-visit for first-timers to Budapest. Located within the city's largest park, the Varosliget, a good 20 minutes from central Budapest, the Szechenyi bath is definitely worth your time for a relaxing soak.
Szechenyi boasts a total of 18 pools including outdoor and indoor geothermal pools, whirlpools, water jets, underwater aqua massage, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The bath is open every day, all year round, including the national holidays which gives every visitor no excuse to miss it!
How to get to Szechenyi Thermal Bath?
To get to Szechenyi, you can take the underground metro to Széchenyi fürdő and take a short walk to the baths. Otherwise, hop onto trolleybus 72. We'd suggest getting the Budapest City Card while in Budapest as it grants you unlimited travel on the metros, buses, and trams in the city. You'll also get access to quite a number of Budapest's attractions plus discounts!
Do take note that the entrance to the baths is actually round the corner. You'll see this unassuming sign but when you enter, the entire place feels vastly different!
Szechenyi Thermal Bath
Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
Opening hours: Daily, 6.00 to 10.00pm
What are the entrance fees like?
Just like the Gellert Spa, you’ll get to choose either lockers or cabins. Unless you don’t mind squeezing your belongings into the tiny locker, then go for it. The cabin ticket is only a little more expensive (500ft more) and you can share it with your travel companions.
We went for the cabin and got to change in private! It was spacious enough for two and we get to place our belongings within the little cabin.
The entrance prices for Szechenyi Thermal Bath is as follows:
Weekday locker - 5800ft / Weekday cabin - 6300ft
Weekend locker - 6000ft / Weekend cabin - 6500ft
You can get the tickets at the door or if you don’t want to wait, purchase them online for a fuss-free experience!
When is the best time to visit Szechenyi Thermal Baths?
Szechenyi Thermal Baths will be an amazing experience all year round. In winter, the hot baths will soothe your cold hands, feet, and bodies. It was also an interesting experience to brave the short 200m icy winds from the cabins to the baths. As Szechenyi is an open-air Bath, you’ll also get to bask under shining sun. If braving the cold isn’t your cup of tea. Head to the opposite side of the building and into the various indoor pools!
In summer, ironically, the baths are a little more crowded! Since the weather may already be quite hot, you could take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool right in the middle. Just like any other Budapest baths, remember to bring along a proper swimming cap! You could also grab a beer and chill by the pool or on the sundeck, and enjoy the charming yellow buildings surrounding the baths.
Whichever season you go, the mornings see the least crowds at Szechenyi. You could go as early as 6.00am when they open to be one of the first few in the baths! It would also be a refreshing start to the rest of your day if you head there early. Otherwise, head there at night for a cool experience. There are some nights that are "party" nights so that would be something different too!
What to bring to Szechenyi Bathhouse?
Bring along a change of clothes, a towel, a bathrobe would be handy too, as well as a pair of slippers. Slippers and bathrobes are especially important if you intend to head to the outdoor pools. At Szechenyi, the outdoor pools are the star and you should definitely bring along these essentials! 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 Szechenyi Thermal Baths in Winter!
We got cabin tickets and headed to change into our swimwear. The cabins look rustic and provided just sufficient space for two.
Thereafter, we headed straight for the outdoor pools. On the two ends, you’ll find the hot baths with various water jets. We ran for a quick shower and into the hot pool. The cold breeze was quickly forgotten as our bodies settled well into the hot waters.
Even though there were quite a bit of people in the baths, we did not once feel like we had to squeeze or were squashed. The little water fountains within the bath was also quite fun as we splashed hot water around.
The indoor pools were actually a lot more crowded, perhaps due to the cold, and we felt that it would be a little offensive to be taking too many pictures. In the indoor pools, you’ll get to marvel at the interior of the neo-baroque palace and look at the pools situated amidst the Roman-like columns.
We spent about 2 to 3 hours in total at the thermal baths including the changing and showering. We left refreshed and ready for more thermal baths the next day! :)
Wondering where to stay in Budapest?
We spent three nights at Ibis Budapest City. It is conveniently located near Blaha Lujza Ter metro, has several supermarkets nearby, and is in walking distance to many of the Ruin Pubs.
Have you been to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths or any other baths in Budapest? Share with us your experiences in the comments below!