If you’re heading to Budapest, spending a day at one of their many thermal bath houses is a must. Budapest lays over top of 125+ natural thermal springs which has been enjoyed by locals for centuries and has gained great popularity over the years.
During my short 3 day stay in Budapest, a bath house visit was top on my to-do list. With so many to choose from, I opted for one of the most beautiful and extensive baths, Széchenyi Thermal Bath. You have probably already seen its iconic yellow exterior seen poised in the background of steamy blue pools on your Instagram feed.
I had to go see it for myself! It was a little daunting going as a solo traveler and just a tourist in general, I must admit. I tried to find guides online but couldn’t find anything as comprehensive which included actual prices and the “what to bring” information I logistically wanted to know. So, of course, I’ve written one for you myself.
If it’s your first time setting out to explore Széchenyi, follow this guide for all the insider tips on what to expect, when to go, costs, and a packing list, including camera gear.
Budapest has an awesome metro system that will drop you right at Széchenyi!
Take the M1 line to Széchenyi fürdő station. A single ticket will cost 350 HUF/1.72 CAD or click here for an up-to-date price list.
When You Should Go
As with any popular tourist attraction, I always recommend going early in the day. This way you’ll be able to capture amazing people-less pictures and get to explore all the amenities without having to wait or feel cramped.
Széchenyi opens at 6AM-10PM Monday to Sunday.
Personally, I was went in December (low season) around 9AM and it wasn’t as empty as I thought it would be, so plan accordingly! Also don’t be put off by going in the winter. It will definitely be less crowed and I found it was actually a nice escape to spend my day soaking in the warmth to shake away the cold.
Pools, Baths, and Spa Services
This place is huge! It was an adventure in itself just roaming through the corridors finding where different pools were, passing by saunas with glowing red and green lights, and of course venturing outdoors for the beautiful large pools.
Inside you’ll find a variety of small pools at varying temperatures. Some are steaming hot while others are icy cold! Luckily, each pool has a sign posted on a nearby wall indicating the temperature and how long you’re meant to stay in the pool. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes! I even went in the ice cold pool… for half a second.
There are also some hot and cold showers available to try as well as saunas. The saunas are at set temperatures and definitely the hottest I have ever been in so be prepared for a good sweat sesh if you can handle it.
Outside you’ll find pure blue water surrounded by the sunshine yellow walls of Széchenyi. You’ve definitely seen the pictures but you may not have known there are actually 2 pools out there. One is warm with jets throughout while the other is steaming hot. Take your pick!
You can also purchase additional services such as spa treatments, pedicures, and massages, just ask the receptionist when you’re purchasing your entrance ticket.
Entrance fees alone can range from as low as 4900 HUF/24.11 CAD to 5600 HUF/27.56 CAD. Prices will vary according to whether you are visiting on a weekday vs weekend, what time you are entering (discounts for evening only), and whether you want a personal changing cabin or are fine with using common separate gendered locker rooms (cheaper).
Click here for an up-to-date price list on entrance and spa fees as from when I actually went to when I am writing this I’ve noticed the price has gone up!
What To Pack
This is the part I was most unsure about before I went so I hope this helps!
Technically you don’t have to bring anything with you at all except for cash/credit if you’re willing to pay for all of your bath needs. Széchenyi offers towels and even bathing suits for rent. No need to bring a lock as it will be included in your entrance fee for both the cabin and locker options. However, I chose to bring all these items myself.
Széchenyi Packing list:
- Swim suit
- Flip flops
- SJCAM SJ6 Legend WiFi Action Camera or GoPro HERO5 (Black)
- Selfie Stick with BlueTooth control + tripod
- TELESIN 6″ Underwater Dome Port + Pistol Trigger
- Cell Phone
- Snacks!!! (not sure if this is allowed but no one checked/I ate them anyways)
- Small Waterproof Bag to hold everything
I carried my towel and all of my belongings with me as I explored Széchenyi, leaving them on a nearby bench when I chose to hop in a pool. It wasn’t extremely busy at the time of my visit so I could always keep an eye on my things but if you’re going during high season, I recommend leaving your cell phone in your locker and bringing one of the above mentioned action cams (both waterproof) that you can keep on you at all times.
Now that you’re fully prepped for one of the best bath houses in Budapest, there’s nothing left but for you to enjoy.
Written by Adriana M