Our Cities

Budapest, the Spa Capital of Europe

There are many things you should not miss while in Budapest and visiting a thermal bathhouse is definitely one of these things (as well as joining our free walking tours, of course 😉 ) ! In this blog article we are going to introduce you to the bathing culture of the Hungarian capital city and help you decide which spa to go to when you are spending a couple of days in Budapest!

Article by Judit Farkas, tour guide and manager at Trip to Budapest Free Walking Tours

The thermal water of Hungary

One of the reasons why this small country in the middle of Europe is special is that it is amongst the 5 countries in the whole world that have the largest water supply under their surface. The other 4 countries are Japan, Iceland, Italy and France. Just to prove to you that we are the best 😉 : the thermal water of Hungary is warmer than what you can find in Italy and France and our H2O has a higher mineral content than the water in Iceland and Japan!

If you start digging, you will find at least 30 degrees Celsius hot water under about 80% of our land, and the hottest water of Europe was found in Budapest, too: at the end of the 1800s about a 1000 meters deep, under today’s Heroes’ square they found 78 degrees Celsius hot water.

What is more, the thermal and mineral waters of Hungary have a superpower as well! They have a curative nature; some of them are good for curing rheumatologic, dermatological, gynecological problems, and others can heal metabolic illnesses or cardiovascular problems. But even if you do not have any health issues it is just nice to go and relax in the hot and cold pools of the more than 10 spas of Budapest. You can go in the winter and summer as well, no matter if it is cold or hot outside.

The kind of bathhouses we have in Budapest

Since Hungary was under Ottoman rule in the 16th and 17th centuries, we have heritage from the Turks up until nowadays and some of these things are the bathing culture and a couple of Turkish bathhouses in Budapest. 

  • Király: a real Turkish bathhouse from 1565! You can find it on the Buda side of the city.
  • Rudas: also found on the Buda side, next to the river Danube. What is cool about it is that it has a rooftop pool as well, from where you can admire some great views!
The complex of the Rudas bath in Budapest

Let’s see the other kind of bathhouses Budapest has to offer. They are from the 20th century and you can easily confuse them with some palace looking buildings from the outside… 

  • Gellért: built in a beautiful art nouveau style, attached to a hotel on the Buda side of the city.
  • Széchenyi: the largest and most well known bathing complex in Budapest, on the Pest side of our capital. It has a classicist and neo-renaissance style and there are a lot of pools inside and outside as well. You can even play chess in some of them, since there are some built-in chess boards in the pools!
Széchenyi bathing complex in Budapest

We hope we could help you get to know the spas of Budapest and after taking some of our free tours you will go and visit at least one of them during your stay! 🙂

Thank you for reading the article. For more travel tips from our local guides around the world check the blog section of our website! Have you read our article about the things to do in Budapest in one day?

If you like this article or have any question, feel free to leave us a comment below!

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