A Guide To Budapest's Thermal Baths

A Guide To Budapest's Thermal Baths

When getting away from the stress of everyday life, there is nothing quite like a relaxing soak in a thermal bath. Soaking in the naturally heated, mineral-rich water is the ideal way to remove the stress and truly relax while on vacation. It is also a popular way for people to socialize with like-minded folk. In fact the baths in Budapest, Hungary have been popular since the Roman occupation in the first century. To this day, the city boasts some of the best thermal baths in Europe, which are outlets for the natural, mineral-rich, and hot thermal water hiding under the city’s surface. The city has a total of 123 hot springs and 9 thermal baths, all with varying facilities. Read more about Budapest’s thermal baths below.

History of Budapest’s thermal baths

Budapest Széchenyi Baths R01
Source: Photo by user MJJR used under CC BY 3.0

The use of the mineral-rich thermal water dates back to the Roman occupation in the first century AD. Visitors can today visit the “Thermae Majores,” the Romans’ main public bath, which has been excavated. Following in the Romans’ footsteps were the Ottomans. When they invaded the city in the 16th century, the Ottomans particularly liked Buda’s hot springs. Many of the hammams built by them are still functioning today, including Király, Rudas, and Veli Bej. In the 20th century, during the golden years in Budapest under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they once again became popular. These thermal baths are set in classical and grand revival buildings in the city and are quite unlike the modest hammams.

The health benefits of Budapest's thermal baths

Szechenyi Baths and Pool Budapest 10
Source: Photo by user Petr Vilgus used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The thermal waters of Budapest are composed of a number of minerals, including calcium, fluoride ions, hydrogen-carbonate, magnesium, sodium, and sulfate-chloride. These minerals are recommended in the case of damaged joints, chronic and semi-acute arthritis, degenerative diseases, vertebral disc dislocation, and for lumbago and lower back pain. They are also useful for vertebral dislocation, calcium deficiency, and spinal deformation. The medicinal waters have been found to be useful as a post-traumatic therapy after accidents. There are also a number of drinking cures to be had. The massage therapies available at the thermal baths are also helpful in the case of muscle pain.

Best thermal baths in Budapest

Gellért Thermal Baths and Swimming Pool
Source: Photo by user Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

When it comes to men and women, thermal baths in Budapest do vary, with Rudas Baths being mostly men-only during the week. However, they do have mixed nights for both sexes over the weekends. One of the most popular is the massive Széchenyi Baths which boasts three swimming pools and 15 thermal baths in lavish and attractive surroundings. The Art Nouveau Gellért Baths offer one of the most beautiful indoor swimming pools in Budapest. They are now open to both men and women. Lukács Baths are well-known for their curative waters, especially in the case of vertebral dislocation and similar conditions. The recently renovated Veli Bej Baths have five thermal pools which are fed using the original clay pipes. For more modern facilities, the Danubius Health Spa Margitsziget on Margaret Island offers an epic range of special treatments.

Relax in a thermal bath in Budapest, Hungary

Relieve the stress of daily life and enjoy total relaxation while soaking in beneficial medicinal waters at one of the many thermal baths in Budapest, Hungary. Also, take advantage of other facilities including wonderful massage therapies.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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