Budapest holds the title of ‘The City of Spas’ since the year 1934, as it has more thermal and medicinal water springs than any other capital city in the world. There are 118 springs around the city, providing over 70 million liters of thermal water a day. The temperature of the waters is between 21 and 78 Celsius.
Budapest has been well-known for its thermal springs since the 2nd century, when Romans colonized the area to take advantage of the location and the enormous network of healing waters below. During the Ottoman occupation in the 16th century, even more baths were built (some of which are still standing today). Thankfully, this tradition has not died in recent times. Budapest has a wide array of spas to offer and we are now going to introduce you the best ones.
With its 18 pools, Széchenyi is the largest medicinal bath complex in Europe. Built in 1913 within the City Park (Városliget) in Neo-Baroque style, the building itself is arguably one of the most beautiful in all of Budapest. There are large outdoor and indoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, massage areas and more, not to mention the parties thrown there every Saturday night. This bath complex is easily recognizable for the chess boards found in the outdoor pools, where old and young can relax in the water and unwind for hours on end.
The second largest spa of Budapest is part of the Hotel Gellért in Buda near Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd). Built between 1912 and 1918 in Art Nouveau style, it contains 13 pools, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, saunas and medicinal baths. The bath is also equipped with a wave pool, originally built in 1927 which was rare to find anywhere in Europe back then. Massages are also available upon advance booking.
Rudas was built in 1550 at the foot of the Gellért Hill in Buda under the reign of the Ottoman Empire. It houses a typically gorgeous, Turkish bath with a central dome and other smaller rooms. The attached swimming pool is always open for men and women, but all the other spaces are divided up for men and women by day – you can check the schedule on their website.
The spring water at Lukács is probably the most widely-known of all the spas in Budapest. The bath welcomes its visitors with classical thermal, swimming and leisure pools as well as a sauna park. Many people swear by the healing powers of the water at this spa, ranging from curing stomach and kidney problems to a lack of calcium in the bones.