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Budapest Trip Planning- Thermal Spas

Planning a 4 day trip to Budapest late April 2022 and would like to stay in a hotel that has indoor and outdoor thermal pools in the historic center of Budapest. Has Budapest any good hotels with included thermal pools? Or do people mainly stay close to the big famous public baths? What’s the best way to have easy access to relaxing days in a thermal bath?
If best option is going to the public baths, what would be good hotels to stay close to the best public baths?
Any trip planning advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

Posted by
1348 posts

I’m sure James E, the forum’s resident Budapest expert will chime in but I’ll give my thoughts.

I found Budapest to have good public transport to the various tourist sites. Out tour hotel stayed at a hotel near the Opera tram stop, we had a walking tour from heroes square to the bath in the nearby park. Many tour members went to the spa and had an enjoyable afternoon. There’s a tram stop very close to the bath.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for your reply. Any recommendations on a thermal spa hotel located in a nice area?

Posted by
13556 posts

Rocket it right transportation is easy in Budapest. Most of the thermal baths are on a tram line.

Since the spas seem to be your interest, to stay at one might be limiting. But if you want to do that then the obvious choice is the Gellert Hotel which holds one of Budapest's Iconic spas; unfortunately the hotel is closed for renovations but the spa still operates. There is a spa hotel with thermal baths on Margrit Island, but not much charming or historic about it. And then there is the Corinthia. But here is some information on spa hotels:

And here is a list of some of your bath house choices:

Posted by
102 posts

Check out the YouTube channel “attaché”. They have a good video on Budapest that actually features the Corinthian Hotel including their spa. Beautiful.

Posted by
149 posts

If you're going to be in Budapest on a Tuesday, that is women only day at the Rudas bath. The oldest part of the bath dates back to the 16th century - very atmospheric.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks very much for all the advice and suggestions. The Corinthia hotel looks wonderful and is in a great location-but a bit above our budget, plus it seems to not be available on our dates. We are probably going with Ensana Grand Margaret Island as you can get a large room, spa and pools included with its neighbouring Ensana property and breakfast included -all at reasonable prices. They have good reviews for cleanliness and actually give information about the type of thermal water and its benefits. They have a few pools it seems where the Corinthia seems like it only has one and the Corinthia does not give information about the type of thermal water, temperature, etc.

Posted by
13556 posts

Absolutely a good choice. A favorite among locals for a staycation. The only drawback is the location for tourism. The hotel is a 25 minute bus ride to Deak Ferenc ter. I measure everything to there as it is sort of ground zero for tourism. But, in 10 to 15 minutes you can reach the bridge (on the bus) from where you can at least begin enjoying the more popular types of tourist public transportation (the 4/6 tram).

Here, and I think you will enjoy this too:

Posted by
930 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
If you want a spa/thermal bath experience you will never forget...go to the 'City Baths' in 'City Park'. I can be more specific.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath is where Hungarians and some tourists go. Take your own towel. If you want the old men soaking and playing chess in the pool? This is the place. Three large pools. One for fun, and it is. One for swimming laps. And the hottest for soaking and the water jets. Be careful you don't only visit a thermal bath catering to tourists. The Gellert is probably the exception to this. A beautiful place.

Where is it? The old Yellow metro line runs from Vorosmarty ter to Deak ter to the Opera to Oktogon ter to Hosok tere to Szechenyi Furdo to Mexikoi Ut at the north and 'far end' of the line. I skipped a few stops in this list. Obviously you get off at Szechenyi Furdo. Once above ground again look for the entrance as it is across the street from the 'circus'. Yes, the circus.

This bath is in the City Park, or Városliget.

Our first trip to Budapest we stayed at a B&B. They recommended some thermal bath that resembled a Holiday Inn and enclosed bath in the basement. I must admit it was a laugh. Our hosts were recommending what they thought 'Americans' would want.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
849 posts

I like Lukacs Baths on the Buda side. The patrons are mostly locals with some tourists. Much less crowded than the well known baths.

Posted by
78 posts

As James said, staying on Margaret Island makes tourism difficult. I would reconsider staying there unless all you want to do is relax in the thermal baths.
Like Wayne, I really love Szechenyi. It's quite easy to get to, staff speak passable English, and there are so many options to enjoy. I've been enough that I prefer to go to a spa that I am familiar with. With the Metro stop just outside, you can get there easily, enjoy some time, and still have time to explore Budapest.

In other words, it's so much easier to stay in Pest and take public transport to the bath of your choice.

Having said that, whatever you decide will be wonderful. Budapest is a beautiful city and the bath experience is not to be missed. You'll love it!

Posted by
227 posts

Hi, I was in Budapest last week. if you stay anywhere near the city center in Pest - you will be only 15 min away by public transport from the top 3 thermal baths.
if you had to choose one for experience, I would recommend Széchenyi as well. biggest baddest of them all.
Gellert - the "poshest" with most (almost all) tourists. beautiful interiors. you will be very comfortable here.
Rudas - most "atmospheric" - an old turkish style bath along with a modern rooftop outdoor bath and a stunning view..

Posted by
4 posts

We will be in Budapest in September prior to a river cruise. We'd love to go to a spa, but worried about the closeness of people with all the covid that's still out there and now monkeypox. What are your thoughts?

Posted by
264 posts

To Walsh:

We just got back from Budapest. Go to the Szchenyi thermal baths and sit in the outdoor pools. There are large enough that you have plenty of space between people.
We wore masks on the public transportation and during musueum tours, but not in the baths.
We did not use the saunas because of the enclosed space, though.