Please sign in to post.

Szechenyi Bath in the Afternoon of May 18 Question

Hi! We will be arriving by shuttle from Cezky Krumlov to Budapest arriving around 2 PM . This will be in May 18. We were thinking of doing the Thermal Bath at Szenchenyi possibly around 4 pm to relax first before doing a full tour of Budapest the next day? It will be our first time and we just want to experience the thermal bath possibly for 2-3 hours? Is that enough then have dinner after? What are your thoughts? Thank you.

Posted by
4368 posts

Yes, 2 - 3 hours will be plenty. It depends what you want to get out of it. A sauna won't take long, I doubt your endurance will hold out enough. The various dipping pools won't take long neither will a lounge in one of the thermal pools unless you intend on a few games of chess.

Posted by
6567 posts

Beware that they won't let you in without a rubber swimming cap.
We went on our first trip to Budapest and it wasn't that big of a deal. (We have a big spa at home.) It was actually a hassle to get over there and go thru the locker room.

Posted by
2204 posts

You only need a swim cap if you are planning to enter the lap pool, which is solely for swimming laps.

Posted by
4368 posts

Beware that they won't let you in without a rubber swimming cap.

We were never made to wear a swimming cap, the subject never even came up.

Posted by
5666 posts

We were in Budapest last week (January!) and spent 3+ hours just in the two outside thermal pools, one at 28° (with the "whirlpool"), the other at 38° (where the chess players hang out.) SO relaxed afterwards. But even 2 hours would be great (cost was about $42 for two, without towel rental since we brought towels from the apartment.) Warning -- you might not want to get out!

Posted by
31 posts

Thank you--so afternoon time going there is ok? I will check if we can bring disposable swimming caps. Perfect to relax after a long trip. So excited!

Posted by
5666 posts

I saw one woman in the thermal pool (NOT the lap-swimming pool) wearing what looked like a shower cap. Most people in the thermal pools did not have head coverings at all. But do take caps if you want to use the swimming pool

Posted by
2157 posts

I have yet to visit the baths on my 3 previous trips to Budapest (never say never, who knows...) but just wanted to recommend something really fun that will be happening the weekend of May 19-20 if you're there, I actually planned my visit from May 15-21 to enjoy the Museum Festival again. It's on the lovely tree-shaded grounds of the National Museum (Museum korut 14-16, right near Kalvin ter metro station) and it's free and full of exhibits from museums all over Hungary, plus crafts, food and music. I found it by accident in 2016 and spent a good 3 hours mingling with the locals, highly recommend.

Posted by
135 posts

I haven't been to the Szenchenyi, but at the Gellert we saw people wearing the shower caps that you find in hotel rooms. i assume those would be acceptable at the Szenchenyi as well.

Christa - if you are going to be in Budapest on a Tuesday, go to the Rudas, Tuesday is women only day, I have been twice - love it! So nice to soak in the thermal bath after all the walking around.

Posted by
170 posts

I salute you for going to Szenchenyi first in Budapest.

I do not believe two to three hours is enough time for your first visit. Szenchenyi is worth spending twice that for a first visit. And, I recommend visiting Szenchenyi more than once. Maybe I'm decadent.

Enjoy lovely Budapest. It's a great city -- and one of my three favorite in Europe.

P.S.: If you are up for a recommendation, go on the Yellow Zebra bicycle tour. Budapest is the perfect city for a bicycle tour because it is picturesque and relatively light traffic. Yellow Zebra is behind the opera building. Show your Rick Steves book to get the discount.

Posted by
503 posts

We visited the Szenchenyi baths last year, in the afternoon on a week day. It was wonderful. As someone else mentioned, you only need bathing caps for the lap pool. We managed the locker rooms without a problem and went out to enjoy the two outdoor pools for a bit. Then we decided to go inside and visit the thermal pools with varying temps inside. We didn't go in the cold ones but that may be something you want to do. Spent a few minutes in one of the saunas. It a fun experience and introduces you to an important cultural aspect of the people who live in Budapest. I was on the RS Best of Eastern Europe tour and our tour guide is from Budapest. He told us it's a very common thing for a group of friends to visit the baths and hang out for a few hours on weekend nights and then go out and enjoy dinner and drinks. If you visit for 2-3 hours you will absolutely have enough time to experience it and still have time for dinner. When getting locker rooms, you can pay more and get a "family" type little cabin where you can change in private. Our, do the more common locker room experience where you all change in a large locker room (sexes separated, of course). That's what we did and did not feel uncomfortable at all. Everyone is in there, old, young, skinny, fat...no one gave a hoot, just were interested in getting changed so could get out to the pools. Also, if you didn't bring bathing towels, our tour guide suggested we "borrow" bath towels from our hotel, of course returning them. There were a bout 8 of us from the group who did this with no problem. Have fun