Budapest has more thermal springs than any other capital city in the world: a whopping 70 million litres of hot thermal water bursts forth daily.
Budapest’s healing waters were already acknowledged by Roman legionaries more than 2000 years ago; 14 baths were in the city at that time. Budapest is a unique capital in the world, where 123 natural hot springs and drilled wells deliver daily 70 million litres of 21-78°C thermal waters. Budapest remains the unsung hero of baths culture, and soaking galore there is to be had! With the cold season beckoning, dipping and chilling (sic!) in therapeutic warm water is a must. What’s more, it’s beneficial to your overall health at the time of flu and rheumatoid issues.
Take a pick or, better yet, take a tour. Gellért is your most opulent, designed in an Orientalist style. It opened in 1918, and has been expanded outdoors, with its services updated and upgraded over time.
Address: XI. Kelenhegyi út 4., TEL: +36 1 466 6166, Official website
Széchenyi Baths’ neo-Baroque splendour sits comfortably in City Park, and remains a favourite with locals. Seen the image of people playing chess in the steaming water outdoors in winter? That’s your classic Széchenyi experience! For the thermal spring water here is the deepest and hottest in town. Address: XIV. Állatkerti krt. 9-11., TEL: +36 1 363 3210, Official website
There are three operational Ottoman baths in Budapest: Király, Rudas and Veli Bej. The latter is the oldest, built in 1574-75, and recently refurbished, too. It’s possibly the least touristy as it’s run by, and part of, a hospital. Ironically, when the Turks were long gone, the expanded baths were renamed Csaszar, or “emperor”, in honour of Hungary’s Austrian ruler, in the 19th century. After extensive work and restoration, it reopened as Veli Bej in 2011.
Address: II. Árpád fejedelem útja 7., TEL: (+36 1) 438 8400, Official website