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Széchenyi Baths – interesting facts

Did you know that more than 4.5 million tourists visit Széchenyi Baths every year for its thermal waters, medicinal properties, spa parties, and cultural events?

Or did you know that during World War II, the building was divided into two wings – the right wing for the Soviet soldiers and the left for the Hungarian people?

Continue reading to learn more such fascinating facts about Széchenyi Baths in Budapest.

It is more than 110 years old

The Széchenyi Baths have quite the tale to tell! 

They swung open their grand doors back in 1913, right in the heart of Budapest. 

Bathing in thermal waters was a trend in Europe at the time, and Budapest, with its wealth of natural hot springs, was not ready to miss this opportunity. 

The city decided to create one of the grandest baths the continent had ever seen. 

The spot they chose had been a bathing hotspot since the 1880s, but with the opening of Széchenyi, it transformed into this majestic complex of pools and saunas we know today.

Did you know that in 2019, Széchenyi Baths reaffirmed its status as the city’s most beloved bath, with an 8% increase in guest numbers?

Today, it’s a testament to Budapest’s spa culture, where you can experience wellness while soaking in thermal waters. 

Hey there! Want to know what’s inside Széchenyi baths and gather some tips for your spa day? Let us lend a hand.

Széchenyi Baths have many names

Were you aware that the baths were named after István Széchenyi, a prominent Hungarian politician, writer, and key figure in developing Hungarian industry and commerce? 

The locals affectionately call Széchenyi “Szecska”.

Some people even call it a “Bath Palace,” and once you step inside, you’ll see why. 

The place is adorned with water-themed decorations—think candelabras graced with water monsters, shells, and even mermaids adorning the exteriors. 

It’s like stepping into a whimsical aquatic kingdom crafted from the dreams of architects. 

Thermal waters are aphrodisiac

Thermal waters at Szechenyi
Image: thermalhungary.net

Széchenyi’s thermal water is rumored to have aphrodisiac properties. 

Water from the same thermal pool fills the pools of the hippos at the Budapest Zoo. 

The outcome—The Hungarian hippos are considered to be the most fertile on the planet, contributing to hippo populations in zoos across Europe. 

Learn more about the cabin or locker facility at Széchenyi that will help you decide whether a visit to this iconic thermal spa is worth it.

Celebs visit it often

Playing chess and relaxing at szechenyi bath
Image: dailymail.co.uk

Can you believe that even celebrities like Michael Palin from Monty Python have been spotted playing chess in the pool, just chilling in the warm waters with their game faces on?

Madonna, too, couldn’t resist the allure of these waters during her “Evita” days. 

So, next time you’re pondering a visit to Széchenyi, remember that you’re stepping into a place where history and health swirl together in every pool.

TV and film location

Film location at Szechenyi Baths for a movie Gemini Man
Image: thermalhungary.net

Szechenyi Baths have served as a filming location for numerous movies and television shows like the American show “The Bachelor.”

Scenes from popular films such as “Red Heat,” “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “Gemini Man,” and “I Spy” have been shot here, adding to the baths’ cultural legacy.

Wondering which thermal bath to visit during your Budapest tour? Let us help you choose between Széchenyi Baths or Gellert Baths.

The baths are fed by a really deep well

This “palace” is fed by Budapest’s second deepest well, which plunges 1,246 meters (4000 feet) into the earth. 

The water that bubbles up is a toasty 76°C (169°F) packed with minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium. 

You can have a beer bath at Széchenyi

Beer bath at Széchenyi
Image: thermalhungary.net

Yep, Széchenyi has beer baths too, bringing a whole new meaning to soaking in your Czech-style drink in one or two-person tubs. 

If you buy the Thermal BeerSpa ticket, you’ll get to learn about the history and benefits of beer bathing entertainingly.

This ticket also comes with an unlimited supply of beer.

Revel in an adventurous late-night spa party at Széchenyi and experience the vibrant nightlife at Budapest’s iconic thermal bath.

World War II damaged the building 

The bombings damaged the Szechenyi Baths during World War II’s siege of Budapest.

While the war lasted, the building was divided into two wings: the right wing for the Soviet soldiers and the left for the Hungarian people.

Thankfully, the restoration began right after the end of the war, and the damage was fixed by next spring.

Check out our guide on directions to reach Széchenyi Baths and Palinka Museum.

Sources

# Szechenyibath.com
# Bathsbudapest.com
# Tripadvisor.com
# Wikipedia.org

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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