Szechenyi Baths in Budapest is a collection of 18 pools with medicinal natural hot spring water.
Built in 1913, this 100 plus years old attraction is Europe’s biggest and most famous thermal bath. It has attracted more than 100 million people till now.
Szechenyi Spa Baths are many things to many people – you can chill out, get to know the locals, fall in love, or close business deals.
In this article, we tell you everything you must know before booking your session at Szechenyi Baths in Budapest.
Table of contents
- What to expect at Szechenyi Baths
- Best time to visit Szechenyi Spa Baths
- Szechenyi Baths tickets
- How to reach Szechenyi Baths
- Opening hours at Szechenyi Baths
- Kids at Szechenyi Baths
- Szechenyi Baths Cabin or Locker – which is better?
- Dress code for Szechenyi Baths
- What to take to Szechenyi Baths?
- Map of Szechenyi Baths
- Gellert or Szechenyi – which is better?
- History of Szechenyi Spa Baths
What to expect at Szechenyi Baths
There is a lot to experience at Szechenyi Baths, besides the 15 indoor and three outdoor pools.
These are all thermals baths of varying temperatures ranging between 30 to 40 degrees Celsius (86 degree to 104 degree Fahrenheit)
The other thermal spa facilities include saunas, steam rooms, aqua fitness, whirlpool, jets, sun decks, massage therapies, facial treatments, etc.
Video of Szechenyi Baths
Best time to visit Szechenyi Spa Baths
The best time to visit Budapest’s Szechenyi Baths is 10 am when the local regulars have just left after their laps in the outdoor swimming pool, and the tourists are yet to arrive.
If you can’t make it in the morning, the next best time to reach Szechenyi Spa is 1.30 pm – when the morning visitors have left for lunch, and the next batch is yet to arrive.
By 3.30 pm, the pools start getting crowded again.
Weekends are more popular than weekdays, and hence more crowded.
Szechenyi Baths tickets
It is best to buy Szechenyi Baths tickets online because it ensures a hassle-free entry.
The tickets below are valid for all of the 18 thermal pools and other facilities, for a full day, including a private changing cabin or locker.
You can check-in anytime between 9 am and 6 pm because the Special Help Desk for online tickets closes at 6 pm.
Once inside, these Szechenyi Thermal Spa Bath tickets allow you to stay on till 10 pm.
Same day tickets
Tickets to Budapest’s best thermal baths can be bought in advance or on the same day.
Even if you buy tickets on the day of your visit, for the same price, you get access to all the facilities.
Szechenyi Baths tickets price
Szechenyi Baths prices depend on the experience you prefer.
The cheapest Szechenyi Baths tickets cost HUF 12,578 (approx 30 Euros) – that’s the price you must pay if you visit the thermal pools and opt for a locker.
If you book a Szechenyi Baths cabin (instead of a locker), the ticket will cost HUF 400 (approx 1 Euro) extra per person.
This ticket includes access to the nearby Palinka Museum.
If you want to enjoy an Aroma massage during your visit to Budapest’s most popular attraction, you must buy the ‘Fast Track + Massage’ ticket.
This massage ticket comes with a private cabin and is priced at HUF 40,600 (approx 99 Euros) per person.
On the ticket booking page, you can choose from a 20-minute, 45-minute or a 60-minute massage session.
Discounts at Szechenyi Baths
Kids under two years of age can enter Szechenyi Baths for free – that is, they get a 100% discount.
There is no other discount on Szechenyi Baths tickets.
All visitors above two years, all students and all seniors pay the same ticket price to enter the Thermal pools.
Note: Children who haven’t been potty trained yet, can’t enter the pools.
Wristband at Szechenyi Baths
Once your Bath tickets get validated at the entrance, you will get a Silicon wristband (sometimes referred to as Smart WristBand).
You must wear this band at all times.
This smart wristband also helps you use the lockers and the Szechenyi Baths cabins.
If you lose your wristband, you can get one by paying an additional fee.
Szechenyi Spa’s Fast Track tickets
Szechenyi Spa’s Fast Track tickets are the cheapest and the most popular way to get into Szechenyi Spa Baths.
If you want to find out what the Hungarian baths are all about, this ticket is enough to gain some bliss and boost your health.
- Entry to all pools
- Cabin or locker (whichever you choose)
- Use of the services until the spa closes
- Outdoor Fun Pool with jacuzzi and whirlpool
Cancellation: 72 hours before your visit date, for a full refund.
Spa ticket prices
Entry ticket with Locker: HUF 12,600 (31 Euros)
Entry ticket with Cabin: HUF 13,000 (32 Euros)
Fast Track ticket with massage
Besides access to all the facilities of Szechenyi Thermal Spa Baths, this ticket also gets you a private cabin and a relaxing massage.
During this highly-popular massage session, Swedish techniques get used to relax your body and soul.
Guests can choose between a 20-minute, 45-minute or a 60-minute massage session.
On the ticket booking page, you can also opt for couple massage sessions.
The minimum age requirement for a massage at Szechenyi Baths is 18 years.
This ticket is timed, and you must reach the venue one hour before your scheduled massage time.
- Entry to all the Thermal Pools
- Access to outdoor Fun Pool with jacuzzi and whirlpool
- A relaxing massage session
Cancellation: This is a flexible ticket. For a full refund, you can cancel it 24 hours before your visit date.
Private cabin + 20-min Aroma massage: HUF 40,600 (99 Euros)
Private cabin + 45-min Aroma massage: HUF 53,400 (130 Euros)
Private cabin + 60-min Luxury massage: HUF 73,700 (180 Euros)
Private cabin + Couples massage: HUF 136,650 (334 Euros)
Late-Night Spa Party at Szechenyi Bath
The spa party at the iconic Széchenyi Thermal Spa is one of the best ways to experience Budapest’s unique spa culture.
This ticket gets you to access the party that starts at 9.30 pm and goes on till 2 pm in water temperatures of around 34-38 celsius.
Széchenyi spa party happens only on Saturday nights and is unsuitable for kids under 18 years old.
While booking your party ticket, you can choose between a Locker or a Cabin, etc.
Ticket with locker: HUF 24200 (59 Euros)
Ticket + Locker + Drinks: HUF 28300 (69 Euros)
Ticket + Locker + Drinks + Slippers: HUF 34500 (84 Euros)
Szechenyi Spa: I love Spa package
This ticket is a VIP spa package for a full day of fun at Europe’s biggest spa bath.
With this ticket, you get a Szechenyi Bath Kit, which includes a branded towel, flip-flops, shampoo, shower gel, shower cap, and a bottle of mineral water.
- Access to the venue for the whole day
- Private changing cabin, with locker
- A branded Towel
- A bottle of mineral water
- Shampoo and shower gel
- Shower cap
Massages aren’t part of this ticket, but you can book them onsite for an extra fee.
Cancellation: 72 hours before your visit date, for a full refund.
Ticket price: HUF 18,400 (45 Euros)
This ticket is now discontinued.
How to reach Szechenyi Baths
If you prefer the Metro, board Line M1 train (Yellow Line) and get off at the station called Szechenyi Furdo.
Szechenyi Baths are called Szechenyi Furdo in Hungarian and pronounced as ‘Say-chain-nee Fur-der’. Budapest Metro Map
From the Metro station, the Baths are a 2 minutes walk.
The other option is to take the No. 72 or No. 75 Trolleybus and get down close to the Baths.
If you don’t mind some walking, opt for bus number 105 and get down at Heroes Square.
Szechenyi Baths are 650 meters (0.4 Miles) from the Square, and you can walk the distance in eight minutes.
Opening hours at Szechenyi Baths
Most of the facilities at Szechenyi Baths are open from 6 am to 7 pm every day of the week.
While all of the facilities start at 6 am, some stay open longer.
Outdoor Pools: 6 am to 10 pm
Steam Rooms and Saunas: 6 am to 7 pm
Indoor Thermal Baths and Pools: 6 am – 7 pm
Visitors with online tickets can only enter the Baths till 6 pm. If you reach the Baths after 6 pm, you must buy tickets at the venue with cash.
All visitors must start exiting the Szechenyi Baths thermal pools by 9:45 pm.
During Christmas times, Szechenyi Baths follow slightly altered timings –
Dec 24: 6 am to 2 pm
Dec 25: 10 am to 6 pm
Dec 26: 6 am to 8 pm
Note: On Dec 31, the Baths are open from 6 am to 6 pm, and on the New Year’s, they are open from 11 am to 8 pm.
Kids at Szechenyi Baths
It is not recommended that kids below 14 years of age get into Szechenyi Baths.
Since their bodies aren’t fully developed, the cardiovascular system of kids younger than 14 years face increased stress when subjected to the 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 Fahrenheit) plus temperatures of the thermal pools.
Besides, the Szechenyi Baths are designed for adults – deep pools, with no water attractions, etc.
However, if parents want, they can get their kids to the Baths.
The children will be able to use only the three outdoor pools, and that too under their parent’s supervision.
Infants at Szechenyi Baths
Babies who have not been potty trained yet are not allowed in the pools, even if they wear a swimming nappy.
This rule usually applies to kids under three years of age.
However, parents can bring them to the Baths as long as they stay outside the pool area.
Note: Kids below two years of age needn’t buy tickets.
Szechenyi Baths Cabin or Locker – which is better?
While buying a ticket for entry to Szechenyi Spa Baths, you must decide if you want a Cabin or a Locker.
You don’t have a choice of not opting for them – all tickets either come with a Locker or a Cabin.
And it makes sense too, for you need one of them to store your belongings while you step into the indoor and outdoor baths.
Szechenyi Baths Lockers
Lockers are standard wardrobe type boxes one finds in swimming pools.
They have a lock to ensure your belongings remain safe.
All lockers are of the same size – 120x30x65 cm (1200 x 300 x 650 mm).
The lockers are small, and if you have a big backpack or beach bag, there is a chance that they may not fit in.
When you buy a Bath ticket with Lockers, you must change in the women-only / men-only public changing rooms.
If you prefer privacy while changing into your swimwear, we recommend tickets with Szechenyi Baths cabin.
Szechenyi Baths Cabins
Cabins are small-sized changing rooms with enough storage facilities.
Since the cabin is just right for one person, couples or families are known to take turns changing.
Dress code for Szechenyi Baths
One of the most often asked question among visitors is, “What is the dress code of Szechenyi Baths?”
This confusion is natural because these Budapest Baths are a different kind of tourist attraction, and one doesn’t visit such places often.
Nudity policy at Szechenyi Baths
Since Szechenyi Baths are a mixed thermal spa destination, nudity isn’t allowed.
Visitors must be in their swimming attire in the corridors, the pools, the baths, the saunas, steam rooms, etc.
The only place where you are allowed to wear nothing is the gender-separated change rooms at the lockers, the showers, and the private changing rooms (also referred to as the cabins).
Footwear at Szechenyi Baths
Flip flops or slippers are a must in all areas of the Thermal baths.
You can get your own, or buy a pair in the shop at the entrance.
All women must wear swimwear – it can be a bikini, a tankini (a tank top and a bikini bottom), shorts (with a top), or a one piece ladies swimsuit.
Swimsuits covering the full-body, for example, Burkini, is not allowed.
If you plan to get into the swimming pool, a swim cap is a must. It is not a must for the other 17 thermal pools.
Men’s Swimwear at Szechenyi Baths
Men can wear speedo style swimwear or a sporty pair of swim trunks or shorts with a top.
Most men wear only shorts, with no top and that is normal.
Even for the men, swim caps are mandatory in the swimming pool.
Note: The Szechenyi Baths dress code for young girls is the same as it is for the women, and for young boys, it is the same as it is for the men.
If you are visiting the Szechenyi Baths between June to September, we recommend getting a light-colored baseball cap for the gents and a hat for the ladies.
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the outdoor pools, the sun can get scorching.
A sun-tan cream also comes in handy because three of the baths are outdoors, with no shade.
What to take to Szechenyi Baths?
Here is a list of things you must take along when you step out to take a dip in the best thermal pools in Budapest.
Swimwear: It is best to take along your swimsuit (or shorts) when you pack for your Szechenyi Baths visit. You can buy them at the attraction’s store, but why pay exorbitant rates, when you can plan better. Do check on the dress code
Towel: If you have booked the VIP package, you don’t need to bring along any towels. If you haven’t, you have two options – bring along a towel yourself or rent one at the venue.
We recommend you get your own because they will be unique, and other visitors won’t get confused and pick it up and leave.
When you get your towel, you can also avoid standing in the long queues to rent them. These lines are longer in the summer months.
Flip flops / slippers: The Szechenyi Baths VIP Package ticket includes flipflops.
If you haven’t booked the VIP ticket, you can either bring your own or buy a pair from the shop near the entrance.
All visitors must wear footwear in the whole area of the bath.
Soap and shampoo: The showers at these Baths don’t have complimentary soap or shampoo dispensers.
Even though it is not a must, you can get your own.
Hairdryer: Standard hairdryers are available for everyone to use. However, if you prefer your own, you can bring them along.
Waterproof wallets / purse: Since most of your time at these Baths will be spent in the water, it is better to bring along a waterproof wallet or purse.
Since your ticket will include a locker or a cabin, you also have the choice of leaving your wallet or mobile in them safely.
Swimming cap: The thermal pools don’t need swimming caps.
But if you plan to do laps in the refreshing swimming pool, a cap is a must.
*During summer you must take along a cap or a hat for use in the Thermal pools
Drinks and food: The Cafe at Szechenyi Spa is open from 10 am to 7 pm every day and offers quick eats and drinks.
Fast-food style warm meals are also available at affordable prices.
What NOT to get to Szechenyi Baths
It is better not to wear any jewelry while visiting Budapest baths.
Rings may slip off your fingers, and chains may unhook, etc.
It is better to even leave your wrist watches at home (or hotel).
Since visitors can’t smoke in Szechenyi Baths, it doesn’t make sense to get cigarettes as well.
Map of Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi Spa Baths is the biggest thermal spa in the whole of Europe with 18 various pools, sauna rooms, steam rooms, massage therapy rooms, etc.
On their first visit, most visitors feel lost, and that is why knowing the floor plan of Szechenyi Baths much in advance helps.
- Pay desk
- Information terminals
- Personal Cabins
- Entry to the men’s changing room
- Entry to the women’s changing room
- Passage among the swimming pool and the thermal pools
- Exit to the outdoor pools
- VIP massage
- Massage Rooms
- Steam chambers
- Safety lockers
- Marble room
Check out a virtual tour of the Szechenyi Baths
Note: At the venue, there are lots of wallboards and notices providing direction. However, many visitors don’t find them useful. That’s why we recommend you either bookmark this page or print this map for later use.
Gellert or Szechenyi – which is better?
Many tourists have a tough choice to make: should they visit Gellert Baths or Szechenyi Baths?
There are three main reasons why visitors end up choosing between one of the two thermal Baths –
- They are on a budget holiday and can only afford one
- They are in Budapest for a limited time and can only include one visit to a Bath in their itinerary
- All Baths are the same – you have seen one, you have seen them all
They are both very different Spa experiences.
Follow the link for a detailed comparison which can help you decide on Szechenyi Baths or Gellert Spa.
History of Szechenyi Spa Baths
Budapest has been the City of Baths (and Hungary has been the country of baths!) for many centuries now.
The tradition started with the visiting Romans who came and built the first baths.
The Ottoman Empire followed the Roman’s in the 16th century and continued the tradition. Most of the Turkish baths are on the Buda side of the city.
The practice continued in the 19th and 20th centuries, focus shifted to natural medical trends, aqua therapies, etc.
The hot spring waters of Szechenyi Baths got discovered in the 1880s, and construction of the Szechenyi Bath Palace got initiated in 1909.
Gyozo Czigler completed the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance Palace in 1913, and tourists started visiting them the same year.
The Baths were initially named Artesian Baths, but by the time construction finished in 1913, they got a new name – Szechenyi Gyogyfurdo, after Count Szechenyi (the Greatest Hungarian).
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