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best Budapest spa

Best Budapest Spa – Gellert or Szechenyi

Best Budapest spa; Your guide to the outdoor thermal baths in Budapest!

You must of heard of the outdoor thermal spas in Budapest – and now you want to know; which is the best Budapest spa, how many spas there are, how much is it going to cost and do you have to book? Don’t worry, after reading this list you will have all the information you need – to do one of the best things to do in Budapest.

During winter you can still embrace these unique outdoor spas – with a cocktail and the chance to grab a new awesome Instagram worthy photo! Personally, I think it’s definitely a better experience during winter. The spas wouldn’t feel as lush and appreciated during the summer months in Budapest. Nevertheless, they’re still a very unique experience and one that can’t be missed off any 3 day Budapest itinerary!

best budapest spa

Best spas in Budapest?

Okay, you should know there 15 different spas in Budapest. How the hell do you choose the best one when you’re on a short Budapest itinerary?

Well obviously you going to want the best thermal baths, with a good price, top experience and ones you can grab some great photos. Okay, so let’s have a look at the best thermal baths in Budapest.

Budapest itinerary for 3 days

Szechenyi Spa

The best Budapest spa is the Szechenyi spa – straight up! This attraction in Budapest boasts; 18 pools both in door and outdoor; saunas, steam rooms, spas, drinks area and more. This is the place to visit in Budapest during your city break.

The Szechenyi thermal spa was built in the 16th century and to this day – you can still see the history in the architect of the spa. It’s really cool and cultured.

Szechenyi Spa budapest

The Szechenyi thermal baths can get very busy at times. So early morning is probably the best time to visit. However, my favourite time was around 1 hour before sunset. You get to see the spas in the day, during sunset and at night. Plenty of picture opportunities – and it’s a surreal experience during sunset. Watching the steam leave the outdoor pools as the sun drops is an amazing moment!

There’s 3 outdoor pools at Szechenyi spa. 2 are outdoor thermal baths and the other is the swimming pool. Just to throw it out there – I skipped the swimming pool.

Szechenyi Spa booking tickets

Gellert Spa

The Gellert Spa is another top Budapest attraction – and it’s one of the most famous spas in Europe. This is one of the best Budapest spas along with the the Szechenyi thermal baths.

The Gellert baths vs Szechenyi baths. Well, this is a tough question. But, I would have to go with Szechenyi thermal spa. However, Gellert spa does have some awesome features – such as the wave pool. And, like the other top spas in Budapest – there is plenty of heated pools to choose from!

Gellert Spa budapest

Gellert Spa

How much are the spas in Budapest?

The spas are not expensive at all. And, once you have paid – you can use the spas all day. The fee included unlimited use for all day in the spas. However, you will pay an extra cost for facials and massages etc.

There’s also different costs. For example, the Szechenyi tickets and the Gillert tickets come with different add ons; such as cabins or just locker tickets.

The spa and locker tickets are the cheapest. This is the one we used and it was fine. You get a wristband to scan into the building and this wristband also locks your locker.

Side note – there is drinks and alcohol available at the side of the pool

Szechenyi Spa thermal baths are amazing check out this photo

Do you have to book?

You can either book online or pay on the door. It’s easy enough to pay on the door though. Don’t worry about not being able to gain access if you pay the entrance fee on the door – they would never turn a guest away from the spa.

We paid on the door and it takes 2 minutes to get signed in.

The spa booking websites don’t look the greatest in terms of design (almost looks spammy). But you are fine to book through the website – if you wish to.

Sezechenyi Spa Cost;

Sezechenyi Spa Cost

Gellert spa cost;

Gellert spa cost

Here are the websites to book your tickets to the outdoor pools;

  1. Szechenyi thermal baths
  2. Gellert spa

Tips for visiting the best Budapest spa

Here is a list of tips and spa rules you should know before visiting the Szechenyi or Gellert spa;

  • Make sure to take a towel with you
  • I didn’t have flip flops and I was fine, but you may want to take flip flops
  • You can take a bathrobe
  • Remember to take your bank card with you for drinks outside
  • You’re not allowed drinks in the thermal pools (I tried)
  • The temperature of the spas range from low (cold plunge) to around 38 degrees
  • Take a waterproof camera for photos – or just be very careful not to drop your phone
  • There’s a swimming pool if you want to do some exercise
  • Get there before sunset and enjoy the views from the outdoor thermal pools

Final thoughts

There’s plenty of spas and thermal pools in Budapest. However, the best Budapest spas are Szechenyi thermal baths and Gillert thermal baths. The tickets for here are well worth the money – and it’s by far one of the best things to do in Budapest!

Remember to check out my Budapest Itinerary blog post!

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