Perfect Relaxation at Széchenyi Baths and Spa in Budapest

Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Spa are situated near Heroes Square in the City Park of Budapest. I had no idea before travelling to Hungary that spas were famous and its one of the top things to do. Thank you to Budapest Baths for getting in touch and hosting me for the day.

A lot of buses run by Heroes Square and there is a stop right outside of Széchenyi too so it is quite accessible. Wheelchair access is available throughout the site and special equipment into some pools for people with disabilities. There are maps and very helpful staff to ask if you need to find any of the baths or other facilities.

 

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Entrance to Széchenyi Baths and Spa

 

Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Spa is set in a beautiful complex of buildings. All very ornate and full of grand features like sculptures and fountains. The facade looks like it could be found in the middle of an Italian city with its columns and decoration. A very regal place but would it be tranquil inside?

 

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Baroque architecture with sculptures and column details

 

I met my host in the entrance hall and was given a guided tour and told about the history of spas in Budapest and particularly this one. Originally brought to Hungary by Romans (which explains the architecture) and later adapted by Turkish occupiers, the spas were used by people for their medicinal powers. There are still pools and steam rooms that have known health benefits and are used by patients.

In the entrance hall, there are towels to buy/for hire, swimsuits, robes and swimming caps. There are various prices depending on whether you take a locker or cabin (small changing room with bench) and if you book any treatments. The spa also does night parties with drinks and music after 10pm. I thought for all of the available pools, saunas and other facilities and the length of time you could stay (9am – 10pm) the ticket was great value.

 

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Entrance Hall of Széchenyi Baths and Spa

 

I was given a band to wear on my wrist and it opened my cabin door and allowed access to the main outdoor area as you go through from the entrance. Everything worked well and I felt like all of my things were safe. The whole complex was spotless and there was no rubbish anywhere. The pools were clean and a lifeguard was on duty the whole time I was there. You need to wear sandals to walk around due to the outdoor stone floor getting really hot in summer. It is an old heritage building so don’t expect everything to be perfect. It gets pretty close though and I thought it was beautifully maintained for over 100 years since it was built.

 

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Cabins in the Spa

 

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Band worn by all people visiting Széchenyi spa

 

Széchenyi is a huge complex with 18 pools (indoor and outdoor), steam rooms, saunas and fitness centre. It is the largest thermal baths in Hungary and one of the largest in Europe. The map of the whole complex can be found here. I saw an exercise class with small weights in one of the pools. There are various temperatures in the different baths and also jets of water to stimulate circulation in the outdoor pool.

 

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Beautiful architecture of Széchenyi Baths and Spa

 

Széchenyi offers everything you need for a full day out. There is a restaurant, bar, ice-cream vendor and lots of places to sit, eat and relax outside of the pools. There were a lot of families and it didn’t feel too crowded. It has some rules to keep people safe and to keep the place clean which all seemed to work. It was a great atmosphere and I loved trying the different temperature pools. The ice cold one had me in and out in less than a minute!

 

Restaurant, bar and steps of upper level

Restaurant, bar and steps of upper level

 

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Places to relax with loungers and umbrellas

 

To swim in the main swimming pool at Széchenyi, you need to wear a cap. You can buy these or bring your own. I didn’t go in and do any lengths in the lanes but it did look like a great place if you fancy some exercise as well as relaxation. There is no time limit and people come and go throughout the day. You can try all of the pools and facilities whenever you decide and there was never a sauna, steam room or pool I couldn’t go in because there were too many people.

One room that was hard to stay in for long was the aromatherapy steam room which was so humid and hot, you can’t see people across the room. I felt like I had clean lungs and airways after a few minutes though! I feel like Széchenyi has something for everyone and I saw young children up to elderly men and women enjoying themselves so it is absolutely worth a visit.

 

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Swimming pool with lanes

 

I’m not sure whether it is a regular thing that happens in some pools but people started running around in a circle. The pool with jets outside had a purpose built circular part in the middle for this and I had so much fun running with the current. Be careful with this if you aren’t strong enough to swim against the current because that’s the main way to make it out again! We also did this in a cool water pool inside (maybe around 18 degrees) which warms your muscles up. I loved the variety of things to try. It was a great experience.

 

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Thermal pool with jets, fountain and big band playing

 

With swing music playing in the background, sunshine and lounging in pools and saunas, I definitely felt relaxed. It was the perfect setting for a day of pampering. The only thing missing was a group of friends and maybe I should have added in a massage. The facilities were more than enough on their own but I would probably get a treatment next time and definitely recommend it as a fantastic spa.

 

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Plants and gorgeous surroundings make this so relaxing

 

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View of outer pools from upper level steps

I was very lucky to be given a free day here but my opinions are my own and I am not receiving payment for this review.

Have you visited Széchenyi Thermal Baths and Spa? Which areas were your favourite?

 

24 Comments

  • Claudia says:

    It does look so plush! I have been to Budapest twice, I knew of these baths but I have never had a chance to go. If I ever go there again, it will be the first thing I do in town.

  • That looks like quite the luxurious place and a great place to relax during a trip. It didn’t look overly busy too which is a huge plus…

  • Els says:

    I visited the baths a few years ago, loved them! There wasn’t a big brass band there though, was that to welcome you? 🙂 I loved the chess players! I remember soaking a long time in the hot pool! Was only in Budapest for a weekend, so def need to go back!

  • Beautiful photos! One of my good friends was just in Budapest too and she also recommends it. Would love a day at the spa!

  • faegirl says:

    Just went to Bath in the UK where they also have Roman baths…this water is a lot nicer looking! Theirs was green and apparently someone contracted a disease a few years ago, so they have shut down a few of the pools. While I wouldn’t go in the ones in Bath, I would consider these ones for a dip 🙂

  • dstexan says:

    Wow, that sounds like a great day! Budapest is on our short list of places to travel to next, so hopefully we can visit Széchenyi one day soon! Also, great pictures…

  • Karilyn says:

    I went to Budapest in 2000 as part of my Europe backpacking trip. it wasn’t a planned stop, so I hadn’t really read much about it and now I know that I did not get the most out of my trip. In subsequent years I have read and seen so much about it. I need to go back!! Any city with awesome bath houses is my kind of city!

  • anneklien says:

    Ive been to Gellert bath it was a bliss after a tiring day wandering around Budapest.

  • Awesome! I have been to Budapest but didn’t have time for a thermal bath when I was there…next time for sure. I’ll probably go to Szchenyi, thanks for the awesome info!

  • brmsimmons says:

    I love visiting thermal baths when I travel and this makes Budapest the holy grail in my book. How can you not love such a beautiful place to soak and relax?

  • Sue Reddel says:

    I’ve never been to Budapest but it’s on my list. The Szechenyi Bath and spa looks like a lovely respite. I’ve never been to a public bathhouse but they intrigue me. Your photos make this one look ideal!

  • I really love going to baths! I didn’t realize they were a thing to do in Budapest. I’ll have to keep that in mind when I head that way…

  • Connie Reed says:

    I have never been in a thermal bath, but it sounds so relaxing. Széchenyi would be a great way to spend a day.

  • Tim Kroeger says:

    Beautiful photos. I’d love to visit the baths.

  • I’m heading to Budapest in a few months and I didn’t realize that baths were popular there. I will have to check out some indoor facilities while I’m there. Thanks for sharing!

  • The night parties seem like fun! I’ve never been to such a huge spa (the one I went to had only 1 pool haha) so this seems really cool! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah says:

    Wow, this spa looks great! Budapest has been on my list for years, looks like I really have to go now!

  • Wow this looks like an amazing experience! This is no ordinary spa!

  • Mia says:

    Wow, I want to go to Budapest! I have a friend that lives there and I know this would be one of the first things we do. I love the architecture and the beauty and who doesn’t love a spa! Very informative as well. I’ll be sure to add it to my list of places to see.

  • lucy says:

    Budapest is on my next trips list.. And after reading your post I want to go to this place because your photos are very inviting!!! I would love a day or even more there.

  • eostories says:

    Ah, I definitely regret not visiting the baths when I was in Budapest. But 3 days were so not enough to see everything I wanted. I have to go back sooner rather than later. The building is so beautiful. I love how you have the chance to go to something like spa/pool at such a historic place.

  • Ever since George Ezra’s song Budapest came out this city has been calling me!! The baths are one of the reasons I really want to visit, I had no idea that there were so many different pools though and of different temperatures! It sounds like a really relaxing way to decompress while travelling.

  • Beautiful pictures! Sounds like it was a great visit! Thanks for sharing!

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