Budapest really is one of those destinations that has something for everyone. The Hungarian capital effortlessly blends grand historical sites with cool and quirky nightlife, meaning you’re never at a loss for things to do. One curious activity that surely has to be on your Budapest itinerary is taking a dip in the thermal waters of the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the city’s most iconic baths.
Visiting the Széchenyi Thermal Baths is great for tourists because it’s not just somewhere to relax, it’s also jaw-droppingly beautiful. Because it’s so special, you’ll want to do everything you can to properly prepare, including organizing skip-the-line Széchenyi Thermal Baths tickets for a stress-free start to your visit. We’ve put together this guide on how to buy tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths so that you know everything you need to prepare.
Quick Answer – How to Buy Tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths: Unless you like spending your vacation waiting in long lines, we highly recommended you purchase your tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths in advance here.
Best Ways to Get Tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
Spending some time at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths is a great way to add some variety to your sightseeing in Budapest, plus it’s fun for the whole family. Its popularity with locals and tourists alike means there are a variety of ways to get tickets. Below we’ll show you each of the options for where to buy tickets for the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, which will allow you to choose the option that works best for you.
1. Line Up in Person (Not Recommended)
There’s really not much of an upside to buying tickets to Széchenyi Thermal Baths at the ticket office when you arrive. Leaving it to the last minute means you’ll have to wait in line to get your tickets, and that’s a really poor use of your time in Budapest. On top of that, if you want to do something special like book a sauna session with a sauna master, you may find the times you want booked up.
2. Book Online (Recommended)
The far more sensible approach is to book tickets to Széchenyi Thermal Baths online in advance of your visit. By booking online, you’ll be getting skip-the-line tickets for the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and can use a separate line for a faster entrance. While not all the services offered at the spa can be booked in advance, this is the best way to book appointments for the ones that are.
Tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths can be booked through the official website for the spa baths. However, tickets can only be booked one month in advance and are nonrefundable.
Instead, we recommend booking your tickets through this link. This approach lets you book months in advance and cancel up to 24 hours in advance and receive a full refund. This ticket also comes with a free guided tour and tasting at the Pálinka Museum, which focuses on the popular Hungarian spirit.
3. Book a Ticket Bundle
Tourists will find loads of things to do in Budapest, and a great way to save money while sightseeing is to get a bundle ticket. These tickets typically include access to two or more popular attractions at a destination and allow tourists to save a little money compared to purchasing tickets individually. The bundle ticket includes entry to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and an evening cruise on the Danube River with a buffet dinner, making it a very popular option.
Useful Information for Visiting the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
What’s the Best Time to Visit the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?
Much like any popular tourist attraction around the world, there are times that are better than others to visit the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Weather isn’t that big of a factor because the pools are heated to different temperatures, meaning the water is comfortable both in summer and winter. So the best times to go really come down to how busy the baths get with locals and tourists.
Peak tourist season in Budapest is from June to September, so you can expect that period to also be when the spa is at its busiest. The lead-up to Christmas can also get quite busy, making that also a surprisingly busy time. If you avoid those periods, you should find the pools a little less crowded.
However, it’s really what time of the day you go that influences how quiet Széchenyi is going to be. Between midafternoon and late afternoon seems to be when numbers at the baths are highest. Instead, try going first thing in the morning or around lunchtime for a less crowded experience.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths Hours of Operation
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are open every day of the week and rarely close for public holidays. Opening hours for the complex are from 7:00 to 20:00 Monday to Saturday and from 9:00 to 21:00 on Sundays. Last entrance is one hour before closing time. Entry to the on-site spas is open every day from 9:00 to 19:00. Access to the drinking fountain is available between Tuesday and Saturday from 11:00 to 17:00.
How to Get to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
While most attractions in Budapest are centrally located close to the riverfront, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths are one of the few located a little further out.
Fortunately, the baths are quite easy to reach via public transport from the city center. They’re also close to other popular sights like Heroes’ Square and Vajdahunyad Castle, allowing you to tick multiple attractions off your list in one go.
The easiest way to reach the baths from the city center is by taking the M1 line on the Budapest Metro to Széchenyi fürdő station. It is also possible to take the 72M bus to the Széchenyi fürdő M bus stop from Deák Ferenc tér M by the Ferris Wheel of Budapest.
How Do Széchenyi Thermal Baths Tickets Work?
Before you get tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, it’s important to understand how those tickets actually work. That’s because there is a bit of complexity surrounding these tickets and what they cover.
Generally, Széchenyi Thermal Baths tickets allow you to start your visit at any time during the day and stay as long as you want. However, there are discounted afternoon tickets that only allow entry after 19:00 on Sundays and 18:00 the rest of the week.
When choosing tickets online, you have the choice of a general admission ticket, which comes with a locker for you to use, or a ticket that gives you use of a cabin during your visit. It is also possible to book special sauna sessions online, but you’ll need to buy all other services, packages, and rentals (such as for towels and bathrobes) during your visit.
After completing an online booking, you will receive your tickets via email. Tickets can either be printed out or presented on your smartphone.
How Much Do Tickets for the Széchenyi Thermal Baths Cost?
The cost of tickets to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths depends on several factors, including when you plan on visiting and what services or packages you plan on getting. You can find the full list of prices for the various massage packages and rental products, so below we’ll just cover the costs for entry to the baths and extras you can book online through the official website.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths tickets with locker usage are HUF 7,100 for weekdays and HUF 7,600 for weekends. Afternoon tickets have a discounted price of HUF 6,800 for weekdays and HUF 7,300 for weekends. Tickets with cabin usage cost an extra HUF 1,000. Fifteen-minute sauna sessions cost HUF 650 and should be bought together with a ticket for the baths. There are no discounts available based on age or concession.
Best Hotels for the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
Most travelers to Budapest will normally find somewhere to stay close to the city center. Another great option, however, is to stay near the Széchenyi Thermal Baths because then you can visit them with ease, not to mention all the other great sights nearby. If that idea interests you and you don’t have time to do your own research, here are our recommendations for accommodation in the area.
Most luxury hotels in Budapest are along the Danube River, but the Mystery Hotel Budapest is a noteworthy exception. This five-star hotel is set inside a former 19th-century palace and boasts all the glamor and style you’d expect, including comprehensive spa and wellness facilities. As for the baths, they’re two kilometers (1.2 miles) away and easily reached by public transport or on foot.
A nice pick if you’re after somewhere nice that isn’t too expensive is the Mirage Medic Hotel. This four-star hotel is located next to Heroes’ Square inside an elegant 19th-century building and features well-appointed rooms, a wellness center, a bar, and restaurant. Similar midrange options can be found on Airbnb, so be sure to take a look at our Budapest Airbnb guide.
One of the few hostels in this part of the city is Baroque Hostel & Coworking. Situated over the road from City Park, this large, bohemian hostel offers dorms, private rooms, a common kitchen, and private garden. For more budget options, be sure to check out our guide to the best hostels in Budapest.
Rules for Visitors at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
As you’d expect, there are a number of rules in place to ensure the health and safety of visitors to the spa. Visitors are expected to shower with hot water and soap before and after using the pools, and must wear slippers throughout their visit.
Access to the Király and Rudas Baths is prohibited for those under the age of 14, and the use of the other thermal baths is not recommended either. Infants must be toilet-trained to use the baths. Adults may not use the kids’ pool or paddle pools.
Visiting the Széchenyi Thermal Baths With a Disability
There are a few things to know if you’re visiting the baths with a disability, particularly if you use a wheelchair. Locker rooms at the spa are difficult to access with a wheelchair, so it’s recommended that you get a cabin as there are cabins designed to fit and store a wheelchair. Some pools are equipped with hoists to aid people who use wheelchairs to enter the water. Just be warned that assistance from staff may be limited.
FAQ – Facts About the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
What Are the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are a medicinal bathing complex and the largest of their kind in Europe.
When Were the Széchenyi Thermal Baths Built?
Construction of the Széchenyi Thermal Baths began in 1909 and the baths were completed in 1913.
How Old Are the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are now over a hundred years old.
Who Built the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?
Vilmos Zsigmondy was the man responsible for drilling down to the thermal springs that source the water for the spas, while the Baroque facilities were designed by Győző Czigler.
Why Were the Széchenyi Thermal Baths Built?
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths were built to capitalize on the thermal springs found on the site.
How Hot Are the Széchenyi Thermal Baths?
Temperatures in the various outdoor pools at the baths range from 26℃ to 38℃ (79℉ to 100℉).
Where Are the Széchenyi Thermal Baths Located?
The Széchenyi Thermal Baths are located within City Park in the northeast of Pest in Budapest.
All this information should make it easy to organize your visit to this popular Budapest attraction. If you take nothing else away from this guide, just remember how useful it is to sort out your Széchenyi Thermal Baths tickets before you go.