Using Budapest’s Thermal Baths | What to Bring to Budapest’s Thermal Baths


Who knew that Budapest was full of thermal baths?? While most are steeped in history, there are updated changing facilities and protocol to using Budapest’s baths. Now before you get all crazy, on people changing historic places… just think, men and women used to not be able to use the baths at the same time, and women typically only got one day a week to enjoy a soak. So, we’re welcoming the changes around here!!

 

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Now, while we don’t have to worry about what day it is to visit the baths anymore based on gender, there are a few things to know about visiting Budapest’s thermal baths. After reading about the different thermal baths and visiting two of them ourselves, we’ve gathered a few things we consider super nice to know for making your soaking experience more enjoyable!

 

TICKETS


Day Tickets

The day tickets.. or “Daily Tickets” as on the websites, are the tickets for the baths when you visit outside the morning tickets hours. If you enter the baths after the morning ticket hours, you’ll automatically get this ticket, and, if you visit the baths before the morning ticket hours, you still pay this ticket price. It’s only if you return your bracelet (the thing that gets you into the baths and locks your lockers) before the morning ticket time that you get a “deposit” back and pay the morning ticket price instead.

{Traveler’s Tip… If you have a Budapest Card (the public transportation/discount card) you get a discount on the day tickets, however, you will not get a discount on the morning ticket price.}

Morning Tickets

When looking through the thermal bath websites, we were so confused with the wording and prices. Typically, if you visit during morning bathing hours, you’ll get a deposit back, making the price a bit cheaper. The morning passes are labeled online as “morning ticket” but show the same price as a daily ticket… However, there’s a little * next to it, meaning that you get money back if you leave before the morning ticket time is up. The time for the morning ticket depends on which bath you’re visiting. At some baths the morning ticket time is from 6:00-8:00, but at others, like Kiraly, the morning ticket time is until noon. Check the website for the specific bath you want to visit to see the morning ticket hours.

{Traveler’s Tip… Visit the baths in the morning. This will not only save you on money, but the baths are not as busy, making your time at the baths much more enjoyable!}





CHANGING FACILITIES


Private Changing Room  

Private changing rooms are offered as “cabins” on the websites and at the thermal bath facilities. These “cabins” are simply changing stalls that you get a key to. So instead of using the shared changing stalls, you get a private small area, “cabin”, to change and then lock your stuff in. You can check out our Kiraly or Palatinus posts for photos of these “cabins”.

{Traveler’s Tip… We don’t feel it’s worth the extra price for these changing cabins. In the shared rooms you still get a changing stall to undress in, and a locker to keep your stuff safe. You’ll only need a “cabin” if you have an extremely large bag with you!}

Shared Changing Facilities

The shared changing facilities or “locker” prices offered on both the website and at the baths simply mean you won’t have a private room to change and lock your stuff in. Instead, you’ll be in a locker room where you can change in private changing stalls, then lock your belongings in private lockers. To better understand this, check out our Kiraly or Palatinus posts.

{Traveler’s Tip… The shared changing facilities or “locker” rooms offer the same thing as the private “cabins”. The changing stalls are the same size and even if the shared changing stalls are all full, in our experience we were able to just use one of the private “cabins” to change. Honestly, just go with the “locker” price!}

 

WHAT TO WEAR TO THE THERMAL BATHS


Swim Wear

Proper swimwear is a must when visiting the thermal baths. You don’t have to worry about the thermal waters ruining your clothes, or making them too stinky either, just be sure to stay covered up in them. Some baths, like Palatinus Baths have gender-specific sunbathing areas where the amount of clothing you’re wearing is up to you!

READ MORE : Palatinus Baths | A Thermal Bath for Everyone! 

Hair/Swimming Cap

I was nervous after reading in a couple places that you had to wear a hairnet to go into the baths, but was happy to find out this isn’t always the case. Hairnets are required for swimming in the baths in all the baths that have actual “swimming pools”, with the exception of Palatinus Baths. If you’re just soaking in the normal thermal baths you do not need one.

{Traveler’s Tip… You can rent/buy hair nets at the baths that require them, but better yet, if you can plan it out and a hotel has a shower cap, snatch that up and just bring that with you instead!}

Towel/Cover-up

Can a towel be considered clothing? Bring a towel with you for the obvious reason of drying off, but also to use as a cover when walking from the changing facilities to the baths or just around the thermal pools in general. Most of the pools offer towels for rent, but we recommend just bringing one from your accommodation or this travel towel that’s quick drying and easy to fit in a bag!

Sandals

Bring some waterproof sandals with you to the baths! These are great for not only the showers, but also walking around the grounds/facilities. Don’t wear them in the actual baths, but do have them near for while you’re out of the water.

Jewelry

Thermal baths are such a hit because they’re believed to have healing/medicinal properties in the water. While the baths we visited in Budapest smelt nothing like the sulfuric ones in Iceland, there are still things in the water that may not be safe for your jewelry. While we don’t know for sure if they could ruin your jewelry, we don’t think it’s worth the chance to wear it in the baths.

{Traveler’s Tip… If your accommodation doesn’t seem like the safest place to leave your jewelry, be sure to take it off without people seeing you and stuff it in a hidden place inside your bag before locking it in a locker in the changing rooms. Keep in mind that people can pick up on what you’re wearing and follow you, waiting for you to take it off, so maybe just show up with it already hidden in your bag! Alternatively, you can also keep your valuables in a safe at the bathhouses.}

 

KEEPING IT CLEAN


Showering

Showers are a must before entering the pools. In our experiences at both Kiraly Baths and Palatinus Baths, the showers were near the pools instead of by the changing rooms. Regardless, you’ll find signs that show you all the places you need to be sure to wash – feet, pits, and privates! Be sure to get a good scrub before and after using the baths!

{Traveler’s Tip… Both the baths we visited had soap at with the showers, so don’t worry about bringing your own.}

 





FOOD AND DRINK


Water Bottle

Trust us here, you’re going to want some water after soaking in the baths for any amount of time. This water bottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours! Hello, perfect solution to beating the humidity in the thermal baths! We found that the baths offer places to fill up water bottles, as well as some places to buy drinks/snacks. However, both the drinks and food are often overpriced, and aren’t always open!

Snacks/Picnics

Even if you don’t think you’re going to be hungry, bring some snacks!! Having a little picnic makes for the perfect break from the hot water! It’s nice to have some food on you to prevent you from having to spend extra when staying longer than expected at the baths!

 

THE UNSPOKEN RULES OF THERMAL BATHS


Noise Levels

You’ll notice rather quickly that people tend to be rather quiet at the baths. They’re meant to be a place of relaxing and loud groups of people aren’t really so relaxing to hear. While some baths offer things like night parties and such, for the most part, visiting during the day means you should really keep noise levels to a minimum to not disturb the people around. 

Space

With the relaxing idea comes the idea of personal space. Again, people are meant to visit the baths to gain the medicinal properties of the thermal water. This means really sitting back and relaxing. You’ll find there’s plenty of room for everyone at the baths, and people tend to give everyone personal space.

Photographs

If you take a look at our time at both Kiraly and Palatinus Baths, you’ll notice we have loads of pictures of them both. However, getting those photos was sometimes a bit awkward/weird. In fact, at Kiraly, you’re not supposed to take photos at all inside the baths. If you do take pictures respect the people around and try to not get them in your photos, or be waving a selfie stick in front of their face! By all means, capture the moment to keep the memory, but remember to put down the camera and relax in the thermal baths without it too!

 


 

Have any questions about using Budapest’s thermal baths?! Feel free to ask them below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

We recommend visiting Kiraly Baths if you want a historic experience, but do know the baths aren’t actually that warm. And we recommend Palatinus Baths for a full day of relaxing. The baths there are great and super hot, though not many people know about them because they’re more known for their outdoor facilities in the summer.

 


 

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