Which Budapest Baths- Széchenyi or Rudas?

Mineral baths are very popular in Budapest. Hungarians have been using them for centuries to relax and aid a wide assortment of ailments. Budapest is one of the few capital cities in the world that lies atop a plethora of hot thermal springs. Aside from healthy minerals seeping into your pours, the baths are also therapeutic because they’re fun. So which Budapest baths should you visit?

Which Budapest Baths

Széchenyi Baths

The largest and most famous bath in Budapest is Széchenyi Bath (Furdo means bath in Hungarian). Széchenyi has indoor and outdoor thermal baths that range in temperatures. The minerals that can be found in various bath pools primarily include sulphate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and also a stellar amount of fluoride acid and metaboric acid. These minerals and the temperatures led to us feeling very relaxed.

Which Budapest Baths
Which Budapest Baths

Rudas Baths

We also visited Rudas Baths, which was built in 1550, during the time of the Ottoman empire. The Rudas baths are much smaller, but the inside is completely different from Széchenyi. You feel like you have walked back into the 1550s, it is dark and there is an amazing domed roof above the central bath that includes small colored glasses pieces, that are beautiful, so try and go during day light hours.

We enjoyed jumping in the very hot 42c/107f pool and then immediately into the cold 28c/82f degree pool. We chickened out from doing that at Széchenyi as the hot pool initially hurts a bit. But we felt solidly invigorated after a full hour of alternating between the pools. Jumping from hot to cold mineral water is excellent for improving blood circulation and it can help take kinks from joint pain.

Which Budapest Baths

Széchenyi vs Rudas Baths

Both baths are beautiful and fantastic Budapest, Hungary experiences in completely different ways. Széchenyi is very family friendly, whereas Rudas seems to attract a younger crowd, and there were no kids when we first arrived. Rudas is right in town on the Buda side by the river, where as Széchenyi is in City Park and can be easily reached by catching Metro line 1. The other important thing to note is that during the week Rudas is male only aside from Tuesdays, which is a day for the ladies. Only on the weekends are baths open to everyone.

Entrance to Rudas is a little cheaper compared to Széchenyi. Add on prices like towel hire also differs, as with the cost at Széchenyi being higher. Bring your own towel and slip flops to save on the cost of admission!


Budapest baths offer a unique experience that should not be missed when visiting the Hungarian capital. If you have time visit multiple Budapest baths, you should. It is a wonderful way to relax after your flight or train ride. It’s also a great way to sweat out toxins after a big night of partying. And most importantly, it is good for general wellness – helping to relieve anxiety and aiding in better sleep. For a more in depth breakdown of the best Budapest spas, including massage tips, read our more recent article!


  • Alex&Bell

    Alex and Bell originally met while solo traveling after finishing university in 2002, in Brugge, Belgium. Alex grew up in the USA and Bell hails from Australia. During our nearly 20 year marriage we've lived around the world, including spending six years living in the Netherlands and Ireland. We have traveled to nearly 70 countries and enjoy giving readers authentic and quality travel tips. Alex is an award winning travel journalist and travel planner, who also freelances for other outlets. Bell is an award winning PhD scientist who currently works for a non-profit lung cancer advocacy research organization called Lungevity. Happy travels and if you have any questions leave a comment or drop an email!

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4 thoughts on “Which Budapest Baths- Széchenyi or Rudas?

    1. If you have time, both!! Szechenyi is grand, Rudas is small, but it really feels like you have stepped back in time there. If I (Bell) had time for only one I’d go to Rudas, but you really can’t go wrong here!

  1. We’ll be spending a couple of months in Budapest starting in late July. We’ll be going to both but I was kind of curious which should be higher on the list.
    Look forward to it!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Great question! We’d rate Szechenyi higher over Rudas. They’re very different and while Rudas is older, Szechenyi is much more spacious. Szechenyi also has a huge outdoor thermal spa and pool area that would be perfect in July. Rudas doesn’t have an outdoor section, unless they added that in their recent renovations. Have a wonderful time, you’re going to love Budapest!

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