As the weather gets hotter and hotter, the spas and lidos in the city are getting busier, too – however, many forget that these places are not only great for lounging or splashing around in, but you can also use them for a real swim. Here are some of the best lane pools for some exercise in summer, without breaking a sweat. Do check the rules on social distancing before you go, though.
The renovated Dagály Baths reopened in 2018. Though over a slightly smaller area, a lido has been created to meet the needs of 21st-century visitors, with great places to swim. The 50-metre long pool, overlooking Margaret Island near the Danube shore, was raised and given a solid 220-centimetre depth. Based on our experiences, the water in this pool is cooler, making it ideal for a sizzling summer day. The other, 25-metre long, pool has also been renovated, and enjoys better shade than its longer counterpart, in case you are not looking to get a swimsuit-shaped tan line.
Pools: 25 metres and 50 metres, outdoor, both deep
Tickets: 1,900 forints for 2hrs on weekdays, 1,500 forints after 3pm across the board. Details here.
MOM Sport Pool & Sports Centre
Among Budapest’s best swimming spots, the MOM Centre is also one of our favourites. It opens every day until 10pm and offers great views of the Buda hills day and night, especially the outdoor pool. Although very popular, the swimming centre is never too crowded, so the pools can be enjoyed in relative privacy. Finish your swim here in the relaxing spa section in the same complex.
Pools: 25 metres indoor, 33 metres outdoor)
Tickets: 2hr swim 2,090 forints, 3hrs with 2 entries 2,420 forints, no spa included in either. Day tickets (with spa) 3,960 forints, after 4pm 2,860 forints. Details here.
Paskál Open-Air Baths
These popular baths in Zugló opened in 1989 and were renovated relatively recently to high standard. The swimming pool is 33 metres long, with eight lanes, of which a maximum of four can be rented out at any one time, so there’s always room for solo swimmers. On busier summer weekends, swimmers might have to navigate around the flocks of paddlers enjoying the cooling water.
Pool: 33 metres, outdoor
Tickets: 2hr swim 2,100 forints, 2,400 forints Sat until noon, plus refundable 800-forint deposit. Details here (Hungarian-only).
Pesterzsébet Iodine-Salt Thermal & Open-Air Baths
The iodine-salt thermal water found at the Pesterzsébet Baths is a rarity even in spa-blessed Hungary – in Budapest, it can only be found in District XX. So when they reopened in 2018 after two decades of neglect, it was warmly welcomed. Though the lido is still pretty basic, trees provide shade, while the pool, changing rooms and showers are all top-notch, and there’s a separate ticket just for swimming, too.
Pool: 25 metres, outdoor
Tickets: 2hr swim 2,100 forints (weekdays), 2,400 forints (Sat until noon). Details here.
Easily accessible by the Szentendre HÉV train to Római fürdő, these charming baths in beautiful parkland are always a big hit. The Roman relics, decorations and accessories make this facility stand out, while the pools are clean and well-equipped. The lane pool is 33 metres long, and for those looking for relaxation after swimming, there are great waterslides alongside.
Pool: 33 metres, outdoor
Tickets: no separate swimming tickets, full-day admission 2,500 forints weekdays, 2,800 forints weekends. Details here.