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Budapest’s best lap pools for fitness and recreation
Photo : BVSC
Budapest’s best lap pools for fitness and recreation

It’s no secret that Budapest is a city of thermal spas. Ever since the Romans, the hot, bubbling waters coursing beneath the city have drawn crowds to Budapest looking to soak in its waters. However, when it comes to picking a simple swimming pool to do a few laps in or just splash about in, finding the best pool for you is not always so obvious. To help out, here are some of the city’s best pools to inspire you to get fit and healthy in the New Year or just to try something new and adventurous at the start of 2015.

Csillaghegyi Bath and Swimming Pool Dagály Bath Palatinus Bath Császár-Komjádi Sports Pool BVSC Zugló Hajós Alfréd National Swimming Complex Famous thermal baths and gyms

Csillaghegyi Bath and Swimming Pool

Photo: Csillaghegyi Bath
Set into the hillside on a terrace of pools dating back to the latter half of the 19th century, Csillaghegyi Bath and Swimming Pool is Budapest’s oldest outdoor pool. Since 2000, this pool complex, which uses natural mineral water, has been updated with state of the art filtering and circulation systems. A canvas tent roof covers the pool in the winter months, and the leisure pool is even heated, which means you can still enjoy a swim in the middle of January.   

Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 6am-8pm
Price: 1 700HUF (daily ticket with locker), 17 800HUF (15 entries)

Csillaghegyi Bath

Dagály Bath

Photo: Dagály Baths
An unsung thermal bath and pool complex with 10 pools in total. At Dagály Bath there’s not only 50 and 25 meter swimming pools equipped with modern filter and circulation systems, but novelty pools like the adventure pool and the ‘mushroom’ pool, as well as two large thermal pools on site.   

Opening hours: Everyday 6am – 8pm
Price: 2 400 HUF (daily ticket with locker), 18 900 – 29 800 HUF (15 entries)

Dagály Bath

Palatinus Bath

Photo: Palatinus Beach
Palatinus Bath is made up of 11 pools and is located at the heart of Margaret Island. This network of swimming pools, wave bath pools, fancy pools and beach pools are fed by the natural thermal springs on the island. Even though Palatinus Beach started life in the early 20th century, the complex has expanded over the years, been modernised and updated into an excellent facility that by now caters to all age groups. If you’ve got your heart set on the outdoor pools, you’re going to have to wait until summer, because the outdoor pool is closed in the winter months.  

Opening hours: Everyday 9am – 8pm (22 June – 20 August); 9am – 7pm (21 August – 14 September)
Price: 2 600 HUF (daily ticket), 45 000 HUF (20 entries)

Palatinus Bath

Császár-Komjádi Sports Pool

Photo: Császár-Komjádi Swimming Pool
A hybrid of two pools – the 19th classicist century Császár Swimming and the 1970s Komjádi pool make up today’s complex. If you’re looking for a racing pool or training pool, then this 40m wide one with convertible open-air roofing ticks the box. Today the Császár-Komjádi pool complex has three floors, five swimming pools, including two catering to children, as well as indoor and outdoor options.    

Opening hours: Everyday 6am – 7pm
Price: 1 800HUF (daily ticket), 15 900HUF (10 entries)

Császár-Komjádi Sports Swimming Centre

BVSC Zugló

Photo: BVSC
This sports complex in Zugló is ideal if you’re looking to train up your swimming skills. With a 25m and a 50m pool, this offers a no frills swim, which is great if you’re a budding Olympian or simply want to do a few laps for fitness. Head to BVSC Zugló and dive right in.

Opening hours: weekdays 6am – 8.30pm, weekends  6am – 7.30pm
Price: 1 750 HUF (daily ticket), 15 600 HUF (10 entries)

Hajós Alfréd National Swimming Complex

Photo: Hajós Alfréd National Swimming Complex
Another pool complex on Margaret Island, Hajós Alfréd National Sports Pool has both indoor and outdoor pool sections, including a 50m, 33m, teaching and diving pools. This pool caters to budding athletes and hobbyists, all year round.   

Opening hours: weekdays 6am – 3.50pm, weekends 6am – 5.50pm
Price: 1 800HUF (daily ticket), 15 900HUF (10 entries)

Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Complex

Famous thermal baths and gyms

With the city abundant in natural spas, many of the city’s famous complexes also offer the option to do a spot of swimming. The Rudas Baths offers a single entry or season ticket which let’s you soak in their beautiful colonnaded swimming pool. Other thermal baths with swimming pools include the Széchenyi Baths at City Park and the Gellért Baths in Buda. Remember these can get super crowded with tourists at many times during the year so if you want a relaxing session in the lap-pool then pick an off-peak time of day. There are also gyms, like Holmes Place, Life1, Oxygen and MOM Sport with pools, as well as other workout and wellness options.