With wintertime’s chill starting to set in over Hungary, the capital city is fortunate to possess several historic spas with piping-hot pools of mineral-rich spring waters, offered alongside soothing saunas and steam rooms. Here are a few of our favorite sites for soaking away frigid feelings, with a focus on their facilities that feature intensely high temperatures.
Budapest’s hottest thermal baths (literally)
Photo : Rudas
Hungary’s most famous spa still draws those guys playing chess in the water during the depths of winter, thanks to the huge outdoor thermal pool kept open year-round at a steady 38°C/101°F. Beside the courtyard, cavernous saunas can reach 95°C/203°F, while assorted steam chambers offer temperatures ranging from 50°C/122°F to 53°C/127°F. The most adventurous bathers try to stay submerged in the interior 40°C/104°F plunge pool as long as possible.
Established by Hungary’s Turkish occupiers during the mid-1500s, this historic landmark is freshly reborn with extensive renovations completed just a few weeks ago; the most picturesque new feature is the rooftop pool boasting panoramic Danube views while enveloping soakers in 36°C/97°F waters. Inside, several small pools present escalating temperatures reaching up to a scalding 42°C/108°F, all situated nearby the refurbished sauna and steam bath.
Providing a complete spectrum of wellness facilities and services, this centuries-old medical mecca attracts health-seeking soakers no matter what the weather brings – and with mineral-infused thermal waters here maxing out at 40°C/104°F, this is a perfect place to warm chilled bones. In addition to several heated pools, amenities include a newly built “sauna world”, a steam room, and a cozy chamber lined with Himalayan salt to improve respiration.
Originally constructed by the Ottoman Empire’s Pasha of Buda in 1565 as a backup bath in case of siege, and later damaged extensively during World War II, this venerable haven of health is now a peacefully temperate place to find tranquillity at any time of the year. Among four pools full of hot spring water bearing magnesium, calcium, and fluoride ions, the biggest soaking spot is kept at 36°C/97°F, while the smallest tub gets up to 40°C/104°F.
As a Budapest masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture, this spectacular splash zone is ornately decorated with fanciful stained-glass windows, colorful mosaics, and elegant statues – yet this stunning beauty still can’t match the dreamy scenes of happy places seen by soakers when they close their eyes and let muscles melt amid the indoor thermal baths ranging from 35°C/95°F to 40°C/104°F. For more sizzling pleasure, try a hot-stone massage here.
Offering a warm welcome throughout the year, this pleasantly modest city-center wellness complex features a brand-new pair of mist-shrouded outdoor pools kept open in winter at temperatures of 34°C/93°F and 36°C/97°F, while inside a 26.5-square-meter bath holds waters reaching 38°C/101°F. Guests can also indulge in invigorating amenities like the sauna and a variety of massages, and the entry fee is considerably lower than at every other Budapest thermal bath.