During these sizzling hot summer days in Budapest, it is always nice to dive into a pool to cool down and feel the cold water engulf us while enjoying the warm rays of sunshine that stroke our skin just above the water. At this time of year, the city’s most popular baths – such as Széchenyi or Gellért – are great places to go, but they’re not exactly cheap… but fortunately, the Magyar metropolis has many other swimming spots where you can beat the heat for a friendlier price: all of the following pool complexes have entry fees of about 10 euros or much less, and still offer great amenities.
Pénzcentrum.hu rounded up a top-10 list of the best budget baths and swimming complexes of Budapest. It is not surprising that in this list, the most popular thermal baths are not included, but fortunately, water lovers do not have to make huge compromises when they want to paddle in a pool for a friendly price during these sizzling-hot summer days. When assembling the list, the prices of daily tickets were taken into consideration, but before packing your bag it is worthwhile to check the websites ahead of time, as many of these places offer more affordable rates for students and families, or for afternoon tickets, or for passes lasting only for 1-2 hours; however, prices might cost a little more during the weekend.
1. Csillaghegyi Bath
In operation since the 19th century, this laid-back hillside pool complex is located near the northern border of Buda, meaning that getting here requires a miniature day trip for most… but with entry this cheap, it’s worth the journey.
Adult daily ticket: 1,000 forints, including locker usage
This indoor-outdoor swimming center is found in District X between downtown Pest and the airport, and its leisure facilities are somewhat limited, but if you happen to live nearby, it’s a sufficiently pleasant place for low-budget soaking.
Adult daily ticket: 1,200 forints; or 800 forints for entry after 3pm
Address: Budapest 1108, Újhegyi út 13 Website (in Hungarian)
3. Csepel Bath
While this aqua park is nowhere near the city center, the variety of nice amenities here gives guests excellent value for money: in addition to an outdoor thermal pool, three thrilling water slides make this a beloved summertime playground.
Adult daily ticket: 1,300 forints (1,600 forints during weekends)
Like Csillaghegyi Bath, this pool complex is located a considerable journey away from downtown in northern Buda, but this watery wonderland is much more family-friendly with gentle water slides, a sauna, and a huge grassy expanse.
Adult daily ticket: 1,800 forints (1,900forints during weekends)
Opened in 1989, Budapest’s newest public swimming center features huge pools and grassy areas for sunbathing, along with a beach-volleyball court and a sauna, providing something for everyone in this Zugló-district paradise. (Editor’s note: Paskál is closed for renovations until July 15th.)
Adult daily ticket: 2,000 forints (2,200 forints during weekends)
Technically, this ultra-modern indoor-outdoor splashing spot is located outside of Budapest’s city limits, in the adjacent suburb of Budaörs, but the fresh facilities here make this an outstanding spot for leisurely or serious swimmers alike.
Adult daily ticket: 2,000 forints
Address: Budaörs 2040, Hársfa u. 6 Website (in Hungarian)
7. Dagály Bath
Sited on the Pest riverbank just north of Árpád Bridge, the thermal-water pools of this huge complex offer all sorts of amenities for wellness and recreation, including underwater massaging jet-streams, a playground, and a new sauna.
Adult daily ticket: 2,000 forints (2,400forints during weekends)
This stately thermal bath was originally built close to the Castle District by occupying Turks during the 16th century; while this historic site is the least sunshiny swimming spot on this list, its city-center location makes it easy to visit.
Adult daily ticket: 2,400 forints, including locker usage
Just a few steps away from the laid-back hangouts of Római Part (and the Rómaifürdő ferryboat stop), this tree-shaded aqua park features multiple pools, huge water slides, a steam bath, and a sauna, making this a full-family hotspot.
Adult daily ticket: 2,400 forints (2,700 forints during weekends)
Margaret Island’s most popular aqua park may be the most expensive place on this list, but its fun-filled facilities still make it a great bargain for sun-splashed days – enjoy a newly renovated thermal pool, towering water slides, and much more here.
Adult daily ticket: 2,800 forints (3,200 forints during weekends)