In Budapest’s legendary thermal baths, healing and hedonism can be found among the Hungarian capital’s historic and new spas.
1. Szechenyi Thermal Bath
One of Europe’s largest bathing complexes, Szechenyi Thermal Bath’s labyrinthine interior consists of intricately tiled treatment rooms, pools and wooden saunas, but it’s the outdoor pools on the grounds of the Neo-Baroque palace that draw the crowds. Be it soaking in thermal water while watching elderly men play chess, or being massaged by bubbles in the activity pool, most people visit this bath on a pilgrimage to immerse themselves in Budapest’s spa culture.
On summer nights, disco lights flicker and a deep bass throbs through the complex. The sparty transforms the relaxing Szechenyi into the hottest party in town, complete with top DJs and pop-up bars. Although the high entrance fee for the baths skews the complex towards an international demographic, this doesn’t mean it is just another tourist attraction.
2. Lukacs Bath
Lukacs Bath may be less photogenic than Szechenyi, but this modest complex flies the sparty flag in the colder months with its Magic Bath parties. Here, DJs spin electronic beats, while laser projections dance over partygoers in the geothermal outdoor pool.