One of Hungary's most exciting attractions are the thermal baths - large hot tub-like baths that are open to the public. Budapest became known as the City of Spas in the 1930s with its number of baths around the city that drew in visitors. Last winter I went to the popular Szechenyi baths in Budapest and my expectations were blown away by how cool thermal baths actually are. The Szechenyi baths have large baths outside as well as some smaller pools and saunas inside. I went on a regular night, but there are often spa parties with crazy lights and laser shows.
The Thermal Bath Experience in Budapest
It cost 4300 ft (about $19 USD) for entry and a locker at the Szechenyi baths. I also rented a towel and a swimsuit. I forgot to bring my swimsuit, and I regretted it - while it's nice they offer ones for rental, you can tell how old and used they are. I'm sure they clean them, but in my opinion it's just more comfortable to be in your own swimwear.
Instead of a traditional key, you get a waterproof bracelet that you tap to lock/unlock your locker. It was so nice to not have to worry about having a key with the possibility of getting it lost or stolen while you were in the bath. I put my clothes, shoes, and handbag in the locker. Outside by the outdoor pools there are mini lockers that your tap bracelets work with as well. I used one of those to put my camera and some extra cash in.
I used some cash to get a drink at the mini bar outside ;) but just know that you can't take your drink into the water!
There are three pools with people relaxing and mingling. One is a whirpool which is a lot of fun.
Since I went in the winter, it was very cold outside! Luckily the baths were warm. Also, when walking from one bath to the other there was a little "moat" of warm water lining the pools. I'm pretty sure that's to wash your feet before you get into the pool but it was nice to take a few steps in to warm up my feet when switching from one bath to the next.
After a couple hours we left and grabbed our stuff from the lockers before heading back to the hotel to shower and change and go out for the night. All in all it was a fun experience and I highly recommend going to the thermal baths in Budapest during your visit!