Each of Budapest’s thermal baths has different opening times and rules on who may visit, so check the websites and tourist guides before you go. Most will open every day, with extended hours during the weekend.
Male-only and female-only days used to be common, but these are rare now, although some baths also have male-only or female-only sections. All sessions at the Széchenyi Baths, located in City Park, are mixed – perfect for spending some quality time with your partner. The outdoor thermal pools are a wonderful romantic experience – as the sun sets, you can relax together and enjoy the peace and tranquillity as you look up at the stars.
Where a bath is running a men-only or women-only day, or in the same-sex sections of the bath, men will be given a drawstring loincloth and women will be given an apron-like garment – although a lot of people will just wear a bathing suit instead. Bathing suits are required on mixed-sex days and can be hired if needed.
Some of the thermal baths and pools also require that you wear a bathing cap – even if you are male. You can either bring your own or purchase a disposal plastic one which may be free or a low cost (around 200Ft/50 pence). You can also rent a towel if you need one, usually for about 1000Ft (£2.70) although you’ll be given a sheet when you go into the rest areas.
Admission to Budapest’s thermal baths is typically around 2400Ft (about £6.40) for a couple of hours during the week, or an hour and a half at the weekend. These time limits are rarely enforced, so don’t worry if you’re too relaxed to move, as it’s very unlikely that you’ll be thrown out after your time is up.