There are quite a few beautiful historical Turkish baths in Budapest, most from the 16th century Ottoman Turkish occupation.
Turkish Baths in Budapest
Inevitably, these historical baths are not like modern-day Turkish baths in Turkey, not really steam baths with a good deal of male massage, but more like historical medicinal baths – water based as well as steam based - in a Turkish interior. All of the Budapest Turkish baths have been built on the Buda side of the city, which is the hilly karst side with lots of naturally warm waters underground (the main dissolution mechanism is carbonic acid as well as sulfide oxidation).
Some of the Turkish baths in Budapest are coed / mixed (e.g. Kiraly Baths or Veli Bej Baths), while others are women-only or men-only most of the week, and mixed at weekends (e.g. Rudas Baths). Most Turkish Baths have been not only restored but expanded into a bath complex with modern facilities (infra sauna, massage parlours, etc.) and pools, like Rudas Baths, Veli Bej Baths or Racz Baths.
Typically, each Turkish bath has a core of main bath with a characteristic 8 sided pool and a big cupola with little holes to let in some of the sunshine (the main baths are mysteriously half-lit, which is an extra factor in letting you completely relax).
Which are the best Turkish Baths in Budapest?
Each Turkish bath in Budapest has its own character. For instance, Kiraly Bath is the most historical and ruinous (in both good and bad sense), and consequently the cheapest mixed Turkish bath in Budapest.
Next, Rudas Baths is probably the most popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Rudas Turkish Bath is quite spacious – Turkish and contemporary – in fact we could call it a bath complex. Both the interior and the exterior of Rudas Bath has been restored, a big swimming pool (there are separate entrance fees for the Turkish baths and the modern pools), and further thermal bath facilities were added. Caveat: do not get uneasy by looking at old photos of Rudas Baths. The facade was restored by autumn 2012, so in older photos you may see the somewhat shabby exterior and old facade of Rudas Baths. Not any more! Rudas was also the venue of some Cinetrip parties in Budapest
Veli Bej Turkish Bath is the most recent addition to the series of restored Turkish Baths in Budapest with top notch new facilities (handed over in 2012). Veli Bej Bath is by the Margaret Island. This is the oldest part of the former Csaszar Bath (Csaszarfurdo), right next to Lukacs Bath, another thermal bath with healing properties. The thermal waters run through the baths 4 times a day (naturally rushing through from underground), so there is no need to sterilize and ruin the water quality with chlorine.
Turkish baths in Budapest – Top List
Turkish baths in the City of Spas (dating back to about 1550-1600s) are as follows:
- Rudas Turkish Baths, Budapest
- Kiraly Turkish Baths, Budapest
- Veli Bej Turkish Baths, Budapest
- Racz Turkish Baths, Budapest
You can read more about the history of Turkish Baths in Hungary here: Turkish Baths in Budapest: Kiraly, Racz, Rudas Furdo on Budapest Blog.
Or you can take a look at this homemade video of Rudas Baths from 2oo9 – the video shows both the Turkish interior and the building in its hilly context in Budapest (please note that the facade has been restored in 2012!):
More about Budapest Spa Baths:
- How Much are Bath Entrance Fees?
- Which are the Best Baths in Budapest, Hungary?
- What Healing Effects do Budapest Baths have?
- Which Baths are Mixed in Budapest?
- Budapest Baths
Last update: November, 2012
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If you are interested in the history of Turkish Baths in Hungary, we recommend Turkish Baths in Budapest: Kiraly, Racz, Rudas Furdo on Budapest Blog.