Thursday, 12 March 2015

Travel Diaries Budapest: Király Thermal Bath

Every Budapeset travel guide noted the Thermal Baths as a must see while in the city. So of course, I added the baths to my travel itinerary. It was a bit hard to convince Dylan to join me to the bath, but after a long day walking around the city, being a tourist, he agreed to join me. We went to the Király Thermal Bath, which is a unisex bath, and offers four baths of varying temperatures. It gets pretty steamy in the bath, so all of the pictures in this post are press photos!

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

"The construction of this Bath was begun by Arslan, the Pasha of Buda in 1565 and was completed by his successor, Sokoli Mustafa. The Király Thermal Bath had no direct hot water base, nor has it any today. The Turks built the Bath far from the springs to ensure the opportunity for bathing even in the case of an eventual siege, within the walls of the castle. Its water was supplied at that time, and is being supplied now, from the surroundings of the current Lukács Bath. Following the reoccupation of Buda, the Bath was acquired in 1796 by the König family. They rebuilt it to its current form, combining the old with the new, and preserving its monumental character, found even in the name of the Bath. Stemming from the name of the family, it translates from Hungarian (Király=King=König). In World War II, the Bath was damaged. Its complete renovation was accomplished in 1950." - Kiraly Thermal Bath

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

Upon entering, you buy your tickets from reception. The receptionist spoke very little English, but was able to complete our transaction. The daily ticket to the bath with a cabin is 2600 Forints (approx $11.50 CAD), and the ticket for the bath with a locker is 2300 Forints (approx $10 CAD). You can also rent a towel and/or bathing suit for a small fee plus a deposit. You are given an electronic bracelet that you can tap to your locker to lock and unlock it. 

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

There are 4 baths, all of which are varying temperature. The water is described as "Hot spring water with calcium, magnesium, hydrogen-carbonate and sulphate, also containing sodium and with a substantial content of fluoride ions." There is a slight sulphur scent to the water, but that's really only noticeable if you're sitting under the faucet (pictured above). When we went to Király it was fairly busy, but it wasn't crowded. Most people sit around the edge of the bath, but there were a few people that ventured into the center, floating around. There are other smaller pools, which are warmer or colder (26-40°C). There is also a steam room, which was a bit too intense for me, but Dylan enjoyed it. There are two other saunas, of varying temperatures. 

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

Kiraly Thermal Bath Interior

We spent 2 hours at Király, and Dylan and I both left feeling incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated. The atmosphere at Király is relaxed, but people are still talking, so it can get a bit loud inside the bath area. There were many couples at the bath, but there were also many singles, groups of friends, etc. Király is on the Buda side, and it's very easy to get to by foot or by public transportation. The baths in Budapest have domed roofs (pictured below), which makes it easy to spot them throughout the city!

Kiraly Thermal Bath

Travel Diaries Budapest: Kiraly Thermal Bath

If you're planning a trip to Budapest, then I would highly recommend visiting one of the famous Thermal Baths! I loved my time at Király, and I think that anyone looking for an authentic bath experience would also be pleased. We don't have anything like this here in Canada, so it was a great way to immerse myself into Hungarian culture. I found that most people at Király were locals, with just a handful of tourists. 

Have you visited a thermal bath before? Does this sound like something that you would be willing to try?

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  1. How pampering! I wish we had these in Canada!

    1. I do too! It was such a relaxing experience!


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