Dagály bath: The spa of the people

Dagály bath is a busy thermal spa in Budapest with 10 different pools that welcome visitors throughout the entire year.


Budapest is synonymous with its virtually endless amount of thermal springs: with over 118 sources of hot water bursting from under the surface, it’s no wonder that millions of tourists arrive every year to visit at least one of the many spas. Dagály is not the fanciest or the busiest, but thanks to its location, it’s one of the lesser-known spas in town that can bear a few pleasant surprises.

Dagály fürdő and its huge outdoor pools
Dagály fürdő and its huge outdoor pools

A historical recap

While other spas like Rudas or Király have gained prominence over the centuries, Dagály (literally: riptide) is one of the youngest establishments in Budapest. Right on the eve of World War 2, an artesian well was dug right underneath the Danube: this would allow locals to utilize the hot water otherwise flowing freely into the river. Dagály opened its gates shortly after in 1948: its newly dug well yielded 6200 liters of hot water every minute. Interestingly enough, Dagály did not count as a thermal bath for decades to come (perhaps a reason why it’s still not known primarily as a thermal spa): this only happened in 1970, when the spa got some water resupply from nearby Széchenyi’s thermal springs. Dagály rose to prominence over the 70s and 80s, so much so that locals started calling it the “washbasin of the people” (“néplavór” in Hungarian), referring to how crowded it could get. 

In the 90s and the early 00s, many renovations and expansions took place, and Dagály grew to be one of the largest spas in Budapest. Nowadays, following yet another renovation, Dagály offers a wide range of pools and services to everyone visiting. Although its artesian water spring has gradually yielded less and less water over the years, Dagály now (apart from Széchenyi’s springs) receives its thermal water supply from the nearby Magda well on Margitsziget.

A bird’s eye view of Dagály spa
A bird’s eye view of Dagály spa

Pools and services

Today, there are 10 pools in Dagály, out of which 4 are operated on a seasonal basis, making it more than an ideal choice throughout the entire year. If you visit during the colder months, you can enjoy the calming waters of the three hot thermal pools or even swim in one of the two indoor swimming pools. And should you come during the warmer months, Dagály opens its vast open area for its visitors, transforming the spa into a beach-like experience: with 4 massive pools (including one wave pool) stretching across the property, there’s plenty of space for everyone to relax. As for the services, Dagály is right there with the most popular spas in town. Its wellness area boasts a Finnish sauna, an infrared sauna, a steam cabin, a tepidarium (which is a Roman-style warm room), and a dedicated room for halotherapy (or salt therapy), not to mention the wide range of massages you can sign up for. And if that wasn’t enough, Dagály also has an outdoor fitness park, a streetball court, a spray park, and a separate playground.

Dagály is an ideal place to visit over the warmer months
Dagály is an ideal place to visit over the warmer months

Fun facts

Dagály’s recent renovation meant more than a simple expansion. Budapest hosted the 2017 FINA World Championship, which meant that the city needed a brand new building for the momentous occasion – thus, Duna Aréna was built right next to Dagály spa. Although the two are separate facilities, if you feel swimming in the same pools where the world’s greatest competed a few years back, Duna Aréna is just a few steps from Dagály. 

Getting there

Dagály is tuck between Árpád Bridge and the busy Váci avenue, which means it’s super easy to reach. Just take metro line 3 (that’s the blue one) at Deák tér and ride all the way to Forgách utca – from there, it’s only a 5-minute walk to the entrance. Alternatively, you can take a cab or even rent a scooter.

Dagály spa and the recently completed Duna Aréna in the background
Dagály spa and the recently completed Duna Aréna in the background

The flipside

As you might’ve guessed, being located close to a major junction translates to quite a few visitors every day. Remember: Dagály was called the “washbasin of the people” for a good reason, and its popularity hasn’t changed lately. 

Q & A

Where is Dagály bath?
Dagály is a 5-minute walk away from Forgách utca metro station.
Can I eat at Dagály bath?
Yes, Dagály has a dedicated canteen on its premises.
Is there a wave pool in Dagály?
Dagály is one of the few spas in Budapest that has a wave pool. 

Did you know?

The massage in Budapest is amazing! You should visit one of the most renowned massage salons where you can enjoy the treatment of qualified, professional masseurs!

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