The Király are among the oldest Turkish baths in Budapest, having been built in the 16th century. Király Baths feature a Turkish-style octagonal pool, two other pools, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, and an outdoor tub. The baths offer a complete and relaxing spa experience. It is a great spot for architecture enthusiasts as a rare example of an authentic Turkish building in Hungary. Király Baths were established at some distance from the hot springs in Buda because the Ottomans controlling the city wanted a secure place for their traditional bathing rituals even during the time of siege. The baths receive their thermal water from same spring as supplies Lukács Baths. It was damaged and fell into a severe state of dilapidation before going through comprehensive restoration in the 1950s. In addition to its fascinating history and architecture, the Király Baths has a friendly atmosphere that makes for a very pleasant aquatic experience.
Király Baths are open every day from 9 am to 9 pm. In a break from the tradition of Turkish baths, women and men can both use the bath at all times. The ticket office closes at 8 pm, and you should note that these baths are not suitable for children under 14.
The price of a morning ticket is HUF 1600 with a cabin and HUF 1300 with a locker (plus a deposit of HUF 1100).
The price of an all-day ticket is 2700 HUF with a cabin and 2400 HUF with a locker. You can also buy a combined ticket, costing HUF 5000. If you invest in a Budapest Card, you will save 20% of the ticket price.
The historic building of Király Baths has a unique atmosphere, and to enter is to be transported back to the time when Buda Castle was occupied by Turkish pashas instead of Hungarian kings. The Ottomans used geothermal spring waters from the Buda Hills to supply this ritual bathing place. Király Baths are quite different from Turkish steam baths, because its octagonal pools contain natural thermal spring water. There are also three smaller pools and a modern Jacuzzi for 4–5 people.
The baths is characterised by its dim light, which comes from glass-covered holes in the 16th-century dome. The baths owe much of their historical appeal to the fact that they have not been renovated for several decades. Its Turkish features are combined with the medicinal bathing culture of the 1890s.
Making use of the baths
The changing rooms are on the second floor and the showers on the first. Make sure you bring your towel along to cover yourself. The first thing you come to on the first floor is the dry sauna, followed by a narrow entrance that takes you to the original Turkish bath. There niches of various kinds surrounding the octagonal pool under the vault. The niches are furnished with benches where you can simply relax after a hot bath. You can hardly see anything while in the pools because of the thick steam that swirls above them.
The best way to enjoy Király Baths is to float in the hot water and close your eyes while you listen to the locals and tourists chatting about the latest news in town. The steam water has a soothing feeling which relaxes your body and mind. After enjoying the bath, try out the steam sauna in one of the side domes. The water temperature in the thermal pool ranges between 26 and 40 degrees Celsius. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, fluoride ions, sulphate, sodium and hydrogen carbonate.
The water in Király baths has potent healing powers, particularly for treating joint conditions, spinal deformity, arthritis and neuralgia.