St. Lukacs Thermal Baths is my favourite of all the thermal baths in Budapest. Walking through its beautiful park, you can see many marble plaques expressing gratitude in different languages, which proves I’m not the only one!
The Lukacs bath complex near to the „Buda-side” bridgehead of Margaret Bridge has one of the most, exactly 11 saunas. We can also find 5 indoor and outdoor pools, two of which are swimming pools with different temperatures, then there is an awesome spa, a thermal bath and an underwater traction-bath. The spa is really relaxing with its massaging jets hidden in the benches, neck shower, underwater effervescence, fizzing beds and whirpool. It’s worth a try for everyone!
History of Lukacs Bath
The history of Budapest’s oldest thermal bath dates back to the 12th century, the Knight Age, when a bath were built next to every monastery. The spa also operated in the Turkish era, and although Mustafa Szokoli used the area as a spa, there is no authentic Turkish bath in Lukacs Baths. After the recapture of Buda, the bath became government property, which was later bought by Philip Palotay, and turned into a wonderful medical complex, where people came from all over the world to recover.
The baths’ specialty is that it’s not only a place for recovery but also a centre of social life: it was the haunt of such legendary Hungarian artists like Zoltán Latinovits, Dezső Garas, Zoltán Kodály, István Örkény.
The renovation and modernization of the bath, which cost more than one billion forints, was completed in 2013, and since then it has had a prestigious place among the baths that offer outstanding service in the world.
When the weather is good I usually start with the spa outside, which has an entrance from inside, too. In bad weather I try to obtain a bed first, where I can leave my towel. The spa outside contains plenty of awesome function, my favourites are the underwater effervescence and the whirpool.
I love saunas, so this bath is a canaan for me. After splashing in the outdoor spa, I go inside, to one of my favourite saunas and then I take a dip in the ice-cold water in the vat behind the spiral staircase.
Be sure to take a dip in the thermal pools, too, and it’s also worth using the sun terrace besides the massage services and fitness park.
The thermal water with a water depth of 30 metres coming from János Molnár cave is said to be the best quality thermal water among the baths in Budapest.
If you are completely exhausted from the sun and water, you should visit the buffet, as you can eat and drink very delicious at a good price there.
Good to know
There are two swimming pools with different temperatures in the courtyard of Lukacs Baths. The interesting thing is that the colder 22-degree swimming pool is called men’s pool, while the warmer 26-degree swimming pool is called women’s pool. This reminds us of a time when the spa could be used separately by genders. Previously, women could use men’s pool, but men couldn’t enter women’s pool.
The other specialty of the baths is the well-equipped sauna world, in which you can choose from the following: salt crystal sauna, aroma steam cabins, infrasauna, Finnish saunas, naturisa sauna, tepidarium, ice chamber, heat chamber, bio sauna.
the sauna is a textile-free area, so I recommend to take any kind of textile ont he bench which you can sit on.
Best time to visit Lukacs Bath
The two best-known thermal baths in Budapest are Gellert Baths and Szechenyi Baths, mostly visited by foreigners. Usually there aren’t long lines and crowd in Lukacs Baths, but I still recommend to visit in the morning hours. Please note that on Mondays the sauna opens at 2 p.m.!
If you would like to use the other services of the bath, e.g. a massage or mud treatment, it is recommended to buy your ticket online and book an appointment.
What shall you take with you to the baths?
What you should pack in your bag: slippers, towel, swimwear. I always take shower gel with me so I can have a shower at the end of the day, and also put in a hair dryer so as not to have to line up for that. It’s also worth putting a bottle of mineral water, juice or some cans of beer.
Lukacs Bath tickets
Tickets can be bought on the spot and online. The advantage of online buying is that you don’t have to stand in the line, so you can get in the bath much faster. The other reason why I recommend online purchase is that if you would like to get any kind of extra services (e.g. massage or treatment) you can book an appointment in advance which is highly advised. If you buy your ticket online, you can get it in the back of the room behind the box offices.
After getting the ticket change your clothes! Up the stairs to the right you can find the cabins and the lockers ont he next floor to the left. The dress room with the lockers is coeducated so there are separate cabins where you can change your clothes, and then put them in the lockers.
Cabin vs lockers
You have to decide at the box office whether you would like a cabin or a locker. The decision will be easy after reading my article „Cabin vs lockers”!
Sights near to Lukacs Baths
Visiting the grave of Gül Baba, the green heart of Budapest: Margaret Island, the Buda Palace, or viewing the Danube bank; all are great programs in the Hungarian capital.
St. Lukacs Baths water composition
The thermal spring contains natrium, calcium-magnesium-bicarbonate, sulphate-chloride, with a significant fluoride content.
Units of St. Lukacs Thermal Baths:
Swimming pool I.
- water temperature 26 °C
Swimming pool II.
- water temperature 24 °C
- water temperature 35-37 °C (in summer: 33-35 °C)
- water temperature 24-40 °C
Underwater traction bath
- water temperature 36 °C
● Aroma relax massage (20, 35, and 45 minutes)
● Thermal massage (20, 35 and 45 minutes)
● Refreshing head massage (20 minutes)
● Refreshing leg massage (20 minutes)
● Water massage (20 minutes)
● Scrub water massage (35 minutes)
● Foot reflexology massage (50 minutes)
● Himalaya salt wall
- Sun terrace
- Outdoor fitness tools
- Beach stuff shop
By public transport: Buses 9 and 109, trams 4, 6, 17, 19, and suburb train 5 until the stop Margaret bridge.
The easiest way to get there is by tram 4 or 6, getting off at the stop Margaret bridge (Buda side) and walk about 3 minutes.
Lukacs Baths is near to Margaret Island, so I recommend to organize these two programs together.
Traveling by taxi in the peak hours can be very long and expensive.
St. Lukacs Baths / LukacsThermal Bath
1023 Budapest, Frankel Leó street 25-29.