I’ll be honest, when I first came across the website for the Thermal Beer Spa in Budapest, I thought that it might be a touristy rip off. I was also a bit skeptical of soaking in a tub of beer. Isn’t that yeast? All my spidey senses told me that it seemed like something that wasn’t a very smart idea. For some reason though, I booked it anyway and decided to check it out for myself. You never really know until you go right? Well, I’m so glad I gave it a go! Not only did I get to experience the unique beer spa, but I also got to soak in the relaxing thermal waters of the popular Szechenyi Baths. Here’s how it went.
After you check in, you will be taken to your private cabin where you can get changed. The cabin is your private change room and you can leave your belongings there – only your wristband opens the cabin.
From there, you walk upstairs to begin your Thermal Beer Spa experience.
For 45 minutes you get to soak in a wooden tub full of thermal waters and beer ingredients – malt, hops, yeast and beer salt. Each tub can fit two people so you could have one to yourself or share with a friend. If you want a tub to yourself but you’re visiting with a friend, you can get two tubs next to each other – the tubs aren’t in private rooms.
The other bonus? You get a beer tap in between the tubs and you can drink as much of the Czech beer as you want during your spa! I don’t really drink beer so I gave that a miss, but the lady who worked there noticed that I hadn’t had a drink yet and brought me over a really cool malt drink instead.
Why you have to try it
Well, for one, it’s just plain cool to try different things when you are traveling. Even if it seems weird or unusual at first, and, in fact, those usually turn out to be the coolest!
The beer spa is more than just a fun novelty though and it comes with some handy benefits. The thermal water and beer ingredients are rich in vitamins, minerals and oils which your body absorbs as you are soaking. These properties are known to have a rejuvenating effect on the body and can be healing for things like joint, circulation and skin issues. Many of the baths around Budapest are called “Medicinal Baths” for this reason and have been used to aid healing for many years.
It’s also known to aid in detoxing the body (which may come in handy as you are chugging your beer).
Your ticket also includes a day pass to Szechenyi Baths which is one of the most popular spots for thermal bathing in Budapest and, with 15 indoor and 3 outdoor pools to hop between, you have plenty to choose from.
During your visit you can also use the many saunas and steam rooms for hot/cold therapy, book a massage or even a facial. There’s no shortage of relaxation to be had. I soaked in one of the outside pools for about an hour and it was heavenly – there’s something especially relaxing about soaking in warm water outside while the cold air brushes on your face.
I also recommend visiting a more local bath while you are visiting Budapest, (I posted more information on the authentic Medieval Turkish bath I visited in this post), because seeing the difference between the local and touristy baths is quite interesting. I just made sure to act accordingly at each, for example, at the local bath people are there to relax and no photos are allowed. I abided by the rules and just went in for the experience. However, at the touristy Szechenyi Baths, I had my selfie game ready.
Towels can be rented but if you have a backpack, just bring a towel from your hotel to save a little money. I brought a plastic bag to put my towel and swimsuit in afterwards too. Robes and swimsuits are also available for rent.
If you plan to visit the outdoor pools at Szechenyi it might be worth bringing a pair of flip flops because the ground outside is so cold that it makes the short walk seem pretty long!
This is a more touristy spot, so you can take photos but there isn’t anywhere apart from the edge of the pool to leave your camera while you swim. If you don’t have a waterproof camera or phone case that you can hold while you’re in the water, maybe get photos then put your phone back in the cabin then go back out to swim. I saw a lot of people doing it but it looks like zero fun trying to have a good time swimming AND hold your phone above water level!
The entrance for the Thermal Beer Spa is different to the regular entrances for the pools so make sure to read the confirmation email they send so you know where to enter. There is also a photo of the entrance in that email and I recommend taking a screenshot of that.
How to get there
I was staying at Hotel Palazzo Zichy and enjoyed a nice morning walk to the Thermal Beer Spa which took about 45 minutes. I stayed at two different hotels while I was in Budapest and my full reviews are in this post. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, I hope it can help.
I try to walk as much as possible while I am traveling because it’s a nice way to see the cities and work off some of the delicious food I’m inevitably consuming but, if you prefer not to walk, Budapest has a great public transport system. In Google Maps just enter the Thermal Beer Spa, click directions then the public transport icon to find the best route from where you are coming from. If you are taking the Metro, the yellow line will take you there and you get off at the Szechenyi Bath stop.