The Oldest and Most Beautiful Turkish Bath in Budapest
The Veli Bej Turkish bath (formerly called Császár Bath) is located in Buda in district II., on Frankel Leó út. The recently refurbished spa complex operates within and managed by the Budai Irgalmas Rendi Hospital (Ordo Hospitalarius).Quick Links: Location, Map – Opening Hours, Tickets – Veli Bej History – Facilities, facts – Restaurants near the Veli Bej
Address: Árpád fejedelem útja 7., district II. Buda Tel: (+36 1) 438 8400
Getting There: trams 4, 6 Margit Híd Budai hídfő stop, from there a couple of minutes walk to the north Map of Veli Bej Bath, and other Spas
Open: Monday-Sunday: 06.00 – 12.00 and 15.00 – 21.00 (cashier closes at 11.00 and 20.00)closed over the Easter Weekend.
Tickets: Mon-Tue: 2 240 HUF, Wed-Thurs: morning: 2 240 HUF, afternoon: 2 800 HUF, evening (19.00-21.00): 2 240 HUF, Fri: morning: 2 240 HUF, afternoon & evening: 2 800 HUF, Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays: 2 800 HUF all day.
Note: children under the age of 14 cannot visit the bath.
Budapest was known for its many thermal water springs in the medieval times, so several baths were built at the time. The Turks were big bath enthusiast (they are still today) so they constructed several thermal and steam bath houses in Buda.
Besides the currently known three Ottoman baths (the Király, the Rudas and the Veli Bej), there were a couple of smaller baths (Buda has altogether 7 – 9 baths during the 150 year Ottoman era in 16th – 17th centuries) that didn’t survive the passing of time.
The oldest bath is the Turkish part of the Császár Spa, built by Sokollu Mustafa pasha in 1574-75. The Veli Bej is said to be not only the oldest but also the most beautiful Ottoman bath in Budapest.
The central cupola is surrounded by 4 smaller domed buildings. The building survived the recapture of Buda in 1686. In 1806 he bath became the property of the Ordo Hospitalarius, that expanded on the original Turkish buildings.
During the reconstruction project lead by József Hild in 1841-48 the bath was significantly enlarged and its name was changed to Kaiser Bad (Emperor’s Bath = Császár Fürdő in Hungarian).
After regaining the owner status of the bath, the Ordo Hospitalarius (Irgalmas Rend) decided to completely renovate the buildings and reconstruct the original Ottoman bath with the help of archaeologists and art historians.
The renovation works were finished in 2011 and the Veli Bej Bath welcomes everyone with old world charm and 21st century spa facilities. Due to the meticulous archaeological restoration works the original design of the interior have been preserved.
The bath has five thermal pools with the following water composition:
- Sodium 90 mg/l
- Potassium 10,6 mg/l
- Calcium 151 mg/l
- Magnesium 40,6 mg/l
- Total hardness CaO 304 mg/l Sio2 32 mg/l
- Chloride 116 mg/l Sulphate 183 mg/l
- Hydrogen-carbonate 500 mg/l
- Fluoride 1,62 mg/l Ph 6,6
- Water temperature: 38,8 °C
The water of the bath is beneficial in the following cases:
- Degenerative disorders of the spinal columns and joints,
- chronic arthritis,
- calcium deficiency in bones.
Remains of the original plumbing built by the Turks can be seen in the wall when you head for the saunas from the pools. The pipe are made of clay. The remains were discovered during the reconstruction works and archaeologists were invited to preserve the remains.
Wellness in the Veli Bej Spa
There is also a brand new wellness department with two steam chambers, a jacuzzi, Finnish and infra saunas, massage showers, a Kneipp walk pool, swimming pool, and various massages.
Price of Massages:
- 15 minutes: 1 500 HUF
- 30 minutes: 3 000 HUF
- 45 minutes: 4 500 HUF
- 60 minutes: 6 000 HUF
The cafe of the bath offers basic food and drinks should you feel starved after a soaking in the hot water. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, mineral water, sandwiches, baguettes, a few cakes at very affordable prices.
There are a couple of good restaurants cafes, and food bars in the vicinity of the bath.
Pata Negra Buda – A Spanish tapas bar
Address: Frankel Leó út 55. Open: 11.00 – 24.00 every day
A cosy cafe with short menu, good carpaccio and pasta salad
Address: Frankel Leó út 12. Open: Mon – Sat: 10.00 – 22.00, close don Sunday.
More on Spa Culture.
Outdoor Baths & Pools to enjoy in Budapest in the hot summer months.
Rácz Bath – a Turkish bath in a thermal hotel in district I., Buda (renovation is finished but opening date is still unknown in 2016).