Budapest is known to be one of Europe’s best destinations for epic parties. For party goers, few other nightlife parties and celebrations rival the legendary Budapest Pool Party. It is called Summer Night Spa Parties, or SPArties, for short. Here are a few things to know before partying your night away in the steamy thermal water of Budapest Szechenyi Baths.
The pool party at the famous Budapest thermal baths stand out from the rest of Budapest’s parties. With a few exceptions, SPArtys are organized each Saturday. During the winter months, from November through February, the Budapest spa party moves to the indoor location at the intimate Lukacs Baths, and are known as Magic Bath Parties.
The Spa Party Budapest is great for singles, couples, and groups, as well as organized stag parties in Budapest. Count on a variety of party music, laser and fire visual effects, as well as light displays and water spray.
Budapest Pool Party ticket types
The day baths ticket is different from the Budapest bath party ticket. You won’t be able to sneak in or overstay your day Szechenyi thermal baths ticket, as they will add an additional wristband for people who are going to attend the party. As of late 2017, the basic Budapest Pool Party ticket costs €50, or 12,000 Hungarian Forint. You’ll pay a little extra if you purchase your ticket online, which is highly recommended, as if often sells out.
Buying tickets online
The best option to purchase the Budapest Party tickets is by going online. See their official page for the full description and price. You can choose several options online: a basic ticket, a combo ticket (which includes two drink tickets), as well as couple tickets, or tickets for a group of friends.
When buying your SPArty ticket online, you will go through Paylogic, a payment processing company based in the Netherlands. They required you to create a quick online account. After choosing your ticket and when you are ready to check out, the system allows you to use your credit card or Paypal. Be prepared for an additional fee to process your transaction online. A refundable option for the ticket is offered at an additional fee.
My experience: my first and second attempt at purchasing the ticket my ticket with a U.S. credit card was blocked. My bank sent me an alert to confirm my purchase. After I confirmed, the purchase went through on the third attempt. I received an email with the e-ticket, which I printed to bring with me.
Buying tickets on site
Although you can purchase tickets at the Szechenyi baths Budapest entrance, they highly recommended that you get them online prior to your visit. Online tickets take priority over walk-ins. In Budapest tourism season’s busiest times, these tickets go fairly quickly and none will be available at the spa baths gate.
Buying from a third-party
Another option to buy tickets is at the Cafe Hütte on Szabadsag Square. It’s near the Hungarian Parliament building. Payment can be made by bank transfer, or personally, at the Cafe Hütte. A lot of hotels and other accommodations in Budapest also sell these tickets. Ask your hotel staff for more information.
Buying from a scalper
When you arrive at the Szechenyi Bath Party entrance, you will be solicited by people who will ask you whether you are interested in getting a ticket. Although this is a usual and encouraged practice (even by the party organizer), be sure that the ticket is valid before giving them your cash. I recommend taking the scalper to the ticket counter and getting the ticket scanned before handing over your money.
Budapest Pool Party: Things to Know
This is one of the major party scenes in Budapest. Expect the gathering to be over-the-top. Many international visitors will be there as well. There will be many stag parties at the SPArty, which sometimes can be wild.
SPArty Budapest Hours
The Party starts at 10:30 PM and runs till 3 AM. By the way, the day tickets for the Szechenyi Baths are valid till 10 PM when the bath closes to the general public.
At the two big outdoor pools of the Szechenyi Baths, these summer parties can accommodate up to 2,000 people. In the cold winter months, the Lukacs Baths can only accommodate a fraction of party goes, or about 500 people. Plan accordingly, and buy your online tickets early.
Lockers are included in the general admission price; however, they are available on a first come, first served basis. You can access these lockers by using your plastic hand band, which also gives you access to the Szechenyi thermal baths. If they run out of lockers, you’re out of luck. Cabins are also available for extra fee.
New Year’s Eve Celebration in Budapest
If you are in Budapest for a New Year’s Eve celebration, you can join in the VIP Cinetrip Pool Party on December 30th (not the 31st) at the Szechenyi Baths. This is one of the two VIP Cinetrip Pool Parties during the year. The other one is at the peak of Summer time in August. They include a lot of extras to elevate the already hip weekly parties. Expect to pay about twice or even three times as much than the weekly SPArties ticket.
You can find more information and buy the Cinetrip ticket at the SPArty Cinetrip official page.
Is the water clean?
The Szechenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest must follow the strict EU rule on how to operate a public swimming pool. The official SPArty rule is not to allow drinks in the pool; however, it is not enforced. In other words, there are going to be floating cups and cans inside the pool!
The Budapest Pool Party takes place in the Szechenyi outdoor pools and the water temperatures are between 33ºC (91ºF) and 38Cº (99ºF) year-round. It feels good to into the warm water for your pool party night! There is also a big, cool, standard swimming pool between the two spa pools. If you are lucky, it will be open during your visit, but it is not a guarantee.
Bringing your own alcoholic beverages to the Budapest Pool Party is not allowed, and there are security personnel out front who open each back to check. Don’t bring it in. You’ll lose it. SPArty operates its own bar, which sells a selection of beer, wine, cocktails, and juices, sold in plastic cups. No glass bottles are allowed in Szechenyi Baths (obviously). The price ranges from a somewhat reasonable €3 per beer to an outrageous €16 cocktail. You can pay them in cash, or obtain the cashless Party Card that will keep track of your purchases. Party Cards are prepaid and waterproof, and include a string that can be attached to your body. You will have to close your tab at the end of the night and the remaining balance is refunded to your account.
Here are the sample prices for alcohol beverages inside:
- Soproni in a plastic cup: 900 Hungarian Forith or 3 EUR
- Heineken: 1200 HUF or 4 EUR
- Strongbow Cider: 900 HUF or 3 EUR
- Bacardi Rum and Coke: 1500 HUF or 5 EUR
- Mojito: 2100 HUF or 7 EUR
Photos and videos
The official rule is that you must obtain a special photo and video permit; however, it doesn’t seem to be enforced by the staff. Everybody will have some kind of camera to take pictures and videos, including inside the Budapest thermal bath party. Before you enter, you consent that your pictures and videos can be used for commercial purposes.
Transportation After Party
Budapest Metro hours end at around 11:30 PM. Plan accordingly. If you stay the entire time, you won’t be able to use it to get back to your accommodation. Several buses operate on a 24 hour schedule. But another option is to use the SPArty bus shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes until 3:30 AM. This is a paid service but worth considering. It is a much cheaper option to get you to the Deák Ferenc city center instead of taxi. And Uber no longer operates in Budapest.
Consider staying in a hotel within walking distance to and from the Szechenyi Baths. I stayed in the Budapest Baroque Hostel, which is only about 15 minutes walking distance from the Szechenyi pools.
General tips for visiting Budapest Baths
- What to wear: Obviously, you’ll need a bathing suit to access the baths. And because this is the Budapest Pool Party, you’ll wanna look good! If you’re planning on bathing inside the wonderful thermal pool, wear your bathing suits – and wear your best looking ones!
- Towels and bathrobes: Bring your own. It’s easier. If you do, you won’t have to deal with towel rentals. You will save money and time by doing this. Bathrobes are optional, but you’ll appreciate having one on while on the pool deck or going back to the locker room, especially if you are here during the colder months.
- Bring a pair of flip-flops: Your feet will thank you later. Cold tiles inside the locker rooms can be dirty, wet, and slippery.
- Bring a plastic bag: You’ll want one for your wet bathing suits and towels.
- Cabins and Lockers: A basic ticket does not include lockers to keep your belongings safe, so consider renting one. Cabins are conveniently located in the bath complex, and allow you more privacy to shower and change. They also lock automatically to secure your belongings.
- Inflatable balls or other floaty stuff: The more, the merrier. After all, this is the epic Budapest Pool Party.
- Lost and found: Although there is a full time attendant in the locker rooms, the organizer, Szecska SPArty, won’t be responsible for lost items. You can call the official Szechenyi Baths lost and found here: + 36 1 363 32 10 ext 351.
- Budapest Card: While it doesn’t work for the SPArty, you can it for a 20% discounted on day Széchenyi Spa Bath services. Here’s why you need to get your Budapest Card on your next visit.
This is a fun time!
I had a great time visiting the Budapest Pool Party, although the ticket cost was pretty high. Definitely do it for the experience if you have the time and the money. And don’t forget to arrange your stay for the night prior to your visit. I stayed in the Budapest Baroque Hostel, which is within walking distance from the Szechenyi Baths.
At A Glance
Széchenyi Medicinal Bath (SPArty)
Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146
Phone (lost and found): + 36 1 363 32 10 ext 351.
SPArty inquiry Email: email@example.com
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