Király (=king) Bath is a kind of mix of things Budapest is most famous for: a spa dressed up like a ruin bar. Although its ruiny outfit has nothing to do with the fashionable ruin pub culture, it is rather related to the times of Turkish occupation of Buda back in the 16th century, when the bath was built.
When I first visited Király I had a mission: I wanted to travel in time for real. I was preparing for a performance which concept was based on how old centuries’ music comes alive in the present. And after a while, soaking in the thermal, under a moldy, aged dome I truly started to see myself as a proud Turkish emperor in fighting blood, singing under the shower.
So romantic time travellers and spa lovers are totally welcome, but the place is absolutely not recommended for luxury enthusiasts. Budapest’s historical spas are mostly renovated, but Király looks like a faked construction that calls alive an archive. The interior is relatively small, apart from the main thermal hall there are only basic wellness facilities, but the steam is quite big and effective.
The low price is a plus, mainly if you arrive between 09:00 – 12:00 when there is a discount.
There was a time when Király was said to be a meeting point of sex parties with homosexuals and it caused some issues, but now these rumours seem to be more quiet as the directorate terminated the separate days for women and men.