Rudas Ivócsarnok (“Drinking Hall”) is a place where you can drink very healthy thermal water that comes out of the ground hot.
Located near Rudas, one of Budapest’s thermal baths, the hall is a small, single-room construction where you can often see old ladies and gentlemen waiting for their turn with empty bottles in hand. Inside, you pay at the register to the right, then take your slip of paper to a stand where hot and smelly water is bubbling out of three taps. These are coming directly from three subterranean hot springs, and you can either get a half-liter mug for 30 Forints, or fill your own empty bottle for similar, ridiculously low prices.
Now, all three types of spring water are warm, and the one with high sulfur content also smells like eggs, so it’s not something you probably want to drink to cool yourself down on a blistering summer day. Instead, it’s what you drink if you’re health-conscious and wish to prevent any one of a good dozen ailments from rheumatism to high blood pressure.
The Hall is a bit hard to find. First you should get to the Buda side of Erzsébet bridge (the closest tram stop is Döbrentei tér, or you could walk across from Pest), then look for the entrance on the edge of a wide, circular open-air area, surrounded on several sides by the elevated motorway that leads up onto the bridge.