History of the Lake Baths

Everything you need to know about the past and present of Lake Hévíz and the Lake Baths. Facts, figures, interesting stories

Baths from swamp, spa resort from baths
The history of one of the oldest thermal spas in Hungary from the first piles being driven into the earth to the turn of the millennium...

In fact, a master brewer dreamed up Spa Hévíz.


1889 Simaság - 1982.

Hévíz / He received his medical degree in 1913 and worked in Hévíz from 1920. He was a member of several professional organisations of national importance and, in 1927, he organised the first rheumatism department in the Hospital of the Hungarian State Railways in Budapest. In 1932, he was appointed chief spa physician in Hévíz, and in 1952, he became head of the department of the State Spa Hospital. He was also deputy director of the institution until his retirement in 1968. He was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen of Hévíz for a good reason. His work, research activities, and professional successes contributed greatly to the recognition of Hévíz medicine both in Hungary and abroad. In addition to the discovery of the weight baths, he is also credited with the creation of the currents map of Lake Hévíz. More than 50 of his publications were published in scientific journals. His wife, Dr Ilona Hoffmann (1908-2008), was the first female rheumatologist at the spa and a worthy professional partner in his work.
Dr Károly Moll is commemorated by a statue in Hévíz and a memorial room in the hospital, which is decorated with the renowned spa physician's medical equipment and objects. Their daughter, Dr Veronika Moll has a practice in Hévíz also as a rheumatologist.


1874. Budapest - 1944. Auschwitz and 1896. Budapest - 1978. Budapest

Vilmos Schulhof, after whom the promenade in front of the hospital was named, completed his studies in Budapest and later trained as a doctor in Berlin. He first worked at the St. Lukács Spa in Budapest, then, in 1905, he moved to Hévíz where he worked as a spa physician and then as the head physician of the sanatorium until 1944. His work was of outstanding importance in promoting Hévíz as a spa resort. He did much to improve medical treatments, one of the most important elements of which was the foundation of the Zander Institute in 1911 (such an institute existed only in Karlsbad). The Zander method is based on the use of machines to help with therapeutic gymnastics, i.e. machines help patients, who have difficulty with it, to move parts of the body during physiotherapy. With the introduction of these methods, he made a great step towards helping patients with very limited mobility to recover. In 1927, he published a book in the German language, in which he described the medicinal properties of Hévíz in detail, and, in 1937, his book Hévízgyógyfürdő (Hévíz Spa) was published, in which he summarized his decades of experience as a spa physician. His credo was that “experience is superior to knowledge”. Unfortunately, his recognition and expertise did not save him and his wife from being deported from the Keszthely ghetto to Auschwitz in 1944. His work was continued by his half-brother Ödön Schulhof (1896-1978), who was 22 years younger than him and fortunately was not in town at the time of the deportation. As a rheumatologist and physiotherapist, he was responsible for diagnostic examinations. However, he also carried out research, for example on the effects of the hydrostatic pressure of water and the biological effects of mud wraps in treatments. His so-called "insight" bone x-ray images became world-famous. He worked until 1948 in Hévíz, then, in 1949, he moved back to Budapest, where he became director of the National Research Institute of Balneology. Generations of rheumatologists grew up under his guidance as he taught, and wrote the first textbook on rheumatology, this time in the Hungarian language. During his time in Hévíz, X-ray examinations and electrotherapy treatments were also introduced in Hévíz Spa.

Emperor, poet, actor... or internationally wanted terrorist? Who were the most famous visitors in Hévíz?

After Count György Festetics built the first spa building in Hévíz in 1795, the spa quickly became famous in Hungary and abroad. In the late 19th and early 20th century, more and more famous visitors came to Hévíz to relax and recuperate.

Several famous Hungarian writers and poets took spa treatments in Hévíz or were visitors of the town: Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, Sándor Kisfaludy, Dániel Berzsenyi, Károly Eötvös, Pál Gyulai, Attila József, Áron Tamási, Gyula Illyés, Lőrinc Szabó, Zsigmond Móricz.

Many people from the world of art also visited Hévíz, such as Mari Jászai, Sári Sebők, Erzsi Sándor, Ferenc Székelyhidi, Karola Szalai, Endre Nagy, Gyula Saphir.

Several members of the royal family also travelled to Hévíz. The guest list also includes the name of Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand, who was the guest of Prince Tasziló Festetics. Archduke Joseph and his wife Archduchess Augusta also paid a visit to Hévíz.

Researchers, scientists and politicians also came to Hévíz: József Eötvös, Ferenc Pulszky, Kálmán Szél, and Kálmán Kittenberger, Béla Lengyel, Dr Gyula Weszelszky.

The famous Estonian playwright Eduard Wilde spent his holiday in Hévíz too.

Infamous guests from the political elite of the second half of the 20th century: In the 70s and 80s, several prominent Hungarian and foreign people stayed in Hévíz for holidays and spa treatments in complete secrecy, of course. There certainly are guests whose names are shrouded in mystery to this day. However, it is certain that Fred Sinowatz, who became Chancellor of Austria in 1983, visited Hévíz in 1982. Also in the 1980s, the leadership of the East German secret service (Stasi) arrived in Hévíz several times. The delegation usually consisted of 20-25 men and two accompanying women. On these occasions, they were usually accompanied by the head of the Stasi, Markus Wolf, the 'faceless man'. And in September 1984, none other than the Venezuelan-born "Carlos", better known as the "Jackal", the most feared terrorist of the Cold War, wanted also by Interpol, stayed in Hévíz. It was not the only time that the Jackal visited Hévíz and Hungary. In the first half of the 1980s, he met here the head of the Stasi several times, among others. All these guests stayed in the sanatorium of the Ministry of the Interior as it was protected by the military.

Less infamous but rather internationally renowned guest of Hévíz was the South African heart surgeon Professor Christian Barnard, who performed the first heart transplant in 1967. In June 1993, the 14th Dalai Lama Tendzin Gyaco arrived for the inauguration of the Peace Stupa in Zalaszántó and stayed in one of the buildings of the Hunguest Hotels.

János Kádár stayed in Hévíz on two occasions, in 1970 and 1972 but the only thing people knew about his visits was that the building of the BM Sanatorium in Kossuth Street was under constant police surveillance. Op-art artist Victor Vasarely and astronaut Bertalan Farkas stayed in Hévíz on several occasions. The Kossuth Prize-winning composer György Ránki composed his Cain and Abel during his holiday in Hévíz.

The most famous four-legged guest, Nelly, the elephant

In 1913, circus director Mátyás Beketow presented a young elephant to the zoo because he felt that the animal, who had a bad leg, would not be suitable for working in the circus. Dr Emil Raitsits, the Zoo's veterinarian, examined the elephant Nelly thoroughly and diagnosed her with incipient rheumatism. The zoo's management decided to help Nelly's rheumatism with a spa treatment, so to the great pleasure of the people of Hévíz, she was treated at the Lake Baths in Hévíz for several months.


Opening hours

Main Entrance &
Festetics Spa Entrance

dr. Schulhof Vilmos promenade and Ady Endre Street

Low season
01. January 2024 - 24.March 2024
07. October 2024 - 30. March 2025
Open: 9:00
Closing of the cashdesk: 16:30
End of bathing time/wellness: 17:00
Closing: 17:30

Early season / Off season
25. March 2024 - 25. May 2024
9. September 2024 - 9. October 2024
Open: 9:00
Closing of the cashdesk: 17:30
End of bathing time/wellness: 18:00
Closing: 18:30

High season
27. May 2024 - 8. September 2024
Open: 8:30
Closing of the cashdesk: 18:00
End of bathing time/wellness: 18:30
Closing: 19:00

Holiday time in December
Closing time on 24.12.2024 is at 14:00; on 31.12.2024 at 16:00. Opening time is at 11:00 on 01.01.2025.

Summer Entrance

Deák Ferenc Square


Opernin: 8:30
Closing of the cashdesk: 18:00
Closing: 19:00


Hévíz Lake Bath reserve the right to change the opening hours and prices.

Hévíz Lake Bath Telephone:
+36 30 959 1002


Hévíz Lake Bath and Festetics Bathhouse price list

Valid from 01. April 2023. until withdrawn

3-hour tickets

3-hour ticket 4 500 Ft
3-hour senior ticket / over 60 years old 4 000 Ft
3-hour student ticket / over 14 years old 4 000 Ft
3-hour children ticket / between 6 and 14 years old 2 400 Ft
3-hour group ticket / up to 20 people
4 000 Ft / p

Daily tickets

Daily ticket
7 500 Ft
Daily senior ticket / over 60 years old
7 000 Ft
Daily student ticket
7 000 Ft
Daily children ticket / For children between 6 -14 years of age. Admission for children under 6 is free.
3 600 Ft

Combined family daily tickets

Minimum 3 person, if at least 1 person is a child.

Adult 7 000 Ft / p
Student (over 14)
(over 60)
6 000 Ft / p
Children (between 6-14) 3 600 Ft / p

Additional tickets

+ 1 hour extension (for the 3-hour tickets)
1 800 Ft
+ upgrading to daily ticket (for the 3-hour tickets)
3 600 Ft
+ additional wellness ticket (for all tickets)
3 300 Ft
Time limit fee (For exceeding the time limit, for every 30 minutes started.)
1 000 Ft

Lake Passes

10-hour Lake Pass - Valid on the day of purchase + 15 calendar days.
13 000 Ft
+ 2 000 Ft deposit
20-hour Lake Pass - Valid on the day of purchase + 25 calendar days. 23 000 Ft
+ 2 000 Ft deposit

Other ticket types

Discounted Ticket before Closing (available 2 hours before the end of bathing time)
3 600 Ft
Visitor's Ticket (bathing is not included, max. 30 min)
1 900 Ft + 3 000 Ft deposit
Luggage room (seasonal) 300 Ft / package
Swim-rig rental (daily fee)
700 Ft + 2 000 Ft deposit


Single-day tickets: Usable on the day of purchase only. Entitles the bearer to one-time entry. An additional charge will be levied if the allotted time limit is exceeded. Additional time extension cannot be purchased after the time limit has expired.

Lake passes: Deposits are refundable within 5 days of expiery. Refunds are payable in cash only, each day before the end of bathing time. Passes eintitle the bearer to enter the premises on two occasions per day. Following the bearer's first exit, a 15-minute wait period is required before return entry is permitted. Upon exiting the premises, locker number assignments are automatically cleared, after which we can accept no liability for contents. An additional charge will be levied if the alloted time limit is exceeded.


General information

  • Valid from 09.05.2020 until withdrawal.
  • The depth of the medicinal lake is 2-38 meters.
  • Free use of changing rooms (included in the entrance fee)
  • A sauna sheet is provided free of charge if you buy a ticket that entitles you to the use of the wellness facilities.
  • The services of the wellness area are only available to persons over 12 years of age.
  • Children under 6 years of age are admitted free of charge.
  • The deposit is refundable within 72 hours of expiry.
  • Daily tickets are valid only on the day of purchase.
  • All tickets are valid for one entry a day only.
  • We are not able to refund the price of the purchased tickets.
  • We reserve the right to change prices and opening hours.
  • An ATM is available during the opening hours in the building accessed from the Schulhof Promenade.

You can have more information about our special offers at the cash desks or on our website.
Hévíz Lake Baths phone number: 06 83 30 959 1002



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