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Can You Drink Tap Water in Budapest? Absolutely!

Can you drink tap water in Budapest? The short answer is yes.

Good news: Tap water in Budapest is safe to drink and totally reliable. The authorities in Budapest take the quality of tap water seriously, so you can trust that the tap water meets EU standards. Locals in Budapest drink it without a second thought, and so did I on my holiday in Budapest.

In general, I’m very picky when it comes to tap water. Even the slightest taste of chlorine or anything like that makes me cringe but Budapest tap water was really good. It tastes like tap water is supposed to taste.

So, stay hydrated on your day exploring this beautiful city and refill your reusable water bottle with fresh tap water. It’s gonna be good for your health to stay hydrated, good for your wallet and good for the planet since you don’t need to by bottled water.

Fountain with the water coming out of the mouth of a statue on the wall
Fountain in Budapest

Where does tap water in Budapest come from?

Speaking very generally, Budapest’s tap water comes from a combination of natural sources and the mighty Danube River.

Yep, that iconic river plays a part in quenching our thirst too! But don’t worry about its cleanliness. The water undergoes rigorous treatment processes by the city’s water authorities to ensure it’s as pure as can be.

Now, let’s have a bit of a closer look. The main four water sources are:

  • deep water sources, which means water that comes from underground
  • riverbank filtration systems
  • karst water from the Hungarian mountains
  • surface water from different water reservoirs

The guys from Budapest Waterworks take their job seriously, and they adhere to strict EU standards, giving you a big thumbs up on the trustworthiness front.

So, rest assured, when you’re chugging that glass of tap water in Budapest, you’re sipping on the high quality water straight from reliable and authoritative sources.

So, once again: Can you drink tap water in Budapest? Yes absolutely, drink up and enjoy!

How is tap water in Budapest tested?

The question “Can you drink tap water in Budapest?” can easily be answered with yes because of the rigorous testing.

Some of the criteria tested multiple times per week to ensure the tap water’s quality are:

  • hardness of the water
  • PH value of the water
  • micro pollutants
  • organic and inorganic substances dissolved in water
  • bacteriological parameters

This clean and tasty tap water is another reason why Budapest is worth visiting. Because I just hate going to places where I can’t safely drink tap water.

Natural mineral water

Hungary is home to many thermal springs with a high mineral content. The thermal spring water is used in Budapest’s thermal baths but you can also drink the mineral-rich water.

You can visit one of the ivócsarnok or drinking halls to fill up your drinking bottle with healthy mineral-rich Hungarian water. The water from the drinking halls might smell a bit of metal and sulfur but it’s said to heal all different kinds of ailments.

Closed door of a "Drinking Hall", where they sell medicinal drinking water
The Rudas Drinking Hall was closed when I visited

To be honest, the taste of the mineral-rich medicinal drinking water takes some getting used to. I tried the thermal water at Lucas Bath from a drinking fountain and it’s very warm water which actually smells like sulfur and tastes like metal.

So, I just kept thinking about the health benefits when I drank it and that it’s one of the unique things to try out in Budapest.

Can You Ask For Tap Water In Hungary?

Can you drink tap water in Budapest in restaurants and more importantly is it okay to ask for tap water in Budapest?

You can totally ask for tap water, no problem at all! In fact, some restaurants will automatically serve you a glass or bottle of tap water without you even having to ask. Another reason why Budapest is cheap to visit.

Glass of drinkable tap water in a restaurant in Budapest
Glass of tap water in a restaurant

The water authorities here keep a watchful eye on its quality and trustworthiness, so you can sip away with confidence. Plus, ordering tap water is not only a wallet-friendly choice in Budapest but also an eco-friendly one.

So, whether you prefer a fancy glass or a chilled bottle, feel free to ask for tap water in Budapest’s restaurants.

I really like the big drinks you can order in Budapest, one of my favourites is elderflower cordial with tap water in half a litre. You can ask for cordial with tap water even if the menu has only cordial with soda water.

Nothing stands in your way to get some fresh tap water and some delicious vegan food in Budapest.

Can you drink tap water in Budapest from public fountains?

When you’re exploring Budapest and the sun’s got you feeling thirsty, here’s a good idea: you can totally quench your thirst straight from the city’s public drinking fountains!

Yup, you heard it right. Budapest’s tap water is safe and clean, even from all public fountains sprinkled throughout the city.

The authorities ensure the water’s trustworthiness, so you can fill up your bottle with free water without a worry in the world. It’s a win-win situation.

Not only do you stay hydrated on your urban escapades, but you also save some cash by skipping those pricey bottled waters and you reduce single-use plastic.

drinking water trickling down from a fountain in Budapest; Can you drink tap water in Budapest?  Yes you can, it's a great way to stay hydrated in the city
You can find public fountains anywhere

So, keep an eye out for those fountains in public places, give your water bottle a free refill, and keep exploring Budapest with a refreshed and wallet-friendly spirit. No use in buying plastic bottles.

One more thing, I hope that’s clear to everyone, I mean public drinking fountains where fresh water comes out, which basically are made for drinking or refilling your water bottle. Don’t drink the water from decorative fountains.

Is Budapest tap water safe to drink in hotel rooms?

No matter if you’re in a hotel room, an apartment or even a toilet in a shopping centre, it’s safe to drink water from the tap. This luxury of having drinkable tap water which isn’t just drinkable but also tastes nice is amazing.

I’ve been to so many countries where the lack of clean drinking water dampens the whole holiday experience. Not so in Hungary where they have high-quality water which fulfils all water standards of the European Union.

Hot Springs of Budapest

Budapest is famous for its natural hot springs, and they’re not just some ordinary warm water spots. The thermal baths here are well-maintained and operated with strict hygiene standards. And many of the hot springs are said to have healing properties.

These thermal baths are like hidden gems scattered throughout the city, and they’re a must-visit on any three-day itinerary for Budapest.

indoor thermal bath in Budapest with beautiful decorated columns next to the pool
Indoor swimming pool at Gellert Thermal Bath

When I visited in 2023, I went all out and indulged in four different thermal baths! From the super popular Széchenyi Thermal Bath to the serene atmosphere of Rudas Thermal Bath, each one had its own unique charm.

Picture yourself soaking in the warm, mineral-rich waters, surrounded by stunning architecture and a chill vibe. It’s the perfect way to relax on your holiday in Budapest. And if you want to bring the relaxing atmosphere to your home you can get a souvenir from one of the thermal baths.

If you want to relax even further on your holiday, you can get very affordable Thai massages in Budapest.

So, when you’re in Budapest, make sure to take a dip in these heavenly hot springs and let your worries melt away. Trust me, you won’t regret adding the hot springs to your Budapest to-do list!

Conclusion: Can you drink tap water in Budapest?

In conclusion, there’s no need to buy bottled water in Budapest. Drinking tap water in Budapest is very safe. The safety is provided by the Budapest Waterworks and even exceeds European standards.

The clean water from the tap is not just safe drinking water, it also tastes good. In my opinion, the local tap water in Budapest is among the best in Eastern Europe and Central Europe.

So, whether you visit Budapest on a day trip or you spend a few days in Hungary’s capital, there’s no need to buy bottled water.

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