17 Things To Do In Budapest

Things To Do In Budapest

Welcome to Budapest, Hungary’s captivating capital, where the Danube River quietly divides the city into the hilly Buda and the flat Pest. Steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, Budapest offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to every type of traveler. From soaking in legendary thermal baths to exploring imposing historic sites, this city combines the charm of old-world Europe with the vibrancy of modern life. In this guide, we delve into the multitude of things to do in Budapest, ensuring your visit is unforgettable. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply in search of adventure, Budapest has something to offer you.

Things To Do In Budapest

  1. Explore the Historic Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site that promises a journey back in time. Walking through its cobbled streets, you’ll encounter a mixture of medieval, baroque, and 19th-century buildings. Key highlights include the Royal Palace, Matthias Church, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. The panoramic views of the Danube and Pest from the bastion are breathtaking. Spend an afternoon exploring the galleries and museums, or simply enjoy a coffee at a quaint café overlooking the city.

  1. Relax in the Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The Széchenyi Thermal Baths, one of the largest spa complexes in Europe, is a must-visit. These baths are famous for their medicinal natural hot spring waters. Picture yourself relaxing in one of the 18 pools, each varying in temperature and size. The architecture is equally impressive, featuring a beautiful Neo-Baroque style. Whether you choose a therapeutic massage or just a lazy swim, the Széchenyi Baths offer a perfect blend of relaxation and health benefits.

  1. Take a Cruise on the Danube

Experience Budapest from a different perspective by taking a cruise on the Danube River. These cruises offer stunning views of the city’s most iconic landmarks lit up against the night sky, including the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge, and the Buda Castle. Opt for a dinner cruise to enjoy traditional Hungarian cuisine while a live band plays in the background. It’s a magical experience that combines scenic beauty, entertainment, and culinary delight.

  1. Discover the Ruin Bars in the Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter is home to the famous “ruin bars”, a unique type of nightlife for which Budapest has become well-known. These bars are set in dilapidated pre-war buildings and filled with eclectic decor and funky art. Szimpla Kert, the original ruin bar, offers a maze of rooms with different themes and styles. Grab a local craft beer, enjoy the live music, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Each visit promises something new and exciting.

  1. Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building is not only a spectacular example of Neo-Gothic architecture but also the third-largest parliament building in the world. Tours of the interior offer a glimpse into Hungary’s political history and the stunning craftsmanship of the building. Don’t miss the Holy Crown of Hungary, which is on display inside. The building is especially impressive at night when it is beautifully illuminated, reflecting off the Danube.

  1. Stroll Along Andrassy Avenue

Andrássy Avenue, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Budapest’s grand boulevard, stretching from Erzsébet Square to the majestic Heroes’ Square. Lined with Neo-Renaissance mansions and high-end boutiques, this avenue is perfect for those who enjoy leisurely walks or shopping. Along the way, visit the Hungarian State Opera House, and if time allows, book a ticket to a performance or take a guided tour to appreciate its lavish interior.

  1. Admire Art at the Hungarian National Gallery

Located within Buda Castle, the Hungarian National Gallery houses an extensive collection of Hungarian art, from medieval stone carvings to contemporary pieces. Explore the different floors, each dedicated to a specific era of Hungarian art, providing a deep insight into the country’s rich artistic heritage. The gallery also offers stunning views of the Danube and Pest, making it a picturesque spot for art lovers.

  1. Experience the Great Market Hall

The Great Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. Its ground floor is dedicated to traditional Hungarian foods like paprika spices, salami, pastries, and fresh produce. Upstairs, you can find a range of Hungarian handicrafts and souvenirs. It’s a vibrant place to enjoy a hearty Hungarian meal or simply to soak in the bustling atmosphere. Don’t leave without trying lángos, a deep-fried flatbread topped with cheese and sour cream.

  1. Visit the Dohány Street Synagogue

The Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue, is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world. It’s an architectural marvel with its stunning Moorish design. Inside, the synagogue features a richly decorated interior and an emotional Holocaust memorial. A guided tour offers insights into the history of Budapest’s Jewish community and the impact of the Holocaust on Hungary.

  1. Wander through the City Park (Városliget)

City Park (Városliget) is a massive green space in Budapest, offering a plethora of activities. You can visit Vajdahunyad Castle, a replica featuring styles from several iconic Hungarian buildings, creating a fairytale atmosphere. The park also houses the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Municipal Circus, and the famous Gundel Restaurant. During winter, the lake transforms into Europe’s largest ice-skating rink, providing a magical skating experience under historical settings.

  1. Climb Gellért Hill for Panoramic Views

Gellért Hill offers some of the best panoramic views over Budapest. A moderate hike up the hill leads to the Citadella, a fortress at the top, where you can gaze out over the Danube, the Hungarian Parliament, and the intricate cityscape. At the base of the hill, you can also explore the Gellért Thermal Bath, renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and therapeutic waters.

  1. Tour the House of Terror Museum

The House of Terror Museum is a poignant and powerful museum located on Andrássy Avenue. It serves as a memorial to the victims of the fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary. The museum is housed in the former headquarters of the Nazi and Soviet secret police and uses multimedia installations and artifacts to tell the stories of imprisonment, interrogation, and torture.

  1. Enjoy the Festivals at Vörösmarty Square

Vörösmarty Square is a vibrant hub in the heart of Budapest, known for hosting some of the city’s most popular events and festivals, including the famous Budapest Christmas Market. Year-round, the square is lined with cafes and shops, making it a perfect spot for people-watching and enjoying the lively atmosphere of the city.

  1. Discover the Secrets of the Labyrinth of Buda Castle

Beneath the streets of Buda Castle lies a fascinating labyrinth that was once used as a bomb shelter and prison. Today, it’s open to the public for tours. These mysterious underground tunnels and caves offer a unique glimpse into the past, with historical displays and occasionally, classical music concerts.

  1. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts

Located on Heroes’ Square, the Museum of Fine Arts boasts an extensive collection of international art, including works from old masters and modern greats. After undergoing a recent renovation, the museum now features a more interactive and engaging layout. Highlights include the Egyptian collection and classical antiquities.

  1. Take a Hungarian Cooking Class

For a truly immersive experience, join a Hungarian cooking class where you can learn to make traditional dishes like goulash, paprikash, and strudel. These classes often include a visit to the Great Market Hall to pick fresh ingredients, followed by a hands-on cooking lesson with a local chef.

  1. Explore Contemporary Art at the Ludwig Museum

The Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to modern and contemporary art and features works from both Hungarian and international artists. The museum is part of the Palace of Arts complex, which also includes the National Concert Hall and the Festival Theatre, making it a cultural epicenter in Budapest.


Budapest is a city that never fails to amaze, with its stunning architecture, historical intrigue, and lively cultural scene. As we’ve explored, there are numerous things to do in Budapest that can fill your days with wonder and excitement. From the serene views at Gellért Hill to the educational and emotional journey through the House of Terror Museum, each experience offers a deeper understanding of this vibrant city. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local cuisine, engage with the art, or simply stroll through the lively squares and along the majestic Danube. Budapest awaits with open arms to offer you a blend of discovery and relaxation, making every moment of your stay rich with experience. So pack your bags and set off for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Hungary.

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