Budapest is a lively holiday destination that will not allow you to sit still – unless you’re relaxing in the perfectly manicured gardens on Margaret Island, or rejuvenating in one of the traditional thermal spas. Budapest sightseeing will lead you down some unexplored paths and let you discover hidden delights in unexpected places.
A rich history, an abundance of hot springs and a spirited night life – Budapest has something for everybody. It doesn’t matter if you come here with your family or friends, you will always find things to do in Budapest. Spend a memorable evening at the Hungarian State Opera or dance in the streets at the Danube Carnival.
In Budapest, history is a part of daily life. Be it the bullet and shrapnel marks from World War II or the memorial of the unknown soldier at Heroes’ Square. Marvel at the beauty of St. Stephens Basilica and admire the intricate Neo-Romanesque architecture at Fisherman’s Bastion. Here are some of the top things to do in Budapest while you enjoy your Hungarian holiday.
Hands down, this is one of the best things to do in Budapest. Imagine being pampered at a natural thermal spring spa that is more than 100 years old! The Szechenyi bath is the biggest thermal bath in Budapest. Enjoy a therapeutic bath in one of the 18 pools and follow it up with a relaxing aromatherapy massage. You can even enjoy a glass of wine or beer as you relax by the pools.
This rather unique museum is an ode to nostalgia. You’re greeted with flashing lights, bleeps, dings and chimes as you enter this fascinating world. This is an interactive museum. You can actually play on the pinball machines that are on display. You will also find some really old games and machines dating back to the 1880s! Include this in your Budapest sightseeing itinerary and make it a fun outing with family or friends.
The Danube river is an inseparable part of Budapest’s identity. Spend a cool evening ambling along the Danube Promenade as you take in the sights and sounds of the city. Extending between Elizabeth Bridge and Chain Bridge, you will encounter some interesting sights along the promenade. Click a selfie with the Little Princess statue and pay your respects at the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial. This is one of the most soothing things to do in Budapest.
As you walk into St. Stephens Basilica, your eyes are automatically drawn up to the 96-metre-high dome decorated with ornate religious paintings. You can climb up to the base of the dome for a bird’s-eye view of Budapest. Check out the mummified right hand of St. Stephen, the church’s patron saint and the first king of Hungary. Catch one of the Classical Music or Organ Concerts that happen here quite regularly. Ensure that your shoulders and knees are covered when you visit.
This 100-year-old market is a microcosm of Budapest’s culinary culture. This is where locals come to shop for their daily dietary needs. They come here to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, pickles, spices and wines. Take a guided tour of the Great Market Hall that includes tastings of Hungarian home-style meals. Grab a leisurely meal at one of the food stalls as you watch people go about their business. Definitely one of the recommended things to do in Budapest.
The opulent Buda Castle is a UNESCO world heritage site and a veritable slice of Hungary’s history. Explore more history at Budapest History Museum and appreciate the art at The Hungarian National Gallery – both are a part of the castle. Take a guided walking tour of the castle for a peek into the lives of the Hungary’s royalty of old. This is one of the can’t-miss things to do in Budapest.
Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Castle Hill Funicular will take you up 30 flights to the Buda Castle. Destroyed during World War II, it has been meticulously restored to its formal glory. You will get panoramic views of the Danube as you slowly make your way up the 40-degree incline. Don’t miss this unique experience while you’re in Budapest.
Explore Budapest at your own pace with a bike tour. One of the best ways to explore Budapest is on a bicycle. There are many bike tours that take you around different parts of the city. Most of them also include lunch and coffee stops. Soak up the city’s history as you make your way past landmarks, new and old.
60, Andrassy Boulevard. This notorious address was the Hungarian Nazi Party’s headquarters during the second world war. It is now a solemn reminder of the brutality and atrocities of fascist dictatorships that have shaped Hungary’s history. The exhibits here offer a macabre insight into those troubled times. There are torture devices, spy devices and old photographs that tell stories of human cruelty during one of the darkest periods of human history. Give this one a miss if you have children along.
These are some of the most interesting things to do in Budapest. Quirky, relaxing and enthralling – the many shades of Budapest will be revealed one layer at a time as you make your way around sampling its delights. Book your Budapest holiday from SOTC today and get set for the adventure.