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Budapest

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Welcome to Budapest! Hungary’s capital city on the Danube is truly a gem, packed with things to do for all visitors, from those who want to relax in the thermal spas to those who want to learn all about the city’s long history. We’ve gathered all the best things to do so that you can plan your trip to Budapest!
Anneliese O'MalleyBy Anneliese O'Malley

Top 10 Things to Do in Budapest

Get inspired for your trip to Budapest: here are the best attractions and activities available in Hungary's capital.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths | Flickr: Wei-Te Wong CC BY-SA 2.0
1

Go to the Baths

Budapest’s healing waters were first recognized by the Romans and some of the baths that you can visit are truly ancient. Under Habsburg rule, several new and elaborate baths were built both for leisure and their health benefits. The most popular are the Széchenyi Baths and the Gellért Baths, both of which also offer massages and wellness treatments that are sure to relax you after a day of sightseeing.
Hungarian Parliament at night | Flickr: Naval S CC BY 2.0
2

Get Political

One of Budapest’s most beautiful buildings is the Hungarian Parliament Building or Országház, which graces the banks of the Danube. Tours will show you where the current Hungarian government works as well as explaining the history of politics during the Imperial days of Hungary, the interwar years, the Communist years, and the post-Communist years. Plus you’ll get to see the ancient crown of Hungary, one of the oldest crowns in Europe.
Gödöllő Palace
3

Meet the Royals

Hungary no longer has a royal family, but it still has plenty of castles and palaces! One of the most prominent is Buda Castle, which looks down on the city from the top of its hill. Today it houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. For those who love the story of Empress Elisabeth (aka Sisi) and Emperor Franz Joseph, a trip to Gödöllő Palace, just outside Pest, is well worth a visit.
Buda Castle
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Official Giraffe Hop On Hop Off | Wiki: Anatoliy-024 CC BY-SA 4.0
4

Take a Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

The twin cities of Buda and Pest have tonnes of attractions and monuments to see between them. One of the easiest ways to see everything is to take a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour - not only will you get commentary explaining the places you pass, but you’ll also be able to travel between attractions without having to navigate the local public transport system.
Flickr: Frédérique Voisin-Demery CC BY 2.0
5

Try Traditional Meals

Whether gúlyas is your thing or you just can’t wait to get stuck into Hungarian wines like Tokaji, there’s a tour for you! From cooking classes that teach you how to make the perfect chicken paprikash to day trips to vineyards outside the city, you’ll find something that will tickle your tastebuds.
Food Experiences
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Dohány Street Synagogue
6

Get into Religious History

Hungary is a predominantly Catholic country, but its religious history is a long and interesting one. You can learn more about the local Jewish community on a visit to the Great Synagogue (also known as the Dohány Street Synagogue), while you can learn about Christianity at the Matthias Church or St. Stephen’s Basilica.
Matthias Church
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St. Stephen's Basilica
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Memento Park
7

See Communist Statues

After the fall of Communism in 1989, Budapest was cleared of monumental statues and sculptures that celebrated Communist heroes. They were moved out to Memento Park, and today it’s a tourist destination featuring the toppled statues of Lenin, Marx, Engels, Stalin, and several Hungarian Communist icons. Take a guided tour to learn all about the historical context behind the statues’ design and their ultimate destruction.
Memento Park
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Margaret Island | Flickr: Wei-Te Wong CC BY-SA 2.0
8

Take a Bike Ride on Margaret Island

Margit-Sziget, or Margaret Island, is a 1.6-mile long island in the middle of the Danube, between Buda and Pest. Most of the island is covered in a park and is an ideal place to swim and cool off during the summer months. There are bike paths, a water park, and a musical fountain all of which can be enjoyed by tourists. Bike tours of the island are a popular pastime, or you can rent a bike and head off to explore by yourself.
Margaret Island
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Bike Experiences
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Rentals
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Flickr: joiseyshowaa CC BY 2.0
9

Take a Tour of the Streets

Budapest is a great city to see on foot, exploring the various districts with a local guide. Tours include general history walks, specialist Communist or Jewish history walks, street art tours, and pub crawls. You’re sure to find something that piques your interest, and it’s also a great way to orient yourself in the city when you arrive.
Segway Tours
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Take a Cruise on the Danube
10

Take a Cruise on the Danube

The Blue Danube is at its finest in Budapest, especially after dark! With Buda Castle and the Matthias Church on one side and the Hungarian Parliament Building lighting up the opposite bank, a river cruise is one of the best ways to see the city. Whether you’re taking a basic tour or combining it with a meal and entertainment, you’re sure to find the ideal option for you.
Cruises & Water Tours
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The Budapest Card

The Budapest Card

If you want to see all that Budapest has to offer and you want to save money while doing so, then you should consider investing in the Budapest Card.It offers you free entry to several of the city’s most popular attractions including the Matthias Church, the Buda Castle Funicular and the galleries inside Buda Castle, Memento Park, and even some of the thermal baths. The pass also includes free public transport and access to several walking tours, so you can see the whole city, exactly the way you want to.
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City Passes
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Budapest with Kids | Flickr: Mirtillosmile CC BY-SA 2.0

Family-Friendly Activities in Budapest

City breaks can be tough for the youngest family members, with lots of walking and history.Budapest’s baths are also not really recommended for children under the age of 12, though they are allowed to enter with parental supervision. We’ve collected some of the attractions that can be enjoyed by the whole family together, from the Miniversum model railway experience to the interactive Pinball Museum, which will intrigue big kids as well as small ones.
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Miniversum Experience
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Pinball Museum
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Kiskunsági National Park

Day Trips from Budapest

While there’s a lot to see and do inside Budapest’s city limits, several tour providers offer the chance to get out into the Hungarian countryside to learn more about the country’s culture.From trips to the Puszta (also known as the Pannonian Steppe) or the stunning landscape of the Danube Bend, trips include a combination of history, culture, and delicious food.
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Anneliese O'Malley
Written byAnneliese O'MalleyAnneliese is a former Londoner, keen traveler, and total word nerd. As a Content Management Specialist she knows the TicketLens inventory inside out and curates, matches, and writes about the most interesting attractions worldwide.
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