15 Best Things To Do in Budapest, Hungary

by Seema Nande Updated on 15 Oct 2018

One of the most trodden cities by global travelers, including luxury lovers or backpackers, Budapest is a dream destination for every explorer. Embracing visitors with a multitude of culture, medieval history and an unmissable old-world charm, the capital of Hungary nestled picturesquely over the second largest river in Europe, River Danube, is a spell not so easy to come off! Having a wide plethora of must-sees and must-dos, it is the hidden treasures of Budapest that lend you reminiscent adventures making for life-long experiences. Listed below are some amazing things to do in Budapest, that will make you want to take off now!

1. Ecseri Market - wartime memorabilia anyone?

Ecseri market - ImageImage Source: topbudapest.org

Shopaholic or a fanatic of vintage, rusty items? Head to the Ecseri Market located a little outside downtown Budapest. You may have to travel a bit, but rest assured the transit is absolutely worth the eclectic collection of antiquities here. Everything from wartime memorabilia to vintage classic cameras and gramophones here, each having a story to tell, is what you will find here. Visit early on a Saturday, when several vendors sprawl this space to sell their rustic treasures.

2. Play at the Budapest Pinball Museum

Budapest Pinball Museum - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

If you can imagine what a sight of some 130-odd pinball machines with echoes of jingles and jangles and of course lots of flashy lights, looks like, you are just a little away from physically experiencing the Budapest Pinball Museum! Time and again this museum has been considered one of the best things to do in Budapest given its capability to break down the city’s rather grim appeal. It is also "Europe’s largest ongoing interactive exhibition dedicated to pinball machines", that has people flocking to it to get a game on the vintage machines, some even dating back to the 18th century.

3. Kelenföld Power Station, straight out of that sci-fi thriller

Kelenföld power station - ImageImage Source: beta.robot/flickr.com

After visiting the conventional touristy attractions of Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, and the Fisherman's Bastion among much more, you are ought to crave for something atypical. This is when you must head to the Kelenföld Power Station. A little hard to find, given its setting in the prevailing art nouveau styled-buildings, this place needs some further digging. A setting straight out of some sci-fi movie, this control room is a sheer delight. You may have to look up for tours to visit this one as entry to public is restricted.

4. Secret bars Budapest

Nightlife in budapest - ImageImage Source: Pixabay.com

Secret bars in Budapest, got to be a whole point by themselves given their huge numbers and super diverse concepts. Each having a distinct concept; like the Ice bar that is no less than a fantasy bar with frozen structures around you and drinks served ice glasses! Or the ruin pubs that are set in the spaces of ruined and abandoned medieval buildings. While most of these play some really good music, they also have live band performances occasionally. Indeed, these are a must on every list of fun things to do in Budapest. We also can vouch for the For Sale Pub Budapest for being one of the best offbeat things to do in Budapest. It has its name derived from letting you post any kind of advertisement here!

5. Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum

Places to visit in budapest - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Time and again counted as one of the best Budapest secret places, the Hospital in the Rock is one place that the wackos amongst us will love. In fact, this place can be highly enlightening to just about anyone given its being drenched in steep history. The structure that was brought to operation in the year 1930 as a part of Budapest’s preparation for the Second World War. A very strategic location under the Buda Castle inside deep caverns is what further amplifies the unusualness of this place.

6. Spa discos, sparties and playing chess in a bath

Things to do in Budapest - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

You cannot possibly be in Budapest and not indulge in the luxurious, oh-so-lovely baths of the city. Owing to its location over several thermal water springs, the city is abundant with baths. Places like the Veli Bej Bath are the safest bet if you don’t want to fall prey to any of the much prevailing tourist traps. Want to take it a notch higher on the offbeat-ness of these? Head to the spa discos, and trust this ‘City of Baths’ to leave you wanting more of the sparties! Complete with DJs, aerial performers, good food and drinks, these baths are certainly not your average bath.

7. Check into a place at the 11th District

Where  to stay in Budapest - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Staying at the tried and tested locales is the ideal thing every explorer does, but talking about doing offbeat, why not stay at a place offbeat?! The 11th District has plenty of accommodations that are not conventionally commercial, but offer an experience far more real. B&Bs here bequeath you with a bona fide, authentic stay complete with local furniture and linen and anything but "world-class". You don’t have to worry about missing out on the city action either, given its proximity to the central regions. Quaint cafes and restaurant along with hip bars dot this area lying adjacent to the Buda castle.

8. Drink up on some Palinka at a Hungarian’s house

Drink palinka - ImageImage Source: savagecat/flickr.com

If you are someone who has a thing for local brews and interactions with the locals, then Budapest can easily be your happy place. As the evening draws, you can smell this characteristic brew in the air, coming from Hungarian houses. This is nothing but the fragrance of Palinka being freshly brewed. Infused with fruits like plums, pears, apricots and just about any other fruit, this liquor finds its place in the basement of most houses. Hungarians are very friendly people, and wouldn’t mind a visitor who is up for savoring some Palinka.

9. Make out on the streets without being judged

Things to do in Budapest - ImageImage Source: Cristiano Betta/flickr.com

Yes, you read that right. It's a common thing to kiss your partner or make out on the streets of Europe, but in Budapest, the mushiness is explicit and way beyond kissing! Use your imagination to picture what or better yet, head to Budapest to see what! It’s a very normal thing and you are subject to several sights of a lot of mushy stuff as you explore the city.

10. Szimpla Kert - pub or farmers market

Szimpla kert - ImageImage Source: Jorge Franganillo/flickr.com

Szimpla Kert is one of the most significant of ruins pubs of Budapest, owing to the fact that it was the very first. Characterized by peeling-paint walls and homemade art adorning screens, this is one pub that will surprise you for, it transforms into a farmer’s market on Sunday mornings! If you love gourmet, this is your chance to get your hands on fresh local bread and Mangelica sausages among other local produces. So, don’t leave the ruin bars for the night, as visiting them in the mornings can really leave you pleasantly surprised.

11. Obuda or Old Buda and its Baroque bourgeois mansions

Obuda baroque bourgeois mansions - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

While on the lookout of the best off the beaten path in Budapest you are ought to come across Old Buda. This is that part of Budapest, which every city has with a distinct charm of its own. It is the 3rd district with lots of Roman motifs to it, beautifully juxtaposing the much more modern ones like the high rises here. Perfect to stroll around the day or evening amidst its Baroque bourgeois mansions. Make sure to grab a bite at one of the many quaint eateries here.

12. Hungarian Railway Museum Budapest

Railway museum Budapest - ImageImage Source: vasuttortenetipark.hu

This medieval town will never have you running out of history lessons. Indeed, it’s a win-win situation if you are looking at things to do in Budapest with kids! The Hungarian Railway Museum is a fantastic assimilation of vintage locomotives. Assembled aesthetically in a semi-circular formation this outdoor museum is quite a sight to watch. It can be highly enlightening to kids and adults alike, as it throws light upon the era when steam engines ruled the transit scenes.

13. Claustrophilia Budapest, a game brought alive

Claustrophilia Budapest - ImageImage Source: claustrophilia.hu

Another fantastically offbeat thing to do in Budapest, the Claustrophilia Budapest is a gaming zone in essence. It is a live gaming room where you get to play your favorite character form a thriller or game trying to escape some brutalities, complete with apparatus like masks! This attraction emphasis on that feeling of finally getting out of something enclosed and claustrophobic. In an attempt to bring alive video games, you have puzzles to solve, objects to collect, codewords to decode and the likes for that ultimate catharsis- the sigh of relief!

14. Rage room Budapest to vent it all out

Rage room Budapest - ImageImage Source: Facebook.com

Ever dreamt of a place, where you can vent out all your frustration in the most destructive of ways, that too without being penalized? The Rage Room is that place. There are packages you can choose from; packages directly proportional to the amount of rage you want splash out! As the name suggests, you can get as violent as you want here; breaking computer screens with baseball bats and the likes, ragers are sure to love this place.

15. Climb the Caves under Budapest for some unworldly escape

Caves in Budapest - ImageImage Source: Aanjhan Ranganathan/flickr.com

Home to Hungary’s largest network of caverns, Budapest has a lot of relevance with respect to offbeat tourism. The Castle hill especially is quite notable given a long stretch of caverns under it. These caverns stretch at some 10-odd kilometers, out of which only 1.5 kilometers are accessible to the public. Guided tours are available for those seeking deeper know-how.

Author: Seema Nande
A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternal...

Must see places in Budapest ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Budapest and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 9564 times in trip plans
    Fishermans Bastion

    Tags: Historical Site, Tower, Architecture

    Address: 1014 Budapest, Szentharomsag ter 5, Hungary

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Buda Bank on the Danube is prettily dotted with a construction that looks somewhat like a terrace. This place is called the Fisherman’s Bastion. This structure is built close to the Matthias...Read more

  2. # 2 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 6822 times in trip plans
    St Stephens Basilica

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Architecture

    Address: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    St Stephen’s Basilica, also known as Szent Istvan Bazilika is locally considered to be the most important church in the city of Budapest. It has a very high historical value. The Basilica is nam...Read more

  3. # 3 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 5838 times in trip plans
    Shoes On The Danube Bank

    Tags: Historical Site, Memorial, War Memorial

    Address: Budapest, Id. Antall József rkp., 1052, Hungary

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Shoes on the Danube Bank is one of the most heart-breaking and touching memorials in Budapest. Danube as a delta is present in a lot of other cities, but in Budapest it has an even higher historic sig...Read more

  4. # 4 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 2615 times in trip plans
    Budapest Pinball Museum

    Tags: Museum, Entertainment, Games

    Address: Budapest, Radnóti Miklós u. 18, 1137 Hungary

    Timings: 10:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    Budapest Pinball Museum is one of the most frequented attractions in Budapest. The love for pinball machines is widespread in the world. Be it in local fairs or high end gaming zones or even simply on...Read more

  5. # 5 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 8266 times in trip plans
    Buda Castle

    Tags: Castle, Historical Site, Architecture , Fountain

    Address: 1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2, Hungary

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The Hungarian lords in Budapest were housed by the iconic Buda Castle. This beautiful building was built in 1265. The place initially was called Royal Palace or the Royal Castle. Constructed at the so...Read more

  6. # 6 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 6099 times in trip plans
    Gellert Hill

    Tags: Garden, View Point, Walking Area, Historical Site

    Address: Gellert-hegy, Budapest, Buda, District 1

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Gellert Hill overlooks the city of Budapest. This hill is a wonderful place to spend a Sunday. If you climb to the top you will be able to see an amazing sight. The Danube in all its glory can be seen...Read more

  7. # 7 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 6953 times in trip plans
    Heroes Square

    Tags: Walking Area, Monument, Square

    Address: Budapest, Hungary

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Hosok Tere or Heroes’ square in Budapest is a beautiful monument that attracts a lot of tourists in Budapest. The square commemorates the arrival of the first people who formed the nation of Hun...Read more

  8. # 8 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1467 times in trip plans
    Margaret Island

    Tags: Island, Ancient Ruin, Monument, Statue

    Address: Budapest, 1138 Hungary

    Timings: 06:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    Margaret Island is a great place to spend an entire day. The island was an important place in the middle ages when it was a religious hub. Even today you can see some of the medieval ruins in this are...Read more

  9. # 9 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 4078 times in trip plans
    Budapest Operetta Theatre

    Tags: Entertainment, Performance, Theatre, Concert

    Address: Budapest, Nagymező u. 17, 1065 Hungary

    Like a lot of other places, a lot of history of the world has been lost due to the unfortunate World War I and World War II. The long standing Budapest Operetta Theatre is an example of revival of his...Read more

  10. # 10 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 3438 times in trip plans

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: Budapest, Andrássy út 12, 1061 Hungary

    Timings: 09:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    The second thing that somebody wants to do after planning a visit to Budapest is fit in Vienna in the plan. Unfortunately, more often than not that does not end up happening. But with Miniversum, you ...Read more

  11. # 11 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1128 times in trip plans
    Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden

    Tags: Zoo, Botanical Garden

    Address: Budapest, Allatkerti krt. 6-12, 1146 Hungary

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Budapest is the best city to learn the art of resource management. This zoo that opened up in the year 1866 is still as well maintained and much to our delight has expanded beautifully over the years....Read more

  12. # 12 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1554 times in trip plans
    Holocaust Memorial Center

    Tags: Exhibition

    Address: Budapest, Páva u., 1094 Hungary

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Holocaust Memorial Centre does not only house a heart wrenching permanent exhibition but also has various temporary and travelling exhibitions that add a little more to the historical aspect of Budape...Read more

  13. # 13 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1501 times in trip plans
    Vajdahunyad Castle

    Tags: Castle, Architecture

    Address: 1146 Budapest, Városliget, Vajdahunyadvár, Hungary

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Vajdahunyad Castle situated inside City Park in Budapest. Constructed for the millennium Exhibition which put Budapest on the world map, the castle was initially made of cardboard.  It was on...Read more

  14. # 14 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1498 times in trip plans
    Liberty Bridge Image

    Tags: Bridge

    Address: Budapest, Szabadság híd, 1118 Hungary

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Originally built for the Millennium exhibition in the year 1896, the liberty bridge is supposed to be the connect between the Buda and the Pest of Budapest. It was originally named Francis Joseph and ...Read more

  15. # 15 of 2279 Things To Do in Budapest | Added 1313 times in trip plans
    House Of Terror

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: 1062 Budapest, Andrássy út 60, 1062 Hungary

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    The house of terror museum is a member of the platform of European Memory and Conscience and is looked after by Dr Mária Schmidt today. It was opened in the year 2000 and is dedicated to the vi...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Budapest. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Hősök tere (Heroes' Square)

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Budavári Palota

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Bécsi-kapu

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • St. Stephen's Basillica Treasury

    Szent Istvan ter, Budapest, Hungary 1051

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • 1956-os Emlékmű

    56-Osok Tere

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Budai Vár

    5 Országház u.

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Városligeti-tó

    Városligeti-tó, 1146 Ungheria

  • Park Horgász Egyesület

  • Lake Board Gyömrő

  • Csömöri Horgásztó

View On Map
  • Ráth György Museum

    Városligeti fasor 12

  • Vasarely Múzeum

    Szentlélek tér 6

  • Közlekedési Múzeum

    Városligeti krt. 11

  • Kiscelli Múzeum - Fővárosi Képtár

    Kiscelli u. 108

  • Kresz Géza Mentőmúzeum

    Markó u. 22

  • Néprajzi Múzeum

    Kossuth Lajos tér 12

View On Map
  • MindQuest

    VII Klauzál u. 19

    Amusement Parks
  • Parapark

    VIII Vajdahunyad u. 4

    Amusement Parks
  • Palackozott Italok Boltja

    Amusement Parks
  • Ability Park Klub

    Ceglédi út 1-3

    Amusement Parks
  • KölyökPark - Pólus Center

    Szentmihályi út 131

    Amusement Parks
  • ExitPoint Games

    Amusement Parks Arcades
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  • NégyesHatos Wesselényi Söröző

    Erzsébet krt.. 28

  • Magyar Söröző

    József krt. 75

    Bars Restaurants
  • Captain Cook Pub

    Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 19/a

    Bars Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses Restaurants
  • Yellow Zebra Bar

    Kazinczy u. 5

    Bars Restaurants
  • Caledonia Scottish Pub

    Mozsár u. 9

    Bars Restaurants
  • KIOSK Budapest

    Március 15. tér 4

    Bars International Cafes, Coffee and Tea Houses
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  • Grand Casino

    Deák Ferenc u. 13

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Belvárosi Kaszinó Szerencsejáték Szervező Kft

    Vigadó u. 2

    Casinos and Gaming
  • 6. Sz. Lottózó

    Károly krt. 1

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Szerencsejáték Zrt. 89. Sz. Lottózó

    Béke tér 12

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Szerencsejáték Zrt. 61. Sz. Lottózó

    Tétényi út 63

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Szerencsejáték Zrt. 3. Sz. Lottózó

    Szent István krt. 25

    Casinos and Gaming
View On Map
  • Flórián tér

    Dog Parks
  • Gesztenyéskert

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Mélygarázs Budapest Erzsébet tér

    Károlyi Mihály u. 11

    Dog Parks
  • Kutyafuttató (Sasad Liget)

    Dog Parks
  • Kutyafuttató

    Dog Parks
  • Geszebek

    Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Római-part

  • Szentendrei-sziget déli csücsök

  • Gödi Strand

  • Pool&Bear

  • Szigetcsépi Strand

View On Map
  • Álló - Rét

  • Sisakvirág Tanösvény 4 - Bükkös

  • Oszoly-pihenő

  • Pilis-nyereg

  • Sisakvirág tanösvény 7

  • Végvári (Szent Mihály) szikla

View On Map
  • Vadászati Kulturális Egyesület

    Pákász u. 7 I/2

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Magyar Tájékozódási Futó Szövetség

    Istvánmezei út 1-3. Iii. Emelet 310

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Lemezbörze - Memory International Kft

    Laborc u. 44

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Magyar Országos Horgász Szövetség

    Korompai u. 17

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Fővadászbolt

    József krt. 66

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Vadőr Kft

    Karvaly u. 10/D

    Hunting and Fishing
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