In summer you can splash in the many open air pools/beaches of the city, play in the parks, hike in the Buda Hills, and try the best artisan ice creams, while in winter you can go for ice skating, skiing, visit a cool museum exhibit or movie in a cinema.
The city also offers a wide choice of events and festivals that are great fun for the whole family.
Budapest has some lovely green areas where you and your little ones can enjoy the fresh air and numerous fun activities.
Summer TIPS: A Ride on the Eye
The large ferris wheel on Erzsébet tér in the city centre will sure attract many kids during summer. The 65 m high structure will stand there till September.
A ride costs 2 400 HUF for adults and 1500 HUF for children under the height of 140 cm.
Find out more details about the Budapest Eye.
First I would take my children to the City Park (Városligeti Park). The park is a real source of entertainment because it gives home to the:
- Holnemvolt Park (the former Amusement Park)
- Budapest Grand Circus.
You can find the City Park on Budapest City map marked 9.
Don’t miss rowing on the lake in summer, or ice skating in winter. You can see the tower of the charming mock castle, Vajdahunyad castle from Heroes’ Square.
The castle introduces you to Hungarian Architectural styles. It houses the Agricultural Museum and often hosts event/fettivals for families with kids.
The Park also offers some fine family-friendly restaurants, see our restaurant recommendation below.
How about taking your kids on a boat tour on the Danube? Both you and the kids will enjoy the scenic view on the gently gliding ship. Tasty food and drinks are offered on board. Even vegetarians will find tasty dishes from the selection of the buffet lunch or dinner.
Book your place for the river excursion online:Book a Cruise
TIP #2: Tours for Families
Discover the city at your own pace!
Visit the Zoo & Botanical Garden, explore Margaret Island or the Buda Hills on a guided tour organized by the Budapest UNDERguide Team.
Friendly and knowledgeable local guides help you plan your route and tell you everything you would like to know about the sights and stories related to them.
No need to rush from attraction to attraction! Take it easy and let your guides organise your sightseeing.
More Things To Do For Families with Kids
Baths, Beaches, Water Theme Parks – Splashing in Budapest
I don’t know about your kids but our son is a water fanatic. Luckily the Hungarian capital is a city of baths, and nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than splashing in the waters.TIP: The Palatinus is our favorite outdoor bath located on Margaret Island. It has 11 pools, plenty of slides, and a fantastic scenery.
See a list of the most popular beaches in Budapest.
The good news is that bathing is not restricted to summer months only, because several thermal baths operate in the city throughout the year.
See also our pages about Budapest Spas.
I recommend taking the waters in the Széchenyi Bath (it’s in the City Park so you can combine bathing with visiting the Zoo, and the Amusement Park).
The Aquaworld is a fantastic water theme park in the northern part of Budapest (address: Íves út 16., district IV., near the Pest bridgehead of the Megyeri bridge on the M0 ring road).
It is a bit far from the city centre but it can be accessed by a free shuttle bus (bus No. 230) from Heroes’ Square that runs every day.
The journey takes about 30 minutes. See the bus timetable here.
Besides the exciting slides and activities, Aquaworld offers a range of great programs for kids: baby swimming, a summer camp, a playhouse.
Although it’s outside the city, the Aquarena Water Park at Mogyoród is a real pleasure especially on a sultry day. Mogyoród is a small village some 20 kms northeast of Budapest, you can get there on the M3 motorway.TIP: The F1 Hungarian Grand Prix is held at Mogyoród, usually at end of each July.
In the Greens – Parks in Budapest
The idyllic Margaret Island in the Danube’s embrace is ideal for leisurely walks.
I bet your kids would love to pedal along the paths on a small vehicle called bringóhinto, pet the animals in the small zoo or listen to the music of a lovely fountain (completely renovated in 2013.).TIP: see also our detailed guide to the most popular Budapest attractions.
You can rent the bringóhinto on the island. In summer you can refresh in the open-air pools of the Palatinus Beach that has a wave bath, slides, neck massage. Several playgrounds and sport activities provide for further entertainment.
Budapest has some more lovely parks: the Károlyi Park, and the parks at Erzsébet tér, and Szabadság tér are located in the city centre.
Olimpia Park Playground
The Olimpia Park is a lovely playground right on the Danube bank ata short distance from the Parliament to the north.
It has a couple of great slides, and other toys, fountains, a fairly large grass covered area and marble plaques with the names of all of Hungary’s summer Olympic games gold medalists on them.
The tricolor Olympic rings bronze statue is not very artistic but the view of the river and the Buda side compensates for it.
If you love hiking go up the leafy Buda Hills, the lung of Budapest.
You can travel up in the hills by uncommon vehicles like the Children’s Railway (Gyermekvasút), the Chairlift (Libegő) or the Cogwheel Railway (Fogaskerekű). They make the trip interesting and fun.
Note that an excursion to the Buda Hills is a couple of hours program, so take food, snacks and drinks with you (although there are a a couple of buffets along the way).
The Buda Hills, especially the Normafa area, can be lots of fun in winter when thick snow covers the slopes. Normafa is the locals’ number one favorite spot for skiing and sleighing.
The Gellért Hill is great fun too for families with kids. The hill is easily accessible from the city centre and has great parks and playgrounds.
Europe’s largest Skate and Leisure Park, the Görzenál in the III. district is skaters’ paradise. The park has been awaiting active sports lovers since 1995. Besides skating you can do BMX riding, wall-climbing, jumping on trampoline.
The Festival for Families and Children welcomes families every summer on weekends in June, and during the first week in July on the Hajógyári Island in Óbuda.
Vintage locomotive and railcars and a lots of activities await kids and their parents in an awesome outdoor museum, the Hungarian Railway Museum.TIP: on Children’s Day (last Sunday in May) entry is free to the Railway Museum for children and there’ll be lots of great programs for kids and adults alike.
Miniversum Interactive Train Table & Playhouse
The Miniversum is the newest attraction for kids located on the ground floor of the Krausz Palace on Andrássy Avenue.
The 300 square meter interactive train table opened in mid-May 2014.
You can explore the best known sights of Austria, Germany and Hungary. There’s also a playhouse with 5 modeling tables for 5 different age groups.
You can have snacks, sandwiches, drinks in the coffee shop.
If your kids still have energy to explore other activities, you can visit plenty of indoor attractions. The Palace of Miracles (Csodák Palotája, located in Campona Shopping Center at Nagytétényi út 37-43., district XXII., open: 10.00-20.00 every day) provides for interactive entertainment that grown-ups enjoy as much as children do.
The playhouse offers a wide variety of hands-on scientific games and experiments that help your children understand scientific rules and facts in playful way.
The Millenáris Park in Buda (Fény utca 20-22., district II., a short walk from the Mammut Shopping Center, getting there: trams 6, M2 metro either Széna tér or Széll Kálmán tér stop) is one of Budapest’s largest cultural center offering various children and family programs, concerts, hosting festivals and other events.TIP: The Whale (Bálna) near the Great Market Hall has a nice play area on the underground level. There’s also a Palacsintázó (Pancake Bar), some other shops and cafes on the 3-level entertainment centre. The Danube bank is great for a stroll offering a fine view of the Buda side.
Visit the Tropicarium, a spectacular Aquarium also in the Campona shopping mall to admire nature’s wonders, sharks and other interesting fishes and tropical creatures from close.
In the Laser Theatre of the Planetarium (Népliget 1., district X., M3 metro or tram 1) impressive laser shows introduce the secrets of stars and the universe to you and your children.
Famous singers’ and bands’ music accompany the visual display: hits from the Queen, Pink Floyd, Vangelis, Carmina Burana and even Madonna make the show an unforgettable experience.
Tickets: children and pensioners: 1 200 HUF, adults: 1 500 HUF, Opening hours: 9.00-17.00, closed on Sunday and on 20. August
The Labyrinth of Caves in Budapest Castle District (Entrance 1: Úri utca 9., Entrance 2: Lovas út 4/A) is another enthralling attraction for kids in our capital city.
The labyrinth with some great interactive programs is open from 10.00 till 19.00 every day. The night time tours by the light of a lantern starting at 18.00 are definitely thrilling.TIP: There is also a playhouse called Labirintus Háza every Sunday between 10.00 and 13.00: a mystic treasure hunting for an unforgettable experience. Great for rainy days!
Learn about the programs in the Labyrinth here.
Some Great Budapest Museums for Children:
- Mesemuzeum Budapest: (Fairy Tale Museum, address: Döbrentei úz 15., district I., not far from the Buda-side entrance to the Erzsebet Bridge): The Mesemuzeum (pronounced Mesheh-museum) is an interactive, indoor adventure space for young children to run, play, and explore the basic elements of fairy tales.
Tickets: Children: 400 HUF, Adult tickets: 600 HUF. Family discounts apply.
Individual visitors are welcome Thursday and Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00, and Sunday from 10.00 to 14.00. Appointments by group can be made for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Weekly camps and workshops with different themes are also available.
- Hungarian Natural History Museum (Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum) – the museum has interactive exhibitions to entertain and educate kids
- Budapest Transport Museum (Budapesti Közlekedési Múzeum: address: Városligeti körút 11., in the City Park,): outstanding collection of transport history with unique railway models. Boys and dad’s can spent hours in this museum.
- But let’s not forget about Moms, the Museum of Commerce and Catering (Kereskedelmi és Vendéglátóipari Múzeum) recreates the atmosphere of Budapest’s turn-of-the-20th-century commercial boom. The museum moved to the Korona tér 1. in Óbuda, district III.)
Eating Out with Kids in Budapest
Although the list of child-friendly restaurants is not long, you’ll find some very family-friendly restaurants in Budapest. These restaurants provide for high-chairs, but to be on the safe side always book one in advance. Most of these restaurants serve children’s menus.
Bagolyvár (Owl’s Castle) in City Park
Address: Állatkerti körút 3., XIV. district
Tel: + 36 1 468 3110
Gundel (City Park)
Address: Állatkerti körút 2., XIV. district
Tel: +36 1 321 3550
Address: Pozsonyi utca 16., district XIII., tram 4 or 6, Jászai Mari tér stop
A charming cafe in Lipótváros district. Ideal for a leisurely breakfast or coffee with cake with kids. There’s a play area on the upper floor. They are also one of the few places that sell cronut – the famous, new American pastry – in Budapest.
Náncsi Néni Vendéglője (Aunt Náncsi’s Restaurant),
A bit out of the city center, up in the Buda Hills, but if you stay in the city for a longer period definitely try it.
Address: Ördögárok u. 80, II. district
Tel: (+36 1) 397 2742
The simplest way to get there is by taxi.
Shops for Kids
Shopping Centers in Budapest all have great toy shops. Most of the malls have kids’ corner or playhouse where you can leave your kids and the trained supervisors will look after them while you’re shopping. Slides, jumping castles and other games will keep your little ones amused.
Other Toyshops in Budapest:
Fakopáncs Játékbolt – sells quality wooden toys. They have three shops along Nagykörút (Garnd Boulevard), accessible by trans 4 and 6.:
- at Baross utca 46., district VIII.
- József krt. 50, district VIII.
- Erzsébet krt 23. district VII.