Activities, Sights, Attractions Recommended by Locals
Find out about the best things to do and see in Budapest.
It is is a fairly large city but easy to get around and explore but if you stay only for a short time it’s good to select the sights and activities that interest you the most to get the best out of your holiday.
If you are lucky to have more than a couple of days to devote to our city you won’t be bored either.
Countless events, festivals, lesser-known landmarks, a range of museums to all ineterests, lots of shops, fresh food markets, rich nightlife await everyone in the Hungarian capital all year round.
You will have time to uncover hidden secrets: attractions, events, programs that mostly only locals know about.
Enjoy the colourful cultural life: concerts, opera, ballet, theatre, and the many festivals taking place throughout the year.
Browse our recommended activities for all ages and interests, ranging from sightseeing tours, nightlife, shopping, exploring the city’s green areas, stag parties, to splashing in the city’s famous thermal baths, as well asa detailed seasonal guide with program recommendations.
Top Things to Do and See
Sightseeing, Fun and Seasonal Activities, Enjoying the Thermal Baths
Our favourite things to do in the city: Danube river cruises at night or during the day, with or without meal, wine tastings and tours, folk dance shows, organ and other concerts, guided tours, alternative sightseeing, foodie programs.
Besides the best-known landmarks and neighbourhoods take time to discover Budapest’s hidden sights.
Season by Season
Experience Budapest in all four seasons. Things to do, event and program recommendations season by season.
Summer is the busiest season with lots of festivals and things to do.
Beautiful photos showing the many faces of the Hungarian capital changing from spring to winter.
- Buda Castle District with the Royal Palace, the Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion, several museums (both large and unique ones) and some nice selection of restaurants and cafes.
New: the Castle Bazaar and Royal Gardens were completely renewed in 2014. A lovely place for a stroll before or after exploring the castle.
The refurbished 19th century buildings, designed by Miklós Ybl, house various exhibitions. The one in the southern palace introduces the history of the complex. There’s also a Gourmet Shop, carrying typical Hungarian delicacies (paprika, Tokaji aszú wine), and a Cafe with terrace where you can enjoy the fine view by a cup of coffe, a glass of wine or whatever you fancy.
- from Buda walk across the Chain Bridge (the first permanent stone bridge over the Danube to connect the two city parts) to Pest, continue your stroll on the Danube Promenade till ElizabethBridge to admire the captivating city scape that is under the protection of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites program.
- Head for St. Stephen’s Basilica to see the 3rd largest church of Hungary named after the nations first king whose right hand can be seen inside. If you aren’t scared of height take a lift up to the lookout in the cupola for a magnificent panoramic view of the city (from 1st April to 31st October). TIP: The Basilica regularly hosts organ concerts, an excellent opportunity to see the interior and enjoy the fantastic acoustics of the church.
- Walk along Andrássy Avenue, a more than 2 km long Parisian-style boulevard connecting the city centre with the City Park.It ‘s lined with elegant palaces dating from the 19th century, a couple of museums, luxury boutiques, and some fine restaurants. Two must-see sights are the Opera House and the House of Terror Museum. If you get tired of walking get on the Millennium Underground (M1, yellow metro line), the first underground railway in continental Europe built between 1860-63.
- Try one of the personalized tours and programs to discover the a unique, lesser-known aspects of the city, learn about Hungarian culture and way of life: retro tours, architecture tours, culinary tours, cooking classes, running tours, bike excursions, wine tastings, folklore shows, pub crawls, city discovery for kids and more.
- Have a dip in one of the handful of historic spas feed by thermal springs rich in minerals. The Széchenyi Bath in the City Park is an excellent choice at the end of your walk on Andrássy út. The bath houses from the Ottoman era (16th century) reward you with stunning architecture and the experience of traditional Oriental bathing culture. In summer relax in the outdoor pools of the Palatinus Beach on Margaret Island (listed among the world’s most beautiful outdoor baths).
- Several shopping malls in the centre, a couple of food markets, weekend farmers’ markets, design fairs to shop for quality local food stuff, wines or souvenirs to take home. Andrassy ut is the place to hunt for luxury goods: the newest (opens in early September 2013) is the il Bacio de Stile department store with more than 30 luxury brand shops on 4000. sqm.
- A classical music concert or a folk dance program are great choices for cultural entertainment. You can reserve tickets online for both program genres through our website. The National Opera House also has varied programs all the year round . It is also famed for its magnificent architecture making it must-visit attraction even if you aren’t an opera fan.
- For a light side of Budapest drop in one of the countless dance clubs, ruin bars, and garden pubs. Kazinczy Street is a good place to start your night out in district VII.: home to Szimpla kert, Kirakat, Kék Ló Fashion Bar, and other ruin clubs.
- Holdudvar (Margitsziget) in summer, Corvintető on top of a former department store, A38 ship on the Danube, or Hellobaby for urban chic on Andrássy út. You can also go partying on a boat on the Danube.