38 Best Things to do in Budapest: Top Places to visit

co navštívit v Budapešti

Are you planning a trip to Budapest and wondering what are the top places to visit in Budapest? Take a look at our 38 best things to do in Budapest, Hungary. In addition, you will also benefit from other information such as food, prices in Budapest, spa tips and the best things to do in Budapest with kids.


Read the Budapest travel guide before your trip.

What is worth seeing in Budapest in 1, 2 or 3 days?

Budapest is a city that gets you. Rarely will you see such a magnificent parliament or a confectionery masterpiece in the form of the Fisherman’s Bastion. In addition, the whole town has a pleasant atmosphere and a number of hidden restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy Hungarian dishes.

Best things to do in Budapest

I have attached a map with sights and attractions to visit in Budapest. You can use it whether you plan to visit Budapest for 1, 2 or 3 days.

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of things to do in Budapest. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Budapest guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

Best things to do in Budapest, Hungary

Gellért’s Hill and Citadella Fortress

For us, Gellért Hill is one of the most beautiful places in Budapest and should definitely be on your list of things to see in Budapest. You can easily spend half a day here, strolling along the paths through the trees, enjoying the view of Budapest and discovering new places.

There are 2 great playgrounds for children, a number of benches, bronze statues of philosophers or the King and Queen and a waterfall in the rocks directly opposite the Elizabeth Bridge (a white modern bridge). Right on the top is the Citadella Fortress, which was built in the past as a lookout for the nearby Castle Hill with Buda Castle.

Right next to the fortress is the Statue of Liberty(Szabadság szobor), which you can see from many places in Budapest and is a good landmark.

A green-marked panoramic trail passes through Gellért Hill, taking you through the best views, to the Statue of Liberty and then back to the bronze statues with the Garden of Philosophers. The trail starts just a short distance from the green Liberty Bridge, one of the most beautiful bridges in Budapest.

From the Svoboda Bridge there is a beautiful view of the Gellért Hill. The park is directly opposite the Svoboda Bridge. On your left is the Gellért Baths.

Gellért Hill Budapest / things to do in Budapest / Budapest sights / Freedom Bridge Budapest
Freedom Bridge and Gellért’s Hill above it

The best time to visit Gellért’s Hill is in the morning at sunrise (coming from the Svoboda Bridge) or when the sun is setting on the other side of the hill by the Garden of Philosophers.

Where to go in Budapest: the Buda Castle on Castle Hill

Castle Hill is another prominent peak in Budapest, located north of Gellért Hill. The dominant feature of Castle Hill is Buda Castle (Budavári Palota).

It is a large complex that includes several museums, including the Art Museum with works by Hungarian and European artists. Buda Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the historic Buda district.

where to go in Budapest / Buda Castle
Buda Castle

Below Buda Castle there are many caves that you can explore with a guide and learn more about the history of the area.

During your tour of Buda Castle, don’t miss a walk around the castle walls, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Danube and the Pest district with the Parliament. The walls can be reached via the Royal Gardens, which are accessed from Lánchíd utca. Entrance to the walls is free.

In high season, I recommend going early in the morning, when there are the fewest tourists.

the entrance to the gardens is from the river

The Buda Castle complex is beautiful, but the main spectacle begins in the evening when the castle is beautifully lit up. There is a good view, for example, from the Chain Bridge (we will talk about it in a moment).

where to go in Budapest / Buda Castle at night

Cableway to Hradní vrch

Buda Hill with Buda Castle can be reached on foot or by cable car from Clark Adám tér. A return ticket costs HUF 3000 for an adult and HUF 2000 for children aged 3-14.

You’ll ride in a historic wooden carriage and still have a beautiful view of the city. It’s an adult experience and if you’re going with kids, they’ll be even more excited. The cable car runs every few minutes depending on the number of visitors from 8:00-22:00 (it is closed for maintenance every odd Monday).

The most beautiful places in Budapest: the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Cathedral

Not visiting the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest would be like not visiting the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Big Ben in London.

The Fisherman’s Bastion is a few minutes’ walk from Buda Castle on Castle Hill. The first thing you’ll see is the magnificent Mátyás Tem plom( MatthiasTemple), behind which begins the sugar-coated Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya).

The fishing bastion was built at the end of the 19th century. century. The peculiarity is that it never actually served as a bastion, i.e. for protective purposes.

Both buildings are magnificent and definitely among the most beautiful places to see in Budapest. Moreover, if the weather is sunny like ours, the roof of St. Matthias Cathedral will throw colourful reflections and the white Fisherman’s Bastion will contrast with the blue sky.

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most popular sights in Budapest. It’s already pretty crowded at 9am in the high season. I recommend you get going as soon as possible.

We also went here in the evening, when the Fisherman’s Bastion with Matthias Church is beautifully illuminated. If you want to take an iconic photo of the illuminated parliament, the best place to do it is from here.

Admission to the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Temple

The walls of the Fisherman’s Bastion and the 7 towers are accessible free of charge. You can come here almost anytime. Access to the main tower and the smaller towers near it is charged – 1000 HUF. Entrance to St. Matthias Cathedral including the tower costs HUF 1,800. Or you can dine in the panoramic restaurant.

Chain bridge

Buda and Pest are connected by 8 bridges. The most famous is the Chain Bridge(Széchenyi Lánchíd), which can be reached in a few minutes from Castle Hill.

Budapest Chain Bridge / Széchenyi Lánchíd

Some have compared it to the Tower Bridge in London. We liked the Liberty Bridge a bit better, but the Chain Bridge is definitely worth seeing and is a popular place to visit in Budapest.

Especially in the evening, many people gather here and enjoy the view of the Castle Hill with the illuminated Buda Castle.

TIP: Don’t miss the view of Budapest from the Danube. What I would recommend even more is an evening river cruise. The Danube is flanked by the beautifully lit Parliament, Buda Castle and the Fisherman’s Bastion. It’s a great show and it costs a few pennies.


From the Chain Bridge, it’s just a short walk to the magnificent Parliament(Országház), located right on the banks of the Danube. On the way to it you will pass a place called“Shoes on the Danube Bank“. It is a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Second World War.

Shoes on the Danube Bank / things to do in Budapest

The Parliament in Budapest is such a beautiful building that living in Budapest, I think I’m considering a political career. It is one of the oldest government buildings in Europe.

Parliament from the Chain Bridge

The Parliament is built in Neo-Gothic style with a Neo-Renaissance dome that is 96 metres high. The height of the dome was chosen deliberately – it is a symbol of the arrival of the Hungarians to their homeland in 896.

At the same time, it is based on a city ordinance that prohibits the construction of buildings higher than the aforementioned 96 m because of this symbolism. This is the height of the Parliament and St. Stephen, which will be mentioned later.

And now a few numbers to show just how monumental the Parliament building is – it covers an area of 18 000m2, has 28 entrances, 691 rooms, 10 courtyards and 29 staircases.

Be sure to walk around the entire building. There is a small park at the back with a spacious square, benches and an artificial lake. The interior of the parliament is ornate and decorative with gold details.

Admission to the Parliament in Budapest is HUF 4200. Parliament is open daily from 8:00-16:00.

Basilica of St. Stephen

Not far from the Parliament is St. Stephen’s Basilica, together with the Parliament the tallest building in Budapest. Basilica of St. Stephen (Szent István Basilica) is the largest church in Hungary and is beautiful inside and out. In front of it is a small square where events are often held.

Admission to St. Stephen’s Basilica is by donation, but you pay HUF 600 for the tower.

Andrássy Avenue and Heroes’ Square

Andrássy Avenue(Andrássy út) is the most important avenue in Budapest. It’s Budapest’s Champs-Élysées, lined with historic buildings including the State Opera House, home to luxury boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada. The historic M1 metro line runs underground through Andrássy Avenue.

historic tram in Budapest
Historical tram M1 in Budapest

The end of Andrássy Avenue is Heroes’ Square(Hősök tere). Its landmark is the Millennium Monument(Millenniumi emlékmű). It consists of a 36-metre high column with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel on top and a colonnade with 14 statues, some of which depict important Hungarian kings and leaders of the anti-Habsburg uprisings.

Heroes' Square Budapest / things to do in Budapest
Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Memorial

Városliget Park

Behind the Heroes’ Square is the large city park Városliget. Right on its edge is a large lake, over which a bridge leads. You can rent pedal boats and in winter there is an ice-skating rink.

On the right side of the park stands Vahsdahunyad Castle, which was originally built of cardboard and wood. Later, however, it became so popular that it was rebuilt in stone. Today it is a mixture of four architectural styles – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Romanesque.

Vahsdahunyad Castle is the seat of the Museum of Agriculture (entrance fee HUF 1600).

Városliget Park has statues, flower beds, fountains, sculptures, a chapel, a Japanese garden and plenty of places to eat or just sit for a coffee. On the left side of the main road is one of the largest spas in Budapest – Széchenyi.

Right in the park, you can also visit one of the best spas in Budapest – Széchenyi Spa. The daily entrance fee to Széchenyi Spa is HUF 6900 on weekdays and HUF 7200 on weekends and holidays (standard locker for personal belongings included). Open is open all year round from 6:00 to 22:00 (indoor thermal and outdoor pools).

Budapest Spa

Elizabeth Square

Elisabeth Square(Erzsébet tér) is located at the beginning of Andrássy Avenue, a short walk from the Basilica of St. Stephen or Chain Bridge. It is so centrally located that you will probably pass through it several times during your visit to Budapest.

You can recognize Elizabeth Square from afar thanks to the Ferris wheel that stands there, peeking above the surrounding houses. In addition, there’s a skate park, a small playground, a fountain, a Michael Jackson memorial and, most importantly, an outdoor pool where you can get your feet wet in the summer just like the locals.

Central Market Hall

The Central Market is housed in a beautiful historic building just off the Liberty Bridge in Pest. Váci u Street, which connects the market to Vörösmarty tér, ends here. If you are looking for a place to shop, Váci u is ideal. It is full of shops and restaurants.

The central market consists of 3 floors, where you can buy a variety of delicacies from vegetables to Hungarian specialities, including real red peppers. You’ll also find an Aldi if you want to buy your regular groceries. The market is open daily except Sunday from 6am to 6pm (closes at 5pm on Monday and 3pm on Saturday).

central market Budapest / where to eat Budapest

Museum of Terror (Terror House)

Hungary is known for the brutality of its leaders during the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Everything is documented in the Museum of Terror on Andrássy Avenue.

The individual rooms are thematically divided into individual rooms, including the prison in the basement. You will get a comprehensive overview of the history of Hungary.

It is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 – 18:00. Full admission to the House of Terror is HUF 3000 (reduced HUF 1500).

Cave Church

The cave church(Gellérthegyi Barlang) is located at the foot of Gellért Hill. If you walk from the Svobody Bridge, you won’t miss it. The cave church was built by monks in the 1920s. During World War II it served as a hospital. It is said to be connected to an underground network of tunnels.

Admission to the Cave Church is HUF 600 and open every day except Sunday 9:30 – 19:30.

Margaret Island

Margaret Island (Margit-sziget) is a relaxing oasis in the middle of the Danube where you can spend a whole day in peace. There are so many activities to do here – thermal baths with water features and water slides, playgrounds for children, a musical fountain that is beautifully lit in the evening, lots of trails, a monastery ruin and medieval ruins, a Japanese garden, bars and refreshments.

Margaret Island lies a quarter of an hour north of Parliament and is most easily reached via the Golden Margaret Island.

Walk along the promenade

A walk along the Danube has its own charm. You can just sit on the stairs and enjoy the views of Hradní or Gellértův vrch. Along the way, you will come across places you might not have discovered otherwise.

promenade in Pest to the right of the Chain Bridge

Vigadó Park

Vigadó Park(Vigadó tér) is located in front of the Vigadó Concert Hall right on the banks of the Danube. You can get here in a few minutes to the right from the Chain Bridge in Pest. It’s a small park with a fountain in the middle and two bronze statues – a statue of a little princess sitting on a railing and a statue of a girl feeding her dog.

Illuminated Budapest

Every city has a completely different atmosphere after dark. And it is no different for Budapest. In the evening it is beautifully lit up and transformed into a completely different place. Chain Bridge, Freedom Bridge, Parliament Building, Buda Castle, St. Štěpána or Fisherman’s Bastion will be wrapped in golden tones for the evening and literally glow.

If you still have enough strength after the whole day, I recommend to go around some places in the dark. I’m sure you’ll be as excited as we are. In addition, they are often pleasantly crowded, such as the Fisherman’s Bastion, which fills up early in the morning in high season.

Another option is to see beautifully lit Budapest directly from the Danube by taking a river cruise. Or go to one of the bridges, where you will have a wonderful view of Castle Hill. A great view of the city can be enjoyed from Gellért’s Hill.

Statues in Budapest

Statues and sculptures are everywhere. They are interesting, thematic and often perhaps surprising. Like the statue of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, created to honor Reagan’s work to end the Cold War.

It had a significant impact on ending Soviet domination in Hungary. His statue can be found in Freedom Square(Szabadság tér) between the Parliament and St. Stephen. The square also has several monuments, a fountain and a park with benches.

The Great Synagogue

The Great Synagogue(Nagy Zsinagóga or Dohány utcai Zsinagóga) is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It was built at the end of the 19th century. century in the Moorish-Spanish style. The synagogue is 53 m long and 26.5 m wide. It can accommodate nearly 2,700 worshippers. Behind the synagogue is the Holocaust Memorial.

Hidden gem in Budapest

Budapest’s underground

Budapest is the capital of caves. It is the only one in the world to have caves of different sizes and lengths under its buildings and streets. There are more than 200 of them under Buda alone. The peculiarity of the caves is their unusual development, which is based on thermal water.

Just put on your overalls and helmet (they’ll lend you everything on site) and you’re ready to explore Budapest from the other side. You can go to the cave underground with children over 9 years of age.

Ziggurat Lookout Tower and National Theatre

The unusual Ziggurat lookout tower can be found south of the Svoboda Bridge. It has a nice view of the Danube. The lookout tower is freely accessible. Right across the street is the National Theatre, which is beautifully lit in the evening.

Szent Gellért metro station

Szent Gellért tér-Műegyetem Metro Station is located at the Liberty Bridge in front of the Gellért Baths. It is modern and made entirely of mosaic. It’s not as stunning as the metro station in Stockholm, but it’s still a nice spectacle.

Memento park

Memento Park will immerse you in the history of communism in Hungary. There are statues that were scattered around Budapest during the communist era. In addition, you will also learn more information from this time.

Memento Park is located on the outskirts of Budapest. From the centre you can get here in about half an hour – several buses run here and the bus stop is right by the park. Admission is just over 100 CZK. It is open daily 10:00-17:00 and on weekends until 18:00.

Aquincum Museum

The Aquincum Archaeological Museum is located in the north of Budapest. It is dedicated to the history of the Roman Empire on the territory of Hungary and stretches along the Roman baths. The Aquincum Museum is open daily except Mondays from 9:00-18:00. Admission is HUF 2200 from April to October and HUF 1600 in the low season.

Where to stay in Budapest?

LUXURY: Hotel Memories Budapest Memories Hotel is centrally located in Pest and just 5 minutes from Deák Ferénc tér, where the airport bus stops. The hotel is located on the corner of quiet streets near the Great Synagogue. There are many attractions, restaurants, cafés and shops in the area. Rooms are stylish and cosy with comfortable beds and private bathrooms. You will also enjoy the wellness and the excellent breakfast.

Hotel Memories Budapest

LUXURY: Bo33 Hotel Family & Suites is a great choice for couples and families, as it also has an open terrace where you can relax and a nice playground in the park a short walk away. You can choose between rooms and apartments for up to 4 people. The hotel is situated in a quiet part of Pest, about half an hour from the Danube and the city park with the spa.

MID RANGE: Silver hotel City Center: This budget hotel is located 2 minutes from Andrássy Avenue. In a quiet street opposite a park with benches and a children’s playground. Right across the street is the market, which is frequented mainly by locals and has fresh food at good prices. The historic metro station is just a few minutes away. Budapest’s famous sites, restaurants and spas are within walking distance.

MID RANGE: Medos Hotel: Located in a quiet area a short walk from the Oktogon metro station on Andrássy Avenue and a quarter of an hour from the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Church or the city park with a spa. The 2-4 bedded rooms are cosy with comfortable beds and private bathrooms. Everything you need is nearby.

Medos hotel

MID RANGE: Bo18 Hotel Superior is a stylish hotel located on the edge of the centre in a quiet part of Pest. The metro is just a few minutes away and in 20 minutes you can walk to the Liberty Bridge with the Gellért Baths and Gellért Hill, the Central Market or the Great Synagogue. The rooms are cosy with private bathrooms and excellent breakfasts.

MID RANGE: Gozsdu Court Budapest offers apartments for couples and families. Like Memories Hotel, it is a short walk from Deák Ferénc Tér. With some of the best restaurants and bars in Budapest right within its radius, it’s alive all night long. The apartments are fully equipped, including a kitchenette and private bathroom, and have soundproofed windows so you can sleep in peace despite the hustle and bustle of the surrounding streets.

Gozsdu Court Budapest

MID RANGE: Hotel Mika Downtown is located in a quiet street near the centre of Pest. Sights, restaurants and shops are within walking distance. It offers rooms, studios and apartments with rich amenities and private bathrooms. There is also a terrace in the inner courtyard with outdoor seating (the windows are soundproofed).

Things to do in Budapest with kids

Budapest is a great place for families. You can visit many of the above places with children. They will be delighted with the sugar-coated Fisherman’s Bastion, the cable car to Hradní vrch or Gellért’s Hill, which is full of viewpoints, forest paths and there are 2 great playgrounds.

There are smaller parks all over the city, some with extra artificial pools and fountains to entertain bigger and smaller children.

You can go on a cruise on the Danube or to Margaret Island, where there are thermal baths with water slides and a magical fountain that comes alive in all colours in the evening.

And what about the city park, where there is a large lake, a spa and a zoo with a botanical garden or a ride on a double-decker sightseeing bus.

Zoo and Botanical Garden

The zoo and botanical garden are located in the Városliget City Park. There’s so much to see that you could spend half a day on it. The zoo is open from 9:00 to 18:00 during the week and an hour longer on weekends (until 20:00 in summer). The entrance fee is HUF 3300 per adult and HUF 2200 for children. The zoo also includes a botanical garden.

budapest zoo

Children’s Railway in Budapest

The Budapest Children’s Railway is 11 km long and unique in that it is operated by children aged 10-14. The railway line connects the excursion areas of the Buda Highlands.

The line runs from Széchenyi Mountain to Hűvösvölgy. Along the way, it stops at several places with viewpoints, forest playgrounds, shrines and other points of interest in the Buda Highlands.

In addition, you can get a detailed view of the operating vehicles and equipment if you wish. Trains serve the line from Tuesday to Sunday throughout the year and even run daily in the summer from May to August.

A ticket for the children’s railway will cost you 800 HUF and 400 HUF for children 6-18 years old (transfer tickets are 1400 HUF/700 HUF).

How to get to the children’s railway?

Both railway stations and several stations are easily accessible from Budapest by public transport and by car. Hűvösvölgy Terminal can be reached by trams 56, 56A, 59B and 61 from Széll Kálmán tér.

The second terminal Széchenyihegy can be reached by a toboggan (there is a similar one in the High Tatras). The standard Budapest public transport ticket applies here. You don’t have to buy a special one.

Did you come in your own car? Paid parking is available at Hűvösvölgy Terminal. Free parking is available at Széchenyihegy Terminal 2, Normafa Station and Szépjuhásčné Station.

Palace of Wonders (CSOPA science center)

The Palace of Wonders is Hungary’s first 5,000 m2 interactive space where you and your children can have fun with more than 250 interactive games and attractions focused on science.

Admission to the Palace of Wonders is HUF 4400 for an adult and HUF 3200 for a child aged 3-18, but discounted family tickets are also available. Open daily 10:00-19:00.

Where to eat in Budapest?

As I mentioned earlier, the Buda district is more focused on sights (Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, Gellért Hill). For good food, you need to cross the bridge to the Pest district. A quick but good option for eating out in Budapest is the central market in Pest, just off the Liberty Bridge. They have a lot of Hungarian specialties.

Where to eat in Budapest: restaurant, café and patisserie tips

The area between Erzsébetváros and Palotanegyed (between St Stephen’s Basilica, the city park and the central market) is literally packed with restaurants, cafés and bars. One has a problem of choice rather than there being little choice.

  • Belvárosi Disznótoros – this is not a typical restaurant, but rather a buffet with local specialties. If you want a quick meal, make sure you come here.
  • For Sale Pub – the first thing that catches your eye when you enter is not the smell of the food, but the interior. There are messages from visitors all over the walls, straw on the floor, peanut shells…and they cook deliciously.
  • Street Food Caravan Budapest – an alley full of caravans where you can get a burger or Hungarian specialty and eat it al fresco
  • Köleves Vendéglö – a cosy restaurant with local specialities. It also includes a Koleveves kert, where you can eat right in the garden with colourful chairs. You can even take a nap in the hammock after lunch.
  • Vintage Garden – prices are a bit higher here, but the beautiful surroundings and great food make up for it.
  • My Little Melbourne -cute cafe with a good atmosphere
  • Blue Bird Cafe is another great cafe, where you definitely won’t go wrong

Dessert to finish: I definitely recommend visiting the Gelarto Rosa pastry shop, where they will conjure up a beautiful rose for you. It is located right on the corner by the Basilica of St. Štěpán in the Lipótváros district.

where to eat in Budapest

That was just a small list of great restaurants in Budapest, or rather in Pest. There are many more places to eat in Budapest.

Which Hungarian specialities to try?

Hungarian cuisine is based on paprika, cabbage, sour cream and meat. Hungarian specialties include:

  • Langos – most often served with garlic, sour cream and cheese, but sweet langos are no exception
  • Goulash (gulyáš) – don’t be fooled here if the name evokes our typical goulash. Goulash in Hungarian means a soup with vegetables, minced peppers and stewed meat. A denser variant and more related to our goulash is perclette (pörkölt)
  • Szeged goulash of cabbage and sour cream
  • Kološvár stuffed cabbage – cabbage leaves with various fillings of minced meat, vegetables and anything else you fancy
  • Lecho (lecsó) – a combination of tomatoes, peppers, onions and egg seasoned with ground and hot peppers.
  • Paprikash, which is kind of like our chicken in paprika
  • Doboš’s cake (dobos-torta) or sweet spot at the end made of sponge cake with chocolate cream and caramel crust

If you have a question about tips on things to do in Budapest, ask in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More inspiration

BUDAPEST: Check out our detailed guide to Budapest.

ROME: Rome is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Here’s a list of the best things to see in Rome. Build your 3-day Rome itinerary and see how to save in Rome. Find out all about the Vatican Museums or the Colosseum.

VIENNA: Vienna is literally full of wonderful sights to visit in Vienna. If you’re travelling with kids, check out the best activities for Vienna with kids. To help you plan your trip, we’ve created an itinerary for Vienna in 3 days.

BERLIN: For inspiration on attractions and sights, read what to visit in Berlin.

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Summary to the article about the most beautiful places to visit in Budapest

What sights to visit in Budapest?

Budapest is perfectly interwoven with beautiful places. Take inspiration from our itinerary of the most famous ones and discover more tips on places that are not so well known but still worth a visit.

Where to go in Budapest with kids?

Even children will find something to do here. How about a children’s railway or a Palace of Wonders? Read more in the article.

Where to eat in Budapest?

Pest is a renowned culinary area where you can enjoy a great meal. What are the best restaurants? Which specialties to try? How are prices in Budapest? Read more in the article.

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