22 Things to do in Budapest (+ map): Best places to visit

co navštívit v Budapešti

Are you planning a trip to Budapest and wondering what are the best places to visit in Budapest? Check out the things to do in Budapest. It also includes useful information on admission fees and opening times. For easier planning, you can use the map with the places to visit in Budapest marked on it.

Things to do in Budapest: Best places to visit

1. Fisherman’s Bastion

Not visiting the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest would be like not visiting the Colosseum in Rome or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Everyone wants to see it and it is often one of the main reasons why people travel to Budapest.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) was built at the end of the 19th century. The peculiarity is that it never actually served as a bastion, i.e. for protective purposes. It consists of variously sized towers around which you can walk along the “walls”.

In addition, there is a magnificent view of Budapest – the Parliament, the Danube River and the whole Pest.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

The Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best things to do in Budapest. Even at 9:00 in the morning it is already quite crowded and the number of tourists lasts until the evening. If you want to enjoy it without the crowds, go early in the morning or late in the evening, when the Fisherman’s Bastion and its surroundings are beautifully lit.

The sun rises over the Danube in the morning and its warm rays hit the white-glowing facade of the monument. If you land, you will enjoy the Fisherman’s Bastion at its best.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

Admission and opening hours of the Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest

The Fisherman’s Bastion is partly accessible for free. If you also want to enjoy the view from the elevated part with the turrets, you need to pay an entrance fee. Admission is charged after 9am, so if you arrive early, you get in for free. There are open turnstiles that you can pass through.

In the season from June to the end of September, this part is charged until 21:00 and in the low season until 19:00. From Christmas Eve until mid-March, the Fisherman’s Bastion is open all day for free.

Admission is 1200 HUF, children under 14 and students 600 HUF and children under 6 free. You can buy your ticket on the spot by scanning the QR code – there is an attendant on hand to help you. After purchase, you will receive a confirmation in your email, which you just need to show to the staff.

Hotels Budapest 😴

Aquincum hotel

4* hotel with unlimited wellness

T62 hotel

Modern and stylish accommodation in the centre

2. Matthias Temple

The Mátyás Temple (Mátyás Templom) stands next to the Fisherman’s Bastion. With its bright façade and brightly coloured roof, you won’t miss it. A beautiful neo-Gothic church, which is also worth seeing from the inside. You can climb the tower and enjoy the view of the city.

The entrance is located on the right side of the temple, the ticket offices are directly opposite the entrance.

St. Matthias Cathedral Budapest

Admission and opening hours of Matthias Temple

The temple is open daily from 9:00-17:00.

The price of admission depends on what you want to visit:

  • admission to the church: full admission 2900 HUF, students and seniors 2300 HUF, children under 6 free
  • admission to the tower: full admission HUF 3400, students and seniors HUF 2900, children under 6 free

More information can be found at this link.

3. Boat trip on the Danube

Boat trip on the Danube we enjoyed it very much. Budapest is perfect for cruising. Especially in the evening, when everything is lit up beautifully.

Budapest Danube cruise

The Danube River is lined with the most beautiful places in Budapest – Buda Castle, Gellért Hill, Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion. You will also pass under several bridges, one of which is more interesting than the other.

If you have time left, be sure to include a cruise in your itinerary. I believe you will be as excited as we are.

Book your Danube cruise here.

Budapest Danube cruise

4. Gellért’s Hill and Citadella Fortress

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

And with all the views, you might forgive it for having so much rubbish lying around.

Gellertuv Hill Budapest

Right on the top is the Citadella Fortress, which was built in the past as an observation post 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.

For children, there are 2 great playgrounds on Gellert Hill, a number of benches and bronze statues of philosophers or the king and queen.

Gellertuv Hill Budapest

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.

Cave Church

At the foot of Gellért Hill is the Cave Church (Gellérthegyi Barlang). It was built by monks in the 1920s and served as a hospital during the Second World War. It is said to be connected to an underground network of tunnels. You can visit the cave church for a small fee.

Advantageous holiday packages in Budapest.

5. Thermal baths

Hungary is famous for its thermal baths. There are several in Budapest.

Széchenyi Spa is one of the most popular and one of the largest spas in Europe, with 15 indoor pools and 3 outdoor pools. Moreover, all set in beautiful architecture.

The entrance fee to Széchenyi Spa varies depending on the time and day you visit – detailed information on entrance fees can be found here.

Szechényi Spa Budapest
Szechényi Spa

Another popular spa is the Gellért Spa, located next to Gellért Hill. The spa is set in an Art Nouveau hotel, which houses 13 pools with spring water and one large outdoor pool. More information about entrance fees can be found here.

If you prefer a more intimate spa, Lukacs Spa is another popular option. You can find them in Buda near Margaret Island. This spa is also part of Budapest Tourist Card.

6. Buda Castle

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 Museum of Art with works by Hungarian and European artists. Buda Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the historic part of Buda.

Buda Castle Budapest

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. Good views also await you to the west.

Buda Castle Budapest view

The walls can be reached directly from the castle or through the Várkert Bazár Royal Gardens. Entrance to the castle walls is free, as well as to the castle complex. You only pay for admission to the individual museums.

Várkert Bazár Budapest

Cableway to Castle hill

Buda Hill with Buda Castle can be reached on foot in about 15 minutes from Clark Adám tér or by cable car from the square of the same name. A return ticket costs HUF 4000 for an adult and HUF 2000 for children aged 3-14.

Buda cable car

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).

Hotels Budapest 😴

ubytování budapešť
Impulso Fashion Hotel

Amazing hotel with great value for money

ubytování budapešť
Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel

Modern hotel near the centre, excellent breakfast

7. 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

Some have compared it to the Tower Bridge in London. We like the green Freedom Bridge in Budapest a bit better, but the Chain Bridge is definitely worth seeing as well.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

8. Memorial “Shoes on the bank of the Danube”

The memorial “Shoes on the banks of the Danube” is a tribute to the 20 000 Jews who were killed during the Second World War. Before their execution, they were ordered to take off their shoes.

The site is freely accessible on the way from the Chain Bridge to the Parliament.

Shoes on the Danube Budapest

9. Parliament – things to do in Budapest

The Parliament in Budapest (Országház) is an imposing neo-Gothic building on the banks of the Danube, which is also one of the oldest government buildings in Europe.

The highest point of the Parliament is the Neo-Renaissance dome, which 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 reached by the Parliament and the Basilica of St. Stephen, which will be mentioned later.

Budapest Parliament

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.

There is a small park with a spacious square, benches and an artificial lake next to the Parliament. The interior of the parliament is ornate and decorative with gold details.

Admission and opening hours of the Parliament in Budapest

Parliament is open daily from 8:00-16:00.

Admission is as follows:

  • Admission for EEA citizens: full admission 6000 HUF, children and students 6-24 years 3000 HUF and children under 6 years of age are free.
  • Admission for non-EEA citizens: full admission 12,000 HUF, children and students aged 6-24 6,000 HUF, and children under 6 are free.

Tickets is good to book in advance. It can sell out weeks in advance. The tour takes less than an hour. You can choose between a guided tour or an audio guide, which is available in many languages.

Practical information: the Visitors’ Centre can be found on the north side of the Parliament from the side. There are free toilets and wifi.

parliament budapest

10. Basilica of St. Stephen

Not far from the Parliament is St. Stephen’s Basilica, together with the Parliament the tallest building in Budapest. St Stephen’s Basilica (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, including Christmas markets.

St. Stephen's Basilica Budapest / things to do in Budapest

Admission and opening hours of St. Stephen’s Basilica

Admission to St Stephen’s Basilica varies depending on what you plan to visit:

  • Full admission to the church only is 2300 HUF and an additional 4300 HUF for the view from the terrace and the jewels, or 6000 HUF for a combined ticket
  • For children over 6 years of age, students and seniors over 65 years of age a reduced admission fee of 1,700 HUF and 3,400 HUF for the terrace and jewels, or 4,800 HUF for a combined ticket
  • Free admission for children under 6 years of age and persons with disabilities including 1 accompanying person. For more information on admission fees , click here.

The church is open the following times: Monday 9:00-16:30, Tuesday to Saturday 9:00-17:45, Sunday 13:00-17:45. The panoramic terrace is open daily from 09:00-19:00.

Tickets for the most popular activities in Budapest:

11. Andrássy Avenue

Andrássy Avenue (Andrássy út) is the most important avenue in Budapest. It’s Budapest’s Champs-Élysées, lined with historic buildings and home to the State Opera and luxury boutiques.

The historic M1 metro line runs underground through Andrássy Avenue.

Andrássy Avenue Budapest

12. Heroes’ Square

The terminus of Andrássy Avenue is Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere), dominated by 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

13. Városliget Park – things to do in Budapest

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.

Városliget Park Budapest

On the right side of the park stands Vahsdahunyad Castle, which was originally built of cardboard and wood. Later 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).

Vahsdahunyad Castle Budapest

Városliget Park has walking trails, a Japanese garden, cafés, a zoo and the Széchenyi Baths.

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Hotel Medos

Popular hotel with excellent accessibility

ubytování budapešť

Self-catering apartments to code

14. Elizabeth Square

Elisabeth Square (Erzsébet tér) is at the beginning of Andrássy Avenue, a short walk from St Stephen’s Basilica. You will probably pass through here several times during your visit to Budapest.

Budapest Eye Erzsébet tér

You can recognize Elizabeth Square from afar thanks to the Ferris wheel that peeks above the surrounding houses. There are refreshment stands in the square, around which benches with tables are scattered, where you can eat your food.

Nearby Elizabeth Square is the popular Vörösmarty tér, from which Váci u Street leads. It is an important shopping avenue in Budapest. In addition, there are plenty of places to eat in the surrounding area.

Váci near Budapest

15. Central Market – things to do in Budapest

Would you like to take home a souvenir from Budapest in the form of spices, peppers or sausages? Stop at the central market (Nagy Vásárcsarnok). It’s housed in a beautiful building, where on two floors there are various stalls with food, fruit, vegetables, sausages, souvenirs, crocheted tablecloths… everything you can think of in connection with Hungary.

Central Market Hall Budapest

The market is open daily except Sunday at the following times: Tuesday to Friday 6:00-18:00, Saturday 6:00-15:00 and Monday 6:00-17:00.

On the ground floor you can buy groceries at Aldi.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

16. Museum of Terror (Terror House)

Hungary is known for the brutality of its leaders during the Nazi and Soviet regimes. Everything is documented in 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 4000 HUF (reduced 2000 HUF).

17. 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. Enjoy the thermal baths with water features and water slides, children’s playgrounds, a musical fountain, walks, a tour of the monastery ruins and medieval ruins, a Japanese garden, bars and refreshments.

Read: Itinerary for 1 day in Budapest

Margaret Island Fountain Budapest

Statues in Budapest

Statues and sculptures are literally on every corner in Budapest. They are interesting 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’s Basilica.

19. Great Synagogue and Jewish Quarter

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 in the Moorish-Spanish style and can accommodate nearly 2,700 worshippers.

Behind the synagogue is the Holocaust Memorial.

Budapest Great Synagogue

Full admission to the Great Synagogue is HUF 10,800, reduced admission for students is HUF 8,600 and reduced admission for children 6-12 is HUF 4,000. Opening hours vary by season.

The Great Synagogue is the focal point of the Jewish Quarter, which is full of history, authentic atmosphere and great businesses. It is one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Budapest.

☞ Get inspired by the itinerary for Budapest for 2 days.

20. Ruin bars in Budapest (Szimpla Kert and others)

There are several ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter. It’s one of the most local things you can try in Budapest. Formerly abandoned buildings that have been transformed into popular social venues with distinctive decorations.

The pioneer of ruin bars in Budapest was Szimpla Kert, who is still incredibly popular today. A place with an unmistakable atmosphere, where you can go for good food and drink, live music and there are also farmers’ markets. If you don’t like crowds, stop by in the early evening around 6 pm. Later on, it’s really crowded.

If you prefer restaurants, check out Mazel Tov. From the outside it looks unassuming, but inside it is a stylish ruin restaurant with great cooking. It may be huge inside, but it’s still worth making a reservation in advance.

All locations are marked on the map.

21. Food trucks and snack bars

Budapest has as many great restaurants, bars and cafes as any city in Europe. You rarely step wrong. In addition, the prices are often very reasonable, the ambience stylish and authentic.

One of the typical things to visit in Budapest are the courtyards or alleys with food trucks and snack bars. Places where you can sit under the open sky and try dishes from different parts of the world.

Karaván is a place with street stalls and outdoor seating where you can have burgers, langos, or even just something good to drink. They are open daily until midnight.

Karaván Budapest

We visited Gozsda udvar several years ago on our first visit to Budapest. And it wasn’t worth much at the time. Since then, however, much has changed and today you can enjoy a delicious meal in a relaxed and stylish environment.

22. Budapest 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.

Advantageous holiday packages in Budapest.

23. 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 budapest

Memento Park is located on the outskirts of Budapest. From the centre you can get here in about half an hour – there are several buses and the bus stop is right next to the park.

Admission is 3000 HUF, 1800 HUF for students and 1200 HUF for children 6-14 years old. It is open daily 10:00-17:00 and on weekends until 18:00 (off-season 10:00-16:00).

Where to stay in Budapest?

Hotels Budapest 😴

ubytování budapešť
Impulso Fashion Hotel

Amazing hotel with great value for money

ubytování budapešť
Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel

Modern hotel near the centre, excellent breakfast

Best things to do in Budapest – map

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 booking resources for visiting Budapest

Via Booking.com
we search for all accommodation. It is the largest accommodation portal in the world and you will find everything from modern hotels, cosy guesthouses to seaside villas.

Get Your Guide is a huge booking system for buying tickets, guided tours and all sorts of activities. In one place you can read other travellers’ experiences and book tickets to the Vatican Museums, a cruise on the Danube or a desert safari in Dubai.

These were our tips on things to do in Budapest. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Budapest

BUDAPEST: Get inspired by this itinerary for 1 day in Budapest. Or do you have more time? Here is the itinerary for Budapest for 2 days. Check out our detailed guide to Budapest and tips on the best hotels to stay in Budapest.

HUNGARY: Get inspired by the best things to do in Hungary. Hungary is famous for its thermal baths – this is a list of the best thermal baths in Hungary.

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: Here’s a list of the best things to do 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 the best things to do in Berlin.

☞ Get inspiration on where to travel in our destination guide.

Summary: Things to do in Budapest

What sights to visit in Budapest?

Budapest is a beautiful city that harbours many wonderful sights and attractions. Start your day at the Fisherman’s Bastion, with the morning rays reflecting off the white-glowing facade. Enjoy the view of the colourful roof of St. Matthias Cathedral or the view from the terrace of St. Stephen’s Basilica. Buda Castle is a beautiful, large complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical value. Don’t miss the magnificent Parliament, a ride on the historic metro or a cruise on the Danube.

Is a cruise on the Danube worth it?

Yes, Budapest is definitely made for boating. The Danube is lined with the most beautiful places in Budapest, including Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Parliament. All of them are also beautifully illuminated in the evening.

What unusual places are worth visiting in Budapest?

Budapest has one of the most extensive undergrounds, which you can visit with a guide. Helmet and clothing can be rented on site.
Don’t miss a visit to one of the ruins of the bar. These are formerly abandoned buildings in the Jewish Quarter that later became a popular social venue with quirky decor where you can eat, drink and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

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