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

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Hungary, a country with deep historical roots and rich culture, is home to thermal springs, picturesque vineyards and delicious cuisine with the intoxicating aroma of paprika. Check out our tips for things to do in Hungary.

We’ve also prepared an interactive map with places not to be missed in Hungary.

Things to do in Hungary: Best places to visit

Explore Hungary’s varied places with us – from the majestic buildings of Budapest to picturesque villages in a landscape that changes with the seasons. Try traditional dances at folklore festivals or enjoy moments of tranquillity in spa towns.

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

1. Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a beautiful city stretching along the Danube River. It will amaze you with its monuments, which are among the most beautiful in Europe.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

Enjoy the sunrise at the Fisherman’s Bastion, with the warm morning sun reflecting off the white-gloss facade, or stroll along the waterfront, which is lined by the imposing Parliament building.

Head to the Jewish Quarter to get a real feel for the atmosphere and try traditional Hungarian cuisine, which is great in Budapest. After a day of sightseeing, you can relax at the local spa – Széchenyi Spa and Gellért Spa are among the most visited spas in Hungary.

Learn more: Get inspired by the things to do in Budapest or check out our itinerary for 2 days in Budapest. Are you planning just a short trip to Budapest? Here is the itinerary for 1 day in Budapest including a map.

Hotels in Budapest 😴

Hotel Medos

Cosy and clean hotel with excellent accessibility

T62 hotel

Modern and stylish accommodation in the centre

2. Thermal baths

Thermal baths in Hungary are renowned. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or fun in the water park, you’ll find something to suit you here.

Most of the larger spas include several indoor and outdoor pools including adventure pools, wellness services, spa treatments and refreshments.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

thermals hungary

The most famous and largest thermal baths in Hungary are:

  • Sárvár Thermal Spa
  • Bük Thermal Spa
  • Zalakaros thermal baths

The Miškovec Thermal Spa is unique for its location in natural caves. Moson is popular because of its proximity, as is Györ.

☞ You can read more about thermals in Hungary in a separate article (including photos and practical information).

Hotels in thermals 😴

Park Inn by Radisson – Sárvár

Direct access to the spa and all-inclusive price

Hotel Danubius – Bük

Perfect for families with children incl. All-inclusive

thermal baths mishkovec hungary

3. Balaton – things to do n Hungary

Often called the “Hungarian Sea”, Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe. It is the main holiday destination in Hungary, especially for those who seek warm and shallow waters.

balaton things to do in hungary

The North Bank is famous for its wine-growing areas, historic towns and hilly countryside – an ideal place for hiking and wine tasting.

One of the most beautiful places around Balaton is the peninsula with the town of Tihany, where you will find lavender fields, a beautiful abbey and a landscaped waterfront. Don’t miss the beautiful promenade with the spa in Balatonfüred.

Balatonfüred Balaton

There is a ferry from the harbour every few minutes to the other side of the lake to Szántód – you can be transported separately or with a car, the ferry costs a few crowns.

The south coast of Balaton is characterised by lively beaches and family-friendly resorts such as Siófok. One of the best attractions in Siofok is the water tower, which offers beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding area.

siófok water tower balaton

You won’t be bored at the Balaton. There are several well-kept beaches, you can go boating or visit one of the smaller lookout towers, of which there are several in the area.

4. Keszthely

Keszthely is a picturesque town at the western end of Lake Balaton. The rich history and culture is reflected in the local architecture. The jewel of the city is the Festetics Palace, a magnificent Baroque palace that is a testament to the region’s aristocratic past.

The palace is sumptuous, with magnificent interiors and a historic library. Landscaped gardens with ponds, fountains and lots of flowers and greenery are all around. You can walk around for hours and still have something to discover. The park is really big and everything is well maintained.

Festetics Palace Balaton

Festetics Palace is easily accessible from the city centre. Visit the official website for up-to-date information on entrance fees and opening hours. You can explore the interiors on your own, or guided tours are also available.

Wander the alleyways around Fő tér Square, grab a traditional dessert at Tulipán Kávéház and enjoy the tranquillity of the harbour with its public beach, plenty of flowers and views from the landscaped pier.


5. Thermal lake Heviz

Discover the world’s second largest thermal lake in Hévíz near Balaton, with temperatures ranging from 24 °C to 37 °C depending on the season. This makes it suitable for bathing all year round, even in winter.

The lake is dotted with water lilies, surrounded by green forests and hiking trails – an ideal place for a few days of relaxation. Interestingly, the water in the lake is renewed by a natural process every 72 hours.

heviz Hungary

And where to eat in Heviz? For good pizza you can go to La Montanara and for delicious Hungarian cuisine with live music you can go to Magyar Csárda or Teri mama vendéglője.

In Heviz there is NaturMed Hotel Carbona which has been awarded as the best wellness hotel in Hungary. It offers extensive thermal and experience baths and half-board or full-board options. Children under 6 years stay free of charge.

Even closer to the thermal lake there is a pleasant hotel Ensana Thermal Aqua . The hotel provides perfect facilities with a spacious spa and excellent all-inclusive. This is a place you will love to come back to in the future.

Hotels in thermals 😴

NaturMed hotel Carbona

Private wellness and half board/full board

Ensana Thermal Aqua

All-inclusive and private wellness

6. Esterházy Palace

The Esterházy Palace (Esterházy-kastély) is an imposing building with magnificent gardens, often called the “Hungarian Versailles” due to its grandeur. Upon arrival, you will be amazed by its Baroque architecture from the 18th century with elements of Rococo and Classicism.

Esterházy Palace Hungary

The palace complex is large and includes several buildings, beautifully landscaped gardens and ornate fountains. Its interior is equally impressive, with rich decoration, frescoes and an extensive collection of period art and furniture. The main attractions of the palace include the Marionette Theatre, the Music Hall and the Banquet Hall, which are decorated with intricate details and historical artifacts.

In recent years, the Esterházy Palace has undergone extensive reconstruction and there is much to see.

Esterházy Palace Hungary

The palace is located in the village of Fertőd near the Austrian border. If you are going to the Bük Thermal Spa, you can stop here on the way.

The best time to visit is from spring to early autumn, when everything blooms beautifully. Here you will find up-to-date information on opening times and admission fees.

7. Sopron – things to do in Hungary

Known as the “City of Loyalty”, Sopron boasts a beautifully preserved medieval old town, where Gothic and Baroque buildings rise in narrow, winding streets.

The city’s iconic Firewatch tower with its distinctive double spiral staircase provides a spectacular view of the city.

sopron tower hungary

Sopron is located just a short distance from the Austrian border, not far from the Esterházy Palace.

8. Eger

Eger, located in the northern part of Hungary, is a city where there is something for everyone. The dominant feature of the town is Eger Castle, a historic fortress that played a key role in the siege by the Ottoman Empire in 1552. Below the castle is the historic core with Baroque buildings and the neoclassical Eger Basilica.


The town is famous for its thermal baths, which are located a short walk from the centre. They also include a Turkish bath. Compared to other thermal spas in Hungary they are rather smaller, especially in winter, when almost the entire outdoor area is closed.

In about an hour, you can take a pleasant walk from the city (there is also a train) to the Szépasszony Valley (Valley of the Beautiful Woman), which is dotted with wine cellars and great restaurants. It’s a bit touristy, but if you want to taste the local red wine “Bull’s Blood” (Egri Bikavér) and Hungarian cuisine, this is the perfect place.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

9. Saliris Resort and Salt Hill

If you’re looking for a really good spa with a great view, check out Saliris Resort near Eger. It draws thermal water from a depth of 410 metres, with a surface temperature of 65-68 °C.

It offers a wide range of spa and wellness facilities, including many indoor and outdoor pools of different temperatures, saunas, steam baths and a range of medical and beauty treatments.

saliris resort thermals hungary

The Saliris Resort is unique because of the Salt Hill, a white limestone formation that was formed over thousands of years by the deposition of minerals from flowing thermal water. It creates cascading pools and is a spectacular sight right from the spa.

thermals Hungary salt hill

This Salt Hill is accessible to everyone – if you are not staying, you have to walk up the top of the natural monument.

☞ Here you will find more information about the Saliris Resort.

thermals Hungary salt hill

10. Hollókő – things to do in Hungary

Hollókő is an absolutely unique place in northern Hungary, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village is famous for its well-preserved folk architecture and traditions from the Palóc period.

The village, which was rebuilt in its original style after a fire in the early 20th century, is made up of charming traditional houses with white walls, wooden balconies and thatched roofs, offering a glimpse into the past of the Hungarian countryside.

Hollókő things to in Hungary

The locals wear traditional Palocian costumes and practice old crafts and customs. The main attractions include the open-air ethnographic museum, which presents traditional farming methods and rural life, and the ruins of the medieval castle Hollókői Vár, which towers over the village and offers a magnificent view of the Cserhát hills.

Hollókő things to in Hungary

Paid parking is located on the edge of the village. From here, you can easily reach the village, the castle ruins and the surrounding viewpoints.

11. Esztergom Basilica

The Esztergom Basilica is one of the most beautiful monuments in Hungary. A magnificent, monumental building that takes your breath away with its vastness. It is the largest church in Hungary and the seat of the Catholic Church in the country.

Basilica of Esztergom Hungary

Esztergom Basilica is located in the village of Ostřihom in northern Hungary. From the dome you have a great view of Slovakia – just cross the bridge over the Danube and you are in Štúrovo, so you can combine both places in one trip.

Basilica of Esztergom Hungary

You can peek into the basilica for free. You pay to enter the dome, the crypt and the treasury, where you can see the extensive collection of Hungary’s religious heritage. The entrance fee is low. More information can be found on the official website.

12. Visegrad Citadel

The Visegrád Citadel (Visegrádi fellegvár) is a historic fortress from the mid-13th century, which rises high on a hill above the Danube. It will take you through Hungarian history and offer spectacular views.

The fortress was originally built for defensive purposes, but later became a royal residence due to the strategic and political importance of Visegrád in medieval Hungary.

Fortress Visegrádi Hungary

Its sturdy walls and several buildings have been preserved, where various cultural events and historical reconstructions take place throughout the year.

For more information on admission and opening times, please visit this link. There is a small paid parking lot just below the castle (payment in forints only).

Tip: Just below the fortress is the excellent Reneszánsz restaurant with a true Renaissance atmosphere and excellent cuisine.

13. Szentendre

The charming town of Szentendre blends the influences of Serbian, Dalmatian and Greek settlers, which are reflected in its architecture and history. The cobbled streets, baroque buildings, colourful houses and numerous galleries invite you to wander through the historic centre, which has made Szentendre an artistic village.

Szentendre Hungary

Stop by the Marzipan Museum to see a sweet version of Budapest’s Parliament and other attractions related to Hungary’s history and culture. Just outside Szentendre is an open-air museum representing traditional Hungarian architecture and life.

Szentendre Hungary

Szentendre stretches along the Danube. It has a beautifully landscaped promenade with a marina. If your base is Budapest, you can hop on a boat and enjoy a scenic cruise to Szentendre. Even with the cruise you will enjoy a nice day trip to the Hungarian countryside. It takes half an hour by car to get here from Budapest.

14. Bory-vár

Bory Castle (Bory-vár) is probably the most romantic story for the construction of a castle. Unlike traditional medieval castles, Bory-vár was built in the 20th century by a single man – sculptor and architect Jen Bory. He built it over 40 years as an expression of his love for his wife.

The castle is a fusion of different architectural styles, including Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance, so it can look almost eclectic. But everything fits together and forms a wonderful compact whole with towers, courtyards and studios. The chateau is surrounded by landscaped gardens that burst with colour in summer.

Bory-vár Hungary

Bory-vár Castle is open all year round, only in winter the opening hours are shortened to take into account the setting sun. On the official website you will find up-to-date information on admission fees and opening hours. Free parking is available at the castle.

15. Székesfehérvár

When visiting Bory-vár, you cannot miss a walk through the historic centre of Székesfehérvár.

Székesfehérvár, often referred to as the “City of Kings”, is a city rich in history and culture. It is located in central Hungary. In the past it was the place of coronations and burials of Hungarian rulers, so it played a key role in the medieval history of the country.

The city’s rich heritage is evident in its architecture, from the ruins of the ancient Coronation Basilica to the Baroque buildings that line its historic centre.

Székesfehérvár Hungary

The heart of the city is Országalma, an unusual red marble fountain with statues of lions. From here, the cobbled streets branch off, taking you past beautiful buildings, charming corners and interesting sculptures.

While you’re here, don’t miss the climb up the Bence-hegyi Kilátó tower. It impresses from the outside with its unusual appearance and offers spectacular views of the nearby Lake Venice and the surrounding area. You can park just below the tower. Admission is 500 HUF per person, under 5 years free.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

16. Pécs – the most beautiful cities in Hungary

Pécs is one of the most beautiful cities in Hungary. As you walk through the streets, you may be surprised at how many monuments there are. From the 10th-century cathedral, with its golden interiors, to Széchenyi tér Square, with the Pasha Qasim Mosque symbolising the Ottoman past.

pecs cathedral hungary

Pécs is famous for its Zsolay ceramics, which can be seen in the local museum. The history of the town dates back to Roman times, as evidenced by the well-preserved ancient Christian tombs, which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are accessible at the Cella Septichora visitor centre near the cathedral.

The city is also home to one of the oldest universities in Hungary. The city is full of students and has a lively and youthful spirit.

pecs cathedral hungary

If you want to stop for a meal in Pesce, here are some tips:

  • Bohemia Sörkonyha – excellent food and a great selection of beers
  • Balkán BisztróBalkan cuisine in a cosy atmosphere

On the outskirts of the town there is a nice, smaller zoo and aquarium.

17. Television tower

Pécs is surrounded by the rounded hills and dense forests of the Mecsek Mountains, which here and there offer a beautiful viewpoint or a stone lookout tower. The most famous is the TV Tower (Tv-torony), which you can see from afar as it rises above the city.

pecs tv tower hungary

From the tower you can enjoy a magnificent view of Pécs and the surrounding forests. The tower is open until the evening hours, so you can enjoy the view of the beautifully lit surroundings. Despite the fact that the Mecsek Mountains reach a height of only 600 metres, it is a beautiful spectacle. Hungary doesn’t have big mountain ranges, so views like this are not that common.

Here you will find more information about the admission and opening hours of the Television Tower. The parking lot is located just below the tower. An elevator will take you to the viewpoint.

18. Segedin

We move to the south of the country, where the city of Szeged, also known as Szeged, is located. One of the most vibrant and culturally rich cities in Hungary, famous for its sunny climate and impressive architecture.

The dominant feature of the city is the Votive Church (Szegedi Dóm), a monumental red brick neo-Romanesque cathedral that impresses from the outside. But you’ll see the best inside. Don’t miss the view from the tower, from which you can see the whole city and its surroundings.

For more information on opening hours, see here.

segedin hungary

Take a stroll through the historic centre between Dugonics tér and Széchenyi tér, or visit the Art Nouveau Reök Palace, home to an art museum set in magnificent surroundings.

There is a lot to see in Segedin, including the New Synagogue (Új Zsinagóga) and the Water Tower. You can easily spend a day or two here, enjoying the youthful atmosphere of the city and the great cuisine.

segedin hungary

Here are some tips on where to eat:

  • CIRMI – delicious food in a stylish setting near the Votive Church
  • Régi Híd – traditional Hungarian cuisine in design spaces
  • Maláta – great selection of beer, delicious food and great outdoor seating with the right atmosphere
  • Classic Grill – Serbian and Hungarian cuisine in one place

You can also find all the tips in the map at the end of the article.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

19. Bükk National Park

Bükk National Park (Bükki Nemzeti Park) is one of the largest national parks in Hungary. Here you will find dense forests, limestone formations and hiking and cycling trails of varying difficulty, from gentle meadows to steep rocky cliffs.

Bükk National Park Hungary

Visit the Palota Hotel, which is surrounded by several attractions – the largest waterfall in Hungary, the Hanging Gardens, a lake with boating and a cable car with beautiful views.

things to do in Hungary

On the other side of the park, you can climb the wooden Millenniumi Kilátó lookout tower and enjoy the view of the wooded hills. Or walk along the Szalajka River valley to the cascading waterfalls and lake. There is also a tourist train, toilets and refreshments.

If you like fish, go for smoked trout at Sáfrána Pisztráng on the way (see map for exact location).

20. Debrecen – things to do in Hungary

Debrecen, often referred to as the “Eastern Capital” of Hungary, is the second largest city in the country.

Historically, Debrecen played a key role during the Hungarian Revolution and the War of Independence in the 19th century. This legacy is reflected in its architecture, for example in the Great Reformed Church, which is a symbol of the city’s Protestant history.

Visit the Déri Museum, which houses a wide range of historical and art collections, including the famous “Christ Trilogy” by Mihály Munkácsy.

Debrecen Hungary

Debrecen is surrounded by the nature of the Hortobágy National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a European steppe (“puszta”) that once covered a large part of the continent. Today it is the largest continuous natural grassland in Europe, covering an area of more than 800 km2.

A wide variety of plants and animals live here, including an important bird population. Hortobágy is famous for preserving the traditional Hungarian pastoral culture and using centuries-old farming practices. Here you will see Hungarian grey cattle, water buffaloes and sheep of the Racka breed grazing.

Hortobágy National Park Hungary

21. Megyer-hegyi Tengerszem

In the north-east of Hungary you will find a hidden gem known as Megyer-hegyi Tengerszem. It is a picturesque lake set in a former limestone quarry with crystal clear water surrounded by steep rock walls.

Megyer-hegyi Tengerszem

The site is accessible free of charge along the forest path – the trails around the quarry provide beautiful views. If you climb a little higher, you can enjoy the view into the distance from the Megyer-hegyi Kilátó tower. It is freely accessible. Free parking is available about 25 minutes from the quarry.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

22. Tokaj

Tokaj is renowned worldwide for its excellent wines, especially the legendary Tokaj Aszú, which bears the name “wine of kings, king of wines”. This historic wine-growing region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies at the confluence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers.

Tokaj Hungary

Enjoy a tasting in the picturesque wine cellars and sample the local cuisine. Or climb up to the statue of Jesus Christ above the village of Tarcal, which is surrounded by lavender and overlooks the vine-covered hills of Tokaj.

Best things to do in Hungary – map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with tips on things to do in Hungary. 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 guide with tips on best places to visit in Hungary. 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 Hungary

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.

More information about Hungary

BUDAPEST: Get inspired by the things to do in Budapest or check out our itinerary for 2 days in Budapest. Are you only planning a short trip to Budapest? Here is the itinerary for 1 day in Budapest including a map.

THERMALS: Check out the best thermal baths in Hungary (including photos and practical information).

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