Popular for its thermal baths and river boats, Budapest is a perfect destination for the summer. This beautiful city has plenty of green spaces where you can relax, hills you can climb onto, and bars with live music and outdoor terraces.
Whether you’re traveling solo, with friends or family, there’re plenty of things you can do in Budapest during the summer.
#1 Climb on top of the Gellért Hill
If you’re looking for a full panoramic view of beautiful Budapest, Gellért Hill is the best place to admire the city. You can watch the sunset from the Citadella—a giant fortress built by the Hapsburgs after the War of Independence in 1948. Discover the collection of Red Army weaponry and marvel at the Liberty Statue. The statue commemorates those who gave their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary.
#2 Discover Margaret Island
Located in the middle of the Danube river, Margaret Island is covered mostly with parks and is the ideal place to relax outdoors. From Hungary’s biggest music fountain to a peaceful Japanese garden and a few historical landmarks, you’ll have plenty of treasures to discover on the island. If you’re a jogging fan, you can also try the thoughtfully designed running truck. You can reach it via two bridges or on a river cruise.
#3 Take a river cruise on the Danube
Riverboats are not only a popular means of transport in Budapest, but also a great opportunity to explore the city from the Danube. Marvel at the city’s most famous landmarks—such as the Hungarian Parliament and the Palace of the Arts—while enjoying a nice dinner on the cruise ship. Feel the breeze brush your face while you’re listening to live music on the boat. There are plenty of cruise offers—from budget ones (starting from €9) to fancier options.
#4 Relax in the thermal baths
Budapest is known as the “City of Spas” for a reason—it has more thermal water than any other capital in the world. The most famous ones are the Gellért Baths, right in the heart of Budapest. They include saunas, thermal pools and even medical massages and mud treatments. The spa’s Art Nouveau design and mosaic will take you to another time and place. The outside wave pool is the oldest one of its kind in the world and opens only from May to September.
#5 Hang out in the park
Do you feel the rush to be active outdoors during the summer? Or are you in the mood for a chill picnic? Then you should definitely visit Budapest’s parks. The City Park offers you plenty of sports courts and public gym facilities. Perfect for a morning work-out! Here you’ll also find the Vajdahunyad Castle, which will make you feel part of a fairy tale. The main entrance of the park is Hero’s Square.
#6 Embrace the Baroque architecture at Buda Castle
The Buda Castle, situated on top of the Castle Hill, is one of Budapest’s most magnificent landmarks. You can reach it through the many hiking routes or via the popular Buda Hill Funicular. It’s linked to the marvelous Széchenyi Chain Bridge and surrounded by the Várnegyed Castle Quartier. Stroll through the quarter and wonder at the medieval, Baroque and Neoclassical houses and monuments. The entire area is part of Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#7 Meet exotic animals at the zoo
Are you traveling to Budapest with kids? They’ll enjoy visiting Budapest Zoo, one of the oldest in the world. The zoo is home to around 1000 species, including exotic mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes. Its buildings are beautiful works of art, with the most popular one being the Elephant House. You’ll be fascinated to find out that the zoo offers some special experiences too, such as feeding displays and a petting zoo. What are you still waiting for?
#8 Party at an urban beach
Still wondering what to do in Budapest in summer? Is there a more preferred summer activity than sunbathing on the beach? Despite not having a seaside, Budapest treasures some nice urban beaches where you can have a great time. PONTOON provides you not only with the best location—right at the north pillar of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge—but also with the most amazing music program. PONTOON organizes events regularly, such as acoustic and DJ sets and parties. Try also a fröccs, the most popular Hungarian drink during the summer.
#9 A night out in the Ruin bars
Ruin bars are a unique bar concept, born in the 2000s in Budapest. Their name comes from the fact that the locals who brought their own furniture from home created the bars in old, abandoned buildings. The Ruin bars are known for their Bohemian aesthetic and are a beloved meeting point for locals and tourists. Visit them to have a drink, enjoy live music or dance to a DJ. Many of the bars have their own unique theme. It’s only up to you to discover them!