This post is also available in: German
Top 10 things to do in Budapest
Budapest is one of the most popular European cities among travelers. From sightseeing and exploring the city’s stunning architecture to relaxing in the thermal bath and tasting delicious Hungarian foods, Budapest has a lot to offer. With this quick guide you are provided with an excellent top 10 in Budapest. We are here help you make the most of your stay in this wonderful city!
1. Admire the view from the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica
Dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen, this beautiful basilica was built between 1851 and 1905 in Neo-Renaissance style. Make sure you visit both the interior of the church and the cupola from which you can enjoy a stunning view over the city. Our newly opened and beautiful hotel in the center of Budapest is very close to this stunning monument. It is a fantastic option for any traveler in this city looking for a base from which they can explore.
2. Relax at the Thermal Baths
You might have already heard of the wonderful baths in Budapest. There are over 100 springs under the city and the baths are great places to enjoy the benefits of the healing water. The most popular baths are Szécheny Baths in the City Park in Pest and Gellért Baths on the Buda side. Both baths have indoor and outdoor pools. You can also sign up for massages and other wellness services. Gellért Thermal Bath is also known for its beautiful Secessionist-style architecture with mosaics tiles and stained glass windows.
3. Get a taste of Hungarian cuisine
Exploring Hungarian cuisine has to be part of a top 10 in Budapest. If you want to taste many different foods in a short amount of time, you should definitely visit the Great Market Hall. It is located just a few steps from the MEININGER Budapest Great Market Hall. At this market, you’ll find dozens of vendors selling fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, fish and dairy products as well as artisan items and souvenirs. There are also food stands and small eateries to try some delicious traditional dishes.
4. Have a picnic on Margaret Island
Margaret Island is one of the best places in Budapest if you want to enjoy some quiet time while also staying close to the city center. On this beautiful island between Buda and Pest, you’ll find a small and intimate Japanese garden. You will also find a rose garden, a jogging track, an open-air bath, a theater, a hotel, ruins of a Dominican convent from the 13th century, a small pet zoo and lots of greenery. There is also a grandiose musical fountain on the southern end of the island. Here you can sit around and listen to classical and pop music music while enjoying the special water effects.
5. Take a walk in the Castle District
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Castle District is one of the most unique and beautiful neighborhoods in Budapest. Some of the buildings in this area are from the Middle Ages. Some others were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. To make the most of your time at the Castle District, you should take a walk on the cute cobblestone streets and on Tóth Árpád Promenade and enjoy some delicious cakes at the 200-year-old family owned Ruszwurm Confectionery. Also, visit Matthias Church, built in the 14th century, and check out the stunning view from Fisherman’s Bastion.
6. Sign up for a Danube Boat Tour
Taking a Danube boat tour is a truly unique experience, especially in the evening when all the bridges and the buildings on the river banks are illuminated. This includes the Parliament, the Academy of Science, the Pesti Vígadó, the Buda Castle and more. There are many different boat tours with wine tastings, dinners, parties, or cheaper ones that only include the boat ride.
7. Learn about Hungarian history at the House of Terror
Located on Andrássy Avenue in the former building of the Arrow Cross Party and the State Protection Authority, the House of Terror is a museum with exhibitions about the fascist and communist regimes in Hungary during the 20th century.
8. Explore Budapest’s Jewish District
Budapest’s Jewish District is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city. The historic sites, synagogues, street art, hip ruin bars and unique shops and galleries are amazing. It had to make our top 10 in Budapest. Make sure you also visit the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, and its small Jewish museum with exhibitions about Judaism and the Holocaust in Hungary.
9. Admire the beautiful mansions on Andrássy Avenue
Andrássy Avenue is a wide avenue with trees and grandiose mansions on both sides. The facades of these buildings feature beautiful statues and reliefs, while on the street level, you’ll find cafés, restaurants and stores of luxury brands. One of the most well-known buildings on Andrássy Avenue is the Hungarian State Opera House, and several major theaters are also located in this area. Andrássy Avenue will take you all the way to Heroes’ Square with the Museum of Fine Arts and the Kunsthalle on each side and with the statue complex featuring the Seven chieftains of the Magyars on the other end of the square.
10. Enjoy some shopping time on Váci utca
No top 10 in Budapest would be complete without a mention of the shopping. Váci utca stretches between Vörösmarty Square and the Great Market Hall, and it is the main shopping street in Budapest with fast fashion, souvenir and other stores as well as restaurants, cafés and bars. It’s also a pedestrian street, and since it’s centrally located, Váci utca is usually quite crowded with both locals and travelers.