Top 10 things to do in Budapest, Hungary

Are looking for some ideas on how to spend your time in Budapest? Or maybe you want to plan your city break? This time I would like to tell you about the best 10 things to do in Budapest. Check also the previous blog post about a weekend in Budapest: you will find some information there about things to see, local specialties to try and a list of souvenirs to bring back home.

1. Travel back in time with a cup of coffee.

The city has many nice cafes, including historical coffee houses where you can soak up the atmosphere of ‘the old Budapest’. The most famous one is New York Café which was a home for writers and poets of the 20th century. Legend says that writer Ferenc Molnár wanted the café to stay open day and night so he threw its key into the Danube.

Coffe in Komediaz Kafehaz - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Komediaz Kafehaz, an atmospheric and uncrowded café in Budapest

Ruszwurm, the oldest cafe in Budapest, was the most favorite one of Elizabeth ‘Sisi’, Austrian Empress and Queen of Hungary, who even sent couriers there to take cakes for her breakfast. Another great coffee house is Café Gerbeaud famous for its delicious cakes and ice creams.

Komedias-Kafehaz-Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Komediaz Kafehaz, a nice café which is a hidden gem of Budapest


A charming street on the Buda Castle Hill, Budapest

Centrál Café, Auguszt, Astoria and Művész are also worth visiting but I encourage you to walk around the streets of Budapest and find your own hidden gems. We have discovered Komédiás Kávéház just like that, really nice cafe located next to the Operetta Theater. If you like the atmosphere of Kleines Café in Vienna, you will love this place too! Don’t forget to try delicious Dobos torta and other Hungarian specialties: Krémes, Gesztenye püré, strudels, Eszterházy and Oroszkrém torta.

2. Take a walk along the Danube.

Whether it’s day or night you will enjoy the view of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the Chain Bridge from the Buda site, it’s totally amazing! The Danube Promenade on the Pest site is a perfect place to watch the sunsets although, don’t forget to take a look at the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial while walking there. Long walks are not for you? Catch the yellow tram number 2 or take a romantic cruise on the Danube.

Margaret Bridge in Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Margaret Bridge, one of the bridges connecting Buda and Pest

Yellow tram numer 2 in Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Instead of walking along the Danube, you can catch a tram number 2

3. Visit the Buda Castle Hill.

Take the Funicular railway from Chain Bridge up to the Castle Hill. Walk along the cobblestone streets of Várnegyed district, visit Buda Castle, Trinity Square, Matthias Church and enjoy the panorama of the city from Fishermen’s Bastion. If you have more time you can also visit the Hungarian National Gallery, Széchenyi National Library and  Budapest History Museum.

The Buda Castle Hill - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

The Buda Castle Hill, Budapest, Hungary

Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

St. Stephen Statue near the Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest

Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest

Quanit streets of Buda Castle District - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

One of the narrow pedestrian streets on the Buda Castle Hill, Budapest

4. Relax at one of the famous thermal baths.

Budapest is the only capital in the world with healing water flowing beneath its grounds. There are eleven thermal-heated baths in the city, six of which with a history dating back to hundreds of years. The largest one is the Széchenyi Bath with an outdoor pool where you can play chess in the water with the locals. The Gellért Baths with its Art Nouveau architecture and an outdoor wave-pool during the summer months is also a must-see. If you have more time, I suggest you to visit also other thermal baths: Rudas, Lukács, Király and the lesser-known Veli Bej.

5. Walk down Andrássy Avenue.

Andrássy Avenue is a boulevard full of stunning Art Nouveau style architecture and one of Budapest’s main shopping spots, with fine cafes, restaurants, theatres, Embassies, and luxury boutiques. You can start your walk at St. Stephen’s Basilica, then go to the Elizabeth Square, pass the Hungarian State Opera House and walk down the boulevard reaching the famous Heroes’ Square and the green area of the City Park where you can relax at the Széchenyi Bath, visit the Budapest Zoo or sightsee the extraordinary Vajdahunyad Castle.

The streets of Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

Flowers on the streets of Budapest


Budapest Operetta and Musical Theatre

After a long walk, you can take the yellow M1 underground right back to Elizabeth Square. This historical line is the oldest subway in continental Europe and it’s definitely another must-see attraction in Budapest.

6. Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building.

Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building: the symbol of Budapest and the largest building in Hungary. Tip: The one hour guided tours are free for EU citizens and 3 500 Ft (10 €) for the others, don’t forget to take your ID. Booking ahead by e-mail is strongly recommended.

Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

The Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest

7. Buy some souvenirs at the Central Market Hall.

Buy some souvenirs and try local food at the great 19th century Central Market Hall. The list of Hungarian specialties to try and things to bring back home you will find here.


Colorful cans of Hungarian paprika are one of the most popular souvenirs from Budapest

8. Visit Váci Utca, the most famous shopping street in Budapest.

Take a walk along and window shop on Váci Street, one of the world’s most attractive shopping streets lined with beautiful buildings, cafes and fashion stores. This great pedestrian zone stretches between the Central Market Hall and Vörösmarty Square. There is a lot of things to do and to see, but remember that the neighborhood is geared towards tourists, so the shops and cafes are a bit overpriced.

9. Watch the Musical Fountain on Margaret Island.

The Margaret Island provides a peaceful hideaway from hectic downtown Budapest with large green areas, flowery gardens, old trees, and lots of entertainment. One of the most well-known attractions of the island is the Musical Fountain. Tip: Watch the show at night when the plumes of water and water vapor are illuminated by alternating coloreds lights.


Margaret Island is a green oasis in the center of Budapest

Fountain show on Margaret Island, Budapest - 10 things to do in Budapest from travel blog:

The Musical Fountain on Margaret Island, Budapest

10. Climb up the Gellért Hill.

Gellért Hill rises steeply right from the Danube and is considered one of the most beautiful parts of the city. On the very top of the hill is the citadel from the 19th century which is used nowadays as a lookout terrace where you can enjoy the most stunning panoramic view of Budapest.

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  52 comments for “Top 10 things to do in Budapest, Hungary

  1. Jennifer Morrow
    June 8, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Gorgeous photos! I would have to start my day with the lovely coffee, it would be a shame not to. And so excited to see #3 has a funicular, they are so cool!!

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Coffee houses in Budapest are just magical! It’s a pity I haven’t got picture of Cafe New York, it looks absolutely stunning and sitting there with a cup of good coffee is an amazing experience.

  2. June 8, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Piękne zdjęcia, jak zawsze 🙂

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Dziękuję :). Mi bardzo podobał się Twój wpis o Budapeszcie.

      • June 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

        Dzięki 😀 Jeden z moich popularniejszych na blogu- zawsze dostaję e-maile odnośnie miejsc 😀

  3. June 8, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Coffee and thermal baths are among my favourite things in the world: once you add history and the beautiful architecture, I think you just described my ideal city 🙂

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Budapest is perfect idea for a city break, you can explore the city whole day but after relaxing in thermal baths you don’t feel tired anymore.

  4. Aditi Chauhan
    June 9, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Oh how I love Budapest & this post shows all my favourite things from there. The beautiful architecture, Danube, Bath-> oh brings back all my lovely memories of the place.

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:04 am

      Danube with its beautiful bridges is a real treasure of Budapest, I enjoyed walking there especially after sunset.

  5. June 10, 2016 at 6:00 am

    I had a trip to Budapest booked a couple of years back but then the airline went bankrupt and the trip got canceled. I was furious. The city is still on my list and your beautiful photos really make me want to try my luck again and travel to Hungary!

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

      What a pity! I would be furious too…

  6. Sheri
    June 10, 2016 at 10:23 am

    This is a city that I love so much because it does not get as much recognition as other cities in Europe. It is so beautiful and I have always enjoyed myself there.

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Oh yes, you are right. It’s not so crowded and walking the streets of Budapest is just a pleasure.

  7. Rashmi&Chalukya
    June 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Wow Budapest looks so beautiful with all those quaint buildings and cobblestone streets. Thermal baths, strolling along the Danube and the musical fountain sounds like a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • June 11, 2016 at 9:01 am

      There are many quaint cobblestone streets on Buda Castle Hill. Exploring this part of the city is an amazing experience.

  8. June 10, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Okya, so this city seems just amaz-ball. Meaning, there is so much to do and I had no idea. I really want to see the Musical Fountain on Margaret Island and also wander around this historic town! I mean, your photos gave me the envy to visit badly! x

    • June 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

      Talking about Margaret Island, there is even more to do than just watching the fountain. You can rent a bike, explore ancient ruins and relax on the swimming pool. It’s beautiful green area in the heart of the city.

  9. June 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Budapest looks really lovely, I’ve always wanted to go. Especially for the thermal baths!

    • June 11, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Oh yes, thermal baths are amazing! It’s nice to have some rest and relax after sightseeing the city.

  10. June 10, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Looks amazing! I have never thought to visit Budapest till now. Thanks

    • June 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Nice place and not as crowded as other European capital cities.

  11. June 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Ohhh I LOVE your photos! Budapest looks lovely, I really should go there for a long weekend one day.

    • June 11, 2016 at 8:54 am

      This city is definitely worth visiting!

  12. Tamshuk Saha
    June 10, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    This is such a well compiled list. You have provided a real good and convincing description of all the 10 things to do in this city. The pics too are really cool

    • June 11, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Thank you 🙂

  13. June 11, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Thank you 🙂

  14. June 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

    As much as you’ve inspired me to visit Budapest, you’ve also inspired my photography, your pictures are beautiful thank you so much for sharing these.

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Thank you. Taking pictures is my passion and it makes me happy so I’m really glad that you like it!

  15. Vyjay Rao
    June 12, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Have been planning for Budapest and Eastern Europe for some time to experience the charm of this region, your post has given us some excellent pointers that we shall definitely refer to, when planning our trip.

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Are you planning to visit Poland too?

  16. June 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Budapest looks like a magical city! I would love to visit Margaret Island and see the cafes. I’ve never been but I will definitely go in the next few years.

  17. June 13, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Music fountain!? That reminds me of a cool little indoor fountain in a shopping center that had a fountain with lights that went along with the music.

    I want to try a thermal bath! I hear they are magical!

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:24 pm

      There’s nothing better than relaxing in thermal bath after a long walk and admiring its beautiful architecture!

  18. Divya
    June 13, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Budapest packs so much is news to me! Very well complied.
    Thank you writing this.

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  19. Christine M Leger
    June 13, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I am heading there next winter! Thank you for the great tips, I haven’t seen a similar list yet

    • June 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      You are welcome. I’m sure you will spend a wonderful time there.

  20. Steven Kreimendahl
    June 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    I just visited Budapest a few months ago! I wish I had known about the Musical Fountain on the Margaret Island as it look like a fantastic!

    • June 14, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Maybe it’s a reason (and a perfect excuse) to some back there one day? I didn’t see everything I wanted too, hadn’t got so much time 🙁

  21. June 14, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Ohh Budapest is on my list of places to go before we move back to the US but I think we are running out of time. Looks beautiful!

    • June 14, 2016 at 8:41 pm

      Oh it’s a pity you haven’t got enough time :(. This place is magical!

    June 15, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    I really admire the details included here. I love quaint cafes myself and it seems like Budapest has plenty of them! And your photos! Soooo lovely!

    • July 21, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  23. Jessica Friend
    June 16, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Your post brings back so many memories. Tom and I visited here as our first holiday together 🙂

  24. June 17, 2016 at 6:46 am

    ja byłam na węgrach cudne, wspaniałe miasto:) do budapesztu na pewno też zajrzę:)

  25. z Alicją przez Wiedeń
    July 21, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Piekny post! Ciekawa jestem czy kawa w Budapeszcie smakuje tak samo dobrze jak w Wiedniu? A moze nawet lepiej? 🙂

    • July 21, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Mi smakowała chyba bardziej, może to zasługa tortu Dobosza, którego sobie zamówiłam do kawy… Pychota!

      • z Alicją przez Wiedeń
        July 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        Tort Dobosza? O rany, brzmi fantastycznie! 🙂 No to narobilas mi ochoty na wizyte w Budapeszcie… 🙂

        • July 26, 2016 at 8:19 am

          Po ostatniej wizycie w Budapeszcie stwierdziłam, że to mój ulubiony tort. Niby prosty przekładaniec z biszkoptu i czekolady z karmelową skorupką, ale mogłabym go jeść i jeść… Muszę spróbować kiedyś sama takie ciacho upiec.

  26. Mariana Fourie van Aswegen
    August 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    A great follow-up on the previous post.

  27. September 19, 2018 at 8:19 am

    This is really nice blog and your content is great. Having my cup of coffee and reading about lovely coffee houses, its amazing.