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Top 5 things to do in Budapest

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Széchenyi Spa
1. Széchenyi Spa
For years, Budapest has been the wellness center of Europe. Bathhouses have flourished here ever since Roman times, and the lifestyle was refined after the conquest by the Turks. A relaxing day in this beautiful spa complex whisks you back in time among giant pillars and soothing pools, and puts you and your aching limbs in the largest medicinal bath in Europe!
Dohány Street Synagogue
2. Dohány Street Synagogue
Also known as The Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, Dohány Street Synagogue was built in 1859. It's located in Erzsébetváros, in Budapest's 7th district. The synagogue boasts elements of both Romantic and Moorish architecture and is also home to the Hungarian Jewish Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Room. This magnificent synagogue, seating 3,000 people, is the biggest in Europe and the second biggest in the world.
Szt. Lukács Thermal Bath and Pool
3. Szt. Lukács Thermal Bath and Pool
The Szt. Lukács Thermal Bath and Pool has a long history dating all the way back to the 12th century when knights of the order of Saint John, engaging in curing the sick, settled in the area of today's Lukács Bath. They were followed by the orders of Rhodos and Malta, who built their monastery’s baths. The bath operated through the time of the Turks but the energy of the springs were used primarily to produce gunpowder and for grinding wheat. In 1884, the bath was privately purchased and transformed into a spa hotel with up-to-date hydrotherapy and a modern swimming pool. Travellers would come from around the world looking for a cure, and would place marble tablets o­n the wall of the Bath's courtyard to express their gratitude of a successful treatment. While medicine has moved on, the baths still offer a regenerative experience and a perfect place to relax.
River Ride Budapest
4. River Ride Budapest
River Ride Budapest puts you on the land and the water in a fun sightseeing tour of Budapest's best attractions. Guests can take the bus to the station Széchenyi István tér and then walk a short distance to board.
Budapest Pinball Museum
5. Budapest Pinball Museum
Located in the heart of the city, Budapest Pinball Museum is a great escape from the usual tourist attractions. It has up to 150 playable pinball machines from the 1800s through to today.

Reasons to visit Budapest

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Budapest Pass

  1. Budapest: 2-Hour Danube Cruise
  2. Parliament & Tour Budapest
  3. Budapest City Audio Guide
From $71.34 $64.57

Popular exhibitions in Budapest

All things to do in Budapest

The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives are located on Dohány street in the heart of Budapest's Jewish quarter. The museum was finished in 1932, within the building complex of the Dohány Street Synagogue which itself was built in 1859.
4.6 (40)
From $20.37
The largest church in Hungary is a spectacular sight to behold. The neo-Classical St. Stephen’s Basilica is dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen and it's still home to his mummified right hand - the Szent Jobb (Holy Right Hand). How lovely. Visitors climbing to the cupola can see the whole of Budapest, and down to St. Stephen's Square, where people sip coffee on cafe terraces.
4.6 (23)
From $30.20
Pálinka Museum Budapest is an interactive museum on the history of the Hungarian fruit brandy, Pálinka. It is located close to both the Opera metro station and the Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út metro station.
4.5 (987)
From $10.41
The Hungarian Parliament is considered to be one of the most beautiful parliamentary buildings in the world, with almost 18,000 square meters of unprecedented majesty spread across four magnificent floors.
From $48.95
Memento Park is a themed park based on the communism era, located in Budapest, Hungary. It was created in 1993 as an open-air museum and is home to historical plaques, sculptures of Lenin, Marx, and Engels, a photo exhibition, and more.
3.5 (4)
From $7.64
Main door
The Kazinczy Street Synagogue has become the religious-cultural center of the Orthodox branch of Pest Jewry in Budapest, Hungary. From 1928, the mikveh (ritual bath) functioned in the building, up until the blood-thirsty 1940s (it was only reopened in 2004). The building was located in the area of the Pest ghetto between 1944 and 1945 and was damaged by World War II, when some of the equipment was destroyed. After 1945, the building complex was restored and the equipment was reconstructed.
From $9.37
Meaning "The Golden Taste" in Hungarian, Aranytíz Rólunk is a neo-Renaissance building located in Budapest. This venue hosts a variety of programs including theater performances, classical music concerts, exhibitions, dance, and fine art exhibitions to highlight the colorful culture and traditions of the Hungarian people.
4.6 (19)
From $33.33
Located on the west bank of the Danube, beneath Buda Castle lies the Hospital in the Rock. Built inside a ten kilometer-long natural cave system, this museum was a functioning wartime hospital and even a fallout bunker during the Cold War. Discover a unique part of the city and gain an insight into the turmoil Budapest was ravaged by, as lifelike waxworks and original machinery and furniture portray the hospital during a crisis.
5.0 (1)
From $88.52
up to —71%
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, commonly known as Budapest Airport, is the largest airport in Hungary. Named after the nation's most famous composer, Franz Liszt, it's located 16 kilometers from central Budapest.
5.0 (1)
From $10.41
Terror Haza, or House of Terror in English, is one of the best museums in Budapest. Detailing the painful histories of Communist and Fascist regimes in Hungary, the museum is home to powerful exhibits and memorials. House of Terror tickets allow visitors to experience the building's chillingly reconstructed cellars, where ordinary Hungarians who opposed the status quo were tortured and murdered. It's an unflinching look at the country's political atrocities, but also a reminder that Hungary's freedom fighters didn't die in vain.
From $93.73
The Church of the Assumption of the Buda Castle, more commonly known as Matthias Church, is a Roman Catholic church located at the heart of Budapest's Castle District. It's been a religious site for almost a thousand years, but the majority of the grand monument you can see today is from the end of the 19th century. Home to a trove of religious art and stellar viewpoints from its bell tower, the church is one of the most popular tourist sights in Budapest.
5.0 (1)
From $88.52
up to —10%
With 12 million tourists flocking to Budapest every year, there’s good reason to take a Budapest boat tour. These Budapest river cruises will take you past the beautiful area of Budapest that runs alongside the Danube River – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – so you can appreciate the beauty of buildings like Buda Castle, the Hungarian Academy, and the Parliament building. Your Budapest river cruise will sail by 18th and 19th-century masterpieces of architecture that showcase Baroque, neo-Renaissance, and neo-Gothic style that rival the likes of Paris and London. Take your pick from a number of Budapest boat tours and find a cruise that suits you. There’s options that include: drinks, live music, evening departures that show the city by night, and even visits to the House of Parliament.
4.5 (183)
From $10.41

More ways to experience Budapest

Planning your Budapest visit

Language

Hungarian

Currency

Forint (HUF)

Dialing code

+36

Time zone

Central European Time (CET)

Getting around

Much of the center and historic areas are easily navigable on foot. If you’re looking for an easy way to get around, a pair of walking shoes is your best bet. Bolt is Budapest's answer to Uber or Lyft, and they have an easy-to-use Android and iOS app. The public transport system is comprehensive too; trams traverse most of the city for as little as €1 and EU residents over 65 benefit from free public transport. Be aware that, except for night buses, tickets must be bought before boarding. They can be bought at Metro stations, vending machines at some bus stops, or at newsagents. Ticket inspectors can be anywhere – best to stay on the right side of the law!

The land of experiences

Ruin pubs are good all year-round, but Budapest really comes into its own during the festival season. The city sees back-to-back festivals that cover the areas of culture, music, food, wine, and naturally, paprika (though this last one is more popular in the countryside). Sziget Festival is an unmissable summer experience. This is the country's biggest music festival that was founded in 1993 and draws up to 500,000 people to the city. The best part? The location. It's set on an island on the Danube, Óbudai-sziget. Also, if you're into fast cars, then traverse an hour out of the city to witness Hungaroring, where the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix is held each year.

Hungary and Hunger

Budapest boasts six Michelin restaurants, but you can have great food in Hungary's capital for a decent price, too. For a true culinary experience, head to the Jewish quarter; skip the goulash and go straight for signature dishes like goose leg with mashed potatoes, stuffed cabbage, or grilled trout covered with almonds. Sample the hearty Hungarikums culinary heritage which features Hungarian Gray cattle or Mangalica pig. After your meal, chill out in a ruin pub, where expats, locals, and tourists alike gather to socialize over beers, Törley wines, and pálinka. PS: Budapest's best chefs have street food stalls in the Hold utca market. Taste fine Hungarian cuisine at fair prices.

What to do in Budapest for 3 days

Bathing beauties

Slip into one of Budapest's mineral-rich spas, and steep yourself in history and invigorating waters. Stroll through Városliget (City Park) which leads to Széchenyi Baths – the largest thermal bath complex in Europe. Built in 1913, this neo-Baroque complex boasts 18 pools and 10 saunas. Gellért Spa, located in the elegant, Art Nouveau Gellért Hotel has 13 pools of different temperatures, plus wave machines, plunge pools, a sauna, steam room, and showers – all surrounded by Roman architecture. Whichever style of spa you choose, make sure you don't miss the chance to soak up one of the finest experiences Budapest has to offer.

St Stephen's Basilica

The neo-Classical St. Stephen's Basilica is dedicated to Hungary's first king, St. Stephen, and it's still home to his mummified right hand: the Szent Jobb (Holy Right Hand). How lovely. The building's 1906 inauguration ceremony was attended by Emperor Franz Joseph I. The largest church in Hungary, it can hold up to 8,500 worshippers or visitors. Its beautiful cupola is 96-meters tall – the same height as Budapest Parliament Building. In fact, Hungary's legislation says that no building in Budapest can exceed this mark. Visitors climbing to the top can get spectacular views of the city, and look down on the cafe patrons in St. Stephen's Square.

Central Market Hall

Stuffed to the rafters with delicious artisan foodstuffs, Központi Vásárcsarnok is the place to come and stock up on meat, fresh produce, and of course, paprika. It's not just a vibrant modern hub of Budapest life, it's also steeped in history; the metal roof is original (from 1897), including the decorative Zsolnay tiles. When it opened, ships sailed right into the market using special docks. Today, the Central Market Hall remains a wonderful food market and a must-see, even if you don't buy anything. As a bonus, the upper level has food stalls with seating and is perfect for grabbing a quick lunch and mingling with locals.

Danube Cruising

The Danube river runs right up the heart of the city, dividing Buda and Pest. The river has seen the city through its best and worst moments in history. Getting on a boat and cruising the city will really help you appreciate The Pearl of the Danube. You'll see sights like the Chain Bridge, Gellért Baths, the Citadella, as well as poignant World War II memorials. Because normal boat rides can be a bit lacking in creature comforts, we've got water-bound options which include a Coffee Cruise, a Wine Cruise, a Dinner Cruise, and a Party Cruise. Come to think of it, you could put them one after another and have an unbeatable day on the Danube!

Best places to visit in Hungary

Explore Hungary