Are you planning a trip to Budapest, but can’t figure out where to start? In this ‘Things to do or see in Budapest’ guide, i will tell you about some of my favourite attractions and things to do in Budapest, which you can easily put in to a 3-4 days itinerary!
For a quick overview, i’ve listed 14 main attractions underneath (click to read)
What to do or see in Budapest?
With two hilly districts divided by the beautiful Danube river, Budapest does not resemble any other European capital. Here are lookouts for several days, architectural gems in Baroque style and castles that are as taken out of a Disney adventure. And then the city is no bigger than you can experience most of it in just 3-4 days.
Explore Budapest’s historic streets and spend the days eating cheap food (even in the gourmet genre), enjoying the thermal baths and visiting the city’s many museums.
The Buda Side
Walk across the Chain bridge
The Chain Bridge is one of the best known landmarks of Budapest.
The historic stone bridge straddles the Danube between Széchenyi Square on the Pest side and Clark Ádám Square in Buda.
You can walk across it from Buda to Pest and back – an excellent way to absorb the World Heritage-protected sights and panorama and to take wonderful photos.
see The great synagogue
The Dohány Street synagogue is one of Budapest’s touristic highlights as it is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. The synagogue was built in 1859 in the Moorish style and it can seat 3000 people.
Walk to buda castle
Budapest’s Castle District is packed with historic sights and attractions (the Royal Palace, the Matthias Church, medieval houses), interesting museums, charming, crooked streets following the shape of the hill, as well as some good cafés and restaurants.
Besides the monuments, you get a breathtaking panorama of the Danube with the Chain Bridge and the Pest side of the city on the opposite side of the river.
Visit matthias church & fisherman's bastion
Matthias Church is one of the finest churches in Budapest, and the most unique churches in Europe.
Full of surprises, mysteries and treasures, the church has a breathtaking interior with colours inspired by orientalism and romantic historicism. Its mystically exotic atmosphere paired with its Neo-Gothic features differentiates it from any other church.
Admire the parliament building
The Hungarian Parliament, also known as the Budapest Parliament is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The stunning architecture is the current seat of the Hungarian Parliament and offers a keen insight into Hungary’s political past.
relax in the thermal baths
Szechenyi Bath is the biggest and most popular of all the thermal baths in Budapest.
Besides the 18 outdoor and indoor geothermal pools, you can get massage treatments, enjoy the saunas, the gym, relax by the pools with some beer, wine or even taste the natural waters that supply the pools from over 1000 meters below the surface.
The pest Side
Have fun at the museums
If you think going to museums sounds boring, you haven’t tried the Sweets and Selfies museum in Budapest. The museum is all about bright neon colors and fun objects and perfect for a selfie (or ten).
Cruise the Danube river
A perfect way to see Budapest is from the Danube River. You can book a boat ticket almost everywhere in Budapest. If you are looking for a very beautiful experience, I recommend to take the evening boat and see the buildings of Budapest light up.
visit the shoes on the danube bank
On the banks of the Danube River in Budapest, not far from the Hungarian Parliament building, you will find The Shoes on the Danube Bank which is a very powerful memorial to approximately 20,000 Jewish victims who were killed during the Holocaust.
Have a drink at a ruin bar
Have a beer or a drink and relax in one of the many ruin bars in Budapest. The best of Budapest’s famous ruin bars include Fogas Ház, Csendes, Racskert, Mazel Tov, Szimpla Kert and Ellato Kert.
Shop groceries at the great market hall
The Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest, Hungary. Here you can buy groceries as fish and meat, cheese and vegetables and on the 1.st floor you will find a lot of Hungarian souvenirs to bring home.
enjoy the view from the budapest eye ferris wheel
Take a ride on the Eye set up on Budapest’s popular park Erzsébet Square in the city centre. With its 65 m height this is the largest ferris wheel in Europe offering awesome view from the top (only the Basilica, which you can admire during a ride, is higher.)
see St. stephens basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) is the largest church in Budapest. The building dominates the city centre with its 96 meter, just like the Parliament, and with this height the basilica is the 2nd highest church in Hungary.
Have a coffee at new york café
At the turn of the 20th century the New York Café was the most beautiful and the most beloved coffee house in Budapest. It was a popular place among writers and editors, in fact, the most influential newspapers were edited here, upstairs in the gallery. Be aware of the expensive prices! Almost 10 euro for a cup of coffee.