Budapest is one of my favorite European destinations thanks to its grand architecture, unique history, and the excellent exchange rate. There are so many things to do in this picturesque city that everyone is sure to find something (if not many things) to love. Here are my Budapest top 10 things to do and see!
Pro tip: Many of these activities are free, or discounted if you purchase a Budapest Card. If you are staying more than a day and plan on using public transportation and visiting a lot of sites, a Budapest Card will give you free transportation and help you save on activities!
1. Take a dip in one of Budapest’s many thermal baths
Budapest’s thermal baths offer the chance to relax and enjoy some beautiful and historic architecture. The popular Széchenyi baths pictured above are delightful and are frequented by locals and tourists alike. If you are planning a trip here, be sure to read my Guide to Budapest’s Thermal Baths before you go!
2. Walk on the Wild Side at Budapest Zoo
While a trip to the zoo may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when visiting Budapest, this zoo and botanical garden is one of the oldest in the world. It houses over 1,072 different species, and is conveniently located right next to the thermal baths. On my visit I really enjoyed seeing seals play, lemurs jumping all around, baby orangoutangs playing with there mothers, magnificent lions, and more!
3. Reflect at the Shoes on The Danube River Memorial
This haunting memorial reminds visitors to Budapest to reflect on the tragic loss of Jewish lives on this very bank of the river during World War II. Victims were told to remove their shoes, and were then executed, their bodies falling into the river.
4. Avoid Being Hungary!
Enjoy some fantastic Hungarian cuisine. The food in Budapest is absolutely incredible, so I can promise you won’t be left feeling Hungary (sorry about the pun, I couldn’t resist!). This bacon wrapped pork kebab was just as delicious as it was good looking, other specialties include goulash.
5. Get the best view in town at Fisherman’s Bastion
This unique structure offers some of the best views of the Danube, Budapest, the parliament building, and Margaret Island. Take your time and explore this fairytale location.
6. Head to Matthias Church
Just behind Fisherman’s Bastion lies the beautiful and historic Matthais Church. This Roman Catholic place of worship is a beautiful gothic church with towering spires and an incredible (and colorful) tiled roof.
7. Visit Buda Castle
Feel like a royal as you walk around Buda Castle. Not only is the castle beautiful but it offers incredible views and doubles as both the National Gallery and History museums. At night it lights up as a beacon of Budapest and testament to Hungary’s grand past.
8. Get Historic at a Museum
Wander the Hungarian National Gallery (my personal favorite) or through any of Budapest’s many museums. Many entrances are covered or discounted with a Budapest card, and are a great way to learn a little but of Hungary’s historic past.
9. Visit Parliament
The Pest side of Budapest is home to the Parliament building, which is a delightful monument whether you choose to go inside or not. On the banks of the Danube River, this majestic building is impossible to miss.
10. Hop on a Boat Cruise
What better way to see a city than from the river? Enjoy panoramic views of Buda and Pest all from the Danube. There are many different boat companies, tours, and packages, so shop around to see which one is perfect for you! I recommend going at night to see the city all lit up.
What is on your list of must-sees in Budapest? I think my favorite are the thermal baths, be sure check out my Guide To Budapest’s Thermal Baths before you go!