Going to Budapest? Use this guide to make sure you don’t miss any of the best things to do in Budapest Hungary! Here’s what you’ll definitely want to see in Budapest:
In September we took a Danube River Cruise with Gate1 Travel. We started in Budapest, made stops in Vienna and Salzburg, and ended in Munich Germany for Oktoberfest. It was an unforgettable experience!
We arrived a few days early so we could spend some time discovering Budapest Hungary. I had no idea what to expect, but we ended up loving Budapest!! It is so gorgeous, not crowded, and we had some amazing food in Budapest restaurants. Another bonus is that Budapest is super inexpensive compared to other European cities.
A Danube River Cruise from Budapest to Munich is one of the most popular things to do in Budapest. If you’re planning to take one, I highly recommend arriving to Budapest 1-2 days early so you can spend some time in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.
Best Things To Do In Budapest Hungary
Here are the best things to do in Budapest Hungary that you definitely won’t want to miss:
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
The Széchenyi (Say-chain-ee) Chain Bridge is one of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks. It crosses the Danube River and connects the Buda and Pest sides of the city. It was the longest suspension bridge in Europe and the first permanent bridge to cross the Danube River in Hungary when it opened in 1849.
Two matching stone lions guard the bridge at both sides.
Walking across this historic bridge gave us some of the best views of Budapest’s landmarks. Above is Buda Castle, home to Hungarian royalty in the capital city of Budapest. This was the site of lavish ceremonies during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
When crossing the bridge, also be sure to look up to the right at the Castle District. You can see a few more of Budapest’s most beautiful sights like Matthias Church and the seven towers of Fisherman’s Bastion.
Matthias Church is absolutely breathtaking. The coronation of Austrian king Franz Joseph I and his wife Elizabeth was held here, which marked the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867.
The vibrant ceramic roof is made of tiles from the renowned Zsolnay factory in Hungary.
This church is over 700 years old!
Right next to Matthais Church is another one of Budapest’s most well-known landmarks, Fisherman’s Bastion.
Fisherman’s Bastion was built in the late 1800s to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of the founding of Hungary.
Best View in Budapest Hungary
Fisherman’s Bastion sits atop Castle Hill and provides some of the most spectacular views in all of Budapest.
Can you imagine having lunch at an outdoor cafe with this as your view??
From below, Fisherman’s Bastion looks like a fairytale castle.
The seven towers of Fisherman’s Bastion represent the seven tribes that founded Hungary.
Budapest Castle Hill Funicular
It’s a bit of a hike up the hill to the Castle District, but the views are 100% worth it. Plus once you get to the top you can reward yourself with Budapest’s famous cream cake. We absolutely LOVED it. However if you don’t want to walk you can always take the funicular!
Hungarian Parliament Building
After exploring the Castle District, you can walk down the hill and walk along the river on the Buda side for an amazing view of the Hungarian Parliament Building, the third largest parliament building in the world.
If you have a chance, go back and see the Hungarian Parliament Building at night when it’s all lit up!
After exploring Castle Hill and the Buda side of Budapest, you can cross the bridge back to the Pest side of the city. This is a view of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge from the Buda side, with the Four Seasons Budapest Hotel in the background.
And this is the view from the Pest side, with Buda Castle in the background.
Best Sunset View In Budapest
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is one of the best places in Budapest Hungary to watch the sunset!
Read More: My Favorite Travel Camera
Free Walking Tour Budapest
Budapest Hungary is such a beautiful city. We took a walking tour with Discover Budapest to see all the best things to do in Budapest and learn some of the history of Budapest. Did you know the Rubik’s Cube and the ball point pen were invented in Hungary?
St. Stephen’s Basilica
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Budapest, you’ll definitely want to visit St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s the tallest building in Budapest, tied with the Hungarian Parliament building, representing that church and state are equal.
Best View in Budapest Hungary — Part 2
You can go up to the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica for an absolutely incredible 360 degree view of Budapest!! From here you can see all over Budapest. Can you pick out Buda Castle, Matthais Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion in the background?
Here’s a better view of Buda castle!
You can also see the Budapest Eye, Budapest’s giant ferris wheel.
And looking the other way you can see thered domes of the Hungarian Parliament Building and the vibrant green tiled roof of the Hungarian State Treasury.
Going to a thermal bath is one of the most popular things to do in Budapest. The Széchenyi Spa is definitely one of the most famous Turkish bath houses in Budapest. The water is supplied by two hot springs, and it’s the largest thermal bath in all of Europe. Going to the spa is totally a thing in Budapest!
Heroes’ Square is one of my favorite historic monuments in Budapest. It was built in 1896 to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of the founding of Budapest. Behind the tall columns are two matching colonnades, each with seven statues featuring famous figures of Hungarian history.
If you have some extra time in Budapest, be sure to visit the fairytale-like Vajdahunyad Castle. It’s one of the most beautiful things to do in Budapest. During the summer and fall, you can take a romantic boat ride around the lake, and in winter it turns into an ice skating rink.
Vajdahunyad Castle hosts various festivals and events throughout the year.
We just happened to be there during a food festival! We were in heaven running around to all the different booths checking out the local fare.
New York Cafe at the Boscolo Budapest Hotel
After walking around all day, the famous New York Cafe inside the Boscolo Budapest Hotel is the perfect place to stop for a break to rest your feet and get some free WiFi. As you can see from the picture above, this is not your typical coffee shop! How fun would it be to spend an afternoon here with a pastry and cup of coffee and chat with your best friend?
This beautiful pedestrian shopping street lined with small boutiques and colorful cafes is definitely worth strolling down.
How fun is this cute cafe with colorful hanging lanterns??
Ruin Bars in Budapest
Ruin bars are definitely one of the most popular things to do in Budapest. We could not leave Budapest Hungary without checking out a ruin bar! Szimpla Kert is Budapest’s oldest and most famous ruin pub.
Ruin Bars are one of Budapest’s most unique attractions. They are bars that pop up in formerly abandoned buildings and are decorated with a hodgepodge of retro decor. The live music and unique atmosphere make ruin bars in Budapest extremely popular hot spots!
We went at 2pm on a Sunday afternoon so the party was not quite happening yet. ;)
Best Things To Do In Budapest Hungary?
Did I miss any of the best things to do in Budapest? Let me know in the comments!