Activities in Budapest are fantastically varied. Sail past the spectacular Buda Castle on a boat tour, both by day and night and explore Budapest’s history by embarking on an Abandoned Jewish cemetery tour. Or, hop on the Budapest Eye to see this thriving city from an entirely new perspective. If you’re seeking wine tasting tours, this destination is the spot for you – with a host of different tours on offer.
The Jewish Cemetery is an important feature within Budapest’s history, and this monument contains many tales of the individuals that once lived here. The cemetery on Kozma street was established in 1874, taking a portion of the Kerepesi úti cemetery and revealing the city’s social and political history, dating back to this period.
Travellers can expect to find beautifully crafted stonework in the Hungarian art nouveau style, which became popular before the start of the first world war. Béla Lajta designed many of the fascinating tombstones and buildings here, set amongst the trees and rich vegetation, which you can admire while taking a peaceful stroll around the site.
The Abandoned Jewish Cemetry is a great addition to The Holocaust Memorial Centre (as well as other sights and tours exploring the vast Jewish culture in bustling Budapest). A visit over here promises a different pace from the hustle and bustle of the city centre; providing a small slice of calm and tranquillity during your trip.
Take a relaxing bike tour around Budapest (led by local guides), to explore the old and new parts of this amazing city. On a bike tour, you can experience beautiful Budapest from a truly unique perspective, by peddling beside the glorious Danube river while taking in a host of magical sights.
Prepare for the history of Budapest to be revealed to you as you visit famous monuments, including the majestic castles and the parliament building. There are night tours available here, too, if you’re looking to see the city lights along the river, or venture on a private tour if you have a particular place you want to explore. During your bike tour, you will ride down cobbled streets, getting to stop off for some delicious Hungarian food along the way.
There are also tours available to Lake Velence, where you can escape the city, or even venture on a retro-communist bike tour to find out more about the city’s political and cultural history.
There is a range of brilliant boat tour packages in Budapest, from romantic four-course meals overlooking the dazzling cityscape of Budapest to day trips hopping around the must-see attractions of the city, or exciting party cruises lasting until the early hours.
Seeing Budapest from the water of the Danube River gives you a unique perspective of this beautiful city, and as you smoothly glide along the river you will see how the river banks are steeped in history and stunning architecture. There are so many boat tours to choose from in Budapest, where you will sail by the Buda Castle, Parliament, Matthias Church and the famous Citadel Fortress.
Many tours allow you to hop on and off the boat whenever you need to and if you prefer a faster pace to life, there are plenty of speedboat rides available to get you from A to B – and in style.
Budapest has a huge labyrinth of caves running under the city due to the thermal river systems, where you can bathe in the many naturally-formed underground pools. There’s usually one free visit per person with a tourist pass, too, which is super handy. Not forgetting the great disability access to the thermal pools provided here, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the wonders of this marvellous cave network.
For those wanting to explore the vast cave systems – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can accompany a local expert and discover the unseen side of this amazing city. Once you put your specialist equipment and headlight on, you will venture down to the underground tour, which will last a good few hours. Expect to be climbing up rocks and shuffling along narrow passageways, while learning about the geographical history of the area.
If adventure caving through 30km of cave systems is not your cup of tea, there are plenty of cave tours to choose from, offering a totally relaxed atmosphere. This exciting activity involves climbing steps and admiring underground features, without the need for equipment.
Church tours in Budapest are truly magical. Matthias is one of the most beautiful churches in the city and sits on top of Buda Castle Hill. This Hungarian church dates back to 1015 and has unique Neo-Gothic features amongst the colourful interiors, boasting intricate patterns, designs and wall paintings. Matthias also has a very different feel from many of the churches you will see throughout Europe, making it truly unique.
For centuries, the church was attended by Hungarian kings during the medieval era, then used as a mosque during the Ottoman Empire and now embraces Catholicism. Another church to visit is St Stephen’s Basilica, which is dedicated to Hungary’s first king. It’s the largest church here in Budapest, decorated in Neo-Classical style and home to St Stephen’s mummified right hand.
If you want to see something unconventional, then make sure you visit the Cave Church in the caves of Gellert Hill. This Christian church was founded in 1926 and is still in use today, thanks to its distinct bohemian feel and a unique, but welcoming atmosphere.
Budapest city breaks offer a host of go-karting experiences to suit different holiday types, from family-friendly trips to stag do events and adventures for professional adrenalin-junkies.
The G1 go-kart Center boasts years of experience, high tech gear and a 720-metre indoor track. If you want to reach serious speeds and bring out your competitive streak, this is the spot for you. When go-karting, your speed will be monitored and recorded at various points during the race, adding further excitement to this thrilling activity in Budapest. Even better, there are special go-karts available for kids and G1 Go-Kart Center even providing business packages, offering an event room which hosts group events.
If you want to try go-karting outdoors and enjoy the sunny weather, Budaring is a newly built outdoor go-karting centre. Feel the wind in your hair as you zoom around the 800m track, situated just outside Budapest.
If go-karting isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of other adventure activities to get involved in, from mountain biking to caving or speedboat-riding.
Goulash is one of Hungary’s most famous dishes, and in Budapest, you will get to taste succulent beef seasoned with paprika and local spices, as well as experiencing the many regional variations of this stew. Travellers can either sit back and let the experts cook meals, or get stuck in and learn how to cook Hungarian dishes like the locals.
There are many quaint wine villages and vineyards surrounding Budapest, where you can taste locally grown produce while local chefs cook tasty and traditional goulash stew. Tours of these huge wine cellars will give you a feel for the winemaking process here in Budapest, and you will become an expert at identifying the different tastes and aromas of Hungary’s wine.
If you prefer to explore the city on your doorstep, a local guide will take you around the many watering holes and bars within the city, for an evening filled with good food and wine. This is the perfect way to get off the beaten track and see where Hungarians go to experience delicious food, which also celebrates Budapest and its rich culture.
Margaret Island is situated in the middle of the Danube river in Budapest and is home to a large area of lush parkland. The island provides a pleasant day out for locals, who often venture here for a walk to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Travellers can hire bikes and cycle across the 2.5km island, get the bus across or hire golf buggies.
Historically, Margaret Island was home to a nunnery, many rabbits and was even used as the royal hunting reserve. Today you can see the ruins of the Franciscan church or climb the water tower to take in the spectacular view of the city.
On a hot summer’s day, the Palatinus Baths make for a refreshing day out. As well as water slides, adventure pools and even wave pools, there are thermal pools located here, too, providing both a relaxing and fun-filled day out.
Budapest has a rich cultural and artistic history, meaning its museums and galleries are packed with all kinds of stories and curiosities. You could start at the Budapest History Museum, which is made up of three impressive and independent museums; housing Roman Antiquities and archaeology, Medieval and Modern Age history, local history and fine art.
The House of Terror Museum will reveal to you the city’s communist past, and is housed within the former headquarters of the communist secret police; the victims of the fascist regime were detained and interrogated within those very walls. Whereas, The Holocaust Memorial Centre displays original documents and souvenirs from the period; showing visitors how Hungarians were affected during this time.
Wander down to the Museum of Science and Technology, Momento Park or the Museum of Ethnography, which presents the life of Hungarian peasants from the late 18th century to WWI. Don’t forget to visit the House of Photography and the fascinating Ludwig Museum, where you can take in the art and creative past of Budapest.
If you’re looking for somewhere different to spend your day in Budapest, a trip to Palatinus Bath is an amazing experience and makes a refreshing alternative to sightseeing. Palatinus Bath is an outstanding outdoor swimming facility, home to 11 swimming pools, each of which are filled with the fresh thermal waters of Margit Island.
This adventure park really is a day out for the whole family to enjoy, no matter what your age. Families and kids love the range of pools and activities on offer here; there’s a fun wave pool and a fabulous range of large slides to keep the smiles flowing all day long.
However, a trip to Palatinus Bath doesn’t have to be all about crashing waves and splashing around in swimming pools. After all, it also houses swimming pools with an effervescence generator and a whirlpool, not to mention the new indoor wellness centre, which is open all year round.
Quad biking in Budapest offers off-road courses filled with obstacles, team competitions and races against friends and family. This is a fantastic activity for groups and party holidays, as well as those wanting to get a taste for Hungary’s countryside.
Budapest is a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures, with acres of forests and meadows – a real treat in the summer months. Many tours offer private transfers, professional gear and local guides with lunch and beers included – perfect.
Quad biking is perfect for adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers and is a great way to explore the stunning Hungarian landscape, all while experiencing some thrills along the way. Plus, quad biking is a great change of pace from sightseeing and is a fantastic way to get off the beaten track.
There are various trails to discover, ranging from quiet and secluded routes to tough terrains (for those who want to reach 70mph while navigating near vertical hills and drops). An English-speaking guide will accompany you on routes, showing you the hidden gems and gorgeous sights of Budapest.
In Erzsébet Square, travellers can find the impressive 65-metre Budapest Eye, which promises spectacular views amongst the spires and rooftops of this beautiful city. Each closed cabin can fit eight people, and there are four VIP cabins available for special events and occasions.
Many other attractions are also available nearby, so holidaymakers can easily plan a day of immersive sightseeing during their travels. In fact, The Basilica, which is the largest church in the city sits next door to The Budapest Eye, being only a short stroll away, housing the Holy Right hand of St Stephen – the first king of Hungary.
The Budapest Eye is the perfect, family-friendly attraction, with a fun children’s playground neighbouring this famous tourist attraction. A ride on The Budapest Eye also guarantees a stunning panorama of the city; both on a clear summers day or as it grows dark in the evening, providing you with a memorable and romantic view of breathtaking Budapest.
The Castle Hill funicular is a 19th century cable car, which takes you on a two-minute ride to the top of Buda Castle Hill. This historical cable car has been used for decades and is still used by many people today to see panoramic views of the Pest side of Budapest, without the hassle of hiking up the hill. The charming cable cars still feature a traditional appearance, ensuring you get to feel a sense of their historic character when travelling in them.
The terminal is based in Adam Clarke Square, and the other is close to the Royal Palace and the Alexander Presidential Palace. Here you can see the changing of the guards with a dazzling display of choreography, riffles, marching and drums.
The funicular is open most days for tourists but does occasionally close on Mondays. It’s an easy a 10-minute walk to the top of Castle Hill if you prefer, but you can enjoy an ice-cream and fun ride up the hill when using the funicular.
Budapest, also known as the ‘city of baths’ is home to some of the largest (and relaxing) thermal baths in Europe, which are renowned for their curative properties. The Széchenyi Thermal Baths, for example, boasts a Neo-Baroque style and contains three outdoor and 15 indoor pools for you to sit back and unwind in.
The city’s history with thermal baths dates to the Roman and Turkish empires and is still an important part of Hungarian culture today, making bathing a fun and engaging activity to enjoy during your holiday. The abundance of thermal baths here provide the perfect break away from sightseeing, and offer the chance for relaxation and restoration in the middle of the country’s capital, at any time of the year.
A trip to one of the many thermal baths in Budapest is a great activity for families and couples alike, providing a fun day spent swimming, or being pampered and receiving some rejuvenating spa treatments. Whatever you have planned for your holiday in Budapest, make sure you experience true Hungarian culture with a trip to the steamy thermal baths.
Start your city break with a bang, by hunting for treasure amongst the many hidden gems dotted around Budapest. Going on a treasure hunt is a great way to learn about this captivating city and Hungarian culture, and is also perfect for anyone who has a competitive streak.
Travellers get to roam around the city with a hunt that can be tailored to your personal requirements and individual interests, lasting no longer than a couple of hours. Your tour will involve hidden parcels, deciphering clues, and will take you on many twists and turns, before you get to your final destination.
This is a great way to test your team-building skills, and can add an extra layer of excitement to any trip. Have a wander around the old town and get to know the subtle differences between the two halves of the city, Buda and Pest, while visiting restaurants, attractions, and places that played an important part in shaping this city.