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Things to do in Budapest

Things to do in  Budapest

Welcome to Budapest

Straddling a placid stretch of the Danube River, Budapest’s UNESCO-listed historic center thrums with rich culture and Bohemian flair. Explore centuries of history at St. Stephen’s Basilica, Andrássy Avenue, and Buda Castle by day, and join the revelers who pack the city’s ruin pubs until sunrise. To experience the city like a local, slip into the water at one of Budapest’s many thermal baths, which range from Ottoman-era bathhouses to art nouveau palaces with dozens of pools. And dining is a highlight of any trip to the city, from sampling aromatic paprika and rich pastries at covered markets to hunting for the perfect goulash to tasting Hungarian wines.

Top 10 attractions in Budapest

#1
Budapest Danube River

Budapest Danube River

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Flowing through the heart of Budapest, the Danube River is the lifeline of the Hungarian capital, as well as its geographic center, separating the hilly Buda district on the west bank from the bustling Pest on the east bank. The striking waterfront is also part of Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed treasures, home to landmarks such as the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the Liberty Bridge, Buda Castle Hill, Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and Margaret Island.More
#2
Buda Castle (Budai Vár)

Buda Castle (Budai Vár)

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Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Danube riverfront, the Buda Castle (Budai Vár), or Buda Royal Palace, is one of Budapest’s most photographed landmarks. The magnificent palace dates back to the 13th century, but has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times throughout history, most recently in a neo-baroque style.More
#3
House of Parliament (Országház)

House of Parliament (Országház)

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The Hungarian House of Parliament (Országház) is one of the world’s most photogenic government buildings. Perched on the UNESCO World Heritage–listed banks of the Danube River, the mainly neo-Gothic structure features 691 rooms, a handful of which are open to the public—including the Domed Hall, where the Crown of St. Stephen is on display.More
#4
Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdo)

Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdo)

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One of the largest and most famous thermal baths in Europe, Budapest’s Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdo) are one of Hungary's most visited attractions. Soaking in the mineral-rich baths, with startling blue pools set against a backdrop of a grand neo-baroque palace, is a quintessential Budapest experience. It’s also a luxurious one, especially when coupled with a visit to the spa, which offers everything from saunas and mudpacks to rejuvenating massages and balneal therapies.More
#5
Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom)

Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom)

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Matthias Church (Matays-templom), is a top sight in Budapest's must-see Castle Hill district. This Roman Catholic church boasts neo-Gothic architecture and intricate detailing, from ornately tiled roof and carved gargoyles, to frescoes and stained-glass windows. Visit Matthias Church as part of a Buda Castle complex tour.More
#6
Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lanchid)

Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lanchid)

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Budapest’s Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lanchid) was the city’s first – and is still its most famous – crossing of the Danube, connecting Baroque Buda on the western river bank with the wide boulevards of Pest on the east. Opened in 1849, the bridge is 375 meters long and 16 meters wide; it is made of made of stone slabs and suspended in place by two massive linked iron chains. Originally a toll bridge, it was designed by English engineer Alan Clark, who also had a hand in Hammersmith Bridge across the River Thames in London. The stone lions guarding both ends of the Chain Bridge were carved by János Marschalkó and added in 1852.From the Buda side of the Chain Bridge a road tunnel leads northwards underneath Castle Hill; as the bridge united the east and west sides of the city it was indirectly responsible for Budapest’s rapid flowering as a major metropolis in the late 19th century. Continuing to play a large part in the city’s history, the bridge was blown up by the Nazis in World War II to halt the progress of Russian troops across the Danube. It was one of the first structures in Budapest to be rebuilt after the war and today it remains a potent symbol of the city and Hungary’s independence; the bridge was the scene of fierce demonstrations during the 1989 protests against Communist occupation. Walking across it at night gives views of Buda Castle and Parliament House gloriously floodlit across the river.More
#7
Heroes' Square (Hosök Tere)

Heroes' Square (Hosök Tere)

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Heroes' Square (H?sök Tere) is a grand public space at the entrance to Budapest's City Park. Visitors find sweeping columns, statues, and monuments to Hungary's celebrated statesmen. A worthy place to visit, Heroes' Square is an ideal stop for visitors wandering the park, or before stepping into Budapest's well-curated Museum of Fine Arts.More
#8
Margaret Island (Margit-Sziget)

Margaret Island (Margit-Sziget)

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Nestled in the Danube River, Margaret Island (Margit-sziget) is an oasis in Hungary’s capital of Budapest. This verdant park is packed with attractions, including a pool, a spa, playgrounds, and a Japanese garden. When the sun is shining, locals and tourists picnic on the island’s green lawns and, in summer, listen to free concerts.More
#9
St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika)

St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika)

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With everything from holy relics to frescoes, the neoclassical St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) is a must for first-time visitors to Budapest. Marvel at the architecture, the clock towers, the stained glass windows—and the preserved hand of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary.More
#10
Gellért Hill (Gellert-Hegy)

Gellért Hill (Gellert-Hegy)

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Gellert Hill (Gellert-hegy) is best known for its panoramic city views, 19th century Citadel, and historic monuments. While the hike up Gellert Hill’s stone steps can be challenging, the sweeping vistas of Budapest and the Danube River from the top are worth the climb.More

Trip ideas

An Insider's Guide to Budapest

An Insider's Guide to Budapest

Recent reviews from experiences in Budapest

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Wonderful
Louise, Apr 2020
Budapest Danube River Sightseeing Night Cruise by Legenda City Cruises
A great way to see the sights of Budapest lit up at night.
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Definitely worth doing
Patricia_M, Apr 2020
Budapest Evening Sightseeing Cruise
To see the city light up was spectacular and we’ll worth the trip.
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Perfect
Sara_Seq, Feb 2020
Entrance to Széchenyi Spa & Guided Palinka Experience
A robe is recommended if you can’t survive a few seconds cold during the winter (since the water temperature is around 38C).
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Beautiful Budapest by night
Catherine_K, Feb 2020
Budapest Danube River Sightseeing Night Cruise by Legenda City Cruises
A great opportunity to see Budapest at night will all the lovely buildings lit up.
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Best walk of Budapest
Kelly_J, Feb 2020
Budapest Historical Sightseeing - Walking Tour
Most definitely the best way to see Budapest!
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Tuk Tuk Convert
Shari_S, Feb 2020
Budapest Romantic Private Tuk Tuk Tour
I got to see the highlights of both Buda and Pest.
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Worth it!
emilyparodi9, Jan 2020
Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop
Learned a lot about the history of the beautiful city of Budapest while visiting many tourist attractions.
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Excellent tour !!
niallrobin, Jan 2020
Private City Tour in Budapest 6 hours
This is a great way to see all the important sights of Budapest with a 1:1 private tour guide with your own tranport.
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Great introduction to Budapest.
gnap1964, Dec 2019
Budapest City Sightseeing Half-Day Tour
Had a short stopover in Budapest and wanted an afternoon tour to see some city.
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Good and Wine tour
67Wally, Dec 2019
Budapest Dinner Walk
Great way to see Budapest.
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Tuk Tuk Budapest
tommy27408, Nov 2019
Budapest Private Tuk Tuk Half-Day Tour
Great guide - excellent tour of Budapest - fun way to see "all' of the city.
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We very very happy with the Budapest Jewish Heritage Tour
Sdr46a, Nov 2019
Budapest Jewish Heritage Walking Tour
We were able to see all the major Jewish sights in the city, and get a greater appreciation of the history of the Jewish people in the city.
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We enjoyed our Budapest Historical Sightseeing Tour very much!
Sdr46a, Nov 2019
Budapest Historical Sightseeing - Walking Tour
She quickly recognized that we had seen many of the main attractions of the city, and on the spot improvised a different tour to show us sights that we had not as yet seen.
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Great fun! Awesome guide!
605bradr, Oct 2019
Guided Tours in Budapest on MonsteRoller e-Scooter
Fun way to see most of the major sights in Budapest.
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Lovely place to visit
Mysticalmusings, Oct 2019
Szentendre the Artists Village Half-Day & Boat Tour from Budapest
The half day trip is just enough to visit this beautiful village.
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TUK TUK Tour of Budapest
DRowbotham, Sep 2019
Budapest Tuk Tuk City Tour
Excellent way to see the City of Budapest - our driver was fantastic and very informative!!
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3 hour tour
David D, Sep 2019
Budapest 3-Hour City Tour
Great way to see the sights of Budapest, book early in your stay and you can go back to spend more time in your favourite places.
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Great way to see Budapest
ToddS2219, Aug 2019
Budapest Private Luxury Sightseeing Tour
It was a great way to see the highlights in four hours and it was tailored to our interests.
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Wine Country Tour with Dinner
philhorvathfl, Aug 2019
Half-day Wine Tasting Tour in Etyek Wine Country near Budapest
Would recommend this tour for anyone coming to Budapest wanting to see the country side and taste some great wine.
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Great value great guide
rquillen, Aug 2019
Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop
Tour began on time and was very helpful in getting to see the major tourist attractions of Budapest in a single morning.

All about Budapest

When to visit

Summer is festival season in Budapest, and highlights include the Budapest Summer Festival, LGBT Pride, and weekend festivities on the Chain Bridge. To see Budapest’s UNESCO-listed monuments covered in a dusting of snow, visit in winter. The cold season is the perfect time to tuck into goulash, warm up at the thermal baths, and visit festive Christmas markets.

Frequently Asked Questions
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