When planning your trip to Budapest, you’ll want to make sure you take time to check off a few of the best things to do. Whether it’s the iconic thermal baths, the burgeoning coffee scene, or some of Hungary’s most notable architecture, there is plenty to see and do in this beautiful city!
Take a tour of the Hungarian Parliament and Liberty Square: Built during Budapest’s golden era as part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, this monumental Gothic Revival building still impresses visitors today. Take a 45-minute guided tour to get the full experience – the opulent rooms and dramatic interiors will leave you speechless. The Shoes Memorial and nearby Liberty Square are also worth a look for their moving tribute to those who lost their lives fighting fascist or communist dictatorships.
Soak in the famous Szechenyi Thermal Baths: Budapest’s most popular thermal baths offer a variety of pools in varying temperatures, some indoor and some outdoor. They are set in a cheery yellow neo-Baroque structure and are open all year round, so you can enjoy them even on cold Budapest days!
Spend the day at one of Budapest’s many art galleries: After decades of Communist-era censorship, Budapest’s art world is thriving again. The top galleries showcase a range of styles from conceptual works to modern art, and the trendy Bartok Bela Boulevard in Buda is a hotspot for fashionable Millennials, engineering students, and older generations alike.
Sample some delicious Hungarian cuisine: Hungary has a long history of culinary excellence, with countless hearty dishes to choose from. From savory meat stews to steaming bowls of goulash to langos flatbreads smothered in sour cream, you can’t go wrong! Be sure to try some of the local craft beers and specialty coffees while you’re at it.
Stroll down Andrassy Avenue: Budapest’s version of the Champs-Elysees or Ringstrasse, this 2.3 km (1.4 mile) grand boulevard connects downtown with City Park and Heroes’ Square. It’s lined with fancy retail stores and handsome villas that are now used as embassies, making it a pleasant place for a stroll.
Shop at the Lehel Market: Located inside a quirky postmodern building, this lively market offers everything from Hungarian cold cuts and homemade jams to low-priced drinking joints that attract local regulars. Be sure to stop by the gelato stand for a scoop of their creamy white chocolate hazelnut pistachio flavor!
Ride Europe’s oldest subway line: Completed in 1896, the charming M1 Millennium Underground is a great way to get around Budapest’s sprawling city center. It’s especially fun to take the train at night when it’s all lit up in festive colors.
Visit the Fiumei Road Cemetery: This vast 56 hectare (140 acre) park is filled with towering limestone mausoleums and elaborate tombstones dedicated to Hungary’s prominent statesmen and artists (or Communist heroes). You can also find a more somber side of the city at the Salgotarjani Street Jewish Cemetery, which features intricately designed tombstones that date back hundreds of years. things to do in Budapest