Budapest is the combination of two cities; Buda and Pest, which are intersected by River Danube and linked by a 19th century chain bridge. Buda is located on the western side of the river, it is hilly, greener and is mostly residential, on the other hand Pest, which is on the eastern side of the river is the flat urban center of the city. Budapest is also known as the ‘City of Baths’ as it is enriched with natural thermal water with curative abilities. There are natural springs and wells under the ground that are full of minerals. This is why Budapest houses a number of spas, baths and pools. Budapest is also a home to brilliant fine art collections with paintings from the prominent artists dating back to ancient artworks. Budapest is a wonderful holiday destination where thousands of tourists come all round the year. If you are wondering what to do in Budapest, below are our recommended things to do in Budapest with pictures, activities & budgetary details.
Our experts have compiled this comprehensive Budapest travel guide for you so that you dont worry about what to see in Budapest and just hit the extra ordinary places without wasting any time.
1. Hungarian Parliament Building
If you visit Budapest then the Hungarian Parliament Building should be on top of your list. It is the seat of National Assembly of Hungary and is one of the oldest parliamentary buildings of Europe. The Gothic Revival style parliament building is the tallest and largest building of Hungary and is among the top tourist attractions of the city, Budapest. It was built in 19th century and took more than 17 years for completion. You will be mesmerized around world’s largest legislative building with immaculate architecture. You will have to hire a tour guide in order to have a complete inside tour of the building. We recommend you not to miss this one of the best things in Budapest.
Timings – Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm | Saturday & Sunday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
2. Szechenyi thermal bath
Széchenyi is a one of the largest thermal baths of Europe for you to relax, revitalize and strengthen your body and mind. It is one the top Budapest points of interest so far. It is the first thermal bath in Pest and was built in 1913 and presently has 18 pools, out of which 3 are outdoor. The bath is open all round the year so that you can immerse yourself in the medicinal water in any season, even in snowfall! Pools get water supply from two thermal springs at the temperature of 74 °C and 77 °C. You can take a dip in any of the co-ed pools, have massage, enjoy in a wave pool or just feel the goodness of the hot waters.
Timings – Monday to Sunday 6:00 am to 10:00 pm
3. St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica is Neo-Classicist Style Roman Catholic Basilica built in 1905. The Basilica was named after the first king of Hungary who introduced Christianity, Stephen King. The king’s mummified body is buried somewhere in the church and his right hand is exhibited as a relic in the chapel of basilica. The Basilica is so huge that it can house 8,500 people at one time, and its dome is as high as 96 meters, making it the tallest building of the city. The interior is full of beautiful architecture, statues and paintings that will leave you in awe.
Timings – Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm | Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm | Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Tickets – Free entrance
4. Fisherman’s Bastion
At the bank of River Danube, there is a Neo-Gothic style and Neo-Romanesque terrace on a hill of a castle, known as Fisherman’s Bastion. The beautiful terrace, built between 1895 and 1902, is a lovely retreat for romantic couples and ideal for Budapest sightseeing. The terrace is named after the fishermen who lived there and also guarded the castle walls. The Fisherman’s Bastion has 7 white turrets, each of which representing tribal leaders of Hungarians chieftains. You will witness an outstanding panoramic view of the river and the city from the top of the towers. You can visit the terraces for free but if you want to visit any of the turrets, then you will have to pay a small fee.
Timings – Monday to Sunday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm
5. Chain Bridge
Chain Bridge, also known as Szechenyi Lanchid, is a biggest landmark of Budapest. It is a suspension bridge that connects Buda from pest over the River Danube. The iconic bridge is unbeatable by other bridges on the river and is among the most visited Budapest attractions. Built in 1849, this permanent bridge is considered as one of the engineering wonders till date. The bridge has tongue-less stone lions at its both eastern and western ends. We advise you to visit the Chain Bridge at night to witness the splendid beauty of illuminated bridge that would definitely leave you in awe.
6. Buda Castle
The Buda Castle, previously known as the Royal Palace, is located on the tip of the Castle Hill, overlooking the Danube River and the city of Budapest. The Castle was constructed in 1265, as a palace for Hungarian Kings. The castle is a best place for wine festivals that are never to be missed. There are complex of caverns and vaults under the castle on the hill. This interesting place is always busy with the tourists from around the world, so make sure you plan your trip beforehand.
7. Budapest Zoo And Botanical Garden
Budapest Zoo, a must see in Budapest, is not only the oldest zoo of Budapest but also one of the oldest zoos of the world. The zoo is located inside the Varosliget Park and entertaining and educating people about animals since 1866. The zoo has as much as 1072 species of animals including birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians. The botanical garden exhibits over 2000 species of plants.
Timings – Monday to Sunday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
8. House Of Terror
House of Terror is a museum that portrays the atrocities by the autocratic rule of fascism and communism. The museum is located at Andrassy Boulevard in Budapest, which focuses on political history unlike other museums that exhibits works of culture and art. You will find portraits of people who were brutally killed by Soviets in 1956 on the outside walls of the museum, whereas on the inside walls you will find portraits of people who carried out those brutal acts on innocent people. This place will move you emotionally by taking you back in the Nazi and Soviet regimes which suppressed people.
Timings – Tuesday to Sunday- 10:00 am to 6:00 pm | Monday- Closed
9. Dohany Street Synagogue
Dohány Street Synagogue is a biggest Jewish congregation hall of Europe, located at the 7th district in Budapest. The Synagogue is also known as The Great Synagogue, having great historical importance, including a Jewish Museum, Heroes Temple, Jewish Cemetery and a memorial park. Before the Holocaust, Hungary consisted of 23% of Jewish population which was reduced to 0.5% as a result of Holocaust. Frigyes Feszl designed The Dohany Street Synagogue’s beautiful interior, with fine-looking frescos, a decorative wall at the east side, as well as chandeliers. The place is a must visit spot to understand the historical and religious importance of a Synagogue.
10. Hungarian State Opera House
Designed by Miklos Ybl, a prominent figure of 19th century, the Neo-Renaissance opera house is city’s one of the best attractions and counted as one of the beautiful opera houses in the world. The opera house is ornamented with splendid paintings, marble ceilings, sculptures and other artwork that will keep you mesmerized. If you are lucky, you can grab a show and admire the magnificent hall and unforgettable performances. Otherwise you will have to take a guided tour to visit the previously known as Hungarian Royal Opera House.