The most famous sights of Budapest are all, of course, must-sees, but it’s really hard to decide what to do around them once you get tired of taking too many family photos. We suggest you take it slow, and treasure the time you spend in Budapest by making the most out of your stay at Hungary’s multifarious capital. To help you out, we’ve collected some leisure-time activities you can indulge in around the world-known symbols of Budapest.
We’re sure you know that is one of the most visited spots in Budapest. Although it’s somewhat far away from the city center, its vincinity is full of wondrous opportunities to take a breath after a tiring photo session with the iconic figures of Hungarian history. We could kick our list off with clichés such as the on the left or the Art Gallery on the right, but we have no intention of urging you to act like Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) in National Lampoon’s European Vacation when he wanted to see all the paintings exhibited at the Louvre in half an hour. Sit back and relax at one of these places.
Kertem (Temporarily closed)
Arguably the biggest garden bar in Budapest, fine-tuned for cyclists and families. Tasty grill dishes, wallet-friendly drink prices, and a whole lot of lush flora. Just like someone cursed with lycanthropy, Kertem morphs into a completely different animal at night, when it is swarmed by laidback party people.
Városliget Café & Bar
Budapest’s second biggest park – trailing only better-deserving Népliget – is a perfect scene for romantic strolls, picnins, and various family programs. Moreover, Városliget – which, by the way, translates to City Park – proudly supports your healthy lifestyle with football pitches, a skatepark, and plenty of space to jog or ride your bike. , , and Vajdahunyad Castle are all located here, ensuring that you’ll neither be bored nor stressed out.
Discovering Heroes’ Square can be an exhausting task, and one that probably induces hunger. Fourtunately Gundel, one of Budapest’s most revered restaurants, is just around the corner. Gundel became a synonym of Hungarian hospitality and gastronomy, and put the country on the world’s food map.
The is undoubtedly one of Budapest’s most spectacular buildings, which also is the second oldest of its kind in Europe. This neo-gothic wonder is 268 meters long, 96 meters high, 123 meters wide, has 27 gates, 13 elevators, 29 staircases, 200 offices, and 3456 meters of red carpet. Now that we’ve survived a mini-math class, it’s high time we took a look at the things to see and eat around Parliament.
This imposing square located in the centre of Budapest’s never-resting bank district is a perfect place for a tired traveller to relax. Due to its size, Szabadság tér is also well-suited for most outdoor activities – playing football, cruising around with your dog, drinking beer with a couple of friends -, save for, say, piggybacking your semi-domesticated velociraptor. If you’d rather just sit around and lazily gaze at the scene swirling around you, Hütte Café is your place.
The Dog’s Bollix
The name of this authentic Irish pub is not mouth-watering to say the least, but the wide array of drinks and delicious dishes easily make up for it. The Dog’s Bollix is popular among expats and tourists, who really know how to live it up when the lights go down and the Moon comes up.
Address: 1054 Budapest, Széchenyi utca 14.
Az élet étterme (The restaurant of Life) - Mannatural
Budapest’s first raw vegan restaurant is special because although they don’t cook anything, you can still find a sizeable selection of delicacies made of vegetables, fruits, and nuts. According to experts, these foods are good for the body because the uncooked nutrition incorporates into the cells much more effectively, resulting in the best combination of all – health and happiness.
Address: 1054 Budapest, Garibaldi utca 5.
St Stephen’s Basilica
is exactly as high as the Parliament, and therefore is the biggest church in Hungary. This holy giant was built in the 1800s, but collapsed many times in its early stages. Finishing the Basilica took three architects and almost 50 years, which is more than fortunate for both Budapestians and visitors, because you can sit around on its stairs and sip some wine, or you can venture up to its tower to enjoy the gorgeous view. If you want to know the full story of the building process, , and if you want to know what’s worth doing in its vicinity, read on.
Even the most determined Basilica visitor gets hungry from climbing all those stairs leading up to the tower. In case of such an emergency, a juicy burger comes in handy, and you can find plenty of those at Jack’s Burger. This USA-vibed burger joint offers exactly the type of meals you would expect – pizzas, hot dogs, and burgers – at wallet-friendly prices. Service is quick, the quality is fine, and the portions won’t let you down, either.
A good beer should go hand in hand with a sightseeing tour, and Paulaner’s Platz is a great place to get your hands on the former essential ingredient of a Budapestian adventure. This place dedicated itself to spreading the word of the Hungarian and Austrian beer culture, and is waiting for guests with a completely unique design right next to the Basilica.
Address: 1051 Budapest, Szent István tér 4-5.
Zizi Bubbles & Tapas Bar
Those wandering around the century-old streets of Budapest can bump into exclusives places like Zizi, a pioneer of a brand new concept. When we say that Zizi is the first champagne bar in the city, it doesn’t tell the whole story of this diverse gem of a spot. Guests here - partly in the name of popularizing champagne culture - can ask for special champagnes such as Testa Rossa, prosecco, and sparkling wines, along with authentic Spanish tapases. The latter ones are categorized according to regions, and prepared authentically from the best-quality ingredients. Since Zizi puts a major emphasis on being the best at all facets of gastronomy, this restaurant-bar hybrid is the perfect place for gastro-adventurers, curious travelers and fun seekers who will surely enjoy the inimitable Zizi atmosphere.
ZIZI Bubbles & Tapas Bar (closed)
Address: 1051 Budapest, 12 Hercegprímás Street
Buda Castle, belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage since 1987, is presumably Budapest’s most widely-known spectacle, which is certainly not a coincidence, since this prestigious district is characterized by hypnotizingly beautiful monuments and an unparalleled on the city. The Castle District consists of three major parts: the Palace, Saint George Square, and the residential quarter. For hundreds of years, the Castle served as the residence of Hungarian kings, but after having been rebuilt during the 19th century according to the plans of Miklós Ybl and Alajos Hauszmann, its function was altered. Not so shockingly, the Castle is regularly visited by both tourists and locals, mainly on account of its romantic, calm vibe.
Riso Ristorante & Terrace
Right at the foot of the Castle, there’s an awesome restaurant where a memorable gastro-experience is guaranteed thanks to Riso’s risotto selection, authentic pizzas, and home made pastas. This Hungarian-Italian restaurant is a perfect scene for weddings, romantic dinners, and family gatherings.
Hospital in the Rock
This one-of-a-kind museum used to function as a hospital during the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century, and its real story was top secret until 2002. A multiple-hour-long visit is recommended for those eager to take a trip to Hungary’s past, including the Revolution of 1956 and the stressful days of the Cold War. Thanks to authentic equipments, realistic wax figures, and professional tour guides, you’ll really feel like as if you were a time traveller.
Hungarian National Gallery
National Gallery gives home to the nation’s largest public art collection, which documents and presents the rise and development of Hungarian fine arts. Culture seekers will be amazed by the permanent and temporary exhibitions of this fantastic institution.