Budapest things to do

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Castle District

Price guide: Free
#1/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Best for Romance -
Expert overall rating:4.8 (out of 5)

The city’s romantic, cobbled old town.

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Matthias Church

Price guide: Budget
#2/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

A healthy splash of colour at the heart of the Castle District.

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House of Terror

Price guide: Mid-range
#3/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

Moving exhibition charting dark times in the 20th century.

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Parliament

Price guide: Expensive
#4/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

One of the world’s most handsome Parliaments: a Neo-Gothic masterpiece.

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#6/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.7 (out of 5)

The city’s main church, and home of the country’s most revered relic.

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#8/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Best for Culture -
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

An enormous treasure trove of the country’s best art.

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Budapest Opera House

Price guide: Mid-range
#9/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.6 (out of 5)

It’s a pleasure on the eye – and not bad on the ear either...

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#10/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Best for History -
Expert overall rating:4.5 (out of 5)

Take a trawl through Hungarian history in the country’s biggest museum.

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Memento Park

Price guide: Mid-range
#11/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.4 (out of 5)

Resting place for the Communist statues that once lorded over the city.

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Aquincum

Price guide: Budget
#12/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Step back in time with a stroll around the city’s rich Roman remains.

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#13/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

One of the finest collections of international art in central and eastern Europe.

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#16/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Best for Escapists -
Expert overall rating:4.2 (out of 5)

Dead good: take a peaceful walk in the final resting place of some of the country’s greats.

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#19/20
expert-rated things to do in Budapest
Expert overall rating:3.8 (out of 5)

The magnificent Knights’ Hall and other remains of royal palaces of the past.

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Budapest has a tempting range of things to see and do. There’s no shortage of culture – museums and galleries abound, and the country has a proud musical heritage that can be enjoyed in places like the Opera House – but there are less cerebral pursuits too. The river offers cruises, there’s thermal water for those who fancy a pampering, and the Buda Hills make good walking and cycling territory.

  • Most museums and galleries are closed on Monday. There will almost always be an admission charge, and temporary exhibitions are generally more expensive than permanent ones.
  • The Budapest Card entitles the holder to discounts at a range of museums, galleries and other attractions. It also allows you to travel free on all forms of public transport. A 48-hour card costs 6,300 forints and a 72-hour card is 7,500 forints; you can buy them from Tourinform offices, metro stations, at the airport and elsewhere. Given that the card isn’t cheap, however, you need to decide whether or not it will deliver sufficient savings to make it worthwhile. In particular, EU residents over 65 should think carefully – they are already allowed to travel free on public transport and often receive discounts on admission to museums and galleries.
     
How I’ve picked my things to do: 

I’ve chosen a spread of highlights, all of which are readily accessible from the city centre. Among them are traditional museums and galleries, exhibitions devoted to the country’s Communist past, and stunning bathhouses where you can take a relaxing soak. I’ve also ensured the kids are catered for, with a zoo, a funfair and green spaces for picnics and bike rides.

Set focus

I’ve chosen a spread of highlights, all of which are readily accessible from the city centre. Among them are traditional museums and galleries, exhibitions devoted to the country’s Communist past, and stunning bathhouses where you can take a relaxing soak. I’ve also ensured the kids are catered for, with a zoo, a funfair and green spaces for picnics and bike rides.