Things To Do In Budapest - View From Gellért Hill of Budapest and Danube. Explore and travel Hungary!

Hungary: 10 Cool Things To Do In Budapest You Didn´t Know Exist!

10 Cool Things To Do In Budapest You Didn´t Know Exist!

A very long time ago, I visited Budapest with my parents. I was a child, maybe six or seven years old. At that time we were on vacation in Hungary or other Eastern European countries a lot. Unfortunately, when I think about that time, I have only a few glimpses of memories. Mostly pieces of pictures in my head or a feeling which I had when I try to remember.

Lucky me, I had the chance to visit Budapest once again recently.

Before this trip, I was quite excited about how it feels now, that I have grown up! Here are a few things, which I discovered, experienced during my weekend in Budapest, and which have found their way on my list of favorite things to do in Budapest!

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A weekend getaway to Budapest, Hungary and 10 unique things to do! #travel #europe

Things To Do In Budapest

I had a long weekend and a few things on my list, which I wanted to do, but mostly, I wanted to go with the flow and find out which cool things to do I would find in Budapest! Below, you´ll find a list of the 10 coolest things to do in Budapest!

Karaván Street Food

Just in case I haven´t mentioned it yet, but I love food, and I love to try all kinds of different local dishes! When I wandered through the Jewish quarter in Budapest, trying to find a place to have breakfast (by the way, I highly recommend the traditional Hungarian Breakfast at Platós, Dohány u. 30, 1074 Budapest. But also the more healthy dishes or waffles looked delicious!), I went by this street food place. Karaván Street Food is a small place, nestled between buildings, and it looks as if a building stood there before, which was torn down and never restored.

You´ll find a couple of food trucks with more or less traditional Hungarian food, mostly new interpretations from Langosh to Thai Food over ice cream and vegan burgers. In the back is a bar where you can get all kinds of cocktails, as well as a seating area where you can enjoy a delicious meal. 

If you´re not a cocktail girl, try one of the smoothies. All are out of fresh fruit and vegetables and have no added sugar at all! Mmmmh!!! Yummy!!

Short facts: Street Food Karavan Budapest, Kazinczy u. 18, 1075 Budapest


Ruin Bars

One of the best things to do in Budapest is enjoying the nightlife. As soon as the sun is about to set, people come out of their homes or workspaces, where they hide from the heat of the day, to promenade along the Danube River, or enjoy drinks and snacks at bars or restaurants. 

Ruin bars are one of the most popular spots in Budapest´s vibrant nightlife scene. All over the city, abandoned buildings were turned into the hip, primarily open-air bars. Each of these bars has a unique personality. They are usually filled with more or less old or new, not necessarily matching furniture, the walls are filled with paintings, graffiti, or other artists’ marks, and often have an open-air character.

You can find most of the ruin bars in District 7, probably better known as the Jewish Quarter. You can explore this bar scene on your own or attend a tour of these unique, quite hidden, open-air spots*.

Fortunately, I found at least one on the last evening of my Budapest visit. It’s so cool that I had that experience! I was too tired from my day at the Szechenyi Thermal Bath on that last day. I only wanted to have a drink or two but didn´t want to walk a lot anymore. That´s why I skipped the most popular and also oldest ruin bar, Szimpla Kert, and was happy that I found UdvarRom.

I believe that when I revisit Budapest, exploring more of those ruin bars, is the one activity which is already on my list!

Thermal Baths

Of course, no journey to Budapest is complete without visiting one of the Thermal Baths. Budapest is full of natural thermal springs, which are known for its healing powers. Those springs were the reason why the Romans came here and founded the city. There are still ruins of the Roman baths visible today.

Most of the active baths date back to the 16th and 17th  century. Other bathhouses were built during the 20th century when Budapest was the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Today, you can relax in the warm waters, release any stress with having a massage in the spa areas, or have fun in whirlpools or at pool parties at nighttime.

The largest and most popular one is Széchenyi Thermal Bath* and was built in 1913. Beautiful neo-baroque architecture and distinctive yellow walls stand out against the blue waters of its outside pools. In total, 21 thermal pools, as well as saunas, steam rooms, and a spa area wait for you!

Short facts: Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary

Szechenyi Thermal Bath is one of the most popular bathhouses in Budapest and should be on your list of things to do on your Hungary vacation #travel #europe

Great Market Hall

Visiting the Great Market Hall is the one thing to do in Budapest, which I didn´t want to miss. I love food, and I love to taste various flavors which are typical for a country. When I arrived on Saturday and finally got into the city, it was already too late for the Great Market Hall! It was closed for the day and wouldn´t open its doors again on Monday! Good that my flight back was on Tuesday!

It was the first thing on Monday morning what was on my list for my last day! There was just one thing only on my list for that day; staying at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, but when I checked the route and how I can go there, I saw that the Great Market Hall was on that way!

Guess how happy I was that I would have a chance to visit! So said, so done! I made a stop there for having breakfast hoping for a Langos, a Hungarian pancake, or any other traditional food. In the end, I got myself a poppy seed strudel with the most amount of poppy seed; I haven´t seen for a long time! And it was so delicious that I would go back to Budapest just for one of those pieces!

Traveling Hungary: One of the best things to do in Budapest. A culinary tour to the Great Market Hall  Traveling Hungary: One of the best things to do in Budapest. A culinary tour to the Great Market Hall

The Great Market Hall is Budapest’s most beautiful and largest market hall. There are several other ones, and if I had stayed a few days longer, I would´ve loved to explore those. The building is over a hundred years old (built in 1897). On three floors, you can find a wide range of fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products, pickles, fresh fish, wines, souvenirs, bags, clothes, pans and pots, and other Hungarian products, also restaurants, grills, and more homestyle-like food stations.

You can even book a food tour through the Great Market Hall*, which includes several food tastings!

Short facts: Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary, opening hours: Monday: 6 am – 5 pm, Tuesday-Friday: 6 am – 6 pm, Saturday: 6 am – 3 pm

Cat Café Budapest

It was coincident on the first evening of my Budapest trip! The sightseeing bus “threw us out of the street” as it was the last stop and also the final round of the day!

When I checked the offline map, I suddenly saw something called “Cat Café”! A closer look revealed that it was for real: the Cat Café Budapest—the perfect place To Be!

I couldn´t believe it. I heard a lot about such kinds of restaurants and cafés, mainly in countries like Japan. There you could eat, drink café, accompanied by several cats who live there. You can pet and play with them while eating and have a drink! It’s crazy that there is one in Budapest as well! Of course, I had to go there!! And I loved it! I´m just such a cat person!

Fifteen cats live there, and I saw a couple of them! A few slept on chairs or even tables, other ones just sat somewhere in a corner, or the window and watched us, people! Probably, people are the most fascinating and strange thing they have seen and feel very grateful that they have the chance to get as close as possible to observe our weird behavior!

By the way, they offer a very delicious chocolate cake! 

Things To Do In Budapest - Cat Café Budapest. Explore and travel Hungary!

Short Facts: Révay street 3., Budapest, Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 21:00, Phone: +36 20 617 3301,

Sunset At Danube River Embankment

What is a journey to Budapest without a stroll alongside the river and watching the sunset? Especially in summer, more people leave their houses when it´s getting dark and promenade at the Danube. They visit the Shoes of the Danube, sit on the edge, drink, or chat with their friends. They watch the sunset and enjoy the fresh summer breeze when the air cools from the hot summer temperature in the daytime.

As soon as it gets dark in Budapest, the most famous sights will be lit up and provide an even more romantic mood. The perfect place for a first, second, or any number of dates! After that, you can walk back to the chain bridge and have a drink at that popup bar under the bridge. Sit in one of the sunchairs and listen to DJs’ live lounge music.

It´s amazing what you find when you wander around!

Sunset at Danube River in Budapest. One of the most romantic things to do in Budapest. A must do on a weekend getaway to one of Europe's most vivid Capitols. Travel Hungary

Hungarikum Bizstro

Always busy, always booked out, but soooo worth it to visit and eat at this Hungarian restaurant! The Hungarikum Bisztro offers traditional Hungarian cuisine, which you would think is cooked by the Hungarian Granny, which you would wish you had yourself. It was a recommendation of a friend of mine who ate here before, and she told me that it´s better to make a reservation.

Once again, I was lucky! While I was walking through the city center, I realized that I was close to it, so I thought I would give it a try and check if they had a free table for me. Fortunately, they had one. A good hour and a half until the next guests arrive who reserved that table, I could enjoy the Hungarian Menu! It was a three-course menu with a Goulash Soup, duck leg, mashed potatoes and red slaw, and Hungarian pancakes! Additionally, I got homemade bread as an appetizer and Palínka, a traditional Hungarian Schnaps.

The restaurant is hidden in one of the side streets; it´s still quite centrally located. Only a few meters to the river, a few more to the parliament building, and also the chain bridge is in walking distance. When you enter, you´ll find yourself in a cozy, not too big, but comfortable room with forty covers and a team, which welcomes you as if you were a life-long friend. 

Some short facts in case you want to try to get a reservation: Hungarikum Bisztró – 1051 Budapest, Steindl Imre u. 13. Tel.: +36-30-661-6244, opening hours: 11.30-14.30 és 18.00-22.00,,

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A weekend getaway to Budapest, Hungary and 10 unique things to do! From sunset watching to street food and ruin bars! And don't forget the Thermal Baths in Budapest! #travel #europe

Sisi Statue

Me, as a huge fan of the old “Sissi” movies, starring Romy Schneider (My Mom and I, we still watch them every time at Christmas, and it never gets boring! Similar to Dirty Dancing; you can watch it a hundred times, and don´t get tired of it).

Because of that, it was a pleasant surprise when I suddenly stand in front of the statue of, the Empress of Austria, and Queen of Hungary, Sisi! So cool! You can find this one near the arch at Madách Imre ter.

Things To Do In Budapest - Sisi Statue - A weekend getaway to one of Europe's most vivid Capitols. Travel Hungary

But don´t think that this is the only statue of Queen Elizabeth. She loved Hungary and its people, and the people loved her, so it´s no wonder that there are a few statues, a bridge, and districts, which are named after her.

Airport Observation Terrace

A very cool thing to kill some time, while you´re waiting for your flight is visiting the observation terrace at the airport! On the day, when I had to get back to Germany, I had quite a long time to wait. Lucky me the ticket machines for the observation terrace were out of order on that day. That´s why access was free for everyone.

Quite a bunch of people used that opportunity to wait outside with more or less fresh air (sometimes it smelled as if the air was fueled with cerosin, too). You can watch how aircraft’s land and take-off, or how people enter and leave the planes.

I love all that (nerdy) stuff!

MORE ADVENTURES FROM DREAM AND WANDERLAND  Romania: Five Fascinating Things To Do In Bucharest


No matter which other cool things you might find in this incredible city, what still is a must-do is, of course, doing some sightseeing! Hop on of one of those sightseeing buses, or get around by walking or public transport. Whatever you prefer, if self-guided, or get some more detailed information from guides, or tours.

Sights, which you should explore are places like the castle district with the Buda Castle, The Fisherman´s Bastion, or the Buda Tower; the Hospital in the Rocks, or the Castle Gardens.

The Gellért Hill, with the Citadel and the Liberty Statue, is also famous as an excellent location to catch one of the most breathtaking views of the city and the Danube River! 

View From Gellért Hill of Budapest, Danube, and the Parliament building. Explore and travel Hungary!

And don´t forget about the Shoes of the Danube River, and the Parliament! Or St. Peters Basilica, or the city center itself with its fashion street and restaurants!

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A weekend getaway to Budapest, Hungary and 10 unique things to do! From sunset watching to street food and ruin bars! And don't forget the Thermal Baths in Budapest! #travel #europe

There is still so much to see and do! I can tell you; one weekend is not enough to discover everything! Have you been to Hungary´s Capital yourself? Leave me a comment below and tell me which are your favorite things to do in Budapest!

33 thoughts on “Hungary: 10 Cool Things To Do In Budapest You Didn´t Know Exist!”

  1. The city looks amazing with lots of wonderful places to visit. Wish I could visit there soon. thanks for sharing this interesting article.

  2. I love Budapest! I visited three years ago and I can’t wait to go back. Reading your post was a trip down memory lane 😊 The thermal baths were unreal and the perfect way to stay warm during my winter travel visit. I’ll have to visit in summer though! How were the thermal baths then?

    1. Oh, also in Summer the thermal baths were incredible. The water is warm and if you want to sunbath a bit, you can do it! You should try it during Summer, too!

  3. I love Budapest! I’ve been numerous times already and haven’t even done everything on this list – perfect reason to go back 🙂

  4. I love Budapest! Watching the sunset at the riverbank is such a special moment. We loved the ruin bars too! I’ll try Hungarikum Bisztro next time 🙂

  5. I’ve been to Hungary but not to Budapest yet! These were some incredible gems that I’ll keep in mind for when I finally get there! My friend went to the baths when she was there and loved them!

  6. I wish I’d seen this list before my trip there! I had no idea about half the things on this list like the Sisi statue and the market hall! Guess I’ll just have to plan a trip back 😛

    1. What?? You haven´t heard of the Great Market Hall! I guess you have to go back again 😉 I hope you had an amazing time anyway, Emma! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hey Liz, I love Budapest, too! And I agree, the architecture and also the food is amazing! Could die for a Palatschinken 😀

  7. I was in Budapest last winter during Christmas and it was magical! I loved the ruin bars, the food caravans and the Market Hall. I didn’t know there was a cat cafe there, would have wanted to visit that too, I have never been to one!

    1. Christmas in Budapest must be a unique experience, too! I heard the Christmas markets are amazing and one of the best in Europe! Is it true? What do you think?

    1. Lydia, the thermal baths are best! A perfect way to calm down and relax and just enjoy the day! Maybe get a massage, too… 😉

  8. Budapest sounds like a great place with tonnes to see and do! I love the idea of the Ruin Bars….such a unique idea and would be fund and lively places to hang out. And of course I would have to check out at least one of the thermal baths. And the food!

    1. Yes, Kelly! So many things to do! I definitely need to go back, too, to experience all the other things, for which I hadn´t had the time!

  9. My friend moved back to her home town and has been asking me to visit so this is such a wonderful resource for when I visit Budapest. I would love to see the market and the thermal spa.

    1. Razena, what a perfect opportunity to visit an amazing city and be with your friends and have great experiences! Do you have plans about when to go, already?

    1. Thanks a lot! Yeah, Budapest is so beautiful and fun! I love and probably will be back pretty soon! Have you been there, yourself, Anna?

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