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Things to do in Budapest

Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Even though the people have lived in Budapest since time immemorial, the city itself was born in 1872 with the amalgamation of three previously independent towns—Old Buda (Óbuda), Buda, and Pest.

The Hungarian capital has an illustrious history that has resulted in stunning historical sights, museums, and unqiue architectural styles.

With every tourist trying out at least one of its Thermal Spas, no wonder it is also known as the ‘City of Spas.’

Discover the top tourist attractions in this awe-inspiring city with our list of the things to do in Budapest.

Szechenyi Baths

Szechenyi Baths in Budapest
Image: RossHelen

Szechenyi Baths in Budapest is a collection of 18 pools with medicinal natural hot spring water.

Built in 1913, this 100 plus years old attraction is Europe’s biggest and most famous thermal bath. It has attracted more than 100 million people till now. 

Szechenyi Spa Baths are many things to many people – you can chill out, get to know the locals, fall in love, or close business deals.

Gellert Spa

Gellert Spa, Budapest
Image: Gellertbath.hu

Gellert Spa is one of the most popular Baths in the city of Budapest. 

Its 12 thermal baths, three outdoor pools, Art Nouveau structure, and the beautiful tiles and mosaics surrounding the pools help thousands of visitors relax themselves every day. 

Locally this collection of the finest Thermal Baths is referred to as Gellert Gyogyfurdo.

Szechenyi Spa or Gellert Spa
Totalpics & Lobaszo / Getty Images

Not sure which bath to try? We help you decide – Gellert Baths or Szechenyi Baths.

Danube River Cruises

Danube River Cruise in Budapest
GyThomas / Getty Images

Only 10% of Danube’s water flows through Budapest, one of the four major cities on the banks of the river, but that is enough to make a Danube River Cruise the favorite activity of most tourists. 

Cruising on River Danube is a fantastic way to see the beautiful sights of Budapest from inside out. 

However, there are many kinds of Danube River Cruises, and it is impossible to decide on one without an expert’s help.

Budapest Parliament

Budapest Parliament Building
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Hungary’s Parliament Building in Budapest is ranked among TripAdvisor’s top 15 landmarks in the world. 

Inspired by the British House of Parliament, it is both a Museum and an office for around 800 people. 

The building which the locals refer to as Országház, is renowned for its stunning architecture.

The Budapest attraction is open to visitors who get to see the stunning interiors of the building, including some of 691 well-furnished rooms. 

This proud city landmark on the banks of the Danube gets almost a million visitors annually.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle in Budapest
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Buda Castle is the centerpiece of Budapest Castle District and has historical monuments, Museums, and stunning views all around. 

It is one of Hungary’s most magnificent symbols and was earlier known as the Royal Castle because the Hungarian Kings and Queens lived there. 

The Buda Castle also houses the Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, and National Széchényi Library.

Dohány Street Synagogue

Dohány Street Synagogue, Budapest
Sergdid / Getty Images

Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest in Europe and the second-largest one in the world. It can seat 3,000 people.

It is also known as The Great Synagogue and as Tabakgasse Synagogue.

The onion-shaped domes with gilded ornament make the synagogue on the Dohany street of Pest look like an oriental, Moorish building. 

Its style caught on, and synagogues built later worldwide were often designed in the same fashion.

Hospital in the Rock

Hospital in the Rock Budapest
Image: Sziklakorhaz.eu

The Hospital in the Rock is the built-up part of an extended network of natural caves and tunnels under the Buda Castle in Budapest.

Since the Middle Ages, the locals have used the 10 km (6 miles) long underground caves. 

The hospital played a crucial role as an emergency facility during World War II and the 1956 revolution.

It was developed into an atomic bunker during the Cold War, so Hospital in the Rock is also known as the Rock Hospital Nuclear Bunker Museum. 

House of Terror

House of Terror in Budapest
Image: Terrorhaza.hu

House of Terror Museum in Budapest is a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured, and killed by two ‘dangerous’ regimes that held sway over Hungarians for many years. 

The House of Terror helps visitors learn about Hungary during WWII, including Nazi tyranny and the Soviet Communist occupation which followed. 

The tourist attraction helps users gain a deeper grasp of Hungary’s complex political history.

Budapest Pinball Museum

Budapest Pinball Museum
Image: Flippermuzeum.hu

Playing Pinball was a massive pastime before radios, televisions, computers, and smartphones came in and changed the way we entertained ourselves. 

At the Budapest Pinball Museum, which is the city’s No 1 museum on Tripadvisor, visitors can see pinball machines from the 1800s to now.

At this quirky museum, visitors can try their skills on up to 160 pinball machines.

Every machine is playable except Hercules, the world’s largest pinball machine. 

St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest
TomasSereda / Getty Images

St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest Church in Budapest, is dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen, who ruled the kingdom in the 11th century and converted Hungarians to Christianity.

The Basilica is famous for its historical value and its beautiful Neoclassical architecture.

The highlight of the St. Stephen’s Basilica is The Holy Right, a naturally mummified right hand of the first Hungarian ruler Saint Stephen.

Matthias Church

Matthias Church in Budapest at night
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Budapest’s Matthias Church is the most visited Roman Catholic place of worship in the city.

Located in the heart of the Castle district, the church was initially named ‘The Church of Our Lady.’ 

Over time, this predominantly neo-Gothic-style church was referred to as Matthias Church after famous Hungarian King Matthias.

Even though the current building was constructed in the 14th century, a church has stood there since 1015. 

It is a must-visit tourist attraction, and for a better experience, it makes sense to book a guided tour. 

Hungarian Jewish Museum

Hungarian Jewish Museum in Budapest
Image: Aejm.org

The Hungarian Jewish Museum and Archives is situated in the historic Jewish area of Budapest, inside the building complex of the Dohány Street Synagogue, which was erected in 1859.

At the Jewish Museum & Dohány Synagogue Complex, visitors learn about the stirring history of the Hungarian Jewish community during the two world wars and the Holocaust.

To protect the collection of rare relics from danger, two foresighted museum employees buried them in the cellar in 1942.

Fortunately, their bravery paid off, and great Jewish artworks, artifacts, and keepsakes remembering the Jewish community over the years can now be seen by visitors.

Madame Tussauds Budapest

Madame Tussauds Budapest
Image: Madametussauds.hu

The world’s first fully-franchised Madame Tussauds wax museum in Budapest was to open in 2022. 

However, it’s not open to the public yet. 

The soon-to-open museum will be spread across 2000 square meters. 

It will provide an interactive tourist spot for foreigners and nationals to appreciate the various exhibits at Madame Tussauds. 

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