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15+ Top & Offbeat Things to do in Hungary

One of the most beautiful countries in Central Europe, Hungary resembles a paradisiacal land with its pristine hilly regions and fairy-tale castles and aristocratic settlements. No wonder the country is often called the Paris of the East. Plan a visit this season and get an opportunity to explore rich national parks, lush green hills, great architecture, the Danube River, ancient settlements, and modern cities. Make your stay memorable with these top things to do in Hungary.

Travel 101: Top Things To Do In Hungary

1. Take a Look at the Grand Buda Castle

things to do in Hungary - Buda castle

One of the best things to do in Hungary is to explore the grandiosity of Buda Castle. Also called, Budavari Palota, the grand Buda Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is of great historical and architectural significance. With wonderful designs and intricate patterns and structure, the castle offers majestic views to its visitors. The castle was built in the late 17th century and has witnessed the evolution of Budapest. Hence, it has been one of the important landmarks in the city.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Architecture Lovers

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Entry Fee: $10 for Adults | $3.50 for Kids

Timings: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: The castle’s courtyards do not require any entry fee if you are seeking free things to do in Hungary.

2. Capture the Beauty of Parliament Building

The Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest is an amazing example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. Sitting on the banks of the Danube, the building is currently the largest one in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest. Hundreds of spires and arches sit around an impressive central dome, where political rallies often take place. Owing to creative lighting, the building looks even more impressive at night. Tours around sections of the interior run on a regular basis and are available in a wide variety of different languages.

Recommended For: Photographers, Explorers

Price: $8.30 for EU Citizens | $20.70 for Non-EU Citizens

Timings: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm

Pro Tip: Order your tickets online in advance as only a limited number of people is allowed to enter the complex at once.

3. Cruise the Danube River

things to do in Hungary - Danube river cruising

Taking a cruise along the Danube is a fantastic way to see many of the best sites from a different perspective. Whether you choose to take a stunning night cruise through Budapest, or whether you choose a longer all-day cruise around the Danube Bend, you marvel at what you can see from your boat. Cruise run almost every single day of the year and boat companies can be found along the banks of the Danube.

Recommended For: Families, Couples, Photographers

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Price Range: $12 (basic cruise ride) – $90 (VIP cruises)

Timings: 09:00 am to 11:00 pm

Pro Tip: If you want to learn about the places on the way, then opt for a cruise with an audio guide.

4. Explore the Richness of Hortobagy National Park

Hortobagy National Park is part of the Great Plains of Hungary and is the largest area of protected landscape in the country. Along with magnificent vistas, the area is also well known for its rich cultural heritage. There is a strong agricultural tradition in the area and hence, learn how farming in the region has evolved over the years here. Witness a huge array of wildlife and plants, including a small population of rare, semi-wild Przewalski Horses.

Recommended For: Wildlife Lovers, Photographers

Location: Eastern Hungary

Price: $2 for Adults | $1.40 for Students

Timings: 08:00 am to 04:00 pm

5. Learn about the Necropolis of Sopianae

The Necropolis of Sopianae is one of Hungary’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This Necropolis displays a mixture of Christian and Roman influences. The painted frescos and sarcophaguses which can be seen at the site are very interesting examples of early Christian artworks. As the city of the dead expanded, other collections of tombs sprung up around the city but these have less cultural importance than the main Christian works. Visit and surprise the history lover in you.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Offbeat Explorers

Location: Pecs, Hungary

Price: $7 for all the towers and buildings.

6. Relax in the Waters of the Cave Bath

things to do in Hungary - Cave bath Hungary

The Cave Bath at Miskolc-Tapolca is a must-see attraction for those who enjoy relaxation and pampering. This thermal spa bath is located in a natural cave system, which can only be explored by wading in. The water, which is rich in minerals and sits at a constant temperature of 30 degrees C, is reportedly good for the health. The thermal waters here have been drawing in visitors since the 17th century, but they only gained widespread popularity after a new bathing complex was opened in the 1940s.

Recommended For: Couples, Families

Location: Miskolc, Hungary

Price Range:  $12 – $14 per adult

Timings: 09:00 am to 08:00 pm

Pro Tip: The bath remains closed in the month of January.

7. Marvel at the Impressive Esztergom Basilica

Dominating the attractive skyline of one of the oldest of Hungarian towns, the spectacular edifice that is Esztergom Basilica is well worth the 46-kilometer journey from Budapest. Set overlooking the Danube River on Castle Hill, this impressive Catholic church, officially called the Primatial Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed Into Heaven and St. Adalbert, was built in 1507. It is not only the country’s biggest religious structure but also the tallest. With its huge dome stretching 100 meters into the air, it grabs everyone’s attention.

Recommended For: Architecture Lovers, Photographers

Location: Esztergom, Hungary

Price: No Entrance Fee

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

01:00 pm to 05:00 pm on Sundays

8. Shop at the Great Market Hall

One of the major Budapest attractions, the Great Market Hall is a one-stop destination for all the shoppers out there. Although there are thousands of markets in Hungary, the Grand Market Hall in Budapest is probably the most well known of them all. This multi-story market is situated in an impressive neo-gothic building close to the banks of the Danube. Inside, you will find local farmers and traders selling a huge variety of produce. Visit it and explore its liveliness.

Recommended For: Shoppers, Explorers

Location: Budapest, Hungary

Price: No Entry Fee

Timings: 06:00 am to 05:00 pm

06:00 am to 03:00 pm on Saturdays

Pro Tip: The market remains closed on Sundays and hence, plan your visit accordingly.

9. Enjoy Old World Charm at Sopron

things to do in Hungary - Sopron Hungary

Sopron, just 64 kilometres south of Vienna and eight kilometres from the Austrian border near the eastern foothills of the Alps, is a popular destination for day-trippers. Its allure stems from its attractive surroundings as from its many well-preserved medieval and Baroque buildings. Sopron’s 240 protected buildings, 115 of which are officially-listed monuments, comprise one of the largest such collections in Europe.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Explorers, Photographers

Location: Sopron, Hungary

Price: No Entry Fee

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: The Old Town Main Square is a perfect place in Sopron to capture locals and their lifestyle on your camera.

10. Explore the Royal Remains of Visegrad Palace

The remains of the castle at Visegrad sit atop a hill overlooking the town. But it is worth the climb to explore the ruins and admire the view. The earliest parts of the castle were constructed in the 13th Century by King Bela IV of Hungary as an attempt to strengthen fortifications along the Danube in the hope of preventing further invasions from the river. The castle later became a summer palace for King Matthias Corvinus, often considered to have been one of the country’s greatest rulers.

Recommended For: Architecture Lovers, History Explorers

Location: Visegrad, Hungary

Price: $5.90 for Adults

Timings: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm

11. Be Amazed at the Aggtelek Caves

things to do in Hungary - Aggtelek Caves

The Caves of Aggtelek Karst National Park are one of the eights UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. Enter the caves to see an impressive array of stalactites and stalagmites, including some of the largest stalactites in Europe. Due to the rich and varied mineral content of the ground above, some wonderfully patterned rocks could also be seen.

Recommended For: Offbeat Explorers

Location: Aggtelek, Hungary

Price Range: $7 – $10 for adults

Recommended Timings: 09:00 am to 04:00 pm

Pro Tip: June is the best time to visit the caves as this is when one would find a less tourist crowd.

12. Visit the Mosque of Pasha Qasim

This fantastic building was originally erected in the latter half of the 16th Century when the country was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Once a mosque, it is now in use as a Roman Catholic Church. The Mosque of Pasha Qasim is one of the finest examples of Turkish architecture in the whole country. The Christian symbolism in the church is also worth exploring.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Explorers

Location: Pecs, Hungary

Price: $2.50 for Adults

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Plan your visit wisely as visitors cannot enter the church during religious ceremonies.

13. Revel in the Gorgeousness of Lake Balaton

things to do in Hungary - Lake balaton

Lake Balaton is Central Europe’s largest lake and is one of the country’s top tourist attractions. During the summer season, the majority of Hungarian families take a day out by the lake and enjoy its pristine surroundings. Attractions here include swimming, fishing and sailing on the lake. During the winter, visitors to the lake can go skating or ice fishing. The place is a perfect weekend getaway for families as well as couples.

Recommended For: Families, Couples, Photographers

Location: Hungary

14. Explore the Unique Architecture of Holloko Village

things to do in Hungary - Holloko Village Hungary

This village is a UNESCO site because of its unique architecture, cultural heritage, and traditions. The inhabitants of the village belonged to an ethnic group called the Palocz, who have been residing in the area for centuries. Visit the village to watch some prime examples of rural life from the period before the agricultural revolution. Even today, most of the work in the village is in the same age-old styles. Take a tour of this wondrous village and step back in time.

Recommended For: History Lovers, Explorers

Location: Nograd, Hungary

Price: No Entry Fee                                    

Timings: Anytime

Pro Tip: Do explore the craft shops of the village as they have amazing souvenirs on offer.

15. Take a tour of the Tokaj Wine Region

Tokaj is the most famous wine making region in the entire Hungary. Wine has been produced in the area for over a thousand year and hence, it is one of the most visited wine regions in the country. Tokaji wines are popular across the globe for its royal taste. The most popular ones here are sweet wines, which are made from grapes affected by a non-harmful type of fungus.

Recommended For: Wine Lovers, Explorers

Location: Tokaj, Hungary

Price Range: $8 – $15 per person

Timings: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm

Pro Tip: Book a pre-arranged wine tour to explore the best of the region with great wine tasting sessions.

16. Bike up the Buda Hills

Buda Hills

The Buda Hills lying in the western half of Budapest are some of the greenest and cleanest areas of the city. Blessed with numerous hiking and biking trails, the hills make for idyllic escapes from the hustle and bustle of cities. Travelling to the highest point in the hills will give you a great view of the surrounding settlements. Go on a picnic with your family and friends here and have a great weekend creating memories. Exploring these is definitely one of the best things to do in Budapest.

Recommended For: Nature Lovers, Families, Photographers

Location: Budapest

Price: No Entrance Fee

($4.80 for Adults and $2.80 for Students for Chairlifts)

Timings: Open 24 Hours

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