Budapest Bucket List

So you want to see, do and experience ALL that this incredible city, Budapest, has to offer? We’ve created the ultimate Budapest Bucket List with 23 of the best things to do in Budapest – including what to eat, where to drink, what to see, and how to make the most out of your trip to Budapest. Click on the Free Printable List at the bottom of this page to take your bucket list with you and see how many you can tick off on your adventures in one of my favourite European cities, Budapest!


Budapest Bucket List

1. Bathe in thermal water

Budapest is renowned for its hot thermal baths, many of which are open to the public and some of which are even outside! My favourite public bath is Szechenyi, followed by Rudas and Gellert (all are worth a visit).

2. Take in the best view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion

My absolute favourite place in Budapest is to take in the sweeping views of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion in Buda, overlooking the Danube River and Pest in the distance. This is also a fabulous place to see the sun setting.

3. Eat Goulash

Perhaps the most popular local dish you could try in Budapest is the traditional Hungarian Goulash. Of course this is a meaty broth, so vegetarians and vegans might prefer to make their way to Edeni cafe in Buda, a fully vegan cafe with a delicious lunch menu. Be sure to grab some sweet snacks to take away as well as it is incredibly well priced!

4. Walk across Chain Bridge

Separating the two sides of Budapest (known as “Buda” and “Pest) is the gorgeous Danube river, with a series of bridges connecting the two. The most fabulous of these bridges is without a doubt the Chain Bridge, which offers a fabulous walk from one side to the other. The lions guarding the bridge are a perfect photo opportunity and you can see many landmarks from here, including Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament.

5. Marvel at the architecture of the Hungarian Parliament

Whilst on the “Buda” side of town, be sure to wander down to view the Hungarian Parliament (a great walking route begins crossing Chain Bridge, catching the funicular to Buda Castle, walking onwards to Fisherman’s Bastion and down hill to arrive exactly opposite the Hungarian Parliament on the Buda side of the river).

6. Go Shopping on Andrassy Street

When you think of Budapest you might not instantly think of shopping, but with a much more favourable exchange rate to the Euro it is entirely worth while (Hungary remains on the forint at present). Andrassy St is the place to go and you’ll find all the known designers as well as some great local designers on this street and surrounding streets in Pest.

7. Catch the Funicular up to Buda Castle

Although a little touristy, this is a great way to make your way smoothly up to Buda Castle from down below. Alternatively, take the stairs.

8. Attend the Opera at the Hungarian State Opera House

As with most European opera houses, the stunning interior of the Hungarian State Opera House is enough to write a book on. Even if you don’t go see a show, be sure to book a tour to go inside.

9. Step Inside Gresham Palace

Although not a Palace in the present day (currently a Four Seasons Hotel), Gresham Palace is a stunning display of aristocracy in Hungary over theย centuries. Even if you just wander in to the lobby to take a look around, it is well worth a visit!

10. See the shoes on the Danube River

This fascinating installation of art is a way of remembering the thousands of lives that were lost through nazi occupation. Be sure to head down for a look – it is quite touching.

four seasons budapest spa

11. Drink in a Ruin Bar

If you find yourself wandering around for hours to find a good bar to position yourself in for the evening, you’ll be wandering for quite a while. All the good bars are hidden ruin bars, many of which lie underground. With many of them closing down and popping up every so often, it is best to ask a local for the best current recommendations. Just be prepared for one crazy night out!

12. Marvel at the Museum of Applied Arts

This is one roof worth walking out of your way for. Trust me when I say you will never see a roof more intricate and fascinating in your lifetime – google it for evidence.

13. Step inside St. Stephen’s Basilica

If you’re on a larger Europe itinerary you might be churched-out already, but I promise this one is worth it! St. Stephen’s is gorgeous both inside and out and is very centrally located.

14. Cruise along the Danube River at Night

If you’re looking to splurge on a romantic night out, this is it. Book a dinner cruise at night to enjoy the Danube.

15. See Matthias Church up Close

Again, if you’re not churched-out enough already, this is another one worth a look.

16. Visit Faust Wine Cellar

If you’re a wine lover, you’ll absolutely love this wine-tasting experience underground.

17. Spin 360 at Heroe’s Square

If you’re up for a walk, head all the way along Andrassy Street to Heroe’s Square and spin 360 to take it all in. The walk itself is worth while!

18. Learn more about Hungarian Modern History at Terror House

One of the best museums I have visited in Europe was the Terror House in Budapest. I won’t say any more other than to just go – it is a great insight into modern history to place Hungary’s position in the 20th Century.

19. Enjoy a thermal spa treatment

If you haven’t quite hit the spot yet with all your thermal spa-ing, head into one of the (many) fancy hotels for a little over indulgence by way of a spa treatment. My favourite included mineral mud at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace.

20. Ride along Tram No. 2

This is perhaps the most scenic way to get around Budapest for those who are visiting the top attractions and don’t wish to walk all the way.

budapest Budapest_Hungary Szechenyi-baths-budapest


21. Dine Al Fresco on Margaret Island in the Summer

If you’re visiting Budapest in the warmer months there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than on Margaret Island – a local’s favourite. The island turns into a full time entertainment destination with many pop up bars and restaurants.

22. Step inside Dohรกny Street Synagogue

As the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world, it is certainly worth a visit to step inside this incredible display of architecture.

23. Visit Vajdahunyad Castle

Located in the city park of Budapest is a castle – can you hardly believe it!? Having normally travelled a long distance outside of capital cities to reach notable castles I was delighted to see that the Vajdahunyad Castle was located in the city itself, just a short walk away.


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    Jakob - Mere Om Rejser
    February 7, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Budapest has been on my wishlist for a long time. I definitely want to go there now. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Wanderlust Wednesday | Le Savoir Vivre
    January 28, 2016 at 9:18 am

    […] you know who Brooke Saward of World of Wonderlust is and how awesome her blog is. I love her “Budapest Bucket List” post, and I want to be on a flight there […]

    January 26, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    12/23 done ๐Ÿ™‚ Budapest is beautiful in winter. Just replace number 21. with: Ice skating on the frozen lake in front of Vajdahunyad castle, and you will get perfect winter list. I spent Christmas time in Budapest and made short video about it:

    Eleanor Morrissey
    January 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

    I agree, the Terror museum is one of the best I’ve seen, so harrowing but eye opening and respectful.
    Budapest is a great, underrated city of Europe in my opinion, loved it when I went!

    January 17, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Can’t wait, I’m going in April. Great post!

    Rebecca Line //
    January 17, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Great list! We are going there this summer, so I will save this list in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 17, 2016 at 1:44 am

    Lovely list! And the best part is that there are still so many things you could add to it. There are so many great things to do in Budapest. I can’t wait to go back in a few months. It’s one of my favorite cities ever.

    Heather K
    January 17, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Awesome list! I didn’t even know about half of these things. I went to Budapest once for just 2 days and ever since I’ve been dying to go back. Definitely bookmarking this page for inspiration for the next visit!

    January 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Going on an interrail this spring and thinking about changing the itinerary to make room for Budapest as well, this makes for a great inspiration and pro-changing! Just curious, do you speak any other languages?

    January 15, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    It might be just me, but I can’ get to the checklist at the bottom…. (link goes nowhere?)
    The last time I was there was 10 years ago so pretty excited to get back there in two months time! Very useful post.

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn
    January 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Budapest is such an amazing city, I love your recommendations! The view from Fishermans Bastion was utterly stunning.

    Tessa at

    January 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    As a native of Budapest, I would 100% recommend the place ‘A La Maison’ for the best (and most beautiful) brunch place in town, and ‘Vintage Garden’ for the prettiest restaurant you’ll ever visit (great choice for vegetarians as well!). After visiting nearly 40 countries in 5 continents, these 2 still remain my absolute faves!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    January 15, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Great list! We’re going to Budapest this March, will definitely keep this guide handy for planning!

    January 15, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Beautiful photos and list! Budapest is on my bucket list. My grandparents has lived there many years.

    Kristina Wilde
    January 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Looks absolutely beautiful!!!
    Kristina Wilde

    Beth @ Paces and Places
    January 15, 2016 at 11:50 am

    The architecture looks beautiful in Budapest. How long were you there for?

    January 15, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Woo! I’m going in two weeks so this is really useful! Thanks Brooke ๐Ÿ˜€