With enough architecture, history, and culture to keep most every traveler happy, Budapest is a fantastic destination. Check out our list of 10 free things to do in Budapest!
Walk across the Chain Bridge (Széchenyi lánchíd), the first permanent bridge over the Danube in Hungary. It connects Buda and Pest (the western and eastern sides of Budapest) and is a symbol of advancement and strength within the country.
These days, Vaci street (Váci utca) caters predominantly to tourists, but take a stroll past the chain stores and you’ll arrive at the Great Market Hall, which was commissioned by the city’s first mayor. Step inside and you’ll find an amazing variety of spices, produce, caviar… you get the picture.
The castle at the center of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is, to put it mildly, gigantic. The palace was built in the 14th century, but today it’s home to the Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery, and the National Library. You can easily spend a day (or more!) wandering the streets and grounds.
Gellért Hill Cave feels ancient (and the natural network of caverns most certainly is), but its entrance was actually constructed in the last 100 years. It’s an amazing sight to see, and has played many unique roles throughout history.
Ruin bars started popping up around Budapest in the early 2000s and have become ubiquitous throughout the city. Part pop-up, part dive bar, these hangouts have been transformed from run-down buildings and unused outdoor spaces into lively spots to grab a beer (usually for under $2) and maybe even catch a concert.
If you’re yearning for some outdoor time, Margaret Island is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. With gardens, a tiny zoo, running track, and an open-air water park, you’re sure to have a fun-filled afternoon.
Need even more fresh air? Head to the hills … the Buda Hills that is! Take the Children’s Railway (operated entirely by kids aged 10-14, except for the conductor) to the top, and take in the best view of the city.
Ready for a night out? Most clubs in Budapest have free admittance. You’ll find clubs with every kind of music imaginable, both indoor and out.
The Palace of Arts houses a concert hall, theater, and museum, and hosts musical acts and performances of all kinds. Elvis Costello? Check! Opera? Check! Most of the performances are paid admission, but you can check out the Colour Concerts series for free classical concerts.
Hop on the suburban railway and in 45 minutes you’ll be in the picturesque town of Szentendre. Though small, the town is packed with art museums and galleries and makes for a wonderful day trip away from the capital.
Do you have something to add to our list? Tell us in the comments!