Budapest has a long and vibrant history of entertaining and delighting its visitors with beautiful buildings, ancient history and a charm that’s second to none. Best of all, there are so many of the very best places to visit in Budapest dotted all across the city. From the famous, quirky, and historical to the downright fun.
One of the greatest things about Budapest is that you can explore (the vast majority) the city in a few days, day or night. With, a long weekend being a perfect length of time to visit.
This all makes Budapest one of the best European cities to visit for a shorter trip.
So, to help you find the very best places in Budapest, here are the important things to see when you’re in the city for a few days.
1.) Hungarian Parliament Building
Built in the 19th century, the Hungarian Parliament Building is one of the very best places in Budapest to see the city’s iconic buildings.
Take a stroll down the banks of the River Danube and watch the sunset transform this building with its warm, orange glow.
Afterwards, book this Budapest river cruise that’s totally beautiful to experience. We loved the cruise and it’s so great if you can book tickets for sunset.
Just be sure to book in advance of arriving in Budapest, tickets can sell out fast on peak weekends.
2.) Buda Castle
Buda Castle is a beautiful historic building right in the heart of Budapest.
Take a 20-minute walk up to the top of the castle and enjoy the stunning view of the city from here. Don’t forget to explore the Labyrinth inside.
Try not to get lost while you’re at it.
3.) Fisherman’s Bastion
This neo-gothic terrace and its towers watch over the whole of Budapest. Its seven distinct towers are said to represent the seven tribes that settled in this basin over 1,200 years ago.
When we visited, we headed up here at sunset, watching the twinkling lights of the city and the dramatic Hungarian Parliament Building below.
4.) Chain Bridge
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a literal linking point for Buda and Pest (the two towns that form Budapest).
This dramatic chain bridge stands in contrast to the ornate and beautiful buildings that surround it. In so many ways it reminds me of Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Afterwards, book this Hungarian wine-tasting experience that’s right within Budapest itself. You’ll get to try a whole variety of delicious Hungarian wines, all with a sommelier by your side.
Just be sure to book your Hungarian wine tasting in advance, there are limited spaces for this event. It really is one of the best places in Budapest to try your hand at wine tasting with a pro by your side.
5.) City Park
City Park is a magical place to visit in summer or winter whilst visiting Budapest.
If you’re popping by in summer, you should definitely take a picnic and enjoy the lovingly maintained gardens that surround you.
If you’re visiting in winter, the park comes alive with music, events and ice rinks that locals and visitors come out to enjoy.
6.) Shoes on the Danube Bank
These shoes on the bank of the Danube brought a tear to my eye when I visited. It’s incredibly moving.
A sombre reminder of the horrors against Jewish people that were committed in World War II, “Shoes on the Danube Bank” reflects on the lives of many innocent victims who were shot in the city.
It is a powerful sight to experience and something that we should never forget.
Afterwards, book these tickets to visit The Great Synagogue of Budapest. It’s one of the largest synagogues and one of the very best places in Budapest to visit. You can’t miss it for its significance.
7.) Vajdahunyad Castle
Situated by the stunning boating lake in City Park, Vajdahunyad Castle is definitely a must-see when you’re in Budapest.
We visited in the late evening on our first visit, and then midday on our second. Both are beautiful times to see it, but there’s much more happening during daylight hours.
It was totally stunning to see and one of the very best places in Budapest to see all the beautiful architecture that’s present in the city. Plus, it’s totally relaxing.
8.) Liberty Statue
An iconic statue based in the heart of the city, the Liberty Statue was constructed in 1947, showing the world the spirit, freedom and prosperity of Hungary as a nation.
Head here in the early morning if you want to avoid the majority of visitors that go to experience this site.
9.) Cave Church Inside Gellért Hill
Cave Church forms part of the Gellért Hill Cave network that surrounds this area. Take a tour of the caves and experience a surreal landscape and place of worship unlike any I’ve ever seen before.
The high altar inside the church has become one of the most famous in all of Hungary and is well worth a visit.
10.) Budapest Baths
If you want to visit one of the most popular baths in Budapest, book these tickets for an epic day at Széchenyi Spa.
It has just under 20 pools in total, both inside and out and is well worth a visit.
It’s easily one of the most famous and very best places in Budapest to visit on your trip. Plus, by booking these Széchenyi Spa tickets, you’ll get to bypass all the long queues at the entrance.
Also, don’t forget about the Gellért Baths, too. Part of the beautiful Gellért Hotel, the Gellért Baths is a pristine and natural bathing complex that is considered to hold many healing properties.
The baths have been present at this location, albeit in different forms since the Ottoman Empire conquered this region many hundreds of years ago.