Thinking of visiting Budapest with kids? Hungary’s capital city is full of exciting activities and attractions for children of all ages. From historical landmarks to thrilling outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in Budapest.
In this ultimate city break guide, we’ll explore the best things to do and see in Budapest with kids, so pack your bags, grab the kids, and get ready for a fun-filled adventure in Budapest!
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Is Budapest Good for a City Break?
Budapest is an excellent choice for a city break, especially if you’re travelling with kids. The city is packed with fascinating historical and cultural landmarks and a range of exciting activities that will keep the whole family entertained.
During the summer, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as strolling through the city’s many parks or taking a boat ride down the Danube River.
Hungary with kids can be a great experience as there are many things to do and see that cater to children. From exploring the ancient castles and monuments and taking a dip in the thermal baths to enjoying some museums and galleries, Budapest has no shortage of fun activities.
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Getting To Budapest with Kids
There are several ways to get to Budapest with kids, including by plane, train, and car.
Flying to Budapest
The most convenient way to get to Budapest from further away destinations is by plane. Several airlines fly to Budapest from the U.S., including American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.
Direct flights are available from several U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
The flight time from the United States to Budapest is usually between 10-12 hours, depending on your departure city and airline.
Getting the Train to Budapest
Another option is to travel by train, although this can be a longer and more complicated journey, especially if travelling with kids. You can take the train from several European cities, including Vienna, Munich, and Prague.
However, you may need to change trains and buy multiple tickets to complete your journey.
Driving to Budapest
You can rent a car and go to Budapest if you prefer to drive. However, this is only recommended if you are comfortable going to a foreign country and are familiar with the local driving laws and customs.
Depending on your starting location, the drive can take several hours, and you will need to factor in stops for rest and food.
How to Get from Budapest Airport to the City Centre
Once you arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, you have several options for getting to the city centre:
Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport, and you can expect to pay around 25-30 euros for a ride to the city centre. Ensure you use a licensed taxi and agree on the fare before entering.
Airport Shuttle: Several airport shuttle companies operate at Budapest airport, offering door-to-door service to your accommodation. This is a more affordable option than a taxi, especially if travelling with a group.
Public Transport: Budapest has an extensive public transport network, including buses and metro lines. You can take the 100E bus from the airport to the city centre or the metro line 3 to Deak Ferenc, the central transfer point for all metro lines.
The 12 BEST Things to Do in Budapest with Kids
If you’re planning a Budapest city break with your family, there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do with your kids. Here are the 12 best things to do in Budapest with kids:
#1 Visit Great Central Market Hall
Central Market Hall is a large indoor market that offers a variety of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other local goods. It’s a great place to experience Budapest’s local food and culture.
Kids will love the colourful displays of fruits and vegetables, and the market also has several food stalls and restaurants where you can try traditional Hungarian dishes.
#2 Explore the Hungarian Parliament building
Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building: It is one of the most famous landmarks in Europe, and it’s a must-visit attraction for families with kids.
The building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary and features stunning Gothic Revival architecture with elaborate carvings and intricate details. Kids will love the guided tours of the building, which take you through the impressive hallways and chambers and showcase the building’s history and significance.
The tour also includes visiting the Hungarian Crown Jewels, which are kept in a secure vault in the building.
The Parliament Building is an excellent opportunity to teach kids about Hungary’s government and history, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression.
#3 Budapest Zoo
The Budapest Zoo is one of the oldest and most beautiful zoos in Europe, and it’s a great place to visit with kids. The zoo has over 1,000 animal species, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and bears.
Kids will love watching the animals up close, and some interactive exhibits and activities allow children to learn about the animals and their habitats. The zoo also has a children’s petting zoo, where kids can interact with goats, rabbits, and other small animals.
#4 Go on a Boat Trip on the Danube River
The Danube River is a beautiful and historic waterway that flows through Budapest, and a boat trip along the river is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. There are several boat tours available, including sightseeing tours and dinner cruises.
Kids will love the unique experience of cruising along the river, and there are plenty of opportunities for taking photos and enjoying the views of the city’s landmarks.
#5 Visit the Musical Fountain
The Musical Fountain is a popular attraction on Margaret Island, Budapest’s central park. The Fountain features a water show set to music, with water jets choreographed to dance and move in time to the music.
The fountain show is a fun and interactive experience for kids. The park also has several playgrounds, gardens, and other attractions, making, making it a great place to spend a day with your family.
#6 Margaret Island
Margaret Island is a beautiful park between Buda and Pest in the middle of the Danube River. An island is great for families to relax and enjoy nature, with plenty of walking paths, gardens, and playgrounds.
The island also has several attractions, including the famous Musical Fountain, a small zoo, and a medieval-style water tower. Kids will love exploring the island’s many attractions and seeing the different animals and plants.
#7 Explore the Hungarian Railway Museum
The Hungarian Railway Museum is a fascinating museum that explores the history of rail transportation in Hungary.
The museum has an extensive collection of locomotives, wagons, and other railway vehicles, as well as exhibits on the history of railway engineering and construction.
Kids will love the interactive exhibits, which allow them to experience the different aspects of train travel, including simulators and model trains. The museum also offers train rides on a narrow-gauge railway, a fun and exciting experience for kids.
#8 Visit the Buda Castle District
The Buda Castle District is a historic neighbourhood on the Danube River’s western side. The district has several attractions, including the famous Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Kids will love exploring the narrow streets and alleys of the district, which are full of historic buildings and hidden gems. The Buda Castle is an impressive fortress that dates back to the 13th century, and it offers stunning views of the city from its hilltop location.
The Fisherman’s Bastion is a unique lookout tower that offers panoramic views of the city, and it’s a great place to take photos and enjoy the scenery.
#9 Visiting Budapest at Christmas? Make Sure You Visit a Christmas Market
The Budapest Christmas Market is one of the largest and most festive holiday markets in Europe, and it’s a must-visit attraction for families travelling to Budapest during the Christmas season.
The market features a variety of vendors selling traditional Hungarian food and drink, as well as handcrafted gifts and souvenirs. Kids will love the holiday atmosphere of the market, which includes live music, Santa Claus visits, and Christmas lights and decorations.
Looking for More Christmas Markets in Europe? Why Not Try:
#10 Budapest Easter Market
The Budapest Easter Market is another famous seasonal market that takes place in the spring. The market features vendors selling traditional Easter crafts, decorations, and, decorations, and local food and drink.
Kids will enjoy the festive atmosphere, which includes Easter egg painting and other holiday activities.
Like easter markets? Why not read about the Prague Easter Markets?
#11 Visit the Palatinus Baths
The Palatinus Baths is a large water park located on Margaret Island, and it’s an excellent place for families to cool off and have fun during the hot summer months. The park features several outdoor and indoor pools, water slides, and other attractions.
Kids will love the wave pool, which creates artificial waves, and the various water slides, including a giant slide that goes through a tunnel. The park also has several restaurants and cafes, making it a great day to spend.
#12 City Park
The City Park is Budapest’s largest park, a great place for families to spend a day exploring. The park features several attractions, including the Vajdahunyad Castle, the Budapest Zoo, and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths.
Kids will love the playgrounds, boating lake, and ice-skating rink in the winter months. The city park is also home to several restaurants and cafes, making it easy to grab a snack or a meal while exploring the park.
The Budapest Card
The Budapest Card is a great way to save money and make the most out of your visit to Budapest, especially if you’re travelling with kids. The card offers free public transportation, entry to many of the city’s top attractions, discounts at restaurants and shops, and even a free walking tour.
This makes it a convenient and cost-effective way to explore Budapest, and it’s beneficial if you’re planning on visiting many of the city’s museums, galleries, and other attractions.
Budapest is a very child-friendly city, and the Budapest Card can help make your visit even more enjoyable for kids. With free access to attractions such as the Budapest Zoo, the Children’s Railway, and the Palace of Wonders, the card offers plenty of opportunities for family fun.
The card’s free public transportation makes it easy to get around the city with kids in tow, whether you’re headed to the park, the baths, or one of the many family-friendly restaurants or cafes.
What is the Best Part of Budapest to Stay in?
The best part of Budapest to stay in depends on your preferences and what you plan to do during your visit to the Hungarian capital.
However, many visitors prefer to stay in the city centre, particularly in the District V area near the Danube River and the famous Chain Bridge. This area is known for its stunning architecture, lively nightlife, and many restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Another popular area to stay in is the District VII neighbourhood, the Jewish Quarter. This area is famous for its historic synagogues, street art, and trendy cafes and bars. It’s an excellent option for visitors looking for a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of entertainment.
If you’re looking for a quieter area to stay in, consider the Buda side of the city, known for its hills, parks, and historical landmarks such as Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. This area is particularly popular with families and those seeking a more relaxed, residential atmosphere.
The best part of Budapest to stay in depends on your interests and preferences, but staying in any of these areas will put you near the city’s top attractions and amenities.
Best Places to Stay When Visiting Budapest with Kids
When visiting Budapest with kids on a family vacation, there are several great places to stay that offer convenient access to the city’s top family-friendly attractions:
District V: This central neighbourhood is located on the Pest side of the Danube River and is a popular choice for families. It offers easy access to attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Great Market Hall, and the Danube Promenade.
Buda Castle District: The historic Buda Castle District is located on the Buda side of the city and offers stunning views of the Hungarian capital. Families will enjoy exploring the Castle Hill Funicular, visiting the Budapest History Museum, and taking in the sights from Fisherman’s Bastion.
Margaret Island: Located in the middle of the Danube River, Margaret Island is a peaceful oasis in the city’s heart. Families can stay at one of the island’s hotels and enjoy the island’s numerous parks, playgrounds, and the Palatinus Baths water park.
City Park: The City Park is another excellent area to stay in when visiting Budapest with kids. It offers easy access to attractions such as the Budapest Zoo, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, and the Vajdahunyad Castle.
Jewish Quarter: The Jewish Quarter is a trendy neighbourhood in the city’s heart that offers plenty of family-friendly restaurants, cafes, and shops. Families will enjoy exploring the district’s street art and historic synagogues and and visiting the Budapest Pinball Museum.
Ultimately, there are many great places to stay in Budapest when travelling with kids on a family vacation. It’s essential to choose a location that offers convenient access to the attractions your family is interested in and comfortable and safe accommodations.
1 Day in Budapest
Start your day by taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour to get an overview of the city and its top attractions.
Hop off at the Hungarian Parliament Building and take a guided tour of the impressive neogothic building.
Stroll along the Danube Promenade and cross the Chain Bridge to reach the Buda Castle District.
Explore the Castle Hill Funicular and take in the views from Fisherman’s Bastion.
Head to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and relax in the warm waters of Budapest’s most famous bathhouse.
2 Days in Budapest
Start your day at the Great Market Hall, where you can browse local produce and souvenirs.
Take the metro to Heroes’ Square and explore the nearby City Park.
Visit the Budapest Zoo, one of Europe’s best and largest zoos. Discover more about the best zoos in Europe here.
End your day by taking a river cruise along the Danube to see the city lit up at night.
3 Days in Budapest
Take a day trip to the nearby town of Szentendre, known for its charming cobblestone streets and colourful houses.
Explore the town’s museums and galleries, such as the Open-Air Ethnographic Museum or the Kovacs Margit Ceramic Museum.
Take the metro to Margaret Island and spend the afternoon enjoying the island’s parks and playgrounds.
In the evening, visit the Palace of Arts and attend a performance or exhibition.
If you prefer to take a day trip, you could do it on Day 4. Follow for the best day trips:
Best Day Trips from Budapest with Kids
Many great day trips from Budapest are perfect for a family trip. Here are some of the best day trips from Budapest with kids:
This picturesque town is located just north of Budapest and is home to the impressive Visegrád Castle, which dates back to the 14th century.
Kids will love exploring the castle’s towers and ramparts, and you can also take a scenic chairlift ride up to the nearby hilltop for stunning views of the Danube Bend.
Known as the “artists’ village”, Szentendre is a charming town just a short train or boat ride from Budapest. Kids will love exploring the town’s narrow streets, art galleries, and museums, including the Marzipan Museum and the Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum.
This historic town is located in northern Hungary and is known for its well-preserved castle and baroque architecture. Kids will love exploring the castle’s underground tunnels and climbing the ramparts for views over the town.
Eger is also famous for its thermal baths, including the Eger Thermal and Turkish Bath.
Hungary’s largest lake is just a short train or bus ride from Budapest and offers plenty of family-friendly activities, such as swimming, boating, and cycling along the shore. Kids will love exploring the lake’s numerous beaches and water parks,
and you can also visit the nearby Tihany Peninsula for stunning views and a visit to the Lavender House.
This grand palace is just a short train ride from Budapest and was once the summer residence of Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) of Austria. Kids will love exploring the palace’s opulent rooms and gardens, and guided tours are available specifically for families.
Getting Around Budapest
Hop on Hop off the bus: The Hop on Hop off bus is a popular way for tourists to see the sights of Budapest. It’s a convenient and flexible option allowing you to hop on and off at any designated stops along the route.
Public Transportation: Budapest has an extensive public transportation system, including, including buses, trams, and metro lines. You can purchase single tickets, passes, or a Budapest Card for all public transportation forms.
Taxis: Taxis are widely available in Budapest, and most are equipped with meters. You can also use ride-sharing apps such as Bolt and Uber.
Biking: Budapest has a growing network of bike lanes and rental options, making exploring the city on two wheels easy.
Walking: Many of Budapest’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, and walking is a great way to explore the city’s beautiful streets and architecture.
River Cruises: Budapest is divided by the Danube River, and a river cruise is a unique way to see the city from a different perspective. There are several companies offering sightseeing cruises and dinner cruises.
Budapest City Break FAQs
It depends on the bar. Children are generally allowed in bars during the daytime, but some bars may have age restrictions in the evenings. It’s always best to check with the specific bar before bringing kids along.
For first-time visitors to Budapest, the best areas to stay in are the city centre, District V (Belváros-Lipótváros), and District VI (Terézváros). These areas are close to the main attractions and offer easy access to public transportation.
Three to four days are recommended toree to four days are recommended to see the major sights of Budapest and get a feel for the city. However, you can easily spend a week or more exploring all the city offers.
While three days is not enough time to see everything Budapest offers, it’s enough time to see many of the main sights and get a feel for the city’s culture and history.
Budapest is generally considered a budget-friendly destination compared to other European cities. You can find affordable accommodation, food, and activities; public transportation is; public transportation is inexpensive.
Several family-friendly activities for toddlers in Budapest include visiting the Budapest Zoo, exploring the Children’s Railway, riding the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel, and seeing the Musical Fountain on Margaret Island. You can also take a stroll along the Danube River or City Park.
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Budapest with Kids:
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.