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Budapest Culture & history

Our most recommended Budapest Culture & history

Budapest: Széchenyi Spa Full Day with Optional Pálinka Tour

1. Budapest: Széchenyi Spa Full Day with Optional Pálinka Tour

Book your full-day ticket to the Széchenyi Bath in advance and take advantage of complimentary tasting of Hungary's famous spirit "pálinka" on an optional guided tour inside the Pálinka Museum. The Széchenyi Bath is the largest thermal spring bath complex not only in Budapest but in Europe as well. It was built in 1913 in a Neo-baroque style. At the time it opened its baths were private, having separate steam baths for men and women, as well as different public baths for men and women. In 1927, the spa complex was expanded and today it comprises 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools. After its expansion, the thermal artesian wasn’t adequate to supply the spa, so a new well was drilled. The second thermal spring dates from 1938. Towels and swimsuits are available for purchase only, no rental. Please note that swimsuits that cover the entire body are not permitted. During your visit, blow off some steam at the pools of Széchenyi Spa (built-in 1913.), which is Europe’s largest healing bath with its 15 indoor, and 3 grand outdoor pools. Pools are of varying temperatures, between 18 to 38 °C (64 to 100 °F). The complex covering 6220 square meters (67000 sq ft) also includes saunas and a steam bath. Afterward, discover a hidden gem in the city center to taste some Hungarian pálinka (spirits; non-alcoholic drinks are also available). Differently from whiskey or vodka, pálinka is made exclusively from different sorts of fruits and has an aromatic smell. Inside the Pálinka Museum's interactive exhibits, you will learn about its birth, tradition, and history. That’s why Hungary's Pálinka Act of Parliament exists which regulates and protects the production and quality of palinka.

Budapest: Light Art Museum Admission Ticket

2. Budapest: Light Art Museum Admission Ticket

Step into the modern Light Art Museum to become surrounded by colorful lights and optical illusions. Visit one of Budapest's most unique attractions and browse through a large collection of contemporary artworks. Immerse yourself in a fascinating, interactive, and vibrant space. Discover exciting installations and ground-breaking artworks in a fabulous hall that used to be a popular farmers' market. Come up close with a wide range of contemporary, historically significant, and modern art pieces. Bring the whole family along and be mesmerized by an exquisite selection of light artworks, projection mapping, immersive spaces, and site-specific installations. Snap amazing photos of unique pieces by pioneer light artist László Moholy-Nagy and op-art icon Victor Vasarely.

Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in St Stephen's Basilica

3. Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in St Stephen's Basilica

Visit St. Stephen's Basilica in the heart of Budapest and delight in an outstanding classical concert. The venue itself is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, but this is not all that will be breathtaking during the evening. Listen to excellent artists performing the best of the best in classical music. Choose from 3 different concerts and 4 different seating categories, depending on your preferences and budget. The program for the concerts, depending on the day, is the following: Requiem: • W. A. Mozart: Requiem in D minor k 626 • I. Introitus - Requiem • II. Kyrie • III. Sequenzia - Dies Irae, Tuba Mirum, Rex Tremendae, Recordare, Confutatis, Lacrimosa • IV. Offertorium - Domine Jesu • V. Sanctus • VI. Benedictus • VII. Agnus Dei • VIII. Communio - Lux Aeterna Ave Maria Air Alleluja I: • J.S. Bach - Toccata, Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Sonata di Chiesa • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Largo from winter • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • C-M Widor - Toccata from the Organ Symphony No. 5 Op. 42 No. 1 • F. Liszt - Ave Maris Stella • T. Albinoni - Adagio • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • F. Schubert - Ave Maria • W. A. Mozart - Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate Ave Maria Air Alleluja II: • J.S. Bach - Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Adagio • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Winter • H. Purcell - Dido and Aeneas, When I am laid in Earth • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • F. Schubert - Ave Maria • Vivaldi - Violin Concert G Major • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Sibelius - Impromptu • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • W.A. Mozart - Requiem, Lacrimosa, Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate Ave Maria Air Alleluja II: (25th and 31st of December) • J.S. Bach - Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Sonata di Chiesa • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Winter • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • C-M Widor - Toccata from the Organ Symphony • F.Liszt - Ave Maris Stella • T. Albinoni - Adagio • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Sibelius - Impromptu • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • F.Schubert - Ave Maria • W.A. Mozart - Requiem, Lacrimosa, Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate

Budapest: Buda Castle Cave Walking Tour

4. Budapest: Buda Castle Cave Walking Tour

Explore a part of the network of underground tunnels under Castle Hill with your guide. Learn more about the history and role of the cave tunnels and their geology. Admire the natural limestone and the manpower that went into creating this labyrinth cave system. Meet for the cave tour either at Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér) or for the shorter tour option at Dárda Street, where you enter the Buda Castle underground cave system. After a short introduction, you will start your tour and learn about the history of the labyrinth-like of the cave system which once served as wine cellars, bomb shelters, and even a medieval prison. Admire the natural limestone caverns and the 800-year-old man-made cellars in one of the most unique caves of Hungary. The tour is a journey through time during where you will be able to learn a lot about not only the geology of the Buda Castle but also about the combined work of man and nature throughout many centuries.

Budapest: The Great Synagogue Skip the Line Ticket

5. Budapest: The Great Synagogue Skip the Line Ticket

Skip the lines and head straight to the security check with a guide to start your tour of the Great Synagogue. Visit the Heroes’ Temple, the graveyard, and the Jewish Museum. Honor Holocaust victims at the Emanuel Tree in the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park. Take a guided tour to hear about the history and architecture of the largest synagogue in Europe and the second-largest in the world, as well as the fate of the Hungarian Jews before and after WWII.  Then use your ticket to enter the Hungarian Jewish Museum next to the Synagogue. Admire its red and yellow brick facade combining Romantic style with Moorish elements. Learn about the life of the Jewish people in Hungary through everyday objects.  See the famous Emmanuel Memorial Tree in the Synagogue's backyard. Admire this magnificent weeping willow's small metal leaves engraved with a name of a Holocaust victim and plaques honoring non-Jewish rescuers.  Then, finish your visit the graveyard in the backyard of the Heroes’ Temple, the burial site of those who died in the ghetto during WWII.

Jewish Budapest: 3-Hour Small Group Tour with Historian

6. Jewish Budapest: 3-Hour Small Group Tour with Historian

Discover one of the most popular areas of inner Pest. The 7th district is where Jewish culture has bloomed for over 200 years and today hosts the largest and most active Jewish community of Eastern Europe. As a highlight of the tour, visit the Rumbach Street Synagogue and discover the neighborhood of the Dohány Street Synagogue, which is the largest in Europe and one of the largest synagogues in the world.  Walk through the Jewish Quarter, on the streets of the former Ghetto, which hosts synagogues, monuments, kosher restaurants, and kosher shops. Hear local stories of this neighborhood and about Budapest. During your walk, visit the Carl Lutz Memorial, dedicated to one of the Righteous Among the Nations, who is also known as Hungary’s Schindler. Then pass by the lively Gozsdu Passage and visit the Rumbach Street Synagogue, built in 1872 by Viennese architect Otto Wagner. Apart from the largest Synagogue of Europe, and the other two most important Synagogues, hear local tips about the ruin pubs and nightlife. Learn about the street art and other secrets of Elizabeth Town.

Budapest: Buda Castle Vampires & Myths Evening Walking Tour

7. Budapest: Buda Castle Vampires & Myths Evening Walking Tour

Away from the crowds of Pest, this informative and educational tour takes you to some of the charming, magical places of the city where Hungarian rulers once toiled deep into the night at the Buda Castle. Hear stories of cruelty and learn the despicable actions of Elizabeth Bathory, the bloody countess. You will also learn how the Romanian prince, Vlad Dracula ended up in the prison of Buda Castle. Join your Gothic-attired guide as they take you on a 2-hour walking tour of the city by night. Learn the history of Old Hungary where, according to legend, "vampires" were born and roamed the streets during this dark period of European history.

Budapest: St Stephen's Basilica Tour

8. Budapest: St Stephen's Basilica Tour

Explore St. Stephen's Basilica, one of Budapest’s highlights, known for its monumental dome and beautiful Neo-Renaissance architecture. Find a perfect spot to admire the lavishly decorated exterior and discover its history on a guided tour inside the church. Meet your tour guide in front of the ticket office and start your guided tour to explore St. Stephen's Basilica. Discover its rich gold interior, many frescoes, and sculptures made by the renowned artists of the late 19th century. See the Holy Right, the naturally mummified right hand of the first Hungarian king, Saint Stephen, who ruled the country in the 11th century and converted Hungarians to Christianity. Learn about the 1,000-year-old Christian history of this nation. Choose the extended tour option or the private guided tour option to get to the top of the building. Take an elevator to the panoramic terrace around the dome, a lookout point above Budapest. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the whole city.  Climb a few steps inside the Southern Tower and explore the Treasury and Basilica exhibition. See several liturgical objects and artworks, including a replica of the crown worn by the kings of Hungary.  Learn about the history of the building and about Cardinal Mindszenty, the Catholic church leader of the 1950s and 1960s who was tortured and imprisoned by the Communist regime.

Danube Bend & Szentendre with Lunch: Day Tour from Budapest

9. Danube Bend & Szentendre with Lunch: Day Tour from Budapest

This full-day tour of the mighty Danube is ideal for people who want to combine history with nature and would like to enjoy some of the most beautiful countrysides in Hungary. You will see historic monuments and art memorials while your guide provides a lively narrative of Hungarian life. You will visit the 750-year-old Royal Residence at Visegrád where you will learn about life in the Middle Ages while enjoying spectacular views of the Danube Valley. At Esztergom, the northern gate of Budapest, you will pause at the largest cathedral in the country and see the burial sites of famous cardinals as you gaze across the water towards Slovakia. Cross the river and border into Slovakia to see the stunning view from the opposite side.  You will stop at an artists' village in Szentendre, a baroque city located where the Danube River meets the Pilis Mountains. Wander the narrow streets to soak up the magical atmosphere and catch panoramic vistas of the river. You will have time to visit some of the museums, such as the world-famous Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum or the Confectionery Museum, where the buildings and people are made of marzipan. Browse the shops of the village if you prefer, before the return journey to Budapest. Travel during the months of May through September and this will be on a magical boat cruise, a fitting way to arrive back in the city center. In case of low water levels, the return to Budapest will be by bus.

Budapest: Walking Tour of Buda Castle with a Historian

10. Budapest: Walking Tour of Buda Castle with a Historian

On this amazing 2.5-hour walking tour, get acquainted with the historical core of Buda, the oldest part of Budapest. Experience more than 1100 years of Hungarian history coming alive in front of you through your history buff tour guide's presentations, and learn all about the local significance of the Buda Castle: a district where thousands of people live and many more go for romantic strolls, enjoying the superb views and lights. You will walk through the winding alleys and experience breathtaking views from the ramparts. Be ready for the fascinating historical stories about Buda Castle from the Middle Ages to World War II.  Explore the whole complex of the Buda Castle District including the Royal Palace, Savoy Terrace, Matthias Fountain, Palace Gardens, Alexander Palace, the Hungarian Presidential Palace, Matthias Church, and get panoramic views of the Parliament & the Pest side from Fisherman's Bastion. As an added bonus to round off your experience, enjoy delicious coffee during the coffee stop.

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Frequently asked questions about Budapest

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Budapest?

The best day trips and excursions from Budapest are:

Szentendre

Other Sightseeing Options in Budapest

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What people are saying about Budapest

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7,627 reviews

Definitely worth a visit, we loved the outdoor pools and the sauna was lovely after being out in the cold. We booked a cabin which was handy but they are very small! I forgot my towel so ended up buying one there, cost about £19 but it’s good quality. I would definitely recommend getting there early, we arrived around 9:30 and the place was empty. By the time we were leaving it was packed. They also have hair dryers which is really handy.

Booked via app we didn't have to wait for ticket and shown voucher before security check. Entering the synagogue there are several signs relating to the language one prefers. Our Italian guide was very competent, knowledgeable and exhaustive. It was exciting and worth it for anyone who wants to know a piece of Hungarian Jewish history

A really nice place! It’s huge and even there are many indoor pools, the pool outside is the best. You can drink and/or eat something inside and there’s also a smoking area. You should take sandals and towel with you and I really suggest to rent a private cabin to keep your stuff safe.

This tour is fantastic! I couldn’t recommend it more. The tour guide was lovely and very passionate which completely made the tour! Would definitely recommend to anyone!

amazing experience. really interesting..the guide was lovely..I would recommend this