And that’s a shame.
There are a variety of fun and exciting things to do in Hungary, whether it’s in the bustling capital or the vast sprawl of nature around.
If you are planning on visiting this charming country, we’ve created a list of the top things to do when you find yourself in Hungary.
And if not, hopefully, this list of Hungary things to do will make you change your mind!
1. Admire the Hungarian Parliament Building
It is only fair to start the list with one of the world’s most iconic buildings, one that became a calling card of Budapest. Named Országház in Hungarian, the Parliament is a massive neo-Gothic building that was constructed in 1902.
If your time in Budapest is limited, you can admire the beauty of Parliament by simply strolling on the opposite side of the bank or on a boat ride on the Danube river. But if you want to better explore this architectural jewel, you can always buy entrance tickets to explore over 600 rooms and get up close and personal with the crown jewels.
2. Explore Buda Castle
Another popular place you cannot miss while visiting Hungary is Buda Castle. It has been the residence for Hungarian kings since the 13th century. After many subsequent constructions and reconstructions, it became a grand monument to the Baroque style.
Today, the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery are located within Buda Castle. And, of course, it is open to anyone who would like to see what the life of Hungarian nobility looked like!
3. Take Pictures at Fisherman’s Bastion
If you’ve never heard about this famous place in Budapest, let me introduce it to you using a quick “fact” from its official website. The Fisherman’s Bastion “looks like the logo of Walt Disney films, only nicer and older.” ‘Nuff said!
Fisherman’s Bastion is the part of Buda Castle that was built in the 19th century, and this is the place you want to be if you are looking for a perfect panoramic view of Budapest (and the Parliament).
4. Get Cultured at the Hungarian Open Air Museum
After exploring all the must-see places in Hungary’s capital Budapest, hit the road and head to the Hungarian Open Air Museum, which is located 20 km away from the capital. Here you can see how a typical village looked like in different regions of Hungary and learn more about the way of life, history, and folk culture of Hungary.
5. Relax in the Thermal Baths
One of the best things to do in Hungary is spending a day in the thermal baths. The country is well-known for its thermal waters, and it has become a quintessential part of Hungarian culture.
So, after the hours of exploring the city, find some time to relax in the hot springs just like a local. There are over 20 baths in Budapest alone, and more than a hundred in the country. Most of them include outdoor or indoor pools with hot water, saunas, and steam rooms.
6. Watch the Horse Show at Hortobágy National Park
This is another amazing place to learn about the nature, culture, and folklore of Hungary. Hortobágy National Park has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1999, and here you can see horses, buffalos, and Hungarian grey cattle alongside hundreds of bird species. In the Hortobágy village, you can also witness the horse show with traditionally dressed csikósok (cowboys).
7. Check Out the Library at Pannonhalma Archabbey
Whether you are a big history fan or couldn’t give a damn about ancient buildings and ruins at all, the Territorial Abbey of Pannonhalma will leave you speechless. Founded in 996, it is the second largest territorial abbey in the world, and even now the monastery is a home to a few dozen monks. The Basilica and the Crypt, the Reflectory, and the Cloisters stand out among its other buildings, but the biggest gem is the monumental Library, with more than 360,000 volumes.
8. Hike in Aggtelek National Park (and Its Caves)
Aggtelek National Park is located near the border with Slovakia, so it might not be easy to get there, but the trip will be worth it! There are 280 caves in the park, most of which are closed to the public, but those that you can visit are truly spectacular. You can choose from many tours with the shortest being one hour long, and see different parts of the cave body.
9. Taste Some Wine in the Tokaj Wine Region
If you believe that it is impossible to learn more about the country without exploring its beverage landscape, take a trip to the Tokaj region in the northeast of Hungary. For centuries, it has been a home for sweet white wines, and the whole region with its beautiful vineyards found its way to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
10. Spend a Weekend on Lake Balaton
Even though Hungary is a landlocked country, there is a great place to spend a hot weekend if you travel here in the summer. Lake Balaton offers plenty of activities, from swimming and sailing to spending time in the spa (of course, it will be in a thermal bath). Even wine tasting and cellar tours, as there are many great vineyards on the northern side of the lake.
11. Eat Traditional Hungarian Food
Obviously, it would be a crime not to mention iconic foods you have to try while traveling to Hungary. Probably the most famous one is gulyás (goulash), a beef stew with potatoes, paprika, carrot, and spices. The other dishes from the top of the list include lecsó, a vegetable stew, halászlé, a fisherman’s soup, and somlói galuska, a sponge cake with chocolate syrup, nuts, raisins, and whipped cream.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the article on what to do in Hungary! Got any questions, feedback, or more Hungary things to do to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!