Located in Central Europe, Hungary boasts a long history, interesting cuisine, and numerous attractions and activities. Where better to start on a Hungarian adventure than in its lively and fascinating capital of Budapest? Prices are generally affordable, though budget travellers will be pleased to find that there are a number of excellent free things to enjoy in the city too. It’s a great destination for people who are trying to watch their funds.
Some top free things to do in Budapest include:
Stroll along the Banks of the Danube River
One of Europe’s most significant rivers, the Danube runs through the centre of Budapest, with the old and new parts of the city found on different sides. Take a wander along stretches of the sparkling river for great views and a peaceful ambience. Look all around and admire the enchanting architecture as you go – there’s a good reason that Budapest is nicknamed the Pearl of the Danube!
Cross the City’s Bridges
Eight main bridges span the Danube River, connecting the older parts of Buda with the newer commercial-focused Pest. The Chain Bridge is perhaps the city’s most famous bridge, built in 1849. An aesthetically- pleasing bridge that offers great views along the river, it’s a particularly magical sight in the dark when it is illuminated with many lights that reflect seductively off the water’s surface. The city’s other bridges are Elizabeth Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Margaret Bridge, Petofi Bridge, Arpad Bridge, Lagymanyosi Bridge, and Megyeri Bridge.
One of Budapest’s most significant places of worship, it is the largest church in the whole city. Also referred to as Budapest Cathedral, it is topped by a magnificent gleaming dome. The ornate interiors are bound to impress, as is the stunning and grand exterior. Entry to the basilica is free. There is, however, a small charge if you want to journey up to the observation deck for sweeping city views.
Visit the Charming Margaret Island
An island in the River Danube, connected by Bridge, the pretty Margaret Island is a traffic-free island that is popular with locals and visitors alike. Essentially a large city park, it attracts people who want to do some outdoor summer sports, and those who want to just relax in a green and leafy environment. You can rent bicycles and skates to explore and get active, and there are also several outdoor pools, perfect for a dip in the warmer months. The Japanese Garden is particularly attractive, and other landmarks and attractions include a musical fountain, the water tower, a small zoo, and the Centennial Memorial.
Climb Gellert Hill
Overlooking Budapest, the top of Gellert Hill is an ideal spot to soak up some lovely city views. Standing at 235 metres, the up-hill walk will take around 20 minutes. It’s an especially enchanting place to watch the sunset. The Citadella is perched on the top and, whilst fees may apply for some areas, you can still enjoy a stroll around the outer defensive alls, complete with old cannons, poised ready to protect the hill. The Liberty Statue remembers and celebrates the country’s liberation from Nazi forces.
Stop by the UNESCO-listed Hero’s Square to see the Millennium Monument and indulge in a spot of people-watching. The square is surrounded by (paid) places of interest too. You should also snap plenty of pictures of the outside of the beautiful cream and dark red Gothic Parliament Building. Seeing the regular Changing of the Guard is also free.
There are plenty of free things to enjoy in Budapest, so book your tickets, pack your bags, and have a blast in the stunning Hungarian capital.