Cruise the Danube: sailing down the Danube river is a great way to see both sides of the city. During the day, stop off at the pedestrian-only Margaret Island, or enjoy dinner and dancing under the stars at night.
Savour the wine: Hungary has 22 distinct wine regions, including the oldest classified wine region in Europe. Hungarian wine is famous for its sweet aszus, big-bodied reds, and dry whites. For a guided wine tasting, visit House of Hungarian Wines at Buda Castle. If you want to mingle with the cool crowd and taste lesser-known wines, try DiVino or Doblo.
Eat up: for local treats like lángos (fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese) visit the beautiful Central Market Hall. Make sure to check out the roof – it’s covered in colourful Zsolnay tiles dating back to the mid-19th Century.
Take a dip: Budapest’s abundant thermal springs have earned it the moniker ‘City of Spas’. Széchenyi Baths are the oldest in the city, with palatial architecture and outdoor pools that are open in every season. If Art Nouveau is more your taste, try the Gellért Baths.
Take a Jewish history lesson: start with Europe’s largest synagogue, the stunning Great Synagogue on Dohány Street. Its ornate 19th Century interior has been meticulously restored, and it's also home to the Jewish Museum. Behind the synagogue is the old Jewish quarter, now filled with trendy eateries. Continue onto the Holocaust Memorial Center, and finish with Shoes on the Danube, a sobering riverside memorial to Jews killed between 1944 and 1945.
Escape if you can: Budapest was one of the first European cities to catch the escape room game fever. There are dozens of versions, but all follow a similar format of finding clues and solving puzzles to escape a locked room. Visit Parapark, Claustrophilia, or Mind Quest to test your skills.
Hang out in the ruins: Budapest’s ruin pubs are a truly unique creation – derelict buildings reinvented with second-hand furniture, local art, and cheap drinks. They have sprung up across the city since the 90s, becoming social hubs and music venues. Ellátó Kert, Szimpla Kert, Kuplung, and Udvar Rom are all popular with locals and tourists alike.
Eger is a historic architectural gem of a town, with beautiful Baroque and Neo-Classicist buildings. It also produces the famed ‘Bull’s Blood of Eger,’ Hungary's most recognized red wine.
The small village of Etyek is a main wine-producing region, famous for its fresh and fragrant sparkling wines. Most wine here is produced by small, family-run vineyards.
If you’re visiting between May and October, Lake Balaton is a local hotspot perfect for relaxing. Often called the ‘Hungarian Sea’, it’s the largest freshwater lake in Europe, with cool water and grassy beaches.
Budapest is home to Europe’s oldest underground metro system, opened in 1896. The small Underground Railway Museum, housed in a section of the original line, traces its development with a collection of memorabilia and a beautifully restored train carriage.