There are various things to do in Budapest and here is our selection of things that you can enjoy together with your kids.
Budapest with its countless attractions is a city that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
From shark-filled tanks to playgrounds and various indoor activities, you can find a lot of fun things that will keep your whole family entertained.
Indoor activities to try in Budapest with kids
Everything is real.. but in a smaller version. Tiny supermarket, tiny dentistry, tiny hair salon. An interactive environment tailored for children.
Here they can try what it feels like to be a doctor, hairdresser, a policeman or a cashier. What does it like to work in a bank? Or a post office?
Gigantic, beautifully detailed and decorated model layouts feature many sights and landmarks from Budapest and Hungary – and a bit of Austria and Germany – scaled to 1:100 of original size.
There are several interactive screens so the trains, cars can be controlled.
10 characteristic scenes and locations show you the life under Communist era between 1949-1989, so you can glimpse behind the Iron Curtain.
Budapest Pinball Museum
Museum of Sweets and Selfies
Smuggle some sweets and cheerfulness into your kid’s day.
This “Museum” consists of several rooms, each of them uniquely decorated.
Perfect place to spend hours and taking the most fun photos you can imagine.
3D Gallery Budapest
Millenáris Millipop Smile-factory
Centre of Scientific Wonder
Helps to understand the science by doing experiments. On 5000 square meters more than 250 games are waiting the families, including magnetic field, Newton’s apple garden, logic station, illusion chamber and escape room.
Besides the various kinds of physical experiments take a journey in the Solar System in 5D, or try the billiards soccer and table soccer!
Try fun transportation methods in Budapest with kids
Sightseeing bus ride that splashes in the Danube. How fun is that? 😊
Boarding this bus you can admire the sights both on land and water.
Departure: 5. district, Széchenyi István Square
Office: 5. district, 1. Akadémia St.
Zugliget Chairlift (Libegő) is a fun alternative mode of transport in the Buda Hills.
It is a two-way chairlift system that between Zugliget and the the highest peak in the city, János Hill.
It provides a beautiful panorama along the way, especially during descend.
The Railway connects some of the loveliest outdoor spots in the Buda hills.
It is actually run by schoolchildren: kids aged 10 to 14 years old manage the traffic, operate the switches and signals and sell the tickets – they do everything except driving the train.
It was originally set up in Socialist times.
It is a nostalgic transportation method that has been in operation since 1874.
It goes from Városmajor Park up to Széchenyi Hill.
Just sit back to enjoy the beautiful views of the Buda Hills while the carriages climb uphill.
With the help of this railway, you can access some popular outdoor attractions such as Normafa, the Children’s railway, Erzsebet lookout tower.
How to experience the special vehicles of the Buda Hills?
Start your tour at Széll Kálmán square.
Take a short ride on tram No. 61 to Városmajor.
From here take the cogwheel railway to Széchenyi-hegy (Széchenyi hill); it’s the highest peak in Budapest.
Change to the Children’s Railway.
Take the train (diesel or steam engine) four stops until János-hegy.
Walk up to the Erzsébet lookout tower that offers panoramic views of the city and the Buda Hills.
Finally take the chairlift that provides beautiful panoramic views along the way from János-hegy down to Zugliget.
Bus 291 will take you to Nyugati pályaudvar metro station.
Another fun way to explore the city is by trying a tuk tuk tour that takes you to see the famous sights of Budapest, in a cute, sleek, Italian-designed TukTuk.
Maybe the easiest and quickest way to explore the city is by a Hop-on Hop off bus.
Hop on for panoramic views of spectacular Heroes’ Square, elegant Andrassy Avenue and the magnificent Parliament building. Hop off to explore Margaret Island, the old Castle District, and discover Budapest’s hidden gems.
Use public transportation as a sightseeing method
Kids will not lose their interest in sightseeing and their legs will not became tired too soon if you use the public transportation system.
Tram 2 – along the promenade of Pest
Tram 41 – along the promenade of Buda
Have a look at the smiling faces of the trams no. 4 and 6 while you are using them.
Maybe your kids would also be interested in a visit to the Underground Subway Museum, a small museum that shows the oldest underground (M1 line), and old uniforms, tickets.
Sights of Budapest that are probably interesting for kids, too
There are neighborhoods where the only option is walking. Let’s make it fun for the kiddos!
The Jewish Quarter is full of street art, murals, stickers, strange sculptures that are placed randomly across the district and the city.
Constantly look behind you, above your head and into quirky courtyards.
Try to find as many as you can, take cool pictures with them and try to guess their story. Let your fantasy sparkle!
Tip: Check out my post about the Jewish Quarter and its street art where I also give you the exact address of some of the murals.
Finding cute statues is also fun. We have several around the city, at the most unusual places.
Little Princes statue – Danube promenade
Girl with her dog – Danube promenade
Main Worm – also at the river bank, but Buda side, near Batthyány Square, in the direction of the Chain Bridge
He is the Great Fi-Fi-Fi Fisherman’s Main Worm, therefore his location at the riverside is more than logical!
In the ’80s, the writer of the tale, István Csukás, decided to write a piece for children about a Fisherman, who loves to fish, and always gets into interesting adventures.
He asked a famous drawer, Ferenc Sajdik, to draw the pictures for his tale.
When Sajdik read the first draft, he ran to see Csukás, and outrageously asked him:
“It is a story for children???”
“Yes, that’s right!”- said Csukás.
“And you want to make these children laugh, or cry?” – insisted Sajdik.
Csukás, who was a very famous and admired tale-teller, asked back in surprise:
“But why would they cry?”
“Because your tale starts WITH A WORM PULLED ON A BIG HOOK BY HIS BELLY, that’s why!!!” – cried Sajdik, and immediately drew up a better idea: a life belt around the little belly of the Worm.
Like this, the Worm, aka the Main Worm, (Főkukac,) transformed from a simple tool to a very good friend of the Fisherman, and we, the Hungarian children followed their adventures for many-many years.
I don’t know if the story is true, but I like it, and I think if you have a opportunity to see the Main Worm, you should not miss.
Smallest tank – not far from the Worm, closer to the Chain Bridge
The Flying Nun sculpture – she passes through the corner of a building like a ghost.
The facades of the buildings are also worth looking at as they are often decorated with strange creatures, chubby angels, animals – from snakes and lions to griffins – made from metal, wood, stone, or glass. You can try to hunt down as many of them as you can, with the one and only weapon that should always be used: a camera.
(Recommended streets for hunting: Andrássy Avenue, Hajós street, Ó street, Nagymező street, Király street, Liszt Ferenc street)
Halászbástya (Fisherman's Bastion)
Wonderful view of the city combined with an architectural gem.
Halászbástya looks like it just stepped out of a Disney tale.
There is also a very cool little playground right in front of Matthias Church, behind the main entrance of the Halászbástya.
Actually it is called King Matthias Playground.
It is a bit hidden, but worth looking for it. As you get there you will find a castle, full of small chambers, a cannon, tower and even a suspension bridge.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
If your children are not claustrophobic, climb up to the panorama terrace of the St. Stephen’s Basilica. Before you arrive the terrace, you can see the inner dome of the building. It looks like an alien structure. From the terrace the view is superb.
Also in the Basilica you can have a look at the 1000 years old, naturally mummified right hand of the first Hungarian king, St. Stephen. How cool is that?
Depending on the season the City Park Lake offers something different.
During summer rent a rowing boat, feed the ducks, jump around, eat cotton candy.
During winter you can try ice skating on the biggest outdoor ice skate rink in Europe. You can rent the skates there.
Stroke rays, see how sharks are fed and how lazy alligators are in Tropicarium.
Popular hiking spot in every season.
Easily accessible by bus no 21 and 21A from Széll Kálmán Square and by the Children’s Railway.
There are so many things to do there with kids that you should allow at least half a day to discover it.
If you don’t want to walk too much you can rent bikes or a pedal coach for four at the southern entrance of the island.
Near the southern entrance, there is a fountain that plays music regularly.
You can find a great playground not far from the fountain (on the Buda side of the main road).
In the middle of the island there is a tiny petting zoo that is the home to some small domestic animals (and even some wild ones who are under recovery).
The entrance is free.
There is a very cute, hidden gem right before the northern end of the island, a Japanese garden with a waterfall, sculptures, special flora and fauna (such as gold fish and tiny frogs).
Gellért hill offers great hiking areas for families with kids.
(Not recommended with strollers as the hill has many stairs.- see my post about the hill where I recommend alternatives)
There is a playground with long slides close to the Liberty Bridge, overlooking the outdoor pools of Gellért Baths.
On the top of the hill they can be amazed by a fortress and the Statue of Liberty. The view from here is one of the best in the city.
The small park where the statue of Prince of Pest and Princess of Buda stands. The statue symbolizes the union of Pest and Buda. On it’s foot the main sights of the city is displayed, carved in the stone. Kids can touch the city here.
The Philosophers’ Garden is right next to this cute statue. Here, Jesus Christ, Lao-ce, Abraham, Ehnaton and Buddha meet for the “The Better Understanding of Each Other”. Next to them stand the statue of Saint Francis, Prince Daruma (Boddhidarma) and Mahatma Gandhi. In the middle there is a sphere that symbolizes the Universe and mutual God.
You can spend a whole day on the riverbank, eating fried fish, lángos, burger. Drink a cold beer or Fröccs (wine with sparkling water).
This place has a unique atmosphere with its eateries, buffets.
It is popular with runners, cyclists and dogs with their humans.
You should not miss this place if you have some free time and get here by public boat!
Budapest Baths are great for kids, too
Széchenyi Bath is the biggest of the baths, it is open all year round.
It has numerous pools and the ones outside are suitable for kids as these are not full of people who would like to heal in peace.
For something quirkier, visit the oldest Turkish bath in Budapest, Veli Bej – which was first mentioned in 1584 – or Király Bath.
Tip: read my post about the Budapest baths!
If bathing is not your kid’s thing but still would like to splash, Budapest also has waterparks.
The indoor adventure pool complex offers a variety of activities for kids: children’s pool, water slides, playground, playhouse, etc.
Every day a free shuttle service is available between Heroes Square and Aquaworld.
Palatinus at the heart of the city in Margaret Island can also be a great option on a hot summer day. It offers 10 different pools and slides.
Do you like sandy beaches more?
Lupa beach is a bit further away, but not unreachable if you have a whole day to enjoy this paradise.
Looking for something that is closer to the city center?
Visit Kopaszi Dam.
You can get here with public boat ride. Even more fun!
It is a paradise for families with small children. Ice-cream parlors, swings, a playhouse, huge green areas to roam around, to splash the water of the Danube in a safe environment. Every day new sand castles emerge on the shore of the river.
If you happen to be around the Millennium Quarter, have a look at the “Labirinth” of trimmed hedge next to the National Theatre, unfortunately it is sometimes closed and usually not properly maintained.
The “Ziggurat” right next to it is always open, and kids enjoy running up and down on its slope like crazy.
On its top there is a look-out space from where you can have a unique sight of the city and when the Labyrinth is opened, you can guide the kids while they run wild between the bushes.
Are you tired of sunlight? Submerge in the underworld of Budapest.
Extreme things to do in Budapest with kids: Caves under Buda Hills
With strollers and small kids I recommend Szemlő-hegyi cave.
If your kid is older and not claustrophobic, during the guided cave tours you often have to crawl, climb, scramble or creep but there are also tours that lead on paved passages.
Also, the Labyrinth in the Castle District is fun and quirky.
OK, but what else can be done if the weather is bad or simply you are not outdoorsy?
There are also some kid friendly places to fuel the kids and yourself, so:
Go and eat something!
delicious ice cream with selected ingredients in rose-shaped presentation.
Always crowded, always queueing, but worth waiting.
Bamba Marha Burger Bar
because a good burger is always a good idea
Bamba Marha has 4 restaurants: near Basilica, Oktogon, Deák square and Ferenciek square.
Try Hungarian snacks like Túró rudi, kakaós csiga (chocolate snail), túrós táska (cottage cheese bag), strudel with poppy seed filling, lángos, etc.
There are many supermarkets and pastry shops all around the city. A simple and cheap Fornetti or Princess will do the job.
If you would like to try something fancier Café Gerbaud or Szamos are always good options. (The túrós táska at Szamos is my daughter’s favorite.)
I wrote a post about Hungarian food, too!
Make the last day of your trip to Budapest memorable: visit the hidden gem of Budapest Airport
It’s a secret gem: a museum full of interesting aircrafts you can climb in.
It’s well worth the time for anyone interested in aviation.
How to get there: From the departures level go down to arrivals, exit the terminal and turn to the right, following the mostly-covered, and signposted path that will take you right to the Aeropark.
Once you are there you’ll find friendly staff, many of them are former Malév (Ex-Hungarian Airline) employees, and they really know the history of the airline and the aircrafts – and they love talking about them as Malév was their life.
Sometimes staff members – when they have some free time – show the visitors all the controls of the aircrafts and also talk about some interesting stories that happened to them during the decades they spent in the air.
There are also Soviet built aircrafts in good condition.
You can walk around them and even board some and sit in the seats of pilots and passengers.
I hope you liked this list of kid friendly programs and attractions.
If you have any questions or suggestions, write a comment!
Have a great time in Budapest! 😊
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