What to do in Budapest with kids

Best Things to do in Budapest with kids – from a local

Budapest with kids can be a lot of fun, I promise! 😊 

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

MiniPolisz - Children's amusement center in Budapest

Everything is real.. but in a smaller version.

Minipolisz has 30 themed rooms in 1000m2

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?

Location: 8-10 Király street, 1061

Website

Miniversum

Miniversum-Budapest
tiny people in Miniversum

Miniversum has 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.

Location: 12 Andrássy Avenue, 1061

Website

Budapest Pinball Museum

Photo: Pinball Museum Website

Constant fun with 130 machines on nearly 400 square meters.

It is an interactive permanent exhibition.

Location: 18 Radnóti Miklós street

Website

Museum of Sweets and Selfies

Spinning the color wheel in the 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.

Location: 43. Paulay Ede street

Website

3D Gallery Budapest

The gallery where you learn just by having fun, while experiencing the wonders of art and also becoming a part of it.

The interactive paintings mean that you can touch the pictures freely and you can be a part of the fascinating photos in an active way.

Location: 17 Bajcsy-Zsilinszky 

Website

Millenáris Millipop Smile-factory

The best-equipped and most affordable indoor playground in the Buda side.

Location: Budapest, Millenáris park, 1024

Website

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 4 escape rooms.

Besides the various kinds of physical experiments, you can take a journey in the Solar System in 5D, or try the billiards soccer and table soccer.

Location: 38-44 Bécsi út 

Website

Try fun transportation methods in Budapest with kids

RiverRide

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.

Where?

Departure: 5. district, Széchenyi István Square

Office: 5. district, 1. Akadémia St.

Website

Chairlift

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.

Children’s Railway

Children's Railway

The Children’s Railway connects some of the loveliest outdoor spots in the Buda hills:

Hűvösvölgy – Széchenyi hegy

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.

To learn about how to get to its stations, check out their website

Cogwheel railway

Cogwheel Railway

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) until János-hegy (4 stops).

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.

Heritage transportation services

Heritage tram in front of Parliament (PCredit: BKV website)

Along the Danube promenade there are also heritage trams you can ride during summer months. 

For more information check out this website

 

Funicular

Funicular Buda Castle

If you don’t have time to get out to the Buda Hills, then try the funicular that takes you up to the Castle District from the foot of the Chain Bridge.

Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk in Budapest

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.

Big Bus

3 days in Budapest - tourist buses on Andrássy street

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

Tram 2 Pest promenade

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.

Millennium Underground is the oldest metro line in mainland Europe and it is still in use. Make sure to try it out on the way to City Park (Budapest Zoo, Heroes’ Square).

Millennium Underground Budapest

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

Murals

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.

Murals in Budapest

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. 

Cute statues

Finding cute statues is also fun. We have several around the city, at the most unusual places.

Little Princes statueDanube promenade

Google Map

Little Princes on the Danube Promenade

Girl with her dog – Danube promenade

Girl with a dog statue on the Danube promenade

Main Worm – also at the river bank, but Buda side, near Batthyány Square, in the direction of the Chain Bridge

Google Map

Main Worm statue

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

Small tank

The Flying Nun sculpture – she passes through the corner of a building like a ghost.

Location: corner of Nándor street and Országház street

Google Map

Flying Nun

Medieval details in Castle District

If your kid is interested in history, pay attention to little details while you are walking around the Castle area. There are gems in those streets and buildings! 

Medieval building details
Medieval detail in Úri street
Door handle
Big fish swallows little fish - door knob (Úri street)

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)

Unger House Courtyard

Hidden courtyards have their own secrets that are discoverable with kids. Check out this post for more: 

Courtyards and Passageways in Budapest

Halászbástya (Fisherman's Bastion)

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.

Google Map

Matthias playground

Just two minutes walking and you get to Ruswurm confectionery. Try their cakes, ice-creams, hot chocolates, strudels with poppy seed filling.

Other sights in the Castle District are great to explore, too. I recommend walking around and finish the route in Castle Garden.

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?

View from the Panorama Terrace of Basilica

City Park - perfect leisure park for kids

This park is always a good option with kids.

Here you find Budapest Zoo.

Budapest Zoo Elephant House

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.

Vajdahunyad Castle provides the background to the lake. It has two towers that function as lookout points! 😊 

 

Normafa

Popular hiking spot in every season.

Easily accessible by bus no 21 and 21A from Széll Kálmán Square and by the Children’s Railway.

Google map

Normafa

Margaret Island

little bus on Margaret Island

There are so many things to do on the island 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).

For detailed information check out my blog post: 

Best things to do on Margaret Island

Gellért hill

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.

 

Playground on Gellért Hill

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.

Tourists on the top of Gellért Hill

As you descend from the top Cerka-firka playground is just a few minutes away.

If you would like to see a unique view, there is a hidden, mostly unknown place I recommend:

The small park where the statue of Prince of Buda and Princess of Pest 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.

Google Map

Statue of Prince Buda and Pest Princess

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.

For more information check out my post about Gellért Hill:

Gellért Hill

Római Riverbank

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!

Ship cruise

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 Bejwhich 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.

Palatinus (Margaret Island)

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.

Aquaworld waterpark

 

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.

Website

Do you like sandy beaches more?

No problem.

Lupa beach is a bit further away, but not unreachable if you have a whole day to enjoy this paradise.

For more info, check out their website here.

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.

For more info, check out this website.

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:

What to eat in Budapest with kids

Gelarto Rosa

Gelarto Rosa has delicious ice cream with selected ingredients in rose-shaped presentation.

Always crowded, always queueing, but worth waiting.

Flower shaped ice cream

Szimpla Kert

ruin bars Budapest

Ruin bars are not only for adults. During the day these quirky bars provide entertainment for pre-teens and teens, too. 

Szimpla Kert is the most famous one of them. There are several rooms inside that give perfect backgrounds for Insta pics! 😉 

14. Kazinczy street – in the middle of the Jewish District

Check out their website!

For more information about ruin bars, check out my blog post: 

Explore the ruin bars of Jewish Quarter

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

If you are at the Airport to leave Hungary but arrived too early, visit Aeropark Budapest – better than duty free.

Aeropark_Budapest

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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What to do in Budapest with kids

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