The first time I visited Budapest, I was not only struck by the scope and beauty of the city’s history, but also by how manageable it all was to explore. Within a week, I could navigate my way around with ease, wandering the banks of the Danube or catching the metro or exploring the different districts. Budapest is a small city that brims with history and culture, defined by both its grandeur and its accessibility—and that’s also what makes Budapest easy and fascinating for families.
If you’re planning a family trip in Budapest, here’s what you should make sure to see.
Bundle up if you come in January or February, but remember to pack a swim cap and robe for the thermal baths.
If you only have time for one thing, make it Buda Castle, a fascinating place to visit with children.
The Danube divides the city into two sides: Buda on the west and Pest on the east. Start your trip in hilly Buda with a funicular ride up to the Buda Castle, where you can learn about the city’s medieval history and admire hilltop views. If you’re with older kids, save the castle for a special after–dark tour with a vampire theme.
Afterwards, if you’re with younger kids, venture higher into the Buda Hills to the Children’s Railway. This unique attraction is mostly staffed by kids and passes by a handful of family-friendly spots, including Normafa, a park with a huge playground and great views.
Spend today on the Pest side of the city, starting in the Jewish Quarter. Visit the Dohany Street Synagogue and climb the tower of nearby St. Stephen’s Basilica for stunning city views. Then, take a break for a sweet treat at the Szamos Chocolate Museum. If your kids are a bit older, opt for a bike tour—the Pest side of the city is mostly flat, with wide roads, making it an ideal place to cycle.
Later, board a boat at the Legenda City Cruises dock and cruise down the river. You’ll have the option of spending 1.5 hours on Margaret Island, where you can climb a water tower, visit the many swimming pools of Palatinus, take a stroll through gardens, and see a musical fountain.
On your last day, enjoy the flavors of Budapest at Central Market Hall, a bustling space that will delight kids and adults alike. Sample cured meats, cheeses, and pastries. Afterwards, check out one of the city’s many family-friendly museums, like the Pinball Museum, 3D Gallery, or interactive Center of Scientific Wonders.
In the late afternoon or early evening, visit Budapest’s famous thermal baths. Family-friendly Szechenyi Baths offers indoor and outdoor pools of varying temperatures.