By: Thass of Family Off Duty
Budapest is an extremely child friendly city. The capital of Hungary has a lot to offer for families including parks and tourist attraction that not only the parents but the children will enjoy too. We had a great time visiting this beautiful city and it has become one of our favorite cities in Europe to visit as a family.
I have listed below our favorite things to do in Budapest with young kids. If you are short of time prioritize these attractions and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, but if you have more time you can read our full Budapest itinerary for families here.
1. Széchenyi Thermal Baths
Budapest is rich in thermal waters with healing qualities. Going to one of Budapest’s thermal baths is an absolutely fun and relaxing thing to do with or without kids. We went to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and it was definitely one of the highlights of our visit. There are over 20 pools, with different temperatures and sizes. The only who tried all baths, including the cold water pool, was our daughter. To say we had a blast is an understatement. The Széchenyi baths are a must go place to relax and soak in those healing waters. In addition they have other spa services such as sauna, pedicure etc.
Budapest however has several thermal baths you can visit. Gellért Baths is another popular indoor bath in an Art Nouveau style building. You can visit Lukács Baths for free using the Budapest transport card.
2. City park
The City park in Budapest (Városliget) is the largest park in the city. You can find a little bit of everything on a trip to this park and you could definitely spend the whole day there and its surrounding area.
It is a great place to stroll, where the kids can burn off their energy in the playground area. It has a beautiful lake, museums, a castle (Vajdahunyad), Budapest Zoo and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths we mentioned above also lies within the park area.
The lake is great for paddle boating in the summer and it turns into a very popular ice skating rink in the winter. Many (food) festivals are hosted in the City park throughout the year.
3. Buda District/ Castle Hill
Take a walk in this interesting part of the city. The Buda district is an old part of the city. It is a lovely area to visit with the family; it’s calm, historic, with beautiful architecture and you can stroll at your own pace. Be prepared to walk though! Get the funicular up the hill from the Chain bridge, it is always fun for kids! You can also take the public transport or go via the steps.
At the Buda district you can find so much; the Buda Castle, Matthias Fountain, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, squares, museums, restaurant and cafés and ruins.
The Buda Castle is the palace where Hungarian kings lived. Today, the castle is home to two museums, the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum, and various other cultural institutions. The Military History Museum and the Pharmacy Museum are also found in Buda district.
4. Fisherman’s Bastion & Matthias Church
The Fisherman’s (Halászbástya) bastion is located beside the Matthias Church in the Castle District. It is one of the city’s biggest tourist draw and an easy walk from Buda Castle.
One of our favorite things about the bastion was the view of the city from the lookout platform. You can see as far as Margaret Island and it gives the best view of the famous Hungarian Parliament building. In addition, the Matthias church is a very beautiful building to see with its mosaic looking roof. There is a playground just beside the Matthias church which was a great stop for kids to rest from all that sight-seeing.
5. The Citadella & Gellért Hill
The Gellért Hill is a 235 metre high dolomite rock. It is a huge parkland with green areas, playgrounds and historical monuments. It is a great place to simply relax and enjoy some of the best views of the city and of the Danube river.
You can also find The Citadella fortress atop of this hill making it one of the highest points the city. The Citadel is nowadays a tourist attraction but it was strategically in 1854, as a threat the Hungarians who were under Austrian control then. In addition you will find the cave Church, the liberty monument, the Gellért monument and a couple of playgrounds in the hill. It is a big green area great for hikes and spending the day outdoors.
6. Margaret Island
Margaret Island (Margitsziget) is a large island in the river Danube connected to shore by two bridges. It is an ideal place to spend a day or half day outside with kids. It is a paradise for sport lovers too so if you love running, jogging, walking, cycling, skateboarding it is the place for you.
It is a nice, spacious green area perfect for picnicking or relaxing and with large playgrounds and good restaurants. You will also find the musical fountain , petting zoo and ruins.
We’re so happy to have Thass from Family Off Duty guest posting today. Her blog is one of my all time favorite family travel sites and I’d also highly recommend following along with her on Instagram: @familyoffduty for some stunning travel photos.