Whether you’re in Budapest on a self-drive grand European tour or have a day there on your own during a Danube River cruise, these under-the-radar sightseeing gems will pique your interest. In a city this diverse and bursting with life, you’ll of course want to make time for the tried-and-true sights (Fishermans Bastion, Hungarian Parliament Building, Thermal Baths), but we recommend these more unusual spots to round out a truly authentic experience.
Hiding in plain sight in City Park, this beautiful castle - according to legend - once imprisoned Count Dracula. Admire the almost eerie Gothic-Renaissance and Baroque architecture as you wander the grounds (no admission fee). If you’d like a closer look, head inside to see the museum.
When you’ve exhausted your sightseeing at street level, head into the Budapest underground. Explore The Labyrinth in Buda Castle, where Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula) was held and tortured, or venture through the longest cave in the Buda Hills, the Palvolgyi Cave.
See the city from another angle when you ride the Zugliget chairlift to the lookout tower on János Hill – the highest peak in the city. Enjoy the quiet, 15-minute ride each way.
Gellert Hill Cave Church
Check out this interesting cave church beneath Gellert Hill on the Buda side of the river. Once the home of a hermit monk, it is owned by the Pauline Monks today. While it’s not as grand or ornate as other Budapest churches, it’s certainly one to see for its interesting structure.
Shop as the locals do at one of Budapest’s characterful local markets, typically held on Sundays. Meet the producers of the Szimpla Kert, who only bring to market what they grow and make themselves. Or visit the Flower & Vegan market at Anker’t, which is also one of Budapest’s ruin bars. Finally, hunt for rare treasures at the Antique Flea Market at Klauzál Square.
Themed Walking Tours
Take an alternative, themed Budapest walking tour, focusing on the city’s graffiti and street art scene, Jewish District, local market, infamous ruin bars, or hidden cafes and hangouts, alongside a trusted, expert local resident.
House of Hungarian Art Nouveau
Art aficionados may be aware of Budapet’s famous Art Nouveau architecture, but even if you’re not, it’s worth stopping by this museum to admire the Szecesszió style, made famous by Ödön Lechner (who’s been nicknamed the “Hungarian Gaudí). Throughout the city, find the style in Lechner-designed structures, including the Museum of Applied Arts, the golden-tiled National Bank of Hungary, and the blue-hued Hungarian Geological Institute.
Ready to explore Budapest like a seasoned local? Let’s get you started with the perfect itinerary.