The Best Things to do in Hungary

The 25 Best Things to do in Hungary

From the famous thermal baths in Budapest to Europe’s last great area of steppe and natural grassland, Hungary is a destination that will continue to surprise you every time you return.  

We guarantee that you will want to return, time and time again because this unique nation at the crossroads of Central Europe is as diverse as it is vast. 

Hungary has a long history dating back to the Romans, although the idea of the Hungarian people, their language (which is unlike any other language in Europe), and a Hungarian nation only arrived with the invading Magyars in the medieval era. They came here on horseback for the steppe, and you can still find the last remnants of this ecosystem preserved within Hortobágyi National Park. 

In Budapest, you can delve into the Ottoman past, relive Austro-Hungarian history, and learn all about the dark communist days of the 20th century all in one day. There are royal palaces and ancient castles along the length of the River Danube, while monasteries, mosques, and Catholic churches speak to Hungary’s multiethnic past. 

There are mountainous hikes in the north, subterranean cave systems await you underground, and while Hungary might be landlocked, you’re going to love hanging out at Lake Balaton. We haven’t even mentioned the cuisine, but be prepared for outrageously refined Hungarian wine and lashings of paprika in all of the dishes! 

With so many exciting things to see, do, and eat in Hungary, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best things to do in Hungary for you. Give these fun and unique Hungary bucket list recommendations a try, and there’s no doubt you’re going to have an absolutely incredible time exploring this gorgeous Central European country!

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25 Fun and Unique Things to do in Hungary

1. Take a bath in Budapest

Best Things to do in Hungary: Bath

Budapest is one of the top places to visit in Hungary, but did you know that the capital city is built on thermal hot springs? For thousands of years, people have been visiting Budapest to enjoy the delights and healing properties of the city’s thermal mineral water, and we highly recommend that you get in on the action, too! 

Budapest’s bathing culture is somewhat legendary, and you’ll find different baths across the city offering bathing and spa experiences. This is very much a local activity, and the best thermal spas to visit are almost always the public ones. 

The most famous baths in Budapest are the Szechenyi Baths, which you’ll find by Heroes Square in Pest. This sprawling neo-Baroque complex was built in 1913 and contains 15 indoor pools that are set around three large outdoor thermal pools. 

Head over the river to Buda, and you’ll find the smaller Gellert Baths. Built in a vibrant Art Deco style, these baths are as historic as they are soothing. If it’s history you’re looking for, Rudas Baths are the place to visit. These date back to the 16th century, and they are built in the traditional Ottoman style of the time. 

Book a Széchenyi Spa Full Day Experience

2. Take a walking tour of Budapest 

Hungary Bucket List: Budapest Walking Tour

One of the most informative and fun things to do in Hungary is a walking tour of Budapest, of which there are many for you to choose from! 

Hungary’s capital is a fascinating city to explore on foot, with gorgeous architecture lining grand 19th-century streets and beautiful vistas along the banks of the River Danube. 

You can join tips-based walking tours that depart regularly from the main square on the Pest side of the river. If it’s your first time in Budapest, then you’ll want to join a classic walking tour itinerary that gives you an overview of the city’s history from medieval times to the present. 

If you love your history and want to delve deeper into Budapest’s past, you can join niche walking tours, such as a tour of the Jewish District or a communist-focused walking tour. If you’re a big foodie, then don’t miss out on a food tour through Budapest’s Central Market, where you’ll walk and eat your way through the capital’s best local eateries. 

Book a Guided Budapest Grand City Tour

3. Tour through the mighty Hungarian Parliament Building

Fun Things to do in Hungary: Parliament Building

Stroll along the banks of the Danube in Budapest, and you’ll soon see the mighty Hungarian Parliament Building rising high above the riverbank. Located on the Pest side of the river, this is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the world! 

The Hungarian Parliament Building dates back to the 1900s when it was designed and built in the Neo-Gothic style that was popular in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was designed to be a statement, and it’s guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on you today. 

The building, with its tall spires and intricate facade, is home to Hungary’s National Assembly. It’s very much a place of government, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a tour through the grand building to see what happens on the inside. 

Guided tours run when the assembly isn’t in session, so check in advance. There are hundreds of sculptures, paintings, and frescos throughout, all of which portray some vivid elements of Hungarian history. 

On the tour, you’ll learn more about Hungary’s system of government, its political history through the ages, and more about the Hungarian Parliament Building itself. This is a real highlight of any trip to Budapest, so don’t miss out on one of the best things to do in Hungary! 

4. Explore the Golden Age at the Royal Palace of Visegrad 

What to do in Hungary: Royal Palace of Visegrad

Take a day trip north of Budapest, and you’ll soon discover one of the best sights in Hungary. Overlooking a bend in the River Danube is the magnificent Royal Palace of Visegrad, an impressive historical attraction that dates back to the 14th century. 

This is considered one of the most important palaces from Hungary’s Golden Age, and it was built on the orders of King Charles I of Hungary. The king put Visegrad on the map, and over the next century, it would see some of the most regal and noble characters in Central European history pass through its gates, including the Holy Roman Emperors. 

The layers of history here are just waiting to be peeled back, and you’ll find that there’s been a castle or fortification on this strategic bend in the river for centuries prior to the palace’s construction. 

The Romans built a camp on a nearby hilltop, marauding Mongols destroyed the region in the 13th century, and after the Ottoman invasions in the 16th century, the palace fell into ruin and was abandoned. 

You’ll be pleased to know that the Royal Palace has since been restored to its former Golden Age glory, and you’ll love exploring the gothic-inspired architecture, the royal gardens, and the beautiful fountains. You’ll also love the spectacular views over the River Danube from the panoramic lookout point. 

Pro tip: this is one of the best places to visit in Hungary for an incredible sunset or sunrise view!

5. Take the funicular to the top of Castle Hill

Hungary Things to do: Castle on the Hill

Budapest is a city of two halves. On one side of the River Danube, you have the low-lying neighborhoods of Pest. On the other side, you have Buda, where Castle Hill rises 175 meters above sea level. 

Until the 19th century, Buda and Pest were two separate cities, and Castle Hill was the domain of royalty. Take the funicular to the top of the hill, and you can explore the regal history of Buda in its glory. 

Stroll through the medieval streets on Castle Hill, and you’ll be stepping back centuries. The first fortifications were built here in the 12th century, and the Royal Palace – a lavish statement by the Hungarian monarchy – was added in later centuries. You can visit stately halls and rooms in the Royal Palace and watch the changing of the guard ceremony outside the gates. 

While you’re on top of Castle Hill, don’t forget to visit Fisherman’s Bastion. This ornate viewing area features elaborate architecture and some of the best views in the city. Wait until the sun sets, and you’ll have gloriously fiery panoramas over Pest on the other side of the River Danube. 

6. Have a drink (or two) in Budapest’s Ruin Bars

Hungary Things to do: Ruin Bar

Budapest’s Ruin Bars are all the rage. Forget visiting swanky, upmarket bars when you’re in the Hungarian capital because there’s nothing quite like drinking beer in a quirky, repurposed, and formerly abandoned building! 

Ruin Bars are unique to Budapest, and you’ll find them focused around the Jewish District, which was left ruined and abandoned for decades after World War II. Enterprising locals have taken many of these abandoned buildings over and turned them into seriously cool bars. 

The first ruin bar was Szimpla Kert, which first opened in 2001. There’s an old communist Trabant car in the bar, a large central courtyard for dancing, and street food and DJ sets. 

The largest Ruin Bar is the Instant-Fogas Complex, a sprawling bar set over multiple floors in a former apartment building. There are many more, including Mazel Tov, Red Ruin Bar (a communist-themed bar), and the likes of Fogashaz and Racskert. If you’re not sure where to begin, then why not join a Ruin Bar pub crawl when you’re in Budapest? 

7. Visit Lake Balaton – the largest lake in Central Europe

Best Things to do in Hungary: Lake Balaton

Hungary might be landlocked, but that doesn’t mean the country is lacking in water. In fact, Hungary is home to Lake Balaton, which just so happens to be the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. 

With 146 miles of coastline to explore, who needs the sea when you have Lake Balaton? You’ll be spoiled for choice here, and there are several historic resorts and lakeside towns where you can base yourself for a getaway. 

The most popular include Tihany, a medieval village dating back to at least the 11th century. The resort towns of Siófok and Balatonföldvár are teeming with tourists in the summer, while there are many more charming villages and towns to discover around the lake. 

There’s a lot to do here, including swimming, hiking, and watersports. You can visit Hungarian wineries, gorge on local cuisine, and explore the Balaton Uplands National Park. 

There are castles, monasteries, fortresses, and the famous Heviz Spa, which is still in use some 2,000 years after the Romans first tapped into the local mineral waters. And if you’re here in June and July, this is when Lake Balaton hosts Balaton Sound, one of Europe’s largest open-air music festivals. 

Book a Lake Balaton Full-Day Tour

8. Explore the charming medieval village of Tihany

Hungary Bucket List: Village of Tihany

Lake Balaton might be one of the most popular Hungary sightseeing attractions, but it’s also a place that’s steeped in history. If you prefer delving into the past over watersports, then make sure to visit the charming medieval village of Tihany, which you’ll find on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. 

Tihany sits on a small peninsula overlooking the lake, and you’ll love how the town is built around both an inner and an outer lake. It’s undeniably beautiful, and that’s before you’ve even strolled through the medieval streets and past the colorful houses. 

Tihany has a special place in Hungarian history and even in Hungary’s national identity. In the village, the most important site to visit is Tihany Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that dates back to 1055. Tihany Abbey is said to have been where the Hungarian language was first written down, while the abbey itself played important roles throughout Hungarian history. 

There’s much more history to explore in Tihany, and you can visit Echo Hill to hear firsthand why the village is also famous for its “echoes.” There’s also a castle, natural geysers, and plenty of great local restaurants to visit! 

9. Roam the steppe in Hortobágy National Park

Hungary Things to do: Hortobágy National Park

Historically, Hungary was known for its vast plains and steppes, where wild horses roamed, and nomads sought out pastures. While the Hungarian plains are much reduced, visit Hortobágy National Park, and you can find one of the last great areas of natural grassland left in Europe. 

Hortobágy National Park was the first national park to be declared in Hungary, and it’s the largest protected area in the country. With more than 74,000 hectares to explore, you’re in for a real adventure. You can hike across the plains or join off-road jeep tours that drive out far into the wilderness in search of wildlife. 

Part of the national park is a dark sky reserve too, which is perfect for camping and stargazing. Best of all, you can even ride horses across the steppe while learning all about the nomadic lifestyle of old. 

As beautiful as Hortobágy National Park is, it’s also a fantastic place to learn about traditional Hungarian culture. Visit the Shepherds Museum to learn about rural life, the nine-holed bridge to see traditional architecture, and the national park’s excellent visitor center to organize tours. 

10. Visit Debrecen – Hungary’s second-largest city

Unique Things to do in Hungary: Debrecen

Budapest might take all the glory, but head to Hungary’s second-largest city, and you’ll find just as much history but none of the crowds. Located in the northeast, close to the Hungarian plains, Debrecen is one of the best places to visit in Hungary. 

Debrecen is an important city. At various points throughout Hungarian history, Debrecen has served as the nation’s capital. Although brief, in the 18th century, Debrecen was even the largest city in Hungary. Debrecen is packed full of great things to do, and you can start your tour of the city by visiting the Reformed Great Church, a landmark that stands tall in the center of Debrecen. 

Next, head to the Déri Museum, a national institution that’s renowned for its collection of cultural and historic artifacts from the region. Delve into Hungarian history, then pop into the MODEM Center for Modern and Contemporary Arts, where you’ll see the wonderful modern artwork from Hungarian and international artists on display. 

There are public parks, botanical gardens, craft shops, and much more to visit in Hungary’s cultural capital. And once you’ve seen the sights, you’re now in the perfect location from which to explore the nearby plains and steppe of Hortobagy National Park. 

Get your Entry Ticket to the Reformed Great Church

11. Party on an island at Sziget Festival

Must do things in Hungary: Sziget Festival
Photos courtesy of Rockstar Photographers

Every summer, usually sometime in August, Hungary hosts one of Europe’s biggest music festivals. Every year, the Sziget Festival gets more and more popular, so if you love to party, then this is the festival for you! 

Sziget Festival has been running since the 1990s, and you’ll have your pick of some of the world’s best bands and music acts over the course of the seven-day event. The festival is seriously unique in terms of its location, as the main acts headline stages on Old Buda Island in the middle of the River Danube in Budapest. 

The acts vary each year, of course, but you can expect to find top rock, pop, and electronic artists featuring throughout the week. The lineup is guaranteed to be varied, with everyone from Iggy Pop and Iron Maiden to Madness and Calvin Harris having played in the past. 

The organizers of Sziget Festival also host Balaton Sound each year, another music festival that is held in June and July on the sunny shores of Lake Balaton. 

12. Drink UNESCO World Heritage wine in Tokaj wine region

Best Things to do in Hungary: Tokaj wine region

If you’re a wine lover, then one of the must-do things in Hungary is a tasting in the Tokaj wine region. This historic grape-growing region is famed for its sweet aszú wine, so much so that the entire region is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

You’ll find Tokaj in northeastern Hungary, where the region technically straddles the border and extends into Slovakia. It’s said that this fertile wine region has been growing grapes since the 12th century AD, although it could easily go back much further than this, as the wine-loving Romans also passed through the area. 

Tokaj wines have been a favorite of royalty and celebrities throughout history. King Louis XV called it the king of wines and the wine of kings, while both Mozart and Goethe were said to have loved a glass of Tokaj wine. 

There are 28 official wine-growing villages in the Tokaj wine region, and you’ll find they are all open for tastings and tours. Tokaj wine is particularly sweet, but you’ll find it goes exceptionally well with the local cuisine during your stay in this beautiful, rural region of Hungary! 

Book a Tokaj Private Day Tour

13. Go underground into the Caves of Aggtelek Karst

Best Things to do in Hungary: Caves of Aggtelek Karst

Travel to the northeast and on the border with Slovakia, you’ll find one of the most unique things to do in Hungary. 

This mountainous area is home to epic karst caves within Aggtelek National Park. The area is also protected under a cross-border UNESCO World Heritage listing, which has identified 712 different caves and caverns in the areas. However, this is thought to be a fraction of the number still waiting to be discovered! 

The unusual subterranean scenery is perfect for underground exploration. The largest cave in the region (and the largest cave in Hungary) is at least 15 miles long and has been the subject of much research and many expeditions for centuries. 

Base yourself in Aggtelek, and you can hike into the national park along waymarked trails. If you’re planning to explore the caves, though, we recommend joining a guided tour from the village. Tours vary in both length and difficulty, but there will be suitable options for people of all caving abilities and experience.

14. Marvel at the Esztergom Basilica

Must do things in Hungary: Esztergom Basilica

You can find the city of Esztergom on Hungary’s northern border with Slovakia, where it’s occupied an impressive place in Hungarian history for millennia. 

The city is on the Hungarian side of the River Danube, so head down to the water’s edge, and you can literally look out into another country. That’s a cool experience, but the real attraction in Esztergom is the basilica. 

Esztergom is the official seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary, and the basilica is the largest religious building in the country. The basilica opened in 1869 after several decades of construction work. It towers above the city, and with a total height of 118 meters, it’s one of the tallest buildings in Hungary. 

The neoclassical facade with its beautiful architecture and classical columns is a sight to marvel at, but head inside, and you’ll be just as awed by the interior. Above the altar, you’ll find the largest artwork on a single canvas to be found anywhere in the world!

The religious theme continues in the art-filled Christian Museum, while at Esztergom Castle you can step back in time a thousand years. The city is famous among Hungarians for being the place where Hungary’s first King was crowned in the 11th century AD, so be prepared for a historical and regal trip when you visit the city’s fantastic museums and heritage sites, of which there are many! 

15. Explore the culture & cobbled streets of Szentendre 

Best Things to do in Hungary: Szentendre

Follow the River Danube north of Budapest, and you’ll soon find yourself among the colorful houses and cobblestone streets of Szentendre, which just so happens to be one of the best sights in Hungary! 

Szentendre has an enviable location overlooking the river, and the medieval town is considered to be one of the most cultural destinations in Hungary. Its beautiful architecture, scenic position, and long history have made Szentendre a haven for artists and bohemians since the 19th century, and today you’ll find a dense collection of galleries and workshops across the town. 

When you arrive, head to the main square, where you’ll find restaurants and cafes sprawled over the cobblestone. As well as galleries, the town is known for its excellent museums, and you can visit the Marzipan Museum, a museum dedicated to Hungarian artist Margit Kovacs, and Castle Hill, where you’ll have sweeping views over the River Danube. 

Best of all, though, is the Hungarian Open-Air Museum, where you can wander through a magnificent ethnographic collection of traditional Hungarian houses and homesteads. 

Book a Szentendre Half-Day Tour

16. Visit the ethnographic village of Holloko

Hungary Bucket List: Village of Holloko

Hidden away in the low-lying Cserhát Mountains of northern Hungary, you’ll find the intriguing ethnographic village of Holloko. 

Home to just a few hundred people, the village and the surrounding countryside have been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1990s. Visiting Holloko is like taking a step back in time, and as you stroll through the historic streets, you’ll soon understand why the town is on the UNESCO list. 

The traditional houses, many of them wooden, date back to the turn of the 20th century when the village was rebuilt after a fire ripped through the settlement. They continued to replicate the style of old, though, in a village dating back to at least the 1700s. This makes Holloko one of the best examples of a preserved village in Hungary, and you’re going to love delving into the folklore and tradition that’s waiting in this living museum. 

Holloko Castle is believed to be even older than the village, and its dates back as far as the 1300s, when the first records mention it. The village is inhabited by the Palóc ethnic group, a minority of traditional Hungarians who still hold onto their ancient way of life. 

Book a Holloko Ethnographic Village Day Tour

17. Embrace the romance of Sopron

Hungary Things to do: Sopron

Romantics, couples, and lovers of wine will want to include the northwestern town of Sopron in their Hungary travel itinerary. Located close to the Austrian border, Sopron is a cultural crossroads, where European nations collide. 

You’ll see a plethora of Austro-Hungarian influences as you tour through Sopron’s Old Town, marveling at the ornate architecture and cultural heritage that dates back centuries. Watch out for the magnificent “Fire Tower,” and don’t miss “Loyalty Gate,” where Sopron’s citizens were once made to choose between Austrian and Hungarian citizenship. 

The romance is palpable in the Old Town, and you’ll be pleased to know that the surrounding countryside is just as beautiful. Nearby, you can discover some of Hungary’s best wineries, where white and red grapes are grown to produce delectable vintages. 

You’ll also be able to explore nearby national parks, including the Ferto-Hansag National Park, which protects the wetland ecosystem surrounding Lake Ferto. 

Book a Sopron City Highlights Walking Tour

18. Enjoy a cruise along the River Danube

Unique Things to do in Hungary: River Danube

The River Danube is the longest river in Central Europe, flowing mile after mile from the Black Forest of Germany through countless countries until it reaches the Black Sea. 

Along the way, it passes north to south through Hungary, creating one of the nation’s most scenic and geographically important natural attractions. And that means that one of the best things to do in Hungary is a cruise on the River Danube!

If you’re in Budapest, where the River Danube divides the two halves of the cities (Buda and Pest), you can join short sightseeing tours or dinner cruises along the river. You can even go on day tours to the north to visit riverside towns like Szentendre and Visegrad. 

If you really want to experience the River Danube, then you can join multi-day tours that explore the river. Many tour companies offer extensive cruise itineraries to and from Budapest or cross-border adventures that take you to major European capitals like Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna

Book a River Danube Sightseeing Cruise

19. Uncover Hungary’s multicultural past in Pecs

Must do things in Hungary: Pecs

Many empires have tried to control Hungary over the centuries, and there’s no better place to see the legacy of history than Pecs. 

You’ll find Pecs is a three-hour train ride south of Budapest, where it’s located close to the Croatian border. History here goes back to the Roman era, so be prepared to journey through millennia when you’re exploring the city! 

Start your tour in Schzenyi Square, the main central square in Pecs that dates to the medieval period. Pecs was founded earlier than this, possibly around the 2nd century AD, and you can find out more by visiting the many museums in the aptly named Museum Quarter. 

The Romans left a lasting impact on Pecs, and you’ll feel the city’s Mediterranean vibe as you stroll down Kiraly Street – the main street in the city, lined by beautiful architecture – while in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Necropolis you can literally step back in time as you visit what was a Roman then early Christian burial ground. 

Pecs Cathedral dates to the medieval era, while you can see the city’s Ottoman influence by visiting the impressive Mosque Of Pasha Qasim, which was built in the 16th century after the Ottoman invasions. 

20. Feel the fright at the Demonic Busojaras Festival

Hungary Things to do: Busojaras Festival

Visit the town of Mohacs during Carnival season, and you’ll find yourself caught up in one of the most unusual, fun, and unique things to do in Hungary!

Mohacs is located close to the Croatian border, and sometime in February, the local Sokci (a Croatian minority) celebrate the Busojaras Festival. It’s a tradition dating back centuries, and you’ll be scared half to death when you first see the demonic costumes that the locals dress up in before rampaging around the town! 

The costumes are designed to scare, although it’s all-tongue-in-cheek stuff. The tradition is said to remember the 16th-century Ottoman invasions when the people of Mohacs reclaimed their town from the invaders. It’s also a celebration of traditional Sokci culture and a way to defeat the evils of winter and welcome the spring. 

21. Revel in the festivities at a Hungarian Christmas Market

Unique Things to do in Hungary: Hungarian Christmas Market

Winter might be a bitingly cold time to visit Hungary, but you’ll have plenty of chances revel in Christmas festivities and to warm up with a big bread bowl full of goulash!

We love Christmastime in Hungary when the country’s historic public squares are lined with traditional market stalls while the sound of carol singing fills the air. Christmas is a big deal in Hungary, and you’ll find some of the best Christmas markets in Europe here.

The classic Hungarian Christmas markets are found in Budapest, where they draw in countless visitors each and every season. You’ll find that every square in the capital has wooden stalls selling Christmas decorations, warm winter clothing, and traditional winter foods like goulash, Fisherman’s Soup, and mulled wine. Head to Vorosmarty Square for Christmas festivities and Stephan’s Basilica for carol singing.

But if you’re looking for a more local atmosphere, then we suggest heading further afield at Christmastime. In Debrecen, Hungary’s second-largest city, the markets are just as impressive, and given the city is Hungary’s cultural capital, you know you’ll be in for a festive experience. In the south, Pecs is a cultural feast too, and you’ll love how the Christmas market is held in front of an Ottoman-era mosque!

Book a Budapest Christmas Magic Walking Tour

22. Go hiking in Bukk National Park

Hungary Bucket List: Bukk National Park

Hungary’s northern mountains are spectacular, and if you’re a big fan of the outdoors (and who isn’t?) then you’re going to love hiking in Bukk National Park. This is Hungary’s largest national park, and it protects vast swathes of the Bukk Mountains centered around the city of Miskolc. 

You can use the city as a base, but we’d recommend getting out into and staying in the countryside to really experience the wilderness of Bukk National Park. 

Throughout the mountains, you’ll find charming Hungarian villages with guesthouses and spa hotels. One of our favorite spots is the village of Szilvásvárad, from where you can hike to waterfalls and explore the Szalajka Valley. 

Another wonderful village is Lillafüred, which is close to caves, waterfalls, forests, and lakes. The beauty is simply astounding, and you can even reach Lillafüred from Miskolc on a quaint and scenic “Forest Train.” 

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23. Gorge on Hungarian delicacies

Fun Things to do in Hungary: Delicacies

If you’re traveling across Hungary, you’re going to be in for a gourmet trip because Hungarians are rightly proud of their national cuisine. You best get used to paprika, though, because this strong, red spice is found in almost everything 

Hungarian cuisine is similar too, but in many ways distinct from Central European food. You’ll find lashings of goulash, for example, complete with tender meat and seasonal vegetables and served in giant bread bowls. 

But you’ll also find uniquely Hungarian dishes, like Budapest’s famed Fisherman’s Soup (a medley of almost everything!) and national favorites like chicken paprikash, which is chicken and homemade pasta served in a decadently creamy paprika sauce. 

There are Michelin-starred restaurants in Budapest, and many more cities and towns. Plus, Hungary’s many wine regions – including Tokaj and Sopron – not only offer wonderful vintages but homegrown food straight from the farms.

And if you’re out at night, or are welcomed into a Hungarian home for dinner, then it’s inevitable that you’ll try pálinka, the fiery local spirit over which many a toast is made! 

24. Cycle the River Danube

Best Things to do in Hungary: Cycle the River Danube

While many people opt to take a boat along the River Danube, cyclists will be happy to know that you can also ride a bike along much of the length of this famous waterway, too. 

In fact, the Danube Cycle Trail is a cross-border network of cycle paths that allows you to travel all the way from the river’s source in the Black Forest, Germany, to Romania, where the Danube meets the Black Sea. 

In Hungary, the River Danube flows from the northern border with Slovakia to the southern border with Croatia. Along the way, it passes famous riverside towns like Visegrad and Szentendre before splitting Budapest in two, then continuing south through the countryside, plains, towns, and cities toward the border. 

Book a Danube River Views Bike Ride Experience

25. Go the distance on the National Blue Trail 

Hikers will love Hungary, and if you’re up for an outdoor challenge, you can tackle the National Blue Trail, a 750-mile-long route that stretches from east to west (or west to east) across the entire length of the country. 

This is the longest trail in the country, and for adventurous travelers looking to get off the beaten track, it’s easily one of the best things to do in Hungary. This multiday trail is waymarked and will take several weeks to complete, although that all depends on how fast you like to walk and how easily you’re distracted by the wine regions and national parks you will be traversing!

Interestingly, the National Blue Trail also happens to be the oldest national trail of its kind in Europe. Dating back to 1938, you’ll be following in the footsteps of generations of Hungarian hikers when you walk the trail. 

There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Hungary. What’s your favorite thing to do in Hungary?

Planning a trip to Hungary? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!



  • Richard Collett

    Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities.

    Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot).

    When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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