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15+ Hidden Gems in Budapest that Tourists Don’t Know About!

Budapest is a wonderful city full of incredible things to see and do, from admiring the stunning parliament building to taking a cruise down the Danube at Night. It is safe to say that you will not run out of things to do on your visit!

However, there is more to the Hungarian capital than the iconic ruin bars and relaxing thermal spa’s. So, in today post I am going to show you how you get off the beaten path and discover some of the best hidden gems in Budapest.

4 Unusual Things to do in Budapest

First on this list of Hidden Gems in Budapest is 4 rather unusual activities or places to see on your visit. Most tourists are unaware of these attractions existence, making them the ideal spots to explore if you’re looking to escape the crowds.

1. The Children Railway

Contribution by Cris from LooknWalk

If you are seeking to spend some time off the usual tourist beaten path in Budapest, you’re in luck. There are some lovely options, including the famous Children’s Railway.

Operated by children (with the help of adults), it’s a scenic way to get to Elizabeth Tower. Or to just see the Buda Hills.

Make no mistake: it’s definitely something designed for families with children. But it’s also one of those activities that couples (without children) can partake in – especially if you plan your visit on a weekday during the school year.

The trains run year round but you’d enjoy the scenery more during late spring since this is why you take the journey : to enjoy a scenic trip on Buda Hills.

To get to the first stop, you’ll need to use the public transportation in Budapest. Make your way to Szell Kalman ter on M2 line (red). Then take tram 59 or 61 to Varosmajor stop followed by the Cogwheel Railway all the way to the last stop. Oh and if you have a travel card, the journey up to here is included.

From here it’s just a short walk to Szechenyi-hegy Station, where the trains depart from. Get your tickets and wait for the next train. Please note that the tickets can only be purchased from the cash register and in cash (Huf).

You can take the train all the way to the last stop and then come back and stop at Janos-kegy to visit Elizabeth Tower. Or stop along the way at any of the attractions (designed for children).

If you just want to take the train one way, the price is 1000 huf for an adult (500 for a child). But if you want to make stops along the way and opt for a return trip, it’s 1800 huf for an adult (900 for a child).

This is a cheap option for a day in nature around Budapest, perfect if you just want to escape the bustle and business of the capital.

2. Hospital in the Rock

Contribution from Riana from Teaspoon of Adventure

Far from the glitz of Budapest’s New York Cafe or stunning parliament building lies Hospital in the Rock, a nuclear bunker and hospital museum and one of the coolest places to visit in Budapest. 

Hospital in the Rock is part of a natural cave system located under Castle Hill on the Buda side of the city. It was first used as a hospital during WWII where different parts of the cave were used as hospital rooms, sleeping quarters, kitchens, etc.

After the war, the underground hospital was used to produce typhus vaccines, reconverted into a hospital for the 1956 Revolution, and then used as a nuclear bunker during the Cold War. 

In 2007, the hospital was transformed into a museum. Today visitors can walk through the 2,000 square meter cave system where recreations of its historical uses are displayed.

You can learn about Budapest’s underground history and get a sense of what it would have been like to work or be treated as a patient in this cave hospital. There are also displays dedicated to the museum’s mission, “ to show the true face of war and highlight the value of peace.” 

The museum can only be visited by guided tour. Tours last 60-90 minutes with groups of no more than 25, so you’re encouraged to book in advance. The tour is recommended for visitors 12 years and older and no photos or videos are allowed.

3. The Cave Church

The Cave Church in Budapest is a truly unique hidden gem that should be on your list when exploring this vibrant city. Carved into the side of Gellért Hill, this remarkable place of worship offers a rich blend of natural beauty and spiritual tranquility.

The journey into the cave is an experience in itself, filled with fascinating rock formations and an atmosphere that exudes peace.

Above all, its fascinating history, dating back to the 1860s, it is believe that it once belonged to a poor family and then later discovered by the Pauline monks who transformed the enterence that we see today in the 1920s.

Visitors can admire the stunning fusion of natural elements and human ingenuity while also taking part in mass and other religious ceremonies held within its walls.

As you step back into the light after your visit, you can enjoy stunning views over the city. For those seeking something out of the ordinary in Budapest, the Cave Church truly delivers.

Unique Things to do in Budapest

Next, on our list of Hidden Gems in Budapest list is activities and attractions that are rather ‘unique’ to the city. Things you may not be already aware of. A fun and exciting way to spice up your Budapest itinerary.

4. Caving in Budapest

Did you know that beneath Budapest lies a thrilling cave system just waiting to be explored by adrenaline junkies visiting the city?

Well, it’s true, and if you are looking for something fun and unique to do then I highly recommend going caving in Budapest.

This tour takes 3 hours in total, where your will explore the ground beneath the city, crawling through narrow passages, sitting still in dark chambers, and feeling your heart tump as you navigate the complex cave system.

Now, I don’t want that to scare you, but due to the nature of the tour I always advise sorting yourself out with travel insurance before taking part in any adventure activities. I recommend Safety Wing for this, it is super affordable and can be booked as late the day you leave for the trip.

This is a small group tour, is alongside a professional caving guide. And while Hungarian is the official language in Budapest is Hungarian, the tours are carried out in English.

The guide will talk you through all the safety measures to ensure everyone in the group has a great time.

Some elements of the trail can be difficult for some, but in this case, there is typically an alternative route to take which is much easier.

You will hear every echo in the cavern, feel every cool touch of the cave walls, and see every crystal formation. This tour will leave you with a sense of awe and wonder and a lasting memory.

Trust me, it’s an experience you will never forget! So, why wait? Book this tour and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.

Oh! but it is important to note that the starting point is not in the city centre, it’s best to order a taxi or use public transport to get there!

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5. Budapest Beer Spa

Contribution by Madison from

Budapest is known for its Art Nouveau architecture, incredible views, and turning anything into a nightlife venue (baths, ruins, you name it).

As one of Europe’s most popular destinations, the capital of Hungary offers a wide range of activities to suit every taste. Whether you enjoy exploring historical landmarks, indulging in local cuisine, or sipping cocktails at a thermal bath, there’s something for everyone in Budapest.

Amidst the well-known attractions lies a hidden gem – the Thermal Beer Spa in The Széchenyi Baths. This little-known spa offers a one-of-a-kind treatment that will leave beer lovers speechless.

Fresh hops, malt, and yeast are added to a tub of hot water. From there, you’ll soak up all the hoppy goodness while enjoying the use of your unlimited beer tap (yes – you heard correctly). 

Since The Széchenyi Baths are one of Budapest’s top tourist attractions, chances are you’ll be visiting them already (even if you only have 2 days in Budapest or less). For a more unique experience, why not add a visit to the Thermal Beer Spa to your entrance ticket? If your interest is piqued, you can purchase a full-day bath ticket along with a 45-minute session at the beer spa for €99 on the official website.

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6. Zugliget Chairlift

In the Buda hills, the Zugliget Chairlift (Libegő) is a fun and different thing to do while in Budapest.

The Chairlift takes people between Zugliget and the road that leads up to the Elizabeth Lookout Tower. Which offers phonomial 360 views of Budapest. Believe me they will blown you away!

It takes about 15 minutes to go up the side of János Hill, where much like the tower you can see a wide view of Buda.

The city transportation company BKK runs the chairlift and a one-way ticket costs 1,200 HUF and a round-trip ticket costs 1,600 HUF.
You can get there by taking bus 291 from Nyugati station to the end stop. Taking a ride on the Chairlift is a one-of-a-kind experience that is perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

rubik's cube mural budapest
Rubik’s Cube Mural, Budapest

7. Check Out the Street Art Scene

Street art in Budapest is an important part of the city’s culture that doesn’t get enough attention. There are many murals and pieces of painting on the city walls that make the scenery more colourful and interesting. And the best thing about this activity is it is completely free, and yes, Budapest is quite an affordable city however, it is always nice to find things that wont eat into your budget.

This form of art is an overlooked treasure that shows how artistic the city is but is often missed by tourists who are more interested in traditional attractions like the ruin bars and thermal spas.

Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian inventor, made the famous “Rubik’s Cube,” and the is a mural that represents it in the Jewish Quarter. A area that shows how old and new meet in Budapest. 

“Neopaint’s Bird,” a beautiful and colourful mural of a bird in flight, is another important work. Neopaint, a Hungarian artist known for his bright and often strange work, made this mural. 

But murals and graffiti aren’t the only kinds of street art in Budapest. There are also many sculptures all over the city that add to its artistic charm. The “Little Princess” statue, made by the Hungarian artist László Marton, is one of these works. This statue has become a beloved symbol of the city and can be found on the Danube Promenade.

Budapest Off the Beaten Path Day Trips

While there are many wonderful things to do and see while in Budapest, sometimes it is nice to escape the city for a short while. So, below are two incredible day trips that are often missed by tourists!

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8. Day Trip to Eger

Contribution by Penny from

One of the most remarkable experiences that I have had while visiting Budapest was my visit to a small town called Eger.

At 124 kilometers away from the center of the city, it takes just an hour to an hour and a half to reach it. The quiet peaceful town is well known for its wine and its castle but you will find that there are a surprising number of things to do in Eger.

I would suggest starting out your trip with a visit to the Castle of Eger first. This is especially true if you have clear skies. The castle is located on a hill and gives you a spectacular view of the city below.

Once you are done exploring the castle, head down and check out the iconic Dobo Istavan square, climb the towering minaret and don’t forget to go souvenir shopping at the local wine shops. 

The tiny cobbled streets have so many great opportunities when it comes to photography. There are also loads of really cool restaurants to sit down and enjoy a meal at. The food here is legendary and you get to pair your meal with some of Hungary’s best meals. Life really does not get better than this!

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9. Day Trip to Szentendre

Contributed by Audrey of That Backpacker

One of Budapest’s hidden gems, in my opinion, is the day trip to Szentendre. This is a charming little town that sits on the shores of the Danube Bend and it is filled with churches, art galleries and museums, making it a wonderful spot to explore on a day trip. 

Part of the charm is the journey to Szentendre. If you’re visiting during the summer months, I would recommend taking the train up and then riding the boat back. T

he train departs from Batthyány tér and takes 40 minutes. For the return trip, you can then catch the boat back to Budapest which takes 1 hour downstream (the journey is 2 hours travelling upstream).

Just keep in mind that the boat is seasonal, so during low season you’ll want to take the train both ways. 

Szentendre is the type of town where you can wander around aimlessly and still have a wonderful time because there’s something to see at every turn! That being said, there are some attractions that you should seek out. Some of my favourites were the National Wine Museum, which is located in the cellar of the Labirintus Restaurant. They offer wine tastings and of course, when in Hungary, you drink Egri Bikavér! If you decide to stay for lunch, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of goulash.

The Marzipan Museum is also a lot of fun. In case you’ve never tried marzipan, it is a sweet confection made from sugar and ground almonds. The museum has all sorts of elaborate sculptures made using nothing but marzipan!

Plus, you can also visit Art Mill, an art gallery that’s set in a former mill spanning three floors, where you can enjoy everything from paintings and photography to sound installations.

So if you have a bit of extra time in Budapest and you want to explore past the city outskirts, don’t miss out on this super easy and fun day trip!

Cool Things to do in Budapest

Let’s finish off this post with some of the most cool things to do in Budapest, the perfect additions to your Budapest itinerary.

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10. Gettó Gulyás

Contribution Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Gettó Gulyás is a wonderful hidden gem restaurant in Budapest. Located in the Jewish Quarter, this traditional Hungarian restaurant serves up delicious, hearty meals.

This quaint restaurant is best known for its Chicken Paprikash, an authentic Hungarian recipe made of chicken pieces cooked in a creamy paprika-based sauce. It’s typically served with egg noodles or dumplings. I highly recommend it!

The name of the restaurant carries important meaning. “Gulyás” is a traditional Hungarian stew, and “Gettó Gulyás” in Budapest represents a unique and culturally rich aspect of the city’s culinary scene. This dish, often referred to as “ghetto goulash,” has its roots in the history of the Jewish Quarter, where it was created during challenging times.

The dish typically consists of hearty ingredients like beef, potatoes, carrots, and Hungarian paprika. It’s a blend of traditional Hungarian goulash with influences from Jewish cuisine.

The offer both a Hungarian and an English menu. Many visitors stay in or nearby the Jewish Quarter and closer to the water, so it may be easily walkable. If not, the Astoria Metro stop is close by.

Prices are extremely affordable and you can have a wonderful meal for just a few dollars. Make a reservation before you go – the restaurant is fairly small.

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11. Metropolitan Erbin Szabo Library

Contribution by Mal of Renting A Car In Europe 101

While most hidden gems require renting a car in Budapest and driving outside of the city’s boundaries, a fair number of treasures can still be found right in the city centre.

One of them is the gorgeous Erbin Szabo Library. It is not only the oldest library in Budapest, dating back to 1931, but it is also the largest one, home to over a million books. 

The library is housed in the exquisite neo-baroque Wenckheim Palace and, for that reason, is a must-visit place for history enthusiasts, book lovers, and photography lovers. 

The highlight of the library is the old smoking room, which features dark carved wood, a huge fireplace, and a winding staircase, which you can take to access the bookshelves situated on the higher level.  

The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library is located in the bustling 8th district near Kálvin Square, which is also its nearest Metro stop. For reference, the famous St. Stephen’s Basilica is a 27-minute walk away. 

The library is open from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 8 pm. The library is free to enter for members, and for tourists, there is an entrance fee of 1000 HUF, which is equivalent to $3.50. At the entrance, ask for a leaflet in English that contains the library’s history and a description of all the rooms and their meaning.

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12. The 360 Bar

It’s safe to say that Budapest is known for it’s nightlife, from the famous ruin bars to the iconic boat parties.

However, due to the popularity of these nighttime activities, many tourist fail to look beyond them.

For example, the city is home to a range of roof top bars. Which are not only a great place to sit back and relax with a cocktail in hand but also somewhere to admire views of the stunning landscapes.

One of my favourites is the 360 bar on Andrássy street. The vibes here are really fun and the drinks are rather afforable.

It is also a fab place to watch the sunset!

Oh! but just prior warning, I have been here a number of times and on my last visit (in the summer time) they where charging a small fee for entry at the door. And unfortunately it was cash only!

And don’t forget to always have your wits about you when exploring at night, Budapest is a relatively safe city, however, like anywhere, nighttime hours see an increase in petty crimes.

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13. Vaidahunvad Castle

Budapest is known as one of the most beautiful fairytale destinations in Europe, and our next hidden gems is one of the reason it is given that title.

Vaidahunvad Castle is only a short walk from Hero Square. The Castle is based on a number of different buildings from Hungary and Europe, which gives it its own unique style.

The Agricultural Museum is in Vajdahunyad Castle, which also hosts many events all year long. What about the Jaki Chapel? It was made to honour Stephen I, who was the first king of Hungary.

It’s a quiet place to sit and think before going on your way through the park. Both buildings are in City Park, which is a busy place all year.

There are lots of things to do here, like renting bikes or pedal boats to ride on the lake, going to the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Gardens, or even skating in the park’s skate park.

In October, I could have spent an hour walking around here just enjoying the beautiful autumn scenery.

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14. Karaván Street Food

No trip to Budapest is worth it without stopping in Karaván for seem delish street food.

What I particularly like about this place is how budget friendly it is, there is something for everyone, from those backpacking Europe to others on a city break.

Karaván, is right next to Szimpla, is another reason to check out Kazinczy utca, Budapest’s busy party street.

It’s kind of like an outdoor food court with many food trucks and booths selling delicious treats that you can eat while standing up or sitting down on one of the benches in the back.

Paneer serves cheese heaven, Zing serves juicy burgers, Las Vegan’s is a vegan option, and there are also international dishes like Vespa Rossa’s Italian food or MexKitchen.

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15. Faust Wine Cellar

Contributed by Lowri from

Nestled within the historic Buda Castle, the Faust Wine Cellar is one of the best hidden gems Budapest offers.

This enchanting experience seamlessly blends history, culture, and the delightful world of Hungarian wines all in one!

What makes the Faust Wine Cellar truly special is its concealed location within the underground cave system underneath the castle.

The candlelit cave-like room creates a unique atmosphere that sets it apart for those seeking an authentic taste of Hungary’s wine.

Faust Wine Cellar goes beyond being just a place to taste wines; it’s an educational journey through Hungary’s diverse wine regions.

Knowledgeable staff members are passionate about sharing insights into the country’s winemaking traditions. This allows you to understand the country you are visiting a little bit more!

You can also pick wines that suit your palette the most. Whether that is white, red or a mix, they are all amazing. Just make sure you taste the warm bread they bring out during your visit because it is incredible. 

Before visiting it’s worth noting a few things to make your experience the best. Firstly, as it’s in a historic building with steps, it’s good to wear sturdy shoes and bring something to keep you warm. There are also no toilets in the Wine Cellar itself but you can use the ones in the nearby Hilton Hotel.

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