10 Things to Do in Budapest with Kids

Best Family-Friendly Places in Budapest

    Budapest offers plenty of family fun, thanks to its wide-ranging assortment of kid-friendly places and attractions. Beyond Budapest’s monumental Heroes' Square, you’ll find a feature-filled park that’s home to the city’s zoo and botanical gardens, as well as a fantastic castle where you can ‘hunt’ for Count Dracula. 

    You can find many museums in the heart of Budapest. Those offering high levels of interactivity will surely satisfy the kids’ curiosity for a couple of hours. There’s one with detailed, miniature-scale exhibits of landmarks and railways. And, speaking of trains, Budapest even has one run by kids! Find these and other great things to do with the kids in Budapest below.

    1

    Feed giraffes at Budapest Zoo

    Explore an animal kingdom in the heart of Budapest

    Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden, known locally as Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert, is home to one of the oldest animal attractions in Europe. It might not seem very big, but there’s plenty to see inside and you’ll easily spend a couple of hours exploring the enclosures. 

    Being nearby the monumental landmark of Hősök tere (Heroes' Square) and Budapest’s main museums makes it a good starting point if you’re sightseeing with kids who have more of an interest in nature than statues. Exotic animals here range from Asian elephants and African giraffes, to Madagascan lemurs and Arctic polar bears.

    Location: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 6-12, 1146 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 9am to 4pm

    Phone: +36 1 273 4901

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    photo by Peter Békési (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Wonder at the mini-scale dioramas at Miniversum

    Feel like Gulliver, looking down over famous Hungarian landmarks

    Miniversum in Budapest showcases a vast collection of highly detailed dioramas on a miniature scale. Most of these depict landscapes and landmarks from Hungary, Austria, and Germany. Tiny figures bring the city and town square scenes to life, even though they’re static. The railways, with their moving trains pulling cars through lushly detailed valleys, can be amazingly convincing. 

    Most of the miniature exhibits here are complemented by screens that show you photos of the real-life scenes that inspired them. Kids will love some of the interactive exhibits where they can control the flow of traffic, all complete with sound and lighting effects.

    Location: Budapest, Andrássy út 12, 1061 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 10am to 6pm

    Phone: +36 1 301 0073

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    photo by Shadowgate (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Watch acrobats at the Capital Circus of Budapest

    With hilarious clowns and exhilarating trapeze acts

    Fővárosi Nagycirkusz (Capital Circus of Budapest) is the only stone circus building in central Europe. Acts here range from a variety of death-defying acrobatics to some side-splitting clown antics. Usually featured are aerial ballets, teeterboard jumpers, trapeze artists, drum jugglers, and well-trained dancing dogs. 

    The ringmaster presents the show in Hungarian, but you won’t need any translation to enjoy the spectacles that unfold in the ring. You can find the circus between Budapest Zoo and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, right in the heart of the city. Ticket prices vary according to seating, and start from around 1,500 Ft per seat.

    Location: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 12a, 1146 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 10am to 6pm

    Phone: +36 1 343 8300

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    photo by Kispados (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Walk through the shark tunnel at Tropicarium Budapest

    Enter the largest saltwater aquarium in Europe

    Tropicarium in Budapest is an oceanarium that features a large shark tunnel and an adjoining tropical rainforest enclosure. The 12-meter-long tunnel allows you to observe sharks and fish swimming gracefully in the 1.4-million-liter aquarium, and there is also a touch pool where you can pet baby stingrays. 

    Visit on a Thursday to see the shark feeding show, which is usually held at 3pm. Kids are unlikely to get bored here, thanks to the variety of jungle animals in the adjacent exhibits, ranging from unusual insects, lazy crocodiles and snakes, to small primates and free-flying birds.

    Location: Budapest, Nagytétényi 37-43, 1222 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 10am to 8pm

    Phone: +36 1 424 3053

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    photo by Z3r0c001 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Conduct experiments at the Palace of Wonders

    Learn about the laws of physics through interactive exhibits

    Csodák Palotája (Palace of Wonders) in Budapest offers a fun and educational day out with a host of interactive exhibits that demonstrate many of the laws of physics. Even young kids will find enough here to keep them amused for a couple of hours. The exhibits are also clearly labeled with English language instructions, as well as Hungarian. 

    The kids can learn about Bernoulli’s principle with dancing balls, visual perception through polarized images, and they can experiment with soap bubbles to see who can make the biggest one. Family passes are available from 12,200 Ft.

    Location: Budapest, Bécsi út 38-44, 1036 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 9am to 7pm

    Phone: +36 1 814 8060

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    photo by redoctober (CC BY-SA 2.5) modified

    6

    Swim at the Palatinus Strand Baths

    Outdoor pools to soak and splash in

    Palatinus Strand Baths is an outdoor swimming facility in Budapest. You can choose from 10 different pools to soak in, do some laps, or head for their wave pool. It’s a big hit during the summer (roughly from June to September), yet those seeking warm waters outside the summer months can enjoy their thermal baths year-round. 

    On bright and sunny days, it’s best to get here early if you want to secure a lounge chair, as this place can get very busy. There are 2 sets of kiddie pools where tots can also enjoy their fair share of splashing fun.

    Location: Budapest, Soó Rezső stny. 1, 1003 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 8am to 8pm

    Phone: +36 1 236 0040

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    photo by Globetrotter19 (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    7

    Hop aboard the Children’s Railway train

    Sightseeing in Budapest that’s big on fun

    The Gyermekvasút (Children's Railway), or Line 7, is possibly the cutest sightseeing ride you’ll ever experience. The white-and-red train is uniquely operated by none other than Budapest kids (under adult supervision, of course). It takes you on a steady ride over the wooded hills above Budapest. 

    Like any regular train ride, you'll need to check the timetables and purchase tickets for your ride. However, to do this you will be uniquely assisted by the happy staff of kids at the Children's Railway ticket office. All aboard, they’ll salute you off on your journey, while other youngsters in uniform collect your tickets, or simply greet you and check to insure you’re having a great time.

    Location: Budapest, 1029 Hungary

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 9.10am to 4.40pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +36 1 397 5394

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    photo by NearEMPTiness (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    8

    Run and play at Elizabeth Square

    A beautiful green space in the heart of Budapest

    Erzsébet tér (Elizabeth Square) is a vast, green urban space right in the heart of Budapest. It’s a popular hangout spot among local youth and students, with plenty of lawn spaces, tree shade, fountains, and pretty flower beds. 

    At the center of the square you’ll find the Danubius fountain, which dates back to 1880 and features statues symbolizing the Danube, Tisza, Drava, and Sava rivers. The cozy park is surrounded by plenty of dining spots. Almost everywhere you roam, The Budapest Eye Ferris wheel looms large in the background and is beautifully illuminated after sundown.

    Location: Budapest, Deák Ferenc tér 2, 1052 Hungary

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    photo by VinceB (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    See puppet shows at Budapest Puppet Theatre

    Retellings of classic tales with handcrafted puppets

    Budapest Bábszínház (Budapest Puppet Theatre) entertains both young kids and adults with its theatrical marionette performances. Their detailed handcrafted puppets are adorned in meticulously designed costumes, and skilled puppeteers manipulate them to skillfully bring classic fairy tales to life on a mini stage. 

    The puppet shows are presented in Hungarian, but you don’t need to understand the narration to admire the performances. The stories are simple and are mostly adaptations of well-known tales. The puppeteers, clad in black, provide voices and motion to the ‘stars of the show’ who employ props and interact with each other on stage.

    Location: Budapest, Andrássy út 69, 1062 Hungary

    Open: Daily from 9am to 6pm

    Phone: +36 1 321 5200

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    photo by Fred Romero (CC BY 2.0) modified

    10

    Hit the playgrounds at the City Park

    Budapest’s fun and feature-filled green space

    Városliget (City Park) behind Heroes’ Square is the largest public park in Budapest and it is popular for a variety of attractions. Its northern grounds are home to Budapest Zoo and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. Trampolines and playgrounds near the park’s beautiful ponds offer plenty of fun for kids. 

    City Park’s crown jewel, however, is Vajdahunyad Castle. This fantastic landmark is hidden inside the park, and dates back to 1896. Go on a ‘vampire hunt’ around the castle and look for the statue of Béla Lugosi, the Hungarian-American actor who played Count Dracula in the 1931 classic.

    Location: Budapest, Kós Károly stny., 1146 Hungary

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    photo by Top Budapest (CC BY 2.0) modified

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveler

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