13 Best Things to Do in Budapest for Young Adults: Cool Activities for Millennials and Gen Z

by Flora
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Are you looking for fun things to do in Budapest for young adults? Here’s our ultimate bucket list of cool and unique attractions for millennials and Gen Z-ers. So let’s dive into these amazing places to hang out in Budapest.

Budapest wraps you in a vibe that’s both historic and buzzing – mysterious, eclectic, and totally magnetic. The city’s panorama, split by the Danube and stitched together by stunning bridges, is a backdrop for discovery. Roam the cobbled streets of Buda Castle, where every corner whispers legends, or soak in the contemporary pulse of Pest at the Hungarian National Gallery. This Hungarian capital, celebrated for its stunning architecture and thermal baths, is the best town to live in for Expats.

It’s easy to fall in love with Budapest, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Famous for its breathtaking architecture, soothing thermal baths, and pulsating nightlife, Budapest is the ultimate playground for an unforgettable adventure or a deep dive into Hungarian culture. Here, every bridge has a story, every cobblestone street leads to discovery, and every sunset by the Danube feels like a scene from a movie. Let’s dive into all the coolest stuff in Budapest that makes this city a hotspot for young people!

The best things to do in Budapest for young adults right now

Things to do in Budapest for young adults

In this guide, we’re taking you on a thrilling tour of Budapest’s best spots for young adults. From soaking in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath to exploring the eclectic ruin bars of the Jewish Quarter, and cruising the Danube at night, Budapest’s rich tapestry of experiences is beckoning. These attractions makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe. Let’s start this journey!

1. Take a Dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath

If you’re hunting for cool things to do in Budapest, look no further than the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. Not just any old pool, this place is the granddaddy of thermal baths in Europe, and it’s been warming up chilly visitors since 1913. Imagine soaking in steaming hot water while surrounded by stunning Neo-Baroque architecture – it’s like taking a bath in a palace!

Entry to this watery wonderland starts at around 6,000 HUF (roughly $20), giving you access to a world of relaxation. And yes, it’s open every single day, rain or shine, from early morning till late evening. So, whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, there’s always time for a soak.

If you're on the hunt for cool things to do in Budapest, don't miss out on the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
If you’re on the hunt for cool things to do in Budapest, don’t miss out on the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.

With 15 indoor pools and three grand outdoor pools, you can swim, splash, and even play chess on floating boards. It’s the perfect spot for fun activities in Budapest for adults, offering a unique blend of relaxation and entertainment. So, grab your swimsuit and head to Széchenyi Thermal Bath for a splashy good time.

2. Explore the Ruin Bars of the Jewish Quarter

Let’s dive into the heart of Budapest’s nightlife. The ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter are an absolute must for anyone looking for fun things to do with friends in Budapest. These bars are a unique blend of history, art, and party vibes, all wrapped up in the crumbling walls of abandoned buildings.

The most famous of them all, Szimpla Kert, kicked off the trend in the early 2000s. Walking into Szimpla is like stepping into another world. It’s where every nook and cranny is filled with quirky art installations, mismatched furniture, and a buzzing atmosphere that’s hard to beat. This is truly a cultural hub where you can catch live music, film screenings, and art exhibitions.

Exploring Budapest's nightlife, the ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter are a must for fun outings with friends.
Exploring Budapest’s nightlife, the ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter are a must for fun outings with friends.

The Jewish Quarter is dotted with these cool hangouts, each with its own unique vibe. From the garden party feel of Anker’t to the eclectic decor of Fogas Ház, exploring these bars is like a treasure hunt for adults.

And let’s talk about the drinks – from classic Hungarian wines to inventive cocktails, the ruin bars have got you covered. The best part? Prices are pretty wallet-friendly, making your night out in Budapest both epic and affordable. This city is a great cheap vacation spot in Europe for travelers who still want all the cool experiences.

3. Cruise the Danube at Night with Legenda Cruises

When in Budapest, a night cruise along the Danube is an absolute must-do. Let Legenda Cruises be your go-to for this magical experience. Picture this: the city’s iconic landmarks, like the Parliament and Buda Castle, lighting up the night sky, all while you glide along the river, drink in hand.

Legenda Cruises has earned rave reviews for their top-notch service and the enchanting atmosphere they create. Their evening cruises often include live music, a welcome drink to set the mood, and sometimes even a dinner option.

Young adults seeking fun in Budapest, don't miss adding a night cruise with Legenda Cruises to your itinerary.
Young adults seeking fun in Budapest, don’t miss adding a night cruise with Legenda Cruises to your itinerary.

The cruises run every evening, giving you the flexibility to fit this must-do experience into your Budapest adventure. Prices are reasonable, starting at around 5,500 HUF (approximately $18). In my opinion, this is a small price to pay for such a priceless experience.

So, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Budapest, make sure to add a night cruise with Legenda Cruises to your list. It’s the perfect way to see the city from a different perspective and create memories that will last a lifetime.

4. Climb to the Top of Gellért Hill for Panoramic Views

For adventure and sightseeing, climbing to the top of Gellért Hill is one of the cool things to do in Budapest. Not only does this hike offer a bit of exercise, but it rewards you with some of the most breathtaking views of the city. From the Danube River snaking through the cityscape to the majestic Parliament building standing proud, the panorama from up here is unmatched.

Along the way, you’ll pass by the Gellért Monument and the Citadella. Each has its own story and significance to Budapest’s history. Reaching the summit feels like a triumph, and there’s plenty of space to relax and soak in the sights once you’re there.

Scaling Gellért Hill offers an adventurous sightseeing experience, ranking among the coolest activities for travelers.
Scaling Gellért Hill offers an adventurous sightseeing experience, ranking among the coolest activities for travelers.

The best part? This incredible experience doesn’t cost a dime. It’s open every day, all day, making it a flexible option for any itinerary. Whether you head up in the early morning to catch the sunrise or in the late afternoon to watch the city light up, it’s a moment you won’t forget.

So, if you’re compiling a list of stuff to do in Budapest, make sure to include a hike up Gellért Hill.

5. Discover Street Art in the Jewish Quarter with Budapest Street Art Tours

Exploring the Jewish Quarter’s street art scene is a must-do for anyone looking for attractions for young adults in Budapest. This area is a vibrant canvas showcasing some of the city’s best urban art. And the best way to dive into this colorful world? Joining a tour with Budapest Street Art Tours, a top-rated company known for their insightful and engaging walks.

Budapest Street Art Tours takes you on a journey through the heart of the Jewish Quarter, where every mural and piece of graffiti tells a unique story. From large-scale murals addressing global issues to playful pieces that animate alleyways, the variety is astounding.

Include a Budapest Street Art Tour in your plans for a unique perspective on the city's vibrant cultural scene.
Include a Budapest Street Art Tour in your plans for a unique perspective on the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

These tours not only highlight the beauty and complexity of street art but also delve into the history of the Jewish Quarter. This makes it a rich, multi-layered experience. Prices are reasonable, ensuring that this adventure is accessible to everyone. And the tours last a couple of hours, perfect for fitting into a busy day of exploring.

Adding a street art tour with Budapest Street Art Tours to your itinerary is a fantastic way to see a different side of Budapest. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity for those Instagram-worthy shots that will make your trip unforgettable.

6. Taste Hungarian Cuisine at the Great Market Hall

No visit to Budapest is complete without a culinary adventure, and the Great Market Hall is the perfect place to start. This bustling marketplace is a feast for the eyes with its vibrant stalls and grand architecture. From traditional dishes to local delicacies, this is where you’ll get a real taste of Hungary.

The Great Market Hall offers an array of options. This includes everything from quick bites like lángos (a deep-fried flatbread topped with cheese and sour cream) to hearty meals such as goulash soup. And let’s not forget about the sweets. Make sure to try some kürtőskalács (chimney cake) before you leave.

A Budapest trip isn't complete without a culinary adventure, and the Great Market Hall is the perfect place to start.
A Budapest trip isn’t complete without a culinary adventure, and the Great Market Hall is the perfect place to start.

The market is also a great place to pick up authentic Hungarian souvenirs, like paprika or handcrafted items. It’s open from Monday to Saturday, with mornings being the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.

Diving into the culinary delights of the Great Market Hall is a chance to savor the flavors of Hungary, interact with locals, and maybe even pick up a recipe or two. Whether you’re a food lover or just curious about Hungarian cuisine, this experience is sure to satisfy your appetite.

7. Catch a Show at the Iconic Budapest Opera House

Have you ever thought about dressing up and hitting an opera in Budapest? The Budapest Opera House is a piece of art in itself. It actually boasts some of the most jaw-dropping architecture in the city. And here’s a fun fact: it’s said that the acoustics in this place are so good, they rival those of the famous La Scala in Milan.

Walking into the Opera House, you’re hit with this vibe of old-world glamor. Think gold stucco, marble staircases, and a ceiling fresco that’ll have you craning your neck in awe. Now, whether you’re into opera or not, the experience of watching a performance here is something else.

This Opera House is a masterpiece in its own right, and witnessing a performance here is an unparalleled experience.
The Budapest Opera House is a masterpiece in its own right, and witnessing a performance here is an unparalleled experience.

Ticket prices? They’ve got a range, so you can go all out or enjoy the show without breaking the bank. But a hot tip: check out their schedule online and book your tickets ahead of time. Shows here are pretty popular and for good reason.

Even if you can’t snag a ticket to a performance, they offer tours during the day where you can get the scoop on the opera house’s history and sneak a peek behind the scenes. Trust me, it’s worth it just to see the inside.

8. Relax at Margaret Island

After all that culture and history, how about a little nature? Margaret Island, or Margitsziget, is Budapest’s peaceful oasis in the middle of the Danube. This island is also a green haven for digital nomads, perfect for those days when you just want to chill out and enjoy some fresh air.

There’s something here for everyone. Fancy a jog or a bike ride? There are plenty of paths crisscrossing the island, offering great views and a breezy escape from the city hustle. You can rent bikes or even bring your own to explore the island at your own pace.

Margaret Island, also known as Margitsziget, stands as Budapest's serene oasis, perfect for young adults seeking tranquility.
Margaret Island, also known as Margitsziget, stands as Budapest’s serene oasis, perfect for young adults seeking tranquility.

The island is home to some pretty cool spots, like a small zoo, medieval ruins, and even a water park. And let’s not forget the musical fountain, where you can catch a water show choreographed to music. It’s kinda like Budapest’s version of the Bellagio fountains, but with a twist.

The best part? Margaret Island is free to enter and open 24/7, making it a super flexible option for any itinerary. It’s the perfect spot to recharge your batteries before diving back into the city’s vibrant life.

9. Visit the House of Terror Museum

For a deep dive into Hungary’s tumultuous 20th-century history, a visit to the House of Terror Museum is a must. This is a poignant tribute to the victims of both the fascist and communist regimes in Hungary. Located in the very building that was once the headquarters for the secret police of both regimes, it offers a chilling glimpse into a not-so-distant past.

As you walk through the exhibits, you’ll be transported back in time. Each room and display is meticulously designed to evoke the era it represents. From personal items and photographs to interactive displays and haunting installations, the museum doesn’t hold back in telling the stories of those who suffered.

Exploring the House of Terror Museum in Budapest is a sobering yet crucial experience for young adults
Exploring the House of Terror Museum in Budapest is a sobering yet crucial experience for young adults

The museum makes sure that the atrocities of the past are not forgotten. It serves as a stark reminder of the price of freedom. Visiting the House of Terror Museum is a sobering experience, but it’s one of the most important things to do in Budapest for young adults.

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, and there’s a small admission fee. Given the sensitive nature of the exhibits, it might not be for everyone. But for those interested in history and human rights, it’s an unforgettable experience.

10. Hang Out at Gozsdu Courtyard

If you’re cruising through Budapest and looking for the heartbeat of the city’s nightlife and day-life (yeah, that’s a thing now), you’ve got to swing by Gozsdu Courtyard.

Ever heard of Spíler? It’s a bistro-pub in Gozsdu that’s got this gritty, urban feel with food that’ll make you want to write home about it. They serve up some killer burgers and local craft beers. Each are perfect for fueling up before exploring more of Budapest.

Gozsdu Courtyard is the beating heart of the city, perfect for catching up with friends or meeting new ones.
Gozsdu Courtyard is the beating heart of the city, perfect for catching up with friends or meeting new ones.

For a caffeine fix, there’s Double Shot, part coffee shop, part cocktail bar, making it the perfect spot no matter what time of day you wander in. Their coffee? Divine. Cocktails? Even better.

And if you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale, Vicky Barcelona brings a slice of Spanish flair to Budapest with tapas and sangria that’ll transport you straight to the streets of Barcelona.

With string lights overhead and live music filling the air, this place comes alive at night. It truly offers a glimpse into Budapest’s buzzing social scene. This is where you go to feel the pulse of the city, catch up with friends, or make some new ones.

11. Explore Buda Castle

Perched high above the city, Buda Castle is a sprawling complex full of secrets waiting to be discovered. This isn’t your typical castle visit. Think of it more like stepping into a storybook where every corner tells a tale, from medieval battles to lavish royal lifestyles.

First off, the views from here are unreal. Looking out over the Danube, you’ve got Pest in all its glory on one side, and the rolling hills on the other. But let’s dive into the castle itself.

Buda Castle, situated atop the city, is a vast complex filled with hidden treasures begging to be uncovered.
Buda Castle, situated atop the city, is a vast complex filled with hidden treasures begging to be uncovered.

The Hungarian National Gallery is tucked inside, brimming with art that takes you on a journey through Hungarian history without leaving the building. And for a taste of royal life, the Budapest History Museum gives you the lowdown on the city. It does so from its earliest days right up to modern times.

Plus, there are always events and festivals popping up on the castle grounds, so you never know what you’re going to find.

You can take a leisurely walk up the hill if you’re feeling energetic, or hop on the funicular for a quick ride with a view. And once you’re up there, take your time to explore. There’s no rush in a place like this.

12. Enjoy the Views from Fisherman’s Bastion

Next up, let’s talk about a spot in Budapest that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale: Fisherman’s Bastion. Perched on the Buda side of the city, this architectural marvel offers some of the best panoramic views of Budapest you can find.

The history here is palpable. Built in the early 20th century as a tribute to the fishermen who protected this part of the city in the Middle Ages, every stone and statue has a story to tell. And while the fishermen of yore are long gone, today it’s the artists, musicians, and street performers who bring the Bastion to life.

Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest resembles a scene from a fairy tale, with its enchanting architecture and panoramic views.
Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest resembles a scene from a fairy tale, with its enchanting architecture and panoramic views.

No ticket is needed to wander most of its terraces. Whether you visit by day to bask in the sunlight or by night to see the city lights twinkling like stars, Fisherman’s Bastion is a must-visit for that “wow” moment in Budapest.

So, when you’re exploring Budapest, make sure to carve out time for Fisherman’s Bastion.

13. Sip Coffee in a Historic Café

Let’s end our Budapest journey with something sweet and historic. The city’s grand cafés are more than just coffee spots. They’re legends. Each café tells a tale of art, history, and a dash of magic.

First up, Café New York. It’s like stepping into a royal hall, but cozy. Think frescoes, gold, and lights that dazzle. This place has seen writers and poets muse over coffee for over a hundred years. Imagine sipping your espresso where stories were born.

Conclude the Budapest journey with a sweet touch at the city's grand cafés, where more than just coffee awaits.
Conclude the Budapest journey with a sweet touch at the city’s grand cafés, where more than just coffee awaits.

Then, there’s Gerbeaud. It’s elegance wrapped in pastry scents. Since 1858, it’s been the go-to for anyone craving a bite of history with their cake. The vibe? Pure old-world charm.

These spots aren’t just about the coffee or cakes. It’s about feeling a part of Budapest’s rich tapestry. It’s where time slows down, and you get to breathe in the city’s storied past.

So, take a moment. Sit down in one of these historic cafés. Let the ambiance, the flavors, and the history wash over you. It’s the perfect, peaceful end to your Budapest adventure.

The best things to do for young adults in Budapest for all types of travelers
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