Budapest is a town split by the famous Danube River. And we can tell you for sure the scenery here is breath-taking. The hilly side is Buda in the West area of the city, while the flat area is represented by Pest on the East bank. Budapest is one of the rare capitals in the globe that has its own thermal springs.
Still, if you’re travelling with your family to Budapest, you might wonder if there are some family-friendly activities to explore with kids. Rest assured, we’ve got you covered!
1. BUDA CASTLE & THE FUNICULAR
Of course, the main attraction in the city is the Buda Castle. And if you’re planning to explore Budapest with kids, we highly encourage you to start here. This is a palace complex at the top of the Buda Hills.
But what we love about this the most is the fact that you can take children on a ride with the Funicular. This is one of the surviving traditional Funiculars in the world that still functions. Your children will love travelling up the hill and it sure beats walking up!
2. BUDAPEST ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN
Budapest Zoo is one of the earliest zoos on the globe and was opened back in the 1820s. And it is classified as one of the most beautiful zoological gardens in Europe.
Thus, if you’re looking for things to do with kids in Budapest, a visit here can get you all the chance to feed giraffes, admire tigers up-close, or simply stroll along with the butterfly enclosure.
3. MARGARET ISLAND
Margaret Island in Budapest, known locally as Margitsziget Park, is one of the most scenic outdoor areas in Budapest. It is also a wonderful place to enjoy fresh air and nature with your kids.
There is plenty to see and do around the city park of Margaret Island, located Margaret Bridge & Arpad Bridge, and easily reached by public transport.
One of the most famous attractions on Margaret Island is the Music Fountain with water jets set to the music of popular songs, such as The Beatles. At night, the water jets a lit up with colourful lights, making it a cool sight any time of the day.
There is plenty more to do as well. Here are some of the best things to do on Margaret Island:
- Playgrounds & sandpit
- Bike cart hire
- Petting zoo with pony rides
- Public swimming pool
- Restaurants and bars
- Walkways and running tracks
4. PALATINUS BATHS
Another thing you can do in Budapest with kids is spending your day at the Baths. As mentioned above, this is one of the few cities on the globe with thermal springs, so you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit one.
Budapest is famous for thermal pools, but for children, the open-air pools are far more family-friendly. This is why Palatinus Baths and Lido, located on Margaret Island, are a far better option when looking for things to do in Budapest with kids.
Palatinus has over a dozen pools filled with natural spring water, ranging from cold, cool and hot temperatures. This was Budapest’s first outdoor thermal baths which is now both indoor and outdoor and they are open all year round.
You will find slides and an artificial wave pool. There is also plenty for the adults looking to enjoy the relaxing benefits of a thermal bath visit, with a day spa and treatments available too.
CAN WE VISIT THE INDOOR THERMAL BATHS WITH KIDS?
If you do still want to visit one of the indoor thermal baths in Budapest, we recommended either Széchenyi Thermal Bath or Gellert Baths. We went to Gellert Baths, which as an outdoor wave pool that is suitable for visiting with kids.
The heated thermal pools are not recommended for children under 14 and children who are not yet potty-trained are not allowed to enter the pools at all. This is why Palatinus Baths are still a better option for families.
5. CITY PARK
While visiting Budapest Zoo, you might as well stick around and enjoy some of the other fun family attractions in Budapest while you’re there.
In City Park, Budapest’s largest park, you will find more than enough to fill a full day with kids. Some attractions run all year round with others only during certain seasons of the year.
Here are some of the best things to do in City Park Budapest:
- Vajdahunyad Castle – Replica of the Transylvanian castle of the same name
- City Park Ice Skating Rink – Open during the winter months
- Széchenyi Baths – Thermal bathhouse
- Municipal Circus – Traditional circus open all year round
- Museum of Transport – Vintage cars, motorbikes and carriages
6. ERZSÉBET SQUARE
Another exciting thing we recommend for you when visiting Budapest with kids is to take the time to explore Erzsébet Square. It is known as Elizabeth Square, and it represents a central attraction for those looking to have fun.
It includes a skate park, water fountains, a giant Ferris wheel, and plenty of space for your kids to explore. There are quite a few bars and restaurants around the area too, so it is a great place to have lunch or dinner as well.
And a visit to Budapest with kids isn’t complete if you don’t explore the Miniversum. This is a one-of-a-kind museum, packed with a series of miniature models depicting important landmarks from Budapest, Hungary, Austria, and Germany.
8. HOP ON HOP OFF BUS TOUR
Sometimes it is the simple things that kids love best and our kids were thrilled about riding the hop on hop off buses around town. We booked with Big Bus Tours, just because it also included entry into a few attractions we were planning to visit.
The buses have electronic guided tour information as you tour around town. They stop at many of the most popular tourist hot spots, giving plenty of places to get off and explore along the way. This is a great option if you have no car.
The kids especially loved sitting at the top of the double-decker buses.
9. HUNGARIAN NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The Hungarian Natural History Museum houses the largest collection of Hungary’s natural history artefacts. With some permanent displays and many new and unique limited-time exhibits, the museum offers a fun educational experience for all ages.
Kids will especially love the interactive exhibits. And the dinosaurs, because kids love dinosaurs. Plus the coral reefs beneath the glass floor is incredible to see.
10. TAKE A RIVER CRUISE
Taking a cruise up the Danube River is iconic must-do Budapest. Visiting with kids is no exception to this and most kids love the idea of travelling by boat.
We took an evening cruise to see the famous sights lit up at night, such as the Budapest Parliament Building, Buda Castle and the many impressive bridge structures connecting the two sides of the city.