Some Non-Touristy Things to Do in Budapest

When you arrive in a new city for the first time, it’s normal to want to see the most iconic sights and enjoy the popular attractions; we even designed our Essence of Budapest Tour for this same reason – it’s a super introduction to the city and provides lots of must-know advice.

But it’s also deeply rewarding to eschew the tourist routes and get to see the city through the eyes of a local. The following blog will outline just a few of the non-touristy things you can do in Budapest for an authentic taste of Hungarian cultural life.

We hope we provide you with plenty of inspiration and please be sure to check out our selection of Budapest Segway and Electric Scooter Tours.

(Source: Palatinus Gyógy)

Visit Budapest Baths: The Palatinus Strand Baths

The Palatinus Strand Baths on Margaret Island have delighted visitors since 1919, making it the first outdoor bathing facility in Budapest. Originally featuring a unique Danube-cage swimming area, it soon expanded to include a massive 5,000-square-metre pool, once the largest in Europe.

The Baths underwent significant modernization in 1937, integrating Bauhaus architectural elements into its design, making for a harmonious blend of art and open space.

Today, Palatinus is open year-round, boasting 15 diverse pools, including a thermal indoor section added in 2017. Whether it’s enjoying the thermal pool, exploring the sauna options, or relaxing in the outdoor wave bath, Palatinus offers a picturesque escape, celebrated as one of the most beautiful outdoor baths in the world by The Guardian.

Many readers will know that bathhouses and thermal spas are a big part of Hungarian culture. A visit to the Palatinus Strand Baths is a great way to experience this aspect of the culture for yourself.

(Source: Lumina Park)

In addition to the baths at Palatinus Strand, visitors can also visit the Lumina Park attraction here during the off-season (normally from October to March). This low-energy light exhibition, powered by solar panels, features unique installations that transform Palatinus Beach into a fairytale world. It’s a wonderful way for families to enjoy a crisp autumn night or to get into the festive spirit in the run-up to Christmas.

Take a Day Trip to Szentendre

Just a short journey from Budapest, Szentendre offers a quaint retreat with its cobblestone streets and baroque architecture. Known for its art scene, the town is dotted with galleries, artisan shops, and museums, including the well-known Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum.

Visitors can sample traditional Hungarian cuisine at charming riverside restaurants. Accessible by both bus and riverboat, Szentendre makes for a revitalising day away from the tourist crowds. And you’ll get lots of fantastic pictures, too.

Take an E-Scooter Tour in Budapest with E-Magine

Enjoy an innovative approach to sightseeing that combines e-mobility with unforgettable experiences. Since 2016, our mission has been to create unique, comfortable, and exciting tours on our chopper-style MonsteRoller e-scooters, perfect for both beginners and experienced riders. Our range of Scooter Tours in Budapest provides guests with insightful explorations of the city and its story, all in a unique way.

Budapest Castle Tour

Delve into the historic heart of Budapest with our Buda Castle Tour. Taking place daily, this 1.5-hour journey begins at the foot of Buda Castle Hill and takes you through the scenic Castle District.

Glide over the Chain Bridge, ascend to Buda Castle, and explore the ornate Fisherman’s Bastion. Our professional guides provide engaging live commentary throughout, and all necessary equipment, including helmets and weather-appropriate gear, is provided to ensure your comfort and safety.

Or, if you really want to escape the tourist crowds, join us for a Night Tour of Budapest! Beginning at sunset, our night tour promises highlights of the city seen from a unique perspective.

Essence of Budapest City Tour

For those wanting to dive in the vibrant culture of Hungary’s capital, our Essence of Budapest City Tour is the perfect choice. This tour offers a comprehensive 90-minute exploration of Budapest’s iconic sites, including St. Stephen’s Basilica and the House of Parliament.

Feel the city’s history come alive under the guidance of our local experts while enjoying the freedom and ease of riding our MonsteRoller scooters.

Budapest’s Kőbánya Cellar System

Explore the lesser-known Kőbánya Cellar System, an underground marvel beneath Budapest’s 10th district. Originally limestone quarries, these cellars evolved into a vast network of tunnels, serving various purposes from beer storage to wartime shelters.

Spanning over 30 kilometers, the cellars feature architectural and historical layers dating back to the 13th century. Visits to much of the cellar network are typically restricted, though our friends at Ultimate Budapest regularly run a Kőbánya Wine Cellar Tour and Tasting, which we highly recommend. Additionally, one-off events are sometimes arranged in this hidden subterranean world, so keep a lookout online for forthcoming opportunities to visit the underground city.

(Source: Metropolitan Ervin Szabo Library)

Visit the Ervin Szabó Library

The Ervin Szabó Library is a cultural gem housed in the Neo-Baroque Szabó Ervin Square. Not just a library, but an architectural masterpiece, it features ornate interiors that blend historical elegance with modern functionality.

The central hall, with its towering book-lined walls and grand chandeliers, provides a majestic backdrop for reading and relaxation. Offering a quiet retreat from the city’s hustle, the library invites visitors to explore its extensive collections or simply admire the lavish design and tranquil atmosphere of one of Budapest’s most esteemed intellectual havens.

(Source: License)

Visit Dohány Street Synagogue

The Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest, also known as the Great Synagogue, is the largest in Europe and the second largest in the world, with seating for 3,000 people.

Constructed between 1854 and 1859, the synagogue showcases a striking Moorish Revival style that draws heavily from the Islamic architecture of medieval Spain, particularly the Alhambra.

Its design, chosen by Viennese architect Ludwig Förster, reflects a connection to historical forms used by related ethnic groups, notably the Arabs. This iconic building is part of a larger complex that includes the Heroes’ Temple, a Jewish Museum built on the site of Theodor Herzl’s birthplace, a solemn graveyard for WWII victims, and a poignant Holocaust memorial.

This brings our short list of non-touristy things to do in Budapest. Remember to explore our Budapest Tours before you go. If you have any questions, please get in touch.