Photo: © Miniversum Budapest
Budapest may be better known for its ruin bar scene, but the picturesque Hungarian capital also offers ample opportunity for those travelling with the little ones. The Budapest Chairlift, the Palace of Wonders and the Children’s Railway are all must-sees among our 10 favourite activities in Budapest for kids.
Locally referred to as Gyermekvasút, the Children’s Railway aids little walkers in conquering the city’s (in)famous hills. Despite its name, this train is hardly small, but is named as such due to the fact it’s actually run by children (under the watchful eye of adults of course). Hop aboard the train, which also offers open compartments during the warmer summer months, and make your way around some of the city’s most popular sites with half the effort.
Take in the full grandeur of the Buda Hills from the lofty heights of the Budapest Chairlift, known locally as Libegő. Enjoy a 15-minute ride up János Hill and watch the world go by beneath you as you snap selfies against the stunning city backdrop. Definitely not recommended for those with a fear of heights.
Is it a park? Is it a zoo? Is it a circus? Actually, it’s all three. The expansive City Park is one of the foremost destinations for those visiting Budapest with kids, and the city’s largest park. Stop by the 150-year-old Budapest Zoo while you’re there, and don’t forget to book a ticket for the Municipal Circus to end your evening in style.
Budapest Puppet Theatre
After some quality entertainment for the kids? You’ll be pleased to find out that the Budapest Puppet Theatre has been the city’s most-loved attraction for over 60 years. Several shows are scheduled every day, and given their visual appeal it’s pretty easy for kids to follow the story whether they’ve mastered Hungarian or not.
You haven’t really been to Budapest until you’ve got yourself a good bath, and older kids will love this activity as much as you. Our absolute favourite has got to be the Széchenyi Baths, whose massive complex offers several splashing opportunities. Take your pick from a swimming pool, a whirlpool, and several thermal baths to suit all paddling seasons.
Palace of Wonders
Even though the Palace of Wonders is technically a science centre, it’s galaxies away from being considered remotely boring. As a matter of fact, this venue’s colourful spirit is embodied in its name, and it currently houses over 100 interactive exhibits that will give little explorers the opportunity to experience science first hand. From mirrors and illusions, to finding out what it’s like to talk in echoand building bridges, this establishment comes with high recommendation for anyone visiting Budapest with kids.
If you enjoyed seeing Budapest from above during the Children’s Railway tour, or the gutsier Budapest Chairlift, the Miniversum is definitely one for you. This recent installation displays landmarks from across Hungary and beyond, allowing kids to control various elements through interactive screens. And if racing trains has become tiring, kids can always opt to let their imagination run astray at the onsite playhouse.
Intrigued by Budapest’s architecture but not sure how to convince the kids? Step things up a notch and board a River Boat that will allow you to sail the Danube while taking in some of the city’s most breathtaking sights, including the Buda Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Despite being an abandoned power station, the Millenáris is perfectly child-friendly, with a cultural centre and sprawling park being amongst its most popular attractions. Watch the kids enjoy the playground, or stop by the pond to feed the ducks while on your way to the exhibition hall or adjacent theatre. The Millenáris is known for its bright cultural calendar that is updated on a monthly basis.
After all that hard work we reckon a slice of cake is definitely in order. Luckily for you, you’re literally in bakers’ paradise. Budapest is brimming with delightful bakeries and quaint cafes, some of which have truly mastered the art of fine pastry. The Ruszwurm is definitely one that never disappoints those in dire need of a sugar (or caffeine!) fix.