Budapest is best known for its sparkling nightlife, stuffy museums, and as a city with over one thousand years of history. However, that does not mean that Budapest is off limits to families. Quite the contrary! There are tons of kid friendly events, cool places to explore with your children, and lots of things you can do together that are fun for both adults and kids. From outdoor activities to petting zoos and interactive adventures, Budapest has plenty to offer your family if you know where to look. We have compiled this list to make finding a family friendly activity in Budapest easier. That way, you won’t have to spend your vacation looking for something to do. Enjoy!
River cruise on the Danube
Budapest is simply gorgeous when viewed from the Danube. Both sides of the city, the promenade and the amazing bridges become visible. It’s a perfect place to take the kids too, so why not check out a nice, relaxing river cruise in Budapest? These cruises can be had night or day, and both really have their upsides. After a nice day of hiking and romping about, you can relax your feet and take awesome pictures of iconic Budapest monuments like the Buda Castle or the Hungarian Parliament and after dark you can enjoy the city dressing into breathtaking lights. Most river cruises offer a meal and a drink, so you can energize yourself for the next thing on your itinerary.
A day on Margaret Island
Margaret Island has a lot to offer families, and can be the centerpiece of a fun family outing. It has PLENTY of things to keep you and the kids occupied. There is the pedal powered Bringóhintó, which are fun, rentable little pedalcars that everyone can drive. There is also a petting zoo, where you can also go horseback riding, and there are about one million places for a picnic. If it’s hot out, grab your swim trunks, the Palatinus, one of Budapest’s largest artificial beaches offers a range of kiddy pools, deep swimming pools, a spa section for the grownups, and great food for the whole family. Take a stroll in the Japanese garden, or check out a play or music event at the Outdoor Theater. The possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, and little push carts serving refreshments to make sure everyone is comfortable.
Kids love miniatures. This is a fact that Minipolisz capitalize on. This is a kid friendly exposition, almost like a museum, but totally interactive. Minipolisz is a mix between a play house and an exhibition. They provide information on how the adult world works, and can work in a store, on construction site, or many other places, and see the hidden and often mysterious world of adults for themselves. An amazing concept and one that is very popular with the kids.
If your children love animals, there are plenty of places you can take them. There are a number of restaurants and cafés that feature animals. The Zoo Café is perhaps the most prominent, and focuses mostly on terrarium animals, like bearded dragons and chameleons. There is also a Cat Café in Budapest, where felines roam free, and are sure to capture the hearts of your family. And let’s not forget the Jungle Café, which has three different rooms to represent the different ecosystems, with matching animals. Also the only place in the city I know of where you can buy a kangaroo steak.
Children’s Railway & Chairlift
If your family loves a day in the woods, there are few better big cities in Europe than Budapest. The city offers various theme parks and adventure parks as well, but something that always grabs the hearts of children is the Children’s Railway. It is a little train that goes along the Buda hills, with stops near popular hiking trails, and is entirely run by children. If you aren’t afraid of heights you can also try the famous Libegő! This all-year-round chairlift ride will take you on a zip line trip through the canopy of Zugliget, one of the most beautiful areas of the Buda Hills. It is totally safe and comfortable. Just imagine a ski lift with a particularly good view and it serves as a great hiking destination or a fun little adventure to have mid-hike too.
Museums for the whole family
Sometimes it is hard to take the kids to the museum, and most museums are meant for an adult audience. There are thankfully some exceptions, providing a go to family activity on a rainy day. If your kids love trains and transportation, there is the awesome and interactive Hungarian Railway Museum. Not so much a museum as a park with tons of trains, cabooses and other railway giants on display. And who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Featuring not just a dino permanent exhibit and a cool collection of gems and precious stones, but also a huge Noah’s ark of taxidermy and a fabulous coral reef, the Hungarian Museum of Natural Sciences also holds workshops and fun activities for kids! CsoPa (Palace of Wonders) is an interactive fun house that aims to show kids all of the amazing topics that natural sciences deal with. They get to explore electricity, gravity, chemistry and geological processes in understandable and very visually pleasing scenarios. Last but not least, the kid’s favourite, the Fairy Tale Museum, deserves a mention. Explore the world of Hungarian folk tales and myths, and catch one of the workshops where you can put on a play, learn to make cool accessories like crowns and tiaras, or make your own sock puppet or shadow play figurine!
The City Park
The biggest park in Budapest is also one of the best places to go with the family. It has a huge replica of the Vajdahunyad Castle, complete with mote, gates and some very cool statues. An artificial lake provides great opportunities for a boat ride in the summer, and ice skating in the winter. The man open spaces are great for romping around in, and they are interspersed with street art, interesting statues, playgrounds and several places to eat and drink. This means that you don’t need to plan too hard, as you can easily grab a bite when the kids start getting cranky. The most important art museums flank the Heroes’ Square, which is the entrance to the park, and both the Zoo, the Circus, and the largest spa of Europe, the Széchenyi Bath is also located in the park. This means that everybody will get to do something they like, making “Városliget” an absolute must-see for families traveling together.