10 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Budapest, Hungary

non touristy things to do in budapest
Rienz Althron
Rienz Althron 
Updated
| 4 min read

Budapest is the capital, as well as the most populated city of Hungary. Its name came from the merger of three towns, namely, Obuda, Buda, and Pest. Budapest is rich in history and is packed with galleries and museums where history junkies will learn a lot from. If you’re planning to visit this city and you happen to be a traveler who are looking for the off the beaten experiences, you’re in the right place! So before you head out for an adventure, scroll down below and we’ll give you a few suggestions you might want to consider doing there. Keep reading for our list of best non-touristy things to do in Budapest, Hungary.

1. If you're a book lover, pay Ervin Szabó Library a visit

Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library (Wenckheim Palace), Budapest
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dimitris Kamaras used under CC BY 2.0

Ervin Szabó is Budapest’s largest library. It has a capacity of 1,100,000 books and if you love reading books, you won’t want to leave this place. Even if you’re not much of a book lover, you’ll surely appreciate the architectural design of the place and maybe take a picture or two for your Instagram. You’ll also love the peaceful ambiance in this place since, after all, silence is appreciated in libraries.

Ervin Szabó

Address: Budapest, Szabó Ervin Library, 1088 Budapest

Website: Ervin Szabó

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 8pm; Sat: 10am - 4pm

Price: Free

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2. Reflect on the mistakes of the past in Danube Promenade


Danube Promenade is located in the town of Pest, Budapest. The iron shoes on Danube serves as a tribute to the 20,000 Jews that were cruelly shot along the banks of Danube River by the fascist and anti-semitic Arrow Cross Party established by Ferenc Szálasi. There are iron signs on three points in Danube with the text “To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005”, written in English, Hungarian and Hebrew. The promenade is a place where one can reflect on the mistakes of the past and how we should all strive to maintain a peaceful world.

Danube Promenade

Address: Budapest, Id. Antall József rkp., 1054 Hungary

Website:

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3. Visit the grave of trains

Istvántelki főműhely 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Istvántelek Train Yard, also known as the “Red Star Train Graveyard,” was built in the early 20th century to serve as a repair yard for Budapest’s national railway. Most of the train yard is already abandoned, and only a few southern parts of it are still in use. It can be a dope place to visit because of the ancient engines and trains scattered around the area. If you can take a selfie here, it’d be a cool picture to post on Instagram or Facebook.

Istvántelek Train Yard

Address: Taksony sor 113, Budapest, 1155, Hungary

Website: Istvántelek Train Yard

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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4. Roam Budapest's streets on a Segway (from USD 49.0)

Another not-so-ordinary thing to do in Budapest is going on a Segway tour. Yes, you heard that right! Segways are now officially used for going around Budapest’s tourist spots! It starts with a 20- to 30-minute orientation where an English-speaking guide will familiarize you on how to operate a Segway. After the familiarization, your group will glide through sidewalks, parks, and other interesting spots such as the Danube Promenades and Vigado.

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Budapest Segway Tour

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

194 reviews

Budapest Tour Guide

Eva Kleyer

Eva Kleyer

My name is Eva, from early childhood I loved languages, I started with German, as a teenager I fell in love with English. After having graduated in high school, where I got my guide license I studied economy and business administration. But none of them I practised, because guiding and freedom called! This is how I dedicated my life to tourism and clients from the entire world! I have a bottomless knowledge about my beautiful city, Budapest. I also traved a lot, I love to encounter with different cultures, diverse people from the Globe, and if they come to visit my country, really enthusiasticly I show and present my culture!

Budapest Tour Guide

Kati Quittner

Kati Quittner

Budapest Tour Guide

Tiberiu Condulescu

Tiberiu Condulescu

<p>My name is Tiberiu(s), just like captain James Tiberius Kirk from Star Trek, or Tibi for short, and I am an IT Service Manager who found his passion in tour guiding over 5 years ago. Similarly to Captain Kirk, I will be your captain should you choose me as your guide.</p><p>Every tour is a new experience for both of us, that’s why my aim is to make it both memorable and fun. I want to make memories for people from all over the world!</p><p>Hope to meet you soon and &quot;Viszlát&quot;, as we say in Hungarian!</p>

Tours by Tiberiu

Budapest Tour Guide

Joseph

Joseph

5. Visit a not-so-typical church


Another off the beaten path to explore is the Cave Church located inside the Gellért Hill. It is a natural cave system which was formed because of thermal springs. It is also famously known as Szent Iván-barlang (Saint Ivan’s Cave), named after a hermit who lived there and healed people. You can get here through the Buda end of Liberty Bridge.

Cave Church

Address: Gellért Hill, Budapest, Buda, District 12

Website: Cave Church

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 7:30pm (closed on Sun)

Price: Free

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6. Reminisce your fascination with trains in a Gyermekvasút ride

Mk45-2005 Normafa, 2018. 04. 14.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bence Petrás used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Gyermekvasút, also known in English as ‘The Children’s Railway’ is a small railway that passes through the hiking trails of Buda Hills. If you had childhood love for trains, be fascinated once again by railways and its sounds. All of the posts, with the exception of the train driver, are operated by children between the ages of 10 and 14. It is also considered as the world’s largest children’s railway.

Gyermekvasút

Address: Huvosvolgy | Gyermekvasúthoz vezető út, Budapest 1021, Hungary

Website: Gyermekvasút

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9:10am - 4:10pm; Sat & Sun: 8:45am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 2.77 USD

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7. Pay tribute to Michael Jackson

Posted by Zsanett Szabó on Monday, 25 June 2018

If you happen to be a fan of the late King of Pop, then there’s no reason not to visit a special tree that serves as a remembrance for his Hungarian fans. The tree served as a camping base for Michael Jackson fans when gathered during the pop singer’s two visits in the country for a concert. After Michael passed away on June 25, 2009, some of his admirers posted pictures of him on the tree, and later on, it became a site where people could pay tribute to the late legend.

Michael Jackson Memorial Tree

Address: Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7, 1051 Hungary

Website: Michael Jackson Memorial Tree

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

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8. Learn the history of a medical pioneer


Visiting a museum isn’t a favorite activity for most tourists but if you’re the type of traveler who loves history, you will enjoy your time here. Semmelweis Medical Museum revolves around one of the most prominent figures in medicine, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis. He was the pioneer of hand disinfection standards which reduced the number of deaths of mothers due to being examined by germ-infected hands. The museum has many interesting pieces, such as the anatomical Venus by Clemente Susini, a shrunken head, and an early X-ray machine.

Semmelweis Medical Museum

Address: Budapest, Apród u. 1-3, 1013 Hungary

Website: Semmelweis Medical Museum

Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 2.43 USD

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9. Play minigolf with an ultraviolet twist (from USD 11.0)

If you haven’t tried playing minigolf under ultraviolet lights, maybe its time for you to experience it in Neonis! Definitely not your usual tourist activity, it’s a great way to enjoy your tour in Budapest. The minigolf is divided into three zones each with its own theme: Aquarium, History of Hungary, and Space. Even if you’re a solo traveler or casually travelling with your family and friends, Neonis is a great place to be.

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Neonis - 3D Blacklight Minigolf

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

23 reviews

10. Drink to your heart's content in Ruin Pub (from USD 24.0)

Another place to add to your non-touristy places to visit in Budapest is its Ruin Pubs. The dilapidated buildings were occupied in 2004 to establish the Ruin Pubs, but they have been existing before World War II. It became a popular spot for people looking for a unique place for a happy hour session. If you want to have a one-of-a-kind beer drinking experience, the Ruin Bars is a must!

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Budapest Pub Crawl Through the Ruin Bars

Duration: 5 hours

88 reviews

Off the beaten paths are the way to go

Budapest: Hungarian Parliament
Source: Photo by user Jorge Franganillo used under CC BY 2.0

Travelling has been increasingly popular among people from all over the world, especially for millennials. What’s popular is where most will be. However, we often forget to find the hidden gems in an area, or to experience things that are not typical. If you’ve got your eyes set on Budapest, this is your chance to visit off the beaten paths and go for the non-touristy things to do in Budapest!

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Rienz is a former office-based employee who entered the world of travel writing. His ultimate dream is to be able to travel the world and experience as much of it as he can. By pursuing his dreams,...Read more

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