Budapest Culture & history

Our most recommended Budapest Culture & history

Budapest: Széchenyi Spa Full Day with Optional Pálinka Tour

1. Budapest: Széchenyi Spa Full Day with Optional Pálinka Tour

Book your full-day ticket to the Széchenyi Bath in advance and take advantage of complimentary tasting of Hungary's famous spirit "pálinka" on an optional guided tour inside the Pálinka Museum. The Széchenyi Bath is the largest thermal spring bath complex not only in Budapest but in Europe as well. It was built in 1913 in a Neo-baroque style. At the time it opened its baths were private, having separate steam baths for men and women, as well as different public baths for men and women. In 1927, the spa complex was expanded and today it comprises 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools. After its expansion, the thermal artesian wasn’t adequate to supply the spa, so a new well was drilled. The second thermal spring dates from 1938. Towels and swimsuits are available for purchase only, no rental. Please note that swimsuits that cover the entire body are not permitted. During your visit, blow off some steam at the pools of Széchenyi Spa (built-in 1913.), which is Europe’s largest healing bath with its’ 15 indoor, and 3 grand outdoor pools. Pools are of varying temperatures, between 18 to 38 °C (64 to 100 °F), and complex covering 6220 square meters (67000 sq ft) also includes saunas and steam bath. Afterward, discover a hidden gem in the city center to taste some Hungarian pálinka (spirits; non-alcoholic drinks are also available). Differently from whiskey or vodka, pálinka is made exclusively from different sorts of fruits and has an aromatic smell. Inside the Pálinka Museum's interactive exhibits, you will learn about its birth, tradition, and history. That’s why Hungary's Pálinka Act of Parliament exists which regulates and protects the production and quality of palinka.

Budapest: The Great Synagogue Skip the Line Ticket

2. Budapest: The Great Synagogue Skip the Line Ticket

Skip the lines and head straight to the security check with a guide to start your tour of the Great Synagogue. Visit the Heroes’ Temple, the graveyard, and the Jewish Museum. Honor Holocaust victims at the Emanuel Tree in the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park. Take a guided tour to hear about the history and architecture of the largest synagogue in Europe and the second-largest in the world, as well as the fate of the Hungarian Jews before and after WWII.  Then use your ticket to enter the Hungarian Jewish Museum next to the Synagogue. Admire its red and yellow brick facade combining Romantic style with Moorish elements. Learn about the life of the Jewish people in Hungary through everyday objects.  See the famous Emmanuel Memorial Tree in the Synagogue's backyard. Admire this magnificent weeping willow's small metal leaves engraved with a name of a Holocaust victim and plaques honoring non-Jewish rescuers.  Then, finish your visit the graveyard in the backyard of the Heroes’ Temple, the burial site of those who died in the ghetto during WWII.

Budapest: Light Art Museum Admission Ticket

3. Budapest: Light Art Museum Admission Ticket

Step into the modern Light Art Museum to become surrounded by colorful lights and optical illusions. Visit one of Budapest's most unique attractions and browse through a large collection of contemporary artworks. Immerse yourself in a fascinating, interactive, and vibrant space. Discover exciting installations and ground-breaking artworks in a fabulous hall that used to be a popular farmers' market. Come up close with a wide range of contemporary, historically significant, and modern art pieces. Bring the whole family along and be mesmerized by an exquisite selection of light artworks, projection mapping, immersive spaces, and site-specific installations. Snap amazing photos of unique pieces by pioneer light artist László Moholy-Nagy and op-art icon Victor Vasarely.

Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in St Stephen's Basilica

4. Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in St Stephen's Basilica

Visit St. Stephen's Basilica in the heart of Budapest and delight in an outstanding classical concert. The venue itself is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, but this is not all that will be breathtaking during the evening. Listen to excellent artists performing the best of the best in classical music. Choose from 3 different concerts and 4 different seating categories, depending on your preferences and budget. The program for the concerts, depending on the day, is the following: Requiem: • W. A. Mozart: Requiem in D minor k 626 • I. Introitus - Requiem • II. Kyrie • III. Sequenzia - Dies Irae, Tuba Mirum, Rex Tremendae, Recordare, Confutatis, Lacrimosa • IV. Offertorium - Domine Jesu • V. Sanctus • VI. Benedictus • VII. Agnus Dei • VIII. Communio - Lux Aeterna Ave Maria Air Alleluja I: • J.S. Bach - Toccata, Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Sonata di Chiesa • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Largo from winter • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • C-M Widor - Toccata from the Organ Symphony No. 5 Op. 42 No. 1 • F. Liszt - Ave Maris Stella • T. Albinoni - Adagio • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • F. Schubert - Ave Maria • W. A. Mozart - Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate Ave Maria Air Alleluja II: • J.S. Bach - Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Adagio • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Winter • H. Purcell - Dido and Aeneas, When I am laid in Earth • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • F. Schubert - Ave Maria • Vivaldi - Violin Concert G Major • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Sibelius - Impromptu • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • W.A. Mozart - Requiem, Lacrimosa, Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate Ave Maria Air Alleluja II: (25th and 31st of December) • J.S. Bach - Air • G. F. Handel - Oratorio Messiah, Rejoice • T. Albinoni - Sonata di Chiesa • G. F. Handel - Xerxes, Largo • A. Vivaldi - The Four Seasons, Winter • Ch. Gounod - Ave Maria • C-M Widor - Toccata from the Organ Symphony • F.Liszt - Ave Maris Stella • T. Albinoni - Adagio • C. Franck - Panis Angelicus • J. Sibelius - Impromptu • J. Massenet - Thais Meditation • F.Schubert - Ave Maria • W.A. Mozart - Requiem, Lacrimosa, Alleluja from Exultant, Jubilate

Organ Concert in St. Stephen's Basilica

5. Organ Concert in St. Stephen's Basilica

St. Stephen's Basilica is one of the most beautiful neo-classical buildings of Budapest and is the venue for the organ concert. The arias of the program are performed by Kolos Kováts, one of the most famous and talented concert and oratorio singer in Hungary. He received the Liszt Ferenc prize, Merit of Art and the Kossuth Prize. Flute performance is added to the concert as well, it is played by Eleonóra Krusic who had been playing many times and in many orchestras in Hungary and abroad during the last years.  Program Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Fantasie in F minor K 506 Alessandro Stradella (1639-1682): Pietà Signore Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751): Adagio Liszt Ferenc (1811-1886) - Camille Saint-Saёns (1835-1921): Legend in A major (St. Francis of Assisi's Sermon to the Birds) Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Prayer of Fiesco from opera Simone Boccanegra Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Polonaise, Minuet and Badinerie from Suite in B minor BWV 1067 Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565 I Category ticket - row 1 to row 6 II Category ticket - row 7 to row 16 III Category ticket - row 17 to row 26

Budapest: Buda Castle Cave Walking Tour

6. Budapest: Buda Castle Cave Walking Tour

Explore a part of the network of underground tunnels under Castle Hill with your guide. Learn more about the history and role of the cave tunnels and their geology. Admire the natural limestone and the manpower that went into creating this labyrinth cave system. Meet for the cave tour either at Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér) or for the shorter tour option at Dárda Street, where you enter the Buda Castle underground cave system. After a short introduction, you will start your tour and learn about the history of the labyrinth-like of the cave system which once served as wine cellars, bomb shelters, and even a medieval prison. Admire the natural limestone caverns and the 800-year-old man-made cellars in one of the most unique caves of Hungary. The tour is a journey through time during where you will be able to learn a lot about not only the geology of the Buda Castle but also about the combined work of man and nature throughout many centuries.

Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in Matthias Church

7. Budapest: Classical Music Concerts in Matthias Church

Visit the Matthias Church in the Buda Castle, right on Castle Hill and easily reachable from the city center of Budapest. Spend an evening at this outstanding venue and experience a magical classical concert. Choose from 3 different seating categories, depending on your preferences, and listen to excellent artists performing the best of the best in classical music. The program for the concert, performed by the Duna String Orchestra and solist Gabora Gyula on the violin, is the following: Program: J. Pachebel - Canon A. Vivaldi  - The four seasons, Winter (2nd movement), Gloria (Domine Deus) J.S. Bach - Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042 (1st movement) G.F. Haendel - Water Music. HWV. 348. in F. major T. Albinoni - Adagio W.A. Mozart - Church Sonata in D major no. 4 KV 144 Saint-Saens - The Swan C. Frank - Panis Angelicus J.S. Bach - Air J. Massenet - Thais Meditation W.A. Mozart - A Little Night Music, Alleluja from Exsultate, Jubilate

Budapest: Classical Concert in St. Michael's Church

8. Budapest: Classical Concert in St. Michael's Church

St. Michael’s Church is a catholic church located in the heart of Budapest on Váci street. It was built in the Baroque style by the Dominicans between 1700-1765. Since 1997 the church has been under continuous restoration both inside and outside. The beautiful main altar and the furniture of the sacristy were made in the 1760s by the Dominican friars. Nowadays, due to its excellent acoustics and lovely atmosphere, St. Michael’s Church is one of the most popular places in Budapest to enjoy classical music concerts by the Budapest St. Michael String Orchestra. The Budapest St. Michael String Orchestra was founded by Hungary’s leading classical musicians. Its members are dedicated to the authentic performance of classical music, including sacred music. Their goal is to sound the beauty and harmony at the highest level. The program on Mondays, December 25th, 30th and January 1st, 7th consists of: • Bach - Air • Mozart - Church Sonata in D Major • Mozart - Ave Verum • Pachelbel - Canon • Massenet - Thais Meditation • Vivaldi - Gloria (instrumental version) • Vivaldi - The Four Seasons – Winter • Boccherini - Minuet • Mascagni - Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana • Vivaldi - Violin Concerto in A minor (1. RV 356 op. 3. no. 6.) • Albinoni - Adagio • Corelli - Concerto Grosso op. 6. no. 8. (Excerpt) • Saint-Saens - The Swan • Bach - Jesus Bleibet Meine Freude The program on Wednesdays concists of: • Bach - Fantasia in G Minor • Bach - Bourrée from Partita in E Major • Händel - Xerxes Largo • Bach - Ich Volge Dir • Albinoni - Adagio • Schubert - Ave Maria • Stainley - Trumpet Tune • Liszt - Ave Maria Stella • Mozart - Church Sonata • Paganini - Cantabile • Mozart - Alleluja (Exultate, Jubilate) • Massenet - Thais Meditation • Franck - Panis Angelicus • Vierne - Carillon de Westminster The program on Fridays, November 19th, December 3rd, 10th, 17th consists of: • Vivaldi - The Four Seasons - Spring - Summer - Autumn - Winter • Mozart - Church Sonata in D Major • Mozart - Ave Verum • Vivaldi - Gloria • Händel - Water Music The program on Saturdays, December 19th, 26th, January 2nd consists of: • Mozart - Divertimento in D Major K. 136 • Puccini - Minuetto no. 2. • Mozart - Church Sonata in D Major • Händel - Largo from Xerxes • Mozart - A Little Night Music - 1st movement • Grieg - Peer Gynt suite no.2. (op. 55) : Solveig's Lied • Vivaldi - Gloria (instrumental version) • Schubert - Ave Maria • Vivaldi - Violin Concerto in A Minor - 1st movement • Albinoni - Adagio • Haydn - Rondo all' Ongarese no. 39

Budapest: St Stephen's Basilica Tour with Tower Access

9. Budapest: St Stephen's Basilica Tour with Tower Access

Meet your English-speaking tour guide in front of Saint Stephen's Basilica and start your guided tour inside the church. Built in the 2nd half of the 19th century, it is one of Budapest’s highlights, known for its monumental dome and beautiful Neo-Renaissance architecture. See the mysterious relic the Holy Right, the naturally mummified right hand of the first Hungarian king Saint Stephen who ruled the country in the 11th century and converted Hungarians to Christianity. Learn about the 1000 years old Christian history of a proud nation. Enjoy a guided tour inside the church to see its rich interior covered with real gold and decorated with many frescos and sculptures made by the best local artists of the late 19th century. Then, take an elevator and continue your guided tour to the panoramic terrace around the dome, an amazing lookout point above the whole of Budapest. After the guided tour you can use your ticket to enter the treasury and history exhibition of the basilica which you can explore at your own pace. If the church cannot be visited because of an unforeseen special ceremony, you will be compensated with a guided tour in the treasury and history exhibition where you will learn about the history of the building and about Cardinal Mindszenty the brave leader of the Catholic church who was tortured and imprisoned during the Communist regime.

Danube Bend & Szentendre with Lunch: Day Tour from Budapest

10. Danube Bend & Szentendre with Lunch: Day Tour from Budapest

This full-day tour of the mighty Danube is ideal for people who want to combine history with nature and would like to enjoy some of the most beautiful countrysides in Hungary. You will see historic monuments and art memorials while your guide provides a lively narrative of Hungarian life. You will visit the 750-year-old Royal Residence at Visegrád where you will learn about life in the Middle Ages while enjoying spectacular views of the Danube Valley. At Esztergom, the northern gate of Budapest, you will pause at the largest cathedral in the country and see the burial sites of famous cardinals as you gaze across the water towards Slovakia. Cross the river and border into Slovakia to see the stunning view from the opposite side.  You will stop at an artists' village in Szentendre, a baroque city located where the Danube River meets the Pilis Mountains. Wander the narrow streets to soak up the magical atmosphere and catch panoramic vistas of the river. You will have time to visit some of the museums, such as the world-famous Margit Kovács Ceramic Museum or the Confectionery Museum, where the buildings and people are made of marzipan. Browse the shops of the village if you prefer, before the return journey to Budapest. Travel during the months of May through September and this will be on a magical boat cruise, a fitting way to arrive back in the city center. In case of low water levels, the return to Budapest will be by bus.

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What people are saying about Budapest

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 7,627 reviews

I’m so happy I was able to go here on my last night in Budapest. The artworks were lovely and some were more interactive than others. It’s not that big so you can easily do a quick visit in half an hour, and I recommend that you go at night! It’s also super cool that it’s housed in what looks like an old city market.

It included 3 stops at Eztergom, Visegrad and Szentendre, all with beautiful scenery. A very good meal was included.

Awesome experience. It would have been a great loss if I would’ve missed visiting this place. Got few fantastic pics

Brilliant Experience, well worth the money. Do bring your own towels as they are not the cheapest to buy.

The tour guide was engaging and very informative. Worth visiting!