With its gorgeous historic architecture, eclectic food and incredible nightlife, Budapest is one of the top destinations for a city break in Europe. Best of all, Budapest is perfect for a budget-friendly holiday, since many of its best attractions are free. Take a look at the top 10 free things to do in Budapest to enjoy an unforgettable experience.


1. Buda Castle

The Buda Castle is a historic castle and palace of Hungarian kings. It boasts stunning baroque architecture and 2 museums: The Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. While you need a ticket to get into the castle to see its many rooms and collections of art and antiquities, the grounds and courtyards are free to visit. From the top, you can see the famous monuments of Castle Hill, which include the Castle Quarter and its collection of medieval and baroque homes, churches and monuments.

2. Visit the Gozsau Courtyard

The Gozsau Courtyard is in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and boasts shops, cafes and pubs. You could spend hours exploring the courtyard and window shopping or enjoying a beverage at a cafe while you watch the traffic. At night, the area comes alive with locals enjoying a night on the town.

3. Peruse unique finds at the markets

Budapest has many markets that sell vegetables, meat, artisan cheese, baked goods and homemade jams and condiments. The markets tend to be events beyond just vendors as well, with many offering art exhibitions, street performances and live music shows. Even if you don't want to shop, you could visit the stalls to see what's available and take part in the festivities.


4. Have a drink in a ruin bar

Budapest's ruin pubs in the Jewish Quarter are becoming a popular destination for travellers. These intriguing bars are found in abandoned buildings that have been renovated, giving the bar a unique ambience and fascinating decor. Many of the ruin bars offer music to enjoy a night of dancing as well. Fortunately, the ruin bars are free to enter and the drinks tend to be on the inexpensive side, so you can have a night out on a budget. Some tour companies offer ruin bar tours as well, which is great if you're travelling solo.

5. Explore Szentendre Village

Szentendre Village is a charming artisan town outside of the city centre with cobbled streets, local artists, markets and artisan cafes. You could spend hours seeing the work of street artists, exploring the offerings at a craft market, perusing handicrafts at local shops or enjoying coffee at one of the many cafes.

6. See the view at the Elisabeth Bridge

Sunsets are spectacular in the city, with the skyline set against the backdrop of a colourful sky. One of the best places to see a sunset in Budapest is the Elisabeth Bridge over the Danube, which gives you an excellent vantage point for the illumination of the Buda Castle. Be sure to bring a camera to capture these unforgettable sights.

7. Visit Fisherman's Bastion

Located on the bank of the Danube, Fisherman's Bastion is one of the top places to see in Budapest. It offers a unique view of the city from neo-Romanesque terraces, as well as stunning architecture of its own. The main face is found along the Danube and features a spectacular central parapet and 7 towers that represent the chieftains of the Hungarians.

8. See Heroes Square

Heroes Square is an impressive city square near the Museum of Fine Arts and the Kunsthalle. It features many important monuments to Hungarian history, such as the Millennium Monument to honour the 1,000-year-old history of the Magyars, statues of kings and tributes to the chieftains who led the Magyar tribes. Heroes Square is a great place to take photos, and if you have a chance, visit in both the day and night for gorgeous perspectives on the artwork.

9. Visit the Kerepesi Cemetery

The Kerepesi Cemetery is a well-known cemetery in the city and one of the oldest in Hungary. It's the final resting place of many prominent Hungarian statesmen, authors, artists, architects, musicians, sculptors and scientists, many of which have been laid to rest in opulent tombs or mausoleums. The cemetery also has a special parcel of land for those who have been denied a church funeral, as well as an artists' parcel that has a representative figure of each discipline.


10. See the shoes on the riverbank

Though it may be sombre, the memorial to the Jewish people who were shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen during World War II is a poignant historic site. The Jewish people were required to remove their shoes before being shot at the edge of the water, so the memorial gives remembrance to those people with 60 pairs of period shoes made of iron.

Plan your holiday

Budapest is not only a fascinating destination for a holiday, but it's also one of the most budget-friendly locations to enjoy a memorable experience. If you're planning a trip, visit Expedia to check out deals on Budapest holidays and make the most of your time!