When we travel to Croatia, most often we fly to Budapest, Hungary. We have found flying to and from Budapest is a lot cheaper than Zagreb, Croatia. Once we arrive in Budapest, it’s a drive away to Našice, my husband’s hometown. It’s also a great reason for us to explore Budapest.
Budapest is one of my favorite cities in Europe with its exquisite architecture of old and new, rich history, diverse culture, and castles (I love castles!). Budapest is divided into two cities, Buda and Pest, by the famous Danube river. The Westside is Buda, and it’s hilly. The Eastside is Pest, and it’s flat. There are great sites to see on both sides. In this post, we took the kids to the East part in Pest.
My father-in-law was a professor in Hungary, and he was our tour guide from our last visit. We took the metro to get around the city. From what I gather, the metro system seemed easy to use and connects around the city quickly. The girls were excited about taking the metro. They liked the train ride.
There were lots of sites to see in Budapest. We were only able to visit a few. With kids, we have to be more patient when visiting new places. These were the places we visited and enjoyed.
Things to do in Budapest with Kids
- City Park – We took a lovely stroll through City Park, the largest public park in Budapest, and it’s close to the city center. There were plenty of green spaces and sites to see in this rectangular-shaped park. The girls took plenty of breaks and played in the playgrounds. They wanted to play than look at all the historical sites located in this park. These are the main sites located in City Park: Vajdahunyad Castle, Széchenyi thermal bath, Budapest zoo, Municipal Circus, Gundel Restaurant, and Heroes’ Square.
- Heroes’ Square – Heroes’ Square is one of the major squares in Budapest. There are iconic statues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders. In addition, the Memorial Stone of Heroes, also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Nearby, you will find the Museum of Fine arts and the Palace of Art. We didn’t have time to visit these museums.
- Vajdahunyad Castle – This is my favorite place as I love castles. Vajdahunyard Castle is a replica of the Transylvanian castle from Romania. It’s also called Dracula Castle. It doesn’t have an eerie atmosphere as one would think hearing the name Dracula Castle. There is one creepy statue called the statue of Anonymous, a tribute to an unknown Hungarian storyteller. They say this statue moves a slight every year. Today, it houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture. There’s a pathway through one of the museums to view the castle from the top. It’s a picturesque view of the architecture. The grounds are really beautifully kept with the garden, vines, and airy atmosphere. The girls had fun exploring. Outside of the castle, there are boats you can rent to take around the lake. We weren’t able to go on a boat ride this time.
- Holnemvolt Park (currently closed) – After visiting the castle, we took the metro to Holnemvolt Park which was a zoo and an amusement park. It’s always fun for kids to visit a zoo in a different country. The girls love to discover new animals that they might have as well as see their favorite ones. They also enjoyed rides at the amusement park. The carousel ride was also a fun ride for them. This place was closed in 2015 after our visit. The last information states it was reconstructed and renewed. There’s no new information on whether it reopened.
- Downtown Budapest – Downtown is close to the Danube River, and it’s the place where you find the main shopping hub. Most of the five-star hotels and several restaurants are located in the center. We walked to the main square which is called Vörösmarty square, named after a romantic poet of the first half of the 19th century. His statue is in the middle of the square. The Budapest Eye, a large Ferris wheel, is also nearby. We didn’t get a chance to ride the Ferris Wheel as the girls were tired.
We rented a three-bedroom apartment in the middle of downtown. It had an eclectic style. It was comfortable complete with a living room and a kitchen. We have discovered that staying at a place with a kitchen is always a great idea. We could go grocery shopping. We were a walk away from all the restaurants. The negative was that it was loud at night.
Facts About Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary, and it’s the most populous city in the country. In 1873, three neighboring cities of Pest, Buda, and Óbuda united together to become Budapest. Today, Budapest consists of two cities, Buda and Pest. The cities are divided by the Danube River. Budapest is famous for the largest geothermal system.
The city of Budapest is classified as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. This includes the Danube, Heroes Square, Buda Castle, and many other notable monuments.
We visited these places pre-covid. Please check their website for hours and covid precautions.