Exploring Budapest with Your Kids

Budapest is Hungary’s capital and most populous city, as well as the ninth-biggest city in the European Union. Apart from serving as Hungary’s financial and educational center, Budapest has also grown into a popular tourist hub in the country. In fact, the city attracts nearly 12 million visitors every year, making it one of Europe’s most visited and famous tourist destinations.

If you’re traveling with your kids, then Budapest is an excellent destination choice. The city is home to numerous landmarks, exhibits, outdoor spaces and other family-friendly attractions. Additionally, it is considered one of the most affordable cities in Europe, which means you can stretch your budget while exploring the Hungarian capital. Here is the perfect itinerary to have the most memorable family trip to Budapest.

Family-Friendly Attractions in Budapest

The magical city of Budapest offers plenty of sites and activities all members of the family can enjoy – even the children. Since you’ll do a lot of moving around and sightseeing, you might want to consider getting a Budapest City Card. It is highly recommended as this card gives you unlimited access to public transportation, free entrance to some attractions and plenty of discounts. And don’t have the kids carrying their backpacks and gear. Instead, book a Budapest luggage storage facility for a hassle-free experience.
  • Children’s Railway
One of the city’s most distinctive attractions is the Children’s Railway, which is exactly what the name suggests – a fully-operating railway staffed by kids 10 to 14 years of age. The 11.2-kilometer track, which runs along the famous Buda Hills, is a popular excursion for families who want to see the beautiful outdoors without having to hike. Not to worry, however, because the child-aged staff are supervised by adults to ensure the safety of all the passengers. To learn about the timetable and ticket prices, visit Children’s Railway’s official website.

Children generally enjoy seeing animals in person, which is why the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the city’s top attractions when traveling with kids. Having been around for over 150 years, it is the oldest zoo in Hungary and among the oldest zoos in the world. This exciting place is home to thousands of animals and species across different continents, including rhinoceros, hippos, ring-tailed lemurs, polar bears, tigers and more. The zoo has various themed sections such as the Australia Zone, which houses animals native to Australia, and the Savanna Zone, which consists of gazelles, giraffes and other wild mammals and animals.

Also found within the complex is the Botanical Garden that houses nearly 2,000 plant species, common and rare. Similar to the animals, the flora and fauna are categorized according to their origins. Your kids will definitely enjoy seeing the variety of animals and plants in this famous attraction. 

  • CSOPA Science Museum
Both kids and adults will enjoy a visit to the SCOPA Science Museum (aka Centre of Scientific Wonders), located in the city’s Obuda District. It is a science-themed educational and entertainment space. The two-story building is home to over 250 interactive exhibits and attractions that guests of all ages can enjoy. The museum offers a variety of ticket packages and deals, which you can check out here.

  • Gellért Hill

Gellért Hill is a 140-meter tall hill that can easily be hiked, which makes it perfect for families who want to see the beauty of Budapest’s outdoors. Those who have toddlers may opt to ride public transport going to the top of the hill. Gellért Hill is one of the best viewpoints in the city, providing a panoramic view of the Danube River.

Your kids will also love the surprise waiting for them at the peak – the Cerka Firka Playground (Pencil-Doodling Playground). This fun outdoor area offers plenty of opportunities for fun and play with its swings, treadwheel, rubber trampolines, monkey bars and more. 

If you want to see some of the most incredible underwater creatures in the world, head over to the Tropicarium, situated within the Campona Centre. It is the biggest saltwater aquarium in Central Europe and is considered one of the top tourist destinations in Budapest. The attraction’s main highlight is the 12-meter long tunnel, where visitors can observe a variety of marine animals, including sharks, fish, alligators and more. Tropicarium also has an artificial rainforest where snakes, exotic birds, squirrel monkeys and other animals are housed.

  • Margaret Island
Regarded as one of the city’s most stunning green spaces, Margaret Island (locally known as Margitsziget Island) is a perfect spot for you and your family to hang out and do outdoor activities together. The 2.5-kilometer long island is filled with play areas, cycling trails, picnic spots, restaurants, a petting zoo and even a public swimming pool. One of the gems at Margaret Island is the Music Fountain, a fountain that “dances” to the beat of popular songs and lights up at night.
  • Palatinus Strand Baths
Budapest is known for its baths and Palatinus Strand is the biggest swimming complex within the city. Open all year long, Palatinus has both an outdoor bath, where guests can cool off during the summer, and indoor thermal baths, which are great for the colder months. Kids will also love the different water slides, wave machines and kiddie pools within the complex. Find out more about the Palatinus Strand and book entrance tickets through the official website.

Another renowned thermal bath spot in the city is Széchenyi Thermal Baths, found within the City Park, Budapest’s largest public park. Built in 1913, the complex features three outdoor pools and fifteen indoor pools, which make it a great option no matter the season. Széchenyi Thermal Baths also offers other services such as massage therapies, facial treatments, steam cabins and more. 

  • Hop-on hop-off tour
If you have limited time in the city and want to squeeze in as many attractions as possible in one go, your best option would be to join a hop-on hop-off tour of Budapest. These tours come with English-speaking guides, which help you get a better understanding of each attraction’s history. While there are plenty of tour companies offering such an experience, one of the most reputable is Big Bus Tours. You can choose from the different packages they offer here.


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