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3 days/nights in Budapest - advice on schedule with kids

Hi all -
We're going to be in Budapest for 3 days in July with 4 adults and 3 children (aged 7,8,10). We've rented an apartment and are now completely overwhelmed at the possibilities. Here are my thoughts/questions:
- should we visit more than one bath? which are kid-friendly? and how long to plan for each bath visit?
- is the parliament tour worth it? the morning Eng tours are all sold out for the dates we will be there, but there's availability for some of the afternoon tours.
- what's the best way to see the parliament at night (all lit up)? Is there a boat ride that makes sense?
- what other activities should I add in or plan for?
- I have read that a trip to Gellert Hill at night is a must...is that a hike? Is there a restaurant or bar up there?
- Are children accepted at restaurants/bars in Budapest -- even later at night?

Thanks for your help!
- Bijal

Posted by
2079 posts

I don't have kids, but I do love Budapest--I'll be there Tuesday, 4th trip in as many years--so I'll answer what I can and I know others will be along with more info for you.

Parliament is absolutely worth touring, don't miss it.

https://welovebudapest.com/en/ This is a good website to find out about special events happening while you're there.

You might enjoy going to the Zoo in City Park, spending time on Margit sziget (the island that you see in the middle of the Danube in pictures of the Parliament building, easy tram ride to get there) where you can rent bikes or just walk and explore, Castle Hill is worth an afternoon and I always enjoy a day trip by HEV to Szentendre, about 45 minutes up the Danube. Rick's book details the trip, very easy.

Posted by
10648 posts
  • should we visit more than one bath? which are kid-friendly? and how long to plan for each bath visit?

I would go to Szechenyi Baths. Easy to get to, pretty well organized and not bad for kids.
http://szechenyispabaths.com/

  • is the parliament tour worth it? the morning Eng tours are all sold out for the dates we will be there, but there's availability for some of the afternoon tours.

With just 3 days in Budapest I wouldn’t spend a lot of time inside buildings or museums. I just played tour guide for about a week and we never got inside anything and still didn’t finish.

  • what's the best way to see the parliament at night (all lit up)? Is there a boat ride that makes sense?

There are some night dinner boats and they are generally good, but with kids, maybe not. Just cross the river from Deak Ferenc ter in Pest to Batthyány tér in Buda on the M2 metro line.Get off and go up the steps. Wala! Best view in town

  • what other activities should I add in or plan for?

With kids, the Circus and the Zoo. Both excellent for kids (I like them too)

  • I have read that a trip to Gellert Hill at night is a must...is that a hike? Is there a restaurant or bar up there?

There is an observation park. Fantastic view. The last tour bus leaves about 9:30 and then it’s a pleasant place to sit and see the view.

  • Are children accepted at restaurants/bars in Budapest -- even later at night?

Restaurants, yes: Bars? No comment.

Posted by
12 posts

Thank you! Great advice.

We arrive on July 4th early morning. After settling, we thought we would do a walking tour of the city. We are staying on Buda side, should we start there or take public transport to Pest and walk our way back?

Day 2 we were hoping to visit a bath and the parliament building (although now I'm uncertain about the tour)

Day 3 is open...

So...we love baths, in addition to Szechenyi, is there another you would recommend for something a little different? Kiraly? Gellert?

We will be there in early July, do we purchase Szechenyi bath tickets in advance or are they typically available at the door?

No comment on bars...enough said! A little wishful thinking :) I've read several comments about James E.'s list of restaurants. I did a quick search but couldn't find it. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Thanks a bunch, Bijal

Posted by
10648 posts
  • should we start there or take public transport to Pest and walk our way back?

Might be a bit easier to walk to Pest and use the transit system to go back to Buda. That way you are walking down the hill and not up the hill. Quite a climb. Metro, Tram or Bus depends on where in Buda you are…..

  • Day 2 we were hoping to visit a bath and the parliament building (although now I'm uncertain about the tour)

Because you have so little time, why don’t you do the 2 Tram. Stop at the Parliament to see the Shoes, then again at Vigadó tér then walk to Vorosmarty ter where you can get on the M1 Metro line to the bath house. Walk all or some of Andrassy ut coming back.

  • Day 3 is open... So...we love baths, in addition to Szechenyi, is there another you would recommend for something a little different? Kiraly? Gellert?

Gellert is a very different experience, but still sort of family friendly.

  • We will be there in early July, do we purchase Szechenyi bath tickets in advance or are they typically available at the door?

Either. I would do on line to miss the wait.

Posted by
10648 posts

Some of the best food in town.

el ASADOR de Pata Negra
Paulay Ede u. 39
+36 1 406 2728
https://patanegra.hu/

EXCELLENT HUNG / JEWISH ($$)
MACESZ HUSZÁR
District VII, Dob street 26.
+36 1 787 6164
www.maceszhuszar.hu

ALL YOU CAN EAT HUNGARIAN ($$$)
TRÓFEA GRILL
District VI, Kiraly utca. 30-32.
+36 1 878 0522
http://kiraly.trofeagrill.eu/

GOOD GYPSY MUSIC / FOOD ($$$)
RÉZKAKAS BISTRO
District V, Sas utca 3
+36 1 318-0038
http://www.rezkakasbistro.hu

IF CHILI’S OPENED A HUNGARIAN RESTAURANT ($$)
VAKVARJÚ ÉTTEREM
District VI, Paulay Ede utca 7
+ 36 1 268 08 88
www.vakvarju.com/

I NEED! A HAMBURGER ($)
ZING BURGER
District VI, Kiraly Utca 60

OLD WORLD HUNGARIAN FOOD AND ATMOSPHERE ($$)
PAPRIKA ÉTTEREM
District VII, Dózsa György út 72
+36-20-294-79-44
http://www.paprikavendeglo.hu/

NEW IN-PLACE IN TOWN ($$)
HUNGARIKUM BISTRO
District V, Steindl Imre u. 13.
+36 30 661 6244
http://hungarikumbisztro.hu

GOOD HUNGARIAN FOOD ($$)
BELVÁROSI LUGAS
VENDÉGLŐ
District VI, Bajcsy Zsilinszky u.15
+36 1 302 5393
http://lugas-etterem.com/

MY FAVORITE WINE BAR HAS GREAT FOOD. 150 FEET FROM THE APT ($$)
KADARKA BÁR
District VI, Király utca 42
+36 1 266 5094

GOOD BREAKFAST ($$)
CAFÉ VIAN
District VII, Király u. 13
+36 1 878 1350

HUNGARIAN BREAKFAST ($$)
FRAPPANS
District VII, Király u. 15, www.frappans.com
+36 1 798 5030

SWORD FIGHTS & BELLY
DANCERS & GREAT FOOD ($$)
SIR LANCELOT
District VI, Podmaniczky u. 14
www.sirlancelot.hu
+36 1 302 4456

GOOD CHEAP HUNGARIAN ($)
FRICI PAPA KIFŐZDÉJE
District VI, Király u. 55
http://www.fricipapa.hu
+36 1 351 0197

CASH
OTP BANK ATM MACHINE
Király utca 49

PHARMACY
GYÓGYSZERTÁR
(Pharmacies sell only medicines)
Király utca 47

PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS
DM STORE
Király utca 34

SPAR GROCERY STORE
Király utca 35

WASH & FOLD LAUNDRY SVC
WASH AND FOLD
Ó utca No. 24

FULL LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING SERVICES
VAJNÓCZKI LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING
Szófia utca 7
+36 1 342 3796
Mon thru Fri: 8:00-18:00
Saturday: 8:00-13:00
info@vajnoczkitisztitoszalon.hu

Posted by
16545 posts

Unless I'm mistaken, the circus is out at City Park (at the end of Andrassy Blvd.) near the zoo, so that would be a convenient combination. The Metro goes there.

Posted by
10648 posts

You are correct. Its the second to last stop on the M1. Bathhouse, Park, Zoo, Circus all together. The zoo is sort of special because with no lawyers around you can pet the Rhino. The Circus is always entertaining (i am a kid at heart).

Actually, to make a day of it, get off at Hero's Square and walk up from there.

Posted by
2079 posts

I loved the zoo because of the gorgeous buildings, especially the tilework on the Elephant House and the mosaic at the entrance. Also the polar bears. Favorite moment was watching the keeper feeding the incredibly beautiful hyacinth macaws, and I heard her saying to them in that sing-songy voice we (well, some of us!) use on pets, "Mit csinalsz?", essentially "whatcha doin?"

Posted by
1887 posts

I cannot imagine a 7, 8, and 10 YO in the Parliament. For adults, it's great. For kids, no.

There are the roman ruins N of town. Definitely for the kids.

There is the Monument Park. If you prepare the kids with a little history, esp the 10 YO, this is a hoot.

There is Marxim Pizza, the pizza restaurant with commit kitch names. Very fun.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g274887-d696066-Reviews-Marxim-Budapest_Central_Hungary.html

There is the Great Market Hall. A sure-fire winner for the kids. Such a wonderful place. So much to see.

Take the late night cruise to see the lights.

If you feel up to it, take the kids to a ruin pub late at night (9 PM). These are crazy places (chairs glued to the ceiling).