Best of Buda: Top Things to Do on the Danube’s Right Side

Embark on a journey through Buda’s most iconic landmarks and hidden gems with Funzine’s ultimate guide to exploring the vibrant heart of Hungary’s capital city.

Walk Around the Emblematic Castle District

The Castle District in Budapest is a historical marvel, steeped in rich heritage and architectural splendour. At its heart stands the imposing Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, towering over the cityscape with its majestic presence. Within its walls lies the National Gallery of Budapest, a treasure trove of Hungarian art spanning centuries, showcasing the nation’s cultural evolution through captivating exhibitions and collections. Adjacent to the castle is the awe-inspiring Matthias Church, a symbol of Budapest’s religious and cultural identity, adorned with intricate Gothic architecture and vibrant stained-glass windows that narrate tales of centuries past. Perched atop the Castle Hill is the iconic Fisherman’s Bastion, offering panoramic views of the Danube River and the city below, its whimsical turrets and walkways inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its fairy tale-like ambiance. To ascend to this enchanting vantage point, you can embark on a journey aboard the Buda Castle Funicular, a historic funicular railway providing a scenic ride up the hillside.

Photo: Egy jó kép az utazásról

Stroll Through the Oldest District of the City

With its regal architecture and stunning gardens, Várkert Bazaar is a feast for the eyes and the soul. Step inside and be greeted by a whirlwind of cultural delights—from exhibitions and workshops to concerts, there’s always something exciting happening within its walls. Located in the heart of the oldest district of Budapest, Tabán, it is also surrounded by adorable tiny houses, cozy sidewalk cafés and pretty parks bordered by lush greenery.

Photo: Várkert Bazár Facebook

City Escape in Buda Hills

If you’re always up to hiking, embarking on a stroll from the lovely Normafa to the Elisabeth Lookout promises an unforgettable experience. Normafa, easily accessible from downtown with public transport, offers one of the nicest greeneries on top of a hill, with plenty of places to have a picnic, drink a cup of coffee or even have a BBQ outside. After an approximately 25-minute walk from Normafa, you arrive to Elisabeth Lookout, which was constructed in 1911 and is named after Empress Elisabeth, the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, who had a deep affection for the surrounding area. If fatigue starts to creep in, why not treat yourself to a chairlift ride from Zugliget to János Hill! It’s not just a convenient way to get around; it’s a special spectacle in the city, allowing you to adorn the beautiful view as you ascend or descend.

Photo: Shutterstock

Chill Time and Good Vibes at Kopaszi Dam

Kopaszi Dam is situated at the southern tip of Budapest’s 11th district, nestled between the Danube River and the iconic Rákóczi Bridge. Thanks to the large project of the last few years, the area has blossomed into a thriving urban oasis: spanning ten hectares, Kopaszi Dam now offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and recreational amenities. Take leisurely strolls along beautifully landscaped paths adorned with blooming flowers, lush trees, and the serene backdrop of the calming blue water. Trendy cafes and bistros line the dam, inviting you to dine al fresco with the most perfect view of the Danube.

Photo: Molnár József épületfotográfus

Scenic Trails and Hidden Gems on Gellért Hill

Rising 140 meters above the Danube, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Gellért Hill boasts some of the most stunning panoramic views of Budapest with lots of destination for excursions, winding paths, lush gardens, and lively playgrounds. Named after Bishop Gellért, who played a significant role in Hungary’s Christian conversion, the hill is adorned with a bronze statue in his honour. Moreover, tucked within its slopes lies an inner reservoir, serving as a crucial component of Budapest’s drinking water supply. While the main attraction, the Citadel is undergoing renovations and thus inaccessible this summer, the breathtaking views from various spots around the hill make the hike worthwhile. The Garden of Philosophers, although lesser-known, is a popular and tranquil spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy a picnic and take in the beautiful magic of Budapest.

Photo: Egy jó kép rólad

Soak in the View from the Danube Bank

For the ultimate panoramic view of the Parliament building, head to Batthyány Square. Here, you can capture the perfect photo with the iconic edifice as your backdrop, across the river. Don’t miss strolling along the riverbank, where you can also admire the charming architecture of the surrounding houses and the iconic bridges that grace Budapest’s skyline. This is also a perfect choice for biking lovers, as one of the best cycling routes to explore the city on two wheels is pedalling from Margaret Bridge to Liberty Bridge on the Buda side. In case you would like to add extra stops to your tour, you can also try bike sharing, which allows you to leave your bike in the designated areas.

Photo: Budapest Városháza
Funzine’s Choice: Gastro Galore at Bartók Boulevard

Bartók Boulevard is our top pick for culinary delights, offering a diverse range of eateries to satisfy every craving. From cozy cafés to gourmet restaurants, bakeries, and global cuisine, you'll find it all here. Craving coffee? Head to Caphe by Hai Nam. Need pastries? Pékműhely Bartók has you covered. For gelato lovers, Kőfagyi is a must-visit, and if Spanish tapas are calling your name, don't miss Ultramarinos Martinez.

3 Must-Visit Spots in Buda

Memento Park

History enthusiasts, aficionados of 20th-century history, hunters of exciting attractions, we have a tip for you! Located on the Tétény Plateau, Memento Park evokes the communist-socialist dictatorship and its downfall. Surrounded by 41 artworks, walking among monumental statue giants, and listening to pioneer songs, you can unwittingly absorb the tension-filled atmosphere of this important era of Hungarian history. The outdoor sculpture museum welcomes visitors year-round, offering exclusive information about previous public monuments through guided tours.

1223 Budapest, Balatoni út – Szabadkai utca | Website

Photo: Memento Park

Veli Bej Bath of the Saint John of God Brothers

Directly next to Szent Lukács Thermal Bath, you can find the Veli Bej Bath of the Saint John of God Brothers, built during the Turkish occupation. The area was marshy at the time, so like Venetian buildings, the bath’s foundations are still supported by piles. After discovering the healing properties, the bath complex was donated to the current owners. Then, the largest Turkish bath of the city was enriched with new features primarily aimed at healing of the sick. Today, the bath with its oriental atmosphere welcomes guests seeking rejuvenation with hot water pools, a sauna world, jacuzzies, and massage rooms.

1023 Budapest, Árpád fejedelem útja 7. | Website

Photo: Irgalmasok Veli Bej Fürdője

Róma Ételbár

The Róma Ételbár (Roma Food Bar) is open every day of the week, welcoming guests with tables adorned with checkered tablecloths that evoke childhood memories, and the flavours of vacations spent at grandma’s. Róma transforms any ordinary lunch into a Sunday feast, offering such traditional dishes as Hungarian chicken soup, heavenly chicken paprikash with noodles, Bácska-style rice and meat, and layered cabbage, all the way to sweet cottage cheese dumplings. Note that on weekends, seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and reservations are only possible for groups of more than five people.

Budapest, 1015 Csalogány utca 20. | Website

Photo: Róma Ételbár

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