Top 10 Things to Do for a Relaxing Holiday in Budapest

People travel and explore new places for a variety of reasons but one thing is for sure, everyone can benefit from some stress-free, relaxation in a new city. Not only is it good for your mind and body, you will create some incredible memories of your experiences in this charming city.

So hop on a riverboat, take a stroll in nature, listen to opera music, or take your pick pampering yourself at one of the city’s numerous renowned thermal baths. In Budapest, you’re in the perfect place for abundant opportunities to rest, relax, pamper and spoil yourself.

1) Leisurely Cycle Around Margitsziget (Margaret Island) on Go-Kart Bikes

Margaret Island is a small island in the middle of the Danube River where you can relax in the parks, check out fountains, ancient ruins, a Japanese Garden and stop for a drink or light lunch.

This is a fantastic place for recreational activities and sightseeing. Leisurely cycle around with a friend in a Go-kart or High-wheel bike for some amazing pictures and lots of smiles.


  • What: Cycling around Margaret Island
  • Where: Szaküzlet: 1013 Bp. Várkert rkp 16. Kerékpár kölcsönző: 1138 Bp. Margitszigeti Atlétikai Centrum (Map found here)
  • When: 10:00 am until sunset March until October
  • Time Investment: Half to full day
  • Cost: A Gokart will cost between 7 and 16 euro (can fit up to 4 people) depending on the length of rental
  • Payment method: Hungaria Forint
  • More Info: You can make reservations ahead by phone or email. Check out the GoMobility website here.


2) Go All Out at the Thermal Baths

When it comes to Budapest, the thermal baths are a pretty standard ‘must-do’, but we suggest if you’re going to do it, do it right!

Spend a whole day relaxing, getting a luxurious massage and perhaps an additional spa treatment. Our recommendation is the Lavender Dream massage at Gellért Baths.


  • What: Full day of thermal baths including spa treatments
  • Where: Gellért Thermal Bath, Szent Gellért Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda H-1118 Budapest, XI. kerület Kelenhegyi út 4 (map here)
  • When: 6 am until 8 pm daily
  • Time Investment: Full day
  • Cost: Expect to invest between 55-65 euro for a massage (remember this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience), perhaps set aside 100 euro total for the whole day
  • Payment method: Creditcard/ Maestro/ cash Hungarian forint
  • More Info: Check out their website and massage descriptions at

Contact Anna for discount


3) Sip Cocktails and Drink in the Sunset View

Nothing is more relaxing than being in the moment, sipping on a delicious drink and watching the colors of the sunset appear. Spoon The Boat Restaurant is a stunning option for a drink at the end of the day.

A three-deck boat that is docked on the Danube, the cafe has a huge terrace and 5 bars overlooking the Chain Bridge and Castle Hill.


  • What: Sunset cocktails and nibbles
  • Where: Spoon Cafe, Budapest, Vigadó tér 3. kikötő, 1052 Hungary (map here)
  • When: 12 noon until midnight daily, all year round
  • Time Investment: Full day
  • Cost: Expect to pay anywhere from 3-6 euro per drink (remember, you are also paying for the view)
  • Payment method: credit cards or Hungarian forint
  • More Info: Check out their website at


4) Leisurely Walk with Hungarian Food

On the Eat Hungary tour not only do you get a perfect day of eating with the help of a knowledgeable local guide but you’ll also learn a little about Hungarian history, traditions, & culture along the way. The local guide takes you off the beaten path, to local eateries & shops not frequented by all the regular tourists.

Having a local guide is a great way to experience the best the city has to offer.


  • What: Eat Hungary- Gourmet walking Tour
  • Where: The tour begins at the Cityrama office with stops at Belvárosi Piac the downtown market hall on Hold utca (NOT to be confused with the Central Market Hall), local butcher shop, cheese shop, traditional restaurants & finally a neighborhood pub for a taste of locally made artisanal beers.
  • When: Various days and times depending on your tour
  • Time Investment: Between 3,5 hours
  • Cost: 50 euro
  • Payment method: cash Hungarian forint
  • More Info: Check out their website at


5) Explore the River by Canoe

Though some sections of the river have strong currents, a very unique and safe way to see the city by boat is on a guided canoe tour. Paddle along the Parliament buildings, under bridges to Gellért Hill and Castle, and beside modern buildings like the National Theatre and Palace of Arts.

The tour guide and company will arrange for pick-ups when you have completed the tour, and you will be left with a very special memory of Budapest. The company also rents out canoes and kayaks at certain locations if you wish to paddle at your own pace.


  • What: Canoeing and kayaking on the Danube
  • Where: Rómaifürdő SE aquatic plant: III. Dist. Nánási út 53 (map of area found here)
  • When: May through September (if you are visiting during wintertime, there are year-round motorized boat tours always available, see #8 below)
  • Time Investment: Half to full day
  • Cost: Consult their website for prices. Group sightseeing tours start at 80 euro
  • Payment method: cash Hungarian forint
  • More Info: You can find more information and contact information at


6) Enjoy a Performance at the World Famous Budapest Opera House

Opera lover or not, you might be very pleasantly surprised by a visit to the world-famous Budapest Opera House. Choose to do a tour of the building’s beautiful Neo-Renaissance architecture or take in an incredible performance.

This experience has something to offer just about everyone. From rich history, incredible acoustics, artful statues, and elaborate costumes, the Opera House is something you won’t want to miss in Budapest.


  • What: An opera performance
  • Where: Budapest Opera House
  • When: Daily tours in the afternoon, consult the website for evening performance calendar
  • Time Investment: Two to Three hours
  • Cost: Tickets can start from 10 euro for upper sections
  • Payment method:
  • More Info: Consult with their website for current program and prices


7) Stretch and Relax at a Gentle Yoga Class

Beginner or expert yogi, a yoga class is an excellent way to keep your body and mind relaxed while also exploring a new part of the city. Sound Light Yoga offers a variety of classes from Vinyasa to Acroyoga.

As an added bonus in spring and summertime classes are held outside at various locations like City Park.

Feel relaxed and rejuvenated after a long day of walking and sightseeing. You might even find yourself going out afterward to a quaint coffee shop with new friends.


  • What: Yoga classes
  • Where: Sound Light Yoga, Indoors in wintertime, outdoor classes in warm months at various parks
  • When: Consult their Facebook page for specific class times and locations
  • Time Investment: 1-2 hours
  • Cost: Varies. Past workshops have cost approximately 13 euro. Consult their website or Facebook page for more details
  • Payment method: Hungarian forint


8) Cruise Down the Danube for a Panoramic Boat Ride at Night

A very relaxing and enjoyable way to see the lights and sights of the Danube is by boat cruise in the evening. Legenda Tour company has it down to a science, including a drink and video/audio guide.

We recommend the one-hour Danube Legend tour in the evening time. Not only is it affordable, it’s a great way to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing.


  • What: Boat cruise down the Danube
  • Where: Legenda Sightseeing Boats, Dock 7 Jane Haining rakpart, Budapest (map here)
  • When: Start time depends on the month, please consult their website for times
  • Time Investment: 1 hour
  • Cost: Between 13 to 18 euro, depending on type of ticket
  • Payment method: Creditcard /cash Hungarian forint
  • More Info: Consult their official website at


9) Enjoy Afternoon Tea at New York Café

Perhaps one of the more well-known cafés in town, New York Café is an opulent experience from start to finish. Ranked as one of the most beautiful coffee houses in the world, this café is built in an eclectic Italian Renaissance-style.

Enjoy traditional afternoon tea and sandwiches, or coffee and cakes while absorbing the breathtaking architecture and exquisite live gypsy music.


  • What: Afternoon tea or coffee
  • Where: New York Café, 1073 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11 (map here)
  • When: Daily from 8 am until 11 pm
  • Time Investment: One to two hours
  • Cost: Afternoon tea for two costs 60 euro while coffee and cakes for two costs 43 euro
  • Payment method: Hungarian forint and card
  • More Info: Due to its popularity, we recommend booking a reservation on their official website


10) Have a Peaceful Picnic at Károlyi Garden

Visit the oldest garden in Budapest and sit by the fountain with a sandwich and book, or have a chat with a friend or partner.

Károlyi Garden Park combines style from the Baroque era with English-style geometric designs. It also contains one of the country’s oldest white mulberry trees.

If you are visiting in cold weather, take a stroll through the garden then warm up at Csendes Társ Winebar just a stone’s throw away. (here)


  • What: Picnic in a garden
  • Where: Károlyi Garden, Budapest, Károlyi kert 25, 1053 Hungary (map here)
  • When: Any time you wish
  • Time Investment: An hour or two
  • Cost: Inexpensive if you pack a lunch
  • More Info: For information or photos of Csendes Társ Winebar, check out their Facebook page,


Final Thoughts

With such a wide variety of things to do and see in Budapest, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and let the time fly by without sitting and simply enjoying the present moment. Taking time for some enjoyable, relaxing activities will have you going home feeling even more energized and rejuvenated than when you arrived.