Top 10 Things To Do in Budapest for Couples
Budapest tells an inspiring story of a marriage between two cities of contrast. Buda on the western hilly side and Pest on the eastern flat side came from two different kingdoms before the 1873 unification. The great Danube River divides these two territories while a couple of iconic bridges join them together to become one of the largest and most charming capital cities in Europe. Its history seems to hint that Budapest is a city tailor-made for romance.
From walking by the riverside promenade to soaking in healing baths, here are the top 10 things for couples to do in Budapest.
Stroll the promenade on the east bank of Danube
Wander around and soak in the splendor of landmarks and attractions dotting the banks of Danube River. Walk hand in hand as ships and boats pass through the emblematic Chain Bridge and Erzsebet Bridge. Feel the cool breeze and watch the sunset as you saunter along this boulevard.
Leave a love lock in the Chain Bridge
It might sound silly, but Budapest couples have had a long tradition of leaving love padlocks (with their names inscribed) at the well-restored 18th-century Széchenyi Chain Bridge. You might have to compete with other loved-up couples to find space to place your artful padlocks of affection. Sweethearts visiting Paris have been leaving locks like these on their bridges, so it is not surprising that Budapest follows suit. After all, it’s nicknamed “Paris of the East.”
Dine at romantic restaurants in Budapest
For such a small country as Hungary, the choice of restaurants is vast and varied. For a superb fine dining experience with fantastic views of the city, head over to Four Seasons Hotel Gresham
Palace or Halászbástya Restaurant at the Fishermen’s Bastion
The Gresham Palace is a sumptuous choice for lovers looking to sample distinct and often underrated flavors of Hungarian cuisine. Admire the opulent decor inside the dining space that is considered one of the best restaurants in the world. As for Halászbástya Restaurant, the breathtaking view from the castle hill is hard to beat. What to order? Classic Hungarian food with a modern twist paired with genuine Hungarian wine.
Ride the ancient funicular to the top of a hill
For a bird’s eye view of the city, head over to Budapest Castle Hill on board the storied funicular. While you can walk or ride a cab to reach the top of this charming castle, it’s hard to rival the appeal of the 18th-century Buda Castle Funicular (one of the many structures that was restored after WWII bombing). Come early to avoid the long queue, so you can experience a scenic and stress-free trip to the castle. It will be a pleasant memory you can both cherish and talk about for years.
Visit the Vajdahunyad Castle
If you’re visiting Budapest during the winter, plan a trip to the Vajdahunyad Castle. Then, hold each other’s hands while skating on the sparkling City Park ice rink, which thaws into a beautiful lake when winter ends. If you’re here in the summer, rent a kayak or a boat, and sail along the lake as you please. Whatever the occasion, the City Park around the castle is an ideal place for romantic walks, picnics, or playing games. Don’t leave this spot without taking a picture with the 18th-century romantic castle as a backdrop. It’s Instagram-perfect.
Admire lovely live music at the Hungarian State Opera House
Not only is this neo-Renaissance opera building magnificent outside, its interiors are awe-inspiring without compromising the acoustic quality inside. Hire an expert guide to add meaning and depth to your tour inside this historic building. Though it looks old, it has state-of-the-art facilities, such as modern fire-protection, hydraulic stage technique, romantic lighting, and more. Some tourists are lucky enough to witness rehearsals during their visit. Don’t leave this to chance, and get a ticket to a mini-concert to experience the great acoustics of the opera house first-hand.
Have some down time with coffee and classic books
If you are both avid fans of classics or books in general and are open to unusual things to do in Budapest, the city has a pleasant surprise for you. The Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library is a library in a palace filled with lavish ornamentation and a fine collection of books. If you need Hungarian comfort food and coffee while reading or browsing classic books, the Könyv Bár & Restaurant is worth the trip. The atmosphere here feels like you are inside a classy private library, so you and your sweetheart can eat, drink, cozy up, and read in peace. Reservations are recommended.
Get some R&R at Budapest’s best thermal baths
Hungary is home to the world’s second-largest thermal lake, Heviz, and the capital alone has 118 hot springs to boast. Hence, no couples should come to Budapest without their swimsuits. Choose among the most legendary co-ed thermal pools and spas in town, then swim and relax Hungarian style. Csaszar Hotel has a 16th-century Turkish-style bath complex with modern amenities, such as glass ceilings and an infra-sauna you’d love to share with your beloved. The place is a bit touristy and has limited slots, so book ahead at Veli Bej Bath before you visit. Want something more traditional? Try Lukacs and select among its five thermal pools known to cure all sorts of body, joint, and spinal problems. If you want another option, go to Helia on the Pest side of the city.
Cruise the majestic Danube River
While there’s a bunch of romantic restaurants offering an amazing view of the city, nothing beats a dinner cruise along Danube River. Generally, night cruises can be more expensive than day cruises, but you’d probably prefer to sip a cocktail drink after sunset. Romance hangs in the air when you sail on Danube, just silently marveling at the floodlit riverside attractions. From party boats to romantic ships, Budapest has a variety of cruise options to fit your preference. Most cruise ships come with free audio commentary and complimentary drinks, so compare prices and services to get the best deals.
Discover Budapest’s rich architecture, culture, and history
It’s easy to forget your surroundings when you are constantly gazing at your significant other. However, Budapest has decades of fascinating history, lovely sights, and unique attractions begging for your attention and genuine interest. The city has a long list of places worth a visit or multiple visits, including the Hungarian Parliament, the Buda Castle, the Citadel, the Liberty Statue, and the Matthias Church, all offering sweeping views of the entire city, making you fall in love with its beauty and grandeur even more. All you need is an open mind to learn as much about the city as you can while enjoying each other’s company.
Are you excited to try these romantic trips in Budapest? Tell us which travel experience for couples you like the most. If you’ve been to the city, share your story or photo in the comments. Viszlát!