There are lots of hidden gems in Budapest, which are really special and not promoted in the general Budapest travel guides. Maybe not even in the Lonely Planet editions, which are popular for drawing attention the the less touristy, great value and secretly superb things.
Hidden Gems in Budapest
Did you know that there is a big cave for caving under Budapest? That thousands of locals and tourists go to cool and quirky ruin pubs in Budapest?
What about the nuclear shelter and WW2 hospital right under the Buda Castle? Hidden gems come and go in Budapest as the life of the city is taking its turns (e.g. the Buda Castle Wine Labyrinth was closed down in 2010, ruin pubs open up, new festivals come like Mangalitsa Festival, Foie Gras Festival, and old Turkish baths get restored like the recently opened and cheap Veli Bej Bath). Then there is the Paris Courtyard, Budapest: a fantastic passage, former shopping venue now neglected beauty and a true hidden gem (soon to be purchased and restored)
Budapest has lots of hidden gems, so you definitely cannot get bored and always can come back for more and for new things.
Some of the less well known facts about the city is that, for instance, Budapest is full of fantastic statues, quirky, communist, lovely, beautiful – you will enjoy interacting with this old genre of street art. Budapest has great parks for recreation, collecting your thoughts, or having a romantic evening (maybe even popping the question) – and, again, it is a less well known fact is that there are beautiful cemeteries with amazing statues in Budapest, half an hour from the city centre.
Tired? The cool factor is low? There are parks for scooters, rollerblades too, and you can hire bike carts for groups of 4, or go to open air lidos with wave pools (e.g. on Margaret Island).
Many of the fascinating Art Nouveau treasures are marginally known by foreigners and rarely recommended by quick fix Budapest travel books.
Szimpla Kert ruin pub – a hidden gem in the old Jewish quarters, downtown Budapest: cool, vibrant, quirky and avantgarde pub:
Budapest Bedo House – Hungarian House of Art Nouveau – 2 min walk from the Hungarian Parliament building
One of the best cakes you will ever have can be grabbed for a few forints at Auguszt Confectionery, close to Ferenciek square and Vaci utca shopping street. Beautiful walls, pleasant place, fantastic five star cakes and savoury snacks:
Entrance of the Cave Church built in the caves of Gellert Hill – a hidden gem right next to the famous Gellert Baths and Danubius Gellert Hotel at the Liberty Bridge:
The Sugar Shop in Petofi stret (4th district) and Paulay street (6th district) in Budapest – a sweet hidden gem and funny happy design to eat yummy things, play, use the internet, etc.:
Lukacs Confectionery and Coffee House – perfect cakes, and perfect English tea a lot less known than Cafe Gerbeaud on Vorosmarty square, Lukacs Confectionery is on the picturesque Andrassy Avenue, close to the famous House of Terror museum. The confectionery is mostly visited by locals and expats, it is a hidden gem, but an expensive one.
Wall art in Mumus ruin pub – almost all the ruin pubs are hidden gems in Budapest, discover their unique character by day or night and enjoy the wall arts, the quirky recycled furnishings in beautiful and abandoned 19th century residential buildings in the city.
Wood Carousel from 1906 at the Amusement Park in Budapest:
The Elephant House is just one of the Art Nouveau buildings in the quirky and nostalgic Budapest Zoo:
The entrance of Budapest Zoo, elephants, exotic decor, polar bears keeping guards:
Taskaradio Espresso – a cafe with lots of Hungarian retro decor and colour scheme in the city centre of Budapest (Papnovelde street, District V):
Big slides on the slopes of Gellert Hill – a Budapest hidden gem for families with small kids