Things to Do in Hungary in Summer

Table of Contents

Why Visit Hungary in Summer?

Hungary shines brightest in the summer, transforming under the long, sunny days into a playground of cultural and natural beauty. Here, the hustle of festivals, the allure of open-air markets, and the tranquility of natural retreats create a mosaic of experiences. Whether you're a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or a foodie, summer in Hungary caters to all tastes.

Explore Budapest: The Heart of Hungary

Parliament

Budapest, Hungary’s vibrant capital, is the starting point for most visitors. Its architectural grandeur and historical depth provide endless opportunities for exploration.

  • Parliament Building: Tour the iconic Parliament, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, where its neo-Gothic turrets stand majestically by the Danube. Inside, the Holy Crown of Hungary awaits, steeped in a millennium of history.
  • Széchenyi Thermal Baths: As one of the largest spa complexes in Europe, it offers 18 pools with varying temperatures. It's not just a bath; it's a cultural institution, where locals and tourists mingle in waters rich in minerals. Discover more about the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
  • Castle Hill: This historic district, accessible via a charming funicular, offers panoramic views of the city and houses attractions like Buda Castle, Matthias Church, and Fisherman’s Bastion.
  • Margaret Island: A serene escape in the heart of the bustling city, perfect for a leisurely day. It features:
    • Jogging tracks
    • Musical fountains
    • An open-air theater
    • A small zoo

Margaret Island is a peaceful retreat where you can enjoy picnic lunches or relax by the musical fountain, which puts on a colorful show every hour. More about Margaret Island here.

Discover Eger and Pécs: Cities of Culture

Pécs

These cities are jewels in Hungary’s cultural crown, each offering unique experiences steeped in history and beauty.

  • Eger: Known for its castle, baroque buildings, and thermal baths, Eger also boasts some of Hungary’s finest vineyards. Visit the Valley of the Beautiful Woman to taste local wines directly from the cellar doors.
  • Pécs: This city is a blend of cultures, reflected in its architecture and museums. Highlights include the Early Christian Mausoleum and the Zsolnay Cultural Quarter, an artistic hub with galleries and cafes set in beautifully restored industrial buildings.

Table: Must-Visit Sites in Eger and Pécs

City Attractions Description
Eger Eger Castle, Thermal Baths Explore historical fortresses and relaxing spas.
Pécs Early Christian Mausoleum UNESCO World Heritage site with stunning frescoes.
Both Local Vineyards and Art Galleries Sample famed Hungarian wines; view modern art.

Unwind by Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, is a summer haven with its warm waters and vibrant towns. Activities include:

  • Sailing and Water Sports: With ideal wind conditions, sailing is a favorite. Kitesurfing and paddleboarding are also popular.
  • Cycling Around the Lake: A dedicated bike path offers scenic rides through rustic villages and vineyards.

The lake's northern shore is famed for historic sites like the Tihany Abbey, whereas the southern shore is livelier, with beaches and family-friendly attractions.

Festivals and Nightlife: The Soul of Hungary

Food Festival

Summer is synonymous with festival season in Hungary. Here are a few you shouldn't miss:

  • Sziget Festival: One of Europe's largest music and cultural festivals, held on an island in Budapest. Expect a week of music, theatre, and circus performances.
  • Balaton Sound: A five-day electronic music festival on the shores of Lake Balaton. Party with top DJs and enjoy water-based fun.

Nightlife in Hungary is vibrant, with Budapest’s ruin bars offering a unique experience. These bars, set in dilapidated pre-war buildings, are now eclectic hotspots for drinks and music. Explore some of Budapest's popular night-time activities such as dinner cruises or take a relaxing Danube cruise.

Off-the-Beaten-Path: Secret Spots

Hungary is filled with hidden gems that offer a break from the typical tourist paths:

  • Hollókő: This tiny village, a UNESCO site, is a living museum of traditional Hungarian culture. Visit during Easter for authentic folk celebrations.
  • Cave Church: Located on Gellért Hill in Budapest, this church was once a natural cave used by hermit monks and now serves as a unique place of worship.

Culinary Delights: Taste Hungary

Central Market Hall

Hungarian cuisine, characterized by its use of paprika, offers a blend of spice and comfort. Indulge in these must-try dishes:

  • Goulash: A spicy stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika.
  • Lángos: Fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream, perfect after a swim in Lake Balaton.

List of Budapest’s Best Culinary Experiences:

  1. Central Market Hall: The best spot to sample Hungarian sausages and pickles.
  2. Jewish Quarter: Home to eclectic food scenes, including the famous ruin bars and street food like chimney cake.

Planning Your Trip

Navigating Hungary is straightforward, with Budapest acting as the central hub. Here are some tips:

  • Stay Connected: Purchase a local SIM card for easy navigation and connectivity.
  • Local Transport: Use the efficient train system to explore major cities and attractions.

Engage With Us

Hungary’s summer allure is undeniable, with its rich history and vibrant contemporary culture. Whether you're exploring the depths of its historic sites or enjoying a lazy day by Lake Balaton, Hungary offers a summer experience like no other. Have you decided which Hungarian treasure you’ll explore first?

Popular excursions in Budapest
Nighttime or Daytime Sightseeing Cruise: Discover Budapest in a New Light
Nighttime or Daytime Sightseeing Cruise: Discover Budapest in a New Light
Discover the dazzling beauty of Budapest at night with our enchanting sightseeing cruise along the River Danube, featuring panoramic views of the city
from €10
per person
2416 reviews
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With Drink: 70-Minute Sightseeing Cruise on Danube (Daytime & Nighttime)
With Drink: 70-Minute Sightseeing Cruise on Danube (Daytime & Nighttime)
70-minute 30-language audio-guide river cruise on the Danube with 1 drink of your choice included
from €15
per person
2476 reviews
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Evening Cruise with Optional Drinks and Live Music
Evening Cruise with Optional Drinks and Live Music
Join a night cruise and discover the lovely Hungarian capital with your favorite drinks. Starting from the center, admire the UNESCO-listed banks of the Danube aboard the elegant Gróf Széchényi ship.
from €21
per person
3360 reviews
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Danube cruise Budapest with dinner and Piano Battle Show - Weekdays
Danube cruise Budapest with dinner and Piano Battle Show - Weekdays
Enjoy a captivating Danube River cruise featuring exceptional piano performances, delicious international and Hungarian cuisine, and stunning views.
€91
per person
1033 reviews
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Hungarian Dinner Cruise on the Danube
Hungarian Dinner Cruise on the Danube
Combine a cruise on the Danube River with a Hungarian dinner and live music to get the most out of your time in Budapest.
€69
per person
1334 reviews
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Cocktail Cruise Downtown Budapest
Cocktail Cruise Downtown Budapest
The cruise takes place during sunset, providing our guests with the most fabulous views of the illuminated Budapest. While enjoying the gorgeous panorama, guests can indulge in 3, freshly prepared cocktails on board. (3 cocktails included in the price)
€40
per person
931 reviews
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Budapest Unlimited Prosecco Cruise
Budapest Unlimited Prosecco Cruise
A boat ride along the nighttime Danube...the unrivaled view of Budapest. Enjoy sipping on an unlimited supply of premium prosecco during your journey.
from €25
per person
3208 reviews
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Budapest City Discovery Tour
Budapest City Discovery Tour
Visit the famous Opera House, known as one of the most beautiful in the world, Heroes Square, the St. Stephen's Basilica, and more.
from €37
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620 reviews
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