Things to Do in Budapest in April

This post covers the top things to do in Budapest in April (updated for 2020), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.

 


TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO APRIL

Below are the top 10 things to do in Budapest this April. Below are some popular posts where you can learn about year-round attractions in Budapest:


1. Budapest Art Week

This annual fine arts festival takes place between April 9- 14, 2020.

For anyone who likes the fine arts and plans to go to many of Budapest’s best museums, this event is absolutely worth the cost of a ticket. 

 

 

For under 20 euros, you get a ticket valid for six days that gets you free access to 70 locations (museums, galleries and exhibition halls) and 150 events such as free guided art tours, lectures, workshops, and performances.

See the full Budapest Art Week program.

If you are not in town those dates or are interested in visiting lots of museums, you should look into getting a Budapest tourist discount pass, some of which include free entry to 19 museums.


2. Visit St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szt Istvan Bazilika) is Hungary’s largest church. The basilica is stunning, inside and out.

It is free to visit – in fact seeing the basilica is one of the best free things to do Budapest.

 

 

From its dome, you will get fantastic views of Budapest. Note that there is a small fee to go up into the dome.

Because the basilica has so much history and architectural detail, some people like to take a guided tour for more insight.

This skip the line guided tour includes a quick entrance into the basilica, a 60 minute guided tour and a visit to the dome for panoramic views of Budapest. 


3. Take a Walking Tour

Budapest is a fairly walkable city, making it ideal for exploring on foot. You can do this on your own but you can also take a free walking tour to gain insight into the city’s history from a knowledgeable and entertaining guide.

 

 

Free tours cover various parts of the city and take place at different times.

Find out more about what’s available from pour post on free walking tours of Budapest.


4. Budapest Spring Festival

This annual performance festival takes place between April 3 – 19, 2020. Over two weeks there are special live performances at dozens of venues in Budapest.

There will be classical music, opera, jazz, world music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. 

 

 

If you are looking for evening activities, you will have numerous choices during this festival. See the festival’s website for the program and to buy tickets.

For other evening activities, see our section below on things to do at night.


5. Go to the Easter Fair on Vorosmarty Square

Budapest celebrates Easter with various markets, festivals, and activities throughout the city. One of the most popular Easter fairs is at Vorosmarty Square in the city center (map).

At the market consisting of many wooden huts with crafts vendors, you can shop for traditional items like pottery, woven baskets, and of course, painted eggs.

 

 

There will be demonstrations by basket weavers and blacksmiths. Special family craft activities take place and there will be traditional live music as well.

Be sure to try some of the traditional Hungarian foods that will be available for purchase. 


6. Save Money With a Tourist Pass

If you’re planning to visit multiple locations or enjoy a variety of activities in Budapest, using a tourist pass could save you a lot of money on general admission prices.

 

 

Depending on which pass you choose and how you use it, you could save 20% – 50% off or more on the following:

  • Danube Wine Tasting Cruise | €33
  • Budapest Tuk Tuk Tour | €47
  • Organ Concert in St. Stephen’s Basilica | €20
  • Szechenyi Thermal Baths | €21
  • Gellert Thermal Spa & Bath | €22
  • Budapest Caving Adventure | €44
  • Miniversum Theme Park | €11
  • Museum of Fine Arts | €9.50
  • The Ludwig Museum | €4.75
  • Hungarian National Museum | €7.75
  • City Park Segway Tour | €32
  • Budapest Night Bike Tour | €25
  • and more!

For more information about how to use a tourist pass and how much money you can save, make sure to read our post covering Budapest tourist attraction discount passes.


7. Honor Memorial Day of the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust

Every April 16th, Hungary pauses to remember more than half-a-million Hungarian Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. 

The history of Jews in Hungary dates back over 1,000 years. To take a deep dive into the history and culture of Budapest’s Jews by taking a Jewish Heritage Walking Tour.

 

 

Most tours include a walk through the old Jewish Quartier, a visit to the Dohány Street Synagogue, the Hungarian Jewish Museum, Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park, Kazinczy Street Synagogue and more.

There are so many Jewish Heritage Walking Tours to choose from. See the choices here.


8. Take an Easter Cruise

Budapest takes Easter seriously and you may find many activities and attractions closed for the day – or even all of Easter weekend (April 10-13, 2020).

Fortunately, cruises on the Danube run the entire weekend. You can choose a daytime cruise or for a magical evening, take a night cruise.

 

 

There are all kinds of tours, some as short as an hour and others that include a full dinner by candlelight accompanied by live music. 

See the many Danube cruises in Budapest available.


9. Enjoy the Great Outdoors on Margaret Island

This island in the middle of the Danube was once home to several churches and nunneries. 

Today it is a recreational island with a number of things to see, including some of the old ruins.

There is also a Rose Garden, a Japanese Garden, a musical fountain, and an Art Nouveau style water tower.

 

 

To see a lot of the island and learn about its history, you can take a guided Segway tour of Margaret Island.

For recreation, you can visit the island’s swimming pools or thermal baths. There are also bicycles, electric scooters, golf carts available to rent.

Learn more about the history of Margaret Island here.


10. Ride the Funicular

The most enjoyable way to reach Buda Castle is by riding the funicular tram. The views of the Danube, the Chain Bridge, and the Pest side of the city are fantastic! 

Tickets cost HUF 1,200 ($4) one-way, and HUF 1,800 ($6) for a return, less for children.

 

 

Be sure to check the website for any closures for monthly maintenance.  In April 2020, the funicular will be out of service for repairs on April 6 and April 20.

This activity is very family-friendly. It is also an excellent thing to do at night, as the tram stays open until 22:00 (10 pm) every night of the week.

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

Budapest has a vibrant nightlife and there are plenty of things to do. Some of the activities in other sections of this post can be enjoyed at night like riding the funicular and going to the Budapest Spring Festival.

Below are a few more nighttime activities.

 

 

Find even more things to do after dark from our post on things to do in Budapest.


Take a Night Bus Tour

Budapest is especially beautiful at night with its lit-up landmarks. After a long day of walking around the city, sit back and relax on a nighttime bus tour.

Just a few of the sights you’ll see are the Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Heroes’ Square and more. Night bus tours of Budapest are surprisingly affordable. See all the options from our post on Budapest Bus Tours.


Stroll Along Andrassy Avenue

Known as the Champs-Élysées of Budapest, this elegant boulevard is so special it is a World Heritage Site. Strolling along the Avenue you will see some of Budapest’s grandest architecture.

From stately residential buildings to cafes and restaurants, cultural buildings, and luxury stores, Andrassy Avenue is a great place to experience Budapest at night.


Saturday Night Parties at Szechenyi Spa and Baths 

Budapest is known for its huge historic bathhouses. Going to a bathhouse is one of the most popular things to do in the city. 

On Saturday nights in April, you can combine the unique experience of going to a bathhouse with a party atmosphere by going to a ‘Sparty” at the massive Szechenyi Spa and Baths.


Ride the Budapest Ferris Wheel

Budapest’s giant Ferris wheel, nicknamed the Budapest Eye, offers spectacular views of the city. It’s 65 metres (214 ft.) tall, making it one of the largest Ferris wheels in Europe.

Located in Erzsébet Square Park in Budapest’s city center, the Budapest Eye has late visiting hours. making it a fun thing to do at night. And it’s open every day of the year – even Easter weekend this April. 

The hours are Mon & Tues 10:00 – 23:00 / Wed & Thurs 10:00 – 24:00 / Fri & Sat 10:00 – 01:00 / Sun 10:00 – 24:00

Ticket Prices:

  • Adult ticket 3,000 HUF / 10 EUR (ages 12-65)
  • Child ticket 1,500 HUF / 5 EUR (ages 2-12)
  • Family ticket 7,800 HUF / 26 EUR (2 adults and 2 children under 12) 
  • Discount ticket 2,700 HUF / 9 EUR (students, seniors over 65 years)
  • Priority ticket 3,900 HUF / 13 EUR – jump the queues and board more quickly

See the website for more information.

See more nighttime activities listed in our things to do in Budapest.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO

Budapest has many things to do for free. Some of the items listed in other sections of this post are free like strolling down Andrassy Avenue and visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica. 

Here are a few more free activities to do in Budapest in April.

 

 

In our post on things to do in Budapest, you’ll find more free activities.


Visit Buda Castle

This is the site where, since the year 1247, various royal palaces and residences stood. It’s no longer royal in any way. 

The Castle is part of a complex of attractions and buildings, including a historic fort, several Budapest museums, and lovely courtyards and grounds.

It is free to visit Buda Castle’s grounds. You can take a free walking tour if you like. 

There is a fee to enter the various museums, but those with the Budapest Card get free entrance to two of the museums on site. 


Get a Great View from the Fisherman’s Bastion 

Head to the Fisherman’s Bastion for one of the best views in the city. Stand on the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces for expansive views of the city.

It is located within the complex of Buda Castle. It’s free to visit, but if you want to explore the upper towers there is a charge. 


See the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial

April 16 is Memorial Day of the Hungarian Victims of the Holocaust. Commemorate the day with a visit to this moving outdoor memorial.

Between 1944 and 1945, as many as 20,000 of Budapest’s Jews were taken from the Jewish ghetto and executed on the banks of the River Danube. Before being shot, they were ordered to remove their shoes. 

This memorial consists of 60 pairs of rusted iron shoes representing those who were massacred along the riverbanks.

 Click here to find the location on a map.


Shop at Central Market Hall 

At over 100,000 square feet, Central Market is Budapest’s most expansive indoor market. It’s three floors of shops and food stalls and it’s free to enter. 

Some food stalls even offer free samples, so you can try traditional Hungarian food. The market is open every day of the week but Sunday. Hours and information can be found here.

You can find additional free activities by reading our post on things to do in Budapest.

 


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FAMILY-FRIENDLY 

Budapest is very family-friendly. There are countless events, attractions, and activities that engage kids of all ages.

In other sections of this post, you will find other family-friendly activities, like going to Margaret Island, riding the funicular, and going to the Oldtimer Car Show. Be sure to read through the other sections for more ideas.

 

 

For more suggestions on how to spend your family time, see our post on things to do in Budapest.


See the Miniversum

This is one of the largest miniature exhibitions in the world. In this miniature world, you will see landmarks of Budapest and other areas of Hungary. 

The Miniversum contains 14 towns and cities with 1200 metres of rail tracks running through them. The exhibition features 5000 miniature figures, 1000 motor cars, and 100 moving trains.

This is a very interactive experience and will entertain kids of all ages – including the kid in all of us!

Purchase tickets here.


Ride the Children’s Railway  

This railway is truly a children’s railway as it is run by kids aged 10-14  (under the supervision of adults).

This railway line runs through the scenic Buda hills, making stops at several recreational spots. 

Tickets are 700 HUF ($2.35) for adults and 350 HUF ($1.15) for children one-way. A timetable can be found here.


Visit the House of Houdini 

Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz), one of the world’s most well-known magicians, was born in Budapest.

This small museum houses memorabilia such as Houdini’s straight-jackets, handcuffs, letters, and more. There is also a 15-minute live magic show which the kids will especially enjoy. 

The museum is open 7 days a week from 10:00 am till 19:00 (7 pm).

Tickets are € 8 for adults and € 6 for children under 11.  See their website for more information.


Budapest Zoo and Botanical Gardens

At the Budapest Zoo, you and your family can see over 9,000 animals! 

You can easily spend a full day here visiting sloths, pandas, and other furry and not-so-furry creatures.

There are activities as well to keep children including the feeding of giraffes and a seal show.

Adult Tickets are 3,300 HUF ($11). Children’s Tickets are 2,200 HUF ($7.30). Family tickets (2 adults, 1 child) are 8000 HUF ($25.50).

Plan your visit by visiting the zoo’s website.  

Be sure to check our post on things to do in Budapest for more family-friendly activities.

 


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