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Known for its history, architecture and old world charm, Budapest is also a very child friendly city, with plenty for families to see and do. You’ll never be bored in the Hungarian capital when traveling with kids, so read on for our tips on exploring as a family.
Budapest’s zoo is a popular attraction for both kids and grown ups, with over 500 species of animal calling it their home. Having opened its doors in 1866, it’s one of the oldest zoos in the world and today plays host to animals including lions, meerkats and kangaroos. Laid out by habitat, with an Australia zone, a Savannah zone and an India zone to name just a few, its size means it’s a great way to while away a day. There’s also a butterfly garden and a botanical garden to explore. The zoo’s architecture is yet another reason to visit: housed in a stunning Art Nouveau building, it’s a must-see for architecture lovers.
Once a disused dam, a recent renovation project turned this space into a well landscaped outdoor park on the Danube, making for a relaxing place to spend an afternoon. As well as plenty of space to run around, there are also restaurants, cafés and a kids’ playground to enjoy. The sandy beach is a great place for a game of volleyball, while the abundance of facilities and entertainment options mean it’s easy to spend time here without wanting for anything. Pack a picnic and enjoy the peaceful green surroundings.
Tip: Margaret Island is more centrally located and another great option for a day out at the park.
For an active day out, Budapest’s Aquaworld water park is a great option. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 11 water slides, a kids’ pool, a wave pool and much more await visitors. There’s also a kids’ club complete with ball pool, climbing wall and obstacle course, while the professional child minders are happy to watch young visitors while parents relax in the water park or sauna world.
Aquaworld Resort Budapest, Íves út 16, Budapest, Hungary +36 (1) 231 3600
Often praised as one of Budapest’s best child friendly attractions, the Natural History Museum is sure to entertain curious young minds. A fin whale skeleton can be seen upon entry; the museum’s permanent exhibition takes a look at the evolution of man and nature in the Carpathian Basin, making for an interesting and educational look at Hungary’s natural history. Temporary exhibitions add a further dimension, with previous exhibits focusing on the Ice Age and the Dinosaurs. There are also regular activities and interactive displays, adding an additional level of entertainment for younger family members.
An interactive science museum presenting exhibits focused around physics with the aim of making science fascinating and fun to learn about, the Center of Scientific Wonders boasts two locations in Budapest. At both, visitors are encouraged to interact with exhibits centered on topics including illusion, sound and gravity, with installations accompanied by English instructions and information. There are also 4D film screenings and physics shows (it’s worth checking ahead for a timetable of English performances, which can also be requested in advance).
Csopa Campona, Nagytétényi út 37-43., Budapest, Hungary +36-1-814-80-50
Csopa Playbar, Bécsi út 38-44., Budapest, Hungary +36-1-814-80-60
Freshly baked pizzas, salads and pastas are all on the menu at this bustling Italian restaurant in central Budapest. It’s popular with both locals and visitors thanks to its friendly prices and lively atmosphere. The child friendly menu makes it a hit with families as well: book ahead to be sure of a table.
Caffé Gian Mario, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 35, Budapest, Hungary +36 (1) 269 5044
An eatery with a difference, this restaurant and café is home to a variety of different species of animal – from parrots to dragons. Visitors are able to pet them, with supervision from their handlers who are also happy to share information about each resident of the café. Food is simple and tasty, with snacks, desserts and a range of drinks available.
Zoo Café, Fejér György u. 3, Budapest, Hungary +36 (30) 791 3776
In the heart of Budapest, this popular restaurant serves up a mixture of traditional Hungarian dishes such as goulash alongside cuisine with a slightly more modern twist. As well as being a great place to taste local specialties, it’s also very child friendly: there’s a kids menu and a children’s corner to keep little ones occupied.
VakVarjú, Paulay Ede u. 7, Budapest, Hungary +36 1 268 08 88
While Budapest is an incredibly walkable city, there is also a well-connected public transport network made up of trams, buses, metro trains and trolleys. Single tickets are available and must always be validated either before travel (in the case of the metro) or on board. However, when traveling as a family it can be more economical to purchase a travel card. A 24 hour group travel card is available for up to 5 people, while children under school age travel free. Check out the public transport website for more information.