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Off-Beat Budapest: The 7 Most Exciting Alternative Experiences in the Hungarian Capital

Budapest is packed with quirky, offbeat experiences and activities
Budapest is packed with quirky, offbeat experiences and activities | © Alpineguide / Alamy Stock Photo
Get a little off the beaten path in Budapest. Culture Trip’s curated list of unusual tours and experiences will help you discover a different side to the Hungarian capital.

Budapest may be full of history, but that doesn’t mean the city isn’t packed with quirky, offbeat experiences and activities to discover beyond the thermal baths for which it is known. Whether it’s exploring the labyrinthine network of caves underneath the Buda Hills, learning how to bake authentic Hungarian pastries or seeing filming locations from Hollywood blockbusters up close, Budapest boasts myriad alternative experiences for those looking to uncover.

ToursVirtual Reality Walking Tour
From $20 per person
75 to 95 minutes
Thanks to modern technology, history is closer than ever! This programme is not just a sightseeing tour; it’s a time-travelling journey. Don’t read about history! Relive it! Our programme is an audio-guided virtual reality walking tour in the Buda Castle area, where you get an insight into Budapest’s history. We will not only talk about the times and events that shaped the city; we will show them! On this tour, you’ll explore key moments in the city’s history, including the construction of the castle in the Middle Ages, the intense battles of World War II and the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. Expect a truly unique tour of one of the world’s most stunning locations! Prepare yourself for a mind-bending 3D virtual reality experience, packed with action and amazing visuals!
ToursCaving Under Budapest
From $54 per person
3 hours
Join us on this adventurous tour around Hungary’s largest cave. During the caving tour, you will often have to climb on walls and crawl through narrow passages. Age limit: 8-55 years.
ToursFilm Locations Tour in Budapest With a Local
From $33 per person
3 hours
Are you a film fanatic and want to walk through famous film locations? This private guided tour will take you around the locations that have been used in a number of films to depict a variety of other cities! Your local host will transport you to a plethora of different cities, locations and times during your three-hour tour.
ActivitiesHungarian Baking & Pastry Course
From $120 per person
4 hours
5 (2)
This four-hour introduction to the world of Hungarian desserts is not just for those with a sweet tooth. On my pastry course I would like to share my family recipes. We bake sweet cakes and salty langos, some of which are really easy and others a bit more complicated, but we do everything together. At the end of the programme we have nothing more to do than to taste the result of our efforts. You can choose one menu from the following:
  • Menu A: Langos (deep-fried flatbread), baked pancake with cottage cheese cream, gerbeaud layer cake
  • Menu B: Langos (deep-fried flatbread), strudel (with filo dough), dobos cake
ClassPrivate Hungarian Language Class
From $42 per person
1 hour
5 (1)
The Hungarian language is widely regarded as being too difficult for a foreigner to even attempt to understand – but with our lighthearted one-hour ‘fungarian’ classes, visitors receive an easy introduction to the Magyars’ playfully poetic language. Held amid informal settings, classes are personalised to teach basics like survival phrases and polite ways to interact with locals.
ToursBuda Castle Night-Time Dark History and Vampire Walking Tour
From $24 per person
2 hours
4.5 (8)
Spend two hours exploring the exterior of the Buda Castle district by night, as your storyteller talks you through Hungary’s bloody past. Familiarise yourself with the myths of Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Báthory, as well the vampire stories of the 19th century. Note that Mysterium Tours does NOT do typical guided tours; these are immersive storytelling experiences about legends, histories and tales not always associated with the building we stand in front of.
ActivitiesEasy Cooking Class Budapest With Market Walk
From $98 per person
5 hours
5 (6)
Learn about Hungarian culture and cuisine on this 4.5-hour cooking class and market walk. Visit one of Budapest’s historical markets with a guide before attending a class at a boutique cooking school. Prepare a four-course meal, taste an authentic fruit brandy called palinka and sip local wine. Vegetarian options are available if requested at the time of booking.