Budapest is a charming city with a rich history and fine architecture. There is plenty to see and do in the vibrant Hungarian capital during the day, but you may prefer to stay out late because at night in Budapest is when the city comes to life.
A few fun activities you can do in Budapest at night include soaking in a thermal spa, exploring Buda Castle and catching a performance at the historic opera theatre. Have fun exploring the ruin bars and cruising the Danube to take in the city’s stunning architecture. Whatever you choose to do in this incredible capital, you will have a fantastic time. Here are the top nighttime activities in Budapest.
Budapest At Night
20 Things To Do In Budapest At Night
1- Enjoy A Dinner Cruise
Enjoy a delicious dinner while you drift peacefully along the Danube River in Budapest.
Nighttime cruises down the river are popular because of the twinkling lights and it’s an intimate experience in Budapest at night.
Even though there are numerous types of dinner cruises in Budapest, they are all enjoyable in their own way.
Each trip includes various dining options, such as meat dishes, vegetarian options, soups, salads and desserts.
As you unwind while tasting delicious Hungarian cuisine, you will see fascinating landmarks from the water, like the Parliament Building, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle and Citadel.
On this dinner cruise, you get to take in the sights and sounds of the city while dining on a traditional Hungarian meal and listening to live music.
2- Cycle Around Budapest
One of the best activities at night in Budapest is to go on a bike tour as a guided bike tour of Budapest will allow you to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks in a new light.
During a guided bike tour through Budapest, you’ll cycle through fascinating areas, including Heroes’ Square, Andrássy Avenue and the Budapest Danube waterfront.
The tour lasts for around three and a half hours.
It is led by knowledgeable guides who will also show you some of the city’s most impressive landmarks, including the historic city centre and the beautiful Parliament building.
On this extensive bike tour through Budapest, you may go at your own pace, stopping whenever you like to snap photos of the must-see landmarks along the way.
You will also cycle past places like City Park, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Liberty Square.
3- Enjoy Hungarian Wine Tasting
If you’re interested in wine, good food, and meeting friendly winemakers, a trip to Budapest is perfect for you.
Hungary is a unique wine destination with over 1500 years of winemaking history and different authentic grape varietals.
So visiting its capital city on a wine-tasting tour is no less of a treat.
There are several excellent wine tours and tastings in different corners of Budapest, and they all have their unique histories and vintages to share with visitors.
On this guided wine-tasting tour in Budapest, you can uncork various wines made from Hungarian grape varieties, learn about local wines and savour their flavours and aromas.
Pair your glass of wine with a range of Hungarian food, such as Tapas dishes made with local olives, ham, sausages, tomatoes and cheeses.
4- Take A Night Walking Tour Of Budapest
Explore Budapest at night when its famous historic buildings are lit up by going on a walking tour.
At night, several walking tours allow visitors to see the city’s stunning architecture in a new light.
On this intimate walking tour, you will learn about Hungarian history and hear fascinating stories about the city’s famous landmarks.
It’s a great way to visit some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Fisherman’s Bastion, enjoy views of the neighbourhoods of the Buda Hills and explore the Buda Castle area.
As a city with a rich history, it’s worth having a knowledgeable guide on hand to answer questions about Budapest’s history, attractions and culture.
They will give you insider tips and recommend everything from the greatest places to get street food to the best places to go on a date.
5- Take A Budapest Tuk Tuk Tour
If you don’t want to go on the traditional Budapest sightseeing tours, get an experience of the city on a tuk-tuk tour to see the major attractions.
These small vehicles have enough room for two persons to travel comfortably while being driven around the city by knowledgeable local guides.
A local guide will help you discover the beauty and pleasures of life in Budapest, regardless of whether you have a schedule in mind or prefer to be flexible with your plans.
You also have the chance to set the pace according to your preferences and interests.
A tuk-tuk ride also offers the flexibility to stop and take photos during the ride. You can get out of the tuk-tuk and walk around. Find out more about a private Tuk-tuk tour here.
6- Go On A Budapest River Cruise
See the sights from the river on one of the numerous night cruises in Budapest.
Every night, boats travel up and down the Danube, providing visitors with the opportunity to view Budapest’s landmarks from the water.
A variety of cruises are available, including those with cocktails, folk music, and sunset viewing. Check out this one.
Many tour companies even have boats that are heated in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer, making sightseeing enjoyable year-round.
Go on a cruise on the Danube to see some of the city’s iconic landmarks as you sip a drink while gliding past Buda Castle, the Royal Palace, Vigadó Concert Hall, Gellert Hill and the Budapest Parliament Building.
7- Explore The Buda Castle Labyrinth
The Buda Castle District is one of Budapest’s oldest districts and is home to an extensive network of underground caves and tunnels.
Carved out of the rock beneath the ground, the labyrinth was built in the Middle Ages and has many secrets untold over the centuries.
It served as a wine cellar, a bomb shelter during World War II, and even a prison where Vlad the Impaler was held.
You can explore the labyrinth cave system with your guide and discover more about its geology, significance and history.
A tour of the cave system is like going back in time, as you will learn not only about the history of Buda Castle but also how man and nature have shaped the area throughout the years. Here’s a walking tour you may like.
8- Watch The Sunset From Gellért Hill
Watching the sunset from a viewpoint in a city known for its beautiful architecture is an experience not to be missed, and Gellért Hill is one such site in Budapest.
While the climb up Gellért Hill can be challenging, the views from the top are well worth the effort.
Located atop the hill, the 19th-century fortification known as the Citadel has panoramic views of the city, its bridges and the Danube River.
You can begin the climb at the end of the Elisabeth Bridge or the Liberty Bridge. Both routes will take you to the summit in around 15 to 20 minutes.
Seeing the skies reflect off the Danube River and cast a warm glow over Budapest is an experience in and of itself, so if you have the time while in Budapest, you should head to the Citadel for this wonderful view.
9- Have Fun At A Ruin Bar
After World War II, which was followed by the Cold War, most buildings in Budapest’s historic Jewish district were dilapidated.
Several of these buildings have been elegantly reconstructed into hip, trendy bars known as ruin bars.
Although they don’t appear to be much from the outside, the interiors are everything but ordinary once you enter inside.
Exploring a ruin bar’s different levels and rooms after a few drinks is a lot of fun to discover hidden dance studios, unique antiques, eccentric furnishings and wall-to-wall artwork.
These unique bars are fantastic for unwinding and mingling in Budapest’s most extraordinary settings.
Underground, hard to find, unique, and outrageously cool, these bars have it all. Check out this ruin bar pub crawl with VIP entry.
10- See A Film In Open Air At The Rooftop Cinema
The Rooftop Cinema in Budapest is an unforgettable experience and a fantastic night out for all moviegoers.
Since 2013, this cinema has offered open-air screenings in various locations every week, intending to provide moviegoers with an experience different from the typical relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the busy week.
The Rooftop Cinema shows a wide range of films, from classics to popular contemporary films, and there is even the opportunity to see new films before they are released.
Like any good cinema, you may buy refreshments, and they even provide you with a blanket if you get cold during the screening.
Many people from the neighbouring area come to see the movies, which usually start between 8.30 and 9.15 pm.
11- Take A Dip At A Thermal Spa
A visit to Budapest isn’t complete without taking a dip in the soothing waters of the famous hot baths or thermal spas.
There are more than a hundred thermal baths across Budapest, all special in their own right, each offering something different.
The most popular of these is the Neo-Baroque Szechenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest, which has three massive outdoor pools and 15 indoor ones. This is where you can join the ultimate late-night spa party.
The Gellért Baths is the second most visited bath in Budapest, after the Széchenyi, and is designed with turquoise ceramic tiles that reflect the abundant natural light that streams in through the skylights.
The Rudas Thermal Baths complex also dates back to the 16th century and includes a hammam and thermal spring.
You can unwind in the rooftop hot bath or swim in the ancient octagonal pool covered by a domed ceiling.
12- See A Show At The Hungarian State Opera House
The Hungarian State Opera House is an excellent cultural centre to visit in Hungary, especially if you enjoy ballet, opera or classical performances.
It’s the largest and most important theatre in Hungary and also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Budapest, with a beautiful interior and exterior.
It is one of Europe’s finest opera theatres, thanks to its blend of Neo-Renaissance and baroque styles design.
This elaborately furnished structure has earned its reputation as a masterpiece of Hungarian design, decorated with sculptures and paintings by some of the most famous artists of the time.
Since the late 19th century, the Hungarian State Opera House has played host to some of the world’s most prestigious operatic performances, including many famous Hungarian and foreign artists.
If you are in the area outside of the summer, check out one of their shows, but the only way to get a good seat at any performance is to buy tickets in advance.
13- Visit St Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica, located in the heart of Budapest, is the city’s largest church and tallest structure, standing 314 feet (96 m).
This 18th-century church is open during the day if you want to climb to the roof and enjoy fantastic city views.
A guided tour offers insights about its history and artworks.
At night, admire its lovely Neoclassical architecture and visit the basilica to see the mummified hand of Saint Stephen I, the first king of Hungary, after whom the church was named.
The church also hosts concerts regularly, during which you can listen to outstanding musicians performing the very best of classical music.
14- Ride the Budapest Eye
The Budapest Eye is a 213 ft (65 m) tall Ferris wheel in Erzsébet Square, in the very heart of Budapest.
It can be spotted from far away because it towers over nearby structures.
From a seat in the sky, you can see all across Budapest, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Hungarian Parliament.
Despite being a tourist attraction, taking a ride here is still one of the nicest things to do in Budapest once the sun goes down.
Take a ride in the partially open cabins of this massive wheel if you’re not afraid of heights and are in the mood for a breathtaking panorama of Budapest.
Rides take about 8 to 10 minutes and make three circuits.
You might be forced to wait in line for quite a while during the busy season, but the scenery is well worth the wait.
15- Spend Time In Gozsdu Udvar
Gozsdu Udvar is one of the most rapidly developing centres in downtown Budapest, having been transformed from an abandoned area by reconstruction efforts beginning in the early 2000s.
The area is perfect for a night out if you’re looking for a wide selection of restaurants, bars and cultural events all in one place.
The seven buildings and courtyards that make up its 656 ft (200 m) length represent unique styles and provide a colourful experience for people of all ages.
Many tourists flock to this entertainment centre to rub shoulders with locals and other visitors and to soak up the area’s vibrant nature.
Practice your pitch at a karaoke bar or relax over a nice meal during a fun night out in Budapest.
16- Party At A38
The A38 is a two-story ship docked at the base of Petofi Bridge that serves as a bar, nightclub, and music venue all year round.
Formerly a Ukrainian stone carrier, A38 has become one of the hottest night spots in Hungary since it opened in April 2003.
The A38 was built in 1938 but was pulled from Ukraine to Budapest and completely reconstructed before reopening.
Once on board, choose from various entertainment options, including the roof terrace, a restaurant and a lively lounge and club.
Enjoy a scenic panorama of the city’s southern attractions like the Bálna building, the National Theatre, the Ludwig Museum and Müpa Budapest.
At the A38, you will always have a fantastic time, whether you are there for a show, a party or simply a few drinks on the top deck and patio. Join this bar crawl for fun at night.
17- Enjoy The Stunning Scenery At 360 Bar
360 Bar Budapest, as the name suggests, offers a spectacular 360-degree panorama of Budapest, possibly the most incredible view of any rooftop bar in Budapest.
This relaxed and urban rooftop bar in the business district of Pest is ideal for some relaxing cocktails while taking in the sights.
The roof terrace is vast and open, with igloo-like pods that soak up the sun from morning to night.
In the winter, you’ll stay warm in pods while admiring the city’s fairytale scenery.
The rooftop bar serves fantastic cocktails, great wine, and comfort snacks like mac and cheese, burgers, salads and sausages if you are hungry after dinner.
Because of its relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, 360 Bar is a favourite among young people.
On a good day, it’s best to get here early or make a reservation, as the bar tends to fill up quickly.
18- Go Clubbing At Instant-Fogas
The Instant-Fogas party complex in Budapest is a great place to spend the night and probably the best ruin bar experience you will ever have.
This ruin bar was created in 2017 when two popular ruin bars, Fogasház and Instant, merged to become the go-to spot for partygoers seeking an unforgettable night out in Budapest.
In its current form, the trendy club is one of the largest in Europe, with 18 bar counters, seven dance floors, and two outside gardens, making it ideal for a celebration.
The club has a dynamic atmosphere, vibrant energy and the DJs play music that will have you on your feet all night long.
Instant-Fogas Complex is one of the few nightclubs that stay open till sunrise.
19- View Budapest From The Fisherman’s Bastion
Visiting Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the top things to do in Budapest, night or day.
One of Budapest’s architectural highlights, Fisherman’s Bastion looks like something out of a storybook.
The beautiful towers and ornate fortifications were constructed in the 19th century, not to serve as a defence but to provide the best panoramas of Budapest.
There is no doubt that Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest is one of the best tourist spots in the city, attracting visitors from far and wide.
With views over the Danube, Buda Castle and Castle Hill, the Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best places to go for a view.
20- Explore The Buda Castle
Buda Castle is a remarkable castle and one of Budapest’s most magnificent symbols, along with the Chain Bridge to which it is linked.
Lovers of culture, art, and exploration can easily spend an entire day at the castle.
There are several things to do, as it houses the Budapest History Museum, the Hungarian National Gallery and the National Széchényi Library.
For those on a tighter budget, the grounds of the Buda Castle are free to explore.
The castle is perched high above Castle Hill and commands breathtaking views of Pest and the Danube below.
The castle complex is incredibly stunning when both the Chain Bridge and the Castle are lit up at night. You may like this tour of the castle.
For more exciting cities at night, read: