Every minute spent with the love of your life feels like you are in seventh heaven. Naturally, you want to give her the best and most romantic journey possible. I’ll tell you a secret: Budapest is the number one choice for a romantic journey.
Want to know why? I can list at least 20 romantic things to do for memorable moments. And I am going to share them with you now!
Table of Contents
1-8. Romantic things to do for the lovers of nature and the city
9-15. Romantic things to do in Budapest for adventure seekers
16-20. Romantic things to do for the lovers of classical dating programs
Romantic things to do for the lovers of nature and the city
1. A romantic picnic and bubble blowing at Margaret Island
Don’t forget to get the following items before heading off to a most romantic day in Budapest:
- a blanket
- a bottle of rosé wine from a famous Hungarian winery (e.g. Vylyan, Bodri, Sauska, Dúzsi Tamás)
- diced cheese bites
- sliced sausage (Békéscsaba or Gyula) or Black Forest ham
- sliced apples
- a bubble blower
All these items can be bought at the Great Market Hall – the place where you can easily lose yourself among the stalls offering the wonders of Hungarian gastronomy. Pack them in your bag, hop on tram 4-6 or walk to Margaret Bridge and let the romance begin.
Sunshine, hot summer breeze, gently rustling giant trees – Margaret Island is the oasis of peace and quietness in the heart of Budapest. Stretching out in the protective embrace of the Danube, it is a true paradise where souls hungry for peace meet. Last but not least, it is the most romantic place in all of Budapest.
Would you like to know where to find the most romantic places in Budapest? If your answer is yes, read my article on this topic.
You can already feel the idyll of the island while walking along Margaret Bridge. Turning toward the entrance of the island, leaving behind the rumbling sound of tram 4-6 and the sound of the rushing traffic, you start hearing kids’ laughter, dogs barking and people talking.
The playful and rumbling sound of the Musical Fountain – that “gives concerts” in the evening – invites you in. Cyclists and runners pass you by only to disappear in the density of the ancient trees, just like you and your partner. A few more steps and you will be embraced by the silence, nature, and the idyll of this amazing place.
Margaret Island belongs to everyone. No matter where you lay out your blankets, you can surrender yourselves to tranquility under the cooling shade of the ancient sycamore and oak trees stretching into the sky.
Take out the great Hungarian rosé, sausages, cheese, and the apples and enjoy the parade of flavors! Talk; tell each other untold stories you had no time for in the rush of everyday life. Whisper sweet nothings to each other or give yourselves a kiss or two; no one will bother on Margaret Island.
And once there is no more wine, delicacies, or stories left, it is time for a truly memorable program. There is a day at the end of August when everything is about colorful bubbles on Margaret Island.
Hundreds of people gather on the Lower Great Meadow next to the statue of Imre Madách to blow colorful bubbles toward the sky for hours. The spectacle of the sunlight on the tiny or giant bubbles is just amazing! Join in with the hundreds of Hungarians blowing bubbles and enjoy the small pleasures of life!
2. Hiking to Elizabeth Lookout Tower, lifted over the city
If you are tired of the buzzing city and would like to enjoy the vicinity of nature, then you will be fascinated by the chairlift on János Hill and the Elizabeth Lookout Tower. Pack a bottle of water, some fruit and sandwiches, and head for one of the most beautiful lookout towers in Budapest.
You can either hike up the 528 meter-high János Hill – the highest mountain in Budapest – or get on the Zugliget Chairlift instead. I would leave the chairlift to the end if I were you.
The hike of roughly one and a half hours up the hill is an extraordinary experience in itself. But, honestly, a bit of physical preparation might be useful as there are steep climbs, switchbacks, and stairways most of the way. You can have a rest halfway up the hill at Tündér-szikla (Fairy Rock) and enjoy the magnificent view of the area. The second part of the hike is a bit challenging, but nothing is impossible if you are supported by friends.
In the end, all the hard work will be rewarded with a picnic at the foot of the fabulous Elizabeth Lookout Tower – the highest point of Budapest. The Neo-Romanesque building – erected in 1910 – was named after the revered Hungarian Queen who had visited János Hill several times before the tower was built.
The lookout tower – that also operated as a meteorological station for a long time – was the first location in Budapest to become illuminated at night. As a result, the city government was soon encouraged to illuminate the Parliament and the Fisherman’s Bastion as well.
Once you’ve gained back your strength, it is worth climbing the ancient spiral staircase leading up to the terraces of the 23-meter-high tower where you can enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the Buda Hills. To my fellow men, the best time for a visit is right before sunset when the stunning sight may provide the perfect setting for a proposal. 🙂
After the lookout tower and a cup of coffee, it is time for a well-deserved chairlift ride where you can admire the view of the surrounding nature and the whole capital spreading below. In clear weather, you will see not only the peaks of the Pilis Hills, the Buda and Pest side, and the fields surrounding the capital, but also the green forests of the Gödöllő Hills.
And there are many things happening right under your feet as well: hikers walking up the hills, cars passing by on the road and you can also peek into some private gardens on your way down. What is more, if you happen to be there in spring, you might even see the race called “Előzd meg a libegőt!” (Run faster than the chairlift) where runners try to arrive at the top station of the lift as quickly as possible. Cheer for them!
3. Romantic train ride as if we were children
There is a railway in the heart of the Buda Hills that is managed by children. It is like we have stepped into the realms of Lilliput – whistles blown by smiling children at boarding and they are the ones checking the tickets on the carriages, too. The Children’s Railway travels through lush green forests, into a secret world that is far from the constant noise of the city and where the air is as clear as a mountain stream.
The Children’s Railway – with its 11-kilometer-line – was included in the Guinness Book of Records in 2015 as the longest railway line where traffic and commercial services are all provided by children.
The train chugging at the speed of 20 km/h gets from Széchényi Hill to Hűvösvölgy in about 45 minutes. The Children’s Railway – built in the late 1940s – became the center of the Pioneer Movement of the socialist system.
According to the ideology of the time, the railway used to be one of the means of socialist education, the arena preparing children for creative and productive work. Only excellent students could perform service at the “Pioneer Railway”, problematic ones were not allowed to take part in the work. A mark 3 (grade C) from any subject was an excluding factor.
There were multiple oversubscriptions (up to a tenfold in the 1970s) during its existence. Getting into the Pioneer Railroad equaled the glory of a successful university acceptance for the children of the party clerks. The Children’s Railway Museum located in the Hűvösvölgy station building presents the history of the narrow-gauge railway.
If you combine the train ride with a visit to the Elizabeth Lookout Tower and the chairlift, you will have a whole-day unique excursion.
4. Roman holiday at the bank of the Danube
Not Italian, still Roman. What is it? It is the Roman Beach in Óbuda lending a little Mediterranean atmosphere to Budapest. Just walk past Margaret and Hajógyári Island and under Újpest Railway Bridge until you reach the part of the city called Rómaifürdő.
But why are there so many Italian names in the Hungarian capital? Remember the Roman Empire from History class? Well, Óbuda used to be a Roman military camp and civil settlement under the name of Aquincum from 89 BC until the 4th century. You can even see the nearly two-thousand-year-old ruins in the Aquincum Museum and Archaeological Park.
If you are unsure of which museums you should visit, here is a list of the best ones. For further information see this.
But let’s get back to the present now. There is no summer in Budapest without the Roman Beach. It puts the concept of romantic walks into a new perspective. Spice up the bustling seaside promenade atmosphere with a large amount of Budapest retro feeling and authentic Hungarian buffet dishes and there you have it – the Roman Beach.
Try hake and lángos (fried scones), the star dishes of Hungarian summers, in the iconic buffets like Platán and Evezős Sörkert. But if you are looking for something a bit more ruin barish, stop at Kék Rombusz. You can finish the day with a delicious fried scone-pancake dinner in the buses facing each other.
Looking for something more Mediterranean? Head for Fellini! It can easily be spotted as there are lines of striped sunbeds on the pebble beach of the Danube evoking the Italian summer beach atmosphere. Ask for a panini or an Argentinian Balkán Balhé, then drink a Belgian beer or a mint lemonade! Take a seat in one of the striped sunbeds and listen to the softly rustling live music and the roar of wavers washing the pebbles on the beach. Is there a more romantic way to have dinner?
5. Boating in summer, skating in winter
The Városliget Lake in the heart of the downtown right next to Heroes’ Square is the perfect choice for a romantic activity all year round.
The playful sunlight lighting up on the lake, strolling under the old oaks, and cedars may already be the opening scene of a romantic novel. Still, it can be further enhanced.
Make it a real Hollywood experience and rent a boat on the Boating Lake and admire the fairytale-like Vajdahunyad Castle, the lazily floating ducks, and the building of the Boating Lake flying you to the historical past while rocking softly on the water. Share earphones and listen to music together and surrender to this amazing idyll.
Don’t worry – you don’t need to give up on romance in winter either. In the cold months, the Boating Lake is turned into the largest ice surface in Budapest called the Műjégpálya (Ice Skating Rink).
Can you imagine anything more romantic than holding hands and skating together on the beautifully lit ice with the castle and the building of the City Park Skating Rink covered in fog and snow in the background?
Take a break between two rounds and warm yourselves up with mulled wine or hot tea! Dance your own moves at the Ice Disco on Friday and Saturday where music is provided by the best Hungarian DJs! A selfie together is a must!
6. Cruises on the Danube
It is a dating program that should not be missed if you are in Budapest. No matter if you go on a boat trip during the day or at night, you will love Budapest in both cases.
During the day, you can choose from a variety of guided cruise programs and admire the Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Parliament, and the most beautiful bridges while floating down slowly on the Danube.
Tour guides will make sure that you find out all the interesting facts about the iconic buildings of Budapest. You can combine the trip with a pleasant lunch, tasting fine wines, enjoying the sunshine and warm breeze on the open docks in summer.
Dinner cruises are the queens of romance. There are countless possibilities and the experience can be enhanced in several stages from simple wine dinners to folklore performances and party ships. Pick a program together!
Would you like to have a candlelit dinner with pleasant piano music or a night of refreshing Hungarian dance? Whichever you choose, don’t forget to admire the Budapest night lights while standing by the boat railing with a glass of wine in your hands. It is definitely an irrevocable moment!
7. Kissing on the bridges of the Danube
This idea comes from a Russian friend of mine. He and his girlfriend traveled on the metro lines of Moscow and kissed at the most beautiful stops, then took a picture of themselves. I liked the idea so much that I decided to do the photo series in Budapest.
Since the metro stations are not nearly as beautiful as in Moscow, so I found more worthy places for the pictures. This is how the choice fell on the bridges of Budapest.
Looking for a truly unique experience and memory from Budapest? Take the “Kisses on the bridges” photo challenge. Kiss in the middle of every bridge from Rákóczi Bridge to Árpád Bridge and take a photo of yourselves.
During the challenge, you will see the most beautiful sights in Budapest, such as the Parliament and the Várkert Bazár (Castle Garden Bazaar). It is a truly unique experience with truly unique photos and a true sightseeing tour. You will always remember this adventurous day by developing the pictures on the bridges as a montage.
Would you like to know more about the beautiful yet ill-fated bridges of Budapest? You will find all the information you need in my article.
8. A zooper date!
Although families with children would think of the zoo as a possible activity, I encourage you to visit the over 150-year-old Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden spreading out on 18-hectare land.
It is a whole day program for adults as well. It is like a romantic maze with its winding paths and themed houses. Find your favorite animals and capture the moment with a photograph or linger among the breathtaking plants of the Palm House. But if you love the hustle and bustle of animal feeding and shows, you should go and enjoy them or sit in and watch one of the 3D films in the Magic Mountain.
Don’t miss the different games and toys – the mementos of the late Budapest Amusement Park – either. The Old Carousel – built back in 1908 – is still operating today as a remaining legend of the 20th-century fun-fairs. Just imagine how romantic it is to get lost in each other’s eyes holding hands circling in the carousel.
And if you are already there, get on the old wooden roller coaster because there are only ten such wooden structure roller coasters in the world left.
Screaming and laughing together bring everyone closer. 😉
Romantic things to do in Budapest for adventure seekers
9. Escape together!
Budapest is the city of riddles and games, and also the paradise of escape rooms. If you think that it is only good fun at bachelorette and bachelor parties, you are sadly mistaken.
There are escape rooms specifically designed for couples where you can unravel the secrets together supporting one another. One of them is the Winning Couples Room of the Szabadulóbirodalom with creative visuals and an exciting storyline.
While solving the tasks, you get closer and get to know another side of each other that you don’t necessarily see in everyday life. The thrill of getting out, the limited amount of time, and the tricky tasks all increase adrenaline, providing an exceptional experience.
Don’t forget to capture your moment of success when you escape the room.
10. Cook together in a restaurant!
Enjoy cooking together? Or this would be your first time? What if you could cook your own dinner with the help of professional chefs in a restaurant?
Budapest Makery is not a traditional restaurant. You can choose your dinner from the menu, but the trick is that you are going to prepare it! You will receive all the ingredients of the selected dishes, weighed and prepared.
Then it is on you to prepare it using professional tools in a professional restaurant environment. But don’t worry; you won’t be left on your own. A tablet is provided with a video of all the action and the different cooking processes for you to watch. In case of any questions, the chefs of the restaurant are there to help.
And after all the hard work, a reward is to come: you can enjoy the prepared dishes comfortably with a glass of cool soft drink or delicious wine. Taste each other’s creations and compliment generously. 😉
And if you liked the recipe, repeat it at home as well.
11. Horse racing and rolling restaurants
Delicious dishes and exciting horse races? Those are things you can only have in Budapest. Hungarian equestrian sports have been famous for a good reason, and they are still popular today.
The 84-hectare Kincsem Park – named after an unbeaten Hungarian horse – is the largest racecourse in Budapest. It is home to several Hungarian and international races.
If you’re looking for something really special, visit the horse races combined with the Foodtruck Show in spring and autumn, experience the genuine atmosphere of horse races, and cheer for the sympathetic jockey and their horse from the 3500-seat stands. You can also try your luck for 1 EUR – place your bets on the horse you think might win. This way, cheering is guaranteed to go much better.
And if you get hungry, choose from the selection of food at the Hungarian food trucks. The Food Truck Show is a moving restaurant show in Hungary presenting quality food and drinks and moving vehicles at the same time and place.
The food truck movement started in the early 2010s and has been joined by most traditional restaurants by now. In 2019, the food truck convoy consisted of more than 150 culinary trucks. Hamburgers, hot dogs, pancakes, Hungarian specialties, Italian dishes, oriental specialties, and mouth-watering sweets are all available here. Taste them all!
12. Dance to Hungarian music
Don’t just watch it, do it! 😀 If you feel like dancing after you have seen the Hungarian folk dance performance during the cruise, don’t hesitate, just give it a try.
Hungarian folk dance is the star of Monday evenings in Szimpla Kert (Simple Garden), the pioneer of all ruin bars. Here you can learn from the best folk musicians in Budapest who teach you the basics of traditional folk dance taking you into the world of rural Hungarian merriments.
Let the invigorating Hungarian melodies enchant you and move your feet to the rhythm of the music. Don’t be shy; come and join in with an unforgettable Hungarian party!
The best ruin bars in Budapest. What kind of music is played there and what are the prices? If you are interested in these questions, don’t miss my comprehensive article about this topic.
13. A green adventure
You love nature, but you are looking for something more extreme than hiking? Turn into Tarzan and Jane in Budapest.
Roman Adventure Park (here come the Romans again 😉 ) – the greenest and most exciting adventure park of the capital – is located in the heart of Rómaifürdő.
You will face a real challenge on the 60-station, complex aerial trail system among the huge trees of Óbuda. You have the option to explore several difficulty levels designed for adults: there are platforms, bridges, and ziplines at the height of 3–12 meters.
Plus, there is no fixed direction of travel, so it feels like fighting your way through the jungle. Tarzan, it’s time to save Jane! Or would Jane save Tarzan instead?
14. Csodák Palotája (Palace of Wonders)
If your motto is “Life is a game!”, then the Palace of Wonders is a must for you! The Palace of Wonders located in Óbuda is the first interactive scientific entertainment center in Hungary with 250 different games and devices presenting physical phenomena.
In the auditorium, there are four exciting presentations and demonstrations of experiments, spectacular 5D, 9D, and Circular Cinema Experience Screenings awaiting you.
The Palace has thought of couples as well. The organizers created a Date route on the 5000 m2 play area inviting you to the kind of games that might be interesting for you. Experience the thrills of the 9D roller coaster, build bridges together or compose your own love music on a giant pan pipe! You can really click playing interactive games. Laughter is guaranteed and 3-4 hours will fly away without you noticing.
And if you don’t want the exciting day to end, visit Playbar, where you can drink cocktails from a laboratory flask!
15. Flippermúzeum és VR Park (Pinball Museum and VR Park) – the present and the past in a single city
Gamer culture has been flourishing in recent years in Hungary. Both the past and the present of the gaming industry comes to life in Budapest.
The Pinball Museum flies you back to the past of these strange gambling machines like a time machine. At the permanent exhibition, you can try 20th-century games on 130 pinball machines in a nearly 400 m2 space.
The familiar lights and sounds take you back to long-forgotten memories of your childhood. Once again, you can cheer for each other with innocent excitement, as you used to do during pinball tournaments in the corners of smoky pubs.
VR Park Budapest
If you are not the nostalgic type and you are looking for something more than just playing on a pinball machine, then it’s time for you to throw yourselves into the entertainment industry of the future. VR Budapest offers a new reality for you: Adventures that jump off the computer screen and you find yourselves in the middle of it at once.
The VR Park, which is unique in Europe as well, awaits you on 2000 m2 on 3 floors where you can get to know virtual worlds with the help of special equipment. What kind of “film” would you like to be the protagonist of? Action hero, Jedi in Star Wars, or the adventurer of a bygone age? Decide which world you would like to save together.
Romantic things to do for the lovers of classical dating programs
16. A romantic dinner in a ruin bar restaurant
I recommend that you do not miss a romantic dinner date in Budapest either. But, if you are in the city of ruin bars, it’s time to visit some ruin bar restaurants.
Mazel Tov invites you for a special, oriental culinary journey. The restaurant is characterized by the charmingly modern mixture of green ivy flowing down on the bare walls, industrial-style glass roof, white, wrought-iron chairs reminiscent of Paris, and a counter decorated with Middle Eastern patterns.
There is full house most evenings, yet you will love it because of its homely atmosphere and clean design, and the live jazz music just adds to the romance and idyll of the place. The very best of oriental gastronomy is included in the unique menu, and gluten- and lactose-intolerance is taken into consideration as well.
Púder Bárszínház (Powder Bar Theatre) may not be the complete opposite of Mazel Tov, yet its bohemian style is completely different from the harmonious appearance of Mazel Tov.
The artistic parade so characteristic of the restaurant might be astounding at first, but you will most probably see its beauty soon. It is a bit mismatched with the furniture so typical of ruin bars creating a kind of coziness, an intimate and warm environment.
Every corner of Powder Bar Theatre emanates nights of cuddling up on the sofa while refined food specialties pamper our taste buds.
Forget the tense atmosphere of fancy restaurants. In ruin bars, you can have a nice and calm chat.
17. Cat Café – The PURRfect place to be
Love cats? Then Cat Café Budapest is the place to see! There is a café in a tiny street opposite St. Stephen’s Basilica in the heart of Budapest that cat-lovers call home.
The trend originating from Japan reached the Hungarian capital as well, and Cat Café Budapest was opened in 2013. The place awaits you with its 15 furry dwellers promising a very special café experience.
Have a coffee and caress, play with or admire the lovely kittens rescued from shelters as they relax sweetly. Dogs are strictly forbidden! 😀
18. Gastro-picnic in Etyek
There are 22 wine regions in Hungary and one of them is just a few kilometers away from Budapest. The Buda-Etyek wine region is home to light dry white wines, and thanks to its proximity to the capital, it has become one of the favorite regions of Budapest dwellers. It is the perfect location for drinking wine in a romantic environment.
Take a bus (leaves every hour) at Kelenföld Railway Station, and you will arrive in the tiny town of Etyek in 45 minutes. During the Etyek Picnic – organized four times a year, adjusting to the season – the wine cellars of the town turn into a cozy Gastro-promenade.
In addition to the tastiest wines of the most renowned wineries of the wine region, there is also home-made cheese, syrups and jams. Not really fond of wines? Enjoy the home-made lavender syrups – a sip of sweet love. Give each other unique presents – hand-made toys, dolls, and jewelry – to remember this beautiful day forever!
Looking for a unique souvenir? Let me show you the best souvenirs in Budapest which you can really surprise your loved ones with.
You can also taste authentic Hungarian foods like goulash soup and stew prepared on the open fire, while young Hungarian musicians entertain you with pleasant folk melodies.
Take a walk in the bright sunshine along the slopes of Etyek studded with vineyards. Lie down among the ancient grapevines with a glass of wine in your hands and some home-made chocolate in your pocket and enjoy the vibration of nature!
19. Day Spa – a romantic bath
You have most probably heard of Széchenyi Baths. Countless blogs, guidebooks, and flyers recommend the justly famous Hungarian bath. It is a special experience, the building is definitely an eye-catching sight, the water is pleasantly hot, and if you love parties, you will most probably love the night Sparties.
But I should warn you – you won’t be alone here. This spa is on the bucket list of both Hungarian and foreign audiences, so you’d better forget about coziness here.
However, there are many opportunities to enjoy the beneficial effect of water and also have an intimate experience in the Land of Waters.
Magnolia Day Spa next to the Parliament and Mandala Day Spa near Margaret Bridge are the idyllic islands of lovers.
These spa houses take you to a mystical, spiritual, and secret world where you can forget about noisy everyday life and concentrate on each other instead. Couple massages are specifically designed for you!
Enjoy the private bath and celebrate your love with a glass of champagne after refreshing body treatments. Then, continue your physical and mental renewal in the sauna world and hammam, and refresh yourselves with special teas and fresh fruit.
And the perfect ending to a perfect day is a walk on the bank of the Danube in the beautiful sunset.
20. Table for two under the stars
A cool cocktail, ruby-red wine, summer breeze, the stars above you, and the lights of the city below.
Sky bars seem to have been created for people in love. Although men can’t give women the moon and the stars, they can at least try to bring their sweetheart closer to them. Luckily, Budapest is full of roof terraces.
You can choose from many different styles from elite bars on top of luxury hotels to underground terraces in the style of ruin bars. Let me introduce you to four sky bars in Budapest, where romance can rise to the top.
My personal favorite is the 360 Bar. This rooftop bar operating on the top floor of the Paris Department Store became my favorite because of its circular panorama.
There is a breathtaking view of the Buda Hills, the Budapest Eye, and the dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica dominating the sky. In addition to cooling cocktails and lemonades, you can also have dinner at a fair price.
It is worth booking a table for the evening, as the sight of the setting sun behind the mountains is a worthy celebration of a day of love!
High Note SkyBar
High Note SkyBar is located on top of the Aria Hotel voted the Best Hotel in the World in 2017.
The roof terrace has rightly become popular among guests – while you enjoy the quality culinary wonders, the dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica is actually within arm’s length.
In addition to unique cocktails and Hungarian wine, the cakes of the famous Gerbeaud confectionery are also included in the menu. It’s probably not too difficult to figure out that it’s worth booking a table in advance.
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar
St. Andrea Wine & Skybar high above Vörösmarty Square is the premium feeling of life in itself.
Thanks to its circular panorama, you can choose if you want to enjoy the view of the monumental dome of the Basilica, the Budapest Eye, the Gellért Hill, or the Citadel.
The premium fine-dining kitchen of Eiffel Palace has successfully been transferred to the terrace in the form of bar food. But it is still quality wine and the wide selection of top category cocktails that are in the limelight. If you are dreaming of a chic, suit-cocktail dress date in an exclusive ambience, St. Andrea Wine & Skybar is the perfect choice for you.
Intermezzo Restaurant & Roof Terrace
Intermezzo Restaurant & Roof Terrace is the jewel of the President Hotel located in Hold Street.
The rooftop terrace, reminiscent of Mediterranean luxury, awaits people looking for a romantic getaway with colorful lights, palm trees, and rattan furniture.
You just can’t get enough of the view of the illuminated Parliament and the Hungarian State Treasury decorated with Zsolnay tiles. You can expect conversations to extend long into the night in the company of fine wines and cocktails.
Romantic things to do in Budapest – Summary
Every journey is an unforgettable present with the love of your life. No matter what kind of programs you choose – a quiet dinner in a ruin bar restaurant or an exciting escape in the escape room, one thing is for sure: if you love each other, Budapest will be your new city of love!