There’s no reason to be bored. I collected the most exciting programs for a rainy day in Budapest.
As most of you have probably heard, Budapest is an amazing, buzzing metropolis with loads of attractions. Budapest is worth visiting in any season: it shows its most beautiful face in spring, summer and early autumn, but also has its own charm in winter.
In a metropolis like Budapest, it isn’t a disadvantage if there are places to see not only on a beautiful sunny day, but also in rainy weather.
I have some good news for you, as Budapest has the advantage in this respect as well – there is an endless array of “rain check” programs at your service to make you feel great on those days. So, without further ado, let’s see the best programs for cold/foggy/rainy days.
What to do in Budapest when it rains
Neverland – Bar, Restaurant and Escape room
Address: H-1074 Budapest, Dohány u. 22-24
If in Budapest, Hungary, then there are escape rooms for sure – the absolute perfect program for a rainy day. Get yourselves together and head for Neverland.
There are many escape rooms in Budapest (as the whole idea of escape rooms is Hungarian), still, I recommend Neverland as it isn’t just a simple escape room, but also a great place – a complete entertainment center – where you can spend a whole day.
Located in the downtown – in Dohány Street –, Neverland will definitely exceed all your expectations and you won’t want to go home.
Rácsok mögött (Behind Bars), Zárt osztály (Psych ward), Máguspróba (Mage Trial), Nagy Vadnyugati Rablás (The great robbery in the Wild West) or Űrhajó (Spaceship) themed rooms await you to find out if you are able to work together and escape. There is a special, private VIP room in Neverland, which can only be entered by a few.
A special VIP membership is required, which can only be acquired by recommendation or invitation. It is frequently visited by different Hollywood stars, so you might run into one of them.
Neverland Bar and Restaurant offers extraordinary and unique drinks and meals. It is definitely worth a visit on a rainy day. Grab a light sandwich, head for the chosen escape room, and after the job well done a nice lunch or dinner and a couple of good drinks.
Neverland’s motto is “quality” and this motto is perfectly met. It is open from 11 am to 11 pm every day. I mainly recommend this visit to friends and families with older children (14+). You can even organize your birthday party in Neverland. Book here.
Bazaar atmosphere – the Great Market Hall
Address: H-1093 Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3
What is there to tell you about the greatest market in Budapest? Well, it definitely provides a unique atmosphere and the experience of a lifetime. It is my favorite market, and the best thing about it is that you can go there on a rainy day as it is roofed.
Not to mention the fact that CNN Travel has chosen the Great Market Hall as the best market in Europe. The building, located on the Pest side at the foot of Liberty Bridge, is very impressive. There are dozens of fresh meat and vegetable sellers, primary producers and of course the inevitable Hungarian red pepper sellers.
Apart from the sellers, there are many smaller gift shops where you can buy very nice souvenirs. Don’t miss the small buffets – or as we call them: “Lacikonyhák” – upstairs.
What to buy in Budapest? Choose original Hungarian souvenirs
If you are interested in the real Hungarian hurka-kolbász (blood sausage and sausage) combo or a good házi gulyásleves (home-made goulash soup), that’s the place to visit. Of course, the famous lángos (fried scones) or palacsinta (pancake) shouldn’t be missed either. My favorite kind of fried scone is the one with garlic-sour cream-cheese. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll love it.
It might not be a whole-day program, but looking around, tasting dishes while getting an insight into the everyday lives of locals is worth a few hours.
Address: H-1146 Budapest, Vajdahunyad sétány
There are loads of interesting sights in Budapest and a rainy day is a perfect time to discover these indoor attractions.
Budapest has plenty of amazing museums and exhibitions, so it isn’t easy to pick one. To help you with this “problem”, I wrote a comprehensive article about the best museums in Budapest.
Now, I recommend two different, but also nearby museums so as to have a nice day and don’t get soaked either.
You might want to start the day with a walk in the Magyar Mezőgazdasági Múzeum és Könyvtár (Museum and Library of Hungarian Agriculture) located in Vajdahunyad Castle in the City Park. In addition to Vajdahunyad Castle being a uniquely beautiful building, the exhibition is also interesting. There you can imagine what it was like to live in a fabulous palace in the Middle Ages.
Walking in the building is a tremendous experience and the exhibition on agriculture is the icing on the cake. This museum is my personal favorite. There are many interesting temporary exhibitions among the walls, but every day at Halloween Vajdahunyad Castle turns into Dracula Castle for one night. It is real fun!
I love this program. Don’t miss it if you visit Budapest at this time of the year. There is Dracula night, vampire theatre, torchlight procession and all kinds of terrifying programs.
I believe this museum is one of the best museums at any time of the year, so I definitely recommend you visit it. You can also go up into the towers and enjoy the wonderful view of Budapest with the City Park, the Zoo, Széchenyi Baths, and Heroes’ Square.
Now let me turn to the other museum that is actually located next to Heroes’ Square, namely Szépművészeti Múzeum (The Museum of Fine Arts). As I said, the two museums are only a short walk from one another, so you can get there quickly on a rainy day.
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the biggest museums in Budapest, so you won’t get bored. If you are planning to visit only one museum, it should definitely be this one. It awaits you with permanent and temporary exhibitions on 3 floors. It is generally closed on Mondays, but it is open from 10 am to 6 pm every other day of the week.
In case you get hungry, there is a superb little bistro offering quality food and great coffee and tea in the museum. There is also a museum shop where you can buy beautiful and artistic souvenirs. So, both museums are beautiful and unique in their kind and perfect for a gloomy, rainy day.
Bathing in the rain
Széchenyi Baths: H-1146 Budapest, Állatkerti krt.9-11
There is nothing better than taking advantage of a rainy day and spending a day in one of the thermal baths and relaxing your muscles after the many sightseeing walks.
Being the great power of thermal baths in Europe, Budapest won’t disappoint you as most thermal baths have both indoor and outdoor baths.
I personally love going to the baths on cold, rainy days for several reasons. On the one hand, there are much fewer people in the otherwise divine, warm, 38-degree Celsius pools. On the other hand, the warm pool and the cool air form a mysterious misty drizzle which I adore. Thirdly, I believe it is a great experience to sit outside in the warm water in the rain.
Gellért Bath: H-1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4.
I recommend you my articles on thermal baths.
If you are tired of sitting in the warm water, you might want to make an appointment for a nice massage or a sauna session to crown your day. After a day like this, you will be totally refreshed for the next day’s sightseeing in Budapest.
Board Game Café – Playing board games in Budapest
Address: H-1094 Budapest, Ferenc krt.17
Do you like board games? And good coffee and tasty snacks? What if you could get it all in one place? Well, in Board Game Café, you can play board games from early in the afternoon until late at night.
You can choose from 600 types of games. It is the absolute perfect replacement program for a rainy day. You can enjoy the day while having a nice lunch, playing board games, and also make friends while playing.
There are board game competitions and other events organized regularly in the café. I recommend it to friends and families as all age groups will have a great time and instead of sitting in the hotel room, you can try something new.
Couple Day – Spa
Address: H- 1133 Budapest, Ipoly u. 8
Don’t let a rainy day stop you from exploring Budapest. It is worth taking advantage of a rainy day by going on a Day-Spa program for the perfect refreshment and renewal.
Budapest will spoil you with the many saloons providing unique programs for the perfect renewal. These so-called Day-Spa packages generally include massages, hand and foot care, and skincare, but some packages offer special services.
A rainy day is a perfect occasion to take part in a real Turkish hamman ritual or an amazing couple spa treatment.
The perfect choice is the Mandala Day Spa as it provides distinctive and different personal and couple day-spa packages. What is more, if you take part in one of the programs, it provides access to its own bath, salt room, and Zen lounge. Everyone will find something to their liking from one-two hour programs to half-day luxury spa-packages.
I recommend the Mandala Renewal Program for couples. It offers 240 minutes of straight relaxation and enjoyment. It includes a 60-minute manicure and pedicure, a glass of champagne, a 60-minute moisturizing facial treatment, a 20-minute luxury aroma-oil hot tub with a bottle of wine and a 60-minute holistic Swedish massage.
In addition, of course, access to the previously mentioned bath, salt room, sauna, and a restroom is also provided.
I also recommend trying the Floatspa program on a rainy day. These could not be tried out in Mandala, but Hermina Hidegterápiás Központ (Hermina Cold Therapy Centre) provides one.
You can experience the perfect and complete relaxation with the Floatspa Floating Therapy Capsule, and feel as if you were in the womb. It is an absolutely unique experience and I highly recommend it to everyone. With the two programs above, you will definitely be a renewed person and can continue exploring Budapest the next day.
Address: H-1072 Budapest, Dob u. 38
Do you like Hungarian cuisine? Do you like eating and drinking? Would you like to know how tasty dishes are made in a restaurant? Well, there is no better place than Budapest Makery, the only DIY restaurant in the world where you can pick and cook your own food from the menu.
Of course, you will be aided by a professional and a tablet application that will walk you through the steps of making the chosen food.
Unlike in a cooking course, you won’t only prepare a single dish, but everyone will make their chosen delicacy. Due to its uniqueness and innovative approach the restaurant is very popular, so don’t forget to book a table.
In the beginning, everything goes like in a normal restaurant – you sit down, look at the menu and pick a dish you like. That’s when the fun begins!
You enter the kitchen where there is professional help, and all the ingredients necessary for the chosen dish are nicely chopped and prepared. With the help of the expert and the tablet, you will prepare a dish within normal, restaurant preparation time, and also experience what it is like to work in a professional kitchen.
The more of you go, the better the atmosphere will be during cooking. As soon as you are ready, you sit back to the table and enjoy the meal you prepared. Don’t worry about the prices – they are perfectly fine. A normal amount of the main course including the cooking experience with a professional is 2,000–5,000 HUF.
If you don’t know the exchange rate between HUF and EUR or USD, you can check it here.
I could say it’s a kind of cooking course, as you learn how a good Hungarian goulash soup or chicken paprika is made – if you choose to prepare those ones.
There is an experience-package specifically created for tourists, which includes Hungarian appetizers and main courses as well. Here you really own up to the choice you’ve made.
The most important thing is that cooking becomes a mutual experience here. Budapest Makery, located in Dob Street in the heart of the city, is usually open from 1 pm to 11 pm, but it is advisable to check out their website and book a table as well.
Tropicarium and Oceanarium
Address: H-1222 Budapest, Nagytétényi út 37-43
You intended to see the Zoo but it’s been raining all morning? Don’t worry, all is not lost. Get into a car and head for Tropicarium and Oceanarium in Campona Shopping Centre. Want to know what it is? It is like an indoor exotic zoo, so it doesn’t matter if it’s raining outside.
The weather might have balked your original plans, but you can still have a great day. Being a shopping and entertainment center, Campona itself is a good program, too, as there is everything from shops, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, food shops to an enormous playhouse and of course the Tropicarium.
Locals call it “Shark Zoo” as you can see the sharks swimming above your head while walking through the Shark Tunnel.
My favorite part is the Tropical Rainforest where it really is raining every 15 minutes – don’t worry, you won’t get soaked by this drizzle. There are also alligators, exotic reptiles, amphibians, smaller monkeys, birds and of course thousands of colorful fish species in addition to the above-mentioned tiger and brown sharks.
Kids love Ray-petting, where you can meet really nice and friendly rays and also pet them.
Shark feeding starts a 3 pm every Thursday -– sharks are fed from the divers’ hands. If you had fun in Tropicarium and would like to take home some kind of a souvenir, go to the Gift Shop where you can find great stuff, and by shopping there you support the work of the foundation.
In vino veritas – Faust Winery
Address: H-1014 Budapest, Hess András tér 1
If in Hungary, don’t miss the chance to try our tasty and famous wines. As you most probably know, Hungarian wines are of high quality and win valuable awards and medals at the most prestigious international wine competitions every year.
A rainy day provides the perfect opportunity to visit Faust Winery located in the Castle district. You can taste almost 70 kinds of wine and 15 kinds of good pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) there.
Faust Winery offers several tasting programs – I recommend the Magyarország Különlegességei (Hungarian Specialities) Wine Tasting package. You can taste 8 Hungarian wine specialties and some water and locally baked scones come with the package, too.
In addition, I would definitely recommend the Tokaji Wine Tasting Program, since everyone has heard of Tokaji Aszú – the most famous Hungarian wine. You can taste 7 special Tokaji wine types as part of this package.
And if you are going to get wet, you might as well go swimming – why not finish the day with some Pálinkakóstoló (Brandy Tasting)? Hungary is the only country, which produces fruit brandy.
I am sure you have all heard of the Hungarian “Fiery water”, and some of you might have tasted some of it. The Brandy Tasting Package in Faust Winery includes some real delicacies.
You might want to connect the tasting program offered by Faust Winery with a visit to the beautiful Matthias Church located nearby. The winery is in the Hilton Hotel, next to Matthias Church.
Matthias Church and the Buda Castle
Address: H-1014 Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2
One of the most delightful parts of Budapest is worth visiting in the rain as well, in this case – of course – I recommend to visit the roofed or indoor sights.
And as I said earlier, you might want to crown the day by wine or brandy tasting in the above-mentioned Faust Winery.
Mátyás Templom (Matthias Church) is – in my opinion – the most beautiful church in Hungary; I simply love it as it is gorgeous. It is definitely a must, as it is impressive from outside and inside as well.
If you are caught in the rain while walking around the Castle District, it is worth a visit – but of course, you can also have lunch in one of the great restaurants until the rain stops.
Another must in the nearby –you can get there by bus as well – Castle Museum, also known as Magyar Történeti Múzeum (Hungarian History Museum) located in the Buda Castle.
The Buda Castle has been home to Hungarian kings and queens since the 13th century and medieval castle life is revived in the Castle Museum. Time permitting, I also recommend visiting the famous Széchenyi Library and the Hungarian National Gallery also located in the Castle.
Noiret Pub – Billiards and Darts Saloon
Address: H-1066 Budapest, Dessewffy u. 8
I recommend Noiret Pub as it is one of my favorite places and it has been open in the heart of Pest for almost 30 years – which is a long time for a pub. Noiret offers complex entertainment – in addition to having the best darts and billiards tables in Budapest, there are delicious cocktails and great cuisine.
Apart from billiards and darts, there are also table football and a great jukebox. I also like the boxes in the pub, which offer a relaxing and calm stay for groups of friends.
You don’t need to worry about lightening your wallet if you want to spend a day there, it is an affordable pub with great deals every day. It is the perfect venue for a birthday party – in this case, you might want to call the pub to book the best tables.
If some of you are darts or billiards fans, they will surely be amazed by Noiret Shop as there are super cool darts and billiards stuff to buy.
There are various parties and darts and billiards competitions organized in the pub which are great programs for a rainy day. Noiret is open from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 2 pm to 4 am at weekends.
Address: H-1065 Budapest, Nagymező u. 37-39
If you can’t go sightseeing because of the whimsical weather, discover something unusual.
Budapest Shooting is the best indoor shooting range in Hungary located in the heart of downtown Budapest. The shooting range has the largest selection of weapons (nearly 150 types of weapons) and the best shooter instructors.
In Budapest Shooting, there are several, theme-oriented adventure shooting packs to choose from, with Standard or Extra package content. The Extra Shooting Package is an additional package to the Standard Shooting Package – you cannot request it separately.
After shooting you might want to look around in the Gift Shop as there are super cool tees, mugs, and souvenirs. If you like shooting, you can have an amazing time in Budapest Shooting. There are birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties and corporate team building programs to choose from.
Naturally, you will always get ear and eye-protective equipment, and everything will be explained to you by a professional instructor, so you can visit this place even if you are a newbie. The shooting range is usually open from 11.30 am to 8 pm, but of course, you may want to call and book your shooting packages in advance.
Csodák Palotája (Palace of Wonders)
Address: H-1036 Budapest, Bécsi út 38-44
I have already written about the Palace of Wonders from a different perspective in another article of mine. I am including it here now, as it is the perfect program for a rainy day. All ages will find the perfect activities and experiences there.
Personally, I recommend it to both families and friends, as there are several programs that can be attended by more than one person at a time.
The complex is located in Óbuda, and there are different theme-oriented rooms with each one providing a totally unique experience. My personal favorite is the 9D cinema, where you will definitely feel like you are part of the film.
If you come as a group, you may want to go to one of the escape rooms as well – pick one of the following themed ones: The Engineer’s Room, Emergency, Globetrotter and The Renewable City. I also recommend visiting Nature Workshop where you can discover the world around us the way our ancestors did back then.
You can float around or sit in a real Mars Rover in Space Station, and experience Newton’s Law in real life in his apple orchard. I won’t highlight any other attractions as the Palace of Wonders offers many amazing programs. You can spend a whole day there without noticing that it’s raining outside. So, get ready for wonders!
Shopping –WestEnd Shopping Centre
Address: H-1062 Budapest, Váci út 1-3
There is nothing better than a good shopping tour in bad weather. And if we are talking about shopping, why not do it in the biggest shopping center of Central and Eastern Europe, WestEnd shopping center right next to Nyugati pályaudvar (Western Railway Station)?
There are more than 400 shops on 3 floors: 200 fashion shops offering the greatest brands, 70 shoe and leather shops, 50 watch and jewelry shops and hobby and gift shops. There are also more than 50 great restaurants and cafés, a cinema, and an ultra-great roof garden providing entertainment.
Even the entrance is unique as no matter which floor you enter from (on the side of the main entrance), the first thing you will see is the multi-level “Niagara Falls” and the Niagara Fountain on the square at the shopping center.
WestEnd is the only shopping center with its own free application providing personalized offers to choose from. Coupons are sent to your mobiles, you get to know about any sales and programs in shops/restaurants first, and collect valuable points as well. The application can be downloaded free of charge to android and IOS.
It is worth walking around the whole center, but to avoid wandering around, I recommend the “top-to-the-bottom” tactic, that is you start on the top floor and go all the way down to the bottom. If you get hungry on the way, the restaurants are on the bottom floor, but there are some nice cafés and restaurants upstairs as well.
For spending some time after shopping, I recommend the top floor. The cinema and the roof garden are both up there. The cinema is part of the Cinema City chain, providing 14 air-conditioned rooms with one of the first 4D rooms in Europe.
In case you are with a baby or a small child, you can visit the Mother-Baby room, or use the luggage and cloakroom if you have a lot of stuff. Of course, there is free Wi-Fi provided in the whole building.
No matter whether you come by car or public transport, WestEnd is easily accessible. You won’t get soaked in the rain either, as there is a huge covered parking lot and there is a direct underground route from the Western Railway Station of the metro line to the center.
I don’t think a rainy day can stop you from exploring Budapest you just need to re-plan the day and continue the adventure. Of course, the list above is just a bit of a sample from the thousands of good programs for a rainy day in Budapest. I hope I managed to give you some guidance on what to do in Budapest if it rains.
Enjoy your stay!