To us, Budapest was one of those places we had heard wonderful things about, but didn’t actually believe we’d ever explore in person. When planning our holiday road trip, my husband suggested a stop in Budapest on our way to Italy, and it seemed to me like the perfect fit. We had thrown the visit together at the last minute and I was unsure how we’d fair logistically traveling with our toddler, but I was pleasantly surprised at how child friendly (and absolutely wonderful!) Budapest proved to be.
Top Tip for Travelling to Budapest with a toddler!
Although we brought our Uppababy Vista, we ended up using our Deuter Kid Comfort 3 hiking pack for most of the trip. We found that strollers were absolutely acceptable in Budapest, however for us (and the seasonal crowds) the hiking pack was the best choice.
Things to Do in Budapest with a Toddler
Dohány Street Synagogue with a toddler
I was taken by surprise as to just how spectacular this building is in person. Also known as the Great Synagogue, it is the largest Synagogue in Europe, and second largest in the world seating 3,000 people! This is a must-see, even if only in passing by.
Hungarian Parliament Building with a toddler
This is a great sight to see from many different view points!
Just a few steps toward the river, you’ll also be able to see the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial.
Hill Funicular with a toddler
There are a few ways to get up the hill to Buda Castle, but the most fun has to be the Hill Funicular. It’s a short ride up to the top in a tiny car where you can experience some amazing views of the Danube and Parliament building. We opted to ride up, and walk down.
Buda Castle + Matthias Church with a toddler
You can find some of the best views of the city from Buda Castle! We loved wandering around and enjoying the sights on a cool sunny day. Matthias Church tradition dates back to 1015 before destruction in 1241. The church was reconstructed in the late 13th century and again in the late 19th century. The tiled rooftop coupled with the intricate Gothic style detailing make this church a must-see.
Thermal Baths with a toddler
Enjoying the baths while in Budapest is an absolute must! We had done loads of research before our trip and were fairly concerned our ability to access the baths with our little one in tow. We ended up visiting the Gellért Thermal Bath and had a great, relaxing soak. There is a gallery above one of the cold pools with lounge chairs and bar access, so it’s easy to trade off time with the babe while your S.O. bathes. Babies are not allowed in the pools, however you’re free to sit either in the gallery or next to the pools if you’re traveling with a little one. *Tip: I highly recommend renting a cabin to store and lock your belongings as well as change in/out of wet suits, as well as bringing along a wet bag to bring your suits home in.
Great Market Hall with a toddler
A great place to stock up on Hungarian paprika, Erős Pista (my favorite Hungarian hot sauce) and truffle honey ! A must if you’re staying at an AirBnb and plan on cooking during your stay in Budapest. The Market consists of 3 levels, with souvenirs on the top floor, fruits/veggies/wine/spices on the main floor, and pickle shops/fish/stinky goods down below. Make sure to browse before you buy, as many vendors sell the same items and you can get better prices by shopping through the hall.
Budapest Christmas Markets with a toddler [Seasonal]
Budapest offers not one, but two amazing Christmas markets! The market at Vorosmarty Sq runs from early November through New Years Eve, and the Christmas Fair at Basilica starts end of November running until New Year’s Day. There are wonderful craft and souvenir vendors at both, as well as a small skating rink near the Basilica! Christmas markets are a great activity day or night.
What to Eat in Budapest with a toddler
was our first stop when we arrived in the city, and set a wonderful tone for our weekend. We visited just when Olivia was getting into her shortlived but very intense cranky phase, and for this period of time she needed either constant motion or attention. Dining out was becoming a chore, and my Momma nerves were on edge when she started whaling in public. The staff was SO kind, and our waitress offered to play with her while we enjoyed a few minutes of quiet dining. She was an absolute angel! The doors were a bit narrow, so the hosts assisted with our UPPAbaby Vista with absolute pleasure. The food was the cherry on top to this fabulous dining experience. We hadn’t eaten authentic Hungarian food prior to this so we didn’t have much to compare to, but this was absolutely phenomenal! We both had the goulash soup to start, a dish I highly recommend with a little Erős Pista…absolutely divine! I loved my Crispy Goose Leg with Onion Potato Mash and Cranberry Sauce, and hubby was raving about the Budapest Style Steak. Since we visited in Winter we dined inside, however they have a charming outdoor set-up which looks wonderful as well. Located on the Pest bank, this was the perfect setting for our first night in the city.
I still can’t decide what I liked most about this adorable cafe; the delicious breakfast, the cafe beagle (yes, beagle), the smooth Irish coffee, or the wonderful staff. Fekete came highly recommended from some good friends of ours, and we couldn’t have loved it more! I’m not a traditional breakfast person and usually keep it pretty simple, but their Shakshouka was out of this world (my husband and I both had one, mine without eggs…total mind blower)! The cafe is small, but during the warmer months they have a great courtyard which looked perfect for dining with littles. We hit Fekete straight away on Day 1 of our adventure before the short walk to Dohány Street Synagogue. Umbrella stroller or baby carry friendly.
We stumbled upon this charming bistro while wandering Buda and couldn’t have gotten more lucky! I feel like we hit the dining lottery on this trip, because all of our meals were that good! We shared the Homemade Grilled Sausage here, which was absolutely delicious. As a very rare and super appreciated bonus, Pest-Buda is baby friendly and actually has a changing table in one of their restrooms. This is certainly a luxury in small European towns, and the convenience is not lost on me! Great food, location, and baby friendly? Winner. Umbrella stroller or baby carry friendly.
*Tip: As always when traveling with little ones, I highly recommend reserving your table early in the evening to allow for more space and patience for everyone.
Where to Stay in Budapest with a toddler
With the high volume of affordable accommodations, we chose to stay in an AirBnb in what appeared to be a good location for the city. When we arrived, we somehow had not factored in parking (oops!) but lucked out with a paid garage in the vicinity of our apartment. The parking was surprisingly affordable, and easy to access. I will say this was not ideal, especially when toting baby gear, and of course all of our luggage, but we made it work and clocked a bit more exercise in the process!
Although we chose an AirBnb for this trip into Budapest, if we had to do it over again we’d definitely go the hotel route when traveling with child(ren). Elevator access, reliable baby bed, and proximity to attractions (and convenience for naps) all make more sense for our family with littles in tow.
Hilton Budapest would be at the top of our list for accommodations in Budapest, with a fabulous location, killer views, and steps from a Starbucks. The convenience offered by chain hotels while traveling with a baby is not lost on me. Most chains will offer baby beds which is huge (and something that is hit or miss with an AirBnb). This is a great alternative to hotel baby beds, super convenient and portable (great for car travel!)
Basically, the closer you can stay to Parliament, the better. Everything is very easily accessible from this area.
Other Things To See
I read about this charming little town and was looking forward to popping into the cute shops and confectioners for Christmas treats, but got so caught up in all of Budapest and didn’t make it! This is a must for our next trip. *I’ve heard the hot chocolate at Szamos Museum Confectioner’s is absolutely beyond!
Thanks to Alexandria from www.alwaysus.co for this guest post! If you like this post then head over to her blog for more amazing travel advice and why not head over to her Instagram for some photographic travel inspiration!