We’ve all been there.
When I’m traveling for awhile, sometimes I want to do something different. Getting of the beaten path of cafes, churches, and museums in Eastern Europe isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you’re looking for something new, check out these seven unique things to do in Budapest to spice up your travel itinerary this week!
1. Eat in the Dark
A restaurant called Farm Gastro Bar offers a “blind dinner” in Budapest. Patrons eat in the dark while the waiters serve you in night-vision goggles!
The entrance fee with a drink will run you 1,890 huf / 6.75 usd or you can get a full dinner with a drink for 6980 huf / 24 usd per person. Everything is edible with just your hands so you don’t need to mess around with forks or spoons, and there are other visitors in the dark to chat with while you eat.
This blind dinner is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Budapest, so visit the website to learn more and make reservations!
2. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
One of my favorite things to do while I travel is volunteer in the cities I visit. In Budapest, Daniel and I spent the day at Noahs Ark Animal Shelter, where we walked dogs in need of love and attention.
The shelter has “open volunteering” every Saturday starting at 10 am, so you can simply show up without calling ahead. It’s also possible to reach it by public transport even if you don’t have a car.
Click here to read about our experience and learn exactly how you can volunteer in Budapest as well!
3. Check Out the Children’s Railway
The Children’s Railway is exactly what it sounds like. This short stretch of track is run completely by school kids between the ages of 10 and 14.
CNN wrote a great piece on why it’s staffed by kids, how long it’s been around and how you can visit it too. When you go, pair it with a visit to the nearby Janos Hill Chairlift to Elizabeth Lookout Tower for a picturesque day out in nature.
4. Eat and Meet
I love this idea.
Basically, a Hungarian family opens their doors to visitors and invites them into their home. They host around 10 people per night and servie a multi course meal with drinks. Throughout the evening you can meet new people, learn about local history, and enjoy the home-cooked traditional food.
The “restaurant” is called Eat and Meet and costs 11,000 huf / 40 usd per person for the experience.
5. Drink From the Beer Wall
The Hedon Taproom isn’t your typical bar. Instead, they have a massive beer wall that runs along the back with over 20 taps.
All you have to do is load money on a refillable card and place it in the tap you’d like to try. Then, you can pour as much or as little as you want.
I loved it because it eliminates the need to wait for a waiter every time you finish a beer (which, in Eastern Europe, often takes ages) and I was able to try a small amount of a lot of different beers which was fun. It’s a pretty popular place and seemed like a lot of young professionals stop by with friends and colleagues after work.
If you want something outside of the normal bar experience, trying the beer wall at the Hedon Taproom is one of the most unique things to do in Budapest!
6. Go SCUBA Diving
Yes, you really can go diving in Budapest. A quick Google search turns up a few different centers in the city but then you’ll have to vet them from there.
Because of the unique underground cave system around the city, cave diving is possible nearby. Or, if you’re not certified for that, you can also dive in an abandoned quarry with an open water license. On top of this, other possible excursions include hot springs, lakes, and more.
7. Test Your Luck at the Horse Races
Last but not least on my list of six unique things to do in Budapest is a visit to the horse races.
They take place at Kinscem Park which is outside of the city but easy to reach on the M2 metro line. Catch them on Saturdays and Sundays and spend a few hours sitting in the sun, drinking beers, and testing your luck betting on the winners.
Daniel and I accidentally discovered this past time while at the annual Budapest Oktoberfest celebration at the park and watched the Friday night races with carts. Betting may be difficult for non-Hungarian speakers, but if you’ve been to the races before and understand the sheets I think you can figure it out.
Next Time You Visit, Check Out These 7 Unique Things to do in Budapest
There is so much to do, see, and discover in a city like Budapest. I spent five weeks here and honestly feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Still, if you’re looking for something unique to do in the city and want to get off the typical tourist path, this list has you covered. Go diving, hit the races, visit the Children’s Railway, drink at the beer wall, volunteer at an animal shelter, make new friends at a family dinner or even eat in the dark!
Whichever you choose, you’re sure to see a whole new side of Budapest through the experience.
PS still planning your trip to the city? Check out these three places to go hiking without a car, get inspired with my list of the 8 best cheap restaurants in Budapest, or browse my 15 favorite Instagram spots in the city!