A complete guide to the most romantic things to do in Budapest (including an evening cruise, country wine tasting and the best thermal springs).
Budapest is considered the most romantic city in Central and Eastern Europe. Located on the Danube River, the city boasts dramatic architecture and magnificent riverside views. All this combined with hot thermal springs, excellent cuisine and wines!
With its Art Nouveau buildings and charming cafés, Budapest possesses the same magical atmosphere as Paris. The city is even known as Paris of the East!
To inspire your next trip, here are some of the most romantic things to do in Budapest for couples. From a candlelit dinner cruise to hot thermal baths, Budapest has all you need for a romantic getaway.
Most romantic things to do in Budapest
One of the advantages of Budapest is that although the city is outstandingly beautiful, it’s not so overcrowded as Paris. It’s easy to spend a romantic weekend in Budapest and actually enjoy it without the craziness of the crowds.
Another advantage is that compared to Paris or Venice, Budapest is a cheap destination. You’ll be able to afford luxurious hotels and restaurants without breaking the bank. It’s the perfect destination for a romantic break or honeymoon in Europe.
Most romantic things to do in Budapest (for couples)
- Soak in hot thermal baths
- Classical music concert in a church
- Explore Budapest on board a tuk tuk
- Enjoy the best views of the city
- Visit a Chocolate Museum
- Have a picnic next to Dracula Castle (the Hungarian version)
- Wine tasting
- Romantic evening cruise on the Danube
Soak in hot thermal baths
A trip to Budapest is not complete without a visit to the popular thermal baths. And what could be more romantic than soaking with your loved one in a hot bath while it’s snowing? The most famous baths are Széchenyi, Gellért and Rudas Baths.
If you’re visiting the city in the winter, choose Széchenyi Baths to enjoy the outdoor hot pools. The steamy water will keep you warm no matter how cold it’s outside. Széchenyi Baths are the most popular ones in Budapest, so book tickets in advance in any case.
Gellért Spa Baths are smaller than Széchenyi but boast a fabulous architecture. Get a 5-star treatment, while relaxing in their opulent indoor baths. Find more information about Gellért Spa Baths here.
For a full-day spa experience with your partner, book this Rudas Spa Wellness and Dining Experience. Enjoy a lovely time, relaxing in the warm thermal waters at the 450-year-old Rudas Bath. Then finish the day with a delicious 3-course meal, while admiring the stunning views over the Danube River.
Classical music concert in a church
Attending a classical music concert with your loved one is a perfect romantic experience. The only thing that could make it even more perfect is the unique setting. And Budapest is not short of such places!
Some of the most unique settings, where you can attend a concert are St. Stephen’s Basilica and Matthias Church. Take your partner to this delightful experience and spend an unforgettable time together.
Explore the city on board a tuk tuk
The most romantic way to explore Budapest is by taking a tuk tuk tour. See the most popular sites and lesser-known gems on a tuk tuk with a personal tour guide. The best part is that the tour itinerary is flexible and you can stop for photos where you wish.
If you’re visiting the city in the winter, choose to explore Budapest on board of an authentic Trabant. On this unique tour, you’ll see the best of the city in a company of a professional guide.
Enjoy the best views of the city
To enjoy the best views of Budapest, you’ll have to cross the river and climb to Castle Hill. This is the oldest part of the city and home to the iconic Buda Castle. You’ll find plenty of free viewing points along the way that offer a stunning panorama of the city.
Yet, nothing can beat the magical Fisherman’s Bastion. Overlooking the outstanding Hungarian Parliament building, it offers the best views. Moreover, the bastion itself looks like a fairytale castle. So, hug you loved one and enjoy the best panoramic views of the city.
Many of its balconies of the Fisherman’s Bastion are free to enter, unless for the upper towers, for which you have to pay a small fee.
Visit a Chocolate Museum
To make your romantic weekend even sweeter, head to the Chocolate Museum (Csokoládé Múzeum). You’ll not only learn about the history of this delicious treat but sample plenty of Hungarian chocolate along the way.
The entrance ticket also includes a tea and cookie tasting at the romantic Rákóczi Knighthall! At the end of the tour, you’ll have the chance to design your own chocolate bar and take it home.
I’d recommend you booking tickets in advance, as the museum is slightly out of the city centre. You don’t want to go all the way, just to find out that it’s fully booked.
To get there take metro line 2 to Örs Vezér tere, then change to the suburban railway H9 (direction of Csömör) and get off at Árpádföld station. The Chocolate Museum is just a short walk from there.
Have a picnic next to Dracula Castle (the Hungarian version)
One of the most romantic places in Budapest for a picnic is the City Park. Known as the green lung of the city, the park features a castle and a beautiful lake. It’s an ideal spot for long walks or to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
The Vajdahunyad Castle, located there, combines several styles – Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Yet, it’s known as Dracula Castle, because of its resemblance to the latter.
In the summer you can rent a boat and enjoy a peaceful sail along the castle. If you’re visiting in the winter, though, you’ll find the lake turned into a huge ice rink!
The wine tasting is one of the most popular activities for couples in Budapest. This is because Hungary has a long history of producing wine. It can be even traced back to the Romans!
One of the country’s most famous wines that you can try nowadays, Tokaji, is first mentioned in the late 1400s. In fact, this wine is known as the wine of kings and the king of wines.
Explore the world of the Hungarian wines with your partner on this Budapest Wine Tasting Experience. You’ll have the chance to taste 7 Hungarian wines from boutique wineries. Learn more about the history and the various wine regions of the country from a local expert.
Evening cruise on the Danube
There is nothing more romantic than taking an evening cruise along the Danube River! The capital of Hungary is stunningly beautiful at night when the iconic sites are illuminated. So, book a cruise and treat yourself and your loved one with an unforgettable evening.
You can choose between a few options:
- Sightseeing Cruise with Welcome Drink – see the illuminated sights along the Danube, while enjoying a seasonal cocktail (or a soft drink)
- Budapest Candlelit Dinner Cruise – for a more romantic atmosphere, take a candlelit dinner cruise and enjoy a pleasant evening with a lovely dinner with live music
- Private boat cruise – for an intimate experience, book a private boat only for you and your partner
Hungarian Parliament Building – to see the building from the inside you need to book a guided tour (for a specific time slot), so book as early as you can. You can book your Budapest Parliament tour here.
Most romantic hotels in Budapest
For a complete romantic break, you need a great hotel. And the best part of visiting an inexpensive destination like Budapest is that even the 5-star hotels don’t cost a fortune. You can easily spoil your loved one with a luxurious experience at a very affordable price.
Don’t know in what area to book a hotel? Check out my guide to the best area to stay in Budapest.
This boutique hotel features a perfect location on Andrássy Avenue. It’s the ideal base for sightseeing and luxury shopping. The architecture of the building is fantastic and the spacious rooms are finished to a very high standard.
Why book – next to St. Stephen’s Basilica, 24-hour free coffee, aromatic sauna, excellent restaurant, 24-hour Conciergerie
Prestige Hotel is a well-priced boutique hotel, that occupies a former 19th-century townhouse. The location is more than ideal, a superb base to explore both Buda and Pest sides. Stay here if you look for magnificent architecture and excellent cuisine at an affordable price.
Why book – 200m from the Danube River, gourmet restaurant, quiet comfortable rooms, nice spa with dry sauna and jacuzzi
For a truly luxurious experience, stay at the Corinthia Hotel. Housed in an elegant building, the hotel features an original 19th-century spa. You can enjoy several relaxation areas, saunas, steam baths, hot tubs and a wide variety of treatments. Plus, the hotel is well-positioned, near the underground and the main tourist attractions.
Why book – central location, excellent spa centre, live piano music in the lobby bar
Most romantic restaurants in Budapest
There is no better way to end a day full of lovely activities, but a romantic dinner. And Budapest won’t disappoint you in this regard. The city features an excellent restaurant scene, focused on traditional cuisine.
To dine in a magical place filled with blossom cherry trees, visit Vintage Garden. It’s the ideal spot for a casual romantic dinner. The food is a mix of French dishes fused with Hungarian flavours.
Address: Budapest, Dob u. 21, 1074 Hungary
For a classical fine dining experience, there is one place to go – Onyx. The interior is elegantly decorated with gild elements and sparkling chandeliers. This 2 Michelin star restaurant offers traditional Hungarian cuisine with a modern twist.
Address: Budapest, Vörösmarty tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary
New York Café
For a luxurious dinner or a coffee and cake, visit New York Café. With its frescoes and marble columns, the café has the most opulent interior in the city.
Address: Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary
Romantic day trips from Budapest
Although Budapest is not short on romantic places, I would recommend you to dedicate at least a day to the beautiful Hungarian countryside.
Here are the loveliest day trips you can take (I skipped the most touristic places on purpose). In this way, you can enjoy a romantic day with your partner without crowds.
Wine tasting in the countryside
The small village of Etyek is a must-visit for every wine lover couple. This is of the main wine-producing areas in the country. Due to the cooler climate, the area is perfect for white wines. Etyek is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and sparkling wine.
Take this wine tasting tour and discover the best regional wines. You’ll visit 2 wineries in Etyek and taste 4 wines at each location. Also, you’ll have the chance to savour some classical Hungarian dishes on a rustic 3-course meal.
Take your partner and follow the steps of the most loved couple of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Yes, I’m talking about Franz Joseph and Elisabeth (known as Sisi). Gödöllő Palace used to be her favourite summer residence.
Originally, this 18th-century Baroque palace served as a manor of the Grassalkovich counts, a notable Hungarian family. The palace had several owners after the death of the last male inheritor of the Grassalkovich family in 1841.
Subsequently, the Hungarian state bought it as a coronation gift to Emperor Francis Joseph I and Queen Elisabeth.
Sisi was very popular in Hungary and the royal family spent a lot of time in Gödöllő. The estate is a true Habsburg residence – golden chandeliers, walls covered in silk and velvet chairs.
How to get to Gödöllő Palace
Take the HÉV 8 suburban train from Örs vezér tere to Gödöllő Szabadság tér (40min ride). From there it’s less than a 5min walk to the palace.
Esztergom is one of the most beautiful places to visit near Budapest. One of the oldest towns in Hungary, Esztergom was the country’s capital from the 10th to 13th century. The first king of Hungary, Stephen I, was born here in 975.
Esztergom is known for its massive basilica (the largest in the country) and the royal palace. It’s a perfect destination for a romantic day trip!
How to get to Esztergom from Budapest
- by train – take a train from Nyugati Railway station to Esztergom (1h15min journey). From there it’s about 2km to the historic centre.
- by boat – take a hydrofoil from Vigadó Square to Esztergom (1h30min journey). The hydrofoil stops directly under the cathedral’s hill.