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Hey there, fellow bucket list junkies! Tired of the same old travel suggestions? Yearning for something more… adventurous, maybe even a bit weird or sinister? You’re in the right place! Here are some crazy things to do in Budapest!
So, I can assure you, I’ve scoured every nook and cranny of this vibrant city to unearth its hidden gems. But, believe me, it’s far from your typical travel guide.
When I say ‘crazy’, I mean the kind of stuff that you would not normally think of when you start your research into Budapest: stuff that is weird, quirky, inappropriate, historically horrific, or downright wicked.
Bucket List Review of Doing the Crazy Things in Budapest
|Who Should Add This to Their Bucket List?
|Adventurers or historical lovers who
want to get off the beaten path
|Best Time to Go
|May/June or September/October
|No, but recommended
for some activities
|Yes, in most cases
|Favorite Place to Stay
|7Seasons Apartments Budapest
|Buda Castle District Vampires & Myths Walking Tour
|Get Quote with VisitorsCoverage
If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.
Get ready to tick off a wildly exciting item from your bucket list—the Labyrinth of Budapest!
Nestled beneath the Buda Castle, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest parts of the city. This maze provides remnants from the cold war, skulls and bones, and twists and turns that resemble an underground city.
But fear not, adventurers, it’s not all spooky! There is rich history here to be learned since it has been used for many years and updated for more modern purposes such as bomb shelters.
Go on a Dark Tour of Budapest
Next up on our crazy Budapest bucket list is the spine-chilling Ghost and Vampire tour of the city!
Don’t chicken out just yet! This isn’t your average scare-fest. It’s an enchanting journey through Budapest’s centuries-old legends and lore. And better yet, it is a fun way to see and learn about Budapest’s rich history. It is a fantastic blend of fun and fright with a generous dash of history.
Within two days of arriving in Budapest, I went on a dark tour of Budapest!
You may get to learn all about Countess Elizabeth Báthory, the world’s most notorious female serial killer, or hear about the paranoia and witch hunt for vampires!
Visit the Terror Háza (House of Terror)
Alright, history buffs, it’s time to tick off another big one from your Budapest bucket list—the House of Terror or Terror Háza!
Except it touches on something that is, in my opinion, scarier than ghosts and vampires.
This museum isn’t just your average walk-through history; it’s a chilling reminder of the darkest periods of Hungary’s past, specifically the fascist and communist regimes.
It’s housed in a building that was used as a torture site during the Communist era—yikes! But don’t let that put you off.
It’s a deeply moving experience you shouldn’t miss, especially if you are interested in Hungary’s darker side of history.
Learn about Medicine at the Semmelweis Medical Museum
Ready for a little off-the-beaten-path exploration? Then you absolutely must add the Semmelweis Medical Museum to your crazy Budapest bucket list!
Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum is actually located in the former home of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, famously known as the ‘savior of mothers.’
You’ll get to literally walk through the history of medicine and even see some super old surgical instruments! Trust me, it’s not as gruesome as it sounds!
I also have to mention this because *drum roll please* I attended Semmelweis Medical School! It was always inspiring to attend a school with so much history and influence in medicine, and the Medical Museum proves it!
Ahhhh if only I would have stayed and became a doctor instead of becoming a traveling mermaid who helps people with their bucket lists…sorry Mom and Dad.
Back to the point, if you are a science or medicine geek like myself, the Semmelweis Medical Musum is perfect for you. My favorite part is the early x-ray machine and the shrunken head!
Rock Hospital Atombunker Museum
Speaking of medicine and hospitals, plunge into the depths of history at the Rock Hospital Atombunker Museum!
Now, hear me out, this isn’t your typical museum. Carved into the side of the Castle Hill, it was once an air raid hospital that converted into a nuclear bunker.
This is truly history coming alive. Walking through the underground corridors, you’ll get to see original (some still functioning) medical equipment, fallout shelters, and a wealth of information about the history of the hospital and its role in World War II and the 1956 Revolution.
The chilling aura of the past still hangs in the air, making you feel as if you’ve stepped into a time machine!
So, if you’re ready to swap the usual tourist traps for a journey back in time, make sure to add the Rock Hospital Atombunker Museum to your crazy Budapest bucket list.
Wander the Red Star Train Graveyard
Next on our crazy Budapest bucket list is the Red Star Train Graveyard! If you’re the type who enjoys the eerie silence and a touch of urban decay, then you’re going to love this place.
Imagine an open field filled with rusty, Soviet-era trains—each one carrying a story of its own.
You might wonder, “What’s a train graveyard doing in the middle of Budapest?” Well, I asked the same question!
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, it was actually a massive workshop for repairs. Unfortunately, it was heavily damaged after World War II. Steam locomotion was eventually replaced by diesel and trains were then stored here.
You wouldn’t think it would be spooky, but it is. I can’t explain it, but the whole thing is slightly eerie, especially the main Red Star train that was brought to Hungary during the Soviet Regime.
Word to the wise: this isn’t exactly regulated. Please be careful and don’t sneak anywhere you shouldn’t be going.
Have a Travel Photoshoot
One of the unique things that I did before I moved out of Budapest was have a full blown travel photoshoot!
I hired a photographer and everything. This may seem over the top for some travelers, but it produced some of the best memories (and captured those memories) I had while in Budapest.
My jaw about hit the floor when I saw the photographs! They looks like they were straight out of a travel magazine!
In Budapest, you are going to pay less than other countries for this experience and you have many stunning options for locations.
I wrote an entire guide about my experience doing a travel photoshoot in Budapest. If this sounds like it should be on your bucket list, I can’t recommend it enough, especially in Hungary.
See the Iron Shoes on the Danube Bank
Next on our crazy bucket list journey through Budapest is a deeply moving, historical spot—the Iron Shoes on the Danube Bank.
The first time I stumbled upon these by accident. I was very confused at the iron shoes that lined the banks of the Danube. And you can imagine my shock and sadness when I found out the true purpose for these shoes.
This isn’t a quirky shopping spree I’m talking about, but a memorial.
They were ordered to take off their shoes before being shot, their bodies falling into the river. This memorial serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of war. It’s a heart-wrenching sight that’s bound to stir up a storm of emotions.
But hey, isn’t travel about understanding and connecting with all aspects of a place, joyous and somber?
So, while it’s not your typical ‘fun’ item, I highly recommend adding this to your Budapest bucket list. It’s a solemn experience that will give you a whole new perspective on the city and its history.
Unleash Your Inner Pinball Wizard at Flippermúzeum
And with all of this heartwretching history behind us, let’s lighten the mood with Flippermúzeum!
Not every day do you get to tumble down a rabbit hole filled with 140 pinball machines, right?
This is Europe’s largest ongoing interactive pinball exhibit, and when you step inside, it feels like you’ve time-traveled back to the golden age of pinball arcades.
It’s a blast from the past that’ll have you hooked! You pay an entrance fee, and then it’s free play on all the machines.
It is definitely something that I have yet to stumble upon anywhere else in my travels. It’s flippin’ awesome…(see what I did there?)
See The Mummified Hand in St. Stephen’s Basilica
Then let’s head over to the stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica! You may have already seen this massive religious icon on your normal Budapest bucket list. But you might not know that there is a unexpected surprise for you in this basilica.
This is known as the Holy Right Hand. And if seeing a thousand year old mummified royal hand makes it onto your bucket list, then I want to be friends with you!
It’s housed in a grand, ornate reliquary, and you can even light it up for a better view by dropping in 200 HUF.
I actually stumbled upon this by mistake and was completely awestruck when I first saw it. It’s a truly intriguing blend of beauty, history, and a dash of the bizarre!
Grab a Drink in a Ruin Bar
Buckle up because now we’re heading into the wild and wacky world of Budapest’s infamous Ruin Bars!
What is a Ruin Bar? It’s a concept so crazy, so unique, it could only have been born in Budapest!
Picture this: old, dilapidated buildings transformed into hip, trendy bars filled with eclectic furniture and quirky decor—a mishmash of styles that somehow creates the perfect atmosphere for a night out.
As the name suggests, these aren’t your typical sleek and polished bars; they’re literally set up in the city’s ruins, hence the name ‘Ruin Bars.’
And trust me when I say, there’s nowhere else quite like them!
There are several Ruin Bars scattered around the city, with my favorite being Szimpla Kert. There are also several opportunities to go on bar crawls around the city in famous Ruin Bars, which I would recommend if you are a partier or backpacker:
Fiume Road Cemetery
For those of you who love wandering around eerily beautiful cemeteries, why not visit Fiumei Road Cemetery!
Often overlooked by tourists, this gem is one of the largest green areas in Budapest and is home to the most prominent figures in Hungarian history.
Rows upon rows of ornate tombstones, mausoleums, and statues make it more of an open-air sculpture garden than a cemetery.
This is one of the more impressive cemeteries out there, and it is unmissable if your idea of a good time is looking at tombstones. I’m not judging, I’m one of those people!
Fasten your seatbelts, because we’re about to take a leap into the future!
Ever wished you could fly over the city, walk through walls, or maybe even travel back in time?
Well, here in Budapest, you can do all that and more—with a Virtual Reality tour! These tours offer a cutting-edge way to experience the city like never before.
It’s incredibly immersive and it feels so real, you’ll forget you’re in a virtual world!
The VR tours are also a fantastic option if you’re tight on time or want to avoid large crowds.
Once you have returned back to the real world, there is another level of appreciation for what you are seeing in real life. Plus, you might learn something too! Welcome to the future!
Alright, you adventurous wanderers!
Thanks for sticking to the end and uncovering the hidden gems and embraced the craziness of Budapest. Budapest, with its quirky delights and offbeat wonders, is a playground for those seeking something out of the ordinary.
So, swap the predictable for the peculiar, and break free from the usual travel routine!
Get ready to check off those crazy escapades from your bucket list, because Budapest is calling, and it’s anything but ordinary!