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Things to do in Budapest - Top 10 things in Budapest City Park

1. See the Funfair (Vidámpark)
It might not be interesting at all compared to Disneyland, but it has a certain post-Communist feeling. A unique experience for tourists and locals alike.

2. See the Circus
Only if you do not mind the smell and do not find circuses boring in general (as it is the same as any other Circus).

3. Visit the Zoo
The Zoo is a nice place to go with children in the summertime, and much more recommended than the Circus in the same time of the year (animals in a small building versus animals in open air).

4. Take a look at the Heroes' Square
The National Art Gallery is on one side and the Museum of Fine Art on the other. If you have an affinity for arts, the latter two are the places to go. Expect long queues.

5. Rent a boat or visit the icerink
Renting a boat in the summer, being a bit too sophisticated for the average citizen, lets you meet tourists like yourself. Sakting in the winter lets you mingle with the youth of Budapest. Try not to break a leg.

6. Visit the Castle of Vajdahunyad
This beautiful castle is right near the lake, housing the Museum of Agriculture. It is the right place for you if you are interested in relics like hoes from the 14th century.

7. Visit the Széchenyi Thermal Bath
The bath offers more or less the same services as all the other Baths in Budapest. Still, it is unique because of its turn-of-the-century architectural style.

8. Buy a souvenir or two opposite the Funfair
This is where the local commercial center is - yes, the stalls. It will make your kids and the seller happy.

9. Visit the Transport Museum
If you have any interest in vehicles, you will find this a joyful place. Don't be afraid to release your inner child and try out everything!

10. Take a walk in the City Park
The park is a great place to take a stroll. There is nothing to look at in particular, except a bunch of trees and green areas, but this is still the calmest, most pleasant place in the city.

1. The Funfair (Vidámpark)

The Budapest Funfair might not offer a lot of excitement to foreigners but it could still be tempting because of its unique atmosphere. The predecessor of the Fair was founded in the early 19th century. The Funfair functions in its current form since 1950, but it maintained as many of the old games as possible. Today there are 40 games in the Fair, and through many renovations, most of them are offering the same experience as they have been for decades.

At the same time, the Funfair does its best to renew. In the last decade, many internationally popular games were purchased, rented, or borrowed. These may be familiar and exciting for foreign visitors as well, even if they are bored with the traditional Roller Coaster (Hullámvasút), or the Scenic Railway (Szellemvasút), a true remainder of Socialism. The prices of the Funfair are more than acceptable, especially compared to foreign fairs. A multi-language prospectus is available at the entrance to help navigate among the games in the Park.

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2. Budapest Circus

The Budapest Circus was the first and only stone circus in Europe. It was opened in 1891, and through many changes in ownership and years of turmoil, it managed to maintain its popularity until recent years. Although the splendor of the Budapest Circus is faded as entertainment technology improves, it still offers enjoyable, unique live shows of acrobatics and performances of foreign troupes.

The Circus also emphasizes the maintaining of the traditions at the Hungarian Circus. Many artists trained in the Budapest Circus are now famous all over the world as performers as well as inventors of new attractions.

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3. The Budapest Zoo (Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert)

The Budapest Zoo started out as a spectacular collection and exhibition of animals, one of the few in Europe at the late 19th century. Donations of money and animals were received from all over Europe, making the Zoo a famous and popular place in Hungary as well as on the whole continent. In the 20th century wars, political changes, and economic depressions decimated the animals and many times the Budapest Zoo barely avoided bankruptcy. In the second half of the 20th century, the Zoo slowly recovered, and aimed to become the very institute it was on its founding.

Nowadays, the Zoo has a more animal-centered policy than ever before. Most of the income is spent on improving the life conditions of the animals and the experience of the visitors. Lately, the Budapest Zoo managed to renovate and re-open the Palm House along with the Aquarium in the basement, and the Elephant House, attractions that no family should miss.

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4. Heroes Square

Heroes Square is one of the most famous sights of Budapest. It is located on the end of Andrássy Street, near the City Park. In the center of the Square is the statue of Archangel Gabriel, surrounded by the seven leaders of the settling Hungarians. There are statues of other significant Hungarian statesmen as well, including St. Stephen, King Matthias, and Louis Kossuth. The famous monument was built for the 1000th anniversary of the founding of Hungary, in 1896.

The Heroes Square is surrounded by the National Art Gallery on one side, and the Museum of Fine Art on the other, both offering various regular exhibitions as well as those of foreign museums.

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5. Renting a boat or skating

The artificial lake stretching from the Castle of Vajdahunyad all the way to the Budapest Zoo is in use all year round. In the summer, you can rent a boat and row around with friends, enjoying the sunshine. In the winter, it is an ice rink where hundreds of Budapest citizens go in circles, skating the night away. The ice rink is especially popular at night, this is when the biggest crowd gathers.

The lake is the most well-known and perhaps the oldest ice rink in Budapest. For the past few years, however, they have set up a few others in other parts of the city. For example, there is one right in front of the Parliament. The other one is on a roof top by the Westend Shopping center.

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6. Castle Vajdahunyad (Vajdahunyad Vára)

Castle Vajdahunyad is a replica of the transylvanian fort of János Hunyadi. The original building was built in the middle of the 15th century, and was fortified many times after by the descendants and heirs of Hunyadi. Castle Vajdahunyad in Budapest was erected as part of the Millennium Celebration in the end of the 19th century.

Located near the lake in the City Park, Castle Vajdahunyad currently houses the Museum of Agriculture. Its exhibitions cover many fields of the history and development of Hungarian and European agriculture including domestic animals, plants, fishing, forestry, the history of wine, and many more.

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7. Széchenyi Thermal Bath

The Széchenyi Bath is one of the largest and most well-known baths in Budapest. It is located in the middle of the City Park, across the street from the Budapest Zoo. If you come to Budapest and want to enjoy the famous baths of the city, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath would be one of your choices. The others would be the Gellért Bath and the Rudas Bath.

The bath house is always full of people. In recent years, as the cost of the experience keeps escalating, there percentage of foreigners is also increasing. Actually, tickets seem to cost more than they actually do. There is a complicated system where you buy a ticket and then receive back some of it, depending on how much time you spent in the bath.

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8. Buying a souvenir opposite the Funfair

This something what the people of Budapest used to do when they came to the City Park for a Sunday morning. After seeing the Budapest Zoo or the Funfair with the kids, they would inevitably end up in front of the strategically positioned colorful souvenir stands in the park. This would be moment when the kids request another round of pretzels or sweets.

So this is a tradition in Budapest, just like renting a boat or skating on the ice rink. Buy something to see if you can become a little part of that tradition.

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9. Transport Museum

The Transport Museum is another location of interest in the City Park. Ever since its founding in 1899, the Museum aims to show the exhibit of the improvement of Hungarian transportation. The Transport Museum houses pictures, models, and various vehicles as well. Some of the exhibitions can be found at other locations, such as the Petofi Hall nearby, where you can see the exhibition about the History of Flying.

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10. A Walk in the Budapest City Park

Whatever brought you to the Budapest City Park, you will probably end up taking a walk through the old sycamore trees. Unquestionably, this is one of the best things to do in Budapest, even if you are not looking at anything in particular. It is always quiet and, oddly, there are not too many people around. (Or perhaps the Park is too big.) The air is refreshing here, unlike in most places in Budapest.

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Things to do in Budapest - Top 10 things in Budapest City Park