If you are planning trip to Budapest, how do you decide what to do? This post covers the best things to do in Budapest at night, free things to do, things you can do in Budapest tonight and much more. Be sure to read our post about unusual things to do in Budapest so you won’t miss out!
Top 10 Things to do in Night Budapest
Below you will find an insider guide to top 10 things to do in Budapest at night -- magical places and secret after-dark spots that only locals know about.
There is so much more to do in Budapest than 10 of course, so we made sure to include links to each thing to do so you can find out more immediately.
We also offer a ‘’evening special’’ Tour of Budapest, which takes place March – October at 19:00 (7pm) and takes in the historical centre of Budapest at night, as soon as the sunset takes place and lights go up.
1. Visit a Stand Up Comedy show
In addition to other venues that host amazing concerts, movie theatres, there are also few theatres where you can attend a Stand Up Comedy show.
The performers are usually of mixed origin, you’ll either come across a Hungarian or an expat stand up comedian, who lives in Budapest, as well the audience who is mostly international.
You’ll learn some insightful, fun facts about Hungary, locals, have a great laugh and maybe even make a few friends.
Centrally located, the BP Comedy House hosts shows every 3-5 days and is fairly popular amongst visitors and the English speaking community in Budapest.
2. Take in the Glittering City while Dining on the Danube River
Whether you decide to embark on a cruise or watch the sights over the deck unfold, this experience is magical.
Having a local Hungarian dish (e.g. Goulash Soup) which comes as a part of 4 course meal, listening to a jazz band while admiring the skyline around Danube River, sipping on quality local wine (e.g. Tokaj) certainly makes for a picturesque romantic evening out.
Wide range of cruises showcase sights such as the Buda Castle, Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Hungarian National Parliament Building and the Fisherman’s Bastion
We’ve made a big comparison of Danube River Cruises which you can read here.
3. Ride the ”Budapest Eye”
The Budapest Eye, being the highest mobile ferris wheel in Europe, operates in Budapest since the summer 2013.
Standing at 65 metres tall, it’s an extraordinary way to view Budapest’s skyline and see the city in 360° as you ”fly” around in your cabin.
You can buy tickets online here.
TIP: the ride lasts around 12 minutes, and spins over 3-4 times. In the summer months, due to a very late sunset, we recommend visiting the Budapest Eye after 9pm. The last ride is usually around midnight.
4. Visit one of Budapest’s Up-top Sky Bars
Budapest’s nightlife scene is neither wild or out of control, nor gets blank or sleepy. It lays somewhere in between, with the locals usually preferring a night out in a laid-back, aesthetically pleasing vibe.
And that’s when the rooftop scene comes in. It makes for a brilliant night out, as long as you fancy fine drinks, unrivaled views of Budapest you won’t spot on blog covers and an exceptional experience.
Watch the sunset in the summer, or get yourself cozy in one of the Igloos of the Igloo Garden 360°
Our Pick: Alternatively, you could visit the High Note Sky Bar, situated just off the Saint Stephen’s Basilica, and as long as you don’t get intimidated by a fashion-concious crowd, we can guarantee you’ll love this place.
5. Take an evening dip in Thermal Baths
Budapest has taken advantage of its geographical fault line: over 120 hot springs, 9 medicinal baths and a lot of different pools complexes. More pleasingly warm than piping hot, the 16th-century built Turkish style Rudas Baths is a spacious complex with indoor and outdoor thermal bath, swimming pool and a rooftop hot tub, which features a soaring view of Pest skyline.
Rooftop Hot Tub of Rudas Baths | © spabook.net
It offers a wide range of services such as medical massages, professional treatments, wheelchair access is good and specialist physiotherapy treatments are also available.
Rudas Bath offers ”night bathing” on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm -- 4am. Find out how to get tickets here.
For other bathing options, see the list of all Budapest Baths here.Click to See the men or women only days in Rudas Bath
Women only bath days in Rudas Bath: Tuesday.
Men only days in Rudas Bath: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Mixed days: Weekend, including Friday and Saturday late night bathing hours
Tip: The pools open from 6 am to 6 pm Monday through Wednesday, 6 am to 8 pm on Thursday through Sunday, steam baths and saunas are open from 6 am to 8 pm all week.
6. Visit the Pálinka museum
Particularly for those, who are keen on trying something typically Hungarian/Central European, the Pálinka museum offers a unique experience.
First heard of in the 14th century, the museum has plenty of historical and entertaining facts about this rubbing alcohol with a hint of whatever fruit it was made of.
The museum features with different fruit flavours of Pálinka, which you’ll be able to taste, as well as a small shop where you can purchase your spirit as nice gift/souvenir to bring back home.
7. Walk along the riverfront
It’s much better without the crowds, especially after the sun goes down. With beginning at the riverside near the Central Market, a walk against the direction of River Danube towards the Margaret Bridge offers an amazing spectacle.
The actual view of Hungarian Parliament Houses at night, lit up.
Passing attractions such as the Gellert Hotel, Elisabeth Bridge, Chain Bridge, the National Parliament of Hungary, Shoes on the Danube Memorial towards the Margaret Bridge gives a beautiful city lights view, and there are plenty of benches along the way to relax, watch the river flow and enjoy a Budapest evening, crowd-free.
8. See the traditional Hungarian Folklore Show
Authentic Hungarian dance, Folk, is a rather exciting show. With a perfect narration, life come into being from the Hungarian folk dance shows with powerful dynamics of love, desire, loss, youth, celebration, fun, teasing, and many more feelings evoked as these internationally awarder dancers perform.
The Hungarian Folk offers a variety of options. You can choose an evening ”Folk Cruise” on the Danube with a dinner option, a Folk & Parliament Tour, or see the show at the City Centre Venue.
- Tickets: From 22€
- Availability: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
- Hours: The last shows usually starts around 11pm, depending on the option you picked.
- Duration: 1-4 hours (again, depending on the option.)
- Purchase tickets or learn more.
TIP: Hungarian Folk offers various discounts, we recommend checking their offer based on seasonality.
9. Go Ghost-Hunting
The Budapest Mysterium Tours promises to introduce you to Budapest’s most notorious haunted stories of Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Báthory. Tours are led by Zsigmond Balázs, the ”Witty Storyteller” and Budapest local and received great feedback from their guests, thus they are strongly recommended as an unusual night, haunted experience.
Haunted story-telling tour guide accompanied with lantern | © facebook -- MysteriumTours
- Tickets: Adults 20 € | Students 17 € | Children 12 €
- Availability: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
- Hours: 20:30 (8:30pm)
- Duration: 2 hours
- Purchase tickets or learn more.
TIP: If you are interested in a private tour or are a larger group (5+) contact the company beforehand as they usually offer discounts.
10. Budapest Pinball Museum
Dive in into this dreamworld of more than 130 machines with some of them dating back to the 80s’ -- in fact, not only pinball machines, but a wide range of old-school video games, table football games and many more.
It’s an excellent pick for families, couples, groups of friends or anyone else seeking a fun evening out as the tickets are fairly cheap and in exchange you get unlimited time to bring out your inner child spirit and test all those machines out. The museum features with few of a multiplayer machines as well.Opening Hours
Free Things to do in Budapest at Night
Several of the listed nighttime activities listed elsewhere in the post are also free, so be sure to read them as well.
Below, we add a few of our other favorite free nighttime activities.
For more ideas, check out our postof 31 Unusual Things to Do in Budapest, which includes many things that can also be experienced at night.
Watch a Musical Fountain of Margaret Island
The Margaret Island Musical Fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics employing hundreds of water jets and lights, that come together in a choreographed combo.
The Musical Fountain is open 7 days a week, 10am -- 10pm, with the last show starting at 9pm. It’s totally free to watch, definitely worth seeing while you’re in Budapest, and another great evening/night time activity to do in the city.
Wander around the Japanese Garden
In the spirit of Japanese aesthetics, Margaret Island’s Japanese garden is a unique, one of its kind attraction in the middle of the city, yet still surrounded by the green oasis of Margaret Island.
Plants such as Green Velvets, Eagle Ferns, Perennial Plants as well as small lake with fish and turtles highlight the natural landscape, which is, especially in the spring/summer season, a lovely display.
Explore the unrivalled natural beauty as the Japanese Garden is an excellent place for a romantic stroll at night.
Good To Know: The Japanese Garden of Margaret Island is open 24 Hours/day and is free to enter.
Take an Evening Walking Tour
Most people visiting Budapest will eventually look into taking a sightseeing tour. You can opt for an evening walking tour to discover sights (you might’ve already seen), from a whole new perspective, and learn some insightful facts, history and fun anecdotes behind them.
You can check out the free evening walk by Free Walking Tours that leaves daily at 6:30pm from Elisabeth (Erzsebet) square and lasts approximately 1.5-Hours.
Find Panoramic View
Climb up the Gellert Hill as the sun is setting for some of the best views in Budapest. The Gellert Hill is 235 meters (771 feet) high – with a moderate hike to the top of the hill. There, you can find a soaring views of the city’s skyline.
FACT: No building in Budapest is allowed to stand at more than 96 metres which makes for the view to be clear and enjoyable).
Spot the Danube River, Parliament Building, the Budapest Eye, Fisherman’s Bastion and many more of the city’s famous landmarks from this viewpoint, which is often described, especially when the sun is setting down, as unforgettable.
Tip: If you don’t feel like walking all the way up, we offer a 1.5-Hour Segway Tour which goes to the top point of the hill.
Enjoy free concerts in ruin pubs and at open-mic nights
Budapest is filled to the brim with live music, concerts, Ruin Pubs and shows for every taste or budget.
Every week from Sunday to Friday, an open-mic nights set on the scene after dark in many of Budapest’s venues and locale’s, where anyone daring is free to stand in front of the crowd and perform a musical act, stand-up comedy or bring out a poetry soul.
For the detailed schedule of these programs, visit the Budapest Open Mic Facebook page
Take a Free Pub Crawl
This is yet another great option for solo travelers looking to meet new friends or those looking to discover hotspots, as the free pub crawl confirms a lot of people come by themselves.
There are crawls geared towards people interested in exploring less known Ruin Pubs.
One of Budapest’s famous Ruin Pubs -- place to get yourself cheap drinks in a relaxed environment.
Optional ”drinking package” is also available for purchase. It will get you 1 hour of unlimited Hungarian beer/wine, 2 free shots, free entry to the clubs, and queue jumps. Price? 10€.
- Meeting point: Akácfa Street 1-3 (next to Burger King at Blaha Lujza square)
- When: Everyday at 10pm, rain or shine.
- Ticket Cost: Free
- Group Sizes: Split into groups max. of 30 guests
- Reservations: Not required, but preferred. Reserve your spot here.
- Great For: Solo travelers, groups of friends, backpackers,
- Pros: meeting new people, low-cost fun night, Genuine local experience, exploring nightlife scene, highly rated on TripAdvisor
- Cons: Some guests said the event lack creativity in organisation. But again, it’s a free pub crawl!
For a recommended things to do at night, check out the Entertainment & Nightlife Section of this post.
Recommended: The 13 Best Nightclubs in Budapest
Free Entrances to Budapest’s museums
Free Museum Entrances (on the days of Hungarian National Holiday).
If you are lucky and visiting Budapest one of the dates mentioned below, you will be able to visit the following museums for free.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest: free entrance on 15th March, 20th August, 23rd October
- Hungarian National Gallery: free entrance on 15th March, 20th August, 23rd October
- Hungarian National Museum: free entrance on 15th March, 20th August, 23rd October
- Museum of Agriculture: free entrance on 15th March, 20th August, 23rd October
Free for All on the Night of Museums
All Budapest Museums allow you to be visited (almost) free of charge on the annual Night of Museums, which takes place (in 2020) on June 27 -- June 28.
This one is technically not free as you will have to pay a small fare, but that is just splitting hairs.
Around 50 Budapest museums, exhibitions, and other venues will be free to visit with special Museum Night Bus service in service to help you get from one museum to the other.
Find out all you need to know about the Night of Museums in Budapest.
Free for EU citizens under 26:
- Hungarian National Gallery: Free every 3rd Saturday of the month for visitors under 26 and for children under 18 accompanied by parents.
- Museum of Fine Arts: Free every 3rd Saturday of the months for visitors under 26 and children under 18 accompanied by parents.
Things To Do with Kids at Night
Many of the activities mentioned in the previous sections (Top 10 and Free Things) are also applicable to families, such as the Budapest Pinball Museum, the Budapest Eye Ride, visiting Thermal Baths and going Ghost-Hunting.
Below, we add a few more family-friendly night activities.
For more family-friendly ideas for any time of day, check out our post on free things to do in Budapest with kids.
Harry Potter Themed Café
A wizard themed cafe arrived to Budapest and Harry Potter fans can Expecto be impressed.
The Flying Broom (Repülő Seprű) has recently opened in Buda Side, where you can create drinkable and edible “potions”, brew your own beverages, test your magical abilities and enjoy a wide range of unique food specialties.
Interior of the Flying Broomstick wide variety of detailed amenities to make the experience truly magical | © facebook, RepuloSepru
And as they promise -- ”We have taken special attention to all the details you’ll see exhibited here to please even the biggest fans out there.” -- no kids or adults will be left disappointed.
The opening hours of Flying Broom are Thursday to Sunday from 12:00 to 21:00, makes an excellent place for a great evening.
Watch show in Capital Circus of Budapest
Central Europe’s only stone circus, originally opened in 1889 features with shows with animals such as sea lions, horses, dogs, birds, as well as live orchestras, flame throwers, acrobats or clowns -- all of them are perfect choice for families and your children will love them.
It’s a great evening activity, no matter the season as the circus shows happen in a stone building, with the last performance of the day usually happening around 7pm. Check out how to get tickets or learn more.
Escape rooms are a trend that pops up all over Europe -- with Budapest not missing on the list.
There are many Escape room games to choose from in the city that locks you in a differently themed space with the objective of getting yourself out as quickly as possible.
Try and get yourself out the locked room in the time limit. Will you succeed?
But how to choose the right game for your family with kids?
Quest Hunter made a research of Budapest’s Escape rooms for kids and selected the most enjoyable picks for your smallest all the way to the teenagers.
You can also consider Locked Room Budapest which received over 1500 positive reviews on TripAdvisor and remains open until 9pm, although we recommend a reservation as they might lock up other families and guest ahead of you.
Visit 3D Gallery
This interactive art gallery where you become the art yourself, is a certified fun for ANY age group. This gallery is an ultimate solution for anyone looking for a unique experience as well as bringing out creativeness and diving into their own artistic skills.
Merge together with the paintings, freely touch and create a unique 3D images, and be sure to bring your smartphone or a camera to capture unforgettable memories.
The 3D Gallery offers variety of family tickets as well as group discounts, student and other deals, all for a reasonable price.
No ordinary café place here. In facts, the only ordinary thing you will come across at Zoo Café is the actual coffee.
Once you are seated down, surround yourself with many exotic and stunning animals, and thanks to experienced zookeepers, none of your questions will be left unanswered.
Opening hours are Monday -- Sunday 10:00 -- 22:00. Great spot for an evening gathering and rest with your family.
Visit ”HelloAnyu!” -- the Family-friendly Community Space and Cafe
HelloAnyu is a great place for parents with smaller children, both locals or visitors.
Entertainment & Nightlife
From live bands and DJ performances to Ruin Pubs scene and party-boats, Budapest’s nightlife has all you need. Keep reading to find out our hand-picked activities to do after dark in the city.
Enjoy Live Music at a Ruin Pub
Ask a local about the city’s nightlife and Budapest’s Ruin Pubs get mentioned every time. It’s a must if you are planning a fun night out.
Family-like atmosphere of Ruin Pubs allows local musicians to perform on the stage, at Szimpla Kert you will find a schedule of frequent live music events, while Durer-Kert offers one of the best rock music scene in the city.
Visit Budapest’s most famous club
Ötkert is the place to be if you want to dance to good music until dawn. You can party to live music or the week’s most popular songs all night long at this Budapest’s notoriously famous nightclub.
Aside from its stylish interiors and music, their well-mixed and fairly-priced drinks will make you want to stay.
Embark on the A38: an ex-Soviet veteran ship
Atmosphere on this repurposed ex-Soviet ship will definitely add some spice to any evening out.
Centrally located, the A38 ships hosts concerts, theatre performances, gastronomic manifestations, evenings of literature, exhibitions, discussions and more. Check out the rich schedule of events of this prestigious place.
Definitely a great place to visit if you are looking for a atypical and local nightlife experience.
The city is famous for its nightlife as well as thermal baths. So why not to combine these two to create an ultimate, unique Hungarian experience?
Introducing ”Sparty”, which combine enthusiastic DJs playing electro, hip-hop, EDM, funky and pop with amazing animations, videos, custom visual effects and unlimited alcohol.
With a tradition of nearly 20 years, nowadays, there’s a party almost every Saturday; in the summer at the well known Széchenyi baths and a local’s favourite Lukács in the winter months, which also organise a pre-New Year’s Eve special event.
Ruin Pub Crawl
Budapest’s time honoured tradition are the Ruin Pubs. The mystery behind the name actually speaks for itself -- these pubs are built in the ruins of abandoned old buildings, shops etc.., thus the atmosphere inside these pubs is truly relaxed and simple, and the drinks considerably cheap.
The Ruin Pub Crawl guides you through 5 top Ruin Pubs in the city, offers a unlimited beer and a half price deals on variety of drinks at each of the pubs, accompanied with fun, friendly & international guides.
- Tickets: €13 per person | Must be 18+
- Availability: Wednesdays, Fridays (Mondays from May through September)
- Starts at: 9pm
- Purchase tickets or learn more.
Things To Do Tonight in Budapest
There is no shortage of things to do at night in London. Every evening you can find special events, theatre performances, late-night museum openings, pop-up bars, recommended clubs and much more!
The best place to learn more about everything that is happening each night is through one of the many local media websites.
They publish news and reviews about events happening in London every day/week. Below are some of the most user-friendly ones: