Kid-friendly attractions in Budapest
By Rowena Carr-Allinson
Budapest at dusk (Flickr: Moyan Brenn)
Who knew the Hungarian capital was such a family-friendly destination? Planning a family vacation in Europe? Add on the fairytale city of Budapest and check out the numerous kid-friendly attractions it offers, from its famous baths to the beaches and quirky museums! There is plenty to keep you busy.
To indulge, check into the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace where the family will love the views, the service and the spa with its cool pool. On a budget? Try the Aquaworld Resort Budapest with its vast choice of pools, kids club and baby swimming classes! For great value in the center and little independence, try the Millennium Court, Budapest with their serviced rooms and kitchenettes.
The idyllic island on the Danube is ideal for a wander and just the place to explore with kids. Just 1.6 miles long and 550 yards wide, it’s almost kid-sized and definitely kid-friendly! You can venture out on foot or by bike, and visit the small zoo, the medieval ruins or even the small Japanese Garden. The island is also home to the Alfred Hajos Sports Pool, where the European Championships have been held. Non-sporty types might enjoy the UNESCO site that is the “Music Fountain” where music is played and light shows are performed in summer and water ‘dances’ in time with the music! Another must see on the island? The Palatinus Water Park, the largest open-air swimming complex in Budapest.
Palatinus Bath (Flickr: Heather Cowper)
Often dubbed one of the most beautiful outdoor pools in the world, the Palatinus opened in 1919 as a beach on the Danube bank, followed by the construction of the large pool in 1921. With water from the thermal springs, rich in calcium-magnesium hydro carbonate, it soon became very popular. By 1980, a 5-track slide was added and in 2002, yet more modernization meant the baths now have 11 pools including a wave pool, thermal pools, children’s pools, fun pool, beach pool and slide pool, with extra kid-friendly features like the Magic Tunnel, the Kamikaze, the Turbo, and the Anaconda!
Miniversum (Courtesy Miniversum)
Set on the ground floor of the Krausz Palace on Andrassy Avenue, the newest attraction in town for kids is a model world featuring many of Budapest and Hungary’s sights and landmarks (as well as a bit of Germany and Austria) scaled to 1:100 of original size! As well as the small scale displays, you’ll see the originals in interactive displays. It boasts an amazing 300 square meter interactive train table too. Since it opened in mid-May 2014, the impressive display has become one of the must-sees when visiting Budapest with kids. You’ll also find a playhouse with tables for 5 different age groups and a high tech café.
Skater boys and girls will want to visit Europe’s largest Skate and Leisure Park. A skaters’ paradise, it’s been a mecca for sporty teens since 1995. As well as skating, kid-friendly activities here include BMX riding, wall-climbing or just jumping on trampoline to burn off that excess energy!
The Hungarian Railway Museum
Hungarian Railway Museum (Photo: Spasimir Pilev)
Calling all train and railway fans! This outdoor museum features beautiful vintage locomotives, steam engines and other activities such as riding on a horse tram, in a Tchaika car, discovering the garden railway and even old-fashioned hand-operated carts. A kid-friendly attraction that might tempt a few train-loving adults too!
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime. Since the arrival of her son in 2011, she has taken him everywhere from Bangkok to NYC, writing family friendly articles en route.