Off-Track Activities – Hungarian Grand Prix

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Your guide to the best of Budapest when you are in town for the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix this July.

Make sure you plan at least a day or two in Budapest either side of the Grand Prix as the ‘Paris of the East’ has a lot to offer. Purchasing a Budapest Card is one of the best investments you can make all weekend. As well as providing unlimited access to public transport for a period of either 24/48/72 hours, you also get free entry to museums plus a whole host of other discounts. More information about the Budapest card is also in the Getting Around section of our guide.

Summer festivals and special events in Budapest

Budapest by Locals has an extensive list of events happening in July, including details of the Budapest Summer Festival with concerts, theatre, dance and opera at three different venues, two of them on Margaret Island. TheVajdahunyadvár Summer Music Festival features classic music concerts on Mondays and Thursdays, whilst Erzsébet Square hosts a champagne and food festival on Grand Prix weekend.

Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Several companies run hop on hop off bus tours around the city. If you only have a day or two to explore Budapest, this is a great way to take in the best sights. The buses stop at Deak Ferenc Ter (the main Metro interchange station, a good starting point), Heroes’ Square, the Chain Bridge, Gellert Hill and Spa, Funicular, Castle District, Parliament and the Opera house.

  • Big Bus Budapest: Cost 7000 HUF (23 EUR) includes the right to ride the buses for two days, onboard recorded commentary in 23 languages, a free 90 minute cruise on the Danube and a free night tour.
  • Hop on Hop off Budapest City Tour: Cost 5000 HUF (16.50 EUR), also includes the right to ride the buses for two days, a free day or night river cruise and free Wifi on the buses.

Boat Cruise on the Danube

Countless cruise boats ply the Danube through the centre of Budapest in the summer months, offering a variety of sightseeing cruises. Most boats leave from the city centre, on both the Buda and Pest sides of the river, with a large concentration of boats moored either side of the Chain bridge. If your time in the city is limited, a dinner cruise could be a great way to wind down after a long day at the track.

Thermal Baths

No trip to Budapest would be complete without a trip to one of the thermal baths which the city is famous for. The baths, which can be found throughout the city, are a throwback to the time when Hungary was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire. If you only have time to make one visit, go to Széchenyi, the largest medicinal bath in Europe.

The baths are located in the City Park, close to the Zoo and Heroes Square. You will find both indoor and outdoor pools of varying temperatures which contain a range of minerals – perfect for soothing tired joints after a few days at the track. The easiest way to reach the Széchenyi baths is to take the orange metro (M1) to the station with the same name. The baths are open from 6am to 10pm every day of the week. Click here for a list of entry prices to the baths.

Eat and Drink

From traditional Hungarian restaurants specializing in goulash and other local staples such as spicy fish soup to a wide range of Western, European and Asian cuisines, you won’t go hungry in Budapest, which has a thriving restaurant scene. Prices have crept up in recent years, but are still cheap by Western European standards.

Al fresco dining is popular during the summer months, and there are good restaurants, bars and nightlife all over the city. More information on restaurants in Budapest, including unbiased reviews, In Your Pocket is an excellent source of information on the restaurant scene in Budapest and also provides an excellent nightlife rundown.

More reading on Budapest

  • Urban Travel Blog has an excellent city guide to Budapest written by our good friend Stuart Wadsworth.
  • is a good source of tourist ideas for the city.


Leave a comment below and tell us your favorite things to do in Budapest.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He’s been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

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