Off-Track Activities – Hungarian Grand Prix

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Your guide to the best things to do away from the track in Budapest. The 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix is on July 27-29, 2018.

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 There & Around section of our guide.

Summer festivals and special events in Budapest

There’s always something happening in Budapest on Grand Prix weekend, including the summer-long Budapest Summer Festival with concerts, theatre, dance and opera at three different venues, two of them on Margaret Island. We will update this post closer to the race with more information!


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. Expect to pay around 20 EUR per day with either Big Bus Budapest or Hop on Hop off Budapest City Tour. It’s cheaper to buy in advance and some tickets include extras such as a free river cruise.


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.


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.


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.

Learn more about Budapest

  • In Your Pocket is an excellent source for unbiased Budapest restaurant reviews and also provides a good rundown on the city’s nightlife.
  • Urban Travel Blog has an comprehensive Budapest city guide written by my 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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