Forget tricks, treat yourself this Halloween with a trip to Budapest. Halloween is becoming more popular in the Hungarian capital, with tons of Halloween themed events, parties and exciting places to go. Trippy user Shawn from Boston planned a trip to Budapest around Halloween. He asked:
I will be in Budapest this Halloween (and a couple of days after). Any suggestions for fun things to do? I’m also interested in ruin pubs, communist-era art and lovely walks in Budapest.
Here are ten suggestions to get you started if you’re planning a trip to Budapest around Halloween. Get your costumes ready and let’s celebrate Halloween the Hungarian way:
1. Visit the House of Terror Museum
Start your trip with a visit to the House of Terror, a terror museum that offers stories from the dark past. Located at one of Budapest most elegant boulevards, Andrassy Boulevard, the House of Terror was once the headquarters of the Hungarian Nazi Party and the Communist State Security Authority (AVH).
Inside the three-story courtyard is a Soviet tank and a gallery filled with black and white photos of Hungarian victims. The tour starts on the third floor, you’ll descend to the second, and then proceed to an elevator to the terrifying area of the museum – prison cells, interrogating rooms, torture equipment, execution rooms, and the woeful Hall of Tears with lit crosses to remember the victims.
Jacqui, a well-traveled Trippy user wrote:
Check out the House of Terror and the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. There are a few ruin bars around, which are very cool, but also quite expensive (London prices). Head to the quieter streets and local bars for cheaper options.
After visiting the House of Terror, head over to one of the thermal baths to relax and to process the scenes you saw at the museum.
2. Relax at Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Regardless of the season, no trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to one of the thermal baths. Babak from Brazil and Ben from London wrote:
Visit a bathhouse. Perhaps the Gellért Thermal Bath or Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
My personal favorite is Rudas Baths, but Gellért Thermal Bath is also great as the famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
If you have to choose just one, go to Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the biggest hot spring complex in Europe. The complex has 15 indoor and three outdoor pools.
For a unique fun night, get tickets to the Budapest Bath Party at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The party is from 10:30 pm to 3 am. Check the website for dates and price.
3. Encounter monsters at Nightmare in Budapest
Nightmare in Budapest offers a theatrical and interactive experience through multiple chambers and labyrinths in a Haunted House. Visitors will encounter monsters and creatures from the dark world. This 35-minute experience in a Haunted House will make you jump out of your skin.
Aastha from India said:
If you are into creepy stuff, then don’t forget underground caves. We lost our way inside and got scared… Was fun once we found the way…
4. Take an after-dark tour of Buda Castle
Besides the two-hour Buda Castle tour, you can join the after-dark vampire tours of Buda Castle courts, Mathias Church, and Fisherman Bastion with Mysterium Tours. Get insider stories into the mysterious murders, tragedies, tortures, and listen to all sorts of vampire stories. Learn about the most famous prisoners, Vlad Tepes, also known as Count Dracula. The local guide will take you through dimly lit streets, tunnels, and hidden places.
Before you go, read Atlas Obscura’s Dracula’s Chamber: The Dark Legend of Buda Castle Labyrinth.
5. Enjoy “scary” Hungarian meals
Trippy user Samantha suggested these must-have foods in Budapest:
While you are there you need to try paprikas csirke (chicken paprika) porkolt (don’t know what it is called in English but it’s like noodle dumplings with meat and sauce= sooo good!) palascinta ( Hungarian version of crepes) froccs ( wine spritzer (wine and sparkling water. So good in the summer when it’s hot. They give you a huge glass of it. My favorite is white wine with cherry syrup) goulash (the beef stew- sooo good) kovacs pickles (pickles that only eastern Europeans can make right) retes (Hungarian strudel) palinka (Hungarian liquor- its strong so watch out. My favorite is the apricot or the plum flavor) and langos (large fried bread and it tastes good with cheese on top).. Hungarians also love their ice cream and if you get a chance/ find a place that sells it try the poppy seed flavor. Its super good!
Todd from Boston said:
The central market (Nagy Vasarcsarnok) has a great food court upstairs but is worth a walk through (pick up some goose liver pate).
But there’s more. Try these “scary” Hungarian specialties:
- Blood sausages (veres hurka)
- Pork brains
- Veal tongue
- Pig’s ears
- Bull’s penises
- Pig’s feet
6. Join Halloween Pub Crawl
There are plenty of pub crawl tours you can join while in Budapest. For the ultimate Halloween pub crawl fun, ask for a recommendation from your local guide, hotel concierge or host. Here are a few pub crawl tours available year-round:
- Generation pub crawl Budapest
- The Original Budapest pub crawl
- Pub crawl Budapest by Pub Crawl Nation
- Free pub crawl Budapest
- Bingo bar crawl
7. Take a Halloween cruise on the Danube
Enjoy the special Halloween edition Danube river cruise called the Halloween Booze Cruise in Budapest. Here you will encounter other fun-seekers like you all dressed up for a scary and fun night. It’s a night where witches serve you drinks in a spooky-looking boat. After the cruise, the host will take you for more fun at a local pub.
Find out more on Budapest River Cruise.
8. Party at a ruin bar
Blanca, Gyongyi, Samantha, and Gabriella suggested going to Szimpla Kert. They wrote:
I’d suggest you Szimpla Kert a ruin bar opened ten years ago. Instantis another nice ruin bar you should visit. For a different experience, I recommend you Széchenyi István tér which throw parties during the weekends.
Of course, you can go to the new ruin pub area to feel the Budapest nightlife. for example the oldest one Szimpla Kert or the trendiest one
I really like Szimpla Kert. It’s a cool bar with a ton of foreigners, and they have a bunch of stuff hanging from the ceiling like a VW bug and street signs. Otherwise, there are pretty much bars on every corner (Hungarians like to drink) as well as some cool clubs on the water like A38 (on a boat but I’ve never been to it) and others scattered along the water.
The most popular ruin pubs and places are on the Pest side (East of the river). Look for Király utca and generally that area (Jewish quarter). Szimpla Kert and Gozsdu Udvar are particularly popular amongst international youth. The party boat A38 Hajó was voted the best nightclub (?)
9. Visit Kerepesi cemetery
The largest and oldest Christian cemetery in Budapest is the final resting place for many famous Hungarian millionaires, authors, politicians, poets, and architects. Walk amongst the dead this Halloween in this famous cemetery. See the sculptured monuments, large and ornate mausoleums, and get a chance to learn about the history of Hungary too.
10. Join the charity pumpkin carving festival at Heroes Square
Bring your pumpkin and join in the fun of carving your pumpkin. The event starts at 7 pm on October 27. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to this two-hour event. The canned food and non-perishable food will be donated to the Child Nutrition Foundation.
Hungarians celebrate All Saints Day on November 1. It’s a public holiday.
Trippy user Samantha has three cool tips you could use while in Budapest:
1. The currency: It’s called the forint. (four-ent) It looks huge. Coins are 100, 200, etc. and then the bills start at 500 and go up 10,000. The way to figure out how much each is worth, take off the last two zeros and divide that number by two. So for 10,000, taking off two zeros is 100- then divide that by two, which will be 50 dollars. That’s just an estimation, but the exchange rate doesn’t really change all that much, so it’s a pretty good way to calculate.
2. You don’t really need to tip. I usually just leave my spare change at a restaurant like 400 forints ($2 or so). Tipping isn’t really as big as it is in America.
3. The public transportation in Budapest is really great and pretty easy to get around in. I suggest the subway (underground) and the trolley (the above-ground red cable cars). Do not try and ride without a stamped (validate your) ticket because ticket collectors will jump on the train randomly and demand that you show your ticket.