Beaches in Budapest? Yep, believe it or not, they do exist in a city known more for
its thermal bath culture! With summer well and truly in full swing, we suggest you
check out these gems throughout the city and on day trips out of town. Of course,
you won’t be needing a surfboard or snorkels but the city has a handful of hidden
gems along the Danube to help cool you down on those hot summer days. Check
out our Budapest beach guide for some tips!
The word strand means beach in Hungarian, both artificial and natural. A good
strand experience includes a hot summer day at the beach, some typical Hungarian
beach food, some drinks and beach games. Usually these beaches have different
pools, cold and deep for swimming as well as thermal heated pools to relax in. You’ll
find water slides, paddling boats and other fun elements to add to the experience.
Most Hungarian beaches have a vintage vibe, with the beach culture becoming very
popular during the socialist period. It was the first time that the working class could
afford to have a domestic holiday, hence the entry prices to the beaches were kept
pretty low so the whole family could enjoy their summer days there.
The beach gastronomy has a very retro vibe in Hungary. Some Budapest beaches
offer more modern dishes but you can always find the classic beach food, such as
lángos, a deep fried circular dough with different toppings. A typical lángos has a
spread of sour cream with grated cheese on top, but you can also get lángos with
ham and cheese and even sweet versions with Nutella. When buying lángos you’ll
probably find a jar of strange looking liquid on the counter. Don’t be afraid, it’s garlic,
Other beach staples are hot dogs, hamburgers and crepes. The hamburger is
usually a retro version, filled with meat, cheese, vegetables and pickled cabbage. If
you are famished and crave something heavier you’ll find fried chicken, sausages
and grilled meat on offer. Hekk is a deep-fried fish snack, covered in flour and dusted
with paprika. It’s best served with fries or white bread and a pickled cucumber.
In terms of alcoholic drinks, if you’re looking for something refreshing then try a
sportfröccs. It’s a glass of cool sparkling water mixed in with a little dry white wine,
perfect for hot weather.
If you are staying in the city center and you’re looking for a place to cool down and
have some wet and wild fun then Palatinus is where it’s at! Located on the very
green and very chilled Margaret Island, just off Margaret Bridge, you’ll find inside and
outside pools, cold swimming pools, hot thermal baths, elaborate waterslides and the
famous wave bath. The ticket prices are a bit more expensive on the weekends,
coming in at around €10 for the whole day, but weekday tickets are around €8 for
adults. Palatinus has a cashless payment system so make sure you bring your card
If you are willing to venture out from the city center a little bit, then there are some
great beaches in different parts of the city. The Csillaghegyi Strandfürdő is a
beautiful bath and beach on the Buda side, in Óbuda. In the 9th district, you can try
the Dandár Fürdő with different pools and a wellness section as well.
And yes, there are some natural beaches where you can safely splash around in the
Danube. At the Római part you can find a beach for free and the vibe here is very
special so if you have some extra time in Budapest, definitely check it out!
The newest natural beach in Budapest is the fancy Sho Beach! The bay where the
beach is located is very clean, with sandy shores so it has a real seaside vibe. There
are many experiences you can try here, such as SUP or waterbikes. Sho Beach
offers some very unique beach food as well. The terrace is operated by the famous
MÁK restaurant. They offer the aforementioned Hungarian beach food but with a
fine-dining twist. The prices differ depending on the date when you are visiting.
While beaches and Budapest aren’t usually thought of in the same sentence, you’ll
be surprised what the city has to offer if you look hard enough. And now that we’ve
done the looking for you, all that’s left is for you to grab your swimsuit and some
sunscreen and hit the water!