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Mystique Room escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Mystique Room

The 11 best escape rooms in Budapest

Fancy an adrenaline rush? Team up with your pals and hotfoot it to one of the best escape rooms in Budapest

By Dan Nolan
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Whether you’re an escape room devotee or simply looking for something fun and adventurous to do while you’re here, Budapest offers a wealth of choice. ‘There are so many empty cellars in Budapest, and there are already a million bars, so it’s natural that escape rooms took off here,’ says Tünde Máté, an escape game enthusiast who works at E-Exit.

So where should you start? Many of the more established escape rooms in Budapest are based on prison breaks, bank robberies or pirate sorties. However, as the games have gone global – Scavenger also operate rooms in Doha and Mumbai, and PaniQ-Room has launched in the US and even Iran – a ‘new generation’ of more sophisticated rooms is emerging. These increasingly high-tech games often drop players into sci-fi or sword-and-sandals scenarios, while others are historical, transporting visitors to ancient Egypt, Victorian London or Chernobyl.

Best of all, all the venues listed here offer games for non-Hungarian speakers. ‘People get hooked,’ Tünde told us. ‘Loads of people come for a weekend and play seven or eight a day – the escape rooms here are better quality and much cheaper.’ And what’s more, the more friends you bring, the cheaper it gets.

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Best escape rooms in Budapest

PLAY! Escape Room in Budapest
Photograph: PLAY!

1. PLAY! Escape Rooms

There are three very imaginative games at PLAY! – and we’d recommend you do the lot. The first requires you to solve the murder of an archaeologist who belonged to an ancient society alongside Leonardo da Vinci. In the second, teams battle to prevent Doctor Frankenstein from resurrecting Dracula. And in the third? You have the simple task of trying to save the last victim of Jack the Ripper. The rooms are stylishly designed, interactive and demand that players think logically. Only the Dracula-Frankenstein room is available in English, however. Prices vary from 8,000 HUF (around €24) to 24,000 HUF (€72) per game.

Locked Room escape game in Budapest
Photograph: Dan Nolan

2. Locked Room

Locked Room run six excellent escape rooms in central Pest. Sevenhill immerses players in a horror film in an abandoned hospital. The high-tech Research Base transports you to an imaginary underground Russian government base. You don’t have to be tech-savvy for the more ‘old school’ Serial Killer 2 and Serial Killer 3, which challenge visitors to expose a serial killer by solving tasks and puzzles. Secret Lab, meanwhile, tests players’ logic without the jumpscares, and Motel locks participants in a cursed motel room where there have been a number of mysterious suicides. Games accommodate two to seven players and last an hour.

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Escape Zone escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Escape Zone

3. Escape Zone

Escape Zone has three rooms. In Labyrinth, the easiest, teams must break out of a maze-like 100-square-metre space, then solve riddles. Slightly more difficult is the Star Wars game. With the help of R2D2, teams face forces led by Darth Vader. The trickiest game here, though, is Back to the Present. This requires players to team up with Doctor Emmett Brown on a mission to obtain enough energy to power their own time machine. Kids of 12 and over are welcome if accompanied by a parent. Make sure to inform staff in advance to prepare a room for English speakers. Prices vary from 7,500-13,000 HUF per room, depending on the number of players.

AROOM escape room in Budapest
Photograph: AROOM

4. AROOM

Run by the same folk as Locked Room, AROOM offers four top-quality games with realistic interiors and helpful staff. Guests can play Nintendo games and enjoy a complimentary drink before getting started. The easiest room is pirate-themed, and suitable for beginners and younger players alike. While the Bank Robbery room also caters to less experienced teams, Metro is aimed at more advanced escapees. Set in the Budapest underground network, this game challenges players to thwart a bomb detonation under the Hungarian Parliament. The hardest game here is the House of Escobar, where you’re tasked with trying to pin down the Colombian drug baron. Prices vary from €10-€20 per head, depending on the room and number of participants. A fifth game, named Deadland, is in the works.

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Mystique Room escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Mystique Room

5. Mystique Room

Mystique Room offers no fewer than eight scenarios, and most are difficult. One of the easier games, the unscary medieval Cathedral room, challenges teams to locate the plans for the construction of a church. The tricker Cube is great for techies, revolving as it does around restarting a nuclear reactor. In the Pharaoh’s Burial Chamber you have to escape an ancient Egyptian burial chamber by solving puzzles and riddles. Pirate Bay, meanwhile, invites teams on-board a pirate ship for a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. The Time Machine is a draw for expert teams, who must reactivate a time machine, and so too is the forbidding Tower of Wollongong. Bear in mind that most rooms here involve physical exertion, such as climbing stairs and ladders. Prices vary according to group size (pairs pay 12,990 HUF, eight-strong teams 21,520 HUF).

E-Exit Escape Room in Budapest
Photograph: E-Exit Escape Room

6. E-Exit Escape Room

The easiest, beginner-level room at E-Exit is The Circus, which offers a pretty traditional escape game experience. Another, 1984, is aimed at slightly more seasoned players, while the non-traditional Santa Muerte and Heaven & Hell are intended for those with even more experience. The former has a Mexican theme, and the latter tasks players with defibrillating themselves back from death. Secret Subway, also for experts, is a Jules Verne-themed room. Players participate in teams of two to six, but check ahead for the maximum number of players in your room of choice. The Circus and 1984 are cheaper – pairs pay only 10,000 HUF and larger teams 12,000 HUF. Santa Muerte and Heaven & Hell cost 12,000-14,000 HUF, and Secret Subway is 14,000-16,000 HUF.

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TRAP Escape Rooms in Budapest
Photograph: Dan Nolan

7. TRAP Escape Rooms

TRAP – ‘Team Race Against Puzzles’ – is a global escape room franchise. In Budapest it works in cooperation with PaniQ-Room, which has five scenarios in two locations. On Mária Utca you’ll find the moderately difficult, time travel-themed Time Fighters and Chernobyl, which offers a more traditional experience. The Paulay Ede Utca location hosts film and TV-themed escape rooms, such as Indiana Jones and the Lost Pyramid, Predator and Game of Thrones, where teams are charged with fleeing the evil House Bolton. Rooms costs 3,490 HUF per player, and participants can compete in teams of two to six. Tasks are in English.

8. Escape Room Budapest

Escape Room Budapest is part of the more recent wave of high-tech escape rooms. Players can choose from four rooms here: Mad Scientist (easy), where a crazed doctor must be stopped from destroying a city; the Maya Empire (medium), which involves roaming ancient ruins on a treasure hunt; the Pyramid (medium), where teams must solve various pharaoh-related mysteries in an imaginary museum; and Nautilus (advanced), in which players must uncover the secrets of the high seas as part of the Nautilus crew. Rooms cost between 10,990 HUF (flat rate) for a pair and 2,490 HUF per head for a team of six or more.

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PaniQ-Room escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Dan Nolan

9. PaniQ-Room

PaniQ-Room also runs its own rooms in Budapest, independently from TRAP. These are mostly TV and film-themed, with inspirations including Saw, Sherlock, The Godfather, Lost and CSI. The Godfather room is tech-focused, while Lost (the easiest of the bunch) requires players to do a lot of moving around. The non-cinema-themed Darkroom is recommended for over-18s, while Mindlabyrinth and Vampire Hunting are suitable for beginners and groups with kids aged 12 and up. Avoid the Invisible Forest if being trapped in a pitch black room isn’t your idea of fun. Teams pay 3,490 HUF per head.

MindCrime escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Bogart-pictures

10. MindCrime

MindCrime offers rooms for all ages. The Memory Thief room can be set up for kids of nine or older, while Cold War Spies is a game specifically aimed at adults. The rooms mix the old and new, blending traditional solutions like locks with more high-tech elements. This place is ideal for birthday celebrations, as there’s a separate room available with hosts, cutlery and small presents. Teams of two to five, or three to seven, get an hour to escape for 7,990-11,990 HUF, while an all-in birthday ticket for up to 14 guests costs 34,990 HUF.

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Scavenger Escape escape room in Budapest
Photograph: Dan Nolan

11. Scavenger Escape

As elsewhere, Scavenger’s four escape rooms vary significantly in difficulty. The easiest takes teams on an Egyptian Adventure as a British soldier, while Mozart’s Mystery and Budapest Treasure Hunt are both history-themed and medium-level difficulty. The former revolves around finding a lost piece composed by ol’ Wolfgang, while the latter is suitable for tourists eager to learn about Budapest’s history in a non-traditional way. Secret Surgery, the most difficult room here, requires teams to prevent an unhinged doctor from spreading a killer virus. Scavenger can be pricier than other games, as teams of two to eight pay 8,000-20,000 HUF.

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