Budapest is arguably the escape room capital of Europe, with escape room venues to be found on almost every corner.
We visited the bustling Hungarian city for a five day adventure of puzzle-packed fun, cramming in a whopping 32 rooms during our stay.
Here is our condensed guide of the games we think are a must play during a visit. We’ve also included highly commended rooms to consider when planning your own enthusiasts exploit. And of course throw caution to the weaker rooms where we feel your Hungarian Forint would perhaps be better spent elsewhere.
Beautiful theming with an ingenious clue system and show-stopping, innovative puzzles. There’s no locks to be found here, but even padlock traditionalists would fail to not be mesmerised by the wondrous realm of Santa Muerte. Overall an enchanting experience with a spectacular finale. An absolute must play.
Metro - AROOM
One of our overall favourite rooms in Budapest. An extremely immersive and impressively realistic set. Metro offered strong, varied puzzles that were immense fun to complete. An enjoyable hour from its very first second right to its exhilarating end - another must play!
Bank Robbery - AROOM
Ever wondered what it feels like to rob a bank a get away with it? Well here's your chance... One of the only heist themed escape games we’ve played (& we’ve played many!) where we felt we were actually breaking into a bank. A fantastically immersive set with the puzzle quality to match. It was criminally good.
The Real Saw - Paniq Szoba
Another one of our favourite rooms in Budapest. A flawless, foreboding set lifted straight from the film. A masterfully fitting start for a game full of pertinent puzzles that were well structured and gratifying to complete. A strong room from start to finish. An experience only made better by the inclusion of our excellent games master.
Heaven & Hell - E-Exit
Two beautifuly contrasting escape rooms in one. A great room concept with plenty of original puzzles to get stuck into. An excellent game that flowed flawlessly, offering faultless transitions between the space. Another triumph from the creative minds of E-Exit.
1984 - E-Exit
A very traditional room that's superbly executed with robust puzzles throughout. Although not a necessity, you’ll especially love this room if you’re a fan of the book.
Steampunk Time Machine - Mystique Room
A meticulously designed room that offers an array of puzzles that stay relevant to its theme. The game remained dramatic throughout with a jaw-dropping, impressive finale. We were also lucky enough to have a sneak peek of Mystique Room’s new Game of Thrones room during its build, which looks equally as promising. The decor could have been lifted straight from the HBO shows set!
Star Wars - Escape Zone
A must if you’re a fan. A must even if you are not! A lovingly themed, well executed escape room with relevant sequential puzzles. The game flowed at a solid pace with an impressive, climatic finish. One of the few "known-brand" escape games in Budapest that lived up to expectations. A force to be reckoned with.
Armageddon - Trap Escape Room
A great variety of puzzle types in a multi-layered room giving all team members plenty to solve and explore. We were impressed by the novel and imaginative clue system and wow-ed by the spectacular big finish at the games end.
Motel Room - Locked Room Budapest
Impressively furnished with fantastic immersion. This room contains excellent tech puzzles and a marvellous use of space. Consistently rewarding throughout which made it a pleasure to play. Not the most mentally challenging room, but the enjoyment factor easily forgives the lack of difficulty here. Highly recommended.
House of Escobar* - AROOM
We played this room as feedback testers during its soft opening, so it's difficult to provide a fair review. That said, going by the other rooms at this excellent venue (Metro/Bank Robbery) it has the potential to be a must play once all the tweaks are ironed out. Well worth considering.
Serial Killer 2 - Locked Room Budapest
Excellent decor. Some puzzles were completely unrelated to the storyline which is what let it down but still reasonably fun to play. However, It’s worth noting there are better rooms available at this venue.
Research Base - Locked Room Budapest
Heavily tech based room. Some impressive puzzles, but no obvious sequential flow which often bordered on frustrating rather than enjoyable. We felt it lacked the fun aspect. You’ll like this room if next generation tech puzzles are your thing, providing you won’t mind using clues for much needed guidance.
White Mission - Gozsdu Mission
Held up by many as one of the best escape rooms in Budapest. Our feeling is that this may well have been the case a few years ago but feel escape rooms have moved on significantly since that time. There’s no plot or narrative to follow but you'll get a kick out of this game if you are stimulated by a collection of tricky, stand alone, logic-based puzzles.
Maffia Mission - Gozsdu Mission
Nice decor and strong theming throughout. Fun and logical traditional puzzles that remained relevant to its plot. Offered good game flow and plenty of content to keep all members of the team busy.
The Alchemyst's Gold - Mystery Games
A very well dressed set and great theming. An excellent game for new players or a good starting point to warm up for a heavy enthusiast day ahead. Nice balance of searching, fun, physical and traditional puzzle styles.
Enigma Mission - Szabadulos Jatek
Easily the largest space we’ve ever played an escape game and worth the visit for this novelty alone. Game had high and low points but features the biggest stand-out moment we’ve ever experienced in a room. Filled with some interesting puzzles.
Napuche - LogIQrooms
Not one for newbies. This room offered strong and varied puzzles that could often be worked on simultaniously. There was plenty to explore backed by an interesting, original theme and a pleasingly dressed set.
The Cathedral - Mystique Room
Interesting medieval theming. The plot involved collecting items so you were aware of your pace and progress throughout the game. Lots of searching if that’s something you enjoy, with some interesting puzzle styles. Sadly on our run 3 puzzles were not reset correctly offering us immediate resolves which left a sour taste. Other rooms at this venue are far superior by comparison.
Pirate Bay - Mystique Room
A breathtaking set design with lots of physical interaction let down by the quality of the puzzles. Whilst the space was one of the most impressive pirate-themed rooms we've played, sadly it was a case of style over substance here.
MindCrime Memory Thief - Cluetrace Escape Room
A modestly decorated space, however the very clever use of audio and the unique concept and theme makes up for the lack attention to detail of the surrounds. Unique puzzle ideas and powerful finish to the game. Worth playing for novel oddity of the narrative.
Bomb - Exit The Room
A very traditional, first generation escape game. We don’t recommended this room to enthusiasts who will sail through having seen these puzzle styles multiple times before. Ideal for those not seeking too much of a mental challenge. Still a great room to play through and an excellent starting point for those new to escape games.
The Maya Empire - Mystery Games
Decorated to an exceptional standard. Offers a dramatic and expansive set which sadly we felt wasn’t utilised particularly well due to its linear gameplay. Great if you don’t mind working collectively together on puzzles and being bottlenecked more often than not. Lighting became an issue at times. Not ideal for larger groups due to the possibility of players being left redundant without much to do.
Secret of the Depth - Mystery Games
This room has the potential to be a must play. However the inclusion of one particular futile puzzle, along with a lacklustre ending impedes the ingenious and wondefully creative surrounding this game is held in. Possibly still worth a visit on the strength of the set alone.
Surgery - Locked Room Budapest
A first-generation, traditional escape game but one that has aged relatively well and still enjoyable to complete. Enthusiasts will sail through this room with ease, so best avoided if you prefer a tougher mental challenge. We hear it’s closing soon to make way for a new game but at the time of writing, bookings are still being accepted.
Anachronista - Trap Escape Room
Some unique and interesting puzzle ideas blighted by technical issues that resulted in us needing to exit and restart our entire game. We were fortunate that engineers were on site that day, but we hear other enthusiasts weren’t so lucky. A shame as this room has great potential. Felt like a cut and shut of two unrelated escape rooms that probably should not be banded together.
Game Of Thrones - ILOCKEDU
It wasn't quite as immersive as initially hoped and a little more homemade in comparison to other games on offer in Budapest. Although we were impressed by the workmanship gone into replicating the Iron Throne - the rooms strongest decorative point. Escape enthusiasts may “Maester" through this room with ease. Are there better escape games to play beyond these walls in Budapest? Yes. But if you’re a fan of the show you'll probably still enjoy your very own 60 minutes in I Locked You's take on Westeros.
Indiana Jones - PANIQ-SZOBA
Originally an Egyptian room and later re-branded as an Indiana Jones themed room despite having undergone zero game changes nor the room having any obvious nod to the film franchise. A generic room, mediocrely decorated with well-worn puzzles. Only one GM operating multiple rooms simultaneously at this venue, which resulted in us leaving the room before completion due to the GM having no time to monitor the game. (For this reason we was also refunded our Predator room booking at this venue, which we understand was originally a jungle themed room with little to no film related tie-in)
The Godfather - PANIQ-SZOBA
The initial puzzles were reasonable but the game rapidly went downhill. Theming and decor not particularly relevant to the rooms plot or namesake. GM very friendly but spoke poor English (advertised as English speaking during booking process) which made communication, particularly for clues over walkie talkies near on impossible. Venue situated further away from most venues, so as a result it’s not worth travelling to for a mediocre experience.
Matrix - Mind Quest
An average start that rapidly descended downhill. Despite its namesake, theming was non-existent. Littered with technical issues and illogical puzzles that later could not even be explained by our games master. A frustrating experience, made worse by a disinterested and uninvested GM. Best avoided.
CSI The Butcher - Time Trap
Whilst we understand the theme could lend itself to an environment that is perhaps derelict and unkempt, feeling the need to dash off for a hot shower immediately after completing an escape room was a first for us. The game provided some interesting puzzles although they were too hit and miss to warrant spending an hour in this unintentionally squalid and filthy escape room. We had a few tech issues here too where the GM had to enter during our game - which further diminished any possible positive from our grime-covered spirits.
Avengers - ILOCKEDU
The decor inside the room was relatively minimal and extremely homemade, although we appreciate the owners keen attempt to tie its puzzles into its Marvel theming - if only tenuously. Our game was blighted by a big tech issue and whilst we are empathic that this happens, we felt frustrated that this wasn’t picked up on a lot sooner by our GM. Beside the unfortunate malfunction, we still don’t rate this room - not when comparing it against the quality of puzzles and decor available at other escape venues in Budapest.