BUDAPEST.

Located on the beautiful river of Danube, Budapest attracts visitors with a sense of adventure, with surprises lurking around every corner. But that’s not where its wonders end – the stunning architecture is enough to make the heads of tourists spin, showcasing baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau and eclectic buildings. There is more to admiring the architecture of Budapest than just glancing over the style, with numerous reminders of the grim history, like bullet holes from WWII still present in the walls of many of the buildings. But while Budapest does not forget, it does not mourn over the past – today, it’s a lively city with plenty of entertainment and a strong will to live life to the fullest. Once the sun sets, the many clubs and pubs, and in some cases, even streets, fill themselves with tourists and locals alike, who engage in a vibrant nightlife. Once you get your fill of partying, there is no better way to relax than to hit one of the hot springs. Budapest offers an abundance of bathhouses which come in every style and shape you could imagine. The eclectic character of the city, reflected in the architecture and the customs alike, is what makes Budapest such an interesting choice for a city break.

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Budapest

Best Period to Visit Budapest

Accomodation Tips for Budapest

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Budapest

Getting Around Budapest

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Budapest

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Budapest

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Make sure to get the cheapest Airport Transfer

The moment you arrive at the airport in Budapest, make sure to take a bus to the Kobanya-Kispest station, where you can take a metro line to get further into the heart of the city. The buses take off every ten minutes and cost approximately one euro, which is far cheaper than any taxi you can find.

Travel around using metro

The metro system in Budapest is really well developed and allows you to get into most parts of the city without having to deal with high traffic. A cruise between any metro stations in Budapest costs around one euro, just like the buses, which is a price better than in most cities in the entire world.

Save on accommodation

While the first thing you think of might be getting a nice hotel in the middle of the city, it is not the best course of action if you want to save some money on your visit to Budapest. Such hotels are often overpriced, and you might instead want to use an Airbnb apartment, which costs far less, especially for groups.

Get the Budapest Card

If you’re going to stay in Budapest for a while, you might as well get the Budapest Card. The card gives you the benefits of free transportation around the city, free public baths entry, a vast array of different museums without fee, as well as plenty of various discounts and free entries – all of that for roughly thirty euros.

Look for smaller restaurants

Many of the bigger, most renowned restaurants in the city are placed in tourist areas and tend to overcharge their customers due to that. Instead, look for some smaller restaurants which are often well-hidden along the streets. Try some street food or take a ride to the outskirts, where you can easily find a cheap meal.

Search for free tours

As in most of the major tourist cities across the world, Budapest provides various free walking tours around its premises. Every day at 10:30 a.m., one of those tours starts at the Vorosmarty Square. Most of such tours are guided by local experts, which will tell you the rich history of the city of Budapest.

Save on Internet fees

It is not a wise idea to keep using the Internet on your phone or laptop which your mobile network provider offers you. While you may have free access to the internet in your home country – you will often have to pay extra fees while abroad. Instead, use one of the free Wi-Fi hotspots, provided by most of Budapest’s cafés.

Free clubbing in Budapest

If you’re looking to spend a night out in Budapest, you might want to leave your accommodation a bit earlier than most. Some of the clubs in Budapest tend to charge fees for entrance, but most of them are free until a certain time, usually around 11 p.m. Make sure you get in during that time and get a stamp if you want to leave.

Take a bus when going back at night

Done after a long night of partying? Try to resists the urge of simply calling a taxi – such an expense may cost you around fifty euros. Instead, use one of the many night buses that cruise around the city from midnight to dawn. They are marked with black signs, which are easy to spot and cost the same as the day buses.

Take a cruise along the Danube

While cruises in most tourist cities, like London, are quite expensive, the public transportation of Budapest offers rides along the river for a fraction of the price that most private companies do. The ride will take you all the way along the Danube, and costs roughly two euros, which is dirt cheap.

Best Period to Visit Budapest

Tourism

If you want to avoid the crowds, then March to May and September through November are the best months to visit Budapest. That's when the weather is pleasant but not extreme, and the city isn't full. Those of you who plan on visiting Budapest during the summer can expect it to be flooded with tourists.

Weather

Budapest is known for mild temperatures, which rarely exceed the bearable levels, on both ends of the scale. It is the warmest from late May to early September, when the temperature peaks around 27°C, and the coldest from October to March, with around -4°C low around January.

Money

Summer is the most expensive time to be in Budapest. If you want to scoop the biggest discounts, the prices are substantially lower during the winter, and sometimes a bit from March to May and from September through November.

Events

Budapest Dance Festival (February-March) Macaron Day (March) Budapest Spring Festival (March-April) Budapest100 (May) Rosalia Festival (May) OTP Bank Gourmet Festival (May) Budapest Beer Week (May) Budapest Summer Festival (June-August) Danube Carnival (June) Budapest Pride (June-July) Vajdahunyad Castle Summer Music Festival (July-August) Sziget Festival (August) Festival of Folk Arts (August) Jewish Cultural Festival (September) Budapest Wine Festival (September) Sweet Days Chocolate and Candy Festival (September) Oktoberfest Budapest (October) Design Week Budapest (October) Budapest Christmas Markets (November-January)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

If you're not a huge fan of hotels, then maybe short-term apartment rental is what you need? There is no shortage of apartments for rent in Budapest, and in some cases, it may be a way to save money. Especially if you'll be traveling in a larger group, consider renting an apartment instead of booking a hotel.

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

A trip to Budapest doesn't have to cost a fortune, especially if you settle for cheap accommodation. Budget hotels in Budapest don't offer a lot of facilities, but then again, you're not there to sit in a hotel, right? Nightly rates for budget hotels in Budapest start from as low as €15, going up to around €40.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

Standard hotels in Budapest offer a higher degree of comfort than their budget counterparts, and usually much better location. If you'd like to rent a 3 or 4-star hotel in Budapest, be prepared to pay around €50 per night minimum, up to around €150 for the more expensive hotels.

Luxury hotels in Budapest

If you settle for nothing but perfection, you will be delighted by the degree of comfort and the quality of service offered by luxury hotels in Budapest. Hotels like The Loft Budapest offer you excellent location and impeccable facilities - of course, the convenience comes at a bit higher expense, with nightly rates starting around €200.

Getting Around Budapest

Taxi

While most often taxis are a bad choice in many European cities, in Budapest they are relatively cheap, especially when judged by the continental standards. The taxis are also regulated exceptionally well, and each taxi company has the same price. Make sure to only catch official taxis, which can be spotted by their name on the door and a stationary taxi light on the roof which cannot be removed. Every taxi also has a yellow license plate as well as an identification number on the front window, which is a requirement. There are many scammers and robbers who try to exploit tourists who are not aware of this fact, so make sure to only use the services of reputable taxi companies.

Tram

The tram system in Budapest is very well developed, and trams are a much faster and more pleasant alternative for buses. Not only will you be able to get to your destination faster, but the trams provide a far better sightseeing experience with their separate routes. There are also usually far fewer people in the trams, providing much less of a crowd to sit among. The most important lines are 2, 4, 6, 18, 19, 47, 48, 49, and 61. These lines are sure to get you all around the city, and the tram number 2 is a special scenic tram for tourists which showcases the city along the Danube River. The basic ticket on all forms of public transport costs 350Ft, which is an equivalent of around one euro, being an extremely good price, especially when compared to other European countries.

Boat

Contrary to most countries which provide ferry rides as a manner of transportation around the city, the Budapest boat service is a very reasonably priced option. A regular trip lasts about an hour and has eight stops, and costs only 179Ft, which is only around half a euro. The tickets can be bought on board the ferry, and the boat provides a picturesque view of the cityscape and the sights placed along the river. The ferries depart from a stop in the south of Buda, Monday to Saturday.

Bus

While trams provide a generally better traveling experience than buses, they have their stops spread much wider, which allows you to get to many of the places in the city which have no connection by tram. There are more than two hundred and fifty different bus lines, both day and night, and some of them are express, which omit certain stops to provide much faster transportation between two points of the city. The buses start their routes around 4 a.m., which is much earlier than in most other cities and end around the midnight. The night buses begin from 11:30 p.m. and ride all the way to 4 a.m. These buses all start with the number 9 and have three digits, which makes them easy to spot.

Metro

With four different metro lines, the metro system in Budapest is quite well-developed, making for a very viable method of transportation. The first line, M1, runs from Vörösmarty tér to Mexikói út in Pest, and is coloured in a yellow colour. The second line, M2, runs from Vörösmarty tér to Mexikói út in Pest, and is coloured in a red colour. The third line, M3, runs from Újpest-Központ to Kőbánya-Kispest and is coloured in a blue colour. The last line, M4, runs from Kelenföldi to Keleti train stations and is coloured in a green colour. There is also an additional suburban train line, which runs on a separate four lines from Buda to Szentendre.

Tickets and Passes

• Travel Pass – Getting a daily travel pass is a much better bargain than buying individual tickets for each tram or bus. These passes come in a variety of time length so you can get a daily one, two-day one or even an all-week one. Be extremely aware of buying a ticket and validating it. The control services of Budapest are extremely thorough and check the passengers for tickets very frequently, so don’t risk it and get a ticket.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Budapest

Private Entrance to Szechenyi Spa

This premium attraction will not only allow you to skip the lines and enter the baths and spa with top priority, but you will also get a private changing cabin. The private entrance includes full-day access to eighteen different pools, and you can opt-in for an aroma massage and other spa activities.

Budapest Folklore Show

The show features a one-and-a-half hour folk show by two different groups – the Danube Folk Ensemble and the Hungarian Folk ensemble, both backed by a skilled orchestra. The show allows you to extend your knowledge on the historical setting of Budapest, all the while being amazed by visual arts.

Budapest Parliament House Tour

A one-and-a-half hour tour which will take you along the corridors and rooms of the Parliament House of Budapest. This premium attraction will allow you to see the home of the Holy Hungarian Crown for yourself, including a look at its impressive staircase, the Session Room, and the Great Vaulted Hall.

Budapest Pub Crawl

If you’re looking for a wild night out, this tour will give just that and even more. The tour lasts for five hours during the night and takes you along the most visited pubs placed amidst the city centre of Budapest. You get to visit five different pubs, and in each, you get a complimentary drink for free, as well as various discounts.

Gellert Spa Private Entrance

The lines and Gellert Spa tend to span for miles, as hundreds of people wait for their turn to enter its premises. Save your precious time with this private entrance, which allows you to fully skip the line and even includes a private changing cabin for every person, so you do not have to use the communal dressing room.

Budapest Bike Tour

This unique tour will allow you to see many of the sights of Budapest while exercising and staying healthy. The bike tour will take you on a three-hour long drive along the city, and a private guide will steer you along the Heroes’ Square and City Park, Opera, Parliament, Liberty bridge and many others.

Small Group Budapest Caving Adventure

Being a somewhat unusual tour, this one will show you the marvellous wonders that await in the underground natural cave system of Budapest. Sure to provide some unforgettable memories, this tour will also provide you with a geological history of the region, lectured by a knowledgeable tour guide.

Hungarian Cooking Course

This four-hour long class on the cuisine of Hungary will showcase you some of the most famous dishes eaten by the local population. With a short tour of the Market Hall included, you will be taught and guided by professional chefs in a real cooking school, and you even get to eat your own creation.

Budapest Wine Tasting Tour

This tour will take you along the Danube river on a private ship, all the while presenting different regional wines for you to taste. Seven different Hungarian wines are provided in the tasting experience, including the most famous one – Tokaj. The cruise will take you along the Parliament and the Chain Bridge, so you get plenty of sights to see.

Other Things to See and Do

Heroes’ Square

Being one of the most attended and photographed spots in Budapest, the Heroes’ Square is certainly a spot worth visiting. With a great column, which has a height of over thirty-six meters, and a statue of the archangel Gabriel on top, the square provides plenty to look at, with further sculptures depicting Hungary’s history.

Castle Hill

This one-kilometre long walk provides plenty of sights to see along the way. On the top of the hill lies the Buda Castle, which houses the Hungarian National Gallery, a library, and a museum. All of them have a small fee to pay for entrance unless you have a Budapest Pass, but the gardens around them are free.

Fisherman’s Bastion

Located at the top of the aforementioned Castle Hill, the Fisherman’s Bastion provides some of the most beautiful views of the cityscapes in all of Europe. You can easily see all of Budapest and the Danube river from it, and, moreover, you will be able to admire its unique architecture, built by fishermen in the Middle Ages.

Orientation Tour

The Orientation Tour is one of the many free tours provided by the city locals to foreigners and alike, starting at 10:30 a.m. each day. This tour provides two different options, one of which takes you from Pest to Buda, and the other one focuses on the Pest part of the journey, covering the topics of faith.

The Great Market

Housed in an old, 19th-century building on the Pest side of the Liberty Bridge, the Great Market covers three floors and is an overwhelming variety of different vendors, showcasing the marvels of regional cuisine. Here you can eat some famous Hungarian langos, as well as buy some unique souvenirs.

Jewish Quarter

Put some time aside to wander around the Jewish Quarter of Budapest, which shows and retells the history of oppression. The Jewish Quarter was once a ghetto where Jews were banished under Nazi rule, and now is home to the largest synagogue in Europe, as well as a couple of museums and art galleries.

Parliament

While guided tours of the Parliament are not free, yet still relatively cheap, you can still wander around the building and admire its neo-gothic architecture in all of its might. Take a walk around the building, which is well-lit even during the night, and take a photo in front of the building which was inspired by Westminster Abbey.

Kerepesi Cemetery

This cemetery is a resting place for many of Hungary's most famous and well-renowned artists, politicians and craftsmen. The Kerepesi Cemetery is also the biggest outdoor statue park in all of Europe, covering over fifty-six hectares, and allows you to marvel at its beauty at your own pace.

City Park

If you’re looking for a calm and tranquil way to spend your afternoon during your stay in Budapest, take a walk along the City Park, which makes for a leisurely stroll with some interesting sights to see along the way, including the mysterious statue of Anonymous, the unknown historian of Hungary.

Vajdahunyad Castle

Placed in the middle of the City Park, the Vajdahunyad Castle is an unusual gem to see. The architecture of the castle is made out of parts of various elements reflecting different periods of time and architectural styles. It also houses the Agricultural Museum, which is also worth seeing itself.

The Museum of Fine Arts

If you’re under the age of twenty-six, are a citizen of the European Economic Area, or have the Budapest Pass, you can gain free entrance to most of Budapest’s museums on the third Saturday of each month. This museum specifically features a wide collection of different arts and various regional exhibitions and events.

The National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum is the largest and most well-maintained museum in all of Hungary, showcasing many rotating displays and exhibitions daily. Here you can get a lecture on Christian persecution in the Middle East or see for yourself the ceremonial robe worn by Hungarian kings at their coronations.

The Military Museum

This unique museum allows free entrance to all people under the age of twenty-six on every last Sunday of each month. The museum is packed full with military memorabilia, such as an extensive collection of weaponry used in the present and the past by Hungary, as well as uniforms, flags, armours and even coins.

Saint Stephen’s Basilica

The Basilica is a Roman Catholic church, named to honour Stephen, the first king of Hungary, who ruled between 975 and 1038. The right hand of the king is supposed to be housed in the reliquary of the basilica. The church used to be the sixth biggest church in Hungary but has developed to take the third place now.

Cave Church

Located inside of the Gellert Hill, the church is truly a one of a kind wonder that you really must see for yourself. It is set inside of a natural cave system inside of the hill, formed by thermal springs. The cave itself is called the Saint Ivan’s Cave after a shaman who lived there and supposedly healed travellers.

Matthias Church

Another one of Roman Catholic churches located in the vicinity of Budapest. This one was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, but no remains exist of the old church. It has been rebuilt from scratch in the late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and stands tall today with its marvellous tower.

Inner City Parish Church

This one is the oldest building in all of Pest neighbourhood of Budapest and is located next to the Elizabeth Bridge. Founded in 1046, the church is almost a thousand years old and features a few different architectural styles, combining a Romanesque façade, Gothic walls, and a Romanesque basilica.

Margaret’s Island

A great way to escape the bustling city of Budapest and have a moment of peace and quiet is to take a bus to Margaret's Island, which is a two-kilometer-long island placed in the middle of the Danube. The island is home to luscious greenery with tree-lined paths, a few thermal spas and a vast number of monuments.

Elizabeth Bridge

The third newest bridge in Budapest might be quite new but is still a sight worth seeing. It connects the Buda and Pest districts across the Danube and is situated at the narrowest part of the river. It is not named after Queen Elizabeth, but rather Elizabeth of Bavaria, a famous Empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Virag Judit Gallery

If you're into something fancier, the Virag Judit Gallery not only houses a vast collection of visual arts but also hosts auctions where you can get some of the pieces yourself. Of course, the auctions themselves require some money to buy anything, but you can still attend them and watch the show.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Budapest city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Budapest are: Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, New York Palace The Dedica Anthology Autograph Collection and InterContinental Budapest. Discover the full list of best hotels in Budapest.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Budapest?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Budapest include Danubius Hotel Gellert, Eurostars Danube Budapest, Continental Hotel Budapest, Mercure Budapest City Center, The Aquincum Hotel Budapest, Mercure Budapest Korona and Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Budapest.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Budapest?

    Those trying to visit Budapest on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Roombach Hotel Budapest Center, City Hotel Matyas, Silver Hotel Budapest City Center, Ibis Budapest Centrum, Park Residence Budapest, Promenade City Hotel and Star Inn Hotel Budapest Centrum by Comfort. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Budapest.

  • What is the best period to visit Budapest for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Budapest for a city break are April, May, August and September.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Budapest?

    Budapest offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Budapest include: Private Entrance to Szechenyi Spa, Budapest Folklore Show, Budapest Parliament House Tour, Budapest Pub Crawl and Gellert Spa Private Entrance.

  • How much does an Budapest city pass cost?

    A city pass in Budapest costs around €59.

  • How much does public transport in Budapest cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Budapest costs around €22.

  • What are the best night clubs in Budapest?

    The best night clubs in Budapest include: Akvárium Club, Corvin Club, Doboz, A38 and Hello Baby.

  • What are the best bars in Budapest?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Budapest are: DiVino Wine Bar, Boutiq Bar, Black Swan, Mika Tivadar Mulató and Akvárium Klub.

  • What are the best places to eat in Budapest?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Budapest may vary depending on your taste, however, Bambi Café, Mák Bistro, Onyx and Café Kör are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Budapest?

    Top 5 restaurants in Budapest include: Stand25, Cupákos, Babel, Két Szerecsen and TOPRUM Rooftop Bar.