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Budapest Travel guide

Last year I went to Budapest for the second time (I have been there 2 times last year) because it is one of my favorite cities to visit and relax. I had the great pleasure of exploring Budapest, one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. Divided in half by the Danube, Budapest is comprised of a hilly “Buda” district on the west side of the river and a flat “Pest” side on the east. Learn where to stay, eat, and what to do in this Budapest Travel Guide!

The first time I went to Budapest I only stayed there for 2 days, at that point I only saw the main things such as Szechenyi Chain Bridge, The Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Since it was such a beautiful experience and I saw how big the city was I decided that I had to go back there for a couple of days.

What to expect in Budapest

Language in Budapest

Hungarian is the official language of Hungry, but you will easily communicate in English to anyone.

Girl sitting on Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest

Currency in Budapest

Hungarian Forint is the official currency, if you are coming from Europe, I recommend that you do not change your money until you get to Budapest city center since there are the best tariffs.

Credit cards and ATMs

It is really easy to pay with cards in Budapest, and it really isn’t necessary to carry any cash on you, but I would still recommend that you carry some because you never know what can happen.

Cost of food in Budapest

Bupadest is really cheap when it comes to food, you can easily find great restaurants and fast-food stands for a great price.

Fast food stands average from around 1 Euro to 7 Euros and you can find almost everything in Budapest from their traditional meals to burgers and hot dogs.

Mid-range restaurants cost around 5 to 15 Euros depending on where you are eating.

Girl standing at highest point at Fishermans bastion in Budapest
Girl posing in front of Buda Castle in Budapest

Getting around Budapest

Budapest is a huge city but it is very walkable to any part that you want to see. You can easily cross the bridge is you want to go from Buda to the Pest side and vice versa.

Public transport in Budapest

Budapest has an amazing public transport system, from buses, metros to trams, so you can get to anywhere if your hotel or apartment is located a little bit outside the city center.

Girl looking at Buda castle at night

There are a couple of budget options if you will be taking public transport a lot:

  • Budapest 24-hour travelcard – 1 650 (4.5 Euros)
  • Budapest 72-hour travelcard – 4,150 (12.5 Euros)

If you wish you can also buy a Budapest card which not only gives you free transportation but access to some of the attractions:

  • Budapest Card for 24 hours – €21.99
  • Budapest Card for 48 hours – €32.99
  • Budapest Card for 72 hours – €42.99
  • Budapest Card for 96 hours – €52.99
  • Budapest Card for 120 hours – €62.99

Here you can check out all the options above and buy them if you like also.

  • Where to Stay
  • Where to Eat
  • What to Do
Girl drinking Starbucks coffee in Budapest

KViHotel Budapest

If you love technology and smart hotel this is the hotel. Located in the city center and walking distance of every major attraction, this hotel is relatively cheap based on its location and what it offers. Check out the amazing KViHotel Budapest.

Location: Budapest, Nyár u. 32, 1072 Hungary
Accommodation: Hotel
Price range: €133 +

Buda Castle Fashion Hotel Budapest

Locate near the Buda caste as its name says, this hotel offers a quiet and luxury experience at the other (older side) of Budapest. Check out Buda Castle Fashion Hotel Budapest.

Location: Budapest, Úri u. 39, 1014 Hungary
Accommodation: Hotel
Price range: €145 +

Buda fashion castle hotel in Budapest
Buda Castle Fashion Hotel Budapest, photo from: booking.com

K+K Hotel Opera

Similar to our first accommodation, this hotel offers a cheap price in correlations with what it offers. Check out K+K Hotel Opera.

Location: Budapest, Révay u. 24, 1065 Hungary
Accommodation: Hotel
Price range: €120 +

Exclusive Apartment - Váci Street

If you are not a fan of hotels and wish to have a little bit more privacy, then this apartment offers that. Located near the Dunabe river it offers an amazing night view of the city at a cheap price. Check out Exclusive Apartment – Váci Street.

Location: Budapest, 6 Kristóf tér Fél em/1
Accommodation: Apartment
Price range: €80 +

Exclusive apartment vaci street in Budapest
Exclusive Apartment - Váci Street, photo from: booking.com

Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest

For all the luxury lovers, the Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest is the place. Located right on the Dunabe river it offers an amazing all day and night view of the river. Alongside with amazing service and food, the rooms are gorgeous and everything is near you if you wish to see it. Check out Boutique Hotel Victoria Budapest.

Location: Budapest, Bem rkp. 11, 1011 Hungary
Accommodation: Hotel
Price range: €200 +

Girl eating donuts at Budapest

With only 20 seats, it really feels like you homemade cooking that you did at home. The food tasts really good and most importatnly the atmosfer is Hungiran which you want to feel if you are a tourist.

Location: Budapest, Hold u. 13, 1054 Hungary
Price range: €​€​

On the second floor of one of the most iconic place (Budapest Central Market) sits this restaurant. Its self-service restaurant atmosphere is cheerful and festive with its red checkerboard tablecloths and roaming musicians.

Location: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Price range: €​

People taking pictures of food stand in Budapest

This bistro offers a diverse menu that is suited for anybody. Some recommendations include the Crispy Pork Knuckle with Roasted Sour Cabbage and Mashed Potatoes is a signature dish. But other dishes like the Mangalitsa Pork Burger are equally impressive with their generous toppings and sides.

Location: Budapest, Nagymező u. 19, 1063 Hungary
Price range: €​€​

If you are looking for a quick bite after a long day of walking, this street is your heaven. This courtyard features food stalls that serve all of the best Budapest street food including lángos, burgers and even lángos burgers.

Location: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 18, 1075 Hungary
Price range: €​

Girl looking at Budapest parliament

Szechenyi Chain Bridge

Possibly the most famous bridge in Hungary, the Szechenyi Chain Bridge is the principal bridge that connects the Buda part of the city with the Pest side so that it can form the city that we know as Budapest.

 

One of the things I love most about the center of Budapest is that it’s a totally walkable city, with a stroll over Szechenyi Chain Bridge a must at the night time.

Girl sitting on Lion bridge in Budapest

Budapest Centar Market

This is a must-visit place when in Budapest. If you go to Centar Market you will feel the real buzz and culture of the city like you won’t feel anywhere else in Budapest. Located just around 5 minutes walking from the city center it is a huge Neogothic building that you can’t miss. I also recommend that you go there by the famous tram line 2 which is the first tram line that was operational in Budapest.

Fisherman's Bastion

If you’re looking for views of the whole city in Budapest, look no further than Fisherman’s Bastion. Designed and built between 1895 and 1902, this Neo-Gothic terrace is named after the medieval guild of fishermen who protected Budapest from invasion.

People going up the stairs at Fishermans Bastion in Budapest
People walking next to church at fishermans bastion in Budapest

Once you’re up here, you can see pretty much the whole city and some of the most iconic parts such as Buda Castle, Hungarian Parliament, Matthias Church (right next door). I came for sunset and it was honestly the most ideal place to watch the sky turn pink and the city lights come alive.

 

To get here, you can take the funicular from Chain Bridge. Ticket prices for the funicular run around 700 Hungarian forints (€2.20) for kids and 1,200 Hungarian forints (€3.90) for adults. In the fall and winter, you can visit the Bastion free of charge.

Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament Building is a beautiful example of Neo-Gothic architecture. It’s just over 100 years old but is arguably the most iconic building in Budapest today next to Chain Bridge. Located directly on the Danube (on the Pest side of the city), this is the third-largest Parliament building in the world and definitely a sight you can’t miss while visiting Budapest. While I didn’t take a tour inside the Parliament, if you book a ticket in advance you can tour the inside.

Girl looking at Budapest from Fishermans bastion
Girl looking at Hungarian parliament in Budapest

Sail the Danube

One of the things that you have to do if you have time is sailing the Danube River at night. The Danube River is the most famous in Budapest and one that’s great for a little sail. Join a river tour or book your own rental (if you’re feeling extra flush). I went one evening and the sight is one of the most impressive I have seen.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

Talking of Saint Stephen’s Basilica, you should definitely see it when in the city. The architecture is stunning but don’t think that is just for the outside. Pop through the glorious doors and take a seat on the pews inside. You’ll have plenty of time to admire all that gorgeous Hungarian Art and design that adorns the walls. You can also take a quick tour inside and out.

People in front of Saint stephens Basilica in Budapest

Buda Castle

Located next to Fisherman’s Bastions (around 10-minute walk), Buda castle is often missed or isn’t mentioned when people talk about Budapest. You can see this castle in almost all of the most famous pictures that are taken in Budapest. If you look at the Pest Side and see an amazing big castle this is the place that I’m talking about. This Castle has been there from 1265, but the most recent parts that people see date from 1749 and 1769.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

You will hear a lot of people say: “If you go to Budapest you have to visit the Thermal baths”. Locate around 20 minutes from the city center by public transport, you can’t miss the Széchenyi Thermal Bath when you are close. If you have a “spare” day, then this is the place that I mostly recommend to people to visit, after all the walking and eating and then more walking, this is the perfect place to relax and have a moment for yourself. The prices aren’t the cheapest but as I said before I recommend that you visit it if you can. Full day in Széchenyi Thermal Bath is around 22 Euros (there are some cheaper options also).

View from bridge at Gellért hill in Budapest
Girl looking at Danube river from bridge

Budapest ZOO

Budapest ZOO is know to be the oldest one in Hungary and one of the oldest ones in the world. It has 1,072 animal species and is located near the Széchenyi Thermal Bath in the Városliget Park, unusually for a zoo which are mostly located outside of the city centers and parks. The zoo opened its doors on 9 August 1866 and has gone thought a lot since then. Price for one adult is 3300 HUF (10 Euros).

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