Europe, Hungary

Ultimate 3 Day Itinerary to Budapest

Budapest, Hungary is a true prime travel destination in every sense of the word. Budapest is full of interesting things to do, see, places to eat, and places to stay, so I have created a 3-day itinerary for Budapest so that you can have an easier time planning your day in this amazing city.

What to do on Day 1 in Budapest:

If you are going either by bus, train, or plane, when you land in either spot you will immediately feel the Hungarian culture.

Budapest Airport is one of the largest in Eastern Europe and it connects 90% of large cities to Budapest, so you will have a very easy time finding cheap flights to or from Budapest.

Walk across Széchenyi Chain Bridge

As usual, when visiting any city you will firstly visit the main attractions, and the main attraction in Budapest is Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Chain Bridge is the main bridge that connects Buda and Pest side to create a city that we know today as Budapest. Most of the time you will see people taking pictures and looking over to see boats sailing on the Danube.

Night view of a Bridge in Budapest

Check out St. Stephens Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica is located around 5-10 minutes walking from the Chain Bridge, so it makes it a perfect second attraction to visit when in Budapest. St. Stephen’s Basilica is a big Roman Catholic basilica that got its name from the first King of Hungary, Stephen.

People in front of Saint stephens Basilica in Budapest

When visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica you can go inside or climb up to the top for a small fee, which is completely worth it, because the view is great.

Explore city center

Exploring the city center is a must for me on the first day when visiting any city, especially Budapest, which is one of my favorite cities of all time.

Girl walking in front of Budapest sing on a restaurant

I have visited Budapest at least 6 times (not counting when going just to their airport), and every time I find something new to explore or a place to visit. The Budapest city center is not that big and can easily be explored on foot.

Grabbing lunch/dinner at Kispiac Biztro

After a long day of exploring all the attractions and the city center, you will have to grab lunch or dinner, depending on the time of the day. Eating local and great food is always on my bucket list, and Kispiac Biztro checks both boxes without any problem.

People taking pictures of food stand in Budapest

Food to try: Goulash, Paprikas, Somlói Galuska, and much more that you will find on the menus.

What to do on Day 2 in Budapest:

Having a great breakfast as a tourist is crucial in any city. Finding a great breakfast spot if you do not have breakfast included in your accommodation can be hard and sometimes very frustrating, to solve that check out Fekete Cafe, Budapest Baristas, or if you like Starbucks there is one right next to Chain Bridge.

Places to have breakfast:

Go accross to Buda side

After a nice breakfast and yesterday’s exploration of the Pest side of Budapest, it is time to go to the Buda side. You can go there either on foot across Chain Bridge or by public transport, it all depends on you.

Night view of a Bridge in Budapest

Crossing over you will see a cable car going up, then you will have two options, walk up or take the cable car (you will have to pay). I suggest taking a cable car if you have the funds, it is very nice to slowly see the whole of Budapest and take pictures as you go up.

Check out Buda Castle

Once your cable car ride is finished you will be at Buda Castle, a historical castle and complex od palaces of the Hungarian kings, this is one of the oldest buildings in Budapest and highly recommended to be checked out when visiting.

Buda castle in Budapest

Buda Castle has a lot of interesting history around it so be sure to grab a tour if you like learning about the history of the country and city.

Walk to Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is located around a 5-10 minutes’ walk from the Buda Castle. Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church are a must-visit when in Budapest, they are both amazing, especially in spring and summer, and also Fisherman’s Bastion has by far the best and most magnificent view of the whole of Budapest.

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

Looking over you will spot the Dunabe river, Chain Bridge, Hungarian Parliament, and much much more, also it is a great spot to grab some amazing pictures.

Sail the Danube

Alone or with somebody, it doesn’t really matter, Sailing the Danube river is one of the most interesting things that you will do in Budapest. For romance, you will probably go in the evening when all of the main attractions around the river light up and give that amazing romantic feel.

Boats at Dunabe river

But the sail is amazing during the day also if you can not schedule the boat ride for the night. Check out the boat ride that I took when visiting Budapest.

What to do on Day 3 in Budapest:

Try donuts at Mr. Funk

One of the best donuts that I have ever tried, Mr. Funk is a donut shop in Budapest city center that has an amazing variety of donuts. You will surely find something that you will enjoy.

Girl eating donuts at Budapest

Take a tour of the Hungarian Parliament

Hungarian Parliament in Budapest is one of the biggest buildings that you will ever see, but the true size you will be able to see from the Fisherman’s Bastion that we mentioned earlier.

Hungarian parliament with Dunabe river next to it

The Parliament can be toured from the inside, but there are limited amounts of tickets for certain times of day, so be sure to schedule in advance.

Buy souvenirs at Budapest Centar Market

Budapest Centar Market is probably the most local attraction that you can find in Budapest, here you will find 90% of the locals that live in the city center shopping for their groceries and tourist looking to buy some souvenirs such as chocolate or grained paprika.

People eating at restaurant in Budapest

Centar Market is also just 10 minutes walking from Chain Bridge, so it is located in the city center and very easily accessible if you are walking around the city center of Budapest.

Take a relaxing bath at Széchenyi Thermal Bath

After a full day of exploring the Hungarian parliament, eating donuts, and buying souvenirs at Budapest Centar Market, it is time to relax at one of the best Thermal Baths in the whole of Europe.

Budapest indoor Thermal spot

Széchenyi Thermal Baths are located outside the city center, but you can easily go to them by public transport (tram, metro, or bus). You can visit them all season long, and have an amazing time, they are usually pretty crowded with locals and tourists but that will not bother you, I promise.

Bonus: Visiting Budapest ZOO

If you do not wish or do not like Thermal Baths, I suggest that you visit Budapest ZOO, which is located right next to Széchenyi Thermal Bath. The Budapest ZOO is one of the oldest zoo parks in the world, featuring over 1,072 animal species it opened its doors in 1866.

Red panda in San Diego Zoo

Budapest ZOO is amazing, and if you like animals, and nature you will have an amazing time checking out this one of its kind zoo park.

To find all places to eat, stay, and to do in Budapest, check out Budapest Travel Guide!

Budapest is one of my favorite cities to visit every year, any season. The city offers so much and is full of a unique culture at every step of the way, full of places and attractions yet to be explored, Budapest and Hungary, in general, are amazing and a must-have on your European Bucket List.

Hello! I’m Sara, a Croatian native. I’ve traveled all over the world and have knocked out some amazing cities and countries off my bucket list.




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