We recommend that you spend around 5 days in the gorgeous Hungarian capital, perhaps a week. Failing that, if you only have 24 hours in Budapest, here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of your quick stay. But try to come back soon, okay?!
Morning: 9 – 11.30am
Start the day early, up in the Buda Castle district looking down on Houses of Parliament, the Basilica, and the many bridges of Budapest. Take a stroll to the Buda Hilton Hotel to have a look at the ruins of the 15th century monastery.
You’re probably a little peckish after your morning walk, so grab something to eat at Ruszwurm, the oldest family-run cake shop in the city, with great breakfast and coffee. To walk that off, next take a wander around the labyrinth back streets of the Buda district, where you’ll learn all about Hungarian history as you admire your surroundings.
Midday: 11:30am – 3pm
Start walking downhill toward Pest via one of the staircases by Fishermen’s Bastion or the Royal Palace. Walk through the iconic Chain Bridge, straight to the Basilica, then jump on metro line 1 on Andrassy and get off at Oktogon.
Have some lunch at Liszt Ferenc Square, like locals do! Once you’ve had your Hungarian food fix (goulash, yes please!) get back on the metro and go out to see Heroes’ Square, a must-visit that showcases the city’s history from the arrival of the first tribes in 896, through the Hungarian rulers, to the mid-19th century. Right next to this is a beautiful city park, where you can find the quaint Vajdahunyad Castle.
Afternoon and Evening: 3pm onwards
An afternoon in Budapest is the perfect time to visit the largest spa complex in Europe, Széchenyi. Spend two or three hours relaxing in the indoor or outdoor pools, watching the old local guys playing chess in the waters, soaking up life in the sauna, and treating yourself to a massage. You deserve it!
In the evening, visit the Jewish Quarter and have dinner at Gozsdu Court. There are many choices here, and plenty of opportunity to be adventurous with your food! If you’re a whiskey or a beer fan, go to Dob 3, and if you like wine, Divino is the place for you. And how could an evening in Budapest be complete without visiting a ruin bar? Head to Ellátó to experience this unique part of this city’s culture. Everything here is within 5-10 minutes walking distance, so it’s the perfect place for some exploring.
If you still have some energy left, walk down to one of the bridges and have a look at Buda lit up after dark – it’s phenomenal!
We’ve got some passionate, knowledgeable locals running our tours in Budapest, so if you feel like seeing the city from a fresh perspective, they’re the people to talk to!