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Budapest is not only one of my favorite cities in Europe but also a very affordable travel destinations. In this post you can find my favorite places to see in Budapest with insider recommendations and useful travel tips!

Budapest Travel Tips

When is the best time to visit Budapest?

Budapest is beautiful all year round! I’ve been to Budapest mostly in the summertime which can be really hot! So to have the ideal temperature and weather for city walks, I would suggest either spring or early autumn for your visit. On the other hand Budapest is magical during the winter and Christmas season as well! It is truly worth a visit all year round.

How many days are ideal?

Budapest is a great destination for a short city trip over the weekend.The ideal amount of time for me to explore Budapest and to see the best places are between 3 – 4 days.

How to get to Budapest?

If you’re living in Europe, you might consider driving to Budapest with your car. Especially if you would like to combine the capital of Hungary with nearby places like the Balaton, Slovakia or Vienna. Driving in Budapest itself is very convenient as well. Only the parking, in garages in the city center, is quite pricey: We paid around 20-25 EUR per day.

If you don’t like to drive yourself, flying to Budapest or taking the remote bus might be an option for you. The international airport BUD is just a 30 mins ride away from the city center. For taxi rides I can highly recommend you the taxi app Bolt. It is similar to Uber, which is not available in Budapest.

Where to stay in Budapest?

Our favorite hotel in Budapest is currently closed for renovation: The Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge. If you’re planning to book a trip, definitely make sure to double check if it opened up again. The location, overlooking the famous chain bridge and the Fishermans Bastion behind it, is truly one of a kind!

An Amazing alternative to stay in Budapest:

→ Matild Palace – a luxurious hotel in Budapest with picturesque rooms (the view from one of the rooms overlooking the Elisabeth bridge got viral several times on social media)

→ Click here to book the best hotels in Budapest via my hotel collection

If you book any hotel in Budapest which is part of my hotel collection with A Small World, you will get extraordinary benefits like free breakfast, an upgrade, 100 USD stay credit and more! Additionally you will find the best available rate for each hotel. The sign up to my collection is completely free and the best about it: You can use it for any other hotel booking in the future to ALWAYS enjoy the free benefits!

Click here to sign up for my Hotel Collection and book your next stay!

Six Places to see in Budapest

No.1 – The Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge is the most iconic and beautiful bridge which spans the Danube river in the heart of Budapest. With the parliament building on the Pest side & the Royal Palace and Fishermans Bastion on the Buda side, a walk over the bridge is simply memorable. The most beautiful times of the day for it are either after sunset, when the bridge and monuments are illuminated or during sunrise when it is still quiet and the sky is illuminated in orange hues – that’s the best time to take photos as well.

No. 2 – The Fisherman’s Bastion & Matthias Church

Cross the chain bridge and walk up to the Fisherman’s Bastion – the most famous and beautiful place to see in Budapest. The reason for the popularity of the monument is its location on a hill parallel to the Danube river overlooking the Pest side of Budapest with its iconic parliament building. If you want to experience the true beauty of the Fisherman’s Bastion, you have to get up for sunrise! Duirng this time you will only meet a handful of other photographers and enjoy the memorable view of the rising sun behind the panoramic city skyline.
If you plan a trip to Budapest, visiting the Fisherman’s Bastion for sunrise is simply a Must Do for everyone!

beautiful sunrise view from the fisherman's bastion in Budapest overlooking the city
the best places to see in Budapest: beautiful sunrise view from the fisherman's bastion in Budapest overlooking the city

Right behind the Fisherman’s Bastion you will find the Matthias church which was originally built in 1015. It beautifully blends in the atmosphere with its Gothic style architecture and colorful rooftop. If you want to see the inside of the church as well, you have to pay an entrance fee of 1800 HUF / 4,50 EUR (1200 HUF / 3 EUR for students).

No. 3 – The Royal Palace & Sikló

Another place you need to see in Budapest is the Royal Palace. Several museums and the national library are located in the building and outside you can walk along the walls to enjoy another great view over the city. The last point which you can reach is the huge statue of virgin Mary from where you have the best sight on the Parliament Building! 

Insider Tip: It’s really beautiful if you arrive at the Royal Palace right after sunset to see how the Chain Bridge illuminates: The Bridge is covered in green light first which is changing to yellow-orange color later. Super romantic and you can bring a bottle of wine to enjoy the atmosphere!

Right next to the Royal Palace is the well known Budapest funicular (Sikló) located which has been built in the late 19. century. We took a ride down to the Chain Bridge and enjoyed the beautiful city view! You can purchase your ticket at the ticket office for 1000 HUF one way, or 1700 HUF return.

No. 4 – The Gellert Hill

For a little hike with panoramic views, walk up the 235m high Gellert Hill to the top, where you’ll find the Citadel of Budapest, which is a fortress built in 1851. I would suggest you to avoid the midday heat during the summertime but beside that, it is an easy hike up with some stunning views. At the feet of the hill you will find the Gellert Bath which is one of the most famous thermal baths in Budapest.

No. 5 – The Local Thermal Baths

No matter if you’re planning your visit in the summer or winter time, visiting one of the local thermal baths belongs to the top things to do in Budapest. Over the last years we visited two of the most famous an beautiful ones: The Gellert Bath and the Szechenyi Bath. The second is my personal favorite.

The Szechenyi Bath opens at 7am and closes 8pm (9am – 9pm on Sundays). I can highly recommend you to plan your visit as early or as late as possible and to avoid the crowds – especially on weekends or in the summer holidays. The bath is located in an historic building with several pools, saunas and spa treatment possibilities in- and outdoors. Outside you will find two huge basins: the first relaxing one with warm thermal water and another basin for swimming with cooler water. But you have to keep in mind that you are only allowed to swim in the basin with a head covering which can be a bathing cap or simply a sun hat or headscarf. Of course most of the tourists (including us) didn’t know about this rule so we could only sit on the side of the basin with our legs in the water to get some refreshment.

Insider Tip: You get the best view over the whole Szechenyi Bath from the stands which are empty most of the times – the perfect place to take a picture!

→ You can check the prices for the entrance fee (depending on the day and time of your visit) here!

the Szechenyi thermal bath in Budapest is one of the top places to see in the city

No. 6 – The Hungarian Parliament Building

A walk along the riverbank on the Pest side of Budapest to the iconic Parliament Building belongs to the top things to do in Budapest as well. The details of the architecture are absolutely photogenic. The monument looks especially impressive during the nighttime when the building is illuminated – so definitely pass by after sunset.
The inside of the Parliament building is open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Restaurant Tips for Budapest:

The Hungarian kitchen is simply a must try when you’re in Budapest. Here are some of the best restaurants in the city to try the local cuisine:

  • Beerstro 14 – Affordable Restaurant with a beautiful courtyard to sit outside during summer nights. A reservation is highly recommended!
  • Hungarian Hell’s Kitchen – a rustic local restaurant with live music and delicious food.
  • If you’re craving something different, I can highly recommend you the Italian Restaurant ‚Comme Chez Soi‘ with the best Pizza and authentic Italian cuisine in town. The restaurant doesn’t look spectacular from the outside but the food is exquisite and affordable! I would highly suggest a reservation for the evening. 
overlooking the city from the Fisherman's Bastion, sitting at a pillar, enjoying the best view in town

I hope this post with the best places to see & travel tips for Budapest will help you to plan your own trip. If you have any other questions regarding Budapest or accommodations simply drop me a direct message via Instagram or leave a comment below 🙂

Comments:

  • 11. August 2018

    Hello!

    What a wonderful article about Budapest!
    I’am glad that you enjoyed your stay here in my hometown. 🙂 I really like all the sights, and you took amazing pictures! Keep up the good work 😉

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