top 10 things to do in Budapest, Hungary

Top 17 Things To Do In Budapest On A 3 Day Visit

So, you’re gearing up to conquer Budapest in just three days? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Now, let’s get one thing straight – we’re not here to limit you to a cookie-cutter list of the top touristy stuff. 

Nope, we get it. 

Time’s short, and you wanna make the most of it. That’s why we’re dishing out our own experiences and local insights to help you craft an epic Budapest getaway.

Look, our suggestions aren’t carved in stone. We get that you’ve got your own vibe and energy levels when you visit Budapest.

But in these action-packed three days we’re about to lay out, we’ve crammed in the good stuff.

And hey, as you read on, we’re spilling the beans on how to do it all without feeling like a total zombie.

So, back in 2017, I hit up Budapest with my partner-in-crime, and let me tell you, that place cast a spell on me. Fast forward – I’m back, this time flying solo for a quick two-day whirlwind.

And you know what? Experiencing Budapest as both a couple and a lone wolf has given me a fresh take on things.

Doing the solo thing let me wander all over, from Buda to Pest, crossing every bridge like a champ. I even crashed Hungary’s birthday bash – talk about timing!

And then, there’s hanging out with a local buddy who’s practically a walking Budapest encyclopedia. It’s a total game-changer from my usual solo escapades. 

I ate the Hungarian food and drank the Hungarian drink, and even visited the famous ruin bar scene, all with someone who lives here!

So, buckle up because I’m about to spill all the deets, share my mishaps, and dish out the can’t-miss tricks for your epic 3-day Budapest adventure. Get ready to soak in the awesomeness!

3 day itinerary Of Top 5 things to see in Budapest - Hungarian Parliament Building

Embrace The Charm: Your Perfect 3-Day Budapest Itinerary

Let’s kick off your Budapest adventure in style! Our game plan for Day 1? Dive right into the top-tier must-sees that will have you falling head over heels for this city.

Brace yourself for a rendezvous with the Parliament Building’s grandeur, the Opera House’s elegance, the charm of the River Promenade, the historical gravity of Heroes Square, and the awe-inspiring Basilica.

Why kickstart with these gems? Well, it’s like setting the stage for the days ahead.

These spots are strategically nestled close to other star attractions, which means you’ll get a sneak peek into the treasure trove that Budapest really is.

Trust us, your first day is gonna be an absolute blast!


🌞☀️ Summer in Budapest is pure magic! Here’s why you should visit: -Buda Castle & Fisherman’s Bastion: Explore historic charm and panoramic views. -Chain Bridge: A scenic walk connecting Buda and Pest. -Thermal Baths: Relax at Széchenyi Thermal Baths. -Parliament Building: Marvel at stunning neo-Gothic architecture. -Danube River Cruise: Enjoy the city’s beauty from the water. -Ruin Bars: Experience unique nightlife in eclectic settings. -Margaret Island: Picnic, bike, or stroll in this urban oasis. Budapest in summer is vibrant, historical, and unforgettable! 🌇✨ For more details, check out our blog! #budapesthungary #visitbudapest #budapestsummer #budapestitinerary #budapesttravel #easterneurope #travelitinerary #traveltiktok #travelplanning

♬ original sound – Cyril Riley

1. Day One In Budapest – Hungarian Parliament Building

Alright, fellow explorers, let’s kick off our Budapest escapade with a jaw-dropping sight – none other than the iconic Parliament Building.

Missing this would be like visiting San Francisco and somehow not catching a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Yep, it’s that big of a deal.

So, what’s the scoop? Well, beyond being the Hungarian political hub, the Parliament Building is a true architectural marvel.

Get this – it was designed in the same neo-Gothic style as London’s Westminster, and it even snagged an award for its jaw-dropping design. Talk about impressive!

And here’s the kicker: You can actually step inside this masterpiece on certain days when the National Assembly isn’t in full swing.

If you happen to be there on Hungary’s birthday (August 20th) you can enjoy a free tour if you are willing to stand in line and wait for it!

How cool is that? You’ll get to roam around the corridors of power and history.

But wait, there’s more! Picture this: the sun’s setting, casting that magical golden hue. The Parliament Building transforms into this radiant beacon that you absolutely can’t miss.

For the best view, head over to the Buda side. And hey, if you’re up for it, take a leisurely stroll all around the building – every angle reveals a new facet of its magnificence.

So there you have it, the Parliament Building: a mix of architectural splendor, political significance, and a golden-hour glow that’s just plain irresistible.

Don’t miss your chance to witness a true masterpiece in action.

2. Day One In Budapest – Danube River Promenade

One of the truly profound experiences awaiting you in Budapest is a visit to the poignant “Shoes On The Danube” memorial, just a stone’s throw south of the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building.

Nestled along the banks of the Danube River, this solemn row of iron shoe sculptures serves as an eloquent and haunting tribute to the thousands who lost their lives during the dark days of World War II.

Each of the 60 pairs of shoes placed here is a poignant reminder of the lives unjustly taken, inviting passersby to pause and pay their respects.

Budapest Itinerary for three days- Danube River Promenade

Walking this path of remembrance offers not just a historical encounter, but also a moment of profound reflection. And the setting couldn’t be more fitting.

Picture yourself strolling alongside the Danube, with the iconic Chain Bridge framing the backdrop, and the sprawling beauty of Buda Castle, the majestic Liberty Statue perched on Gellert Hill, and the intricate details of the Fisherman’s Bastion across the river on the Buda side.

It’s a moment that connects you with history, with the city, and with the resilience of the human spirit.

As you continue your journey down this path, you’ll come across a delightful gem known as Pontoon.

This charming café and bar offers a prime spot to unwind, savor the sunset, and soak in the mesmerizing vistas.

From the picturesque views of the river to the architectural marvel of the Chain Bridge, Pontoon provides an enchanting vantage point to relish Budapest’s beauty while sipping on your favorite beverage.

So, as you craft your three-day Budapest adventure, make sure this evocative experience finds its way onto your list.

It’s a chance not only to learn about history but to immerse yourself in the living story of this vibrant city.

Pro-Traveler Tip: Take a river cruise. We suggest you Book this one or this one.

3. Day One In Budapest – St. Stephen’s Basilica

Let’s keep the Budapest adventure rolling, shall we? Our next stop on Day 1 is the awe-inspiring St. Stephen’s Basilica – a must-see that’s sure to leave you utterly mesmerized.

St. Stephen’s Basilica isn’t just a religious marvel; it’s a masterpiece that blends architectural brilliance with spiritual significance.

Fun fact: This grand basilica is named after Hungary’s first king, King Stephen. With its jaw-dropping neoclassical design, it’s no wonder it’s one of the city’s most treasured landmarks.

Getting there from the enchanting Danube River Promenade is a breeze. A short and pleasant 15 minute stroll northward will lead you to this architectural gem.

Trust me, the anticipation builds as you approach this monumental beauty.

Itinerary of things to do in Budapest - The Basilica

Once you’re inside, prepare to be wowed by the sheer grandeur of the basilica’s interior.

The ornate details, the breathtaking dome, and the serene atmosphere make it a true feast for the senses.

And if you’re up for a bit of adventure, climb to the top for a panoramic view of Budapest that’ll take your breath away – and give your camera a workout!

As you step back onto the streets, take a moment to soak in the surroundings. The basilica’s vibrant neighborhood is brimming with cafes, shops, and charming streets to explore.

Plus, there’s Erzsébet Square nearby, a hub of local buzz and activity.

So, as the sun begins to dip below the horizon, remember that you’ve just embarked on a remarkable Budapest journey.

St. Stephen’s Basilica is just the beginning of the magic that this city has to offer.

4. Day One In Budapest – Opera House

The Opera House was one of the first things we saw upon our arrival to Budapest. Our Airbnb was just steps away from here!

Having spent the last several months in Thailand, this type of architecture was in total contrast to what we were used to seeing.

The Neo-Renaissance architecture is not the only fascinating characteristic of this building, it is also known to be one of the best opera houses as far as acoustics goes.

There are tours available if you are curious about the inside of the structure, but for us it was not possible due to time constraints.

top 5 things to see in Budapest - Opera House

The Hungarian State Opera House, known for its stunning neo-Renaissance architecture, is not just a performance venue; it’s a symbol of cultural prestige.

Designed by the renowned architect Miklós Ybl, this opera house is a masterpiece that seamlessly blends opulent design with artistic significance.

Its façade is adorned with intricate details, sculptures, and a grand staircase that beckons visitors into a realm of elegance.

But the Opera House isn’t merely an architectural triumph; it’s a testament to Hungary’s enduring appreciation for the arts. Since its inauguration in 1884, it has served as a stage for operatic and ballet performances that have captured hearts and minds.

To truly appreciate this masterpiece, consider taking a guided tour.

Expert guides will lead you through the lavishly decorated halls, offering insights into the building’s history, architecture, and the stories that have unfolded within its walls.

This behind-the-scenes glimpse will provide you with a profound understanding of the Opera House’s significance and the impact it has had on Budapest’s cultural landscape.

As you explore, don’t forget to look up – the auditorium’s ceiling is adorned with a mesmerizing fresco that captures the spirit of the arts.

And if you’re fortunate enough to catch a performance, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable evening immersed in the splendor of music and dance.

5. Day One In Budapest – Heroes Square (Hősök tere)

No Budapest adventure is complete without a visit to the illustrious Heroes Square.

This iconic gem stands not only as a tribute to Hungary’s national identity but also as one of the city’s most cherished and frequently photographed sites.

Trust me, you won’t want to skip this one.

Heroes Square isn’t just your ordinary square; it’s a sprawling canvas of history and culture that’s earned its prestigious spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Stepping onto this hallowed ground is akin to stepping into the very heart of Hungary’s vibrant narrative.

weekend itinerary Budapest - Heroes Square

Imagine this: statues of kings and heroes standing sentinel along the square’s expanse, their presence echoing through the corridors of time. The name says it all, doesn’t it? Heroes Square is a monument that stands tall in honor of the valiant souls who’ve etched their mark on Hungary’s story.

Now, here’s the exciting part. To reach this cultural haven from the Opera House, you can walk about 30 minutes and see the town along the way or hop on the M1 bus.

But wait, there’s more. Heroes Square isn’t just a solitary marvel. Adjacent to it, you’ll find the Museum of Fine Arts and the Kunsthalle, both offering a wealth of artistic treasures.

So, after soaking in the grandeur of Heroes Square, you can delve into an artistic journey that spans centuries.

So, gear up for a rendezvous with Heroes Square. It’s more than just a destination – it’s an experience that will connect you with the pulse of Hungary’s captivating story.

Other Things to see near the square:

  1. Hall of Art (Műcsarnok)
  2. City Park (Városliget)
  3. Vajdahunyad Castle
  4. Széchenyi Baths (more on this below)
top 5 things to see in Budapest - Vajdahunyad Castle at City Park

6. Day One In Budapest – Jewish Quarter – Dohány Street Synagogue

Ready to dive into Budapest’s history? Well, buckle up because the Jewish Quarter is calling your name! It’s like a treasure trove of stories and vibes waiting to be discovered.

First stop? The mighty Dohany Street Synagogue – it’s not just a synagogue, it’s like a whole chapter of the city’s story. Walking into this place is like stepping into a different world – the architecture has this cool Moorish vibe that’s totally unique.

And don’t even get me started on the courtyard with its Holocaust Memorial. It’s powerful and humbling, all at once.

But wait, the adventure doesn’t stop there. As you wander through the streets of the Jewish Quarter, you’ll find a mix of old and new that’s downright captivating.

There’s the Jewish Museum where you can get your history fix, and the Raoul Wallenberg Holocaust Memorial Park – a spot that’ll really make you think.

Synagogue Budapest - itinerary checklist

And if you’re up for some artsy vibes, the Gozsdu Courtyard is where it’s at. Boutiques, galleries, and some seriously lively bars – it’s all right here.

Oh, and foodies, don’t you worry. The Grand Market Hall’s got your back with an explosion of flavors waiting to be devoured.

So, here’s the scoop: the Jewish Quarter isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling. It’s about diving into Budapest’s soul, celebrating its diversity, and walking in the footsteps of those who’ve left their mark. Time to embark on a new adventure, my friend!

7. Day One In Budapest – Elizabeth Square

Wrap up your exhilarating first day in Budapest with a touch of enchantment at Elizabeth Square.

Embark on a mesmerizing spin on the Budapest Wheel Ferris Wheel, capturing panoramic views of the city’s illuminated beauty.

As the evening unfolds, indulge your taste buds at Street Food Karavan, where an array of delectable eats from across the globe await.

From tantalizing treats to savory delights, this culinary haven promises a fun-filled end to your day of exploration.

Pro-Traveler Tip: To accomplish the above in one day, you’ll need some help getting around. For us, the best way to do this was by purchasing tickets for the Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tours. The bus is comfortable to ride and even comes with an audio guide in several languages.

Having the option to check out a bunch of places at once without having to worry about transportation was a huge relief. The bus also made it more fun and educational.

We highly recommend this tour because you’ll also be able to use it on multiple days. So if, you miss something or get tired, you can just use the bus to go back on another day.

8. Day Two In Budapest – New York Cafe – Breakfast That Makes You Feel Like Royalty

Looking for a breakfast experience fit for your Instagram feed?

Look no further than the famed New York Cafe in Budapest – a hotspot that’s gained worldwide recognition for its opulent décor and lavish atmosphere.

But here’s the scoop: while the visuals are jaw-dropping, the journey to an enchanting morning feast can come with a few surprises.

Word to the wise: This place is a magnet for both locals and tourists, and the lines can stretch to infinity. If you’re aiming for a quicker entrance, play your cards right and get there bright and early on a weekday, right when the doors swing open.

I hit it up on a Tuesday morning just minutes after opening, and even then, I had a 15-minute wait in line.

Crazy, right? And guess what? By the time I snagged a table, the queue was already snaking out the front door!

But here’s where the story takes a turn. Despite the wait and the ever-present crowd, my experience wasn’t all bad. I scored the best seat in the house – talk about luck!

As for the food? Well, that’s where things got a bit shaky. The dishes came out on the colder side, and flavor-wise, they left me wanting a bit more pizzazz.

New York Cafe Budapest Breakfast

And let’s talk prices – they’re not for the faint of heart.

Your wallet might get a bit of a shock, but here’s the thing: if you’re in the mood for a breakfast that lets you dine like royalty, soaking in the regal vibes, this is your spot.

The New York Cafe is more than just a breakfast – it’s an experience that immerses you in a realm of grandeur and extravagance.

So, if you’re ready to trade a bit of wait time for the chance to feel like royalty and bask in opulent surroundings, the New York Cafe is your destination.

Just make sure your expectations are in line – the visuals and ambiance steal the show, even if the taste and service might not be a perfect ten.

9. Day Two In Budapest – Citadella – Fortress With Panoramic Views

Okay, so I know there are plenty of amazing places to see fantastic views in Budapest, but the Citadella has got to be one of the top!

Aptly situated atop Gellért Hill, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a symbol of freedom in Budapest and provides some exquisite outlooks over Buda Cast, Parliament, the curving Danube, and Pest embankment as well as Buda hills.

We were fortunate to visit during an air show that was happening on the river so it was a special treat for us to see everything from so high up!

In any case, you can ride the sightseeing bus up to here and enjoy a couple of hours of taking in the views and snapping some epic photos of Budapest.

3 days in Budapest - views from the Citadella

We got there by crossing the Elizabeth Bridge which gave us nice views of the Liberty Statue along with St. Gerard Sagredo Statue and the waterfall on the hillside.

Pro-Traveller Tip: Try chimneys (known as Kürtőskalács in Hungarian); bread-like freshly baked Hungarian pastries. They taste almost donut-like and are great as ice cream cones!

What to see nearby:

  • Buda Castle
  • Budapest History Museum
  • Hungarian National Gallery

10. Day Two In Budapest – Buda Castle District – Fisherman’s Bastion

Kickstart your second day in Budapest with a journey back in time to the enchanting Castle District.

Your adventure begins at the iconic Fisherman’s Bastion, a fairytale-like terrace that offers sweeping vistas of the city’s grandeur.

Explore its whimsical turrets and arches, then step into the awe-inspiring Matthias Church, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that boasts intricate details and vibrant stained glass windows.

We missed this unique icon on our first time in Budapest, so naturally, I made a point to visit it twice during my second visit just to make up for that!

There are endless angles for taking photos at this location so make sure you have your camera and it has plenty of battery! 

Fishermans Bastian Budapest, Hungary

To make the moment last even longer, I sat down for lunch at the Panoramia Cafe and Bar. The food was pretty good even though a bit pricey.

I would do it again just for the chance to sit and enjoy the views with a drink in hand in a more peaceful and “private” setting.

Pro-Traveler Tip: Do NOT miss entering the Matthias Church located here! The interior is absolutely a marvel!

Ready for a unique ride? Hop on the Castle Hill Funicular, a charming vintage cable car that whisks you to the hilltop with style and grace.

As you ascend, the panorama unfolds, revealing the splendid Buda Castle and the captivating Danube River below.

The Castle District promises a morning of historic marvels, architectural wonders, and unmatched views that will leave you utterly captivated.

11. Day Two In Budapest – Walk Across The Chain Bridge

If you get a chance during your visit to Budapest, take the time to walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

This beautiful suspension bridge spanning across the Danube was the first to connect Buda and Pest and only the second bridge over the entire span of the river!

Make sure to check out the lion sculptures carved from stone that are situated at the bridge end. They survived the destruction of WWII!

what to see in Budapest - walk across Chain Bridge

12. Day Two In Budapest – Shopping On Vaci Street

This one is for the shoppers out there. I’m typically not one to spend my travel time inside stores much, but there are loads of people who love it so this would be a good place to go.

You’ll find a variety of high-end stores along this pedestrian street. It’s also a great place to stroll and just check out the awesome architecture.

Make sure to look up at the facades along the avenue. I am sure that they are festively decorated during the holiday season as well if you happen to be visiting in the wintertime.

You may find some great souvenir shops as well, so it’s a good place to go if you want to grab some popular things like paprika to take back home.

Top Things To Do Budapest - Shopping street

13. Day Two In Budapest – Escape Room

Ready to infuse your Budapest trip with a dose of excitement? Get ready to channel your inner Sherlock and dive into the world of live escape games!

Believe it or not, Budapest holds the prestigious title of being the pioneer of live escape games in Europe, igniting a trend that’s now sweeping the globe.

Imagine stepping into a locked room, armed with only your wits and teamwork skills, as you tackle a series of intricate puzzles under the ticking pressure of the clock.

Budapest is where this captivating concept first came to life, fusing puzzle-solving with immersive storytelling for an unforgettable adventure.

Fast forward to today, and escape rooms have taken the international stage by storm, captivating enthusiasts from Paris to New York.

But the roots of this thrilling trend trace back to Budapest, where the spark of creativity set the world ablaze.

14. Day Two In Budapest – Ruin Bars

Ready for a Budapest nightlife adventure that’s out of the ordinary? Look no further than the renowned ruin bars – a city signature that you absolutely need to experience.

Here’s why: These spots are like stepping into a wild dream where creativity knows no bounds.

Imagine wandering through the labyrinthine lanes of Budapest, stumbling upon abandoned buildings and courtyards that have been transformed into vibrant hubs.

These aren’t just bars; they’re like a blend of a quirky art gallery, a cozy lounge, and a buzzing community space. It’s a sight to behold, with mismatched furniture, colorful murals, and an ambiance that’s simply electric.

The real charm of ruin bars lies in the experience – it’s not just about the drinks (although they’re pretty awesome), but the entire vibe.

Live music, themed events, and a melting pot of cultures converge under these eclectic roofs.

And speaking of personal experiences, I walked into Szimpla Kert, one of the coolest ruin bars around, arm in arm with a local friend.

We went on a photography spree, capturing every nook and cranny of this wonderland.

However, here’s a pro tip from my local friend – while the ambiance is unbeatable, the prices can be a bit steep due to the tourist rush.

So, we enjoyed our photo adventure and then decided to grab our drinks at a more pocket-friendly spot nearby.

Budapest Ruin Bar: Szimpla Kert

15. Day Three In Budapest – Spend A Half Day At Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The thermal baths of Budapest are, without a doubt, widely known. It’s no wonder that Budapest is referred to as “The City Of Baths.”

The baths are fed from several hot springs around the city since it has one of the world’s largest thermal water reserves!

The baths are a great getaway if you are looking for some thermal healing, or just want a place to relax on your vacation.

top 10 things Budapest - Széchenyi Thermal Baths

We tend to pack a whole lot of activity in our travels so taking half a day to just relax was much needed and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths were just perfect for that!

We purchased a package deal where we were able to enjoy a private relaxation area, steam room, saunas, and all of the interior baths as well as the outside ones. It was an awesome package at a great price.

Pro-Traveler Tip: Make sure to go early to avoid the crowds. Purchase the package that includes the relaxation area so you can get a nap in between baths!

what to do in Budapest - Thermal Baths

16. Day Three In Budapest – Explore With A Free Walking Tour

For travelers eager to explore Budapest on a budget while immersing themselves in its rich history and culture, free walking tours are a fantastic choice.

Here are a few popular options, each offering a unique perspective on the city:

  • Sandeman New Europe Tours: This company offers a variety of free tours that cover different aspects of Budapest, from the city’s iconic landmarks to its hidden gems. They often have knowledgeable local guides who share fascinating stories and insights, making the experience both informative and engaging. We used this company when we visited Jerusalem and highly recommend them!
  • Budapest Flow: If you’re looking for a unique twist, Budapest Flow offers free alternative tours that focus on street art, urban exploration, and offbeat sights. It’s a great way to discover the city’s creative side and explore neighborhoods beyond the typical tourist path.
  • Fungarian: As the name suggests, Fungarian offers a lively and fun approach to discovering Budapest. Their free tours are designed to provide insights into Hungarian culture, language, and traditions, offering a more immersive experience. You can even sign up to learn Hungarian with them!

The benefits of these walking tours are numerous.

Embarking on a walking tour while exploring Budapest brings a host of benefits that enrich your travel experience in remarkable ways. Guided by locals who are passionate about their city, these tours offer an invaluable dose of insight into Budapest’s history, culture, and hidden treasures.

Beyond the budget-friendly nature, the tours provide an immersive and authentic understanding of the city.

Local guides offer a depth of knowledge that goes beyond guidebooks, regaling you with captivating stories and lesser-known anecdotes that breathe life into historical landmarks.

Walking tours also serve as a practical orientation, helping you navigate the city’s layout and identify places of interest for further exploration.

Engaging with fellow travelers from diverse backgrounds fosters a sense of camaraderie, making the journey as social as it is informative.

Ultimately, free walking tours in Budapest provide an opportunity to delve beneath the surface, gaining a genuine appreciation for the city’s soul and its captivating evolution through time.

So, whether you’re interested in history, architecture, street art, or local culture, a free walking tour in Budapest is an excellent way to make the most of your visit while staying within your budget.

17. Day Three In Budapest – Margaret Island

Add a touch of natural serenity to your Budapest escapade with a visit to Margaret Island – a tranquil oasis nestled within the bustling city.

This verdant gem offers a refreshing escape and a wealth of attractions that make it a must-visit during your three-day journey. Go on a leisurely stroll through lush gardens, where the gentle rustling of trees and the melodic chirping of birds create a symphony of relaxation.

Margaret Island is a paradise for nature enthusiasts, boasting meticulously landscaped parks, vibrant flower gardens, and peaceful walkways that invite you to unwind and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

As you explore, you’ll stumble upon iconic landmarks like the Musical Fountain, where water dances to the rhythm of classical melodies, captivating visitors young and old.

For history buffs, the 13th-century ruins of a Dominican convent offer a glimpse into the island’s storied past.

Sports enthusiasts won’t be disappointed either – the island is home to a swimming complex, tennis courts, and even a running track.

And if you’re in the mood for a picturesque picnic, there’s no better place to spread out a blanket and indulge in some people-watching as you enjoy your treats.

The best way to access Margaret Island is by hopping on the Árpád Bridge, either by walking, cycling, or taking public transportation.

If you’re up for a leisurely stroll, cross the bridge on foot and follow the signs leading you straight to the island’s green embrace.

If you’re more into cycling, you’re in for a treat – the bridge is cyclist-friendly and offers a scenic ride with stunning Danube River views.

And for those who prefer public transport, simply hop on Tram 4 or Tram 6, both of which conveniently connect to the island.

budapest Market Hall shopping

What To Eat: Food And Drinks During Your 3 Days In Budapest

Here are some of our recommendations for where to eat in Budapest:

  1. Stika – Breakfast
  2. Cirkusz – Breakfast (order the “Turkish Eggs” and Hungarian breakfast with duck pate)
  3. Menza – This is where you want to have the famous Hungarian goulosh!
  4. Divino – Wine bar (get the cheese platter and enjoy people watching and views of the Basilica)
  5. Boutiq Bar – Hip bar serving unique, tasty cocktails in a trendy setting (try the “Budapest Barbeque”)
  6. Street Food Karavana – Try the local Lángos (they also offer the burger version!)
  7. Central Market Hall (AKA Grant or Great Market Hall)- fruit, smoothies, and snacks (make sure to buy some paprika here!)
Budapest - eat Hungarian Goulosh during your visit

Where To Stay In Budapest

We highly suggest renting an Airbnb while you are staying in Budapest. Our apartment was in a perfect location within walking distance to everything.

It was a very unique type of accommodation that gave us a true feel for what it’s like living in Budapest.

travel itinerary for Budapest Hungary - where to stay guide

On my solo travel to Budapest, I used to reserve my stay at Amber Terrace Studios. What I enjoyed most about this place was the quiet location that was still very central and easily walkable to everything.

I felt very safe staying in this area and the apartment felt like home! I would like to stay there again on my next visit!

How To Get To The City Center From Budapest Airport

Navigating your way from Budapest Airport to the city center couldn’t be smoother than hopping on the shuttle.

At around $7 USD, it’s a budget-friendly and incredibly convenient option that ensures a hassle-free start to your journey.

Here’s the scoop: as soon as you’ve collected your luggage and stepped outside, you’ll spot a ticket machine or, even better, you can simply use the BudapestGO App to purchase your ticket.

But that’s not the only perk of the app. Beyond the airport transfer, you can also snag day passes that come in handy as you explore the city throughout your visit.

Talk about a comprehensive travel companion!

Once aboard, settle in for a comfortable 40-minute ride to the heart of Budapest. No stress about traffic or directions – just lean back and soak in the sights.

It’s the ideal blend of convenience and affordability, offering you a seamless introduction to the city that sets the tone for your entire adventure.

So, as you touch down in Budapest, know that the shuttle isn’t just a ride – it’s your gateway to discovering the magic of this captivating city.

A stone lion statue on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, with the Hungarian Parliament Building visible across the Danube River.
The majestic lion statue on the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, guards the view of the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building across the Danube River.

Is 3 Days Enough To See Budapest?

Three days in Budapest can certainly give you a taste of the city’s highlights, allowing you to explore its iconic landmarks, experience its vibrant culture, and savor its culinary scene.

While you won’t be able to cover every nook and cranny in such a short time, you can definitely create a memorable and immersive experience with well-planned itineraries.

To truly delve into Budapest’s many facets, including its history, architecture, and local charm, a stay of around 4 to 5 days is our recommendation.

This provides a bit more flexibility to explore beyond the tourist hotspots and venture into neighborhoods that offer a deeper glimpse into daily life.

In terms of budget, Budapest is known for being quite affordable compared to many Western European cities.

For a comfortable 3-day visit, budgeting around $150 to $200 USD per day for accommodation, meals, transportation, and activities should suffice. Keep in mind that individual spending habits and preferences can vary.

For a unique city that is also very affordable in Eastern Europe, we recommend a day trip to Skopje, North Macedonia.

As for whether 4 days is too long in Budapest, it largely depends on your interests and travel style.

If you’re a history buff, foodie, or simply enjoy taking your time to soak in the local ambiance, then 4 days could be just right.

You’ll have the chance to explore more leisurely, possibly take day trips to nearby attractions, and truly immerse yourself in the city’s charm.

Check out our articles on the other European cities we have visited:

Budapest 3 day itinerary travel guide

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We’re all about comparing prices on or (when traveling to Asia). That way, we always snag the perfect hotel or vacation rental for our crew, without breaking the bank!

🌍 Activities for Everyone 

Viator is our go-to for discovering awesome activities everyone will love. They have something for every interest and age, so no one’s left out!

🎒 Our Must-Have Travel Essentials 

Check out our Amazon Influencer Store for our tried-and-true travel essentials. These are the goodies we always bring along to make our trips comfy and enjoyable.

💰 Managing Finances While Globetrotting 

Wise is our secret weapon for easy currency exchange and international transfers. It’s super convenient, secure, and always has great rates!

  1. Constance Avatar

    I loved this comprehensive itinerary! It included a lot of places I was already interested in visiting so I liked that it put them all in 1 place for me. Ps how cool that you’re from California, I am as well :)

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      Hi Constance! Budapest is really an awesome place and so pretty in the summertime! Where in California are you from? We are from the Bay Area :)

  2. Anthony (one of FourFriendsOneWorld) Avatar
    Anthony (one of FourFriendsOneWorld)

    This is a great post, you cover all the things the Friend’s love. Great Architecture, food and cultural immersion. We would love to follow in your footsteps one day. Especially getting a taste of that Kürtőskalács

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      We do love sharing our adventures together and with friends, so much fun!

  3. Carmen Baguio Avatar
    Carmen Baguio

    I love how you guys were able to fit so many sites into your itinerary. Looks like you covered all of the most important spots. I’ve always wanted to try the Baths in Budapest so that would be top on my list!

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      Oh, the baths are the best part!It was so relaxing and made your skin feel so nice! The hop on hop off bus really made it easy to get to everything so we could see a lot during a short period of time.

  4. Krupa Avatar

    Such an interesting post. River Promenade and Vaci street looks amazing place to go n enjoy some views and some shopping. Would love to hit budapest someday . Thanks for sharing.

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      Krupa, thanks for the comment! Views and shopping are great in Budapest! hope you get a chance to visit!

  5. Christina Avatar

    I need to visit Budapest some day. I would go just to stare at buildings. The architecture of the Parliament building, opera house, Basilica etc are all amazing. Hero square would definitely be on my list to.

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      Hi Christina! You are right the architecture is pretty impressive!

  6. Paula - Gone with the Wine Avatar
    Paula – Gone with the Wine

    Good tips! For a long time already I have wanted to visit Budapest. I especially want hit all the cafes there and see both sides of the river. River cruise might be fun too.

    1. Taiss Nowrouzi Avatar
      Taiss Nowrouzi

      That all sounds like a great plan for a fantastic time in Budapest!

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Rob and Taiss

Hi! We’re Rob and Taiss. We set off to live a life in as many places as possible. To actually live in locations around the world long enough to get to know the locals, the culture, and the food, not just a taste of it.