Top Budapest Travel Guide

Get the best of Budapest: travel guide will help you to make the most out of your Budapest stay.

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary (photo by Pedro Szekely)

No matter how long you stay here, if you are a luxury or a budget traveller, or if you prefer drinking a good beer on the riverside, or listening to organ concerts in a majestic church.

Quick Budapest guide: pick the best Budapest attractions to plan your itinerary, or take a look at the Top Ten Things To Do in Budapest guide. Read the Budapest FAQ for really useful tips, or see what’s free in Budapest. Got lost? Let us help you plan your Budapest itinerary.

Is Budapest expensive?

Budapest is a relatively cheap place to sleep, eat, drink, soak in baths, get massages, people-watch in cafes, chat in pubs, visit museums, or listen to fascinating concerts, operas, etc. Besides accommodation costs, plan with approx. 50-60 Euros/£35-£45 / $55-$65  for a mid-range stay per day per person. Compare Budapest hotel prices on this hotel price comparison site to save money and time.

The entrance fee to Budapest baths is about 15-20 Euros, Budapest museum fees range between 2-12 Euros, beers are for 2-4 Euros, while a decent lunch ranges from 3-40 Euros depending on where you are going (budget eatery / cafe / bistro / take away / posh Michelin restaurant).

Buda or Pest is better?

The river Danube cuts the city of Budapest into two parts: Buda and Pest. Buda is calmer than Pest, and even quieter at night. It’s also hilly and green, while Pest is flat and more urban, throbbing with life day and night. If you like shopping, eating, dancing, pub crawling, and be very close to most of the attractions in Budapest, Hungarians and experienced fellow travelers would suggest reserving a hotel room on the Pest side and only going for short visits to the Buda side.

However, for a long term stay, Buda has its own strengths – especially if you are more settled, have kids and go to parties only once in a while.

How many days is it worth spending in Budapest?

Plan at least 3 days for Budapest, but possibly more, about 5-7 days to make the most out of your stay in Budapest Hungary.

Little Princess by the Danube Promenade, Budapest - photo by Panoramas

Little Princess by the Danube Promenade, Budapest – photo by Panoramas

It’s a fantastic city with a lot to offer in a safe and friendly city environment with a fabulous architectural heritage, nice green spots (even caves), warm baths with healing qualities and parties, loads of pubs, bars and restaurants, great markets and flea markets to hunt for little treasures. But Budapest still has a lot to improve, and we at hope that you won’t feel let down.

Check out Budapest FAQ for more useful tips!

Would you like to share your Budapest travel report with us? Please do, shoot an email to Top Budapest (to TopBudapest [at] gmail [dot] com), and enable us to publish your insights, and help both travellers and Budapesters to make this beautiful city a top tourist destination for excitement, historical insights, gourmet pleasures, fun, love and fond memories.

Budapest Tourist Map

You can find some of the best attractions, restaurants and hotels in Budapest in our Budapest Tourist Map. Please click on the map image to enlarge and to get to the actual interactive map to estimate walking, car or Budapest public transport distances:

Budapest Tourist Map by

Budapest Tourist Map by


Planning a trip in August with husband and 2 boys, ages 7 & 11. Boys are good travelers, we love exploring local food, culture- try to “live like a local” not a tourist. Looking for upscale apartment or hotel recommendations. Prefer 2 room/suite hotel options or apartment. Any recommendations, price range under $300-400/night. Also, looking at boat options on Danube to Vienna. Saw a 3 night cruise- but not available in August, only other was hydrofoil. Any private boat charters? Finally, any recommendations for a local private tour guide?

You might be disappointed to find, Kriley, that ‘living like the locals’ doesn’t entail private boats or spending $400/night on accommodations. Some people spend $200/month for their apartment. ‘Like a local’…hahahaha (don’t worry, Hungarians are not quite so judgmental as myself)

Hi Kriley, when in August are you coming to Budapest? Your price range may even get you a five star luxury hotel in Budapest. I was checking to search for a decent Budapest hotel in mid August for a week for 2 rooms and 4 guests (the luxury hotels include one of the best and most central hotels in Budapest like Hotel Kempinski by the lovely Erzsebet Square (Elisabeth square) or Le Meridien by the river Danube, just by the UNESCO World Heritage site (Chain Bridge, Gresham Palace, Castle, etc.) – both have excellent locations and five star services – although one assumes that not in the best hotel rooms for this low low price (what I see now is GBP 79 per night per person at Kempinski, or GBP 76 at Le Meridien Budapest). You will surely pick a great place to stay. If you want to cut back on the budget and spend more on attractions and some family things to do in Budapest, you can pick one of the best rated and reviewed Budapest 4 star hotels too. Then there are apartment hotels, which may be great for the whole family and for some independence too: Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest at GBP 55, or Millennium Court, Budapest – Marriott Executive Apartments is GBP 63 total (per person, per night) – so there is really a wide range of choice. What are your preferences? There are hotels close to nature (like the one on Margaret Island or on Normafa hill) but further away from the city centre. There are further apartment hotels you may like, more affordable ones and downtown Budapest, like InnerCity Apartments in Hollo street, Entre Amis Apartments Budapest in Hajos street, Golden Stars Budapest Apartments in Iranyi street, 7Seasons Apartments Budapest in Kiraly street, etc.
As for the river cruise between Budapest and Vienna – many people found the 3 day tour boring, although there are definitely beautiful scenic parts along the river Danube (Budapest, Visegrad, Esztergom, Bratislava, etc. are all very nice). The general consensus seems to be that taking the fast train from Budapest to Vienna is far better (and then taking a boat trip in the Wachau valley? or before that a short trip to the Danube bend in Hungary?). Mahart only has hydrofoils as far as I know (and Bratislave is said to have a more modern hydrofoil fleet to Vienna called Twin City Liner). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any boat trips either for Budapes – Wien, but will try to ask around and get back to you if found anything.
Some of the private tour guides that are well rated and popular on TripAdvisor travel site are here: There is one private Budapest tour guide, an experienced mum and guide, who is advertising herself as specialising in family tours: her name is Kathy (Katalin Decsenyi), the page is and her contact email is [email protected]. I do not know her personally, and have no reference for her apart from the fact that on her website she states to take families with kids on private Budapest tours. Let us know if any of the above is helpful and how your trip went. Maybe we can help families better next time. :) Have fun! And if August gets too hot, go to have a good splash at Palatinus lido on Margaret Island and Dagaly lido with the kids (or maybe to the big Aquapark with lots of slides called AquaWorld):

is it very cold in budapest during 17sept 2012 to 23 sept 2012.? i am from india so do i need to put sweaters during my visit. Also tell me currency euro will do in most of the shopping? the local HUF currency is required for taxi or euro will do. Also tell me what are the place to see in budapest? can we go to austria and come back on same day in train . do we need visa seperately for this i don’t have that. i have only hungary visa
Please adivse me. Also suggest some vegeterian hotels(preferably indian) and vegetarian food available there.

Hi Suresh,

the weather in mid September in Budapest, Hungary is actually quite mild and often still preserves some of the summer warmth (by the way we call the early autumn sunny days the Indian summer – i.e. native American). The temperatures can be between 15-25 degrees Celsius by day, but the nights can be cooler, around 8-16 degrees. Sweaters are needed for cooler nights, you won’t regret putting them in the suitcase for your Budapest visit.
In most cases HUF (Hungarian Forint) works only, and in some cases Euro is also accepted but at an unfavourable exchange rate. You had better change some Forints in the city centre (definitely not at Budapest airport as the rates there are the worst)
what are the place to see in budapest:
start with a short list: the top ten things to do in Budapest
and then expand to explore some more:
museums, sights, churches, parks, statue park:
hidden gems:

Austria – Hungary – you can certainly do a Budapest – Vienna – Budapest roundtrip, the train trip takes about 2-3 hours there and another 2-3 back, so you will need to get up early to make the best use of your day. If you are lucky, you can still get the cheap train tickets for Budapest- Vienna-Budapest, which also include the daily public transport pass in Vienna, this ticket is called Sparschiene:

The authorities in India will know more about where you need to get visa in the EU. Sorry, I cannot help with your visa question regarding Hungary and Austria.

Vegetarian restaurants (don’t know about vegetarian hotels or hostels in the city of Budapest, but there may be some – in the future):

When is the Quarter6Quarter7 Chanukah Festival this year? I have read different dates and *must* book my flight! Looking forward to it!

Top Budapest Travel Guide

Hi Janice, the festival is during the days of the Chanukah in Budapest, in 2013 the days are from Nov 27 to Dec 5. We will be updating our Nov and Dec things to do tips, and the Budapest Chanukah guide too, you can check back in October to see more details: and

Hi, I’m going to Budapest this December (15-18) I just wondered what you would usggest for our first night! I don’t want to book anything, but we are doing the walking tours and visitng everywhere on the second day, then the third is to look at the markets and go to the baths.


Top Budapest Travel Guide

Hi Emily, if you arrive in the afternoon, I would schedule the bath for the afternoon and evening. That’s the best way to relax after a trip to Budapest (and the best way to get back circulation slowed down during flights).

If your trip was not too tiring, you could probably take in the river view, walk a bit to move your legs, then sit in a riverside pub, or go for a wine tasting.
Walking is free, no need to book.
As for attractions and tours, they can be quite full in mid December due to the increased Christmas tourism in the city. You may find that you will need to book a few things in advance if you want to get into the program on your planned dates. In the baths there may be long queues, most shows and tours are booked up. The non-bookable alternatives seem to be the open air programs (walking in the winter sights, well dressed) or visiting free attractions where booking is not needed:

I will be in budapest in February.What cool things should we do?We like the idea of the beerbokes but isn’t it too cold? We are in our 50’s but coming with some 30 year olds.

Top Budapest Travel Guide

Hi Bonnie, indeed February is pretty cold in Budapest, so I would not suggest the open air beerbike unless you can resist cold well.

Please check our February Things to do in Budapest list of activities to see if anything is to your liking:

Cool things to do in Budapest should definitely include some of the following activities, at least the one we think of as ‘cool’.
First, Segway is a cool vehicle, and taking a Segway Budapest tour even if it is winter, is one of the best choices for a cool open air tour around the city:
Also the river cruise is so unique and some of the boats are too, for instance, there is a really cool panorama boat, sleek, great foods, nice background music on the jazzy / soul line: You can take this for a day cruising (with guide) if you don’t want to splurge on a dinner cruise on the Danube.
If the weather allows, skating on the city’s biggest ice rink is fun. If you are not into skating it is still a nice place to visit with the Vajdahunyad Castle.
One of the coolest things to do in Budapest – luckily all year round – is the team game of live escape games packed with riddles and logic games to solve a puzzle in one hour. Perfect for a mixed age group.
The baths are cool, sitting in the thermal hot spring in winter time in Szechenyi Baths is again cool, special and a great choice for a mixed group of 30 and 50 year old tourists.

(and if you are into them):
bath parties in Lukacs Baths (more for the 20-30s age range, but there is no upper limit as long as one likes electronic music and dance)

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