How to Make the Most of 4 Days in Budapest
Gallery Of How to Make the Most of 4 Days in Budapest
How to Make the Most of 4 Days in Budapest
If you’re asking yourself, “is 3 or 4 days too much time to spend in one city?”, the answer is that 4 days in Budapest isn’t even enough time to do the city justice.
The hazy orange sunsets, the international array of cuisines, the abundance of ancient architecture, the welcoming warmth of the locals, the rushing river running through the city, the breathtaking views from the hillside, the vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere and the endless ways to interact with Budapest left me craving more.
By the end of my visit, it was up there with my top favourite cities in the world after and Barcelona. Trust me, you will fall in love with Budapest like I have. There’s so much character to the city and so much do that something is bound to resonate with you. It really does cater to every traveller.
Getting into Budapest city centre
From Budapest airport, take either the 200E bus plus M3 metro on the blue line or 100E bus directly into the city centre.
The single ticket price for public transportation is 350HUF . They can be purchased in the airport for both bus and metro. A special ticket for the 100E direct bus costs 900HUF .
As always, I stayed in an Airbnb ) and as always, the accommodation topped any I’d stayed in before. We had an entire flat to ourselves for £40 a night.
It was kitted out with everything you could possibly need, including a fully equipped kitchen . The location was perfect, on the same street as Szimpla Kertmozi, restaurants, outside bars, street food and 1 minute away from supermarkets.
How to spend 4 days in Budapest
Of course, when you’re travelling, it’s not easy or fun to stick to a strict itinerary. Below is a loose guide to the best attractions which I saw during my 4 days in Budapest.
Along Kazinczy street, there’s an alleyway near Szimpla Kertmozi bar with a variety of food stalls. They even have vegan and gluten-free options!
Budapest is famous for its ruin bars. Once destroyed by bombing, these buildings were minimally restored and pimped out with elaborate art. You will have a far better night in one of these ruin bars than a club!
We went to Szimpla Kertmozi on a Thursday night for an amazing night. Drinks aren’t too expensive, and they have Shishas too. Szimpla Kert, along Kazinczy Street, also holds a farmers market on Sundays.
Think chilled out summer nights outside with a drink in your hand. There are lots of outside bars in Budapest with either a patio or terrace.
My favourite was Kőleves Kert at 37 Kazinczy Street. It has an outside bar, patio and hammocks. The atmosphere is vibrant yet low key and local. It’s perfect if you’re trying to avoid a touristy experience.
Marvel at the collection of grand statues in heroes square. Amongst them, are the Seven chieftains of the Magyars and other national leaders.
Just beyond Heroes Square lies a huge city park. Come here for a stroll around the man-made lake and Vajdahunyad Castle, or picnic in the afternoon sun. Szechenyi Baths are also located in the park.
St Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion
Either walk or take the Buda Hill Funicular up to Fisherman’s Bastion. There is a breathtaking view of the Danube River and buildings on the Pest side.
The quaint cobble streets and unique architecture of Matthias Church makes you feel like you’re in a fairy-tale.
Tip: Some hop-on hop-off bus companies give a free Funicular return ticket with your bus ticket. It means you can queue skip with a pre-paid ticket!
Although Szechenyi Baths are the most popular, I went to a “SPArty” there on my birthday with my boyfriend and got groped twice. I’m sure it’s nice during the day, but you can understand why I didn’t want to return ever again.
On the bright side though, we found an absolute gem the next day when we were feeling ridiculously hungover. Rudas Baths.
For 5900HUF , you get access to six thermal baths ranging from 16 to 42 degrees, a swimming pool, a sauna world, steam rooms and a wellness centre with jacuzzis and a big rooftop pool with a panorama view of Budapest.
We watched the sunset as a storm rolled in from the distance while soaking in a hot tub. It was my favourite experience by far during the whole trip!
The 19th century fortress and Liberty Statue is a 10 minute walk from Gallert Baths. There are other walking routes available too depending on where you’re coming from. The best bus to get up is number 27.
There’s an astonishing panorama of Budapest at the top. The best part is, it’s free! It’s also less busy than Fisherman’s Bastion. At night, admire the glorious view of Pest as the bridges and Parliament buildings light up. After 8pm is the best time to avoid tourists.
Tip: If you have shorter than 4 days in Budapest, this is the spot for the best views of the city!
My second favourite experience was cruising along the Danube River just as the sun was setting. We got to see the whole city light up as the last orange haze disappeared into blackness.
A guided boat cruise costs anywhere upwards of 3000HUF . Some travellers prefer to use the boat line going to Margaret Island for 900HUF return as a cheaper cruise option. It’s around 1 hour in total and gives you the option to spend time on the island.
Tip: Some hop-on hop-off bus companies offer a free River cruise with your ticket.
I didn’t bother going inside the Parliament Building during my 4 days in Budapest as it’s extremely busy and touristy. Instead, walk around the outside or admire its Gothic beauty at night on a river cruise.
Check the as it varies depending on the day and season. Tickets cost 3500HUF for non-EU members or 1750HUF/£5 for students and EU-members .
On the Buda side, admire the architecture of the castle or venture inside to admire the Hungarian art collection or learn about Budapest’s history.
The National Gallery opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Ticket to a permanent exhibition costs 1000HUF/£3 and a temporary exhibition costs 2000HUF/£6 for adults.
The History Museum opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm between November and February. It’s open to 6pm between March and October. Entry costs 2000HUF/£6 for adults.
At both attractions, a ticket is 50% off for students and seniors. Entry is free for everybody on national holidays .
The neoclassical Roman Catholic St. Stephen’s Church is 96m tall, the same height as Parliament Buildings. This symbolises equal importance of worldly and spiritual thinking. There’s even a law in place which prohibits construction of any building taller than 96m!
Inside, the church contains St. Stephen’s mummified right hand. It also offers musical concerts and panoramic views from the cupola.
Entrance is free although there is an optional 200HUF/60p donation.
On Dohany Street, there’s a beautiful Synagogue along with the Hungarian Jewish museum. I personally didn’t go inside as it was too expensive for my budget .
The Synagogue and museum open Sunday to Friday from 10am. vary depending on the season.
Four blocks from Danube River, this central square is the perfect place to relax. There’s a Ferris wheel during the summer, statues, a fountain and outdoor restaurants and bars. Sometimes there’s food stalls too.
Have a picnic, play cards and watch skaters do tricks in the afternoon. At night, the square comes alive with younger people socialising and having a drink.
If possible, make your trip longer than 4 days in Budapest to see even more of the city!
There are three floors in the market hall, with a variety of international food, drink and spices.
On national days, the such as Thai, Polish and Japanese.
The market hall opens on Monday from 6am to 5pm, Tuesday to Friday from 6am to 6pm and Saturday from 6am to 3pm. It’s closed on Sundays and public holidays.
A city jungle lies in the middle of the Danube River. Margaret Island is accessible by boat , bus , tram , foot or bike. It’s perfect if you want to take a peaceful break from city life. There’s an open air theatre, church ruins, Japanese gardens, musical water fountains, water park and swimming pools.
You can explore the island on foot, Segway or electric train . Also it’s possible to rent a bringo cart, bike, roller blades or electric car.
Budapest is also well-known for its many . They will take you back in time with their beautiful 19th century decor and traditional coffee drinking culture.
The most famous grand cafe in Budapest is New York Palace. Others include Alexandra Book Cafe, Ruszwurm, Cafe Gerbeaud and Callas Cafe.
Built at the start of the 1900s, this strip of courtyards was turned into restaurants and bars. Gozsdu Udvar has buzzing nightlife, making it the perfect place for a pub crawl. Also, sometimes it hosts a market.
Try a traditional Hungarian Meal
Even though Budapest is the capital of Hungary, it hasn’t lost its culinary roots. Although I couldn’t find a vegan/gluten-free traditional meal, I almost feel guilty for not trying one during those 4 days in Budapest.
A friend who I met there went to in the Jewish Quarter. Tania said she LOVED how excellent and moderately priced the traditional Hungarian food was. A main meal costs between 2900HUF and 5400HUF . You may need to make a reservation in advance!
Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial for the victims . They were ordered to take their shoes off and then were shot into the Danube River by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944 and 1945. A morbid history which shouldn’t be overlooked.
Located Gallert Hill, there’s a church which was built within a natural cave in 1926. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 7.30pm. Tickets cost 600HUF for adults and 500HUF for children. Service takes place at 8.30am, 5pm and 8pm every day.
I would say it’s low on the list of tourist attractions in Budapest. It seems to be more for religious purposes than entertainment.
Sit on a Bridge to Watch the Sunset
There are 8 bridges in total in the city of Budapest. Chain bridge is probably the most popular. As we were taking a river cruise during sunset, we saw people sitting on one of the bridges. It looked like an amazing viewpoint to watch the sun go down!
Budapest is a truly magical city. It’s one of those places where I thought to myself, I want to live here. Seriously, if you get the chance, spend longer than 4 days in Budapest!
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Beautiful photos and a really thorough guide! I spent two days in Budapest last month at the end of a trip through Romania – definitely wasn’t enough so I really hope to have the chance to go back again soon. I was blown away by how beautiful it was, I didn’t expect to like the city as much as I did. Glad you had a fabulous time! xx
I hope you get to go back soon! I’m exactly the same, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Thanks Melissa!
Agreed! I wasn’t able to do any thermal baths so next time. But I just loved the architecture. It’s beautiful. Good job on this guide.
That’s just a reason to go back! Thanks Justine!
Central Europe is so alluring to me and Hungary has been on my list for some time. I love the idea of a cave church! Great tips!
You should travel around the whole country if you get a chance, people are so friendly there. Thanks!
When I visited Budapest the main thing I remember is just the ambiance of the place, the people and, of course, the thermal baths! Photos look wonderful btw
Yes! I agree with you Aleksandra, the ambiance really stood out to me too. Thank you!
I keep seeing posts about Budapest and I really want to go! It seems like the perfect place for a long weekend getaway. I really love the castle picture, there are so many in Europe!
I think it’s a sign Maggie ???? it’s a really beautiful place.
that is a great way to spend 4 days. I never had Budapest on my list. The pics are nice esp. sunset on the cruise.
Rosi, I hope you get to visit one day because it’s soo worth putting on your list!
I definitely believe you when you say “you’ll fall in love with Budapest”, because I’ve gotten so intrigued by it just through photographs. Hopefully I can put together a trip to Hungary at some point in the near future. Any other spots in Hungary you suggest?
It is seriously beautiful! I haven’t heard of one person saying they don’t like it. Also, I’ve heard Eger, Lake Balaton and the national parks in Hungary are very nice too, although I haven’t gotten the chance to visit them yet!!
Beautiful! My parents are going next month, I’m definitely sending them this article ????
Thanks Tendelle! I hope they have a great time!
Great guide for a short stay in Budapest! It looks like such a great city, it is definitely getting up there on my bucket list ????
Thanks Emma! You will love it, trust me!!
Great post! Beautiful photos and I love your travel style. Definitely dying to go to Budapest now! <3
Thanks Carina! I hope you get to go there at some point, you won’t regret it!
Nice Guide! I want to visit budapest soon
Definitely have Budapest high on my travel list. Also feel like the ruin bars, grand cafes and the thermal baths would be where I’d focus my attention. So much to do and so much to see apparently. What a complete guide!
Those are good choices of things to do in Budapest. You will love it if you visit Ariana! Thanks for reading
Quite impressive how much you packed in 4 days!! Budapest is on my list of cities to visit, thanks for this helpful guide and fab photos! Can’t wait!!
I’m impressed too! Haha. I’m quite a laid back traveller and don’t plan my trip, yet I got to see so much on this trip! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did Rosemary
Pictures are amazing liked your post
Amazing article and great pictures! Starting to miss Budapest again! So if I ever return, I am pretty sure I will use your tips as a guideline!
Thanks Leni! I hope you get to return.
Budapest looks pretty sick! The statue reminds me of one in Spain
It is! Which statue in Spain are you thinking of?
I agree as I have spent a week in Budapest over a year ago, and thought it was not enough time! There’s so much to see in the city! I also went to some of the same places as you have – def must see and must eat spots! Love everything about Budapest and your blog post does it wonderful justice!
I wish I had a week there Jin! Haha. Is there anywhere I missed? Thanks so much, I appreciate it.
The river cruise looked so lovely! I’ll definitely book one if I ever go to Budapest ????
It was one of the best things to do!
Budapest is very high on my bucket list and this post has made me want to go even more! love your pics too! Thanks for sharing ????
It rightfully should be high on your list. It’s sooo amazing! Thanks for reading Katie ????
I’m so happy reading positive posts about my city! I’m Hungarian, but I’ve been living in London for 4 years. Your article made me a bit homesick as it reminded how amazing Budapest is. Glad you had a nice time! ????
I’m so happy that you liked my post! You’re so lucky to be from such a beautiful place. Thanks Eniko!
Your photos are beautiful! Budapest looks like a lovely city to visit. I will have to go in the future!
Thanks so much Lucy! You will love it.
The pictures are so cool and attractive. makes me feel to plan right now.
I love Budapest! Thanks for the tips ????
Stunning imagery that really entices me to want to visit this unique European capital city
I so want to go to Budapest. So many of my friends have been and rave about how amazing it is! Must get there next year!
It’s honestly one of the best cities I’ve been to! You’ll love it!
I’m really excited to hear that Budapest has vegan and gluten-free options because I am allergic to almost all grains and dairy. That’s so amazing that even the street food would have options for someone like me. Also, all of these places look amazing and the architecture throughout the city is incredible. Thanks for the awesome list of places- they are definitely added to my itinerary for when I visit Budapest.
Thanks Doryn! I’m happy to tell you that you’ll be fine when it comes to satisfying your diet. You’ll love Budapest!! Thanks for reading!
I can see why you fell in love with Budapest. ???? I’d like to try the ruin bars, thermal bath and river cruise. ???? Love the architecture too!
You’d definitely love it too. It’s amazing!
Thanks for the tips! Budapest looks magical; I can’t wait to hopefully visit someday soon!
You will love it! Thanks for reading Kat!
I’ve never been to Budapest but it looks beautiful! Those Ruin Bars are incredible! Thanks for the tips, I will definitely remember these for my future visits )
Thanks Chiera, I’m glad you enjoyed my post! You will not regret booking a trip to Budapest, I promise ????
in Budapest, and ended up returning home with a longing to live there someday. Make sure you know how to make the most of your time in Budapest before going. Even if you don’t get everything done in one trip, it’s more reason to go
Although Budapest is so close to where I live , I’ve never been there. Thanks for sharing your post. I definitely need to make it there soon!