Best Things to Do in Budapest

Budapest view

Having traveled to Budapest several times, we definitely get why the Hungarian capital welcomes thousands of tourists every year. On a budget? There are tons of places to explore at very reasonable prices. Are you into outdoor activities or want to dive into history? Budapest offers some of the world’s top attractions for both adults and kids, including some of the best food and most fun things to do!
Here is a quick guide to some of the best places to visit on your trip to beautiful and unforgettable Budapest.

Article contents

  1. 15 best sights in Budapest
  2. Best museums
  3. Cafes and Restaurants
  4. Budapest FAQs

The Hungarian Parliament Building

One of the most photographed buildings in all of Budapest, this historic site is every bit as beautiful in person as it is on the front of a postcard. Hungarians are very proud of the Parliament building, as it was constructed using Hungarian materials and designed by the Hungarian architect Imre Steindl, even if they’re not always ecstatic about what’s going on inside.

If you want to take a closer look, you can join one of the daily tours which start:

  • every hour from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. (April 1st through October 31st),
  • and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (November 1st through March 31st).

The price won’t blow your budget either—it’s HUF 6000 ($17) for EU citizens and HUF 12000 ($35) for visitors from other countries.

They say that the best way to see the Parliament is from the water, after the sun has already set. The building is beautifully lit up, so consider booking one of the cruises on the Danube river: 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise with Welcome Drink (pretty affordable option) or a Dinner Cruise with Live Music and Folk Dance Show (a cruise that is considerably more expensive, but is worth every penny for unique forms of entertainment).

Hungarian Parliament Building St. Stephen's Basilica 1

St. Stephen’s Basilica

You can’t miss this gorgeous building; the main Catholic temple of the country is visible every time you lift your eyes to gaze at countless sculptures decorating the building in the city center. In fact, the site means so much to Hungarian people that there is an actual law forbidding the construction of anything taller.

More than just a religious structure, the Basilica offers fantastic acoustics, so if you happen to be in town, don’t hesitate to check out one of many concerts taking place here. Every Thursday, the Basilica hosts an unforgettable organ concert, tempting passersby to stop by and appreciate the classics.

The Basilica itself used to be free to enter (not taking into account the almost mandatory small donation of HUF 200), but as of 2024, the general admission here is HUF 2300 ($6,60). Oh, and for just HUF 4300 ($12,40), you can explore the treasury and then go up to the cupola to view the sweeping city landscape from above, which will take your breath away. If you want to experience the Basilica in full, a combo ticket is a more obvious choice — it will set you back HUF 6000 ($17,30), saving you some cash in the process.

Pro-tip: if you want to have the best view of the Basilica, consider booking a room at The Magazine Hotel & Apartments. That way, it’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. What’s more amazing than that?

Buda Castle

Сastle of the Hungarian kings

The Buda side of the city is famous for two things: being pretty hilly and also being home to the famous castle of the Hungarian kings. This structure is absolutely mesmerizing at night, shining with the glow of hundreds of golden lights. If you decide to do some walking while looking at different pieces of art, the castle will gladly assist you with that: nowadays it serves as a public gallery. The castle holds special appeal for museum and art enthusiasts as it’s home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Historical Budapest Museum and the National Széchényi Library.

The most expensive ticket will cost you HUF 3500 ($10) per person. Guests can use the famous funicular (3000 HUF/$8,40 for return ticket) or walk up to the castle for free, but here’s a tip: there’s an elevator on the left at the foot of the hill that’s also free. You’re welcome!

To make learning historical facts more exciting, consider booking one of the many themed tours of the Buda Castle, like this one: Buda Castle Vampires & Myths Evening Walking Tour. You will not be disappointed!

Thermal baths

Szechenyi bath

Oh, where should we even start.. Our friend, who lives in Budapest, once told me that since she moved to Budapest, she’s worn her swimsuit possibly 50 times more often than she’d done in her whole life!

People in Budapest go to the baths to swim, relax, get a massage, chat with friends or even have a romantic date. In fact, these places are so popular that you might find it difficult to choose where to start, so we’ll help you out:

  • Сhoose Gellért Baths if you’re into fancy interiors, delicious cocktails and an overall deluxe experience. Don’t forget to snap a quick pic of the hall where the main pool is located: high roman columns, balconies and an ornate stained-glass roof create a feeling of grandeur that you don’t normally expect from a day at thermal baths. If you’re traveling with your significant other, there’s an option for you to book a private room with your own bath just for two; as well as the opportunity to have a relaxing aroma massage in the bath’s spa amenities.
  • Go for Rudas Baths if you have a love of Ottoman architecture and style and want to take some incredible photos (without hoards of tourists in the background, the atmosphere here feels more ”local”). Rudas Baths are one of the last baths in Budapest that still have separated days for men and women. Traveling as a couple and don’t want to get separated? There are co-ed days in the baths that let you have a spectacular time together (pro tip: look into their private rooftop bathing experience: the city’s skyline is a sight you’ll never forget).
  • The usual choice of tourists is the Széchenyi Baths, but… Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very nice place to visit, but if you don’t want thousands of tourists sitting on top of you, it’s best to avoid this specific bath. If you don’t mind the crowds and want to get your party on, come to “sparties” — weekends’ nights DJ experiences!

Prices for baths vary—yet, in general, a ticket for the whole day will cost you around HUF 10500 ($30).

The Jewish Quarter

This is a beautiful historical area surrounding the Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as the Big Synagogue. As the name suggests, this synagogue is the largest in Europe, able to house 3000 people simultaneously. When walking around the exterior of the building, you can’t just pass by; as gorgeous as it is, the synagogue catches the eye not only with its beauty but also with the bittersweet yet charming memorial the Weeping Willow. A name is engraved on every leaf of the towering metal tree, reminding visitors of the lives lost during the Holocaust. Alongside the famous Shoes on the Danube Bank, the Weeping Willow is a must-see for anyone keen on the history of WWII.

For those eager to enter the synagogue, a ticket will cost you HUF 10 800 ($31,20).

To learn more about Hungarian Jewish history, consider going on a Jewish Heritage Guided Walking Tour where you will learn plenty of interesting facts about the community.

Dohány Street Synagogue District VII

Party District, a.k.a. “District VII”

It’s time to party, boys and girls, and here you will find a great place to do it… or two… or a hundred. The Hungarian passion for food and drink has led to this robust district boasting bars, pubs and restaurants.

We personally recommend using GPS to navigate Gozsdu Udvar, as this part of the district (with the best pubs, wine bars and cafes) is situated between several buildings, making it quite easy to get lost in. Well, truth be told, this is not the worst place to get lost. Hungarian nightlife is intense, and supposed to be enjoyed in full: the world-known ruin bars, which Budapest is famous for, are also in this district. For those who want to take amazing Instagram pictures, head straight to one of these places:

  • Vintage Garden — not a bar per se, but more of a restaurant serving spectacularly delicious food with even greater décor. Flowers galore on every inch of the interior creates a stunning backdrop for your selfies. Indulge in their sweet treats to top off the amazing experience!
  • Szimpla Kert — one of the coolest ruin pubs of Budapest! Szimpla Kert is set in an abandoned bunker that has been transformed into a unique creative hub for Budapest bohemian crowd. The venue, apart from being a bar, hosts movie screenings, concerts, book fairs and food festivals, so if you’re not much of a drinker, you’ll still have a fantastic time here. The space inside is massive: different rooms have their own unmatched vibes, so just walking around and exploring Szimpla Kert is a cool experience on its own.
  • Kőleves Kert — if you aren’t a big party person, this ruin bar is one of the only ones that is open during the day. Pop in for lunch and enjoy a pint or few of beers on tap, while sitting at brightly colored tables protected from the sun by a green canopy of trees. The area of the bar creates an eclectic atmosphere, with all the mismatched decorative bibs and bobs filling the space.

The Budapest Zoo

If you happen to be in Budapest with kids or if you’re just into animals and long walks, then one of the fun things to do is to explore the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden. This is one of the oldest and largest zoos in the world.

You’ll find it easily, as it’s situated right next to the city park Városliget. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as the zoo is quite big. Also, it has some interactive sections, so plan on spending at least three hours here. A petting zoo with plenty of interesting animals, like baby goats and even emus (!) will occupy your child for a very long time, that’s a guarantee! If you decide to feed a giraffe, please, make sure it doesn’t eat your scarf!

Opening hours depend on the season, but visitors should enter the zoo not later than 3 p.m in winter months and 6-7 p.m. in summer. Prices vary: for a day ticket an adult will pay HUF 4500 ($13); a child’s ticket will cost you HUF 3200 ($9,20).

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is probably the most famous and beautiful bridge in Budapest. Since there are nine bridges total connecting Buda and Pest, that’s saying a lot about the Széchenyi Chain Bridge’s acceptance and allure.

The Chain Bridge, often described as having a medieval tower’s aura, has long been surrounded by plenty of urban legends. The tower part of the comparison, we believe, started from the sight of lions guarding its pillars. There is a rumor that says that the lions don’t have tongues. The myth, however, got busted a long time ago, as the mighty sculptures do actually have their tongues intact: these taste buds carriers just aren’t visible from the pedestrian’s point of view, from below.

The bridge connects two grandiose establishments of Budapest: the Buda Castle and the Gresham Palace, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take spectacular pictures of either side while walking on the bridge.

As for fun trivia, and things you might not have known about the bridge, we can indulge you in a couple of quirky tidbits. A few years ago, Will Smith (who we believe doesn’t need an introduction, you know who he is) scaled the bridge and performed a dance challenge on top of it. The stunt urged the Hungarian Parliament to lock the doors that let you access this part of the bridge, so don’t plan on doing something similar yourself! Another daredevil activity that is associated with the bridge is a stunt of a Hungarian pilot Péter Besenyei, who guided his plane to fly upside down (!) under (!!!) the Széchenyi Chain Bridge in 2001. Absolutely wild to imagine it happening, especially when you see the little distance between the railings and the water!

Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church

Fisherman's Bastion

On your way up to the Fisherman’s Bastion, keep turning back to catch glimpses of the Chain Bridge from above — a unique way of seeing this architectural marvel.

The view from the Fisherman’s Bastion’s grounds is out-of-this-world spectacular: the Danube river looks small from far away, and the many castles, grandiose in person, are resembling miniature versions of themselves. The views are best enjoyed at sunrise or sunset, when the crowds lessen and the magnificent Golden Hour light touches the orange rooftops with its warm glow.

Reaching the Fisherman’s Bastion can be a form of strenuous exercise: there are hundreds of steep steps you need to climb to get to the grounds. If scaling the hill isn’t a part of your day itinerary, then make use of the free elevator we mentioned in the parts above to get to the castle yard. You’re coming from a different location altogether? Then you can take the bus №16 that will drop you off not far from the location.

The Matthias Church is one of the most beautiful churches we’ve seen in our whole lives. Located right by the Fisherman’s Bastion, it’s a nice change of a view — you can spend hours looking into its colorful ornate roof tiling and marvelous towers.

For those enjoying history, the area is a fantastic place to explore it. Here, you can enter the church which was founded in the 13th century, for just HUF 2500 ($7). Fisherman’s Bastion’s many lower lookout points are free to enter (they are most easily accessed from the Matthias Church); while some of the upper level spots require a small fee. Some of the most exquisite points for taking pictures, with tons of arches, gothic windows, and views of the Parliament and Danube will cost you around HUF 1000 ($2,80) to enter.

The Hungarian State Opera House

Budapest city view

House of Terror Andrassy Avenue

Another unique place to discover in Budapest. Whether you just stroll around Andrassy Avenue, which is one of the UNESCO heritages in Hungary, or you are simply fond of classical music — the Opera House is obligatory to visit.

The tickets can be booked on the official website. We recommend taking a small guided tour to have a good look at the gorgeous red and gold interiors, as well as the paintings of Hungarian artists decorating the walls. These tours take place every day, the allotted times of English tours being 1.30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4.30 p.m. The whole shebang will cost you around HUF 9000 ($26), but the information and experiences provided are worth much more, in our opinion! To go a step further, if you want to have more time flexibility (during morning hours) and a more intimate atmosphere altogether (in a group up to 15 people), you can book a private tour which may or may not include a concert in the price. A private tour in English with a concert costs HUF 5500 ($16) per person, and without a concert — HUF 4000 ($11,60).

House of Terror and Andrassy Avenue

Andrassy Avenue is like the Avenue des Champs-Élysées of Budapest. It’s a wide street with luxury shops. As I mentioned above, the avenue is included into UNESCO World Heritage sites of Budapest.

Apart from the boutiques, you may find culture activities for the evening over here. For your taste there are Franz Liszt Memorial Museum, The Budapest Puppet Theater, Hungarian State Opera House, and House of Terror.

House of Terror is a museum dedicated to two tragic periods of the history of Hungary: German and further Soviet occupation. The atmosphere is quite dark, because both of the periods are considered to be the hardest times of the country’s lifespan. We haven’t been inside, yet even the façade of this museum is enough to put you in “terror”.

House of Terror is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult ticket costs HUF 4000 ($11,60).

Heroes’ Square and Városliget Park

Heroes’ Square

Vajdahunyad Castle Városliget Park

Andrassy Avenue takes you right to the Heroes’ Square. Basically, it’s a war memorial with lots of open space and a tall monument in the middle, called the Millennium Memorial.

The Square is a part of Városliget Park (or Budapest City Park), where you’ll find five main sights:

  • The lake, where you can rent a boat in summer and ice-skate in winter at one of the oldest rinks, which turned 150 years old a few years ago. The entrance to the rink is HUF 3000 ($8,70) on weekdays and HUF 4000 ($11,60) on weekends. Rent of the skates is HUF 3000 ($8,70) + deposit of HUF 2000 ($5,80).
  • Vajdahunyad Castle seems to be the place you imagine when you think of castles in fairytales. Towers, gates, imposing architecture — your mind immediately starts to wonder: “What’s the royal family lucky to call this place their home?”. Truth is, nobody lives here, and never have. The Castle was built in the 1900s as part of the Millennial Exhibition: first as a temporary exhibit, but after being a huge success at attracting visitors, it was rebuilt to withstand hundreds of years, using stones as a base material. Due to its gothic-leaning style of architecture, and to the fact that its architect — Ignác Alpár — was hugely inspired by the Hunyadi Castle in Transylvania, the building is sometimes referred to as the Dracula’s Castle. So, if you decide to visit the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture that is located inside the castle, keep a couple of garlic cloves on you, just in case.
    You may visit the Courtyard of the Castle for free. Museum entrance costs HUF 2500 ($7,20) (free on March 15, August 20, October 23), and it includes the entrance to the tower. You may enter the tower separately without visiting the Museum — the entrance costs HUF 400-600 ($1–$2). The Museum is closed on Mondays.
  • Zoo and Circus, which are great places for kids. Entrance to the Zoo costs HUF 4500 ($13) for adults, and HUF 3200 ($9,20) for children under 18.
  • Széchenyi Medicinal Baths. In other words, this place is a spa resort with outdoor thermal water pools. There are few thermal baths in Budapest but Széchenyi is the most popular. There are several outdoor pools with different water temperatures. Széchenyi contains 10 saunas and steamrooms and even has the Russian Banya. Apart from the public sections, you can visit the separate sections for men and women. If you haven’t visited public baths before, we recommend you to google some info, because it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. The price for Széchenyi is HUF 10500 ($30,30) for a public changing room with a locker, and HUF 11500 ($33,20) for a private changing room. Bring your own towel and flip-flops, it’s way cheaper than having to buy them inside.

Gellért Hill

Gellért Hill

On the opposite side of the Central Market Hall—across Liberty Bridge—stands Gellert Hill overlooking the Danube in Budapest. Here you won’t find any historical buildings, only walking paths which will lead you to the top of the hill—the Citadella fortification (temporarily closed for some renovation work).

At the foot of the hill, you’ll see the Gellért Hotel and Gellért Baths. The hotel might seem familiar to you, if you watched “The Grand Budapest Hotel” movie. They say that Wes Anderson was hugely inspired by the overall look of the Gellért Hotel, and who can blame him — it’s pure architectural masterpiece! The Baths will grab your attention as well: apart from the regular thermal baths, there is an outdoor bath with the waves!

On Gellért Hill, you’ll see:

  • The Church Cave — a unique place of worship nestled in the natural rock cave; a must-visit for everyone, no matter the religious background!
  • The Citadella fortification — a popular tourist attraction that sits smack dab in the middle of the Hill, on it’s highest part. Wander around its old walls and feel the history open up in front of you!
  • The Liberty Statue that commemorates victory of the Soviet Army in WWII
  • The Garden of Philosophy — a cluster of statues of famous philosophers. In the inner circle, you’ll find five founders of the world’s major religions: Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, Laozi, and Akhenaten.

While definitely a place that bears much significance to the country’s narrative, we can’t say that Gellért Hill is a must-visit sight in Budapest. If you have only one day, you better choose the Castle Hill.

Váci Street

Váci Street

By the end of the day, it’s a good idea to walk towards Váci Street—it’s a walking street which reminds us of Istiklal Street in Istanbul or Arbat in Moscow. You’ll easily recognize it by the crowds flowing in either direction at any time of the day and packed restaurant terraces.

It’s a heart of the city and paradise for shopping lovers. Sometimes, you can be lucky and buy something on sale, otherwise this area is a bit pricey. It’s better to buy magnets on the streets next to Váci.

While you’re here, look around: there is a lot of ornately decorated store windows (some of the stores have the vibe of Ollivanders Wand Shop from Harry Potter); as well as some touches of modernity: there’s plenty of street art on the buildings and it looks very stylish.

Here on the map you’ll find all other Budapest landmarks worth visiting:

Or check this comprehensive guide to Budapest to learn more about the city.

Museums of Budapest

National Hungarian Museum Museums in Budapest

There are plenty of museums in Budapest. We can easily recall at least fifteen of different types.
Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Hungarian National Gallery — it is probably the main museum in Hungary. Not only because it’s located in Buda Castle, but also because it includes the best works of Hungarian talents. Painting and sculptures of XIV-XX centuries are a must-see for fine art lovers. Tickets cost HUF 4200 ($12). The museum is free for visitors on Hungarian National Holidays (on March 15, August 20, October 23).
  • Hospital in the Rock — a very interesting place. It used to be a real hospital, which provided emergency care for injured civilians during WWII, and later it turned into a nuclear bunker. The museum shows the terror and life of those days. Tickets cost $26 per person. The tour is conducted in a group of 10. Children under 6 are not allowed in the museum.
  • Hungarian National Museum — includes everything that can tell you about the history of Hungary from the very beginning until our days. The cost is HUF 3500 ($10). The museum is free for visitors on March 15, August 20, October 23.
  • Museum of Fine Arts — this place is also full of paintings and sculptures, but unlike National Gallery, this museum has artworks of foreign artists. Out of the extremely diverse collection of the Museum’s permanent exhibitions, we feel like highlighting the one we think would be enjoyable to visit for a traveler of every age: the Egyptian exhibit. While the adults learn about ancient Egyptian ways of living, the children can marvel at the very real (or not, who knows) mummy. But the best reviews are given to the temporary exhibitions, even though they are not included in the price of the main ticket. The ticket for a permanent exhibit costs HUF 5200 ($15). The entrance to the temporary exhibitions varies from HUF 6000 ($17) up to HUF 7000 ($20).

Cafes and Restaurants in Budapest: where to eat?

Menu in Budapest cafe Food in Budapest

Budapest is celebrated for its unique attractions, but the wide array of gastronomical experiences is the one thing that is guaranteed to convert you into a true Budapest fan, from the very moment you step your foot inside one of its many restaurants. Here you will find everything — starting from traditional Hungarian dishes and finishing up with popular avo toasts.

Some places we checked in advance while others were a happy accident. Here are our favorites:
Stika Gastropub — we came here for breakfast and, in our humble opinion, they serve the best Eggs Benedict (HUF 3950-5800/$11-17). However, pancakes (HUF 3750/$11) were average. The place is quite small but has a spacious terrace.
Hummus Bar — a hummus chain in Budapest, where for $10–$15 you can get a decent meal for two (!), but only if you’re fond of Israeli cuisine in general, and hummus in particular. They also have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, which is a rarity in old European cities.
Karaván — an outdoor foodmarket, open from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, with various food trucks serving the widest variety of cuisines. Personally, we tried a burger with Hungarian patties and goat cheese in Lángos Burger, and found it very unique (in a good way). Don’t worry, Karaván isn’t too burger-forward, other treats you can find here include cocktails, pizza, BBQ ribs, craft beer, goulash, waffles, and many many more. However, some visitors mention the food here being pricier than in the similar city establishments; we believe you’re paying more for the overall experience. The place is closed for winter break from early January to the beginning of March, so plan your visit accordingly.
Szamos Gourmet Haz — a coffee shop that seems to be lost in time, with old style interiors bringing you way back into the past. You can either dine in this place or settle for a quick coffee and cake combo. We were too full to actually eat anything here, so we simply bought some Marzipan candy to bring home (the most memorable and delicious souvenir from Budapest). One piece of marzipan here costs less than a dollar, and gift sets tend to be even more cost-effective.
Bors Gasztrobár — amazing street food joint! You must try their soup cups: both savory and sweet. If you’re lucky to visit this restaurant during the day when the dessert soup with salted caramel is on the menu, order it without thinking! If you crave something hearty, their chicken curry will sustain you for quite a long time. The menu here changes constantly. The place is small, so it’s better to order takeaway. The menu is in Hungarian.
Pizzica — best Italian-style pizza outside of Italy, hands down! If you’re like us and crave pizza 24/7, this place is for you. They sell pizza by the slice and you can opt for creating your own Frankenstein-inspired box of different pizza slices with all of the various toppings. Pizzica always has a line, but the service is super quick, so you won’t even notice the time passing. Definitely come back for seconds!
Drum Café — lángos and goulash bar that serves Hungarian cuisine at a reasonable price. The place is always packed full but the overall atmosphere is super chill and welcoming. We especially loved their goulash soup and classic lángos. A three-course meal here will cost you around $10-15.

Here is a little sidenote for you: a popular place in Budapest—called Szimply—unfortunately, didn’t meet our expectations. Yes, it’s trendy but we had been waiting for our order for about an hour outside and the meal was just average. Portions were small and pricey: we paid $20 for avo toast and scramble.

Let’s talk coffee now (our favorite thing in the world). Where to find a good cappuccino in Budapest? Is there hope to find filter or coldbrew? Yep, there is:
GoaMama — THE place to order a big cappuccino to go for HUF 950 ($2,60) and explore Budapest. If sightseeing comes second after a productive work sesh, then you can bring a laptop with you and find a cozy place at a table in the vibey café atmosphere.
Flow Specialty Coffee Bar — a third-wave coffeeshop with specialty coffee and vegan food on Andrassy Avenue. They make a good filter and cappuccino for HUF 950-1050 (⁓$3).
Mantra — the best place to hide in on a rainy day. Delicious giant latte for HUF 1850 ($5,20) and desserts will definitely brighten your day.
Blue Bird Cafe — a perfect brunch spot in the heart of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. Their pancake sushi and espresso martini are the perfect combo to start your day in style!

When you’re in Budapest, it’s considered a crime to miss out on the classic Hungarian street food. If you’re lost in the wide variety of choices, start with these dishes first and then work your way up, as you get more gastronomically adventurous:

  • Shawarma — HUF 1800-2800 ($5-8)
  • Pizza by slice — HUF 600-700 ($1,70-2)
  • Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cake — HUF 700-1800 ($2-5), price depends on the location of the booth. It’s a delicious sweet pastry you absolutely must try when in Budapest!
  • Lángos with sour cream and cheese(the classic version) — HUF 1800 ($5). It’s basically a fried bread dough; the wilder the toppings the more expensive it gets! The dish is massive in size, so it’s best to buy just one for two people, otherwise you’ll be eating bread for days!

To get the native’s take on food in Budapest, try and go on a Hungarian Cuisine Tasting Experience that ends with Hungarian wine tasting! The ultimate indulgence tour!

Budapest FAQs

Trip to Budapest St. Stephen's Basilica 2

1. How much is the metro pass?
The Metro works from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. A single ticket costs HUF 450 ($1,30). 10 Bulk tickets option costs HUF 4000. If you want more flexibility when using Budapest public transport system, look into passes: 24-hour pass costs HUF 2500 ($7), while 72-hour pass costs HUF 5500 ($15,30).

Our tip: based on the reviews we saw about metro in Budapest, we recommend you try and not look too much like a tourist. Metro inspectors target tourists specifically and take advantage of their shallow knowledge of how metro here works. Remember to validate your ticket at the station, otherwise you’re looking at a fine of around $30! Also it’s good to know that a single ticket works only for one metro line; if you need to change lines, you have to validate another single ticket!

2. How to get to/from the airport?
The Bus 100е is the cheapest way, operates 24/7. The ticket is HUF 2200 ($6,40) per person, 3-4 stops from the city center. On the way to the airport, we took an Uber and for 25-minute-drive we paid HUF 12000 ($33,40).

3. What currency to use? Where to exchange money?
In Hungary, they use Forints, 1 HUF = 0,0029 USD or 1000 HUF = 2,89 USD. You can withdraw forints from any ATM, including the airport. It’s essential to have some cash in Budapest.

4. Where to stay?
In the city center or nearby. I lived on Podmaniczky St. and could easily walk to all the places we’ve mentioned above. A flat on Airbnb costs approximately HUF 15,000 ($42) per night. If you prefer hotels or hostels, then we recommend you to check HotelsCombined.

5. When is the best time to visit Budapest?
As in many other cities, spring is the season when Budapest starts to bloom, in every way possible: from the literal blooming flowers to tourist attractions, restaurants and cafes putting out the new and exciting deals. But summer season (made popular by the world-renowned week-long Sziget Festival) and Christmas time (with it’s unavoidable cheer of Christmas markets) should be taken into consideration as well. Personally, we visited Budapest in November, the grayest season, and have no regrets at all! No matter the season, you will have plenty of interesting things to experience in this majestic city!

6. What are the general prices in Budapest?
Budapest is considered to be quite affordable, at least compared to other European cities. We didn’t find it to be cheap though; but with some budgeting tactics (like eating out less and walking more), you won’t go into debt over your trip to Budapest! Here are some of our breakfast items we picked up from the Spar grocery store:

  • Bread – HUF 700-1000 ($2-3),
  • 2 avocados – HUF 1200 ($3,30),
  • Eggs – HUF 800 ($2,20),
  • Cream cheese – HUF 700-900 ($2-2,50).

A bottle of wine costs HUF 1000-3000 ($2,80-8,40), a bottle of water is HUF 150-200 ($0,50). Given the fact that these items lasted us for a couple of breakfasts and snacks, the prices are quite doable for an ordinary traveler.

7. How to rent a car?
Book a car on international companies’ websites, such as RentalCars or EconomyBookings. 1 gallon of petrol in Budapest costs around HUF 2300 ($6,40) on average.

Budapest is one of our favorite cities in Europe, we hope that our ultimate guide on things to see and do in Budapest will provide the necessary help you need when planning your own trip here. If you have any further questions, leave them in the comments below! Viszontlátásra!

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