A Complete 2 Days in Budapest Itinerary: Best Ways to spend 24 hours​

A Complete 2 Days In Budapest Itinerary: Best Ways To Spend 48 Hours

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What if you only had 2 days in Budapest? How would you spend it to maximize your time here?

We have the answers for you, as this 2 days Budapest itinerary will show you around the City of Water, as it is sometimes known. 

As fellow travellers ourselves, we understand that trip planning can sometimes be a hassle. 

After all, you do not know much of the city yet, so it is best to have an itinerary that you can easily follow, filled with all the useful information that you will need. 

You also want it to be flexible, which is why we have alternative suggestions that you can simply add into the schedule.

If you want a well planned and detailed itinerary, read on to find out more!

Tip: or you can watch this video which gives a pretty nice overview of Budapest.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-RxZr3xcdY

Background about Budapest

The emergence of Budapest as the capital of Hungary took place in 1873, when 3 cities, Buda, Pest and Obuda were combined.  

The landscape of this beautiful city is very distinct, as you can see on one side of the Danube river, the Buda part is hilly, while the Pest side lies pretty flat. 

While you admire the view of Budapest, you might notice that there isn’t any skyscrapers in sight. In fact, what probably stand out most are the Hungarian Parliament Building and St Stephen’s Basilica, both standing at 96 metres tall. 

The reason for this is related to Hungary’s beginnings. The number 96 takes on significant meaning. In 896, the Hungarian Magyars came to this land and set off the birth of the Hungarian Kingdom. 

Today, Budapest is a thriving city in Europe, filled with grand architecture, great entertainment scene, and remains very affordable for most travellers. 

What to do in Budapest for 2 days?

Let’s jump straight in to the itinerary, and at the end, we will tell you more about the city, ways to get there, and recommend a few good hotels for you to stay at. 

Shall we?

2 Days in Budapest: Save to Google Maps

Here is a Google Map that contains the places covered in this 2 Days Budapest Itinerary. 

It contains 5 layers, one for each day, one for alternatives, one for day trips and one for recommended hotels to stay in. 

How to use: (Take note you will have to be signed in to your Google Account)

  • Click on the map below and it will open up in a new window
  • If you are signed in to your Google account, the map will be saved automatically.
  • Make sure to do this step so that you can easily refer back to the locations even when you are offline.
  • Next time, simply open up Google Maps again and find this map under “Your Places” –> “Maps”.

Expert tip: Be sure to download offline maps in Google Maps when you have an internet connection. You might not have data or access to WiFi, and the offline version will come in super handy.


2 days budapest itinerary google maps

Day 1 in Budapest

Vienna Gate

Vienna Gate Castle Hill
Vienna Gate Castle Hill

Kick off your Budapest adventure with an easy walk up to Vienna Gate, which is an entrance to the Castle Hill area. It is also the only remaining gate of the old town, and you should climb up the short flight of stairs for your first glimpse of the beautiful Pest landscape. 

Before getting to Buda Castle, spend some time strolling around the streets here, where you will find some interesting medieval buildings such as the Church of St Mary Magdalene, which survived the bombings during the World War. 

There are also a number of monuments that really deserve a visit, such as the Holy Trinity Statue. 

One of the houses here is the House of Houdini, which is a museum that pays homage to the famous magician’s life. 

Start time: 9 am
Address: Budapest, Bécsikapu tér, 1014 Hungary
Getting here: 12 minutes walk from Batthyany Ter metro station
Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours

Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom)

Matthias Church Budapest

Right next to the Holy Trinity Statue is the unmissable and striking Matthias Church. Did you know that this church has been standing on these grounds for over 800 years? Truly amazing.

Although it has gone through a number of restoration, you can still see lots of the original structure, such as the towering spire and the unique roof, painted in a variety of colours.

This is one of the best examples of Roman Gothic architecture that lives in Budapest, and you can venture inside as well to admire the intricate frescoes and decorations. If you are up for it, you can climb the 200 steps to the top of the tower for an amazing view of Budapest too!

Start time: 10 am
Address: Budapest, Szentháromság tér 2, 1014 Hungary
Getting here: 6 minutes walk from Vienna Gate
Fee: 1800 HUF to enter church, 1800 HUF to climb tower
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm | Saturday, 9am – 12pm | Sunday, 1pm – 5pm

Fisherman’s Bastion (Halaszbastya)

Fisherman’s Bastion

Exploring further towards the river, you will find one of the most famous sights of Budapest, the Fisherman’s Bastion

With its history dating back to over a hundred years ago, today it is one of the most sought after spots to take pictures, not just of the unique turrets that look like they came out of Disney, but also the panoramic view of the Danube and Pest. 

You might be wondering, since this is a bastion, why does it not look like it can be a defensive barrier? Well, they were built for decorative purposes, to act as a viewing terrace, hence you might get confused. 

There are several spots where you can take in great views, but be warned though, Fisherman’s Bastion is incredibly popular, which means large crowds! There are some small nooks where you can possibly be alone, so make sure to find one!

Start time: 11 am
Address: Budapest, Szentháromság tér, 1014 Hungary
Getting here: Right beside Matthias Church
Fee: Most balconies and towers are free to enter, upper towers 1000 HUF
Opening hours: 24 hours, except upper towers 9am – 7pm daily

Buda Castle

Buda Castle

The Buda Castle will certainly be one of the highlights of your visit to Castle Hill, a massive Baroque design that now houses the Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery. It has also been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, adding to its prestige. 

On the hallowed grounds of the Royal Castle, take a moment to explore its surroundings, including stone underground structures that have been converted into an alley where there are a couple of vendors offering street food. 

As you approach the castle, you will come across Habsburg Gate, the ornate entrance to the castle grounds. 

Pop into the courtyards to take in the size and grandeur of the palace, and be sure to look out for Matthias Fountain, which depicts King Matthias successfully hunting down a stag. That set the stage where the heroine Ilonka fell in love with him. 

Start time: 11.30 am
Address: Budapest, Szent György tér 2, 1014 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Fisherman’s Bastion
Fee: Free; tickets needed for museum and art gallery
Opening hours: 24 hours

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Chain bridge budapest
Chain Bridge, Gresham Palace and St Stephen’s Basilica aligned

With the Castle Hill district completed, you can opt to walk down to the river side or simply take the funicular which takes you to street level near the impressive Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

This iconic bridge was the first bridge that linked Buda and Pest, and is an important part of Hungarian history. It became a casualty of war when it was destroyed but luckily, it was very quickly rebuilt.

Take a walk through this suspension bridge and admire the beautiful scenery of both sides of Budapest. Just watch out for the cars if you decide to walk onto the road to take pictures!

Tip: try to come back at night, when it is lit up, for a totally different experience.

Start time: 12.30 pm
Address: Budapest, Széchenyi Lánchíd, 1051 Hungary
Getting here: Walk down from Buda Castle or take the funicular
Fee: Free; tickets for funicular 1200 HUF one way, 1800 HUF return
Opening hours: 24 hours | Funicular 7.30am – 10pm

Lunch at Tokio Budapest

Time to take a break, and Tokio Budapest is a great place to try out Asian Fusion cuisine.

It’s a testament to how fast Budapest has grown to become an international metropolis, and the influx of such restaurants is a good example of that. 

At Tokio, take your pick from a wide range of items, but we recommend trying out the excellent ramen and sushi. 

Start time: 1 pm
Address: Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 7-8, 1051 Hungary
Getting here: 10 minutes walk from Szechenyi Chain Bridge
Fee: From 1500 HUF
Opening hours: 12pm – 12am daily

Gresham Palace, Four Seasons Hotel

A symbol of luxury and classic art nouveau, the Gresham Palace was originally an office building, but was then acquired and turned into Four Seasons Hotel

This hotel is the epitome of luxury here in Budapest, and while the cost to stay here is pretty high, it cost you nothing to walk in for a quick look. 

Check out the arched dome and lovely art pieces that dots the interiors!

Fun fact: Will Smith stayed here when he filmed the movie “Gemini Man”, and he climbed up the Chain Bridge (illegal!) one night. Watch it yourself. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twa_7XVCpNQ

Start time: 2 pm
Address: Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 5-6, 1051 Hungary
Getting here: 1 minutes walk from Tokio
Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours

Stroll along the Danube Promenade

Shoes on the Danube Bank
Shoes on the Danube Bank

After a fulfilling lunch, it is time to walk it off! And what better way than to walk along the Danube Promenade, enjoying the breeze and having a different look at the Castle Hill area. 

You will notice there are lots of ships and ferries cruising along here, as the Danube River is an important waterway that stretches all the way from Germany to Ukraine, making it the second longest river in the world/

A dinner cruise could be a good place to spend your evenings, or you can even consider sailing down to cities such as Bratislava or even Vienna.

Along the promenade, you will come across an arresting sight, the Shoes on the Danube Bank. It was built in 2005 as a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War II. 

The victims were forced to the banks of the river and instructed to take off their shoes, after which they were shot and dropped to be washed away by the river. 

Today, you can still see people lighting up candles and placing flowers to remember them. 

Related: One Day Bratislava Itinerary

Start time: 2.30 pm
Address: Along the river on Pest side
Getting here: 10 minutes walk Tokio
Fee: Free
Opening hours: 24 hours

Hungarian Parliament Building

Hungarian Parliament House
Hungarian Parliament Building

As you walk further north along the river, you will lay eyes on a spectacular building, the Hungarian Parliament Building. Dare we say it is the most beautiful parliament building in the world? 

This amazing building was the result of a design competition, and the winning design was from Imre Steindl. 

Outside at the courtyard, you can roam around and take lots of pictures of this neo-Gothic architecture masterpiece. 

If you wish to visit the interior, you will need to sign up for a tour. You cannot walk in on your own as there are actual working offices. To do so, visit the official website to book your slots. 

Start time: 3 pm
Address: Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
Getting here: 1 minute walk from Shoes on the Danube Bank
Fee: Free | Tickets need to enter
Opening hours: Check schedule online

St Stephen’s Basilica

St Stephen’s Basilica

Turn around and head back to the area beyond the Chain Bridge where St Stephen’s Basilica is located. But before doing so, be sure to pass by Liberty Square and the park where it resides. You might find it peculiar, but a Ronald Reagan statue stands here. We don’t really know the story, but we guess it has something to do with the proximity of the US Embassy here.

At the end of the park, you will come face to face with a controversial statue, which is the Memorial to the Victims of the German Invasion. When it was erected, thousands of protestors took to the streets voicing their disapproval. We will not delve into the story, but you can find out more here

Once you pass all that, make your way to St Stephen’s Basilica, a grand old Roman Catholic church. If you have not noticed, the church, the Chain Bridge and Gresham Palace actually lies on a straight line. Check that out on the map!

Beyond that bit of trivia, St Stephen’s Basilica is an absolute beauty. Sitting on a large square, it stands out amongst the modern big brand boutiques and sidewalk cafes. 

Whether you choose to enter or not, you will be wowed by its majestic form. Inside, you can access the top levels to get a closer look at the city around you. Truly amazing.

Start time: 4 pm
Address: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Parliament House
Fee: Free, donations welcome | 1600 HUF for tour, includes tower
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm | Saturday, 9am – 1pm | Sunday, 1pm – 5pm

Budapest Eye

Just a short walk away is the Budapest Eye, and as you might expect, it is a giant ferris wheel in a park.

The ride takes about 10 minutes, and you will be brought to a height of 65 m, so if you missed out going up the tower in the Basilica, this is a great alternative for you to consider. 

The views you get here are equally impressive, so be sure to check it out!

After this, you can walk around the Deak Ferenc ter metro station, where there are an abundance of cafes and pubs for you to rest your tired feet. 

Start time: 5 pm
Address: Budapest, 1051 Hungary
Getting here: 5 minutes walk from St Stephen’s Basilica
Fee: 3000 HUF
Opening hours: Daily 10am – 11pm

Dinner at Street Food Karavan Budapest

Street Food Karavan Budapest

We recommend taking the 15 minutes walk over to Street Food Karavan located in the Jewish Quarters. You will know why we chose this spot in the next section, besides the fact that the food here is super yummy. 

As the name suggests, treat yourself to a diverse range of Hungarian and international street food, taking your seats at the wooden benches. The outdoor setting is perfect during good weather, and there are lots of choices to fill you up. 

Each food truck offers something unique, and the lineup changes from time to time, so you never know what goodies you’re gonna get here!

Start time: 6 pm
Address: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 18, 1075 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Budapest Eye
Fee: From 1500 HUF
Opening hours: Daily 11.30am – 11pm

Drinks at Szimpla Kert

Live band at Szimpla Kert

Any visit to Budapest should culminate at one of its world famous ruin bars, and Szimpla Kert is the granddaddy of them all. 

If you didn’t know what a ruin bar is, they are actually old derelict buildings or shophouses where they have been converted into places of entertainment. Each of them have their own characteristics and are unique, but sharing an old and eclectic vibe.

At Szimpla Kert, you can choose to wander around or hang out in the courtyard, or even upstairs. There are several individual “pubs” in operation here, but our favourite is right inside, where travelling bands perform nightly.

When we were there, we were treated to a performance by an up and coming traditional Hungarian band. The atmosphere was loud but friendly, and the music was a delight.

Start time: 7 pm
Address: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 18, 1075 Hungary
Getting here: Right next to Street Food Karavan
Fee: From 1500 HUF
Opening hours: Daily 10am – 4am

Day 2 in Budapest

Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere)

Heroes' Square
Heroes’ Square

Hungary has a very rich history, and throughout that time, it had many great leaders. At the Heroes’ Square, 14 of them are immortalised in colonnades, and right in the middle is column where Gabriel the Archangel sits atop, casting a watchful eye.

At the base of this column sits the 7 Magyar Chieftains, who were responsible for the founding of the country.

On both sides of the large square, you will find 2 important national treasures, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Arts (or Hall of Arts). 

To say that this square and monument is integral to Hungary is an understatement, and it has been inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites too. 

Fun fact: the metro line that brings you here is the first in the city, and you must come here to see its original designs and wall tiles. A really cool part of Hungarian history. 

Start time: 9 am
Address: Budapest, Hősök tere, 1146 Hungary
Getting here: Take the metro to Hosok Tere
Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours

Vajdahunyad Castle and Park

Vajdahunyad Castle
Vajdahunyad Castle

Right behind Heroes’ Square is a large public park where there is so much to discover. We love this park! Let’s tick off a few places you can visit (you can really spend hours here, but for this itinerary, we only cover the castle): 

  • Budapest Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Szechenyi Thermal Bath
  • Jaki Chapel
  • Transport Museum
  • Vajdahunyad Castle
  • Ice Skating Rink during winter

The park is really peaceful and since it is so big, you never find it difficult to grab a space for yourself. 

As you walk over from Heroes’ Square, you will approach Vajdahunyad Castle, really an underrated place of interest, which suits us fine, since we don’t have to share it with others. 

It was built approximately 100 years ago, and was never meant to be a permanent structure. However, it stood the test of time and remained in Budapest for the good of all its residents. The setting is picture perfect, peeking out of the bushes, sitting right beside a pretty lake. 

Start time: 10 am
Address: Budapest, Vajdahunyad stny., 1146 Hungary
Getting here: 5 minutes walk from Heroes’ Square
Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Daily 10am – 5pm 

Walk down Andrassy Ut

Andrassy Ut
Andrassy Ut

While most people will now head to a Szechenyi Thermal Bath for a soak in the healing waters, we will skip that and take you on a walk down Andrassy Ut instead. We have another thermal bath to recommend you, but that’s for later. 

Andrassy Ut is an important boulevard in Budapest, much like Champ Elysee in Paris. While you should not expect it to be like its French counterpart, it is nonetheless a really pleasant stroll towards the city center. 

You will get the chance to pass by beautiful houses and museums, as well as the usual high end retail boutiques. If you love shopping, this might be the place you want to spend your 2 days in Budapest.

Besides shopping, you should definitely check these out: 

House of Terror. A chance to relive the horrors that were meted out during the Nazis and Soviet regimes. Great way to learn the history. Audio guide is a must. 

Liszt Ferenc Square. One of the most significant squares named after the famous composer. Chill out in one of the cafes and bask under the sun while people watching. The houses and buildings that flank it are beautiful. 

Hungarian State Opera. Not to be missed neoclassical building with incredibly lavish and elegant designs. Come for a musical performance. On par with the Vienna State Opera.

Related: Paris Travel Budget and Itinerary

Start time: 11 am
Address: Andrassy Ut
Getting here: 30 minutes walk from Heroes’ Square to Liszt Ferenc Square
Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours

Lunch at Két Szerecsen

Awesome place that serves up local dishes mainly in tapas style. The variety is overwhelming, and the prices have managed to stay reasonable despite its excellent location. 

Whether you want a full meal or something to share, Ket has all the food you need. 

We enjoyed the coffee and the duck breast was amazing!

Start time: 12 pm
Address: Budapest, Nagymező u. 14, 1065 Hungary
Getting here: 2 minutes walk from Hungarian State Opera
Fee: From 1000 HUF
Opening Hours: Daily 8am – 12am

Explore the Jewish Quarter

Eclectic bars in Jewish Quarter Budapest
Eclectic bars in Jewish Quarter Budapest

On the previous day, you dipped your toes in the Jewish Quarter, but today you will take some time to properly explore it. A historic district, the Jewish Quarter is the best place to wander around “aimlessly”, but keeping your eyes open for ruin bars, eccentric cafes and superb fast food.

The neighbourhood seems gritty, and that lends itself to the character of the place. It is perfectly safe to explore, and you will be surprised, where something different seems to pop out whichever way you turn. 

Right at the edge of the Jewish Quarter, check out the grand Dohany Street Synagogue (the Great Synagogue), which is the second largest in the world. 

The iconic twin towers stand out among the low rise blocks that make up Jewish Quarter, and the interior is just stunning. 

The only gripe is the hefty fee to get inside, but you get to enter the Jewish Museum and Archives as well. 

Start time: 1 pm
Address: Budapest, Dohány u. 2, 1074 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Ket Szerecsen
Fee: 5000 HUF
Opening Hours: Varies, check on website

Central Market Hall

Central Market Hall Budapest

Before you arrive at the Central Market Hall, you can spend a few moments walking down Vaci Street, a popular shopping street where it is lined with restaurants and cafes. We will share a bit more on this further down in the post. 

One of the reasons we enjoy Europe very much is the presence of large market halls, such as this one in Budapest. 

It gives you a pretty fascinating look into the lives of the locals, what they eat, how their cuisine is influenced and generally the day to day going ons of the local population. 

The Central Market Hall is a large, impressive covered market that sells everything from produce to meats and sausages and everything in between. 

Tourists are not forgotten too, as you can lay your hands on some cool souvenirs.

Dinner will be late tonight, so if you fancy a snack, here is a good time to get one!

Start time: 4 pm
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Dohany Street Synagogue
Fee: Free to enter
Opening Hours: Monday, 6am – 5pm | Tuesday to Friday, 6am – 6pm | Saturday, 6am – 3pm | Closed on Sunday

Citadella

Statue at Citadella
Statue at Citadella

It is time to once again cross over to the Buda side, but this time we are up for a hike. You must have noticed a gigantic statue on top of Gellert Hill when you are out and about, and that is your destination in this section. 

The climb up is easy enough, walking along concrete trails, and while there are a few steep elevations, ultimately the distance you need to cover is relatively short.

As you walk up from the Liberty Bridge direction, there is a unique chapel that you should check out before the ascent. It is built inside a cave network within Gellert Hill, now known as Gellert Hill Cave. 

At the summit, there are a number of statues and large army weapons on display, and you can catch your breath at the outdoor pub, serving ice cold beer or soft drinks. 

The Citadella was actually a military fortification built by the Habsburgs to watch over the Hungarians, but remained as a military building until communism was overthrown. 

The 14 meter tall statue resembles the Statue of Liberty, but is in fact a symbol of both oppression (during enemy rule) and liberty. 

Tip: Take your time to enjoy the lovely sunset here.

Start time: 5 pm
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Getting here: 25 minutes walk from Central Market Hall
Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 24 hours

Rudas Thermal Bath

Thermal baths are synonymous with Budapest, and the locals believe in the healing powers of the medicinal baths. In fact, it is so popular that there are over 100 hot springs in Budapest, and a total of 9 thermal baths.

The famous one is of course Szechenyi, but we chose to hit Rudas as we feel that it is less crowded and more unique. (even though Gellert Baths is near too)

First of all, the bath house was established over 450 years ago, and its design came from the Ottomans, who invaded Hungary during that period of time. 

This makes Rudas much different from the other thermal baths, and we especially love the outdoor circular pool on its rooftop. Soak in the hot tub while stargazing or just admiring the river view. Can’t get better than this.

Start time: 7 pm
Address: Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9, 1013 Hungary
Getting here: 20 minutes walk from Citadella (towards Elisabeth bridge direction)
Fee: Check price here
Opening Hours: 24 hours

Dinner at BorLaBor Étterem

Dinner at BorLaBor Budapest
Dinner at BorLaBor Budapest

Hidden away in plain sight, BorLaBor is found in the basement cellar near the popular Vaci walking street. The interior design is simple and charming, resembling a cellar. 

The food, excellent. Pair it with a glass of wine, or two, and you have the perfect meal. 

You can expect to receive impeccable service and try out exquisite local Hungarian cuisine. 

We suggest you try out the goulash as well as the venison stew.

Start time: 8.30 pm
Address: Budapest, nyitvartás: Minden nap 12.00-24.00, Veres Pálné u. 7, 1053 Hungary
Getting here: 15 minutes walk from Rudas Bath
Fee: From 1000 HUF
Opening Hours: Daily 12pm – 12am

Alternatives to consider

Look, spending 2 days in Budapest is the bare minimum to get anything out of this incredible city. This itinerary is a good introduction, but there are some other spots that we feel can easily replace some in this list. Plus, if you have more time, you an consider day trips out of Budapest too.

  • Margaret Island
  • Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library
  • Vörösmarty tér
  • Vigado Concert Hall

Day trips:

  • Vysegrad
  • Roman Aquincum
  • Szentendre
  • Vac
  • Hiking at Janos-hegy, Kecske-hegy
View on top of Visegrad

Where to stay in Budapest?

Now that we have shown you an itinerary of Budapest for 2 days, let’s talk about where you can stay. In general, most of the sights are concentrated around the Pest side, so that’s where most of our recommendations will be at. 

As Budapest is popular among a certain group of people who like to organise stag nights here, we typically avoid the budget options, since it is likely where they choose to stay. 

To make the best out of your 2 days in Budapest, it is best to stay within the city. That allows you to walk almost everywhere (as evidenced in this itinerary), helping you cut down transport cost and travelling time. 

Budget. There are a few pretty good options, but we say that it will be better to go with an apartment. We recommend Erzsébet Apartmanok, which occupies a great location in the heart of the city. At about €85 for 2 nights, this is a steal. Comes with your own shower, WiFi, and washing machine, it is great value for money.

Mid range. As your budget increases slightly, the range of options open up even more. There are some really fantastic hotels here in Budapest, and it is hard to pinpoint one. But we really enjoyed the Hotel Zenit Budapest Palace. Its location is top notch, right next to the river banks, giving you easy access to all the spots you want to visit. We saw prices of about €100 per night. 

Luxury. You know where we are going to recommend, and that is none other than the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest. You can expect to be pampered in this opulent hotel, with top class restaurants and amenities. The location is excellent too, and pretty much every major sight is within a moment’s reach. 

If you prefer searching on your own, you can use the widget below to find the right hotel. We really like Booking.com as they consistently offer the lowest prices and there are no hidden charges. 

That means you get to see the total fees the moment you choose the hotel. There are also lots of properties where you can pre-book without paying a cent, plus a generous cancellation policy, they are a winner for us.



Booking.com

How to get to Budapest

Budapest is the capital of Hungary, and is well served by major modes of transport.

By Air. Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) is the main airport in Budapest, and it serves both international and domestic air travel. 

There are many international airlines that fly in here, as well as budget carriers. 

At the moment, there are no direct flights from the US, so transfers are necessary in major European cities. 

Transfers to the city takes between 30 – 45 minutes depending on the type of transport you use. 


Get transfers from the airport to city

By Train. Budapest is well connected by rail to many other major European cities, and you can easily get here from cities like Vienna (2.5 hours), Prague (7.5 hours) and Bratislava (4 hours). Most trains will arrive at Budapest-Keleti pályaudvar, which is a short train or car ride into the city.

By Bus. Regional buses ply the route to Budapest, and most buses will arrive in Népliget, which is slightly further away from the city. Trains will do a better job if you are coming from the region.

By Ferry. As we mentioned earlier, you can take a leisurely river cruise from Vienna or Bratislava. 

Getting around Budapest

Budapest is well connected by buses, metro and trams. You can pretty much get to everywhere using one of these methods. In fact, taking Tram 2 is a great way to see a lot of what the city has to offer, as it passes through the major sights. This is especially good if you are short on time. 

Using the public transport is easy. You just need a single fare ticket for 350 HUF to take you one way, or you can buy a pack of 10 for 3000 HUF (probably not necessary for 2 days, consider Budapest Card instead)

We would advise against using taxis, as there are some undesirable characters creating a bad reputation for them. Uber is a much better option. 

Guided Tour Options

We want to make life as easy for you as possible, so besides the well planned itinerary, we thought there are some decent tour options that you can explore. 

1 hour cruise in budapest 1

1 Hour River Cruise


inside hungarian parliament house


Parliament tour

2 Days in Budapest: Thoughts

We think it is very difficult not to fall in love with Budapest. To be honest, we heard some negative remarks before our trip to Budapest, something about the people being somewhat rude.

We did encounter a couple of them like that, but then again it happens everywhere. Most of the people we interacted with were warm and friendly, and we made a few friends here as well. 

Budapest is a pretty big city, which means the sights are quite spread out. More importantly, that means that you usually will not have to jostle for space with huge crowds. 

The architecture is stunning, easily rivalling some of the best in the world, and there is so much to discover. 

Hope you will enjoy your two days in Budapest, and if you found this Budapest Travel Guide useful, do share on social media and pin it to Pinterest!

Related: Latest on our blog

Logistics before visiting Budapest Hungary

Save on currency exchange rates
Stop paying exorbitant rates forever! Make use of TransferWise debit card to get the best rates across the globe. You can also use it to transfer money worldwide for cheap.

Find cheap flights.
Air tickets are usually the bulk of your expenses. Set up an alert and snag cheap fares with Skyscanner.

Find the best accommodation.
Book a place ahead of time to get good rates. Booking.com has transparent fees and excellent rates. 

Handy travel guide.
For the old school kid in you, get a travel guide book and get lost exploring the city.

Photos.
Your mobile phone can do a pretty good job, but if you need an upgrade, we recommend the Sony A6000 (US) (International)

Travel insurance.
You don’t need us to teach you to be a responsible adult, do you? Get a quote here.

Planned for you activities in Budapest.
Need a guide to show you and your group around? Lots of operators here to choose from here. You know who they are and how they are reviewed. 

More resources to help you.
All other useful travel resources we use when we book our trips.

A Complete 2 Days Budapest Itinerary
A Complete 2 Days Budapest Itinerary pin 2

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