Budapest is expensive as a tourist

Budapest: sights and real insider tips

You are planning a city trip to Budapest! Perfect! Because in our article we give you the best tips for your trip and reveal the most beautiful sights and insider tips.

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We are the founders of 22places - your contact point for helpful travel tips and easy-to-understand photo tips - independent, authentic and above all: always honest. Just learn to take pictures in our online photography course and browse our cameral love online shop.

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Budapest really impressed us.

We spent two weeks in this great city and are looking forward to our next visit.

If you are currently planning your city trip to Budapest, we can tell you: You have chosen a very exciting travel destination!

In our post you will find all the information you need to plan your Budapest city trip and of course a lot of insider tips for your stay there.

Your Budapest city trip will be a unique experience!

Since the article has become a little longer again, you can easily jump to the positions that interest you via our table of contents.

Also read our tips for finding a hotel in Budapest

Our tip: Discover Budapest even during Corona

Unfortunately, it is not possible to travel to Budapest at the moment. At the moment we can only dream our way into the distance virtually.

For Budapest there is a great offer from Gábor, a guide friend who offers great city tours through Budapest. He is currently offering his tours online.

For a low price, you can discover the most beautiful corners at any time on your PC, tablet or smartphone. We think this is a great idea and a wonderful change from the gray everyday life at home.

To the online tours through Budapest

Tips for planning your trip to Budapest

In the first part of this article, we'll tell you all the important information you need to perfectly prepare your city trip to Budapest.

The best travel time for a Budapest city break

The weather in Budapest is essentially not much different than in Germany. As a rule, it gets a little warm in spring than in Germany and in early autumn it is often even more pleasant in Budapest than at home.

The winters in Budapest are very cold and in the summer it can get very hot here. The most pleasant weather is from April to June, as well as September and October. We were in Budapest in the last week of May and the first week of June and had perfect weather for 14 days with warm summer temperatures and sunshine.

How much time should you plan for your city trip to Budapest?

To see the most important sights, you should plan at least three full days. Of course, more is always better.

Arrival to Budapest

The quickest way to get to Budapest is by plane. The low-cost airlines Ryanair, Easyjet and Wizzair fly from Germany directly to Budapest from various cities. There are also connections with Eurowings and Lufthansa.

With a bit of luck, you can get flights to Budapest for as little as 50 euros there and back. We always use the Skyscanner flight search engine to find the best prices.

Alternatively, at least from the southern federal states, you can also take the train to Budapest. The journey from Munich takes just under 7 hours and goes directly without changing trains. In any case, it is worth looking at the web site of the railway for economy prices in the direction of Budapest. With a little luck, you can take the train from Germany to Budapest for just 39 euros.

We took the train back from Budapest to Germany ourselves and got a 1st class saver fare that was even cheaper than a 2nd class ticket.

The best travel guide for Budapest

There is a copy for Budapest from each of the major travel guide publishers. We have picked out three travel guides for you that we found to be good:

A very lovingly compiled travel guide is the DuMont Budapest Travel Guide by Matthias Eickhoff. The travel guide really contains all the information you need for your city trip and many personal recommendations from the author, who really knows his way around Budapest.

To the DuMont travel guide

We recommend as a supplement to a classic travel guide 111 must-see places in Budapest. In this book you will find both well-known places and real insider tips. We like to read the books from the 111 Places series before a trip, as they offer a different perspective than that of the classic travel guide.

About the book: 111 places in Budapest that you have to see

Costs for a city trip to Budapest and withdrawing money on site

In Budapest you pay with forints (HUF). The conversion rate is not easy, because 1 euro is about 350 forints. There are ATMs everywhere and, as always, we have withdrawn money with our DKB credit cards.

The DKB current account and credit card are free and you can use them to withdraw money free of charge in almost any country in the world - including in Hungary, of course.

Here you can find all information about the DKB current account

Overall, Budapest is a relatively inexpensive travel destination. You can get an overnight stay in a very simple hotel from around 40 euros for a double room. For around 100 euros you can get a really nice hotel in Budapest.

Eating out is also quite cheap as long as you stay away from the very touristy restaurants and coffee houses.

As a small impression, here are a few prices:

  • Main course in the restaurant: 5 - 10 euros
  • Beer in the restaurant (0.5 l): 1 - 2 euros
  • Bottle of water (1.5 l): 0.20 - 0.50 euros
  • Ticket for the metro: 1.00 euros
  • Baumstriezel (traditional Hungarian dough specialty): 1.20 euros

Recommended city tours and tours in Budapest

We took a guided tour on our first day in Budapest and were absolutely thrilled. If you are planning a city tour, then you definitely have to hire Gábor.

Our tip: Gábor has been a guide in Budapest for more than 20 years and knows everything about the city. And when we say everything, we mean it. At every corner Gábor can tell you a little story and that's what he did - for a whole four hours! We have never learned so much about a city in such a short time and never has a tour been so much fun.

We asked him not to take us to the typical sights, but rather to show us more hidden places and great photo spots and he really did an excellent job.

He told us so much in the four hours that we had the feeling afterwards that we already knew Budapest like the back of our hand. Above all, it was great that he didn't tell this typical tourist train and just rattled down names and dates. Gábor has little anecdotes and stories ready for every place and we could have wandered through Budapest with him forever.

As you can see, we were really enthusiastic and without exaggeration we can say: Gábor has been the best guide we have had on our travels so far.

Gábor offers different tours: Classic tours to the famous Budapest sights, special gourmet tours or even very individual tours according to your personal wishes.

We also asked him the minimum number of hours you should book so that the first impression of the city is as complete as possible. His answer: 3 hours! It is best not to wait until shortly before your trip to book a tour, as Gábor is usually booked out quickly.

Here you can find his bestsellers:

During our tour, Gábor told us about a friend who owns an original T1 VW bus (with an open roof!). He has recently started offering tours and a few days later we were allowed to take him on a tour of Budapest.

A VW bus like this has always been a dream and driving through Budapest with it was really a highlight of our little city trip. If you can understand our love for VW buses, you shouldn't miss the chance to ride a T1 Samba through Budapest.

About the tour: German-speaking city tour in a VW Bulli through Budapest!

You should get tickets for these attractions in advance

There are some highlights in Budapest that are always well attended. This means that queues at the entrance are not uncommon.

In the following table you will find the sights for which you should order tickets in advance so that you can skip the line:

You should pack this for your Budapest city trip

You don't need any special equipment for Budapest. The German plugs also fit into the sockets in Budapest, so you don't need an adapter.

We'll tell you which equipment we generally recommend for a city trip in our city trip packing list.

Hotels in Budapest: Our tips

There is no shortage of hotels in Budapest and there really is something for everyone. There are outstanding 5-star hotels with a long tradition, cheap hostels for party tourists and everything in between.

You can find a detailed article about our recommendations for overnight stays in Budapest here: Budapest Hotel Tips.

Budapest is divided into two large districts, Buda and Pest, which are separated by the Danube. We recommend that you take a hotel on the plague side. There are many well-known sights in Buda, but Pest is simply a lot more lively. Here you will find numerous restaurants, pubs and shops and you can also quickly reach the other side by public transport.

Here we show you a selection of recommended hotels for every budget.

Luxurious traditional houses

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
Anantara New York Palace

Affordable luxury

Hotel Moments
Prestige Hotel

Nice and relatively cheap boutique hotels

Hotel rum
Bo33 Hotel Family & Suites

Cheap but good hostels

Pal’s Hostel and Apartments
T62 hotel

Budapest tips: you can look forward to it

When you have finished planning your trip to Budapest and booked your flight, hotel and maybe a tour or two, the fun really starts.

So that you are well informed on site, we of course also have a lot of practical tips for you.

Let's start with the Budapest sights. The city has a lot to offer and we'll show you what you absolutely have to see. Budapest is divided into the two parts Buda and Pest by the Danube. We have therefore divided the overview of our most beautiful Budapest sights into these two parts of the city.

Sightseeing in Buda

Buda is located west of the Danube and is the smaller of the two districts of Budapest. On the Buda side, historical sights in the Castle District, famous thermal baths and the most beautiful view in Budapest await you.

The Castle District in Budapest

The best way to start your tour of the Castle District is in Burggarten Bazaar.

If you look at the newly renovated and lovingly decorated buildings of the Burggarten Bazaar today, it's hard to believe that a youth club and disco were located here in the 1980s.

The communists couldn't do much with the splendor of the complex and therefore left it to the youngsters.

After some pillars collapsed at a too dissolute party and the facility continued to fall apart, it was closed in 1984 and only reopened in 2014.

From the Burggarten bazaar, it is very easy to get there with an escalator Castle palace, one of the landmarks of Budapest.

The very pretty one is right next to the Burggarten bazaar Fisherman's Bastion and in between there are always great vantage points from which you can see the Danube and the Pest opposite.

The most beautiful view of Budapest: The Gellért Hill

You have the best overview of Budapest from Gellért Hill. In contrast to the castle, however, you cannot just stand on an escalator here, you have to take your legs in your hand.

It is best to start with the ascent to the right of the famous Gellért baths. Don't worry, the word "ascent" is a bit of an exaggeration here and it sounds a lot worse than it actually is. But the short hike is worth it!

The Budapest thermal baths

Budapest is famous for its thermal baths.

Budapest is the largest spa town in Europe and there are a total of 21 baths in the city.

Many of the baths impress with their impressive architecture, especially the Gellért bath with its Art Nouveau architecture.

We haven't been to any of the baths ourselves, as we're not big thermal bath fans.

But if you are enthusiastic about bathhouses, then you've come to the right place in Budapest.

Most tourists go to the beautiful Gellért Baths or the Széchenyi Baths with its palatial complex. You can either buy tickets for both pools on site or online beforehand:

Book online here in advance

Our tip: One of the most beautiful thermal baths in Budapest, which is not so overcrowded by tourists, is Rudas Bad am Döbrentei tér 9. There is also a steam bath in this bathroom, which men and women are only allowed to go to together on weekends. Otherwise there are separate times.

Sights in Pest

Pest is the larger of Budapest's two districts and of course has a lot to offer.

The Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament is really a gem. Even if a lot of crap is poured inside, it just looks great on the outside. By the way, the best spot for taking photos is from the opposite side of the Danube.

Heroes' Square

Heroes' Square in Budapest was once the setting for Michael Jackson's video for his song History and the square is still well worth seeing today.

Behind the square there is a beautiful park with a lake, which is ideal for paddling in summer and ice skating in winter.

Synagogues in Budapest

Budapest has a great Jewish tradition and even today there are still more than 100,000 Jews living in Budapest. The Great synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and definitely a must-see.

Our insider tip:

A real insider tip that we discovered through our guide Gábor is this Synagogue on Kazinczy Street. The special thing about this orthodox synagogue is its Art Nouveau architecture. If you're in the Jewish Quarter, don't miss this synagogue.

Alternative scene and ruin bars in the Jewish quarter

The Jewish Quarter in Budapest is now the alternative trendy district of the city. There are pubs and restaurants everywhere and especially in the evenings there is a lot going on in the streets of the district.

Budapest is also known for its ruin bars. Bars and clubs were quickly built in dilapidated houses and backyards. The most famous ruin bar is that Szimpla Kert. You don't meet too many locals here anymore, as the bar is now a highlight in every travel guide. Nevertheless, a visit to the Szimpla is definitely worth it.

There isn't much going on here during the day, but it gets all the more crowded in the evening. Every Sunday morning there is a farmers' market in Szimpla, which is also very worthwhile.

If you're in the Jewish Quarter, just let yourself go. You will find cool bars and pubs on every corner. This corner of Budapest is somewhat reminiscent of Berlin a few years ago. Let's hope that it stays that way for a while and doesn't turn into a ballerina for binge tourists. Unfortunately, the first tendencies in this direction can already be seen.

Our tipWe owe it to our insider Gábor, of course Corvin Club. On the roof of a rather ugly department store is this great bar with a view over Budapest. The entrance is a little hard to find. If you are in front of the building in the Blaha Lujza tér 1-2 you will find an inconspicuous side entrance with grim-looking bouncers on the left.

There it goes in and then many, many stairs up. There was probably an elevator once, but it is no longer in use.

If you want to know more about the alternative scene in Budapest, we can recommend the following tour:

City tour through alternative Budapest

The great market hall

The large market hall is one of Budapest's tourist magnets. Accordingly, there is a lot of tourist stuff to buy inside.A visit is still worthwhile, because parts of the market hall are still used by the locals to buy fruit, vegetables and meat.

The oldest subway in Europe

Line 1 is the second oldest underground line in the world after London. A ride in the little yellow car is part of every visit to Budapest. If you drive to Heldenplatz, for example, is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Eating and drinking in Budapest: our tips

Hungarian cuisine is not exactly one of the light kitchens in the world. Every visit to Budapest definitely includes a goulash soup, which is served in a small pot in many restaurants.

If you want something a little more hearty, you should try langos (a fat-baked yeast loaf with cheese, bacon and sour cream).

For those with a sweet tooth, there are also lots of delicious sweets in Budapest. On every street corner, for example, there are tree stripes (Kürtőskalács) for a little more than 1 euro. This is a yeast cake twisted on a skewer.

Our restaurant tips in Budapest

In Budapest you can eat very tasty and relatively cheap. We'll introduce you to a few restaurants that we found good and can really recommend.

Our tip: This is a really quaint restaurantKádár Étkezde at the small square Klauzál Tér in the Jewish quarter. The shop is so nondescript that you will likely walk right by it. The furnishings seem out of date: Checkered tablecloths, no frills, cheap paper napkins. But there is delicious Hungarian cuisine at reasonable prices. It couldn't be more authentic. The opening times are also a bit unconventional, because the restaurant is only open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Unfortunately the restaurant is now closed and is for sale. It is currently uncertain whether it will open again.

The best ice cream in town is available at Levendula. The ice cream is really great and is now officially one of our top 5 ice cream shops worldwide. We went there almost every day and our favorites were chocolate-lavender (lactose-free!), Elderberry-mint, caramel and the poppy-seed ice cream. Hmmmmm, yummy.

The small ice cream shop from the suburbs has recently expanded and now has several branches in Budapest. Just take a look at Google Maps and search for “Levendula Budapest” to find the nearest branch. It is worth it!

Right next to the Szimpla Kert in the Kazinczy utca do you find the Karavan Street Food Market. Here you can find theZing burger (very tasty!) and many different stands with Hungarian and international delicacies.

No longer an insider tip, but it is still worth a visit For Sale Pub very close to the Great Market Hall in theVámház krt. 2. The whole shop is crammed with notes. Even if you can't get a seat, which is unfortunately very likely, just take a quick look at the restaurant. It is worth it ..

There are almost as many coffee houses in Budapest as there are in Vienna. The prices in the coffeehouses, which are heavily frequented by tourists, are sometimes hefty. This is a very good and not so expensive alternative Szamos Gourmet Ház in the Váci utca 1. The selection of delicious cakes is huge!

By the way, our dear travel blogger colleague Tanja tried out a lot more cafés on her trip to Budapest. Here you can find her favorite cafés in Budapest.

Shopping in Budapest: a few insider tips

Our tip: Of course you will find the usual shops in Budapest that you can find in every pedestrian zone in Europe. But you don't need to go to Budapest to do this, so we'd like to show you a few alternative shopping tips for Budapest.

At Kossuth Lajos utca 14-16 you will find a small designer collective called in a back yard Paloma. In the small shops, local designers mainly sell clothes and a visit is worthwhile because of the location, which is well worth seeing.

If you're a fan of antiquarian books, then you absolutely have to Múzeum körüt run along.

This is where it joins Second-hand bookshop to the next. Almost all shops also have many German and English-language titles on offer.

This is a great clothing store with affordable designer clothing from Hungarian labels Mono fashion in the Kossuth Lajos utca 20.

You can also find many small clothing stores by local labels, as well as furniture stores in the Király utca.

Public transport in Budapest

Public transport in Budapest is very well developed. There are four subway lines, as well as trams and numerous buses.

There is a little tricky waiting for you when buying tickets: except between two underground trains, you are not allowed to change with a single ticket. For example, if you change from the bus to the subway, you either have to buy two single tickets or a so-called transfer ticket.

The following types of tickets are available in Budapest:

  • Single ticket: 350 HUF (1.20 euros)
  • Transfer ticket: 530 HUF (1.70 euros)
  • Short section metro ticket for 3 stations: 300 HUF (0.95 euros)
  • 10-ticket: 3,000 HUF (9.50 euros)
  • 24h Budapest Travelcard: 1,650 HUF (5.25 euros)
  • 24h Budapest Group Travelcard (2-5 people): 3,300 HUF (10.50 euros)
  • 72h Budapest Travelcard: 4.150 HUF (13 Euro)
  • 7 days Budapest Travelcard: 4,950 HUF (16 euros)

If you are traveling in a group of 3-5 people, this is this 24h Group Travelcard for the equivalent of 10.50 euros the cheapest option.

The 24h ticket for one person is only worth it from the fifth trip within 24 hours.

We didn't use public transport very much ourselves. In principle, almost all sights are within walking distance, at least if you like to walk.

There are ticket machines in all metro stations. In buses you can buy tickets directly from the driver. However, they are a bit more expensive and you should have the money right. Unfortunately there is not a ticket machine at every tram stop. In theory, you can buy tickets in the tram, but Budapest tram drivers are often a little reluctant to sell tickets to tourists. So if you know you want to take the tram, it is best to stock up on tickets beforehand.

Alternative: the Budapest Card

If you use public transport a lot and plan to visit different museums, then you should take a look at the Budapest Card.

With the card you can not only use buses and trains, you also get free entry to 12 museums and the St. Lukach thermal baths. You can also get discounts at many other establishments. The card is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours and you can book it online:

To the Budapest Card

How to get from the airport to the city

Unfortunately, the airport is not really well connected to the city. You can choose between public transport, taxi or a private transfer.

Budapest Airport: Transport by public transport

Option # 1: bus and train

To get to the city center from Budapest Airport, you must first by bus 200E to the Kõbánya-Kispest metro station drive. From there it goes continue with the M3which take you to the central metro stations, among other things Kálvin Tér and Deák Ferenc Tér brings.

You should plan at least an hour for the journey by bus and subway. There is a ticket office in the airport where you can buy tickets. The best thing to do is to buy a transfer ticket for 530 HUF (1.70 euros).

If you already know that you will use public transport a lot, you can of course also buy a 24-hour ticket or another time ticket. You can find more information about the different ticket types in the section above.

Unfortunately, there is often a long line at the ticket counter in the airport. Alternatively, tickets are also available at the relay kiosk next to the official ticket counter. There are only normal single tickets for 350 HUF (1.20 euros), of which you will need one for the bus and one for the metro.

The bus driver also offers single tickets for 450 HUF (1.50 euros), but you should pay for them appropriately.

Option # 2: bus

There is now also a direct bus from the airport to the city. The bus 100E departs directly from the terminal and then goes to the with only two stops Deák Ferenc Tér.Depending on the traffic, this takes between 30 and 40 minutes.

The ticket for the bus 100E costs 900 HUF (approx. 3 euros).

Budapest Airport: Transport by taxi

Taxis are of course also waiting in front of the terminal. A trip to the city center costs around 20 euros, depending on the exact destination. As always, you should make sure that the taximeter is switched on and that you do not get involved in overpriced fixed prices.

Budapest Airport: Private Transfer

The most convenient transfer is with a private driver. You will be greeted with a sign at the airport and then driven directly to your accommodation.

The private transfer costs from around 30 euros and you can book it here.

Travel vocabulary: these are the words you should know

Hungarian is considered to be one of the most difficult languages ​​in the world. The language has little relationship to any other language, except, funnily enough, Finnish.

The younger people in Budapest speak English relatively well. Most of the time, the older ones can hardly speak a word of English, so you might even be luckier with German.

Even if the language is incredibly complicated, we've learned some helpful words:

Hello - Szia (you can also say the same as goodbye)
Hello - Jo napot
Thank you - Köszönöm (short form: Köszi)
Yes - Igen
No - Nem
Cheers - Egészségedre

Our travel video from Budapest

At the end of this article, we will show you the sights of the city in our five-minute video 22 hours Budapest, give you great tips for your city trip and take you on a virtual journey to the city on the Danube.

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Do you have any tips for a city trip to Budapest?

Have you ever been to Budapest? What did you like best about the city? Do you have a great tip for us? We would be happy if you leave us a comment. Kind regards, Jenny & Basti.