Who has never wanted to discover Budapest, one of the most lively and dynamic European capitals? As the gateway to Eastern Europe, Budapest is not that far from Paris and promises to be a weekend, if not more, that you won’t soon forget!
Between culinary and artistic discoveries, sumptuous monuments, baths and spas at every corner and a rather crazy nightlife, you can be sure to have a great time. Want to learn more? We tell you everything you need to know about it in our guide to Budapest!
> Why you should visit Budapest
> When should you go to Budapest?
> Find a plane ticket to Budapest at the best price
> Where to sleep in Budapest?
> How to get around in Budapest?
> Prepare your stay in Budapest: what are the main activities?
> What are the best restaurants in Budapest?
> Where to go out in Budapest?
> Budget your trip to Budapest
> Practical information for your stay in Hungary
> What else should you see in Hungary?
Why you should visit Budapest
City of 1.8 million inhabitants (approximately), Budapest is the Hungarian capital. The city has the particularity of being cut in two by the Danube, with on one side, the district of Buda and the other, the one of Pest. Particularly well located this capital has everything to please you.
It is only a few hours flight from Paris, Prague or Amsterdam and allows you to fully enjoy a weekend away or a few days of vacation, in the green… Without getting broke. Indeed, the exchange rate between euros and guilders is quite good!
Finally, in addition to the numerous cultural activities to be carried out on the spot, the Hungarian capital can capitalize on its thermal springs, its spas and baths. Perfect for tourists to enjoy some me time, relaxation and rest. In short, going to Hungary means discovering another way of life, without having to travel far.
When should you visit Budapest ?
Budapest is a central European city. Therefore, the climate in Budapest can be quite temperamental, especially in winter. Unless you like snow, cold weather and Christmas markets, we recommend you to put aside the period from December to February. The months of March, October and November could be a good time to visit, although you should expect some wind and rain.
Of course, the best time to visit Budapest is from April to September. In the summer, temperatures are very pleasant (around 28-30 degrees on average), everyone goes out and enjoys the sun and the slightly longer nights. What to have a glimpse of life as it really is when the beautiful days point the tip of their nose.
How to find a cheap plane ticket to Budapest ?
Are you planning to travel to Budapest? Unfortunately, you don’t really know how to go about finding a round trip ticket at the best price? In the end, whether you are traveling from Tallinn, Ljubljana or elsewhere, the important thing is to start your search as soon as possible.
If your departure point is in Europe, the flight will most often be considered a medium-haul flight. We recommend that you start your search one to two months before you leave to get the best fares.
Depending on the airline you choose, you can fly to Hungary for a total of 120 – 150 euros round trip, or even less in some cases! Indeed, Ryanair or Wizz Air, low cost companies offer really good prices (at least on paper).
Find a great accomodation in Budapest
Are you looking for a place to stay in Budapest? The Hungarian capital has many accommodation solutions. Don’t worry, finding a quality place to stay for 2, 3 nights or more is not a problem at all!
Are you looking for a good hotel in Budapest? In Budapest, you will find absolutely everything. Indeed, the city offers a wide range of accommodations and lodgings in order to attract visitors from all over the world. The mid-range and high-end hotels are always very well kept, with a service close to perfection.
In most establishments, breakfast is included in the initial rate, although this must be confirmed in advance. Among some of the recommended establishments, do not hesitate to take a look at The Three Corners and the D8 Hotel.
You are a backpacker, you travel alone with your backpack and want to save on accommodation? Then a youth hostel is the best solution for you. In the very heart of Europe, Budapest accompanies people in your situation.
Indeed, the city is a crossroads and many travelers go there whenever they have the opportunity, whether it is for one or two days, or even a little more. The youth hostels meet the standards that can be expected of them, no more and no less. Among those we recommend, discover the Lazy Muggle and the Big Fish Hostel.
A last solution is to opt for AirBnB. This is an option to consider, especially if you are a couple or a group and want to have access to accommodation without losing your independence.
Hotel rooms can be quite cramped for some. An AirBnB apartment in Budapest will cost a little more than a room in a hotel, but will allow you to continue living as if nothing had happened!
How to go around Budapest ?
To get around Budapest, nothing could be easier. Indeed, the Hungarian capital is well covered by 4 metro lines (and about 50 stations).
These lines are operational every day, from 4:30 am to 11:00 pm. In addition, there are more than 40 streetcar lines and many more buses that allow you to easily connect from a point A to your point B.
What about fares? A day pass, to go anywhere, costs 3.9€. Count 9.7€ for a 3 days pass. Quite cheap then, especially considering the efficiency and cleanliness of the various public transport systems.
Prepare your trip to Budapest : find about the must-sees
But, what is there to do once you’re there? Don’t worry, Budapest has a lot to offer… In short, you won’t be bored. We suggest you to discover our selection of the 5 main activities to do in the Hungarian capital. A selection far, very far from being exhaustive!
The Hungarian Parliament building is the most famous building in Budapest. Built in the neo-gothic style, it houses hundreds of offices of parliamentarians and other elected officials. It is possible to visit it during a guided tour! A pretty crazy place, which is the main attraction of this trip.
The Széchenyi baths
Do you want to relax? Go to the Széchenyi baths. These baths are the largest in Central Europe. You will find an open-air pool, an effervescent pool, a Finnish sauna and a whole series of other saunas and plunge pools with water temperatures ranging from just a few degrees to over 30 – 35!
Margaret Island is a 2.5 km long island in the middle of the Danube, covered with greenery, parks and other recreational facilities. Here you can rent small pedal carts, golf carts and a whole range of funny vehicles to get around. The perfect place to get some fresh air and nature away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
The house of terror
The House of Terror presents exhibitions about the fascist and communist regimes that took place in Hungary during the 20th century.
The building itself was the former headquarters of the local fascist party, before it was used as a prison and torture facility by the Hungarian state security services.
To add to the horror, you will have the opportunity to discover the basement, which was used as a prison for some inmates. It will give you a chill…
The bastion of the fishermen
You will have the impression, when you arrive, to see a medieval monument. But no! The Fishermen’s Bastion was built at the very beginning of the 20th century in order to offer an incredible point of view on Margaret Island, Pest and, naturally, the Danube which is omnipresent. Very symbolically, the seven towers of the bastion represent the seven Magyar tribes that helped settle and sustain this people in the Carpathian basin.
What are the best restaurants in Budapest ?
But where to eat? A quite legitimate question. Indeed, Budapest and Hungary are known for their hearty dishes, especially the goulash! If you want to try the typical dishes, do not hesitate to visit our article dedicated to the best restaurants in Budapest.
You will find a selection of the best restaurants in the city to have lunch or dinner at the best price. High quality dishes. Special mention to two restaurants, the Retek Bistro and the Borze!
What are the best places to go out in Budapest ?
The Hungarian capital is known to be one of the most festive city in Europe. Indeed, you will find there, many pubs.. All of them more surprising than the others. The city is also known for its ruin bars. It is about place of appearance rather “dirty” and “dilapidated”.
However, once inside, the work of dismantling and decoration carried out is to be underlined. Many places are very surprising. Each pub has its own style, its own atmosphere. Among the most famous? Szimpla Kert, Fogas Ház and Kuplung. You can learn more about this in our article about the 10 best bars in Budapest!
Budget your trip to Budapest
When budgeting for a trip to Budapest, it is important to consider the costs of accommodation, food and transportation. While hotel prices can vary greatly depending on the time of year and location, budget options are available throughout the city.
Many restaurants offer reasonably priced meals and public transportation is relatively affordable. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to have a rough estimate of expenses before embarking on a trip to Budapest. For those who want to stick to a budget, plan on spending around 80-100 euros per day to cover food, transportation and accommodation.
Of course, this amount can fluctuate depending on spending habits and the type of activities planned. But with a little planning, a trip to Budapest on a budget is quite possible.
Practical information regarding your stay in Hungary
Before you leave for the Hungarian capital, keep in mind that anything can happen. This practical and essential information will be a real help in case of need!
Is Budapest a dangerous city ?
Absolutely not! Budapest is considered by many rankings to be one of the safest cities in the world to travel to. It regularly appears in the top 10.
Of course, pay special attention to your belongings on public transport or when you go out at night and everything should be fine.
Finally, be careful if you go to one of the many brothels in Budapest or a strip club. In some cases, the situation can get quite heated.
What are the spoken languages in Budapest ?
In Budapest, the official language is Hungarian. It is a complex language to master. On the other hand, the city is very touristic, young and dynamic. Many people speak English, whether in small shops, restaurants or bars. In fact, if you are at ease with this language, you will have no problem making yourself understood.
What should you do in case of an emergency ?
In case of emergency, here are the numbers to call:
- Fire department: 105 ;
- Police: 107 ;
- Emergencies (ambulance etc…): 112 (European number).
If you plan to visit or call the American representation in Budapest, here is the address of the Embassy: Szabadság tér 12, 1054.
The British one is located at Füge u. 5-7, 1022, while the canadian one is at Ganz u. 16 and the indian one is at Búzavirág u. 14, 1025.
What else can you do in Hungary ?
Hungary is not only Budapest. Indeed, the country has a lot to offer. Cities like Debrecen or Heviz come to mind. You can also take the opportunity to go to Lake Balaton!
For nature lovers, the Hortobágy National Park is an excellent option. Finally, why not take the opportunity to visit Hungary’s wine country, following the wine route to Tokaj?
Frequently asked questions
What is Budapest known for ?
Budapest is known for its incredible Parliament, its bridges, the Danube and the many places to visit... But also for its dynamic nightlife!
How much does it cost to visit Budapest ?
Depending on your lifestyle, your stay will be more or less expensive. If you choose a cheap hotel, typical restaurants at a good price, day passes and limited outings, you can get by for 80 or even less per day.
When is the best time to visit Budapest ?
The period from April to September is the mildest and most pleasant time to discover the Hungarian capital!