3 Days in Budapest
The Hungarian capital of Budapest has fast become one of Europe’s must-see destinations. Dramatic architecture, fascinating history, vibrant ruin pubs, the glistening Danube, historic thermal baths, and a burgeoning street food and coffee scene make this one of the most enthralling cities to add to your itinerary. We’ll show you how you can make the most of 3 days in Budapest.
How to get to Budapest
There are direct and overnight train connections from several other European capitals such as Vienna, Bratislava, Prague, Warsaw, and easy connections to the Balkans.
3 days in Budapest itinerary
9.30 a.m. | My Little Melbourne
Kick-start your day with a coffee from one of Budapest’s popular coffee shops. My Little Melbourne is central and serves up one of the best coffees in the city.
Insider tip: Embrace the Australian vibes and order a flat white.
How to get there: Take the Number 9 bus, metro, or tram to Deák Ferenc tér and walk to Madách Imre street.
10.30 a.m. | Dohány Street Synagogue
The Dohány Street Synagogue is just a short walk away. It’s the largest synagogue in Europe, has a beautiful interior, and a fascinating, somber history.
Insider tip: Don’t miss the Jewish Cemetery located adjacent to the synagogue. It’s a stark reminder of what the Jewish population of Budapest went through in the mid-1940s.
How to get there: Walk back towards the main street of Károly and turn left – the synagogue is 200 yards away on your left.
12 p.m. | Lunch at Great Market Hall
Fill up on traditional lángos and a selection of Hungarian delicacies at the iconic Great Market Hall – the biggest market hall in the city.
Insider tip: Don’t be tempted by the toppings. Order your lángos the traditional way – plain, or with a light topping of cheese and sour cream.
How to get there: Take the Number 47 or 49 tram from Astoria and get off at Városház, or walk 15 minutes along Kálvin street.
2 p.m. | Climb Gellért Hill to the Citadel
The views from Gellért Hill and the Citadel are some of the best in the city. It’s a brief, steep walk that’s worth all the effort.
Insider tip: Check out the various viewpoints on the way up, but keep walking all the way to the top for the best views and access to the Citadel.
How to get there: Gellért Hill is just across the Danube from the Market Hall. Walk Szabadság bridge and you’ll see it ahead of you on the right.
6 p.m. | Sunset drinks at 360 Bar
Treat yourself to sunset drinks at one of Budapest’s famous rooftop bars, Liebling Bar. It’s the perfect place to wind down your first day in Budapest.
Insider tip: Some rooftop bars are seasonal and only suitable when the weather is good.
How to get there: Retrace your steps to Astoria station. Walk along Wesselényi for five blocks and turn left onto Akácfa street.
8 a.m. | The Chain Bridge and Buda Castle
Start your morning at the Chain Bridge and soak up the amazing views of the Danube. Cross the bridge and take the funicular or walk the pathway up to the Castle District. You can spend an entire morning exploring the cobbled streets, Hungarian National Gallery or Budapest History Museum. Take in the best views of Budapest from the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Insider tip: There’s a fascinating labyrinth of tunnels beneath the castle, which you can explore on a tour of the Hospital in the Rock museum.
How to get there: The biggest station close to the Chain Bridge is on Deák Ferenc, just a short walk away on the Pest side.
11.30 a.m. | Devour traditional pastries at Ruszwurm
Ruszwurm is Budapest’s oldest pastry maker, and they’ve been serving some of the city’s best strudels and scones since 1827 – perfect for a late-morning snack.
Insider tip: If you have a sweet tooth, the mille feuille, or vanilla slice, is among the best available in the city.
How to get there: Look for the Matthias Church in the Castle District and walk down Szentháromság street.
1 p.m. | Walk the Danube
The Danube is stunning and unmissable. Walk north along either side of the banks to Margaret Island – the perfect place to relax until the early evening.
Insider tip: Keep an eye out for the famous Hungarian Parliament building as well as the subtle but powerful Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial alongside it.
How to get there: Simply follow the paths down the hill towards the river and walk north along the banks of the Danube.
6 p.m. | Dinner at Bors
Bors GasztroBar offers cheap and tasty soups and sandwiches that change daily. It’s a great place to start a night on the town.
Insider tip: Go with the sandwich and soup combo or “menu” – it’s incredibly tasty and the best value for your money.
How to get there: Bors is on Kazinczy street and the nearest station is Astoria, which is serviced by several trams, buses and the metro.
9 p.m. | Take a (ruin) pub crawl
Round up your second of 3 days in Budapest with a visit to the ruin pubs – the ultimate setting to soak up the city’s nightlife. There are several worth trying, but Szimpla Kert is a crowd favorite.
Insider tip: Don’t spend the whole night in one spot. There are dozens of great bars and restaurants to explore on and around Kazinczy Street.
How to get there: Szimpla Kert is just a few doors down from Bors.
9 a.m. | St. Stephen’s Basilica
Visit St Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest and the highest building in the city.
Insider tip: Walk up to the top of the dome for spectacular views of the city.
How to get there: Take the metro to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, or one of several buses that stop directly outside the church.
11 a.m. | Walk Andrássy Avenue to the House of Terror and Heroes’ Square
Andrássy Avenue is a world heritage site, and a walk down it is an enthralling activity. Keep going until you reach the dramatic Heroes’ Square, and stop in at the House of Terror along the way.
Insider tip: There are two notable museums located at Heroes’ Square – the Kunsthalle and Museum of Fine Arts (reopening in 2018).
2 p.m. | Take to the baths
Budapest’s thermal baths are the ultimate places to relax and unwind. There are several in the city but the most famous, Széchenyi Bath, is still one of the best.
Insider tip: For an altogether different experience, visit the baths in the evening. They typically close at 10 p.m., and there are regular pool parties in summer months.
How to get there: Széchenyi Bath is located just behind Heroes’ Square.
6 p.m. | Cruise the Danube
If time – and budget – allows, there are few better ways to wrap up your Budapest itinerary than with a dinner cruise on the Danube.
Insider tip: Want a more cost-effective alternative to a dinner cruise? During summer months there are pop-up outdoor bars along the Danube, including a bustling spot next to the Chain Bridge.
Budapest is undoubtedly Europe’s city of the moment. Whether you have 3 days in Budapest, one week, or one month, it will leave you captivated and wanting more. Its easy accessibility from several major European cities also makes it a convenient stop for Eurail Global Pass travelers.