4 Days Itinerary to Visit Budapest
Taking advantage of the holidays or a few days off to visit Budapest and its surroundings is a very (very) good idea. With its 1,700,000 inhabitants, Budapest lives up to its nickname of “the pearl of the Danube”.
Budapest, the capital and largest city of Hungary. With a population of nearly 2 million, it is also the 6th largest city in the European Union. It has many attractions such as museums, cathedrals and historical buildings that are worth visiting.
The Hungarian capital offers its visitors an endless spectacle of extreme beauty. There are so many sites to visit, and things to see that you need a good organization to be able to take full advantage of them. To help you organize your visits, I have also prepared itineraries of visiting Budapest for 4 days. At the end of the article, you will also find our selection of the best accommodations according to your budget.
Day 1: Visit Budapest in 4 days
This first day in Budapest will be smooth. A little morning grace and a good breakfast to get in shape, and we begin the visit.
Built between the 13th and 15th fifteenth centuries, this church, also called Matthias Church, is the most famous place of worship in Budapest and throughout Hungary. Its Neo-Gothic architecture makes it a monument of rare elegance, emblem of the whole Hungarian nation, it symbolizes the cultural richness of the country. In addition to the beauty it shows, the Mathias Church also represents a fairly important historical relic for Hungarians. It was the place for princely weddings and royal coronations.
To this day, you can visit the tombs of Béla III and his wife Agnes of Antioch. Classical music concerts are often organized there where the best artists in Europe come to perform. It is therefore a real Hungarian cultural heritage.
The Sinners’ Bastion is a memorial to the courage of the seven tribes that founded Hungary. Completed in 1902, it houses an equestrian statue of King Etienne the First. From the bastion of sinners, you can contemplate the Parliament of Budapest, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.
Budapest History Museum
This is the best place to learn about the history of the city of Budapest. Located in Buda Castle, the museum traces the history of the city from the Middle Ages to the present day. It has a large collection of arts and crafts spread over four floors.
The particularity of the Budapest History Museum lies in its basement. There are galleries dating from the Second World War. A rather special atmosphere that allows you to immerse yourself in the daily realities of the time.
After visiting the museum, it is possible to take a walk through the castle quarters. At the end of the day, the best activities to do are:
- The dip at the Gellert baths;
- La visite du pont Elizabeth;
- A dinner on the banks of the Danube.
Day 2: Explore Budapest
The second day in Budapest should be as exciting as the first. It is therefore necessary to take advantage of the enthusiasm that the city provides to do as much activity as possible.
It is a relatively imposing building, inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century, after more than 17 years of work. The building organized around a central dome is the work of the Hungarian architect Imre Stein dl.
It measures approximately 18,000 m² and, like most buildings in the city, reproduces a neo-Gothic style, a sign of the architectural influence of the time. The building itself is inspired by the British Palace of Westminster. It has 700 rooms, 29 staircases, 10 interior courtyards, and 250 sculptures.
Its dome is 96 m high, making it the tallest building in Budapest.
Gresham Palace (Hungarian: Gresham-palota)
Located in the fifth district of Budapest, the former home of the Nakos is a magnificent building housing the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel.
Throughout its history, this palace served first as an office and then as accommodation for senior officials. Throughout its history, this palace has served in turn as an office and then as accommodation for senior officials. It is a very elegant building built in a neoclassical style. To settle down and regain some strength, the historic district of Belvaros offers good restaurants with atypical menus.
A short stroll around Andrassy and the Opera district will start the day off in the best possible way. Then, you should then visit:
House of Terror
This is the most morbid place in the whole Hungarian capital. It traces all the atrocities caused by Fascism and Nazism between 1944 and 1956.
Located in the sixth district of the city, the house of terror in Budapest occupies the former headquarters of the paramilitary organization the Arrow Cross.
It is one of the most important and most visited places in the city. The museum is part of an architectural complex formed by Heroes’ Square and the Mücsarnok Gallery. Built by the architects Fûlop herzog and Albert Schickedanz, the building is a perfect illustration of the elegance of neoclassical architecture. Inside, there are works by great artists such as Pablo Picasso, Tiepolo, El Greco and Cézanne. There are also objects from Egypt, Greece or Rome.
If you plan your visits well for this day, it will be possible to take a short walk in the Bois-de-la-Ville, to enjoy the greenery and the magnificent flora that Budapest has to offer. At the end of the day, a little relaxation session at the Széchenyi baths will end this third day of visiting Budapest in style.
On the fourth day, no need to take the lead in establishing a busy program. This is the time to visit two or three cultural monuments that are the pride of the city.
The University Church
Located on University Square, near Vaci Street, the University Church displays Baroque architecture. It was built between 1723 and 1770. It was not until 1786 that it was attached to the University of Budapest.
The Synagogue and the Jewish Quarter of Budapest
The Budapest Synagogue is located in the 7th district. It was built between 1854 and 1859 and displays a Moorish style. Along with the Paris Synagogue and the Spanish Synagogue, the Budapest Synagogue is one of the few in the world to house an organ.
The building often came under attack from the Arrow Cross organization and the Nazis. It was also used during World War II as a base for German radio. It is therefore a building with great historical value.
It is also possible to take a short walk to the central covered market and then to the Kerepesi cemetery before ending with a Jazz dinner in Jozefvaros.
If you have time, the following places are also worth visiting:
- St. Stephen’s Basilica;
- The Chain Bridge;
- The Music History Museum;
- The loop of the Danube.
Accommodation in Budapest
Here are my recommendations for accommodation in Budapest. With this list, you can’t go wrong, while keeping a good value for money:
- Maverick Hostel & Ensuites : In an old royal building, this accommodation is simply stunning. The interior is splendid. They have as many private rooms as dormitories for a lighter budget. The welcome is always pleasant. I advise you to book here. I really liked the service, and the atmosphere.
- Maverick City Lodge : by the same owner, but still above standard, but a bit more expensive too. More luxurious. According to your budget.
- Wombats CITY Hostel Budapest : for smaller budgets, this huge establishment takes place in a former hospital. Modern and above all very clean. But more “industrial” given its gigantic size. That said, the breakfast is good, everything is great, there are good services, it’s perfect for the price paid!
- St. King by Hi5 Apartments is an apartment close to the center
- Roombach Hotel Budapest Center, a modern hotel in the center of Pest
- Hotel Moments Budapest, this 4-star hotel located in the city center offers superb rooms
- To reach the city center from the airport, take the 200E bus at terminal 2. Then at its terminus continue with the blue metro “M3” to the “Ferenciek tere” stop for example, since it is central. Buy 2 tickets at the airport! For around 2€50.
- The currency is in Forint, abbreviated HUF. 1€ is about 312 HUF.
- Regarding tips, check the bill at the restaurant to find out if the service is included or not. Often between 10 and 15% of the note. If it is not understood, it will have to be paid.
- The electrical outlets are the same as in France.
How to reach Budapest from the airport
Budapest airport is called Ferenc Liszt, it is located about 25 km from the city center. To reach the city center, several choices are available to you: public transport, taxis, train.
- Click here to enlarge the GoogleMap: Reach downtown Budapest from BUD airport.
It takes 3€ to get to Budapest, for that do some change in the airport (10€ no more, the exchange rates are prohibitive within the airport).
You will need to take 2 tickets per person (1 for the bus and another for the metro): to do this, go to a BKV counter in the airport. Exit the terminal and take line 200E then stop at the Kőbánya-Kispest terminus (approximately 30 min journey) on line 3 of the metro. Practical and inexpensive (€1.20 per ticket).
- Transport cards
Good to know: if you are staying more than 2 days in Budapest and you plan to travel using public transport, cards exist and allow you to save money and enjoy unlimited facilities:
- card valid for 24 hours (Napijegy): 1,650 Ft or around €5.30,
- card valid for 72 hours (Turistajegy): 4,150 Ft or €13.40
- card valid for 7 days (Hetijegy): 4,950 Ft or approximately €15.95.
- the taxis
For a few years Budapest airport has been in partnership with a taxi company “FőTaxi”, the journey will cost you around 7000 forint. I advise you not to take taxis from another company because they turn out to be greedy for the service! In short count 20€.
- The train
From terminal 1 you access the train that will take you to Nyuati station (300 forint 1.50€), the journey takes less than 30 minutes. Arriving at this station you will find all the necessary amenities for your travels (bus, metro, tram).
- A point on the metro
Budapest has an efficient, inexpensive and fairly fast public transport network. There are 4 metro lines. See on GoogleMap (you can’t see the yellow line very well).
Please note line 4 is not yet finalized…
The public transport network operates from 4:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., but you should be aware that each transport has its own timetable.
- Public transport is free, upon presentation of an identity document, for EU nationals aged over 65
History of Budapest
Budapest is the largest city and the capital of Hungary, it has 1,700,000 inhabitants. Called “the pearl of the Danube” (and yes, the Danube also crosses this city!), it attracts more than 4 million visitors each year. In 1790, German became the official language of the country, but today it is Hungarian which is the official language, although German remains quite widespread.
Many monuments and sites are classified as World Heritage by Unesco, which makes it one of the most attractive capitals of Europe for its architecture: one can in particular stroll in the district of the castle of Buda, go to the avenue Andrassy and take the Millennium Metro.
Budapest takes its name from 3 cities: Obuda, Buda and Pest. These 3 cities, located on a major commercial axis, experienced very significant growth during the 18th and 19th centuries. The royal Hungarian government took the decision in 1873 to bring them together to form the majestic city that is Budapest today!
Here is a map of Budapest with its famous bridges. Click here to visualize the bridges of Budapest on GoogleMap.
The Sziget Festival
Every year, in mid-August, from August 5 to 12 (check anyway, dates valid for 2020), the largest music festival in Europe, the Sziget Festival, takes place in Budapest.
Well this is where our visit to Budapest ends, do not hesitate to leave a comment and share your good addresses!