What To See in Budapest in 3 Days (Plus a Bonus Day) & Travel Tips (2022)

What To See in Budapest in 3 Days (Plus a Bonus Day) & Travel Tips (2022)

Show Video

From dramatic recent history and insanely diverse architecture to a unique spa culture and fascinating dining and nightlife scenes, Budapest is a city that has something for everyone. If your vacation time is limited, in this video we’re showing you what to see in Budapest in 3 days, alongside our suggestions for those who have an extra day to spare.  <intro music> <airplane engine sound> Welcome to Budapest, the beautiful capital city of Hungary.

Budapest as we know it today was born in 1873 when two, no, three formerly separate towns, Buda, Pest and Obuda were unified. The central part of Budapest is built along both banks of the Danube River   and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   Budapest is an exciting place to visit because it has the oldest metro system in continental Europe,   the second-largest Synagogue in the world and the third-largest Parliament building in the world.  <music> There’s no better way to spend your first day in Budapest than to explore the charms of Buda,   the historic capital of the kingdom of Hungary. Buda is dominated by the imposing Castle Hill.

The best way to get there is the historic funicular, which is situated a   stone’s throw from the famous Chain Bridge. Inaugurated in 1870, the funicular was destroyed in the Second World War and it started operating again in 1986. The Buda Castle Funicular is a fast and fun way to climb Castle Hill   but also a sight to behold from the two footbridges that cross above it. 

<music> Castle Hill is home to some of the best things to see in Budapest. The Buda Castle complex is a symbol of the city and one of Budapest’s must-see attractions. Throughout history, Buda Castle has changed hands and looks many times. Nowadays, the castle’s various buildings house several sites, such as the History Museum, the National Gallery and the Presidential Palace. <music> However, the most recognisable attraction on Castle Hill   is no other than the dreamy Fisherman’s Bastion, probably the most iconic place to visit in Budapest.

We are now standing at Fisherman’s Bastion, one of the most famous attractions in Budapest and one of the city’s best viewpoints. It is a bit windy and cloudy today but still, it is a fantastic place to be.  <music> The Fisherman’s Bastion got its name from an old riverside settlement   named Fishtown or Watertown.

The monument’s seven stone towers represent the leaders of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in 895. Apart from their gorgeous Neo-Romanesque architecture, the terraces of the Fisherman’s Bastion are renowned for the stunning views they offer to the Danube River and the entire city beyond. Some of the terraces are free to visit but you have to pay a small fee to access the entire complex. <music> Another notable thing to see on Castle Hill is the beautiful Matthias Church.  

A few steps from the Fisherman’s Bastion, this Gothic-style masterpiece dominates the spacious Holy Trinity Square. One of the best ways to appreciate the magic of Matthias Church is to attend a classical music concert in its gorgeous interior. <music> A five-minute walk from Matthias Church, the 600-year-old Buda Tower stands in all its glory. The bell tower of The Church of Mary Magdalene of Buda, one of the city’s oldest churches, survived every siege the city has seen and now offers spectacular panoramic views of Budapest. Apart from Castle Hill’s main attractions, though, one of the best things to do in Budapest is to take your time and stroll around picturesque Buda. You will be amazed by the spring-flowering trees and the charming buildings,   many of which are listed as national monuments of great historical significance.  

You can even try the favourite dessert of Empress Elizabeth of Austria,   the Hungarian people’s beloved Princess Sissi,  who loved the city of Budapest with all her might.  <music> Before you leave Castle Hill behind, it’s worth visiting the fascinating Hospital in the Rock,   a nuclear bunker museum that allows you   to walk the underground tunnels dug in the depths of Castle Hill.  <music> This side of the Danube River has more in store for you if you have the time and   energy to continue exploring.

Roughly situated between Elisabeth Bridge and Liberty Bridge, Gellert Hill is worth a visit for its stunning views of the city. Named after St. Gerard, the first bishop of Hungary, who was thrown to his death from atop that very hill, Gellert Hill is home to Rudas and Gellert, two of the city’s best thermal baths, an impressive cave church, and of course the iconic Citadella, Budapest’s hilltop fortress. When we filmed this video in April 2022, the Citadella was closed to the public but it’s scheduled to reopen sometime in 2023. <music> If you ask ten different people what to see in Budapest, they will most likely all respond the same: The Hungarian Parliament Building.

And this is how you should start day two on your 3-day Budapest itinerary, by visiting the city’s  top attraction on the Pest side of Budapest. One of the top places to visit in Budapest is the Hungarian Parliament building.   It is built in neo-gothic style and it opened in 1902.   Ever since it was completed it has been the largest building in the entire country. 

<music> This neo-gothic wonder is utterly impressive when you look at it from the outside   but nothing can prepare you for its magnificent interior.   You can visit the Hungarian Parliament Building on a guided tour only which you should book way in advance to make sure that you find tickets for your preferred time and language.  <music> After you visit the Hungarian Parliament Building,   your next stop is the Great Market Hall of Budapest. However, before you get there, you’ll enjoy one of the quaintest riverside walks you could ever dream of.

During this walk, apart from splendid views of the Danube River and Buda, you will have the chance to admire some of the many bronze statues that are scattered across the city. The most striking and emotional of all of Budapest’s bronze monuments is the Shoes on The Danube Bank, a memorial to the Jews that were killed during the Second World War by the fascist Arrow Cross Party. <music> Another known bronze statue that you’ll come across during your walk is the Little Princess Statue.

An alternative way to take in the charm of the East bank of the Danube River is to ride the scenic tram number 2. <music> The Great Market Hall of Budapest is the best place to grab a late lunch   before you resume your walk around the Hungarian capital. Also called the Central Market Hall, the oldest indoor market in Budapest was built in 1897. At the market, you can buy various souvenirs, but there’s one in particular that you shouldn’t miss.  

That’s no other than paprika, the quintessentially Hungarian spice.   The ultimate symbol of Hungarian cuisine, paprika  comes in various types, such as sweet,   hot and smoked, and it’s the best gift to bring back home from your trip to Budapest.  <music> Your next stop is one of the city’s most fascinating areas, the vibrant Jewish Quarter.   Inhabited by the first Jews since the 18th century,   the Jewish Quarter thrived in the centuries that followed   until the combined efforts of Nazis and Hungarian fascists turned it into a ghetto in 1944.  Nowadays, the Jewish Quarter is probably the most captivating neighbourhood in Budapest   as it combines its rich heritage with an emerging dining scene and vibrant nightlife.  

There are three synagogues in the Jewish Quarter,   among which the Dohany Street Synagogue stands out as being the largest synagogue in Europe. <music> Apart from its historic value, the Jewish Quarter is the best place in Budapest to taste ethnic   cuisines, hang out at laid-back food courts or party at the famous ruin pubs. Housed in abandoned pre-war buildings, ruin pubs started as casual hangouts for cheap drinks. A favourite among tourists and locals alike, Szimpla Kert was the first ruin bar to open in Budapest in 2002.  <music> Cheers from Budapest! <music> The third-largest church in Hungary is where  you’ll be starting your third day in Budapest.  

Apart from marvelling at its beautiful interior, a visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica will grant you   access to the highest viewpoint in Pest for a jaw-dropping panorama of the entire city.  <music> After you visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, it’s time to enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate   at the most relaxing cafe in the city. <music> If you manage to resist the urge to stay in the cat cafe forever, get ready to ride   the oldest metro in continental Europe, and more specifically, the iconic metro line 1.  

Completed in 1896 and in constant operation ever since, Metro Line 1 or M1 is the oldest metro line in mainland Europe and locals call it the small underground. The tiled stations and yellow train carriages of Budapest’s Line 1 have an old-fashioned charm that’s hard to put into words.   Metro Line 1 runs just one metre below the elegant Andrassy Avenue. 

<music> The metro will take you to the City Park, the largest park in Budapest. The main entrance to the park is at Heroes Square. There, you will see the iconic Millenium Monument, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Right on the square, you can also find the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art.

The City Park is one of the best places in Budapest to enjoy a relaxing stroll. It’s home to a quaint lake and a fairytale-like castle that’s impossible to pronounce, while it’s dotted with many bronze statues, like the rest of the city.  <music> Part of the City Park is also the Szechenyi Baths complex, one of the best spas in Budapest.  One of the main reasons to visit Budapest is to enjoy a day at the city’s thermal baths.  

Budapest is one of only three capital cities in the world that have natural thermal springs.   The other two are Reykiavik in Iceland and Sofia in Bulgaria.   We are now standing outside the Szechenyi Baths which are the most popular and famous in the city.   However, there are many others to choose from.  <music> The spa culture of Budapest is intertwined with the very essence of the city.   This is why you should definitely add a visit to at least one of the city’s spas   to your Budapest itinerary.

To help you decide which spa to choose, we have created a video about the three most famous thermal baths in Budapest: the Szechenyi, Gellert and Rudas Baths. <music> For your walk back to the city centre, we suggest strolling along the magnificent Andrassy Avenue.   Named after a former Hungarian Prime Minister,   Andrassy Avenue is lined with gorgeous Neo-Renaissance mansions   that house high-end shops, restaurants, museums, embassies and theatres. 

<music> There are several places to visit along or near Andrassy Avenue,   depending on your interests. You can visit the restored Opera House on a guided tour or watch a performance there. If you’re into recent history, the House of Terror Museum awaits. If you love photography as much as we do, these two places   host amazing temporary exhibitions you shouldn’t miss: The Hungarian House of Photography, which is housed in a beautiful mansion, and the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center.

<music> Once back in downtown Budapest, end your day in style with a scenic cruise along the Danube River, one of the best ways to take in the city’s unique charm. River cruises in Budapest run all day long. Most of them are sightseeing cruises that offer welcome drinks and refreshments but there are also evening cruises that feature a full-course dinner in the most romantic setting. If you ask us, the best time to enjoy a river cruise along the Danube is sunset. It is then that the waters of the Danube and the buildings that adorn its banks are dyed in all hues of pink and orange.

You can book the same Danube cruise we enjoyed by clicking on the link in the description below.  <music> Although this video is here to show you what to see in Budapest in 3 days, we thought that some of you may have an extra day to spare. If you do, the best place to start exploring is Margaret Island.

<music> Margaret Island is a beautiful green space in the heart of Budapest. It is a 2.5 km long island on the Danube river and it is one of the best places to enjoy a sunny or even a cloudy day. You can spend as much time as you like on Margaret Island because there are many things to do here.   There are parks, gardens, thermal baths and even a swimming pool. 

<music> On Margaret Island, you can also rent a bicycle, wander around enchanting   ruins or laze by the river. A short bus ride further north lies the archaeological site of Aquincum. Did you know that during your stay in Budapest you can visit the Ancient Roman city of Aquincum? This Ancient Roman city was part of the Roman Empire and, as such, it enjoyed all the achievements of the Empire, such as   central heating at the houses and public baths. <music> Aquincum was the capital of Pannonia Inferior, a Roman province that included parts of present-day’s Hungary, Serbia,   and Croatia among others. By the end of the 2nd century, Aquincum had more than 30,000 inhabitants settled in the modern-day district of Obuda in northern Budapest. Wandering around the ruins of Aquincum is a great way to get a glimpse of the Ancient Roman lifestyle.

<music> The best way to spend the remainder of your day is to catch the H5 train to Szentendre,   a picturesque riverside town north of Budapest. Once you get off the train, don’t be discouraged by the somewhat bleak train station. The magic awaits in the Old Town. A popular day trip from Budapest, Szentendre is a charming town with beautiful architecture, quaint cafes and countless opportunities for riverside walks or picnics.

There are several churches, museums and art galleries to visit but we can’t blame you if all you want to do in this postcard-perfect town is to stroll around, taking in the beauty at every turn. A short uphill walk to Saint John the Baptist's Parish Church will reward you with splendid views of the town’s red-tiled rooftops. Your train ride back to Budapest takes 40 minutes   and trains between Szentendre and the Hungarian capital are very frequent. 

<music> Budapest Airport is just over 20 km from downtown Budapest. The most affordable way to get from the airport to the city centre is the bus. Line number 100E is a direct airport bus that runs every 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can book an airport transfer in advance. <music> Budapest is a relatively compact city. It’s very easy to get around by combining walking and public transport.  

As mentioned above, you shouldn’t miss a ride on the historic metro line 1, but also on the scenic tram line 2. Buses are also a fast and easy way to get around the various parts of the city. <music> Divided by the Danube River, Budapest is split between Buda on the river’s west bank and Pest on the east bank.

You can get from Buda to Pest and vice versa via the city’s iconic bridges. The most famous among them is Chain Bridge, which is the Hungarian capital’s first bridge,   connecting Buda to Pest since 1849. At the time of filming this video, Chain Bridge was closed for restoration works but it’s scheduled to reopen sometime in 2023.

Other notable bridges include the gorgeous Liberty Bridge, Elisabeth Bridge, and Margaret Bridge. All of these bridges have lanes for pedestrians but you can also cross them by car or public transport. <music> If you’re planning a trip to Budapest, consider buying the official Budapest Card.   This value-for-money multi-day city card offers unlimited access to the city’s   public transport for free, discounted or free entrance to several museums, spas,   and other attractions, free walking tours of Pest and Buda, discounted river cruises and a lot more.   During our recent trip to Budapest, we enjoyed all the benefits of the 5-day Budapest Card,   especially the ease to use public transport as often as we wanted, and we can’t recommend it enough.

You can purchase your Budapest Card by clicking on the link in the description below.  <music> Budapest has a superb dining scene that features cuisines from all over the world.   During our trip to Budapest, we tasted exquisite food, from Hungarian and Thai to Middle Eastern   and Mediterranean. What we loved about eating in Budapest the most is that there are several vegetarian and vegan restaurants, bakeries and cafes scattered across the city. One of the things you must eat in Budapest is the scrumptious langos, a miracle made of deep-fried dough and topped with sour cream, cheese and anything else you can imagine.

For your sweet tooth, don’t miss the iconic chimney cake and the freshly made strudel. A stop at Gelarto Rosa is also a must when in Budapest. Homemade lemonade is omnipresent in Budapest and a favourite refreshment among locals.   When buying bottled water, keep an eye out for the colour of the cap:   Blue is for sparkling water, green is for medium sparkling and pink or red is for still water.  <music> Budapest has a long-standing coffee culture. Nowadays, you can enjoy a cup of top-quality coffee either in classic old-fashioned cafes, like Cafe Gerbeaud and Parisi Passage or in modern, homelike cafes, where you can meet with friends, work or simply enjoy the warmth of   a cup of coffee and a freshly baked treat.

<music> If you’re travelling to Budapest soon, you can plan your trip by clicking on the links in the description below.   We’ve handpicked the best accommodation  options, activities and tours for you.  Moreover, we have created the best Budapest itinerary in PDF form for you.  

You can download it, alongside a useful map with all the points of interest in the city,   by clicking on the link in the description below. <music> One of the most vibrant capital cities in Central Europe, Budapest is a destination of remarkable diversity that reflects in the city’s   architecture, food, and culture. Budapest is one  of those places that has something for everyone,   a place that guarantees you’re going to have an unforgettable time. Budapest is a European city that will always bring a smile to your face when you’re flooded with memories of your trip there, no matter how long it’s been. If you enjoyed our video about what to see in Budapest in three or even four days, please like, comment and share it! Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Thanks for watching!

2022-08-21 14:24

Show Video

Other news