48 Hours In Budapest

Planning a trip to Europe? With beautiful architecture, great food, significant history and an overall relaxed atmosphere, Budapest is a must visit during your travels. But when your time is limited, we know how difficult it can be to organize your city break when there’s so many options of things to see and do. Here to help, we’ve put together our own little guide on how you can spend 48 hours in Budapest.

Before you start planning out what you’re going to be doing each hour of the day, let’s talk accommodation. Firstly, it is important to note that there are two sides to Budapest, ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’. ‘Buda’ is the quieter side of the city and is where you will find various historical sights, such as Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion, whereas ‘Pest’ is the livelier side with all the main areas for bars, restaurants, shops, as well as further sightseeing. You can find hundreds of Airbnb’s all over the city that are all super cheap and will allow you to experience a much truer style of Budapest living, this is what I would recommend but alternatively there’s plenty of hotels scattered around the city.

With so many great places to stay so central, it’s a great city to just stroll around from place to place. Taxi’s will add up and they aren’t really necessary! Bearing this in mind, make sure to start your first day well rested and well fed. Head to a local bakery or coffee shop for breakfast, there’s a lot to choose from so have a little look online before you go to prevent any aimless wandering, Instagram is always a great place to source out great restaurants!

Once you’ve eaten, head straight for the River Danube. Down here you will find the main shopping area as well as a variety of bars and restaurants, but also you get a fantastic view of Castle Hill, reachable via The Chain Bridge. The bridge alone is pretty spectacular so take your time walking across it to the other side. Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion are both must sees over this side of the river, they are accessible via either tram or you can get tickets from one of the companies just outside to take you up by small cars, if you fancy the walk however, there is a pretty large staircase that takes you through another entrance! At the top, there’s a pretty amazing view of the whole of ‘Pest’ including the Parliament building, which is another one to definitely go and see later on if time allows it.

As mentioned before, there’s an array of restaurants just beside the river. Take your pick from anything including traditional Hungarian,  Italian or even Sushi – a great option for a light lunch. Check out PONTOON and Raqpart for a couple of afternoon drinks by the river with great views just by the bridge before heading off to Parliament for some more sightseeing, if your feet can handle it!


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Take yourself to the iconic Szimpla Kert during your first proper night in Budapest. The ruin pub located in the Jewish Quarter is a must visit destination for tourists, with mismatched art work, graffiti covered walls and exposed pipe work. The hugely atmospheric bar has lots of quirky little rooms and corners to investigate, move your way around and it will be like you’ve visited several different venues in one night! There is also a great outdoor dining venue just next door with plenty of street food vendors to take your pick from if you get a little peckish.

The main activity for your second day in Budapest is 100% the Thermal Baths. After a busy first day and possibly a big first night, a few relaxing hours at the baths is guaranteed to get you feeling refreshed. Szechenyi Baths are the main tourist attraction, although there are several others around the city that you can visit, with a couple of large outdoor pools and several inside as well, you can even book yourself in for a massage if you want to really feel pampered.

If you have a couple of hours spare in the afternoon, take a trip to The Great Market Hall for a spot of souvenir shopping before heading back towards the river for dinner. If you fancy a more chilled out evening before heading on to your next destination, you have a couple of options, one great way to spend your final evening would be take a sunset cruise down the river danube, watching the city go from day to night is a truly magical experience and will let you take in all the sights one final time. Or if you fancy seeing the city from above, take yourself to 360 bar – an impressive rooftop bar giving amazing views over Budapest. This place is particularly spectacular at night so you could even squeeze in doing both!


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