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Plan Your Trip to Budapest: Best of Budapest Tourism

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Budapest, Hungary

Over 15 million gallons of water bubble into Budapest's 118 springs and boreholes every day. That number points to the astounding array of baths in this city, from the sparkling Gellert Baths to the vast 1913 neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa to Rudas Spa, a dramatic 16th-century Turkish pool with original Ottoman architecture. The "Queen of the Danube" is also steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. Get your camera ready for the Hungarian Parliament Building, Heroes' Square, and the Danube at sunset.

Travel Advice

Essential Budapest

How to do Budapest in 3 days

A rooftop hot tub, Europe's largest synagogue, and a classic river cruise
Read on

Budapest Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Budapest

Suzi S

One request: please, please, please stay till it gets dark. Budapest is most beautiful at night. The lights of the Chain Bridge and the Castle district will take your breath away.

Jeremy

Dinner hour in Budapest varies greatly, beginning as early as 6 p.m. with sittings as late as 10 p.m. and beyond.

Jennifer W

Budapest has great public transport, but if you want to experience local life then it's best to walk. Get lost, find hidden courtyards, and see the city in a different way.

Colleen D

Budapest is not the usual tourist destination, but it should be. It is a beautiful city that is friendly to tourists and relatively easy to get around. Give yourself a few days to explore and fall in love with the food and the charms of this Eastern European Gem.

marton k

There is more to Budapest than the usual tourist spots or the bachelor’s night ruin pubs. Fancy a Turkish or Moroccan tea, a good shisha, a nice burger? Sushi fan, Thai or pho fanatic? Don’t panic — Budapest won't leave you hungry.

Helen P

Walking is the best way to see a lot of the attractions or by catching the hop-on, hop-off buses that are available around the city. If you are a shopping lover, stroll along Vaci Utca and take your pick of the many shops. Sit down and rest your (weary) legs in one of the many restaurants, cafes or pubs and have a bite to eat and watch the world pass by. You will be in awe of how friendly and caring the Hungarian people are in many ways.

What is the best way to get there?

flying

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) is the primary airport in Budapest. It offers service to/from many international cities on most major and smaller airlines.

For more info on Budapest airport, visit here.

train

There are three rail stations in Budapest: Keleti, Nyugati, and Déli, which all offer regional and international service.

For more info on train service to Budapest, visit here.

Bus

Flixbus, Omio and Eurolines offer service to/from Budapest to many European cities. Visit FlixbusOmio or Eurolines for schedules, routes, and fares.

Do I need a visa?

Since Hungary is one of the 26 Shengen Area countries, tourists from those countries do not need a visa for visits less than 90 days, but passports must be valid for at least six months after departure dates. The same goes for Americans. See here for more info.

When is the best time to visit?

Summer: Summer is festival season in Budapest, and highlights include the Budapest Summer Festival, LGBT Pride and weekend festivities on the Chain Bridge. Average daily temperatures this time of year can reach highs of 80 Fahrenheit (30 Celsius) and lows of around 59 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius).

However, that’s not to say winter isn’t wonderful as well. To see Budapest’s UNESCO-listed monuments covered in a dusting of snow, visit in winter. The cold season is the perfect time to tuck into goulash, warm up at the thermal baths and visit festive Christmas markets.

Get around

public transit card

Budapest has great public transportation, so get a Budapest Card, which gives you free access to transit, tours, museums, attractions and discounts at restaurants, shops and more.

For info, visit here.

BKK operations Budapest’s public transportation, so be sure to download its app for the most up-to-date service info. Visit here for more info.

metro

There are four metro lines running across Budapest, including Line 1, continental Europe’s oldest underground rail.

trams

There are more than 30 tram lines in Budapest, and they are the easiest way to get around. Only the 6 tram runs overnight. Ride the 2 for amazing views of the city.

buses/trolleybuses

There are more than 200 routes across the city and surrounding towns for its blue buses. The red trolleybuses operate in Pest and Zugló.

boats

BKK’s four riverboat services are a great way to not only get around but also see Budapest from the Danube.

cogwheel railway/chairlift

The Cogwheel (technically tram 60) and Chairlift are a great way to get up to the hilly Buda section of the city if you’re not up for the trek on foot.

taxis

Taxis are plentiful in Budapest and easily recognizable thanks to their yellow color. While cash and bank cards are accepted, some bank cards may not be, so make sure you have some cash on hand just in case.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Central European Summer Time

What are the voltage/plug types?

230V and 50Hz, with plug types C and F.

What is the currency?

The official Hungarian currency is forint, though euros are accepted at some places.

Are ATMs readily accessible?

Yes.

Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes.

How much do I tip?

Restaurants

Tipping at least 10% of your restaurant bill in Budapest is common, but more is in order if you’re extremely happy with the meal and service.

Hotels

Give around 500 forints to bellhops who help with your luggage, and between 200-300 forints per day of your stay to the housekeeping staff as you would in any other city.

Spas/baths

400 forints is customary for masseuses, and 100 forints if there were assistants.

Taxis

At least 10% of your fare.

Tour guides

Depends on how long the tour is, but between 300-500 forints is standard.

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking

The legal drinking age in Budapest is 18.

Budapest

It’s Boo-da-PESHT, not Boo-da-PEST.

Greetings

Shaking hands is a customary greeting in Budapest, though some older locals may still bow to women. Pronounced see-ya, “Szia” means “hello.”

Public toilets

Be sure to have forint coins on hand for when nature calls as most public toilets aren’t free.

Frequently Asked Questions about Budapest

We recommend staying at one of the most popular hotels in Budapest, which include:


Budapest is known for some of its popular attractions, which include:


If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Budapest between September and November, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between March and May.