Guide: Weekend in Budapest

Budapest is an amazing weekend destination. With its numerous spas, museums and beautiful cityscape – it is the perfect gateway.

Why go?

  • Great destination if you are on a budget. You can get a room for 20 Euros a night. Transport and eating out is also cheap.
  • A mix of everything – museums for culture fans, spas for those who need to let off some steam, vibrant nightlife for party goers and a ton of history!
  • As all countries in Eastern Europe, Hungary was also part of the Soviet Union. Ex-Soviet sensation still lingers around Budapest. Though, I felt that this city very beautifully represents a collision between East & West and old & young. So if it this is something you want to experience, then Budapest is the place for you.

Friday Night – Ruin pubs

After settling in your accommodation, spend the evening exploring Budapest’s nightlife. Budapest is famous for its ruin bars. It might not be for everyone, but it is definitely worth seeing. The most famous of them all – Szimpla Kert. Alternatively, visit Pinball Museum and spend hours playing this old-school game.

Saturday –  Explore the city

Put on your most comfortable shoes as there is a lot to see in this magnificent city! If walking is not something you enjoy then public transport’s day pass can be purchased for only Eur 5.25 (HUF 1650). A single ticket is Eur 1.12 (HUF 350).

Key attractions:

  • Great Market Hall – Beautiful food market. Buy the very famous Hungarian paprika here. Nearby souvenir shops sell it too, but it is cheaper in the market.
  • Vaci street – shopping and souvenir street.
  • Hungarian Parliament Building – If you have enough time, then it is worth visiting this majestic building. You can pre-book organized tours here.
  • Shoes on the Danube Bank – memorial to those killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Chain Bridge
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Hospital in the rock – Unfortunately, this was the only museum we visited in Budapest. Though, this historic place is certainly worth a peak. The guided tour shows just a small fraction of difficult life during the war.
  • Buda Castle – museum district, museums are usually open 10:00-18:00.
  • Liberty Bridge
  • Citadella – Finish your day hiking up Citadella and overlooking Budapest. Make sure you get there right in time for sunset.

Sunday – Relax

After a lot of walking, spend a leisurely Sunday soaking in the best experiences that Budapest offers.

The must do:

  • Thermal Baths – Spend an hour or three in one of Budapest’s thermal baths. I really liked the look of Széchenyi Thermal Bath so we decided to go there. Though I must say – if you can live without seeing beautiful yellow building then go with other baths in Budapest. This spa most of the time is packed. It does have a big variety of saunas and steam baths, but because of the crowds, this is not the place you will leave feeling relaxed.
  • Evening river cruise on the Danube  This was one of my favorite parts in Budapest as it offers a completely different view of the city. River cruises are offered by many companies so look around and choose the most suitable for you. There are loads that also offer added entertainment like – dinner, music etc. Alternatively, if you are on a very tight budget – take a public transport boat, might not be as comfortable but still serves the purpose.


  • Miniversum – if you are visiting Budapest with kids then Miniversum is a must. It is good fun for grownups too.
  • City park – nice park, especially beautiful in the autumn. While there, you can also visit Vajdahunyad Castle or Zoo.
  • Margaret island – not as exciting as the rest of the city. Though it does offer leisurely walk among locals with some added bonuses like water fountains, Japanese garden, mini zoo etc. During the summer Budapest’s Summer festival is held here.
  • House of terror – museum dedicated to fascist and communist regimes.
  • Visit a cafe – Budapest has many historic cafes dating back to 19th century.

3 Tips

  1. Trófea Grill – All you can eat and DRINK restaurant. It is a bit pricey for Budapest but offers a variety of food. You also get unlimited alcoholic drinks – beer, red, white and sparkling wine.
  2. Take tram no. 2 along the Danube – and not just the tram…I really enjoyed public transport in Budapest. Metro line 1 is from the 19th century and it does feel like stepping back in time. While line 3 offers a look back in the Soviet Union.
  3. Try goulash – other things to eat while in Budapest: Dobos cake, Chimney cake, paprikás csirke (chicken in a creamy paprika sauce), Flódni (layered pastry), Rántott Sajt (fried cheese).