Budapest is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. With its medieval architecture, low prices and many opportunities for entertainment, 2 days in Budapest can become the best experience in your life.
To spend your time in the Hungarian capital in the most effective way to fully enjoy it, and not to miss anything, I’ve created this 2-day Budapest itinerary with best places to visit and prices of the most typical travel expenses.
So, having an open tab with the Wizzair (Hungarian low-cost airline) website with cheap tickets to the capital, check these top things to do in Budapest in 2 days and the approximate costs of your visit.
Before reading about the ways to save money in Budapest, check these 50 tips to travel the world cheap.
Things to Know about Budapest
Before we move to some of the best attractions and things to do in Budapest, I want to give you some general information about the city.
Budapest is the capital of Hungary, small country in the center of Europe. Its location is great for travelers, as you have just 200 km to Bratislava (Slovakia), 250 km to Vienna (Austria), 350 km to Zagreb (Croatia), 500 km to Prague and less than 200 km to many other nice cities and places to visit in Hungary.
The population of Budapest is almost 2 million. The history of the city started with a small Roman settlement of Aquincum founded about 2000 years ago, while the Hungarians arrived in its territory only by the 9th century. The towns on the territory of today’s Budapest changed its owners many times, but the city as we know it appeared in 1873, when the three neighboring towns called Buda, Pest and Obuda united into one.
Those towns were separated by the river Danube, which is now the central place of Budapest the sight that makes it so picturesque (along with the hills).
Now, let’s move to main attractions and things to do in Budapest.
What to do 2 days in Budapest
2 days in Budapest may be not a sufficient amount of time to explore such a big and interesting city. Still, I will tell you how to do that and what places are worth visiting indeed. In the end, you can check the 2-day Budapest itinerary with a map.
Attractions with Prices
Here are both the most typical and unusual attractions of Budapest with their prices (in euros, currency rate 1 EUR = 310 HUF (24.10.2017) :
Hungarian National Gallery
48-hour Budapest Card
Szechenyi Thermal Bath
House of Terror
Holocaust Memorial Center
A few comments.
- The above list of attractions in Budapest is far from being full. They are just the most interesting ones. If you want to visit many of them, I suggest buying a 2-day Budapest Card. It includes free public transport, free entry to many museums and Lukacs Bath, discounts to even more places and guided tours.
- The Fisherman Bastion is one of the main landmarks of Budapest. It consists of many parts, towers and terraces. Most of them are free, some are paid. That is why the prices in table range from 0 to 2,7 euros.
- Another very famous building is the Hungarian Parliament on the Danube river. The entry prices range a lot depending on what time you visit it and if you are from the EU.
- The thermal bath is a very famous place to visit in Budapest, there are even nightclubs organized there, so you can pick one of the best baths in Budapest.
- House of Terror is a museum of the times, when Hungary was under strict authoritarian control by the Soviets and Germans. It tells about the difficult history.
- Miniversum is a mini world of models of different buildings and places in Hungary, Austria and Germany.
- Aquincum is a museum of history and archeology of the Roman town that used to be located at the place of today’s Budapest.
- There are also some great free things to do in the city: numerous gothic churches, the Great Market Hall and hills with a beautiful panorama of the city.
I will publish a fuller list of attractions in Budapest in a future post.
For now, check 10 unusual things to do in Berlin.
Entertainment: Best Activities in Budapest
Being a tourist Mecca (and a cheap one), Budapest has unlimited opportunities of entertainment: from crazy parties to high culture. Here are two categories of the best activities in the capital of Hungary.
This part is for people who likes to appreciate high culture in the form of theatres, classical music and arts.
Museum Flat of Zoltan Kodaly
People playing music should know this person. It was him, who created the relative solmisation (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, si, do) and Kodaly Method (still used throughout the world) to teach children to play music.
Address: Andrássy út 89-91
Facebook Rating: 4.9 (not only of museum, but of the music school too)
Hungarian State Opera House
A beautiful opera. Worth to visit at least for its interior and exterior.
Address: Andrássy út 22
Facebook Rating: 4.7
Traditional restaurant with live music like jazz and swing.
Address: Dohány u. 50
Facebook Rating: 4.5
Danube River Cruise
Not classy and not party, but something worth doing for any tourist.
Address: near Széchenyi chain bridge
LikeALocalGuide Rating: 4.3
Liszt Music Academy
Concert hall with classical music
Address: VI Liszt Ferenc tér 8
Facebook Rating: 4.8
Club with live music (including jazz) on a boat on Danube River.
Address: V Vigadó tér
Facebook Rating: 4.5
Palace of Arts
Arts center, concert hall and a theatre at the same time.
Address: IX Komor Marcell utca 1
Facebook Rating: 4.6
Old-style café and a music venue with live jazz and folk music at night.
Address: XI Ráday utca 58
Facebook Rating: 4.6
Centrál Kávéház (Central Coffeehouse)
Budapest is very famous for its coffeehouses in Vienna style. This one is one of the best of them.
Address: Károlyi Mihály u. 9
Facebook Rating: 4.4
It was a short list of great things to do for those, who appreciate high culture. Now, let’s move to the fun and party things to do in Budapest.
Fun and Party Activities in Budapest
Budapest is also a great place for those who like to party. As I said, they even have nightclubs in a pool (not really hygienic, but fun). Here are some of the best fun activities in Budapest.
Puzzle and Fear Theme Park
Address: Vajdahunyad utca 4
Basement bar with Gypsy music 🙂
Address: VI Paulay Ede utca 58
Facebook Rating: 4.8
Ukrainian stone hauler from 1968 that has been recycled and became a major live-music venue.
Address: XI Pázmány Péter sétány 3-11
Facebook Rating: 4.5
Ferenc Puskás Stadium
Stadium of the Hungarian national football team that can fit up to 70000 fans. Now under reconstruction (October 2017).
Address: XIV Istvánmezei út 1-3
Facebook Rating: 5 (just one review)
Lukács Bath Party
Address: H-1023 Elvis Park
Facebook Rating: –
Fancy dance club
Address: Andrássy út 52
Facebook Rating: 3.9
Address: Blaha Lujza tér 1-2
Facebook Rating: 3.9
Biggest ‘ruin bar’ in Budapest
Address: Akácfa utca 49-51
Facebook Rating: –
It was a list of the best clubs and fun activities in Budapest. Hungry after clubbing? Check the prices of food in Budapest.
Food Prices in Budapest
No need to buy food in the supermarkets. Food in cafes in Budapest is very cheap.
3-course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant
Local Beer (0,5L)
Chicken Breast (kg)
Local Cheese (kg)
Apples, oranges (kg)
Try some traditional Hungarian food. It is mostly fat and spicy, so be careful. Some traditional dishes include goulash, chicken paprikash, langos and some other Hungarian dishes that you can find here.
Next are the transportation prices
Transportation Prices in Budapest
Hungarian language is very difficult; it is not similar to almost any other European language. It is in the same language group with Finnish and Estonian, but people speaking those languages can hardly understand a word in Hungarian. Therefore, trying to hear the name of your tram station may be almost impossible, better download an offline map.
Train from airport to central Budapest
Public transportation, single ticket
3 km taxi ride
24-hour transport card
Now, the last category of expenses: accommodation.
Accommodation prices in Budapest
As always, prices checked in about 2 months from the date of post publication for a night from Friday to Saturday on Booking.com (get 15 euros discount off your first booking).
Cheapest option for 1 person
Cheapest option for 1 person with central location and 8+ rating (with breakfast)
Cheapest 3-star hotel room for 2 with central location and 8+ rating (with breakfast)
Cheapest 5-star hotel room for 2 with central location and 9+ rating
I personally recommend renting an apartment with Airbnb (which I unfortunately don’t take into account in this overview). It is best for Budapest (get 23 euros discount off your first Airbnb booking!).
So, knowing the prices and the best things to do in Budapest, here is your 2-day itinerary.
What to do 2 Days in Budapest: Prices
If you travel on a budget and want to experience the best of Budapest, here is what I recommend you to visit and do.
- Attractions: many of interesting attractions in Budapest are free to visit. If you want to visit more, I suggest buying a 2-day Budapest city card for 29 euros.
- Entertainment: Clubs and coffeehouses are a must (if you like clubbing and coffee 😉 ). Should be around 15-20 euros in total.
- Food: Try some local food at Budapest cafés, but have a breakfast at your Airbnb/hostel. Cost: 20 euros.
- Transportation: you will probably need about 4 tickets for 2 days in Budapest – 6 euros.
- Accommodation: hostel or shared Airbnb with people you travel with – around 8 euros per person.
Total cost of 2 days in Budapest: 5-29 + 15-20 + 20 + 6 + 8 = 54-83 euros.
What to do 2 Days in Budapest: Itinerary
Here is how you can visit and experience the most of Budapest in 2 days. The attractions of the city are located not as close from each other, as in Warsaw, so 1 day won’t be enough there.
On the day 1, I suggest exploring the Pest part of Budapest. Most of the top attractions are located along the Andrassy Avenue.
Start with the city park on the end of the avenue. You can get there by the metro. The station is called Széchenyi fürdő. There, you will find the famous Széchenyi thermal bath (why not to start a day with it?), an ice skating rink, two arts museums, numerous cafes and a beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle that I really recommend visiting. Not very far from the park is the national football stadium.
Move along the Andrassy Avenue (which is an attraction itself, like Champs Elysees in Paris), and you will see some other places to visit from my list of Budapest attractions, including the House of Terror, Hungarian State Opera, Miniversum, Saint Stephen Church and many others.
If you visit most of the attractions near the avenue, it may get darker when you get to its another end. It is time to have a dinner and think of some other activities or ways to relax after an intense day. You can try local food at one of the traditional restaurants, but not near the famous attractions, better go on the side streets (check 50 more tips to travel the world cheap here).
After dinner, you can either buy a ticket to Danube river cruise or go clubbing (or do both if you’re young and restless like me 😉 ).
On the second day, I definitely recommend visiting the Fishermen Bastion (my favorite attraction in Budapest). You will need a couple of hours for visiting it, as it is located on the hill, and there are many things to see there.
Next place is another hill behind the Bastion (more to the south). If you’re already tired of going uphill, you can skip it, but it is the best place to catch a panorama of Budapest.
Cross the Szabadság híd (Freedom Bridge) and go towards the Grand Market hall. Budapest has many beautiful bridges, so you can just cross them all the time and search for the best places for a picture.
The Central (or Grand) Market is a huge and beautiful market, perfect for buying some local edible souvenirs like paprika and sauces.
In front of the market, you can find the pub called For Sale. It is an unusual place worth visiting (if it’s late enough for a bar). You will see, what is special about it. Funny thing is that the website of the For Sale Pub is for sale :D.
I also recommend visiting one of the famous coffeehouses of Budapest. I’ve been to Centrál Kávéház and I liked it a lot. Still, some other coffeehouses have better reviews, you can check them out too.
You can visit some more museums close to it. The place that I couldn’t fit in my itinerary is the Margaret island on the middle of Danube river. I visited Budapest about 5 years ago (definitely, will do again soon), and I was searching for a thing to try or do in every new place that I visit. At that period, it was running (yeah, 30 km of walking per day wasn’t enough for me).
Margaret island is a really good place for running. It also has a small zoo (a couple of cages with animals), children playgrounds, tennis courts and even a hotel.
It was my full 2-day Budapest itinerary with top things to do in the capital of Hungary. I hope, it helped you to plan your visit and made it more intense and complete. Anyway, have a great time in Budapest and read about the top things to do in Warsaw in 1 day.
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