Ending the Budapest series with a functional cheat sheet that I’m hoping you can use as a quick printed reference in your trip, or to help you in your overall planning. Download the printable guide here.
WHERE TO STAY:
Stay in the Pest side especially if it’s your first time in Budapest.
Save: Opera Garden Hotel & Apartment, approximately €80/night, advanced booking, non-refundable, breakfast included
Splurge: Four Seasons Gresham Hotel Budapest, approximately €285/night, breakfast included
WHERE TO EAT
Café Bouchon 1066 Bp.Zichy Jenő u. 33.
€25pp for dinner of appetizer, entrée & dessert (wine not included)
Pizza EATaliano étterem Budapest, VI. Andrássy út 41.
Comfort Italian food, €10 pp for lunch
WHAT TO DO
Suggested two-day itinerary:
Day 1: Have a Buda & Bath day.
- Walk to Chain Bridge (from Pest) and take daytime photos. Enjoy the view as you cross the bridge to Buda.
- Don’t get on the funicular yet. Instead, turn left until you’re opposite the House of Parliament for a great photo opportunity.
- Walk back to the funicular or take the tram for a scenic ride.
- Climb up the stairs or take the funicular up to Castle Hill.
- If you’re timing is right, catch the changing of the guards at noon.
- Explore Buda Castle (National Gallery). Don’t forget to take amazing shots of Pest.
- Walk to Matthias Church and try to spot the crafts market along the way.
- Spend time inside Matthias Church.
- Walk around Fisherman’s Bastion and take in the view.
- Head to Gellert Hill/Citadel for the Liberty Monument and the best panoramic view of Budapest. The climb is steep so you may want to hop on a cab if you’re pressed for time.
- Head to Szechenyi Thermal Bath after a full day of walking. Try to go at sunset so you see the bath both in day time and at night.
- After the bath, walk to Heroes Square. It’s magical in the evening.
- Walk or take the metro towards Opera for dinner at Café Bouchon. Make sure to take a night shot of the Opera House when you get out of the station.
- Head to Chain Bridge to digest your dinner and take beautiful night photos of the bridge and Buda in the distance.
Day 2: Enjoy Pest & an opera.
- Visit St. Stephen’s Basilica first thing in the morning without the crowds to see it at its most serene and peaceful state. Entrance is free but donation is appreciated.
- Catch a show at the Hungarian State Opera. An opera or ballet can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.
- Visit the Terror Háza Múzeum. Given the serious subject matter, make sure to come prepared (mind & emotions) and with ample time as you cannot rush through to appreciate the exhibit. Allow at least 2 hours. (Note: The House of Terror’s heavy material can alter your mood slightly so you may want to squeeze it between “lighter” activities.)
- Walk along Andrássy út for food, shopping or even just for souvenirs.