Everything you need to know for a weekend in Budapest

Wondering what to do in Budapest? Whether or not to go? I went to Budapest this Summer and it is a fantastic city, that everybody should visit at least once. I have filtered down the things to do, so that you can maximise your time here!

Getting There

When it come to how to get from Budapest airport to the city center, most folks take the very handy and cheap bus direct from the airport to the city center. The bus route is 100E and runs every 30 minutes costing just 900HUF per person. The drop offs are Kálvin tér or Astoria, both very central. Tickets are purchased on the door so no need to book in advance.

All other buses (from other countries or cities) arrive similarly to the very center of Budapest.

If you are getting the train in to Budapest-Keleti then you only need to walk 500 metres West along Rákóczi út and you are in the center. If your accomodation is on the other side of the city you may want to use a cab.

Accommodation

When deciding where to stay in Budapest, Buda and Pest are both nice, both have advantages and disadvantages, so check the map or the things you are drawn to and you could choose somewhere based on that. A general rule of thumb is, Buda tends to have more grandeur and Pest is busier.

If you want 5 star luxury in the middle of the city, I stayed at the Corinthia Hotel. Alternatively, if you have budget constraints you can always check AirBnB for accommodation.

Nightlife

Budapest has some of the best nightlife I have ever experienced. From huge outdoor ruin bars that incorporate food stalls, to underground clubs that have several mini dance floors all with different genre’s of music, Budapest has the lot. Every night of the week is lively too, not just Friday and Saturday.

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“For Sale Pub” where you can leave a note behind for others to read

The ruin bars are worth visiting, the most popular of which is Szimpla Kert. They are good value and unique to Budapest, so definitely check them out. Some folks like large multi floor bars like Instant, a popular jaunt, and some like low key riverside hangout bars, so obviously stroll towards the water to find them.

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Drinks by the river

Another aspect I like is that the majority of drinkers are locals, whereas my preconceived idea of Budapest was that it would be all stag do’s and foreign party goers. There’s something for everyone here, so you shouldn’t miss a good night out in this city!

Food

There are lots of great places to eat beautiful food in this bustling city, and finding cruelty free meals is very easy.

My favourite is the “Vegan Garden” on Dob Utca, which is an incredible food market with a choice of burgers, hot dogs, “chicken” strips, ice cream and more.

Special mention has to go to “96 Zen Etterem” which is a Chinese restaurant that only serves vegan food and you would never guess it from the taste! Wide variety and very reasonable pricing.

If you are interested in vegan foods, you should check out the best places to eat vegan around Europe!

Attractions

Liberty Statue is near the Citadella on the Buda side and is a decent attraction, mainly for the views. It is a relatively steep climb but took us less than 30 minutes, so no Mount Everest.

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Grand entrance
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Halfway up

Next up is Buda Castle, which is a grandiose World Heritage site nestled next to the river, slightly North of Liberty Statue.

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Buda Castle

The castle has many interesting features and is a fantastic visit, and yet again offers some fantastic views. Don’t miss it.

Finally, although briefly mentioned before and not an attraction as such, the river that separates the two sides of the city is definitely a big draw. Some fantastic examples of architecture and engineering surround the calm water, so spending some time walking the banks is a must.

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Overall

I spent a good while here, and if there’s something that didn’t make this post, it’s cos it was no good or not unique. Food (and drink!) is cheap and fun everywhere, but make sure you book if you’re going to a restaurant, as the popular ones don’t accept walk ins. A beautiful city that everyone should visit, however a weekend here should be enough.

28 thoughts on “Everything you need to know for a weekend in Budapest

  1. I’ve been wanting to check out Budapest for a while, ever since I visited Prague. The picture of the outside of your hotel was stunning, and the ruin bars sound super cool – hope to visit sometime soon! – Lauren

  2. I would never have thought to place “Chinese food” and “vegan” in the same sentence, nor would I have expected to go to Budapest to eat Chinese food, so I thought that bit was very interesting! The ruin bars sound like a great time and interesting to see how each one differs from the next and has its own little quirks. Sounds like a great destination for a fun weekend!

  3. Budapest is one of the most beautiful capitals in Europe in my opinion. When I was there the last time, I visited one of the famous Spa baths (Szechenyi). I’ll add that to your already great list!

  4. I visited Budapest on multiple occasions and it’s one of my most favorite capitals in Europe. I have to say, I’m impressed how much you covered in just a weekend. I hope you get the chance to visit again and stay a bit longer though 🙂 Thank you for this lovely read and keep up the great work

  5. Great tips on visiting Budapest. I’d really like to visit some of the ruin bars. The sale bar is an interesting concept. Thank you for recommending reservations – it would make me very sad to miss out on a restaurant if I didn’t know in advance.

  6. That’s a fantastic guide for a short trip to this amazing great city. Buda castle looks beautiful. Great to know about the throbbing nightlife too.

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