If you’re looking to spend 2 days in Budapest, this itinerary will help you to delve into some of the city’s highlights, in a short amount of time. save
One of Europe’s great cities, Budapest has a rich history ready to discover. From its imperial height during the age of the Hapsburg Empire to its time as a Soviet state, Hungry’s capital city will take you back through time.
Rich and tasty goulash will warm you more than a swim in one of the notorious thermal baths dotted around the city. Quirky neighbourhoods are full of vibrant nightlife and street art contrast against the grandeur of the parliament building.
Budapest Is big on art and culture. There are more than 40 theatres and over 100 museums and galleries in the city. Throughout the year concerts, festivals and events delight crowds, not to mention the regular incredible performances at the famous Opera House.
I loved my stay in Budapest. It was fascinating to learn about how life in the city has changed for its residents over the years. Hungarians also know how to boss both comfort food and beer, putting you in a perpetual good mood. The unique, colourful and atmospheric ruin bars will also ensure you have one of the best nights out in Europe.
Read on for a full 2 days in Budapest Intierary to learn how to make the most of your trip. P.S – you really do need to try the Goulash!
What To Expect In Budapest- 2 day itinerary
Language in Budapest
The official language is Hungarian, the 13th most widely spoken first language in Europe, with around 13 million native speakers. It’s also one of the official languages of the European Union.
Currency in Budapest
The official currency is the Hungarian Forint (HUF) in Hungary. However, you can pay in Euros at several places.
Weather in Budapest
The average temperature in summer is around 25 degrees. Surprisingly, Budapest’s average sunshine hours surpass most European capitals. Budapest has exceptionally high levels of sunshine hours from April to September that actually matches those of cities like Barcelona. During the months of May, June, July, August, and September you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures. On average, the coolest month is January, with temperatures averaging at around minus 1 degree.
Transport In Budapest
Budapest is a very well-connected city with reliable and cheap public transport options, such as the streetcars and underground train system. You can reach the city easily by bus or by train, and the international Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is only a short 30-minute shuttle bus ride away from the city centre.
Tickets are available to purchase at any subway station and are valid across the metro, buses, streetcars, trolleybuses, the Cogwheel Railway and the suburban HÉV lines (only within the city limits).
To avoid lines, you can also buy tickets from street stands and newsstands. It is also possible to buy tickets from a ticket vending machine. Information on ticket pricing can be found here.
With the Budapest Card, you receive free unlimited travel on public transport. Also included with this card are free entry to several museums, two free walking tours, and 10%-50% discounts at participating baths, museums, restaurants, and spas. Cards can be purchased with a 24-hour 48-hour or 72-hour validity. This is a great way to maximise this 2 days in Budapest itinerary whilst on a budget.
Where To Stay, Accommodation In Budapest – 2-day itinerary
In Budapest, you’ll find great accommodation options to fit any budget. Find some great places to stay while following this 2 days in Budapest itinerary.
LOL Boutique Hostel City Center
I stayed at Lol Boutique because of its central location near the opera house and affordable private double room rates – which is perfect if you want to take things slower or value your sleep (and daytime naps after lots of walking.)The rooms were stylish and had one of those kinds of funky industrialised looks. You’ll find all the usual hostel amenities and its great location means it’s so easy to get around the city. The Arany János Street Metro Stop (line M3) is 300 yards away, the Oktogon Metro Stop (line M1) is 750 yards away.
Grandio Party Hostel
This one is for all you crazy party animals. This hostel hosts nightly parties, pub crawls and boat cruises making it an ideal place to meet fellow travellers. The crazy parties are not only limited to nighttime. During the day you can hang in the courtyard, enjoy a BBQ and play drinking games – score.
Das Nest Budapest
The nest is a super cool and cosy recently renovated rooftop loft apartment, spread over 2 ½ floors in central Budapest. This one guarantees a relaxing time, in a small quiet environment with friendly staff. Most importantly, the superb location means all the good ruin bars are only a short walk away.
Great location, great design and a pretty decent breakfast available, Roomcach Hotel is one of the top-rated accommodation options in the city. I love the colourful furnishings but what really clinches it is the affordable price.
However, If you fancy a bit more privacy? Stay in one of these self-catered holiday apartments. With Deak Ferenc Square Metro Station and Vorosmarty Square Metro Station right on your doorstep, exploring the city is made easy. Each unit is air-conditioned and soundproof and comes with wooden floors, a flat-screen cable TV, a safe, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a bathroom.
The Three Corners Hotel Anna Superior
With charming character and a great central location, The Three Corners Anna Superior is a great base for your getaway. This hotel is great value for money and the bonus is the Hungarian National Museum is 650 yards away.
Budapest Itinerary – Day One
Take a Budapest Walking Tour
The first thing I always recommend doing after you arrive in a new city is walking. Starting this 2 days in Budapest itinerary with a walking tour is the best introduction to the city. Walking around a new place is the best way to get a feel for your environment. Of course, you can do this independently but by joining a focused tour with a great local guide, not only will you be sure to see all the top sights but will leave having learned some pretty great facts.
Budapest has some great options for walking tours. However, a great place to start is by looking at what free tours are on offer.
Free Walking Tours
Free Tours Budapest offer an impressive variety of different tours, starting at different times throughout the day.
I was aiming to do something a little different from the usual city tours on offer, so I took the communism walk, which delved into the political history of Hungry while seeing some great sights. If that’s not really your thing, alongside the Orginal Walk, you’ll find a walk of the Jewish District and a Street & Urban Art Tour – get your cameras at the ready.
Paid Walking Tours
If you want something a little different, there are also a variety of paid tours on offer in the city.
Discover hidden gems on the alternative walking tour. For photography, enthusiasts join a private photography walking tour to snap the best views across the city. Foodies can join one of the many walking and food tours available, including this one where you discover off-the-beaten-track places that locals love.
Visit Budapest’s Thermal Baths
One of Budapest’s most unique and famous features is its thermal baths.
The history of settlement from the Roman and Ottoman empires made popular the pastime of bathing in the mineral-rich thermal water from beneath Budapest’s surface.
Visiting one of the many baths in Budapest is certainly a way to spend a relaxing day in the city. I loved my visit to the Szechenyi Bath, with its bright yellow exterior and host of different temperature baths to choose from.
Standing in once-crumbled buildings within Budapest’s Jewish District you’ll find an attraction almost as popular as Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building. What first started as a hopeful idea to rejuvenate these buildings, which were left empty since the end of the Second World War, these unique, alternative bars are now the perfect place to party in the city.
Grab A Plate Of Warming Goulash
Gettó Gulyás is one of the best restaurants in Budapest’s Jewish District. The menu offers a range of traditional Hungarian dishes, including the amazing venison stew with dumplings that I ordered. This cute little eatery is the perfect place to eat after a busy day of exploring, and to relax with a pint of Dreher while you wait for your food to arrive. Located close to Budapest’s Ruin Bars, therefore, means after your meal, you’re ready to party the night away. For more information, visit the restaurant’s, Facebook Page.
Explore Budapest Ruin Bars On A Crawl
The best way to get a flavour of some of these bars is to go on the Budapest Ruin Bar Crawl. I loved this chaotic and fun night! A huge group of us descended on the bars. It was certainly the perfect way to make new friends from all over the world.
Budapest Itinerary – Day Two
House Of Terror
If taking the communist walking tour on day one inspired you to learn more about communist-era Hungry, start your second day in the city with a trip to the House Of Terror. The aim of this museum is to educate visitors on what life was like for Hungarians under the communist and fascist regimes but to also stand as a memorial to its victims who were captured, tortured and killed.
Inside you’ll find a range of permanent exhibits covering the double occupation of the Nazis and the Soviet occupation. You’ll see propaganda, learn about the resistance movement, visit a preserved torture chamber and above all, be moved by fitting tributes to the victims of this brutal time. There is also a range of temporary exhibits that often change.
The museum is open every day except Monday, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Full-price tickets are 3000 HUF.
Budapest’s grand parliament building sits proudly on the banks of the Danube river. Its stunning Neo-Gothic architecture makes this building well worth a visit during this 2-day Budapest Itinerary.
However, If you want to take a guided tour of parliament to have a peek inside Hungry’s democratic hub, there are several tours daily. The tour lasts 45 minutes, and you will have to purchase a ticket in advance, which you can do here.
Saint Stephens Cathedral
If you’re a fan of churches, Saint Stephens Cathedral is worth a visit as it proudly holds the accolade of the most sacred catholic church in all of Hungry. If churches aren’t your thing, there is a gory detail inside that may just capture your interest. The mummified right hand of the church’s patron, Saint Stephen. The hand was found in a Bosnian monastery, and changed hands (so funny) a number of times before being returned to Hungary in 1771 by Hapsburg empress Maria Theresa. It’s not every day you see a holy hand.
To delve deeper into the church’s history, and hear many interesting stories about the church and the artefacts inside, I recommend this tour. Your ticket means you get to save precious holiday time and skip the line. It also includes tower access, which is an amazing location for panoramic views across Budapest.
For more information, visit the Cathedral’s Website here.
First completed in 1265, the castle was rebuilt after World War Two however as the original royal palace was destroyed. The castle is now home to the Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum. It’s worth paying a visit to the castle for a tour or to visit one of the museums housed inside.
Eat At The Great Market Hall
Who doesn’t love to visit a bustling food market? The Great Market Hall has to be Budapest’s best. Alongside traditional market sellers, offering a variety of fresh produce, you’ll find some cheap, cheerful but oh so tasty food options.
My top tip is you’ll find some of the best food stalls along the edges of the upstairs balcony. I tried a chicken breast baked in cauliflower cheese. There was a huge variety of dishes on offer, including some delicious looking Goulash.
River Cruise On The Danube
Lastly, to end your 2-day trip to Budapest on a high note, take a river cruise along the Danube for excellent views of some of the city’s most famous sights. There are a huge variety of different cruises on offer from romantic candlelit meals, to drinks and live music as you take in the city.
I hope you feel inspired and ready to travel after reading this 2-days in Budapest itinerary post. In addition to the things I’ve written about in this post, there are plenty of other amazing things to see and do both in the city, and a little further out.
If you have time why not take a day trip?
Visit the towns of Visegrad, Szentendre and Esztergom and the panoramic views of the Danube Valley.
Love wine? Take a half-day Etyek wine tour with a home-cooked meal included.
Why not visit Vienna for a day, or spend a day exploring Bratislava?