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10 things to do in Budapest

Budapest: 10 things worth doing

Budapest is a huge city, with numerous tourist attractions, and plenty of choices for entertainment. It all depends on the preferences of the traveler and the nature of the trip. I would say, however, that it is a city ideal for budget travel. It has countless hotels, and accommodation is not going to be a problem. You only need to choose if you prefer Buda or Pest. If you are in doubt and don’t know which side of the Danube to choose, take a look here.

After four incredible days in Budapest, with sun and rain, and even though I was left without a suitcase for a day, I can attest that I have left a piece of me there. I can’t say I became ecstatic (because when I do get ecstatic I like to visit the same place again and again), but I was impressed by the amazing views of the city.

I am still not certain if I would visit again, though; I think that four days were enough, and I do indeed feel that I’ve experienced Budapest in depth. So I’ve prepared a list of ten things you must see, experience, taste, and enjoy in Budapest. This is a list of countless hops, so I need you to be fit & ready.

10 Things Worth Doing

1. Buy a ticket for a Hop On-Hop Off bus.

It costs around 25 euro and the second day is for free. With this ticket you can also board cruise boats (more on them further down). There’s no better choice for getting around the city; it’s inexpensive and convenient, since you’ll get to see everything – and when I say everything, I mean it.

2. Walk around the city.

After you’ve purchased your Hop On-Hop Off ticket, make regular stops to walk the city: to enjoy the unique architecture, to stare in wonderment at the color tones of the streets, to smell and taste the city as much as you can. Budapest is filled with sights and they all deserve your attention.

3. Visit the Buda Castle and enjoy the view of Pest.

There’s a funicular that will take you high up on the Castle. Pray that it’s not out of order, though, in which case you will have to walk up. From up there, you will enjoy the best view of your entire trip. If the weather is good, Pest will enchant you. The Danube is the city jewel, and from up there you will see how it adorns the city.

4. Visit New York Café.

Because it’s super classy, it belongs to the European network of historical cafes, it has the best hazelnut latte, the best pastry, and because you simply have to see its interior. When you look up at the ceiling, you’ll understand why. Moreover, the service is top notch, so I highly recommend it.

5. Walk up Fisherman’s Bastion

There, you’ll find seven towers, many steps, and countless pathways. It’s located on Buda Castle Hill from where the view is breathtaking. In all, the scenery is like out of a fairy tale, you may even get to feel something royal stirring inside of you…

6. Eat at Tokyo Sushi

Honestly, when it comes to food in Budapest I don’t have much to say. I didn’t particularly enjoy it and the truth is that the culinary character is missing from the city. There is, of course, the classic goulash soup and various other dishes based on peppers, but it’s easier to find burgers and foreign delicacies than local ones. That’s why I’m suggesting you definitely try Tokyo Sushi. It’s two minutes from Chain Bridge and, when you visit, do order Tokyo Cheese. You won’t regret it.

7. Lock your love on Danube

All about love now. Engrave your lock and lock it on the Chain Bridge overlooking the Danube. If you don’t have time to engrave, no problem; the river will understand. It will lock your love forever. So make sure the love you feel is forever, before you hear it go ‘click.’

8. Go on a Danube cruise

Under no circumstances should you miss a cruise on the Danube – even if it’s raining. You will get to see the Parliament, all the bridges, the Buda Castle, Buda and Pest. You will enjoy an unbelievable trip up and down the river, with the city enveloping you. If you purchase the full ticket for the Hop on bus, then you won’t be charged extra for the cruise, unless you want to join the wine tasting (which I don’t recommend you do on the boat).

9. Take a ride on Tram No.2

It may sound funny but this ride might prove to be one of the highlights of your trip. This tram takes the entire river route from one side of Pest to the other, and you are going to love it. Plus, it’s so cheap. At this point, let me suggest you buy a daily, or 3-day ticket (depending on how long you’re planning to stay), because it’s inexpensive, and transportation is very convenient.

10. Go to the Central Market Hall

This is where you’ll find the best souvenirs in town, in the best prices and the greatest variety. Here, you’ll also find whatever your heart desires in local products and paprika in all its forms. You will get here on tram no.2 and it will make for an interesting walk. My advice is not to eat inside the Market since it’s a bit touristy (you’ll see masses of tourists eating together). Keep your appetite for elsewhere.

I could tell you hundreds of things and make numerous must-see lists, but to tell you the truth such lists bore me terribly. I have my own way of giving your tips, and you should have figured that out by now. That’s all I had to say. Plus one more thing:

If you’ve been to Budapest, share your own tips.


Profile photo of Maria Kalymnou

My name is Maria (aka Maryhop) and I am here to inspire you to travel! Back in May 2006, I left my beloved hometown Thessaloniki, my family, and my friends, to pursue my dream to see the world. Since then, I haven't stopped adding new pins onto my travel map! As a flight attendant, traveling for more than eight years now, I’ve had the unique opportunity to cover thousands of miles and collect thousands of memories.

3 thoughts on “10 things to do in Budapest

  1. Profile photo of Hungarian HammerHungarian Hammer

    Hi, I'm sorry but this statement is messed up, to say at least"the truth is that the culinary character is missing from the city" You say you from Thessaloniki Greece,-maybe that's why you left- you have 0 Zero Michelin star restaurants. No culinary establishment made it even to the guide in your city, yet you bashing my food? I know a lot of chefs in this city who are working hard to destroy that preconceived notion that Hungarian food is only "classic goulash soup and various other dishes based on pepper"(that's again shows your lack of food knowledge that they not only based on peppers. I hope you meant paprika which is made out of peppers.We use a lot of paprika so what? Like greeks dont use olive oil? Or does the french not use butter? ) . So you recommending a sushi place says more about you rather then about our food. I highly recommend you pay a visit to MAK bistro or Borkonyha these two just out of the top of my mind. You also say that's easier to find foreign food then Hungarian. Let me enlighten you when it comes to food diversity is great. Look at New York one of the biggest food cities of the world what you think they serve? Dirty water hot dogs and pizza? I don't care if you'd like to be "ignorant" and eat sushi but please don't bash Hungarian food. It came a long way but its on the right track. And yes its heavy we know it, its hard to interpret into fine dining as a matter of fact its home cooking. The fact that we have fine dining shows that we are not "missing culinary character" You missing basic food/culnary knowledge. Dont tell me that the over 2000 restaurants on tripadvisor are missing it. You went to the wrong place- if you- you didn't like it, it happens based on this saying the we lack of culinary character is well not smart. One last thing I was talking about fine dining the reason for it since the amount it cost to eat sushi here you could've gone to a Michelin restaurants. If you think its a lot of money still you can find great hungarian food for a good price. So before you write anything – especially negative- about anything make sure you get your fact straight. Thanks


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