- 1 How to get to Budapest
- 2 Best Time to visit Budapest.
- 3 Things to do on a Long Weekend in Budapest.
- 3.1 Walk along the Danube
- 3.2 Ride the Big Bus Tour –
- 3.3 Explore Fisherman’s Bastion –
- 3.4 Climb up Castle Hill –
- 3.5 Explore the City Park –
- 3.6 Stroll around the Jewish Quarter
- 3.7 Marvel at the Parliament building of Budapest.
- 3.8 The Bridges of Budapest –
- 3.9 Walking Tour of Budapest.
- 3.10 Hero’s Square
- 3.11 Thermal Baths of Budapest
- 3.12 Cafe Culture in Budapest
- 3.13 Enjoy the sunset from Gellert Hill –
- 3.14 Sunset Cruise on the Danube
- 3.15 What to shop in Budapest –
- 3.16 Segway Tour of Budapest.
- 4 Free things to do on a Long weekend in Budapest.
Budapest is a great destination for a long weekend city break. A vibrant city filled with history, culture and glorious architecture. Budapest is one of the most affordable European city breaks you could take and there is a lot to do and see for both adults and children. Lets find out how to spend a Long Weekend in Budapest.
How to get to Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is well connected to most parts of Europe and the world. It is one of the most popular city in Europe with several budget airlines flying direct into Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. An early afternoon flight out of London and you reach the capital in less then 3 hrs.
Tips on cheap flights to Europe – Morning flights out of London and many of the other major cities in Europe are much more expensive – Try and book an afternoon flight which are much cheaper and offer some great deals. Budget airlines are not always the cheapest – Try the main flag bearer of the destination country as well.
Best Time to visit Budapest.
Budapest is an all year round city destination but the best times to visit Budapest is from March to May and September through November. Summers can get hot and crowded and winters bitterly cold.
How many days do you need in Budapest?
As the heading of my post, Budapest is perfect for a Long Weekend and you can easily see most of the city in 2 days. If you want a more relaxed trip add an extra day.
How to get to the City from Budapest Airport- There are several options available to travel from the airport to the city. You can take a bus bus or train. A taxi ride from Budapest Airport to our hotel in the heart of the City cost us roughly €25.
Quick check in to our hotel which had fabulous views, overlooking the iconic Chain Bridge and we were ready to start our Long Weekend in Budapest.
Things to do on a Long Weekend in Budapest.
Walk along the Danube
Our first evening in Budapest was spent walking along the Danube and crossing the famous chain bridge. This was followed by a relaxed dinner by the river and a sample of the much awaited Goulash.
Must eat in Hungary – Goulash
Goulash (pronounced “gooyash,” ) is a stew made up of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika and spices originating from medieval Hungary. You could call it the National dish of Hungary.
Ride the Big Bus Tour –
If you are travel with kids like I do, it is always a good option to try and get a deal on the hop on hop off bus. All the more when you are on City breaks and there is a fair bit of sightseeing to be done. All main cities around the World have these services and we used the Big Bus Tour service for our Long Weekend in Budapest. The 48 hrs pass gives you enough time to cover all the major attractions in Budapest. Cost for a Family Pass – 48 hrs Big Bus Tour in Budapest – €66 for 2 Adults and 2 Kids.
Explore Fisherman’s Bastion –
Your trip to Budapest is incomplete without a visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion. It is one of the most popular attractions in Budapest. Located in Buda Castle it offers panoramic views of Budapest. The neo-Gothic architecture is absolutely stunning and you can easily spend a few hours here.
Is Fisherman’s Bastion free to visit? The entrance fee to the Fisherman’s Bastion depends on which part you wish to visit. It is completely free to visit the towers and terraces of Fisherman’s Bastion. Some parts have a ticket.
Climb up Castle Hill –
The Castle hill is another place you must include in your on your Long Weekend in Budapest. Walk along the cobbled streets up to Castle Hill, lined by baroque houses, monuments and cafes. The castle hill is home to Buda Castle, which was rebuilt over centuries. Buda Castle houses the Hungarian National Gallery and Budapest History Museum. You can enjoy some breathtaking views of the city from the top of this hill and wander the gardens of Buda Castle.
Explore the City Park –
Another place to visit is the Budapest City Park – It is said to one of the first public parks to open to public for relaxation purposes.You can wander around the landscaped gardens admiring the many statues or visit the Vajdahunyad Castle which houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture.
Stroll around the Jewish Quarter
Another exciting place to visit in Budapest is the Jewish Quarter. The Dohany Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue. Get lost in narrow picturesque lanes filled with quirky design shops, street food stalls and bars.
Marvel at the Parliament building of Budapest.
The Parliament building of Budapest is arguably the most memorable landmark of this city and synonymous with Budapest. Standing tall on the on the banks of the river Danube, it bears a striking resemblance to the Houses of Parliament in London. The building houses the Hungarian Parliament and is a popular tourist destination in Budapest.
The Bridges of Budapest –
Budapest is best enjoyed on foot. Like most European cities you can walk along the streets and admire the architecture. Another interesting side of this city are the may bridges. A total of 8 bridges that crisscross the Danube linking Buda and Pest.
Is Budapest split? The city was split into 2 separate parts divided by the river Danube. It has only been recognised as one city in the last couple of hundred years and united by the beautiful bridges.
The oldest and the most famous bridge in Budapest is the Chain Bridge.The bridge was opened to public traffic in 1849. The evening was spent walking around the city centre and crossing the many bridges joining Buda and Pest.
Most famous bridges of Budapest –
- Liberty Bridge.
- Elizabeth Bridge.
- Margaret Bridge.
- Chain Bridge.
Walking Tour of Budapest.
We started our day with a free walking tour of the city, the best way to get a comprehensive and historic impression of any new city you visit. There are many tour companies and individuals who offer a free service these days – these tours are the cheapest way for discovering the best of Budapest.
Free Budapest Tours offer two tours every day, starting at 10:30 am & 2:30 pm.
We passed some beautiful churches on our walking tour. The most impressive are the Cave Church near the base of Gellert Hill and St. Stephen’s Basilica.
St. Stephen’s Basilica is named after the first King of Hungary,Stephen. The impressive structure with the two large bell towers houses the right hand of the King in the reliquary.
Hero’s Square,the largest and most impressive square of the city. This square was laid out to mark the thousandth anniversary of Hungary. Heroes’ Square is one of the most visited sights in Budapest and is surrounded by two important buildings. The Museum of Fine Arts on the left and Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) on the right. Best way to reach Heroes’ Square is by using the underground station.
Thermal Baths of Budapest
Budapest is also known as the City of Spas. This is because of the many natural warm water spring that lie under the city. Visit these thermal baths has been a major pastime for locals for centuries and now attracts millions of tourists too.
The thermal water is warm all year-round and has been visited by millions for it’s medicinal purpose as well. There are many thermal baths in and around Budapest but the most impressive and popular one is Szechenyi Baths and Pool in the City Park. Book in advance to get a better deal but you can always buy tickets at the entrance if you are not sure of when you will visit.
This is also Europe’s largest medicinal bath and is housed in a sprawling Neo-baroque building with both an indoor and outdoor pool. Szechenyi Baths also has a sauna and steam room and is the perfect way to relax and enjoy your Long weekend in Budapest. Another popular bath in Budapest is Gellert.
What an experience and one which is surely not to be missed if you visit Budapest.
Cafe Culture in Budapest
Budapest has always had a thriving coffee culture and as a result it has around 500 cafes scattered around the city. The cafes served as a meeting place for it’s poet’s , writers and artists but today attracts both locals and tourists from around the globe. The one that stands out is the New York Cafe.
Visit the most beautiful cafe in the world -New York Cafe – Budapest
If you had to choose from the numerous cafes in Budapest, then this would be the one without a doubt. The New York Cafe – Affectionately known as ‘the most beautiful cafe in the world’ is housed in the beautiful building of The New York Palace – a luxury hotel. The building of this hotel was formerly the Hungarian headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company.
Do you need a reservation for New York Cafe Budapest? If you don’t fancy waiting for an hour, I would suggest booking in advance. The best cafe in Budapest to enjoy a delicious breakfast or the perfect afternoon tea in Budapest.
Enjoy the sunset from Gellert Hill –
There are a few places where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets in Budapest. The best places to enjoy the sunset would be from the top of Gellert Hill or a trip to The citadel.
Sunset Cruise on the Danube
I could not think of a better city to enjoy a river cruise then Budapest. Cruising along the Danube under the beautiful bridges with the backdrop of the beautiful architecture. The highlight of the cruise would be passing the magnificent Parliament building.The visuals are an absolute treat and can only be experienced and not penned down.
What to shop in Budapest –
Budapest has some great shopping as well, from large modern malls to and bustling flea markets. The most popular things to buy in Hungary are
- The Traditional Hungarian Dolls.
- Hand crafted Porcelain.
- The Hungarian Secret Box.
- Tokaji Wine.
Segway Tour of Budapest.
My first experience of a Segway tour of a city and I must admit it was fun. A great way to explore a city, if it has the right infrastructure to support a Segway. I would suggest taking a Segway tour in Budapest as it covers most of the main attractions and you can choose between one that covers Budapest Castle Hill or one around the city. Minimum age for kids to use a Segway is 10 years old.
I can now understand why Budapest is fondly known as an Pearl of the Danube. A wonderful city to enjoy a long weekend or spend a few days. Historic buildings and statues with UNESCO World Heritage status, a vibrant night, beautiful bridges and great food and cafes all that make it a great city. Although both sides are now joined by a number of bridges, Buda and Pest are two very different cities, each with unique characteristics and plenty to offer its visitors.
You can find out more about this city with My Li’l Travel Book.
Free things to do on a Long weekend in Budapest.
- Walk across Chain Bridge and enjoy the sunset.
- Walk up to the summit of Gellért Hill for panoramic views of Budapest.
- Enjoy a free tour of Budapest’s Parliament Building. Carry your EU passport.
- Visit St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest.
- Visit museums with one single ticket during the ‘Night of the Museums’, held annually in June.
- Discover Budapest with a free walking tour.
- Celebrate with the locals and enjoy the fireworks from the banks of the Danube on St. Stephen’s Day on August 20th.
- Relax in Károlyi Gardens, Szabadság Square or the Millenáris Park.
- Walk along the Danube Promenade at night.
- Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion.
If you enjoyed reading about our Long weekend in Budapest, follow our City Breaks to Amsterdam and Rome.