Budapest, the capital of Hungary, has some great well-kept secrets and classic unmissable activities that you’ll be dying to check out. Whether you’ve got a trip to Budapest already in the works or you’re merely daydreaming at this point, I’m sure you’ll want to visit ASAP once you’ve finished reading this guide! 4 days in Budapest is about right. It’s enough time to see all the sights and really get to experience the city for all it has to offer, while not feeling rushed.
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Emily Carter.
Should you stay in Buda or Pest for your 4 Days in Budapest?
The first question you should consider is whether you want to stay in Buda or in Pest. Budapest was originally two different cities, divided by the river. There is no defining answer to this question, but I can let you know a few facts which may help to make up your mind.
Pest is the more touristy side of the river where you’ll find the majority of tourist attractions, restaurants, bars and nightlife. However, if you’re looking to experience the city more like a local, then Buda may be the side for you. As you’ll be situated on the hill in Buda, the views are beautiful and it’s the same side as the famous castle district where you’ll find the Palace and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
I stayed in Pest, purely because it was more accessible, and as we only spent 4 days in Budapest, it ensured we would fit everything in! Anyway, let’s jump into this Budapest itinerary.
Day 1 of your 4 Days in Budapest
Early morning: St. Stephen’s Basilica
Address: Budapest, Szent István tér 1, 1051 Hungary
In the centre of Budapest sits one of the city’s most recognisable sights, St. Stephen’s Basilica. As the main Roman Catholic place of worship in the whole of Hungary, the architecture is unbelievable and for only 600 HUF (approximately £1.50), you can go inside and explore. If you want to see some amazing views of the city, then you should make your way up the hundreds of steps. Although that may sound off-putting, the view is without a doubt worth the climb.
Late morning: Liberty Square and the Hungarian Parliament Building
Liberty Square address: Budapest, Szabadság tér, 1054 Hungary
The Hungarian Parliamant Building address: Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
Near St Stephens Basilica is Liberty Square, where the huge Hungarian Bank is situated. The buildings in the square are beautiful so it is definitely worth having a wander through. It’s also only five minutes away and on route to the next stop, The Hungarian Parliament Building. This is right next to the river and quite honestly the most impressive building in Budapest. There are tours available for 3500 HUF which is around £8.50.
Lunchtime: Lunch at Tapassio
Address: Budapest, Hercegprímás u. 13, 1051 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 790 6381
Now it’s time for lunch at the amazing Tapassio. Although not very Hungarian, the tapas dishes were amazing and they did have a Hungarian spin to them! I shared the garlic and chilli prawns, the scallops with cream and jamon, and the Hungarian spiced potatoes, and they were all absolutely delicious.
Afternoon: The Fisherman’s Bastion
Address: Budapest, Szentháromság tér, 1014 Hungary
Once your lunch has settled, it is time for a long walk. You’ll go over the Chain Bridge round to the shoes on the River Danube edge and up to Buda. Prewarning: this is a long walk and you are not done yet. As you’re now in Buda, it makes sense to go up to the Palace and the Fisherman’s Bastion.
However, if you’re looking to make your journey a little easier, you’ll find Lime Electric Scooters scattered all around Budapest! Not only do they get you from A to B a lot faster, but they are also great fun. For only about £2 a journey it’s a fun and easy way to cut out the long walks.
The Fisherman’s Bastion is a beautiful spot and perfect for your Instagram photos! When you finally reach the top of the hill, the panoramic views are amazing and the ‘town’ type structure around it looks like a fairy-tale. By the time you get up there, it should be perfect timing to look around and to also hit the sunset. It’s definitely the best place in Budapest to watch the sunset so even if you’re a little bit early, I’d recommend waiting around.
Early evening: Dinner at Budapest Bisztro
Address: Budapest, Vécsey u. 3, 1054 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 796 5192
After all that walking, head back to your hotel and freshen up for the evening, before heading to Budapest Bisztro. It’s a lovely traditional Hungarian restaurant but with a modern twist. Their Hungarian stew with dumplings was amazing so I’d recommend ordering that if you are visiting.
Late evening: Bar crawl around Budapest’s ruin bars
There are loads of ruin bars all over Budapest and you have to spend your first night doing a bar crawl around them! The one everyone talks about is Szimpla Kert, the oldest ruin bar in Budapest. It definitely wasn’t a disappointment.
Anker’t is another ruin bar I’d recommend. It has a large dance floor with live DJs and some food vans inside. Instant is one of the biggest and it also warrants a visit. It has a classic ruin bar feel but it is a little bit more modern, and it turns into a nightclub later on in the evening.
Once you find one, you’ll find them all as there are so many in the same area. Definitely spend your first night hopping around the history while having a few too many very cheap drinks!
Day 2 of your 4 Days in Budapest
Early morning: Cirkusz Café
Address: Budapest, Dob u. 23, 1074 Hungary
To start off day two, you have to head to Cirkusz Café. They serve a great, speciality coffee which is roasted right there in their café! Their eggs benedict was amazing and perfect for a nice, big breakfast after a night out.
Late morning: Buda Castle
Address: Budapest, Szent György tér 2, 1014 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 458 3000
After a lovely breakfast, day two will start at Buda Castle. It’s back in the castle district so on the other side of the river but it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s not only the castle as it also houses the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Library within it. It costs around 2500 HUF to enter which is approximately £6. After exploring Buda Castle for all its worth, head up Gellért Hill and the Citadella. It’s another climb but worth the views!
Early afternoon: Lunch at Dushi
Address: Budapest, Rumbach Sebestyén u. 3, 1075 Hungary
Phone number: +36 70 883 8817
Lunch today is Caribbean cuisine at a lovely little restaurant called Dushi. The food is a little different but so tasty. I had something I never would have usually ordered, but after the waiter and the chef recommended it to me, I had to try it!
It translated to fish sausage, which is essentially tempura fish. It was amazing! The chef was outstanding, he came out, talked to those who were dining and explained the thought behind his dishes. It was refreshing to see someone so passionate about his career.
Late afternoon: The Jewish Quarter
Next up is The Jewish Quarter! This is the ‘indie’ area of a traditionally beautiful city, but The Jewish Quarter is beautiful in its own way. Full of quirky street art and home to the best nightlife in the city, it’s certainly the most vibrant and cultural part of the city.
While you’re in the area, you might want to visit Szimpla Kert from the night before. Even though you have already seen the most popular ruin bar, it is very different in the day time. You could spend hours in there just looking at all the amazing artwork, having some incredibly cheap drinks and watching the world go by. Make sure you also visit Dohány Street Synagogue as it’s the most significant landmark in The Jewish Quarter.
Evening: Dinner at Zeller Bistro
Address: Budapest, Hercegprímás u. 18, 1051 Hungary
Phone number: +36 30 651 0880
After a quick change, it’ll be time for dinner at Zeller Bistro! This is a must-visit. It’s beautiful inside and the food is delicious too. I had the confit of duck and their homemade mozzarella pasta (I halved both with my boyfriend, I wasn’t just extremely hungry!) and they were both the best dishes we had while we were in Budapest.
Day 3 of your 4 Days in Budapest
Early morning: Breakfast for Stika
Address: Budapest, Dob u. 46/a, 1072 Hungary
Phone number: +36 30 186 9870
On your third day and after a calmer evening than the night before, head to Stika for breakfast. They have all the classics but also some lovely traditional, Hungarian breakfast dishes.
Late morning: Szechenyi Baths
Address: Budapest, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, 1146 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 363 3210
Today is a trip to the famous Szechenyi Baths. You may think the spas in Budapest are overrated as it’s all anyone talks about when the city is mentioned! I initially thought the same but I have to tell you they didn’t disappoint. The Szechenyi Baths are one of the largest in Europe with fifteen indoor and three outdoor baths. You’d be surprised by how much space there was even when it looks busy.
At 6200 HUF (approximately £15) a day pass is only about 50p more than a 2-hour time slot so it’s much more cost-effective to buy a day pass, so you’re not rushed for time. Although you’ll probably only spend three or so hours there, it’s a must-see that’s worth every penny. In the summer months, there are late-night parties at the baths which look great fun. I visited on a freezing cold day but the steam from the baths was so pretty.
Early afternoon: Lunch at Menza
Address: Budapest, Liszt Ferenc tér 2, 1061 Hungary
Phone number: +36 30 145 4242
On your third day, enjoy lunch at Menza. They have a pretty extensive menu so you’ll have plenty to choose from. I enjoyed their roasted chicken which was served with gratin potatoes and a mustard-based sauce. We all thoroughly enjoyed it so I would recommend visiting at some point during your trip.
Late afternoon: Great Market Hall
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 366 3300
After a yummy lunch and a very relaxing morning at the spa, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Great Market Hall. Full of life, locals and authentic stalls, the Great Market Hall has a variety of things to see, do and buy. They are mainly local sellers selling fresh produce, clothing and souvenirs. However, even if you aren’t looking to buy anything, the culture portrayed throughout the market was a great experience.
Late afternoon: Budapest Boat Party
Address: Budapest Petőfi tér dock, #9, 1052 Hungary
Phone number: +36 70 774 4338
When I was in Budapest my friends and I went to the Budapest Boat Party, something I’ve never done before but we had a great time! It was one of the highest-rated things to do at night and it was 9500 HUF per person which is around £23.
A little pricey but this is for an all-inclusive wristband which means you can drink as much as you want. And I’ll tell you now, we all definitely made our money’s worth! You can buy a ticket which is just for your entry but that ended up around £17 so the extra £6 was worth it for the unlimited drinks.
Not only was it a great night but you get to see all the sights along the river at night and all lit up. They also had ping pong tables and other entertainment on the boat and with your ticket, you also got entry to the nightclub after the boat party finished.
Day 4 of your 4 Days in Budapest
Early morning: Wander down Andrassy Avenue
On your fourth and final day in Budapest, there is still plenty more to see and do. Start on Andrassy Avenue, a street full of designer stores. Located in the very centre of the city centre, you may have noticed it before today. It’s nice to admire from the shop windows and to have a look at the architecture even if you can’t afford to casually shop in Gucci!
Late morning: Heroes’ Square and City Park
Address: Budapest, Hősök tere, 1146 Hungary
Walk all the way down Andrassy Avenue and you’ll find Heroes’ Square. In the very middle of the square is the Millennium Monument which is pretty spectacular. Not only that, but there are also some other great buildings surrounding the monument like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art.
Behind the Millennium Monument sits City Park, one of the largest parks in Budapest, which also warrants a visit. As I was there in January it had a huge ice rink in it which was very picturesque and great fun.
Early afternoon: Lunch at Karaván Street Food
Address: Budapest, Kazinczy u. 18, 1075 Hungary
Now for the final lunch of the trip! This time it’s something a little different: the Karaván Street Food market in the Jewish District. They have lots of different stalls which cook different cuisines but I opted for the pulled pork buns which were incredible! It’s also a lovely place to sit and people watch while you’re having a bite to eat.
Late afternoon: Drinks at 360 Bar
Address: Budapest, Andrássy út 39, 1061 Hungary
Next, a rooftop bar! 360 bar boasts amazing views across the city, as well as cosy igloos which are super cute. The drinks are pretty expensive but what do you expect from a rooftop bar? And, quite honestly, it probably felt more expensive as you’ll have been used to spending a maximum of £2 on an alcoholic drink over the past few days! I’d definitely go for at least one drink to be able to experience the igloo setting and to see the panoramic views.
Early evening: Dinner at Bistro Fine
Address: Budapest, Andrássy út 8, 1061 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 611 7090
Right in the city centre, Bistro Fine is an amazing restaurant for your final dinner and the perfect way to end your 4 days in Budapest. The pork cheeks are amazing!
Late evening: Drinks at Icebar Budapest
Address: Budapest, Andrássy út 8, 1061 Hungary
Phone number: +36 1 611 7090
The final stop on this 4 days in Budapest itinerary and it’s a good one: Icebar Budapest! For only 2400 HUF (about £5.50), you can visit and get three drinks. I must admit the drinks are small but for that price what do you expect? You can spend up to 45 minutes in there, as it’s that cold you can’t stay in any longer!
After a jam-packed 4 days in Budapest, you’ll be ready for a rest when you arrive back home again but it’ll be worth it, as it really is a must-see city. So are you planning on spending 4 days in Budapest? What are you most excited for after reading this Budapest itinerary? Please let me know in the comments below!
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