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amount of time needed in Budapest

Hi, Looking to be in Budapest 1st week of September 2024. Wondering how much time I should allow, and any good destinations nearby. I will be heading to Vienna after Budapest.

Posted by
18811 posts

Objectively, if you have the time, 3 full days (4 nights). If the city perks your interest as you research it, no one ever complained about 4 full days. To see the top 25, five full days. We have a handful of RS types that return for a week or more once or twice a year, but they caught the bug.

My favorite Budapest tourism video. https://youtu.be/1nd5AtZIrTk?feature=shared the same guy does one for Vienna.

Side trips: Gyor and the Pannonhalma Archabbey on the way to Vienna. Szentendre as a day trip. Eger or Pecs as an overnight trip.

We have a handful of Budspest fanatics on the forum. Soon they will chime in. I enjoy seeing how much help people get on the Hungarian forum. Sort of sends a message.

Here is how I would budget the time

Day Each

1 Buda Castle Hill and Danube River Bank from Margrit Bridge / Island to Gellert Hotel
2 Pest Danube River Bank from Market Hall to Parliament and District V
3 Jewish District and District VII
4 Andrassy ut and District VI / Bath House
5 Day trip to Szentendre

Evening Each
1 Dinner on the Corso or River Boat Tour Dinner
2 Opera House or Operett Theater
3 Jazz Concert or Organ Concert
4 Unique Hungarian Experience Dinner
5 Special Event like Wine Festival at Castle or Jewish Festival or sit at a cafe by the Opera House and watch the world go by.

Posted by
18811 posts

If you are still just planning and havent bought tickets yet, and if it impacts nothing else, then do Vienna first so you are in Budapest for

Jewish Cultural Festival 8-17 September
https://www.facebook.com/zsidokulturalisfesztival/
https://www.zsidokulturalisfesztival.hu/ (2024 program not listed yet - check back)

Budapest Wine Festival at the Castel 12-15 September
https://aborfesztival.hu/en

The Jewish Cultural Festival is one of the great events of the years ..... as is the Wine Festival at the Castle.

Posted by
4350 posts

If you are like me and time is not your primary consideration, Budapest in September could easily fill a week (with a side trip or not).

If you don’t have much time, I agree 3 full days could keep you very busy. Four days is better. Also much of the best of Budapest is the part in between the “sights”. So Budapest has interesting places to visit and grand street wanders.

Mr. É has given you a great outline. Additional (specific) places I like (we all have different interests) are a half day wander across Margrit’s Island; The House of Terror; Opera House tour if you don’t go to a performance; St. Stephan’s Basilica (either to tour or for an organ concert); the small Ráth György-villa; Fiumei Road Graveyard (I like old historic cemeteries); the Salgotarjani street Jewish Cemetery (on your “Jewish” day); the 2 tram up and down the river (numerous times - in the light and in the dark); a walk down Váci utca ending at the Great Market Hall; Hungarian National Museum; and wine tasting at the Tasting Table.

There’s also a lot I haven’t seen and done yet. Have fun!

Posted by
1695 posts

We had 5 days (6 nights), and we could have used at least one more. Mind you, we went to a different bath every second day, so if you go just one, you could fit more sights in.

Posted by
10402 posts

We are going for the first time later this year and will be there for a week. It looks like there is so much to do there and we didn’t want to feel like we didn’t have enough time and the need to rush around.

Posted by
1379 posts

Last year we had 3 nights and 2 days in Budapest and could have used one more of each. It was a wonderful first taste of Hungary - we spent our time exploring and enjoying central Budapest. Most of our vacation was focused on Italy but we decided to add another place we felt would be different. We flew round trip from Bergamo to Budapest after visiting the Italian Riveria/Cinque Terre area and then wrapped things up in greater Milan.

Posted by
123 posts

As someone for whom Budapest is high on her list, the replies here have delighted me. (My plan for when this trip ultimately happens: 7 nights. Or 10.)

Posted by
45 posts

Mr E
Since we will be there for 6 nights, your 5 day plan is very helpful.

Thanks
Mary

Posted by
4350 posts

I don’t often go to profiles, but if you look at Mr. É’s profile, he has a really great document available with tons of information for visiting Budapest.

Posted by
5 posts

Thanks for all the info here. I will be arriving by train from Vienna- still have research to do, but any suggestions for places to stay for 4 -5 days would he appreciated

Posted by
18811 posts

Chris, sure, but need a price range, hotel or apartment, any preferences for stylebor amenities. Maybe interests might dictated where in town, etc. f

Posted by
3363 posts

We have a tentative trip planned to Budapest for almost two weeks in 2026, so this is all very helpful. Other than a rough 88 day itinerary in Europe, I have not gotten into the nitty gritty details yet, so bookmarking this post! Thanks Mr. E.

Posted by
27426 posts

I introduced a friend to Budaapest earlier this month. She was really sorry to have to leave after a week (as was I), even though it was unpleasantly hot on most days.

Posted by
18811 posts

Sure, I am biased.

But of those that I have coerced into coming the track record is that half will return once within 4 years and a fourth will return multiple times within 4 years.

You have to enjoy the shining monuments separated by a km of gritty reality. It all still feels pretty real here, and when tourism does build up in a spot the city is so large and full of unforgettable experiences that it has been easy to expand the area or a new area develops and the numbers get spread out a bit.

It’s very economical, very safe, and very, very beautiful.

I try and give balanced advice, so I say you need 4 days where you wake and go to bed in Budapest just to hit the basics and get an understanding of this place. Then if you like it a lot, cancel your hotel in Vienna and stay. Cause if you really, really enjoy Budapest more often than not Vienna isn’t going to light your fire (and the same works in reverse).