With so little time (at Budapest City Hilton for 1.5 days before river cruise) and being so UNFAMILIAR with the city's layout, I'm wondering about suggestions regarding time spent in Buda vs. Pest? Many thanks in advance. BP
From the Hilton in Pest you have views of all of Budapest, the Danube and Parliament. You will be near an area that is more like a village and have to cross the Danube to be in city center. Perhaps your Hilton is a different one. Our Hilton was next to the Cathedral of St. Stephen. It is. toss up.
Do you really have just 1.5 days? i took this gate1 trip last week and this is how it laid out
Arrived in Budapest on Friday
Saturday: City tour and slept at hotel
Sunday: Optional tour and transfer to boat. Slept on boat which is docked in city itself- about 100 feet from the tram stop.
and a 5 minute walk to the market
Monday: Full day in Budapest - welcome dinner on boat and then departed about 6PM
Budapest is very compact in that the trams and subway are efficent. the longest trip we had was 1/2 hr at most.
That said: if you really only have 1.5 days.. I would do the Szechenyl baths on your arrival day if its nice out. These are close to your hotel and a lot of fun. Nice way to stay awake and relax.
Do you have the included City tour the next day? Do that and decide if you want to stay a little longer at the castle and enjoy the area. If not, you can return with the group to the hotel . Decide if you want to take a tour of the parliament if an English one is available - you need tickets. If yes, do that . then depending on time, take the tram to the Great Synagogue and tour there. Walk around that area and then tram to the market. take the number 2 tram along the danube to finish.
Focus your time on the Pest side. Your hotel is north of Parliament and the Margit Bridge, so most of the major Pest side attractions are south of your location. Maybe your river cruise company will provide an included bus tour of the area - these typically travel east to Hero's Square, then west, across the river to Fisherman's Bastion with walking stops on both sides.
However, trams run everywhere on both sides of the Danube, they are inexpensive and seriously fun to ride. There is an easy learning curve to use them...just ask someone in the ticket line how to use these things. You'll love it in Budapest. You may not want to leave....right, James?
I would say most of the things you want to see are in Pest. I always stayed in Pest. Buda is quiet at night and most sights are further away. There is another Hilton in Buda or at least used to be.
Well, I m mistaken. We have 2.5 days in the city. Thanks to all who’ve responded so far.
So, that first afternoon walk to the start of the No2 tram and ride it past the parliament and along the river to the Corso. Visit Vorosmarty ter, Vaci u. ( not to be confused with Vaci ut where your hotel is). Eat dinner on the corso with one of the world's most stunning views.
Go home and crash.
Next day, same tram all the way to the Great Market Hall (go inside and see it - maybe .75 to 1.5 hours), then the 47/49 tram to the Great Synagogue - take the tour (about 1 hour). Then walk to the end of Andrassy ut and take the M1 to Hero's Square (30 to 45 minutes of walk, stare, wish you were staying longer, and travel time). On to the Bath house if that lights your fire (fighre at least 1.5 hours). Then walk the length of Andrassy ut to the Opera (one of the most beautiful walks in town - 30 minutes to an hour depending on the amount of druling) . Eat at Callas next to the opera, drink at Kadarka about 2 blocks away, then find your way to the 4/6 tram that will get you home for the night.
Walk to the front of the Train Station, get on the 4/6Tram till the second stop. You are at Margret Island. Spend an hour or two there. Then back on the tram to the first stop on the other side of the river. Welcome to Buda. Now get on the 19/41 tram until the stop right after the Chain Bridge. Take the funicular up to the castle hill area. Spend a few hours, then walk down and cross the Chan Bridge. Then walk to the Basilica and the pedestrian area in front. Then just a few blocks north of the Basilica is the Arany János utca No 3 Metro stop. Ride it for one stop and you are back to the Nyugati Train station and your hotel. AND, you get to see a very unique part of the Budapest underground at the same time....