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Budapest suggestions! Going for a week in June

My husband and i will be in Budapest from June 28th to July 5th. We've rented an apartment and have our transportation and now I have to figure out what we'll do!
We do have tickets to the Opera on July 4th. The river cruises look nice... and of course we'll be visiting the baths.
Wondering if we should do a day trip with only a week?
Suggestions welcome!

Posted by
27055 posts

If you want to see the Parliament Building, which is accessible only by tour, check for availability immediately. Even back in 2018 the English-language tours were selling out very early.

A car will not be useful to you on the days you stay in Budapest.

Posted by
14939 posts

You don't need a car in Budapest. The public transit system is excellent and parking is difficult.

Posted by
17854 posts

I assumed by transportation you meant plane or train; but they are correct a car is just a lot of cost to park because its too hard to drive and park in Budapest and the public transportation is excellent.

So, with that being said, the first thing you need is a TravelCard, either electronic or paper and the 7 day card will work good for you.

I think the best guide books are the DK Guides to Budapest. There are two, the standard one and the Top 10 which is pocket size and has a nice pull out map with all the public transportation lines on it and its the one I would get.

Get the book, see what interests you, then unsing google maps (public transportation) and plan out routes for each day. Sounds like a lot, but its really easy and you cant really do wrong as most every square inch is worth seeing.

I will also send you a PM with some information.

And if you have any problems, or just want a glass of wine, I will be there until 4 July.

Posted by
170 posts

Thank you for the tip about Parliament! I went and booked it today for July 1 and there were not a lot of openings for English tours during our week.

Thanks Texastravelmom for the trip report. The Klezmer band and dinner is definitely on my list!

Mister E, I will look for the DK tour book, have just the Rick Steves one so far. Would love to have a drink with you when we're in town!
Thanks all.

Posted by
17854 posts

The day trips for a week long trip are possible.
The most common is an overnight in Eger. Simple train ride up and back. See if you can get a room at Senator House (or maybe "Haus"). If not, find somethg as close to that as you can. Pecs is also nice, again a simple train ride.

You certainly have the time for a day trip to Szentendre. Take the train up, then take the river taxi back. Its a great ride and when you round Margrit Island and see Parliament growing up in front of you ... peretty impressive. If you are flying in from a Eurpean country (so you arent too tired) I once picked up friends at the airport and had a driver take us directly to Szentendre so that their first impression of Budapest, after seeing Szentendre, was the rounding of Margrit Island. Went over really well.

You didnt say how you were getting to Budapest, if its train from Vienna, then a stop in Gyor for the afternoon or overnight is worth the effort. There is an interesting old early 18th century cloister turned hotel called the Hotel Klastrom. And the trip to the archabbey at Pannonhalma by taxi is about 30 minutes.

If you like the Opera and music there are a number of excellent, and beautiful, venues in town.

Posted by
65 posts

Thank you all for your great suggestions and advice, my husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniv. in September and I am trying to put the trip together. I am thinking of a day trip to Szentendre, do you recommend a full or 1/2 day? We will have 4 days in Budapest arriving from Vienna. We will be there on a Sunday, and I have read about Sunday services or organ concerts at St Stephen's or St Mattias church, Anyone have thoughts on this activity? Also, I would like to do the baths but have never done anything like this before. Are they timed visits; how long do you usually stay? I will be watching for more suggestions from the forum members and thank you in advance!

Posted by
17854 posts

Erin, this works for the OP too, so we aren’t hijacking the thread yet. But if it goes much further you might want to start a separate thread.

Trip Reports: TexasTravelMom’s trip report is one of the best. Worth reading. The link is above.

For concerts maybe the Basilica concert as its probably going to be more convenient as its in Pest. https://www.bazilika.biz/en/the-basilica-s-choir Show up early and go to the top for the view.

For services, then maybe you do make the trip to Buda https://matyas-templom.hu/home Or for another look at life in Budapest think about one of the Synagogues for services. This was one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe before the holocaust and the Jewish influences are strong in town and the community is still strong.

I am no expert on the Bath Houses as I have only been to two and not that often, I do know that the Szechenyi Bath is easy and not intimidating for a first time experience. https://www.szechenyibath.hu/ again, convenient because its in Pest. If you are staying in Pest, its 10 to 20 minutes from everywhere. When I go, I rarely stay more than 2 hours. Get a cabana, bring your own towel (or buy a souvenir one from one of the vendors outside – I now own several) and flip flops. Nothing is timed.

For Szentendre take the H5 commuter train to Szentendre about noon. About a 40 minute trip. Have lunch at a place that looks out over the river, wander the streets then take the 5pm water taxi back to Budapest (about 45 minutes). https://mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-with-hydrofoils/budapest-szentendre-budapest Buda in the morning and Szentendre in the afternoon makes for a nice day.

Anniversary dinner? https://www.rezkakasbistro.hu/ or http://kiraly100.hu/en/king100restaurant/

June Events: Mister E sitting outside at Kadarka Wine Bar at 7pm (29 June, among many other nights). Sorry, June is a quiet month but there are so many good music venues (Liszt Academy, Budapest Operett, Hungarian House of Music, Opus Jazz Club, Budapest Jazz Club) that there is always something to do.

September Events: Jewish Summer Festival (3 - 10 September). Buda Wine Festival (7 – 10 September) and there is a Wine Lovers Event that I think will be at the Corinthia Hotel (16 September)

Posted by
4045 posts

When I was there, I didn’t find an organ concert at Mattias Church, so chose the regular service at noon with organ and singing - it was a local kind of experience that happened to come with music. I did enjoy the St Stephen’s organ concert. But there are all kinds of music performances/venues I haven’t checked out yet.

I meant to try Szechenyi Baths last time but got sidetracked doing something else. It’s on my “next time” list. I did like Rudas Baths and would do it again, but just want something different first.

I also took Szentendre off my last time list - saving it for when the boat is running, which it wasn’t in March. So check if it’s running first. Of course, it will be in June.

annemargaret, when I was in Budapest in 2018 with a group, we did a dinner cruise and, while it might be touristy, they all loved it.

Posted by
170 posts

Texastravelmom, we are sort of with a group. We're booked with Untours, have you heard of it? You get an apt. and a travel pass, and there will be one or two activities with the group. I was told there will probably be a river cruise. I think that will be fun!

Posted by
17854 posts

annemargaret, I checked out your UnTour company. Very interesting. I also located the apartment building they are using in Budapest (98% sure). It is the Nova City Aparthotel. https://ibe.sabeeapp.com/properties/Nova-City-Aparthotel-booking/?p=bSpf02fd508068fc0b7&checkin=2023-09-06&checkout=2023-09-12 It is located just outside the outer loop road, which is good in District ViI, because inside the outer loop road is party-central after about 9pm. The building is new, I would guess less than 10 years. Dohany utca will lead you right into the heart of the old Jewish Ghetto area. Very interesting during the day. https://goo.gl/maps/i8DjphkXcJLTFHHA6?coh=178573&entry=tt

It is about a 10-minute walk to my current favorite Czech restaurant in town https://ferdi.hu/ and while that sounds far, time and distance walking those streets disappears quickly. And it’s in the right direction towards Andrassy ut where you will be going often. The next stop on the way to Andrassy ut that is worth looking at is the Hunyadi ter Market; especially on the weekend when the outside vender stalls are open.

From the apartments it really is a 6 or 7 minute walk to the 4/6 Tram or the M2 metro. Both will serve you well if you get a map and remember the routes.

OH, and there was a question about cruises too. There are a couple of companies and I am sure they are all fine. The only one I have used is https://legenda.hu/en Prices range from 13.5 euro to 85 euro depending on length or if dinner is included. The only suggestion is take a late one for the lights and because sitting in a glass bubble during the day with the sun beating down is a little like being in a sauna.

ONE QUESTION What is UnTour's cancelation policy?

Posted by
371 posts

Definitely go to the Szechenyl baths. Get one locker for your clothes. Explore the inside hot tubs, walk in a circle in one outside pool and lounge in the other pools. We always get a timed massage which is your back only, not naked. We take the subway to Heroes Square and explore the park as part of the day. Find a simple takeaway place for a bite to eat. More locals than tourists. Take your time, at least a half day for the park and baths.

Posted by
170 posts

Mister E. That's cool that you found where we are staying! Sound like a good location and your restaurant will be on my list.
I used to got a Hungarian restaurant im Manhattan with my dad - cold cherry soup and paprikash. Good memories

The Untours cancellation policy is more along the lines of a vacation rental than a hotel.

Posted by
4045 posts

annemargaret, I know you will have an amazing week and I absolutely love that you are giving yourself more time than most people do! With a week, you can almost just decide day by day what you feel like doing. :) With the exception of the Parliament tour and the opera, I don’t think much would need to be booked far ahead.

I took at look at UnTours and while it looks helpful, it would be a little pricy for me. I do like to stay in an apartment when I have longer than a few nights; but in Budapest I am reluctant to pay more than €500 (maybe €600 in high season) for a week. And my last 15 day travel pass was a bit less than $20.

I would agree with Mister É that a dinner cruise is nice if you get the choice of cruises. Otherwise, ride the trams along the river after dark for the view of buildings all lit up. One of my favorite activities and free with your pass!

I am really looking forward to hearing about your week - makes me wish I was headed back sooner than October!

Posted by
65 posts

I couldn't wait to get home from work today and dive deeper into all of the wonderful suggestions you all have made. I feel like the Budapest leg of our trip is practically set! When looking at the Mahart Passnave boat schedule for when we return from the half day trip to Szentendre, there appear to be several Budapest stops, I imagine it is fairly self-explanatory where to get off? Thank you all again!

Posted by
17854 posts

Erin, you want the Direct Szentendre to Budapest boat that leaves Szentendre at 5pm. Just walk to the river front and you will see it. Board maybe 30 minutes early (or before the line gets too long) so you can get an outside seat. https://mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-with-hydrofoils/budapest-szentendre-budapest And yes the website is confusing.

It goes directly from Szentendre to Vigadó tér which is just south of the Chain Bridge near where the outside cafes are located. Says you arrive at 6:10 pm but I dont remember it taking that long. I think they padded the time for delays. https://goo.gl/maps/fqW3awgphz6YFzPu9?coh=178573&entry=tt

Have dinner at Duna Corso (they take reservations) http://www.dunacorso.hu/ Then its a short walk to Vorosmarty ter and the metro line if that is what is next for you.

https://mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-with-hydrofoils/budapest-szentendre-budapest

Posted by
17854 posts

Looking forward Ms and Mr Anne.

I know everyone uses GoogleMaps, but:

Walk down Dohany utca to the great loop road that has the 4/6 tram running up the middle. Turn right and follow the tram to the next tram stop and get on. Next stop get off, walk across the loop road and a 50m or so further up you will see Kiraly utca. Go down Kiraly utca and you will find Kadarka on the right. Number 42 Kiraly utca. Ask any of the servers where the Texan, James is, and they will point me out. Just realized how embarrassing a confession that is but its because I have been using the same flat about 300m down the road for about 15 years now. Cant help but meet the neighbors. Bring an appetite. http://kadarkawinebar.com/menu/ and imagine such prices for wine: http://kadarkawinebar.com/winelist/ (that works out to $2 a glass for the simple stuff and $10 for the fancy stuff). And after, its about a 5 minute walk to the Opera House on Andrassy ut. Georgious all lit up at night.

And Mascesz is a very nice place. You liked the menu, did you do the math?

I keep forgetting about this place. Sort of like Mascesz http://www.szazevesetterem.hu/eng/menu/ but fewer tourists

Posted by
170 posts

Forints are tougher to convert them some. If a dish is 6,000 forints then it seems like it's about $17. If I divide by 3 roughly? How do you do it?

Posted by
4045 posts

I do it the opposite way when I actually have to: if 1,000ft is @ $3, then 6,000 is 6 x $3. Not perfect but generally in the area. But usually I don’t even think about it because food and restaurants aren’t expensive.

Posted by
21 posts

Following all the suggestions! The Kadarka Winebar is one we plan to try on our trip in August. Should we make a reservation or is it reasonable to expect to just walk up and get a table for 3?

Posted by
17854 posts

Since its a single shot thing, I would. Either call or just stop by around opening time and ask. Chances are about 1 in 4 you will find me there any night in August.

The other good one in town is a place called Dobolo. Little higher class, a few more older tourists ...... a little less local, but very nice and live music every night (which you pay for with much more expensive wine).

Guys, Kadarka is near where I stay when I am in town. Its been there almost as long as I have been coming to Budapest. Its my corner hangout. Its just a neighborhood winebar run by a realy decent guy with great staff. Its laid back, sort of modern and has a nice outside area on the sidewalk to watch life go by. Kadarka has a pretty good menu too. http://kadarkawinebar.com/gallery/

Ask if Zoltan or Arpi are working. If yes, then tell them the Texan sent you and point at the yellow building about 100m down the side street. Then start talking wine and learn a little about Hungarian wine and have a Hungarisn aquaintance for memories. Or, get thrown out when they think you know me.

Posted by
170 posts

Mister E, we arrived in Budapest yesterday. Off to Szechenyi now and hope to see you tonight at Kadarka!

Anne

Posted by
186 posts

I hope you're all having fun! Egészségére from all of us. :)

Posted by
17854 posts

That place, and especially Zoltan, always treats my guests like that, which is why it is where I bring people. You have an experience I don't think you will forget.

Posted by
23 posts

Thank you. I purchased three tickets on the Legendary that includes one drink. Thanks for helping me decide 💜