Due to a miscalculation on my part we are staying 4 days in Budapest rather than 2. However, it doesn't seem like the worst thing after reading some of the other posts. Is it feasible to go out of town to visit some of the Danube villages? We would be relying on local transportation and will be staying at the Boutique Hotel Victoria. What would fit into a day out of town?
You won’t be sorry for the extra days! My favorite easy day trip from Budapest is to Szentendre. Take the HEV train from Batthyany ter metro station, about 45 minutes and you’re there. It’s a pretty little artist’s colony, interesting architecture, some unique shops, public art, you can walk along the Danube. I’ve visited the little Margit Kovacs museum twice—she was a sculptor of some renown, charming works and also found throughout Budapest. On Fridays there’s a street market— food and crafts. I usually spend a good 4 hours there including lunch. If you go in the summer months you might enjoy taking a boat back to Budapest.
May I also recommend the excellent open air museum, located nearby.
Actually 4 days is a pretty decent decision (or accident). Not sure when you are traveling, but if it is before mid October, then
For your day trip.
From the Hotel Victoria, walk up stream a few meters till you see a tram stop. Get on the tram heading upstream for one stop to Batthyány tér. You can walk it to in about 10 minutes. Here you find a fairly interesting old church and market hall. You also find the H5 Commuter Train (down stairs). There is a ticket office near the platform, show them your TravelCard and tell them you want to go to Szentendre. With the travel card the train ticket will be discounted. I don’t remember exactly but i think it will cost something less than 750 forints. Get on the H5. It’s a about a 30 minute ride. The train leaves anywhere from 3 times an hour to 5 times an hour depending on the time of day.
Szentendre is the last stop so its hard to mess up. When you get off, walk under the major road and towards the river, the follow the river upstream about 10 minutes and you will be in the heart of it. If you get there about noon, you can have lunch and shop till about 4pm when you need to go and get your boat ticket back.
To return, as implied, it’s the boat. About a 45 minute ride. Boat leaves at 5pm. http://www.mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-excursion-boat-lines/budapest-szentendre/ Sit on the upper deck towards the back so you can get on the observation deck if you want. This is a stunning way to enter Budapest.
Other Ideas Here: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/hungary/just-for-grins
I was in Budapest for 6 days and had a great time. It's a city that you take slowly. Immerse in the cafe culture--either at the grand cafes (even more grand and more well-preserved than those in Vienna) or at smaller, charming cafes. Enjoy the fabulous and unforgettable food. Service is slow, especially at dinner, because the waitstaff doesn't want to rush you.
Please read my post about restaurants: