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Getting around Budapest if staying on the Buda side to sites on the Pest side?

Viking is offering a two day post-cruise extension in Budapest which we are considering because it's free to us because we have a some cruise credit from when Viking cancelled all cruises in 2020.
The hotel they use is the Budapest Hilton on the Buda side. But looking at Google Maps and the transportation routes, it doesn't seem very convenient to get to most of the Pest sites we want to see on our own. (and not covered by Viking's tour). like the: Hungarian Parliament, house of terror, The ruin pub- Szimpla Kert, a hungarian folkdance concert, a walking tour of the jewish quarter, or even Gellert Hill (on the Buda side).
Does using a taxi from the Hilton to go to all of these sites make sense? Or should we walk down the hill (3o minutes walk) to the Pest side each morning and then take a bus, tram or metro from there, but take a taxi back up the hill back to the hotel at the end of each day?
Also, using a taxi to Gellert Hill from the Hilton seems like a good plan, but is it? Is there a better way? And then getting back? We might walk down from Gellert hill to the Rudas Bath, but we'd still need a way back up the hill to the Hilton. How would you do it?
Also, reading up on the cautionary advice to use official taxis and how to hail an official one is rather daunting. Anyone use the Bolt app (formerly Taxify) to hail taxis in Budapest? I would love to here how other people got around on their own.

Posted by
2129 posts

It's not difficult to get from one side to another on either trams or the subway. We've stayed on each side upon occasion.

Posted by
6376 posts

There’s a little navette shuttle van that runs up the hill from the metro red line (line 2) at Szell Kalmann Ter (former Moszkva Ter, which it will always be to me).

The Hilton has an absolutely gorgeous setting and the views from there are fantastic.

Or take a taxi. It’s not that big a deal. Or go up via the Funicular once or twice and walk over on the flat a few hundred meters.

Posted by
3861 posts

We thought the trams and metro were very convenient. We also enjoyed walking across the bridges. We took a funicular up to the Mattias church. My recollection is that the Hilton is very close to Fisherman's bastion and Mattias church. We found Budapest to be very walkable. I think there are many options besides using taxis.

Posted by
2019 posts

We have stayed at the Hilton a few times while in Budapest. We usually walked down and over the bridge, not a big deal. We attended a folklore dance one night and it was a short walk from the hotel, down some steps. It was fun but the auditorium had no AC and it was pretty warm, we were there in July. The Hospital in the Rock is also on the Buda side, short walk, as is a military museum down the road. The Church and Fisherman’s Bastion is next door. I don’t remember taxis being too expensive. It is a beautiful hotel built into some ruins.

Posted by
6317 posts

Getting anywhere in Budapest (either side) is easy and convenient. No problems.

Posted by
6494 posts

Ask for a river view room at the Hilton.
There is a village area with shops near the Hilton. We easily went back and forth between Pest and Buda.
The historic cathedral- (St Stephens?) is next to the Hilton too.

Posted by
12319 posts

First, don't worry about taxis any longer, the gypsie cabs are gone. I like City Taxi, but they are all good.

Next, if you have to stay at the Hilton, so be it, Budapest is worth it.. If you have a choice, especially if you only have a few days, stay in Pest. You will be happy you did.

Posted by
2724 posts

We stayed in Pest and used the convenient tram or walked. We walked across the Bridge & took the shuttle that dropped us off at each site.

I can recommend a Jewish walking tour/classic tour that included the ruin pub & other areas of interest. We spent a few hours with guide Tímea Tarjani who customized our tour. We recommended her to friends who also raved about her tour. https://budapestjewishwalk.hu/

Posted by
6317 posts

The historic cathedral- (St Stephens?) is next to the Hilton too.

St Stephen's cathedral is on the Pest side. Mathias Church is the one on the Buda side near the Hilton.

Posted by
3861 posts

The church by the Hilton is Matthias. It's beautiful and definitely worth a visit. St. Stephan/St Istvan is on the Pest side, relatively close to Parliament, also a great place to visit. Also close to St. Stephan's is the Opera House. The interior is beautiful.

Posted by
6494 posts

Regarding the Hilton, check the price if you booked it directly with the hotel not through Viking. We booked it ourselves, had a river and Parliament view. Those who booked with Viking did not have river views and paid more for their rooms.

Posted by
3861 posts

We have done one river cruise with Viking. We enjoyed it. We did have "extensions" on each end, but I arranged it all myself. MUCH CHEAPER. We felt the river cruise was a reasonable value. We did believe, however, that they make a lot of money on the extra, optional excursions during the cruise and on the extensions.

I think that Hilton in Budapest would be enjoyable given that it is built into the ruins and the river view. However, if you are not happy with the location, arrange your own extension and stay in Pest. I am quite certain it will save you money.

Posted by
819 posts

Hello from Wisconisn,
Bus #16 will take into Buda very conveniently. Google it. It seems there is a #16b or some letter after the 16 that is the castle to Moskva ter run. That means changing from bus to metro. Going under the Danube (Duna) and not seeing where you are going.
The 16 will take you all the way to Deak Ferenc ter (ter means square). That is a major metro and bus hub, and is very near to most everything you want to see. Except the Szecheyni Baths. Maybe Rick will take you there. if NOT, go there on your own. Get in the three big pools and enjoy the MOST Hungarian experience of your trip.

From Deak Ferenc ter take the yellow line out to Szechenyi station. It is the first stop after Hosok ter (Heroes ter). YOu will probably feel awkward. Don't worry. Just do what they ask and get into your swim suit. Oh, take your swim suit with you, you don't want to rent one.

I am so envious. I have a map of Budapest that you might find handy. Ask for it from me at wmcca@hotmail.com. I will send it out. The back side of the map has some suggestions for riding the metros. Actually, one of my favorite routes could start from (Oops it is now called Kalman ter) Moscva ter.

wayn einWI

Posted by
819 posts

Hello again,
Someone recommended Gellert Hill. Don't walk up there and definitely don't walk down from the top. You will cripple yourself. WE walked down, and had a painful time crossing streets for several days. Curbs were just terrible.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
2202 posts

Disagree completely about Gellert Hill, unless you are physically impaired. At age 60, we walked up and down, coming from near the Buda Hilton, and then on into Pest, and back. No problems, just took our time.

Posted by
45 posts

We've stayed at the Hilton Budapest several times on HHonors points and have always had a good experience. The #16 bus is quite easy to use. It will take you to Széll Kálmán tér on the Buda side where you can transition to Pest, or to Deák Ferenc Tér M on the Pest side. It just depends on where you want to go in Pest.

Everything is close in Budapest and I think a taxi is not necessary.

If you're in okay shape, the walk to Pest is not difficult, although the Széchenyi Lánchíd is currently under renovations and probably not open to pedestrians. I would stick with public transport.

I've walked from the Hilton to Gellert Hill and up to the top and enjoyed it. It all depends on how much walking you do and how fit you are. You could certainly take a tram to the base and walk up from there. I didn't find it difficult and there are parts of the path that allow for a rest and a lovely view.