My wife and I are taking a Danube River Cruise in early April, 2022. We will have the entire afternoon to ourselves to explore Budapest. I found information about the Liszt Museum and thought that would be something we would enjoy doing on our own. I looked at the map of the city and it looks as if it is about 1.6 km from the Danube boating area to the museum. I would enjoy hearing the experiences of others who have visited the museum and what you may suggest in visiting there. Thanks.
We enjoyed visiting the Liszt Museum. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Liszt had a couple of the American made Chickering pianos. They were very similar to our 1847 Chickering square grand. We were informed that they have concerts at the museum but unfortunately none were scheduled when we we were there in 2019. Well worth viewing the history of Liszt. After visiting we stopped for lunch at Cafe’ Vian. https://lisztmuseum.hu/aboutus/about-us-119918
I have never been to the Liszt Museum but maybe I can help a little with the afternoon (including visiting the Liszt Museum).
I will assume that you are either on the boat that morning or I know some of the tours begin with the first night in a hotel. Some use the Sofitel, one uses the Hilton in Buda which is sort of nutz.
Not knowing, I will start you from the river front and I will assume your cruise includes the standard rushed trip up Andrassy, the Opera (now closed for renovations), Hero’s Square and then a bonzai trip to the Buda Castle District; and so skip any of that.
From the river front walk inland to Vorosmarty ter. It might take you 3 minutes. Use Google Maps but my guess it will be a straight walk up the nearest street from where ever you are. This is sort of the town square for District V. Since I bet you will get the drive up Andrassy ut with your tour lets go directly to the museum. Easiest way is to look into Vorsomarty ter and you will see two sets of stairs going down under the square. Go down the one on the right marked Mexikói út. You will find at the bottom the stop for the M1 metro line (oldest on the continent of Europe). Its sort of a Mario Brothers experience to ride. You will also see a large purple box where you purchase your ticket. I suggest you purchase a book of 10 tickets. Credit Cards accepted and instruction are in English (look for the UK flag at the bottom of the first screen).
Each person take a ticket and hop on the first train. Inside you will see and orange box, put a ticket in the slot to validate it (end opposite foil end).
You will get off at the fifth stop which is the Vorosmarty utca. Might take 5 minutes. Look out the window and you will see a sign in the station that says Vorosmarty utca. Go up the stairs and the museum is on your right on Vorsomarty utca.
If after that you still have time and are interested, on the opposite side of Andrassy ut and about 100m back the way you came from is the House of Terror. Forget the horrible name, excellent museum that explains fascism in Hungary during WWII. If there is no line to get in and if you rush a bit you can get through it in about 2 hours.
Maybe you want dinner now? (if not, just hop on the M1 metro and ride it back to Vorosmarty ter). But two excellent dinner choices are nearby. Both very Hungarian. One high end, one more casual.
So, from the Liszt Museum continue down Vorosmarty utca one (long) block to Szófia u. 33 (a block and a half on your right and about a 5 minute walk). Very Hungarian and somewhat casual. Good food and excellent experience. https://regosvendeglo.hu/ Few if any tourists.
For a higher end, experience it is hard to beat Király100 Gastro Corner at Kiraly utca, 100. For this you might want to make a reservation. https://kiraly100.hu/en/king100restaurant/ Basically unchanged for 100 years I love it because the food is exceptional, there are no tourists and its quintessentially Hungarian. To reach it from the Liszt Museum you walk up Vorsomarty utca two blocks and turn left on Kiraly utca. It will be up on the left (also about a 5 minute walk).
Now, you have 8 metro tickets left. Time to see the lights of Budapest. Or if you are out of time, return to Andrassy ut, cross the street to the metro stairs on the opposite side and take the M1 back to Vorosmarty ter.
But if you have time for the city and the lights:
From either restaurant you continue walking the direction that got you to the restaurant and turn left at the next street (Rózsa utca). This will take you back to Andrassy ut. At Andrassy ut turn right and walk up to the next metro stop Kodály körönd. (maybe 6 minute walk) The architecture on this great circular square are pretty impressive. Walk to the opposite side of Andrassy ut and go down into the metro (it will be marked Vorosmarty ter).
Validate your tickets and ride the metro four stops to the Bajcsy Zsilinszky station (maybe 5 minutes). Up the stairs and you will see a large avenue. Facing the avenue cross Andrassy ut and walk along the avenue until you see Yellow Trams. This is the 47/49 Tram line.
Walk to the trams (less than 5 minutes), get on, validate your tickets and sit on the left. It’s the end of the tram line so there is only one direction to choose from. You will pass magnificent buildings and the Great Synagogue on your way to the Great Market Hall stop (closes early, so sorry). Get off at the third stop which is in front of the Great Market Hall (Fovam ter … a bit more than 5 minutes).
Now, look to the river and you will see stairs going down. Go down the stairs and you will find the 2 Tram. This is a beautiful ride along the river front. Get on the tram moving from left to right and sit on the river side (after validating your tickets).
Two stops will take you to the center of the river front, more or less where I think you began (less than 5 minutes).
Let’s see, 2 tickets to get you to the museum, 2 tickets to get you to the 47/49 Tram, 2 tickets on the 47/49 tram and 2 tickets on the 2 Tram. That’s 10 tickets. That works.
This is a pretty good tour of Pest that avoids what I think the cruise line tour will show you. The lights are beautiful in the evening and you get to see some “real” Budapest. You should be back to the start by 10 pm.
Tell me where you are really starting and how much time you really have and we can adjust it accordingly.
The M1 Metro Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4ATOBz7Njc
The trip on the 47/49 Tram. About 52 seconds in you see the Synagogue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsFxWfBfCHs
2 Tram. I like this one, I am in it: https://1drv.ms/v/s!Ai7Zk-szxfTJhetC2-f3Xc0Rok4Ydw?e=PGO177
Wow, James. Thanks for all the information. I am going to print it out to take with us. We have been to Budapest one time before but did not have a lot of time to look around. We have a morning tour connected to our cruise but the afternoon is completely open for us to do whatever we want. I am not afraid to venture out and walk around seeing what we can so this information will be very helpful I appreciate it.
Happy to help. Let me know if I can do anything else for you.
If you are going to do a lot of exploring, then instead of the 10 tickets (3,000 ft) buy a couple of 24 hour travel cards (1650 each). You can get them out of the same purple box. https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/prices/
And review this before you get on the metro or a tram: https://youtu.be/Ax7MvPDKot8
And I have lived in Dallas, Marshall and Uncertain, TX Love Tyler.