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Viking river cruise

My husband and I are taking Viking river cruise in may.We arrive in Budapest one and a half days before we get on the boat. Looking for suggestions, of places of interest to see while in Budapest.

Posted by
20838 posts

Rick's suggestions are right on this website: https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/hungary/budapest. Click on At a Glance.

The English language tours of the Hungarian Parliament are very popular and can sell out quite early. If that's something you definitely want to do (note that the tickets are pricey for non-EU citizens), you shouldn't wait until you arrive in Budapest to get your tickets, else you may be stuck with a tour conducted in a language you do not understand. A tour is mandatory; you cannot simply wander around the building.

Posted by
275 posts

A day and a half isn't a lot of time, but I'll throw this out anyway. A few years ago we did the RS Eight Days in Prague and Budapest tour. One morning in Budapest our group did a cooking class at the Chefparade Cooking School. It was a lot of fun and eating what we had prepared was wonderful. If you an avid cook, or even if you are not, it was a fun experience. We have done cooking and baking classes while on vacation and have found them as a great way to feel closer to a society.

Posted by
21662 posts

Get a copy of Steves' Budapest guidebook. It will cover everything you need to know. We ended our Viking cruise in Budapest and stayed a week. Great place, good prices.

Posted by
13409 posts

Smitty1210; which cruise, when (day and time) do you arrive in Budapest, where are you staying (let me guess, the Hilton?), and when do you have to be at the dock? With that we can dream up a do it yourself tour that avoids the things that are on the Viking sponsored tour. .

Posted by
133 posts

Hey Smitty, my wife and I are same place, mid-May. Taking the Atla. Perhaps our paths will cross.

Suggested reading ... "The Danube" by Andrew Beattie. It is not your standard pedantic guide book. The book explores the history of the river and its cultural legacy, giving meaning to the river. We will essentially be cruising along the northeast frontier of the Roman Empire.

There are descriptions of many of the places we will see and the author discusses their relationship with the river. Many of the sites offered by Viking as side-trips are talked about.

We signed up for the pre-cruise extension. Budapest is not "on the way there" so who knows when we could get there again. Definitely want to experience the city so we have a couple extra days.
Viking says the hotel will be the Inter-Continental. I'm betting 50/50 odds it will be something else.

James, we did sign up for a trip to Szentendre markets. It is on a Sunday and figuring Europe being Europe, a nice way to spend a Sunday.

Posted by
13409 posts

GoWest au contraire, Budapest is on the way to some the most interesting parts of Europe. Its always my jumping off point.

As for the Intercontinental Hotel, you could do a lot worse. Just do a half day in District V (the Hotel locatiin), then get out and see the good stuff.

Posted by
133 posts

Will likely follow your advice on Budapest food and walks. Looks like good advice.

Looking at a map, I won't be stopping in Budapest for my journey to Vilnius. However, if i like it half as much as you seem, I'm sure it will make the 2nd visit list. Maybe Danube down to Black Sea.

Posted by
13409 posts

If you like Eastern Europe, and it appears you do, WizzAir's hub is Budapest and its nonstop in 1 to 1.5 hours to every corner of Eastern Europe starting at about $25 a ticket. Or take the train.

Posted by
474 posts

What cruise are you taking, and do you know how many days your itinerary includes in Budapest? Some itineraries include a day or two in Budapest before embarking, as well as some "shore excursions" (like our cruise had one that included Castle Hill, Heroes Square, the market hall). So you might want to find out for sure what you'll already be getting from Viking while in Budapest (if anything, depending on the itinerary) so you can line up something different to do on your own.