48 Hours in Budapest: Where To Stay, What To Do & Where To Eat

48 Hours in Budapest: things to do, where to stay and where to eat

Budapest. The ultimate in a tale of two cities: made up of Buda and Pest they are separated by the Danube River to become two contrasting sides of the same coin. Buda is the hilly, historic side of town and home to the castle; Pest is flat and sprawling and home to many of Budapest’s Highlights.  Each side offers something unique for visitors to Hungary’s capital and largest city – and I’m here to provide you with the ultimate guide for your weekend city break! Keep reading for the best way to spend 48 hours in Budapest Including my Top 10 Things To Do, Where to Stay and Where to Eat – all you need to do now is decide when you are going! Budapest City Break | Weekend in Budapest | Perfect Short Break Budapest | 48 Hours Budapest | 3 days in Budapest

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do Weekend Budapest Ultimate Guide

RELATED: This is the fifth stop on my ‘Europe By Rail in 25 Days‘ Tour. Click the link to find out all about it! Weekend Budapest Budapest City Break | Weekend in Budapest | Perfect Short Break Budapest | 48 Hours Budapest | 3 days in Budapest

48 Hours in Budapest: things to do, where to stay and where to eat

So you’ve got a weekend (or more!) in Budapest and want to know what to what to see, where to stay and where to eat, well look no further! As a seasoned weekend traveler – and adept at packing a lot into a short space of time, let me first take you on a tour of my highlights of this amazing city including where to stay, top things to do and where to eat! for your 3 days in Budapest

RELATED: Want to read about other cities you can hit in 48 hours – and the other stops on this Eurotrip? Read my posts on Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague & Krakow to get you started!

1. Buda Castle 48 Hours Budapest Things To Do 3 days budapest

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do

Dating back to the 12th Century, it is also known as the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle – and is a beautiful building sitting overlooking both the Parliament and the rest of the Pest side of the city. As well as offering panoramic views itself, it is also home to Fisherman’s Bastion and boasts a funicular railway for those attempting to reach the castle from the Chain Bridge.


2. Liberty Statue & Liberty Bridge 3 days in Budapest

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do

Just a short (but uphill climb) from Budapest Castle is the Liberty Monument (affectionately known as the ‘Bottle Opener’ by locals) and below that the Liberty Bridge – the third and shortest bridge in Budapest. We found these places by accident on our way to the castle and offer some unique photo opportunities up close.

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do


3. Fisherman’s Bastion 3 days Budapest 48 hours Budapest

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do

Situated on Castle Hill, Fisherman’s Bastion is the perfect viewing place for panoramic shots of the city, and is framed by fairy tale lookout towers.

. Weekend Budapest

4. Chain Bridge 3 days in Budapest – 48 hours Budapest

Budapest 48 Hours Highlights Things To Do Weekend in Budapest

The main bridge that spans Buda and Pest, it is a Hungarian icon, and the first permanent bridge between the 2 cities. No visit to Budapest would be complete without walking across this bridge! Visit the bridge during your 3 days in Budapest or 48 Hours in Budapest

5. Hungarian Parliament Building Weekend Budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things

An absolutely stunning building, it is a perfect example of Neo-Gothic architecture – and possibly my favorite Parliament building in Europe. Make sure you come back at multiple times of the day – and from different angles – for shots in different light. Budapest travel guide 3 days in Budapest


6. Shoes on the Danube 48 hours Budapest 3 days Budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things

A memorial commemorating  the Jews murdered in Budapest during the Second World War. The memorial represent those who were forced to remove the shoes on the banks of the river, so that when they were shot their bodies fell into the Danube and we carried away by the tide. Conceived by film-maker Can Togay, it remains one of the most dramatic and moving memorials to the murdered Jews of Europe. 3 Days in Budapest 48 Hours Budapest Things To Do

Looking for a little extra history? Read my post in the 4 Sites that will turn your EuroTrip into the Ultimate History Lesson.

. Budapest travel guide

7. Szechenyi Thermal Baths 48 hours Budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things

(In my humble opinion) the *BEST* Thermal Baths to visit in Budapest. It is the largest medicinal baths in Europe and with 15 indoor baths and 3 large outdoor pools, you’ll be spoilt for choice as you hop form one perfectly heated pool to the next. For the outdoor pools, the temperature is 30 degrees in summer and 34 in winter. Just Perfect! (If you don’t mind braving the cold to get to them!) There are other thermal baths in Budapest,  but we preferenced this one, not only for it’s iconic status, but also because there are no restrictions on male/female only bathing. – which is something to bear in mind if going to smaller or less known public baths. 48 Hours Budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things


8. Hosok Tere / Hero’s Square Weekend Budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things To Do | 3 Days in Budapest

The largest square in Budapest, it was laid out in 1896 on the 100th anniversary of Hungary and has several statues within the structure. 3 days in Budapest 48 hours budapest

*TIP* If you can visit the square in both daylight and at night, you will get 2 stunning sets of photographs *TIP*  Weekend Budapest Budapest travel guide


9. Vajdahunyad Castle 48 Hours Budapest Things To Do Budapest travel guide3 days in budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things | 3 days in Budapest

Located in City Park, only minutes from both the Szechenyi Baths and Hero’s Square, Vajdahunyad Castle is a romantic, fairy-tale-style castle whose grounds have exhibits celebrating architectural evolution. Or so the website says. What we found were fantastically whimsical structures immersed in the lake and all open to varying interpretation! A great photo opportunity for the weird and wonderful! Budapest travel guide

Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat

10. State Opera House 48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things To Do Weekend Budapest 3 days in budapest

48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things

A neo-Renessaince  Opera House located in the center of Pest, it is an architecturally stunning building and well worth a quick stop. Budapest travel guide

And a little further away: *Bonus* Weekend Budapest

11. Memento Park48 Hours Budapest Highlights Things To Do 3 days in budapest

Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat

Kooky and a little strange, Memento Park is a an open air museum dedicated to statues and sculpted plaques from Hungary’s Communist period. There are statues of Lenin, Marx, and Engels, as well as several Hungarian Communist leaders. It is s a unique photograph opportunity if you have some extra time to get out of the city to go take a look!


where to stay in Budapest 3 days in Budapest

These are my top 3 options in each price bracket, to read the full post head on over to my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WHERE TO STAY IN BUDAPEST – THE BEST HOTELS AND HOSTELS TO SUIT EVERY BUDGET. We’ll have the perfect hotel for you picked out in no time!where to stay

Corinthia Hotel Budapest (Luxury Stay +$200 per night)

Corinthia Hotel Budapest provides elegant 5-star accommodation in Budapest. It also offers an indoor pool, a Turkish steam bath and a Jacuzzi.
Want to know more? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

Art'Otel Budapest (Mid-Range Stay $100-$200 per night)

Featuring exclusive views of The Danube, Art'Otel Budapest By Park Plaza is set in the heart of Budapest and offers free Wi-Fi and a rooftop terrace. It is conveniently located for guests wanting to sightsee in the area.
Like More Info? Click to Read The latest reviews

Stellar Residence Budapest (Budget Stay <$100 per night)

Stellar Residence is located in Budapest and features free Wi-Fi and an indoor pool. The apartments are air conditioned and include an in-room dining area, a coffee maker and a refrigerator. For those who wish to cook their own meals, there is a kitchen that is equipped with an oven, a microwave and kitchenware.
Like to know more? Click to Read the latest reviews
Where To Stay in Budapest

Maverick City Lodge (Backpacker Stay $27-31 per night)

Maverick City Lodge features air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi in all areas,on-site bicycle rentals and was renovated at the end of 2013. Each private room at the Maverick is equipped with a flat-screen cable TV, while dormitory rooms have individual lockers to secure your things.
Like to know more? Click to Read the latest reviews


WHERE TO EAT in Budapest – 3 days in Budapest

If your looking to grab a bite to eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Budapest. From funky little cafes to some amazing 5* spots, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is how many places can you fit into one visit!

Day-to-Day Eats Where to eat Budapest 3 days in Budapest
  • Lucky 7 Burgers – Lucky 7 offer gourmet burgers, fresh salads, Hungarian specialities, and sweets.
  • Pizzica – Pizzica in Nagymező Street is a really cool place where two brothers create the tastiest Roman pizzas that you can eat outside of Italy!
  • Bors GasztroBar – Their daily-refreshed specials include soups and baguettes with unique flavoring, various vegetable stews, and pasta creations.
  • KönyvBár & Restaurant – A Bookshop inspired restaurant where every week they ‘Cook a Book!’ Think recipes inspired by the ‘Basilix’ from Harry Potter or ‘Snozzcumber’ from the BFG. It’s a cute concept that brings out some amazing food!
Luxury Eats in Budapest where to eat 3 days in Budapest
  • CostesSmart, neutral-toned dining room for tasting menus of gourmet fish & meat dishes & Hungarian wines.
  • Onyx Gourmet cuisine & tasting menus with wine pairings, in regal dining room.
  • Baraka – Baraka is an old-new fine dining restaurant which has a cozy bar and lounge. Led by chef Norbert Bíró, the kitchen moves on a contemporary Asian-European cuisine.
Don’t Miss:
  • The Ruin BarsThese bars are built in Budapest’s old District VII neighborhood (the old Jewish quarter) in the ruins of abandoned buildings, stores, or lots. A very unique experience, and one not to miss when in Budapest.

So there you have it – my top picks and highlights for 48 hours in Budapest! Let me know if I have included your favorite spots – and let me know if there are any that I’ve missed!

And if my Top 10 are only scratching the surface for you – head on over to the Crazy Tourist’s Top 25 Things to Do in Budapest!

Oh, and don’t forget, if you liked this post please click the pin button in the share bar & add to your favorite Pinterest Boards – I would really appreciate it ?

Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat for 3 Days in Budapest    Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat

Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat     Budapest Ultimate Guide - Where To Stay What To Do Where to Eat
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74 thoughts on “48 Hours in Budapest: Where To Stay, What To Do & Where To Eat

  1. Nancy says:

    First of all I have to say your photo’s are really good! They make me want to visit there again and soon. Funny we have not made it to the baths yet but should have. When we do it will be the Szechenyi Thermal Baths without a doubt.

  2. Lillie says:

    I have been longing to go to Budapest because my husband has family connections there, but I had no idea half of the things on this list existed. The Fisherman’s Bastion looks the coolest!

  3. Anda says:

    It seems you covered a lot in 48 hours, Vicki. I love Budapest a lot. My husband and I have an apartment there and go very often. I can never get bored of Budapest.

  4. Lolo says:

    We visited for NYE in 2014 into 2015 and were totally surprised by HOW much we fell in love with Budapest! Have been dying to go back ever since, when the weather is warmer! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. Laura Lynch says:

    Great list of highlights. I would love to do all of these things. Are they all walkable, or can you take public transportation? We try to jam as much into a short time period too, so this is great for us.

  6. Anna @ shenANNAgans says:

    Wow, the opera house is absolutely beautiful, is it still used for opera productions? Wouldn’t it be fun to dress up and attend a function there. Awesome. Budapest really looks like a beautiful place to visit. 🙂

  7. Long Nguyen says:

    A very clear view for my plan to viist Budapest. East Europe is always the most beautiful place to visit in our group of friends. definiately should visit Budapest one day.

  8. Meg Jerrard says:

    Fab itinerary – Budapest is one of my favorite cities in Europe – wonderful memories from a river dinner cruise – the parliament building was so magical when lit up at night!

  9. Emma Raphael says:

    Brilliant list. You packed a lot in 48 hours! We went for the first time last year, it’s only a 6 hour drive from us, and to be honest as much as I had heard about it, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is now definitely one of my favourite cities! The food and wine we had was excellent too! 🙂

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Emma – and glad you had a great time! I miss living in Europe and being so close to amazing cities like Budapest!

  10. Mindi Hirsch says:

    I’m dying to get back to Budapest. I have such great memories of the thermal baths and coffee. shops Now you have reminded me how beautiful the city is beyond the thermal baths and coffee shops.

  11. Carly Moore says:

    I’ve been looking at going to Budapest for a weekend, so this guide is great. Seen lots of pictures of the shows on the danube, and would really like to see it for myself. And all that architecture!

  12. noel says:

    Fantastic tour and highlights, I’ve never been to Memento park, looks like a fun place to explore and take some interesting photographs

  13. mags says:

    Eastern Europe is someplace I would love to explore more of. Budapest looks beautiful, and I’ve a big history buff so I’m sure I would love it. Thanks for sharing your highlights.

  14. Mar Pages says:

    The shoe memorial was really moving. what a horrible reason for them to be there. 🙁
    The thermal baths look great for the an evening dip after exploring the city though, how interesting that men and women aren’t separated.

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Mar – The other two Baths in Budapest offer segregated bathing – but these are also clothing optional! We though the safest option would be clothes mandatory mixed bathing!

  15. Shobha says:

    I was in Budapest years ago for New Years Eve. It was really really cold! We didn’t do much sightseeing because it was definitely a time to stay somewhere inside (and eat and drink!). I’d love to go back and actually see some of the city – thanks for the reminder!

  16. Joanna says:

    I have been to Budapest several times and seen all the places on your list. I missed the baths though and the river dinner cruise. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was to have a three course meal while cruising the Danube

  17. lilytravella says:

    I didn’t even know about Liberty Bridge. Something I definitely want to see! I love that you can have short trips in Europe and still see so much!

  18. anto says:

    Budapest is one of the few major European cities I still need to go to. Thanks for the inspiration, I should really look into it sometime soon!

  19. Janna says:

    I’ve never been to Europe and I would probably visit Spain and France before anything else but Hungary specially Budapest looks so beautiful from what I can tell in your photos. I love architecture and appreciate that they have gorgeous buildings all throughout the city. Would love to explore Budapest someday!

  20. Danielle Des says:

    Two of my must-sees on this list would be the Parliament and the shoes on Danube River. One would bring me lots of happiness and the other sorrow, but it’s an important part of Hungarian history.

  21. Megan says:

    Wow! I’ve heard great things about Budapest but so impressed by the architecture especially Fisherman’s Bastion. Hope to visit someday.

  22. Paul says:

    Great post, we absolutely loved Budapest and you seem to have covered pretty much everything in such a short amount of time, good going!! I really loved the Parliament building at night, absolutely stunning. But the Shoes on the Danube really got to me, a moving tribute.

  23. Theresa says:

    I learned something about Budapest. Thanks. I was torn between visiting Prague vs Budapest on my last Euro trip and chose Prague. Budapest is still on my list. Thanks for the tips and great photos.

  24. Priya says:

    I have been longing to go to Budapest and a cruise on the Danube. Beautiful photos, you covered quite a bit for 48 hours, pinning it for future trip inspiration!

  25. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    Budapest is really charming. The Parliament building looks so resplendent in the night. We have planning for East Europe for some time. Hope plans materialize and we can see first hand the enchanting beauty of Budapest along with Vienna and Salzburg.

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