Budapest is a city of sights, a photographer's dream. It's impossible to include them all in one article, so there are six different subcategories of Budapest on this website.
But as full of sights the city is, I don't find it as cozy as many other European capitals. The distances are quite long and there is traffic almost everywhere. So it's not a pedestrian's dream.
But be sure to visit Budapest at least once and see it all. The view from Gellert Hill or Castle Hill at sunset is hard to beat. The big city has something to offer for everyone.
Where to stay in Budapest
Inside the green lines, or close to them, would the best possible location to reach most of the sites as easily as possible. Although using metro or other transportation is probably needed at some point during the stay in Budapest, because the distances can be long, for example to Margaret Island or City Park. But there are several stations in that area.
Budapest is not an expensive city by any means, but that green area is the most expensive area nevertheless. You can find much better deals outside it, but I would still recommend staying inside the black lines, unless there's a very good value for money option elsewhere, preferably close to a metro station.
Things to do in Budapest
There are separate articles for the following attractions:
- Buda Castle and Fisherman's Bastion - The bastion and the whole Castle Hill is a must visit for everyone.
- City Park - Away from the city centre, but worth the visit. Attractions include for example the number one thermal baths in Budapest, Széchenyi Baths.
- Gellért Hill - Climb up to the Citadel and enjoy the best views in Budapest
- Margaret Island - The island in the River Danube is getaway from the city
There are endless choices for a river cruise in River Danube. You can choose for example a short sightseeing cruise for an hour or two, a longer candlelit dinner cruise around sunset, or take even a longer cruise across Europe and get off two weeks later in Amsterdam.
It's best to book them in advance online. There are several companies that offer different types of cruises.
Most of the cruises begin at the piers right in the city centre, on the Pest side. The whole bank is full of boats, and it's easy to get to them.
Váci utca is a long pedestrian street on the Pest side. It's located between Vörösmarty Square (around pictures number 6 and 13 on the map above) and Fővám Square (11 on the map).
It is full of stores and restaurants with terraces outside on the street. Many of them are aimed for tourists, and thus the quality-price ratio isn't the best in most restaurants, but it's a nice street to walk through anyway.
From the airport
- Airport bus. Starting from July 2017 there has been a direct bus connection between the airport and the city centre. Bus number is 100E, timetables can be found here: city-airport • airport-city.
When leaving the city to the airport, there are two stops to depart from: Deák tér and Kalvin tér. Make sure you have bought a special ticket for this 100E bus from the machines.
The Deák tér stop is not exactly at Deák Ferenc tér (square), it's just a little southeast from that, along Károly krt in front of Városháza Park. A picture of the area and the bus stop can be found here. That yellow building is a good way to find it (opposite side of the street of course).
And Kalvin tér stop is not right at the square either. It's at the beginning of Üllői út. You can see it here in the middle of the two buildings. There are two buses at the stop in the picture, red and blue.
- Info signs at the stops looked like these in August 2017: Deák tér - Kálvin tér.
- Bus 200E + metro line 3. Bus 200E operates between airport terminal 2 and Kőbánya-Kispest metro station (ending point of the metro line 3). Metro line 3 is being renovated (since fall 2018), and it might not be possible to take this line all the way to Kőbánya-Kispest in the evenings and weekends, so the airport bus 100E is a safer choice.
- Train takes you only to the east or northeast side of the city, but there are metro connections from the train stations. Metro lines 2 and 4 from Keleti (Pályaudvar=station) and line 3 from Nyugati. Timetables for trains: mavcsoport.hu.
- I don't usually include taxi as an option, since it's an obvious choice everywhere, but in Budapest the system is so easy, that I think it should be mentioned. Fö Taxi company has exclusive rights for the spots outside the terminal. There is a booth just after the terminal doors, where you have to go first. They ask the destination address, how any people, and how many bags. Then they print out the information, give you an estimate how much it's going to cost, and give you the taxi number which will soon arrive to pick you up. Just give the print to the driver. The final cost will be determined by the taximeter.
Weather in Budapest
Winter: The winter in Budapest is the cloudiest and coldest time of the year. The temperature in December goes on both sides 0°C. January and February are colder and on the coldest days it can get to -10°C and under, so a proper winter clothing is necessary, such as hat, winter shoes, gloves and scarf. Snowfalls occur mainly from mid-December to mid-February.
Spring: The temperature in spring months goes on average between 8°C - 15 °C. May can be already a very warm month with temperatures going over 20°C. The evenings aren’t that warm so it’s still good to have a coat with you along with a jumper and trousers.
Summer: June, July and August are the warmest of the year with temperature climbing to way past 30°C on the hottest days. Budapest gets as much sunshine as the Mediterranean destinations in the summertime. The weather is approximately over 20°C so most of the day you’ll be fine with shorts and t-shirts. Heavy sudden afternoon rains occur in May and June especially.
Autumn: The temperatures drop to 8°C - 15 °C in October. September tends to be still quite warm with over 20°C degree temperatures. In November the temperature can be already at 0°C. Similar clothing than in the springtime is advisable.