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How to Spend 3 Days in Budapest

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How to Spend 3 Days in Budapest
With three days in Budapest, you can experience the main sights and then some. Delve into the local culinary scene, step back into the city’s rich history, take advantage of money-saving sightseeing passes, and squeeze in side trips to the Danube Bend or the Etyek wine region. Here’s a 3-day itinerary that packs it all in.

Day 1: Discover the City
Spend the first day checking off quintessential Budapest experiences. A hop-on hop-off bus tour takes you around the top sights, allowing you to get off and explore landmarks such as Heroes’ Square, the Budapest Parliament, and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Then board a lunch cruise down the Danube and dine on a traditional buffet as you float under Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lanchid).

After lunch, waste no time waiting in line at Budapest’s famous thermal baths by booking a priority access ticket to Széchenyi Baths. Submerge yourself in hot thermal pools and destress with a massage. Now that you’re revitalized, spend the evening hopping between Budapest’s ruin bars, which occupy abandoned, disused, and often crumbling spaces. Many serve casual bar bites, such as sandwiches and sausages, alongside beer, cider, and Hungarian wines. Alternatively, make a pit stop at a street side stall for lángos (deep-fried bread topped with sour cream and cheese). 

Day 2: Take a Day Trip
Venture outside the city for a day in the Hungarian countryside. Travel to Etyek to taste the region’s renowned white and sparkling wines, many of which are produced by small-scale, family-run wineries. Other popular day trip destinations include the Danube Bend, where you can wander the galleries and museums of riverside Szentendre and explore the medieval castle and Renaissance palace of Visegrád.

Farther away and less explored by tourists is the Great Plain region, known as the puszta. Spend a day here to learn about pastoral folk traditions and explore historical cities, such as the art nouveau–influenced Kecskemét and the culture-rich university town of Szeged.

Back in Budapest, head for the Castle District, where you’ll find a high concentration of quality restaurants with terraces for warmer-weather alfresco dining.

Day 3: Experience Hungarian Culture and Cuisine
Spend your final morning museum-hopping. The Budapest Museum of History provides a comprehensive overview of the city’s past, while the Hungarian National Gallery specializes in fine arts. Housed in a converted 18th-century monastery, the Kiscelli Museum is another worthwhile option, with quirky and eclectic displays ranging from exhibits of baroque sculptures to a re-created 18th-century pharmacy. 

Having worked up an appetite, spend the afternoon snacking on a guided food tour that covers the Great Market Hall and the Jewish Quarter. Sample various dishes and delicacies, from piping hot goulash and paprika-spiced sausage to artisan chocolate and kosher pastries. 

That evening, continue your cultural quest by attending a live folk performance. Watch traditional dancers and musicians in action at historical venues such as Danube Palace or Budai Vigadó.
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Budapest Tours & Activities (8)
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Half-day Wine Tasting Tour in Etyek Wine Country near BudapestWine Tasting

Half-day Wine Tasting Tour in Etyek Wine Country near Budapest

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Experience the best of Hungary’s wine region on a half-day Etyek wine country tour from Budapest with dinner. You’ll leave the capital city in the morning or the afternoon to discover the serene landscape of the Etyek wine region, known best for its white and sparkling varieties. Your local guide will bring you to two or three family-run cellars to sample wines as you hear the history behind their production. This intimate group tour will conclude with a traditional, 2-course Hungarian meal.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$59.68 
From  
US$59.68 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Big Bus Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off TourHop on Hop Off

Big Bus Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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This Big Bus hop-on hop-off tour of Budapest is one of the easiest ways to get around the city while you’re traveling. Book your night tour, 1-, 2-, or 3-day ticket and explore at your own pace. The route stops at many key areas of Budapest, including Heroes’ Square, the Hungarian Parliament Building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the Hungarian State Opera House. The bus offers free onboard Wi-Fi and recorded commentary about Budapest's sights in several languages.
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$19.51 
From  
US$19.51 
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Budapest Food Walking TourHalf-day Tours

Budapest Food Walking Tour

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Sample the best of Budapest on this culinary walking tour. Your expert foodie guide shows you the local ingredients at the Great Market Hall and where to try a hot helping of goulash, a stew made Hungarian-style with paprika and other famous local dishes. Stop for a seasonal sweet treat, an award-winning, authentic hand-made chocolate bonbon and in a local restaurant taste a world-famous Hungarian dish and a popular dessert tasting. As you walk, relish the chance to snap photos of top attractions like the Great Synagogue and get a glimpse into smaller hidden streets.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$95.46 
From  
US$95.46 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

From Budapest: Danube Bend Day Trip including LunchDay Trips

From Budapest: Danube Bend Day Trip including Lunch

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Discover the dreamy landscapes of the Danube Bend, the most scenic stretch of the Danube River, on this full-day tour from Budapest. Escape the capital for a scenic drive through the countryside, stopping in Visegrad, admire the neoclassical cathedral of Esztergom from outside, and browse the handicrafts shops of Szentendre. After tucking into a delicious 3-course lunch (included), hop aboard for a romantic cruise along the Danube River and sail back to the capital by boat.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$79.84 
From  
US$79.84 
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Danube Cruise in BudapestDay Cruises

Danube Cruise in Budapest

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Take in the beautiful Budapest panorama on a sightseeing cruise along the Danube River. Snap photos of the Chain Bridge, Gellért Hill and more as you experience why this city’s landscape was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Multiple upgrade choices include options for a buffet lunch with traditional Hungarian dishes, an onboard winetasting session, and onboard winetasting session with round-trip transfers.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
US$9.37 
From  
US$9.37 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Budapest CardMuseum Tickets & Passes

Budapest Card

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Discover Budapest with a 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120-hour Budapest Card, providing discounts, tours and transportation while you explore the city independently. Enjoy free entry to top museums, two complimentary walking tours, admission to the thermal baths and more. Your card also includes discounts at popular restaurants, free public transportation and a guidebook with helpful information about the included services.
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$25.25 
From  
US$25.25 
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  • 4 days
  • Free Cancellation

From Budapest: Puszta Great Plains and Kecskemet Day TripDay Trips

From Budapest: Puszta Great Plains and Kecskemet Day Trip

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Explore the Great Plains of Hungary on a scenic day trip to the towns of Lajosmizse and Kecskemet. Departing from your Budapest hotel, escape city life for the day to experience a region full of sun, rivers and lakes. This tour includes a welcome drink along with a traditional Hungarian meal, and provides the chance to discover a hidden jewel for fishing, water sport and equestrian enthusiasts. 
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  • 8 hours
From  
US$79.19 
From  
US$79.19 
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  • 8 hours

Hungarian Dance Performance Ticket in BudapestTheater

Hungarian Dance Performance Ticket in Budapest

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Delight in over an hour of music and dancing at a Hungarian folk performance in Budapest. This authentic folk show will provide entertainment from one of the top ensembles in the country, either the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble, the Danube Folk Ensemble or the Hungaria Folk Ensemble and Orchestra. Meeting at either the Danube Palace or Budai Vigadó, you’ll have the chance to soak up all the rich culture this city has to offer.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$27.54 
From  
US$27.54 
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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