Dripping with history and culture, Budapest is a dream city-break destination filled with architectural treasures, opulent spas, and ornate coffeehouses. From Danube cruises and art nouveau bathhouses to hearty cuisine and classical music concerts, here’s how to make the most of a 2-day break in the Hungarian capital.
Day 1: The Best of Budapest
Morning: Beat the crowds with a convenient morning sightseeing tour focused on Budapest’s top landmarks. See sights such as the Budapest Parliament, Heroes’ Square, Buda Castle, and St. Stephen’s Basilica via coach or tuk-tuk tour—both of which ensure no time is wasted traveling between attractions. Alternatively, set your own pace with a hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Afternoon: Hot springs bubble up across Budapest, providing thermal waters for the city’s many historic bathhouses. Spend the afternoon soaking in the pools of the Gellért Baths, whose art nouveau interior makes it among the most aesthetically pleasing bathhouse complexes in town.
Night: Floating down the Danube is a quintessential Budapest experience—and one that is best done after sunset when the elegant riverside architecture is illuminated. Options include basic sightseeing cruises as well as dinner, wine-tasting, and craft-beer cruises.
Day 2: Hungarian Cuisine and Culture
Morning: Start your second day with a deep-dive culinary tour that goes far beyond goulash. Sample cured meats and other delicacies at the Central Market Hall and get a basic introduction to Hungarian wines during a guided tasting session.
Afternoon: If your stomach can accommodate more food, follow up with a dessert-themed tour that makes stops in the city’s grand coffeehouses for sweet pastries paired with steaming brews. If you’re too full, opt for a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter instead. Learn about the city’s Jewish heritage as you visit sights including the Dohány Street Synagogue and the Jewish Museum.
Night: After a day of snacking and sightseeing, unwind with an evening of music. Watch folk music and dance performances while dining on a traditional Hungarian feast in the Buda Hills, or attend classical or folk music recitals in Danube Palace or Vigadó Concert Hall.