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How to Spend 1 Day in Budapest

How to Spend 1 Day in Budapest

With some smart planning, one day in Budapest will give you a delicious taste of the Hungarian capital, its remarkable history, and its rich culture. From viewing architectural treasures to soaking in thermal baths to cruising the Danube, here are the essential Budapest experiences to incorporate into your daylong visit.

Morning: Explore Historic Budapest

Budapest is stuffed to the brim with historic attractions and architectural eye candy, from the Moorish-influenced Dohány Street Synagogue to the neoclassical St. Stephen’s Basilica. Sightseeing tours, whether by coach, Segway, bike, or on foot, show off the city’s landmark structures as well as provide some historical context in the form of guide commentary. To sightsee at your own pace, choose a hop-on hop-off bus tour. Either way, you won’t want to miss the monument-lined Andrássy Avenue, the expansive Heroes’ Square, the hulking Citadella, and the neo-Gothic Budapest Parliament building.

Afternoon: Take to the Water

Fuel up with lunch in the historic Central Market Hall, then grab your bathing suit for an afternoon of relaxation. No trip to Budapest—no matter how fleeting—would be complete without taking a dip in one of the city’s world-famous thermal baths. Though there are lots to choose from, Széchenyi is one of the biggest and most well-known. Booking skip-the-line entry ensures that you get in quickly, so you can maximize your time in the outdoor pools, indoor baths, steam rooms, and saunas. If you’re feeling indulgent, treat yourself to a short massage to help you shake off any residual stress.

Night: Concerts, Cruises, and Ruin Bars

Budapest offers both sophistication and grit, and it’s easy to experience both sides of the city in one evening. Start with a classical music concert held in the magnificent St. Stephen’s Basilica or an authentic folk performance showcasing Hungarian traditions. Follow up the show with a dinner cruise along the Danube River, during which you can admire the elegant riverside architecture. After, head to the Jewish Quarter to see the city’s so-called ruin bars—derelict and abandoned spaces that enterprising locals have transformed into drinking spots.

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7 Tours and Activities

Sort by: Featured
Entrance to Széchenyi Spa & Guided Palinka Experience

Entrance to Széchenyi Spa & Guided Palinka Experience

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976
Skip the line at Széchenyi Spa, the largest public bath Budapest with 18 indoor and outdoor pools. Under neo-baroque domes, enjoy full-day access to a handful of steam rooms, saunas, and springs-fed baths. Dip in the impressive outdoor pool or soak up the sauna in the city that is famous for its relaxing baths. This ticket includes your own locker or changing cabin and the option to upgrade your experience with a massage.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 31.99
From
US$ 31.99

Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest

Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest

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1108
Experience the beautiful sights of Budapest on a cruise along the Danube River. See famous landmarks such as the Chain Bridge, which connects the eastern and western sides of the city, as well as Buda Castle. On board you can enjoy wine and Hungarian sparkling wine and a buffet-style dinner included on the cruise, based on the tour option selected. Live music sets the mood as you glide past the capital city’s stunning backdrop.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 31.40
From
US$ 31.40

Big Bus Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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1499
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 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 recorded commentary about Budapest's sights in several languages.
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  • 1 hour 40 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 17.77
From
US$ 17.77

Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop

Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop

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669
Stretch your legs and see the sights on this Budapest walking tour. Your local guide leads you to the jewels of the city, including UNESCO World Heritage sites like Heroes’ Square, where iconic statues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars sit, as well as the beautiful Buda Castle. Take a break with a delicious Hungarian dessert and a hot drink. This walking tour is limited to 10 people, keeping the experience intimate as you discover all that this incredible city has to offer.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 47.09
Price varies by group size
From
US$ 47.09
Price varies by group size

Organ Concert in the St. Stephen's Basilica with Optional Danube Cruise

Organ Concert in the St. Stephen's Basilica with Optional Danube Cruise

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103
Experience an organ concert at St. Stephen’s Basilica on your next trip to Budapest. The sound inside the dome of this neoclassical church makes it the perfect spot for Bach and Vivaldi, performed by some of Hungary’s most revered musicians. To continue the festivities, upgrade to a late-night dinner cruise on the Danube afterward, and toast to the beautiful view with a glass of Sparkling wine. A traditional Hungarian meal is also available on board, served buffet-style. Along the way, pass UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Buda Castle, lit up for the evening hours.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 23.70
From
US$ 23.70

Budapest Bike Tour

Budapest Bike Tour

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272
Saddle up for a comprehensive 3-hour tour of Budapest by bike. You’ll hit the streets with a private guide, wheeling past top attractions like Heroes’ Square, City Park, the Parliament Building and the Great Market Hall, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Learn about the rich history of this vibrant capital city while cruising along the charming streets and bike paths. This tour is limited to 15 people in order to keep the experience as intimate as possible.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 28.98
Price varies by group size
From
US$ 28.98
Price varies by group size

Budapest Ruin Bar Walk

Budapest Ruin Bar Walk

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44
Experience the best of Budapest’s vibrant nightlife scene with a small-group 'ruin bar' walking tour. Follow a guide through Budapest’s historic Jewish quarter and visit ruin bars among the disused warehouses and decaying factories. Enjoy drinks at the diverse bars along the way, and learn of the role they play in Budapest’s artistic and cultural offerings. Upgrade to a private tour for an evening pickup at your Budapest hotel, and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour — limited to eight people.
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  • 3 hours
  • iconEnglish
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$ 72.36
From
US$ 72.36


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