Travel guide budapest: all information for your city trip

Budapest Travel Guide: The most important information for your city trip

Holidays in Hungary | 21 Comments Last updated on 10/01/2019

Budapest is like a second home to me. Since I lived in the Hungarian capital for half a year, I am drawn to the charming Danube metropolis again and again. In this travel guide for Budapest I have collected all the important information you need for your city trip.

It is a wonderful destination for a city break. The Danube metropolis has a very special charm. So that you are perfectly prepared, you will now find the most important travel information.

1st arrival

Getting to Budapest is pretty easy. I’ve almost always taken the train to Budapest. The Deutsche Bahn offers with the European Special Spartickets from 39 Euro each way. This is a great price and I like watching the slowly changing landscape on the train.

Another option is of course the plane. Just outside Budapest there is an airport, which is well connected to the city center by metro. The cheapest flight to Budapest is easiest with Momondo.

From the arrival by car I would personally advise against. The parking situation is very difficult and the Hungarians see cars as a commodity. There is often times a parked car with the bumper weggerammt, if the parking space is too small. From my apartment I actually heard a bang or an alarm system every day. That would be too tricky for me, unless you get a secure parking space from your accommodation. If you decide to drive, please note that in Hungary (and some neighboring states you are crossing) you have to pay a toll on the motorway. The vignette is valid for 10 days (about 12 euros), a month (about 19 euros) or a year (about 164 euros) and can be purchased at gas stations or online here with a credit card. Meanwhile you do not have to stick a vignette into the glass after paying, because the tolling process works completely electronically.

2. Accommodation in Budapest

Budapest has a great selection of accommodation. So there are beautiful hotels (in part with a view of the Danube). Travelers can highly recommend the following places to stay.

Accommodations of the higher price category:

  • Aria Hotel Budapest is a 5-star music-themed hotel with a rooftop bar and wellness center
  • Hotel Collect: Individually furnished double rooms and suites in the city center
  • Hotel Moments Budapest: Modern hotel with an extensive breakfast buffet right in the heart of Budapest
  • Roombach Hotel Budapest Center: Colorful 3-star hotel in the Jewish Quarter

Mid-range accommodations

  • Lovag Apartman: Nice apartment with balcony and great location near the main train station
  • Akácfa 57 Stylish Apartment: New apartment in the heart of Budapest for up to four people
  • Pal’s Hostel and Apartments: Accommodation with apartments, double rooms and dormitories centrally located next to St. Stephen’s Basilica

Accommodations of the lower price category:

  • Grand Backpackers: Small hostel with triple rooms and dormitories
  • Nest Budapest: Cozy hostel in a central location

Did not find it? Then have a look, if there is something for you here:

Otherwise, I find the life of the locals also very charming. In most of the buildings there is a backyard, where you can experience the everyday life of the Budapesters very well. That’s why it pays to stay in an apartment in Budapest. You will find the right apartment at Airbnb and with our invitation you will also receive 30 euros for your first booking!

Finally, a savings tip: At Urlaubguru there are always the right bargains, so you can get chic hotel rooms for a super low price. However, you should be flexible in terms of time for these offers.

3. The dear money

Although Hungary is a member state in the EU, you have to pay in Budapest with the local currency – the Hungarian forint. In a few years, the euro will be taken over in Hungary, but until then you have to make friends with the forint. One euro equals to a good 300 forints.

There are three ways to get a forint:

  1. The most expensive option is to change money into forints at your home bank. But I advise against that because the exchange rate is bad and you have to go to the bank first.
  2. Another option is the use of currency exchange offices, of which there are many in Budapest. There you can directly change Euros into Hungarian forints. But I also advise against it, because here too, the fees and the exchange rate are quite high (even if the fees are usually lower than at a bank in Germany).
  3. The cheapest alternative is to withdraw money from a vending machine with a travel credit card. That’s where you get the best exchange rate. Some ATMs ask you if you want to withdraw at a fixed exchange rate. You should always negate this question because it sets a more expensive exchange rate than you normally have to pay. You do not have to worry about anything if you want to withdraw money in Budapest.

In many tourist-oriented shops such as restaurants, you can also pay in euros, but in this case you have to expect that the hosts make the conversion clearly in their favor. The change you get then in forint again.

4. The Hungarian language

Hungarian is considered one of the most difficult to learn languages ​​in the world. I myself attended a basic course and could barely communicate in public life after several months. Many Hungarians also speak German and / or English, so that you can still communicate relatively well. Nevertheless, you should know four phrases for your stay in Budapest:

  1. Szia means Hi.
  2. Köszönöm szépen means Many thanks. Can also with KÖSZI be abbreviated.
  3. Good bye means bye and is the short form of Viszontlátásra.
  4. egeszsegedre means cheers. But beware: If you emphasize this wrong, you quickly twist the meaning and amuse the place. Therefore, prefer to practice pronunciation with a local before. Or you use the short form, the Egsch is pronounced.

5. Public transport

The public transport is well developed. By bus, boat, tram and metro you come conveniently through Budapest. The most important tickets are:

  • Single trip for 350 HUF
  • 10-seat ticket for 3,000 HUF
  • Day pass (valid 24 hours) for 1,650 HUF
  • Day pass for groups (up to 5 persons) for 3,300 HUF
  • 3-day ticket for 4,150 HUF
  • 7-day ticket for HUF 4,950

The tickets can be purchased at a counter or at vending machines. Single tickets must always be stamped on the red or yellow cancellers.

Current timetables or your next connection can be retrieved with the BKK Futár App (for iOS, Android and Windows).

Incidentally, people over the age of 65 travel for free in Budapest’s public transport system if they can prove with an identity card or passport that they are a national of an EU member state.

6. Attractions in Budapest

With all the travel information here I want to give you a small view of the great sights in Budapest.

You should definitely visit the big market hall, the castle, the fisherman’s bastion and one of the thermal baths (best Szechény Fürdö). Of course there is much more to discover in the metropolis. You can read more in our article about the sights in Budapest.

Budapest is really a charming city. I hope now that you are equipped with all the important facts and spend a great time in the Danube metropolis. We are curious how you liked it in Budapest. Write us a comment!

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Hey! Nice that you pass us by. We are Bina & Francis – globetrotters, adventurers and drone freaks. Since January 2015 we travel with camera drone in the luggage around the world. We love to explore our Earth from a new perspective!

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About the author

Hey, I’m Francis – globetrotter, blogger and drone pilot. Since January 2015 I travel around the world with Bina. Always in the luggage is a camera drone, with which we capture the most beautiful places from the air. On our blog we share with you the best tips for your next trip. Do you still have questions about this article? Then write us in the comments!

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Discussions on the topic

These are very good tips and hints.
I would have liked that last year when I was there. The city is really worth the trip. Maybe even a second soon.
Great post from you.

Hi Micha,
Thank you for your motivating feedback! It twitches us again to go to Budapest again. ;)
Best regards, Francis

Hello, as a frequent vacationer and as part of a traineeship I was thrilled with Budpes, many years ago.
And therefore very much looking forward to your report.
well done!

Hello Bruno, thanks for your comment!
Sunny greetings, Francis

I’m currently on a motorcycle tour Dolomites and it should continue to Hungary :) so I was looking for tips and have found some. Thanks for the report!

Hello Henrik, that’s what makes us happy! Continue a good trip!
Best regards, Francis

Great thing. Thanks for the tips. Just arrived in Budapest.

With pleasure! I hope you had a good time in the city :)

That is a very nice contribution.
We want to visit Hungary this summer and of course we would like to see Budapest. Since our holiday home is about 150km away from Budapest we have to go by car. Which (safe) parking options are there? Maybe in the outskirts ?
Thank you in advance..

Hello Dirk,
There are guarded parking lots throughout the city. But maybe it’s also an option to take the train to Budapest? I have already done that and it works quite well! As you can see the country again from a different perspective.
LG Francis

Which ATMs or banks you can recommend to withdraw money.

Hi Lucia,
I never had a particular home bank to go to. I only try to make sure that the vending machines are in a protected area if possible and / or that the area is under video surveillance. So the likelihood is lower that the machines have been manipulated.
LG Francis

Hello, again a great report.
Wanted to enter new address, but does not work.
Error thrown
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I sign up again.
Thanks and all the best!

Hello Bruno,
Thanks for the hint and your compliment – we go to the error and try to fix it.
Best regards

I am Hungary, I am from Budapest. At each machine you can withdraw money, but it is worth bringing cash and change there. The bank fees and the course is too high.

There are numerous parking garages which are monitored 0-24, but they are not cheap.

The station looks impressive! I agree with you, I also like watching the changing scenery from the train. How long does the trip from Germany take? LG

Hello Nava,
Of course that depends on where you start;) But I’m always on the road for 10-11 hours.
Many greetings,

Maybe you should give older readers from 65 times the tip that in Budapest
(or even in the whole of Hungary ??) in public transport FOR FREE .

Hello Hedwig,
if you suggest that so kindly, then I take this course with in the article on;)
Greetings, Francis

Need to change during the trip, or you can just drive on the same train?

hello Melanie,
that depends on where you start from. There is a Eurocity that goes from Hamburg via Berlin and Dresden to Budapest. So you can sit there. Two weeks ago I drove from Leipzig with change in Prague to Budapest. Look here for your connection.
Many greetings,

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