Budapest Itinerary: Planning Your Time

Memento Park, Budapest
With a third or fourth day in Budapest you can visit the communist statues that were banished to outlying Memento Park.
By Rick Steves and Cameron Hewitt

Budapest demands at least two full days — and that assumes you'll be selective and move fast. To slow down and really dig into the city, give it a third or fourth day. Adding more time allows for day trips.

Below are some possible plans, depending on the length of your trip. Each evening, you have a range of options: savoring good restaurants, attending an opera or concert, enjoying a romantic river cruise, relaxing in a thermal bath (some are open after hours), exploring the city's ruin pubs and other nightlife, or simply strolling the floodlit Danube embankments and bridges.

Budapest in Two Days

You'll only have time to squeeze in one or two big sights; the most worthwhile are the Parliament (book tickets ahead online), the Great Synagogue, the Opera House, and the House of Terror.

Day 1

Spend the day in Pest. Follow our guidebooks' self-guided Leopold Town Walk, then our Downtown Pest Walk, ending at the Great Market Hall. Then circle around the Small Boulevard to Deák Tér (perhaps stopping en route at the Great Synagogue) and consider doing our self-guided Andrássy Út walk and our Heroes' Square and City Park walk. Or, if you're exhausted already, just take the M1/yellow Metró line to Hősök Tere and ogle the Heroes' Square statues and Vajdahunyad Castle. In the late afternoon, reward yourself with a soak at the Széchenyi Baths.

Day 2

In the morning, tackle any Pest sights you didn't have time for yesterday. After lunch, ride bus #16 or #216 from Deák Tér to Buda's Castle Hill and follow our guidebooks' Castle Hill Walk. Finally, head back to Pest for dinner.

Budapest in Three or More Days

Day 1

Get your bearings in Pest. Begin with our guidebooks' self-guided Leopold Town Walk (including a tour of the Parliamentbook tickets ahead online), followed by our Andrássy Út Walk (including touring the Opera House and the House of Terror). Then ride the Metró out to do our Heroes' Square and City Park Walk. End your day with a soak at the Széchenyi Baths.

Day 2

Delve deeper into Pest, starting with our Downtown Pest Walk. After visiting the Great Market Hall, circle around the Small Boulevard for our guidebooks' Great Synagogue and Jewish Quarter Tour. If you'd like to squeeze in another spa, cross the river to Buda for a soak at the Gellért or Rudas baths.

Day 3

Use the morning to see any remaining Pest sights. Then, after lunch, take bus #16 or #216 from Deák Tér to Castle Hill for our Castle Hill Walk.

With More Time

If you have a fourth day, spread the day 1 self-guided walks over more time, circle back to any sights you've missed, and consider heading out to Memento Park to see a collection of old communist statues. With five or more days, start adding side trips. Our Budapest guidebook covers a variety of easy and rewarding day trips, as well as a few fine towns worth an overnight or two (Eger, Pécs, Sopron, Bratislava).

Cameron Hewitt is the co-author of the Rick Steves Budapest guidebook.