We had heard of Budapest’s architecture and history, but we were not aware of it as the hip city in Hungary for young tourists looking for a fun weekend or even an away day! So, here is our Guide to Budapest if you had less than 30 hours to visit!
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If you had only 28 hours in Budapest, what do you do?
Well, you may not know that Budapest is also known to have some of the best nightlife in Europe. The main attraction in the city for us were the natural hot spas. But no spoilers here…Today we share the Pkjulesworld guide to Budapest in 28 hours or less!
Of course, you know that Budapest is the capital city of Hungary, right? Its wrapped around and curves the river Danube with its nuevo architecture, historic natural baths and fun night life. It is also infinitely romantic… (Says the romantic in the pkjulesworld quartet) 😉Historic natural baths and fun night life. It is also infinitely romanticClick To Tweet
Guide to Budapest – The Basics
We found Budapest an easy city to navigate. Simply because the river Danube is its epicenter, with the Buda part of the city to the west of the river. (Buda means hill)
The Buda side is also where you find the Presidential Palace and lots of fun tourist sites. It’s quite green and leafy with some natural hot springs. The views across the Pest side are amazing as you note the sky dominating Gothic parliament building on the far riverbank.
Talking of the Pest side, (Flat or Plain) this is on the East side of the Danube famous for its Jewish quarter, the hip shopping boulevards and the famous Ruins Bars!
Quite bohemian we think! As they look like a scene from some kind of eclectic ruins.East side of the Danube and its famous for its Jewish quarter, the hip shopping boulevardsClick To Tweet
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How to Get to Budapest
With lots of flights from UK, you will be spoilt for choice. Since we are based in the North West, we usually fly from Manchester Airport and we make our bookings via Booking.com.
Of course, you can go straight to any airline website, or you can be a Savvy traveller and use our Flight Tips to grab a bargain! We got one for £28 One way + tax!
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Where to Stay in Budapest
We will not assume you are on a Budget….So we will share top end, and budget options for ya.
If you got the Platinum, head to The Corinthia Hotel on Andrassy Boulevard and you will feel like you just walked into a den of luxury… You will have! For a Superior suite you should be ready to part with at least £280 a night, Incl. breakfast!
We stayed there on our very first visit to the city and I can tell you it is breath-taking.
And according to the Locals,
“The Corinthia Hotel Budapest is the Hotel to be at in Budapest, if you have a deep wallet”.
If you are on a budget, Budapest has lots to offer you too and you could stay at the Brody House. A boutique style hotel right opposite the Museum on the Pest side of the city.
You will be within walking distance of all the main “left bank” sights. Be ready for what for want of a better word we shall call shabby chic at £68 a night (at time of publishing). Remember you are here for only 28 hours. 😉If you are on a budget, Budapest has lots to offer you tooClick To Tweet
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What to Do while awake in Budapest
Okay let’s assume you arrive in the city of Budapest at the crack of dawn and you are whizzed off to your hotel in record time by your pre-arranged airport pick up ride!
Then you could have all day to savour the sites of Budapest, have some fun at night and have at least 6 hours kip before you head on to your next stop!
So, let’s say first things first, you need breakfast and its served at your hotel yay!
#1. While at the concierge, you book your stop over at the Budapest Thermal Baths. If its summer time, the Public baths are open and free!
If you booked yourself at the Corinthia Hotel above, you want to stick to the Spa, its world class and you paid for that at £280+ A night.
Otherwise, we recommend the Szechenyi Baths. This could set you back between £15 – £20 depending on which website you chose!
You could kill an hour or so at the baths then…
#2. Take the Hop-on-hop-off Bus tour of the city so you get a taste of both the Buda and Pest parts, including those Selfie Insta-worthy moments! You definitely will need at least 3 hours with minimal hop off if you are to take in most of the well-known sites if this amazing city! This should set you back £20 – 33 depending on the add-ons you chose!
We would choose a 24hour Hop-on-hop-off Bus tour with optional Night boat Cruise…Get a taste of both the Buda and Pest parts, including those Selfie MomentsClick To Tweet
Check out Trip Advisor reviews before you book as some companies just don’t offer a great service.
These buses offer a run-down of the sites you see via an on-board audio commentary so you know where you can hop off for a deeper look and kodak moments! Very helpful.
Our tour came with our booking so we had everything sorted.
We wandered around the Old Buda side, checked out the Presidential Palace, marvelled at the Budapest statue-of-liberty, and the breath-taking views across to the Parliament!
We had a romantic night cruise across the Danube, the feeling and views are simply awe inspiring.
Be sure to choose a departure point that’s not too far from your hotel or you will have a long walk for your bus pick up and drop off point!
With all that site seeing you will be ravenous so let’s find you some food.
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Where to eat in Budapest
You could head on to the Pest side and taste samples of choice cuts of Hungarian ham at Divin Porcello. Be sure to call in case you don’t get a table! 😊 A board could set you back a modest £6
And you could grab some Cheese selections while you are there as a gift for your bestie maybe!
Address: Apaczai Csere Janos utca 7, Budapest 1051, Hungary
Tel: +36 30 665 1004
If you are vegetarian or vegan, definitely check out Google and fund your restaurant or café of choice.
With your stomach sorted, how about you head to the Metro. Take the city line to the City Park Városliget and the boating lake, which doubles as a skating rink in winter.
The park opens on to a world heritage site: the Heroes Square. Next to the Museum of Fine Art…Well ya gotta feed your arty farty nature, right? 😉
Now its time for your Thermal Bath, right.
As you while away your 28 hours the day turns into night and you want to see one of Budapest’s ruin bars for a bit of a drink before dinner at your hotel.
Not any Ruin Bar, the original one at that; Szimpla Kert. This bar may look like something from a furniture flea market in a ragged court yard.
Don’t be fooled. Its totally popular with the hip youngsters! And you will get your evening coffee hit in the coffee shop!
Don’t forget your Night Cruise and then it will be good night for you before your flight or trip to your next destination!See one of Budapest’s ruin bars for a bit of a drink before dinnerClick To Tweet
Getting Around Budapest – Transportation:
Of course, we don’t expect to do all that walking around a major European city. Grab a Budapest card for about £15 for 24 hours and you will enjoy stress free travel around this awesome city!
This card gives you unlimited travel on public transport and Free or discounted admission to various tourist sites including museums and baths! Woot!
Be sure to get it before you buy your thermal baths ticket!
Our Guide to Budapest in 28 hours – Final Words
Of course, we know you want to do a spot of shopping for the wifey, hubster, bae, boo and your little gifts aka children!
There are lots of farmers, flee and street markets across Budapest, so you could grab some unique trinkets and memorabilia.
Otherwise for the usual high street stuff…We visited the WestEnd Shopping centre.
It is very modern with a spectacular man made waterfall! Inside the main front entrance to the mall!
You could also check which mall is closest to your accommodation or is on the Hop-on-hop-off route!
Also, you could wander around the boulevards and shops after your thermal baths on the Pest side, why not. Shop like a local right!
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Pauli & Syl Kalungi