Short Breaks to Budapest, On a Budget!

by 17 Nov 2022Europe, Hungary

Budapest is one of those cities that takes your breath away each time you visit. Aside from the natural beauty that pervades the city in the form of the majestic Danube River and lush green spaces, the buildings themselves contribute to the air of opulence. The city’s architecture is a treasure trove, with enough baroque, neoclassical, eclectic, and art nouveau structures to please everyone. Here is a guide for on-budget travel to Budapest.

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How Much Should a Budapest Trip Cost?

Budapest is a very affordable destination for budget travellers, and as the dollar strengthens, it becomes even more affordable. If you’re on a backpacker’s budget, we recommend budgeting $20-$45 per day — you can easily spend more, and you might be able to spend less, but this is a good range for planning purposes.


How Long to Visit Budapest

Embarking on a journey to Budapest? Allow yourself the luxury of time to truly savour the city’s essence. While three days provide a glimpse into the highlights, delving into the intricate details and absorbing the rich tapestry of Budapest is a five-day affair that promises a more immersive experience. Whether you’re captivated by the historic Buda Castle, mesmerized by the thermal baths, or enchanted by the vibrant ruin bars, the extra two days afford you the opportunity to unfold the layers of this captivating city at a leisurely pace. So, if you seek not just a visit but an exploration, let five days be your canvas to paint the complete portrait of Budapest’s charm and allure.


Where Can I Stay in Budapest?

Budapest is divided into two halves, Buda and Pest, with the Danube River running right through the middle. The Budapest Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, and old restaurants and cafes dating back to the royal era can all be found on the Buda side. St. Stephen’s attractions are located on the Pest side. On the Pest side, there is also a nightlife scene, restaurants that stay open late, and a shopping district. It’s best to stay on the Pest side to enjoy Budapest’s restaurant and nightlife scene, as well as to be able to walk to most attractions. Whether you opt for the Buda or Danube side, consider trying Holiday Swap for your accommodation. While immersing yourself in one of the world’s greatest cities, steer clear of expensive hotels or Airbnb options. Choose the convenience of Holiday Swap and experience the city like a local, all while saving your money for the delights Budapest has to offer.


Matthias Church

Matthias Church


Budapest’s Goods and Not-So-Goods


  • The Danube is a beautiful river. The Danube’s banks are a UNESCO World Heritage site, so strolling along the Danube is a pleasure (especially at night when everything is lit up). Architecture and Castle Hill You’ll enjoy strolling through the streets while admiring Budapest’s Art Nouveau and other architectural styles.
  • The Baths Thermal. Budapest is famous for its natural thermal baths, which have drawn visitors since Roman times. They remain a popular attraction for both tourists and locals.
  • Nightlife. Parties adore Budapest, particularly its unique Ruin Bars (which we will discuss later) and club scene.



  • The Language Is Difficult. Hungarian is a difficult language to learn, and while the alphabet is similar to English, the letters are pronounced very differently, so don’t expect to read many signs or menus.
  • Dishonest taxi drivers. Taxi drivers have a reputation for taking advantage of tourists, so use caution when taking taxis. Always use genuine taxis and insist on using the meter.


Budapest’s Must-See Sights and Attractions

Danube Promenade Because the Danube Promenade is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you should spend some time there. It’s also a great place to see many of Budapest’s most popular attractions.


Danube Promenade

Danube Promenade


Hill Of Castle Castle Hill, perched above the city, is a must-see neighborhood in Budapest. Some of the structures date from the 14th and 15th centuries. Make a day of exploring its winding cobblestone streets. Many of Budapest’s top attractions are also located in the area, including Trinity Square, Matthias Church (Mátyás templom), Fishermen’s Bastion (Halászbástya), and Buda Castle.

Superb Market Hall This massive indoor market, built in 1894, draws a large crowd looking for fruits, vegetables, prepared foods, and random souvenirs. It’s a bit of a tourist trap because the prices are much higher than on the Buda side of town. However, it’s a nice place to go for small bites and to admire the hall’s architecture.

Great Synagogue The Great Synagogue is not only a stunning building, but it is also the world’s second-largest synagogue. Visit the website.

The House Of Terror The House of Terror is a museum that chronicles Budapest’s time under Nazi and communist rule, with a special emphasis on both parties’ secret police. It is housed in the former headquarters of the secret police (which was also their torture site). It’s a fascinating museum and one of the city’s most popular attractions. Visit the website.

The Hungarian Parliament This iconic structure is the largest in Hungary and the world’s third-largest parliament. It’s beautiful from the outside, but you can also see it from the inside by taking one of the daily tours (in English) for around $14.

City Park Budapest-guide-visiting City Park is where Budapesters go to get away from the city (it also houses the Széchenyi Baths). There is also a zoo and a replica Transylvanian Vajdahunyad Castle in this 302-acre park.


Where to Eat in Budapest:

  • Cafe Kik – A traditional Hungarian tavern in the city center.
  • Bisztre – Cozy traditional tavern; arrive early or reserve a table because it can get crowded.
  • ToLTii – sausage place; street food
  • Ket Szerecsen– brunch spot near the Jewish Quarter Food on the Street
  • Karavan – A street food market in the Jewish quarter near the ruin bars that are teeming with food trucks.
  • Bors GasztroBar– Delicious soups and paninis ranging from 2-4€ each
  • Meatology– Burger joint right across the street from St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • Franziska’s residence – Buda side breakfast and brunch spot; opens at 7:30 a.m.


Bars in Budapest:

  • Szimpla Kert – the most famous ruin bar in Budapest; if you only have time for one, make it this one.
  • For Sale Pub – A cozy pub with live music; try their goulash soup and you will thank us later!
  • 360 Bar – Igloo style rooftop bar Mika Tivador Mutato is a ruin bar with an indoor bar and a garden.
  • Csendes Vintage Bar is a laid-back, retro ruin bar.
  • Mazel Tov – Jewish Quarter bar/restaurant with a garden


Nightlife in Budapest:

Whether you prefer craft beers or cool cocktails, buzzing Budapest will keep you awake until the wee hours of the morning. Forget about noisy stag and hen parties; the best nightlife in Budapest can be found in bohemian ‘ruin’ pubs, cultured coffee houses, and sleek rooftop bars with views of the city skyline. Whatever your poison, you’ll find it in Budapest, from full-bodied Hungarian wines and local craft beers to creative cocktails made with pálinka fruit brandies and herbal liqueurs by the city’s top mixologists. Don’t worry if you go too far; you can always recover the next day in one of the city’s famous thermal baths. The only thing you should worry can be how much you’ll miss this beautiful city when you leave it. Instead of just a bed to sleep in, imagine paying for a flight and then spending the rest of your money on tours and actually exploring a destination. The Holiday Swap concept is very appealing to our users. Everyone can make new connections and friendships all over the world, with your room or property essentially serving as your profile. You will be able to travel for less with Holiday Swap! Next, start your free trial with Holiday Swap!

Struggling to Find the Perfect Stay?

Planning your trip just got easier with Holiday Swap!

Let our expert team handpick the perfect accommodation for you from thousands of options, all at affordable prices, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

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