24 hours in Budapest

(Last Updated On: February 19, 2018)

Stylish, cosmopolitan, sophisticated and beautiful are all words regularly used to describe Budapest. A tale of two halves split across the Danube River, we look at how to best spend 24 hours in Hungary’s capital city.

A fabulous view over Budapest and the Danube

First things first – a travel card is a smart investment, with the £15 charge covering 24 hours unlimited travel on public transport and discounting entry to museums. Spend the morning learning about the history of the city at the grand former Royal Palace, now home to two museums which will take you on a time journey of Hungary. The Hungarian National Gallery showcases the history and development of the country’s art, including stonework dating back to the medieval times and more recent pieces from the late 19th century.

Budapest has many cafes for you to stop for a pit–stop and refuel of strong coffee and plate of sour cherry dessert. A standout one is Massolit Books & Cafe, a charming bookstore which serves delicious coffee with cookies, brownies and quiches.

Traditional Budapest Spa
A traditional Budapest spa

A visit to the ‘City of Spas’ wouldn’t be complete without visiting a bathhouse to revive your senses. One of the largest in the city is the Szechenyi Spa Baths. With 18 pools of medicinal natural hot spring waters and 10 saunas and steam cabins, you are sure to find the perfect spot to ease your ills.

With a growing culinary reputation, new restaurants are opening every month and Michelin stars awarded to the revolutionary restaurants.

To celebrate special occasions dine in Costes Restuarant, the first Hungary restaurant to be awarded with a Michelin Star for their fusion of international and Hungarian dishes. Whilst expensive, it is worth it for the unique and delicious meals. For those looking for a cheaper dining experience, visit Karcsi Vendéglő close to the Opera where you’ll be served hearty Hungarian fare of Újházy chicken broth, pork rib gypsy style with fries and pancakes.

An enchanting way to end your day in Budapest is with a night-time walking tour and river cruise. Once the sun has set and the lights of the city have been turned on, your guide will point out to you the UNESCO awarded sights as you wander through the streets before taking a cruise on the River Danube. A lovely end, enjoy Budapest from a different perspective with drink in hand.

Budapest at night
Budapest at night