How to Spend 3 Days in Budapest
While we’re an online casino at our core we love writing up lifestyle pieces that are relevant to our readers as you can probably tell based on our recent adventures to the pink foodie paradise in our Elan Cafe Review - and now we’re setting our sights on Europe! So, whether you’re planning a sunny 2020 European rail trip, organising a weekend away with friends, or looking for a romantic destination, there is plenty to do and see in the Queen of the Danube. We’ve planned out 3 days worth of sights and activities to keep you occupied without breaking the bank, so both budget and high-end travellers can flock to the beautiful Hungarian city of Budapest and explore to their heart’s content.
Start your 3-day trip with a spot of breakfast at one of the city’s many cafes. If you’re treating yourself and splashing out over the next couple of days be sure to check out the most beautiful cafe in the world: New York Cafe in District VII. They offer a breakfast buffet for £26 per person with some classic continental delicacies on the go, fluffy American pancakes for £8, traditional Hungarian sausages with mustard and horseradish for £10, and lots of dishes in between. If you’re on a budget, fear not! Budapest is filled with cheap alternatives that will have you salivating all the same! Head to Central Market Hall in the Inner City and scope out one of the cheap food stalls on the upper floor - there are some fantastic Hungarian delicacies that you’ll want to try. Find Kolbice and you’ll be rewarded with some sausage-packed bread cones with a cheesy sauce, cabbage, and onion. It’s filling and an absolute bargain starting at just £3!
Get to grips with the city by taking a leisurely walk across the Chain Bridge. Be sure to stop in the middle to snap some pictures of the Danube for your Instagram before continuing on to the other side where the gorgeous District I awaits. Take in the sights of the neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque Fisherman’s Bastion after a roam around the famous Matthias Church nearby and you’ll walk into an abundance of free balconies and towers basked in history. Some of the finer upper towers have a small entrance fee, but they’re well worth it for the view payoff at just £2.75 per person.
Stop at Walzer Cafe nearby for a strawberry lemonade and a drool-worthy salami sandwich that costs less than £3! It’s a cosy spot around a 2-minute walk from the Bastion so you won’t have to travel far before you refuel. Check out the city map to scope out the Gellért Thermal Bath, located a little further down the river - it takes around 15 minutes on tram line 19 (top tip: you can get a 72-hour travel pass that costs just £11 and gets you unlimited travel on public transport!) which is a 10 minute walk away from the cafe. If you miss the tram there is bound to be another one on the way within around 5 minutes. Jump off at the University of Technology which is 5 stops away, and you’ll be around the corner from the baths. It’s around £18 for entry into the baths including fast-track entry, which certainly isn’t pricey but is one of the more expensive purchases you’ll make over the 3 days.
If you’re suitably relaxed and ready to head out, take a tram back to your hotel or accommodation to shower and spruce up for the evening. Naturally, Hungarian food is on the menu at Gettó Gulyás which you can find in District XII. Treat yourself to Hortobágyi Pancakes (think savoury crepes filled with meat) for starters and a classic Goulash for your main course - this comes to less than £8 for two courses! If this bargain has you wanting dessert, give the Hungarian Sponge Cake a try and tell us what you think… This Old Jewish Quarter is filled to the brim with things to do on an evening so embrace the Budapest nightlife, but be sure to tuck in early ready for another day of exploring!
If it’s a nice day (which it likely will be in the summer months) you absolutely have to visit Margaret Island, a little island sandwiched between Buda and Pest; it’s a gorgeous and tranquil location and is essentially a giant park with lots of pedestrian walkways to help you explore everything. Drop into a local supermarket before you head over to the island to pick up some treats for a mid-morning picnic on the grass when you get there; many Hungarians flock here on a weekend to soak up nature with their families so it’s a great way to get a taste of local life. Follow the signs leading to the outdoor swimming pool and you’ll be treated to some incredible sights including some enormous fountains, a Japanese garden, and church ruins. It’s picture-perfect and ready for your best Instagram caption to polish it off; if you snap any photos be sure to tag us in them so we can live vicariously through your Insta snaps!
The cost of entry to Palatinus Strand Baths (the outdoor pool complex on Margaret Island) differs slightly depending on the day of the week, with the weekend being marginally pricier than a weekday. Go during the week and adults can gain entry for the day for around £8.57, children and students pay just £6.96, and there are family tickets available to save money if you’re going with the kids. These prices include the cost of a locker, so you don’t need to spend the whole time looking over your shoulder to make sure your bag is still there. On a Saturday and Sunday, the prices increase to £9.64 for adults and £7.23 for children and students. Once you’re inside you’ll be spoilt for choice. Thermal pools, a large swimming pool, plunge pools, saunas, a wave pool, water slides, an outdoor fitness park, a playground - and that’s just a few of the amenities on offer! It’s easy to spend the entire day relaxing here, so swim and chill out to your heart’s content.
Head to a local gastropub like the highly-rated Bors Gastro Bar, located in District VII, offers some delectable dishes but are particularly well-known for their sandwiches. They’re open until 9pm so be sure to drop in for a hearty meal; they’re usually quite busy so you’ll be surrounded by the low hum of distant conversations as you tuck in. The food is cheap and delicious and their TripAdvisor reviews are a testament to their sterling reputation in the local community. Soak up the culture of the district for the evening and head back to the hotel for a snooze before your final day in the city.
Now, Heroes’ Square is one of the most stunning collections of statues in the country and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so you’d be silly not to check it off your to-do list while you’re in Budapest. This is the main order of business for the day so use the public transport system to get to your destination armed with a to-go order from Cafe Brunch Budapest. The statues are of important figures in Hungarian history, including the seven chieftains of the Magyars and national leaders. It’s an impressive but hugely important piece of the country’s foundation and well worth the visit.
Since you’re already in the area why not visit the stunning Vajdahunyad Castle by talking a short but scenic walk around the boating lake. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture and, while you can’t enter the actual building, you can take a walk around the grounds and enter the towers for just 80p. The castle is within the city park, a large, sprawling section of greenery which is home to an abundance of wildlife. On the outskirts of the park is a zoo and botanical garden, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop off at for a drink or a bite to eat if you get peckish.
If you’re a history buff, the House of Terror is an insightful museum that you may find interesting and while the name may suggest it’s a haunted house, it’s actually full of exhibits pertaining to 20th-century Hungary. More importantly, it was established as a memorial to the victims of the two terror regimes of the century while painting an accurate picture of how life was for those living in the country at the time. Look up at the building from street level and you’ll see the word ‘Terror’ reflected onto it. Entry is £8 at full price but is reduced to £4 for citizens of the EEA.
Spend the rest of your afternoon and evening exploring your favourite part of the city or, if you’re still not sure where you liked best, head back to the Jewish Quarter and get to know the locals in a casual setting - because the people of Budapest are what makes the city so special and welcoming.
3 Day Budapest Itinerary
These were our favourite parts of Budapest and we hope they are as special for you as they were for us. A special hint is to stay in the city when it gets dark and explore the streets; some of the buildings are illuminated at night and the bats often flock there and are lit up for a spectacular photo opportunity. Enjoy this fantastic city and be sure to tag us in your travel antics if you follow any of our tips - we’d love to see how you get on! Keep your eyes peeled on our online casino blog for more travel tips, lifestyle pieces, and some casino content along the way!