3 day itinerary Budapest
This is your guide on how to spend 72 hours or less in Budapest, Hungary. I’ve been to Budapest twice for 3 days and I would visit again in a heartbeat. I love Budapest because of its architecture, the people and of course the views.
Budapest is mostly known for its biggest festival in summer: Sziget. The gothic style buildings are actually Neo-gothic, such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Matthias Church and many more.
Buda and Pest used to be two separate towns and were officially unified in 1873. Both town names have multiple stories on where the names originate from.
Are you going to Budapest for the first time? Then this 3 day itinerary is perfect for you!
3 days itinerary Budapest
Depending on your arrival time, this is your first full day.
First up is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It is located right next to the Danube and known to be the most beautiful one in the world.
It is possible to get a tour inside the building, you will need to book this a few days in advance.
From the Parliament Building you will walk along the edge or the Danube River towards the Chain Bridge. There are many shoes on the edge facing the river. These shoes represent a memorial for the people who were murdered during world war 2.
From here it is a short walk to the Chain Bridge. The Chain Bridge is known for its iconic lion statues, and is one of the most famous landmarks in Budapest. Keep in mind that is is currently (March 2022) closed, and under construction. If it is open again walk across the bridge, the view is lovely. And it is one of the easiest ways to get to Buda from Pest. The other option is taking the metro from close to the chain bridge (Kossuth Lajos tér) to the other side of the river (Batthyány tér).
Once arrived in Buda walk up the hill to the castle district. It is possible to take a bus or electric scooter up the hill. Your first stop is Szilágyi Dezsö Square Reformed Church. It is known for its red roof and the view from it on the Parliament’s Building.
Your next stop is the Halászbástya, also known as the Fisherman’s Bastion. This is such a beautiful architecture, perfect for instagram photo’s and video’s. During summer this is a highly visited place, so keep that in mind while visiting.
Right behind the Fisherman’s Bastion is the Matthias Church. This is a gorgeous church due to its brightly colored tiled roof, detailed painted interior, and architectural splendor.
From here it is a five minute walk to Buda Castle. It has a beautiful view over the city. Buda Castle is an iconic landmark in the city where you can enjoy the exterior and the Hungarian National Gallery or the Budapest History Museum on the inside.
I recommend taking a bus, metro or scooter to Március 15. tér. Here you can have a drink and diner at Kiosk Budapest, the Chicken Paprikash is definitely a recommendation.
For drinks go to Szimpla Kermozi (Szimpla Kert). There are multiple smaller “bars” in one spot with a cool vibe. It is the oldest and largest ruin pub in Budapest.
First things first, let’s get breakfast. My recommendations are New York Cafe, Sugar!, Cake Shop or Budapest bagel.
After breakfast you can go to Hero Square. From here you can walk to Szechenyi baths, where you can relax for the rest of the morning.
When you are fully relaxed, you can go to the Central Market Hall to grab some snacks for lunch. It has two layers; the ground floor is for groceries and the second floor for souvenirs and snacks. I recommend getting Hungarian Langos, the traditional one which is fried bread with sour cream and cheese.
Next up is shopping time. All around the Ferris wheel of Budapest you are able to find stores for clothing, shoes, souvenirs and many more.
Make a stop at St Stephen’s Basilica where you can get to the top for an amazing panoramic view of Budapest for just €1.40 (500 HUF).
For diner we went to Spiler Bistro, which has good food, drinks and music.
After breakfast go to the Dohány Street Synagogue. This is not only the biggest synagogue in Europe it is also the most beautiful one. Entry costs €13,- (4.500 HUF) and it includes a guided tour, entry to the Hungarian Jewish Museum and the memorial of 30.000 Jewish Hungarians who were killed during the Holocaust.
After your visit to the synagogue, walk into the Jewish Quarter. Here you see amazing street art and will find many cafes and restaurants. One of my favorites is Mazel Tov, a “ruin bar” inside a refurbished warehouse. They serve Middle Eastern inspired food such as shawarma, falafel and shakshuka.
For your dessert get to Noah’s Patisserie Cafe to try Flodni, a typical Jewish cake made with plum jam, walnut past and poppy seeds.
After lunch head to the Gellért Hill Cave, with the Gellért Cave Church inside.
When it is sunset time to the Citadel at the top if Gellert Hill. Here you will have the best view of Budapest and the Danube.
Getting to Budapest
Fly to Budapest Airport with EasyJet, Ryanair or Wizz Air. These are the cheapest airlines. I always use Google Flights for the best prices and dates.
After arriving in Budapest you take bus 103 to the city centre. You can buy one way tickets for €5 (1.800 HUF).
Getting around Budapest
As you can read we walked most of the time and sometimes took the metro to get to places.
In Budapest you can use the public transportation with a 24-hour ticket which include unlimited travel with metro, bus and tram for €4.60 (1650 HUF).
You could also get around with a hop on hop off bus tour.
Where to stay in Budapest?
We stayed at the Marmara Hotel Budapest (€71,- per night on average) which is located close to the Parliament’s building.
There are so many hostels and hotels to stay. I could say to best locations are Belváros (downtown), Castle District and Jewish Quarter.
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