72 hours in Budapest

4 April 2022

One place that has been on my list for a long time is Budapest. The tale of two cities, stunning architecture, and let’s be honest it’s cheap. For 3 days I explored the Hungarian capital in all its beauty. I had a feeling I would love the city and I can confirm I absolutely do. If you are looking for things to do in Budapest for a 3-day trip, look no further.

Day 1

Our flight landed in Budapest at 7pm, so after a short ride on the bus to the city centre we arrived at our hotel. It’s super easy to get from the airport to the city centre - just take the public bus 100E from Budapest Airport Terminal 2. The final destination is Deák Ferenc Square in Budapest city centre.

Where did we stay?

We were staying at the Hampton by Hilton in Budapest City Centre, just behind one of the largest tourist attractions, St Stephen's Basilica. I highly recommend this hotel, not only for the excellent location but the modern rooms and amazing service typical of the Hilton group, not to mention a beautifully stocked bar.

The good thing about arriving in the evening is that taking a walk along the Danube River is lovely. You can also take a night cruise up and down the Danube for less than £10 from one of the many operators departing from the embankment of the Danube. We spent just under an hour on the river – seeing the city by water is something I highly recommend (wrap up warm if you’re going in the winter).

Hungarian Parliament Building

Day 2

In the morning, we took a walk across the river to the hilly side of Pest to explore Fisherman's Bastion. I had to come here 1) for the amazing panoramic views of the city you get from the top and 2) to get my 10,000 steps done for the day. We got there at around 10:30am, which was a bit too late for that Instagram-worthy snap as it was already full of people. If you want to get that shot I definitely recommend getting there a bit earlier. But if you’re like me and wanted a chilled start to the day, the walk up to Fishermans Bastillon is one not to be rushed. Whilst we were on the pest side, we also did Budapest Castle.

For the afternoon we headed to the New York Café. I love the inspiration Budapest has taken from NYC and the New York Café did not disappoint. We got there at 1pm and had booked a table for coffee/cake. I’m so glad we did as when we arrived the queue was literally out the door and around the corner. Highly recommend making a booking for the New York Café if you want to visit at lunchtime. It is such a beautiful setting, a violinist was playing and the food was incredible - I recommend ordering the Goulash soup (it’s a must when Hungry in Hungary).

On our way back to the hotel we then ventured into St Stephen's Basilica, one of the roman catholic buildings within the city. It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary. On one of the side streets near the Basilica, I spotted Anjuna Ice Pops and had to make a stop for a fundamental part of the trip - acai bowls. This place is great for an afternoon snack, whether it’s a real fruit juice lolly or acai bowl. 

For dinner and drinks, we visited the 7th district - which is the place to go for bars and restaurants.

Day 3

The one thing I do not regret in life was waking up at 5am to head to the most famous thermal baths in the world, Szechenyi Baths. At this time, it was moderately quiet, with the tourists arriving from 9am.


We then stopped at Margaret Island, in the middle of the Danube River before heading back to the airport.

Here's a handy map of all the places I mentioned in the blog.
Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

3 days was more than enough time for anyone that wants a city break in the Hungarian capital but I personally cannot wait to head back for longer.

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