24 hours in Budapest

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Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is the perfect European weekend break; there is so much to see and do, and it won’t cost you a fortune. However, if you only have 24 hours to explore this magical city, here is what we recommend you do!

24 hours in Budapest

Soak up some culture

Budapest is comprised of two parts, ‘Buda’ and “Pest,’ which are either side of the Danube River, connected by a chain bridge. On both sides, there is plenty to see and do, but you should definitely check out the Hungarian Parliament Building and Heroes Square for some great photo ops! The best way to make sure you are seeing the most of Budapest in such a short time is to jump on one of the many free walking tours that are arranged. If you were here for a few days, we would recommend just roaming around, but if you only have 24 hours, you’ll want to hit all the sites, so a walking tour is a must.

Choose dates for your next dream vacation to Budapest

What to eat

If you only have 24 hours in Budapest, you need to make sure you eat the most Hungarian things you can. The Hungarian’s love a buffet, so this is the best way to get value for money. However, you should also try and grab some goulash, strudel, and lángos (which is deep fried dough covered in yummy toppings) to get a real taste for the city. Street food is pretty popular too, but remember that the further away from the river you are, the cheaper things will cost.

Photo: Getty Images


Relax in a natural thermal bath

One of the most famous parts of Budapest is the naturally heated thermal baths, and the most popular of these is Szechenyi. There are 15 pools on the inside of varying sizes and temperatures (from a toasty 40 degrees to almost freezing), but the best are those on the outside that are beautifully warm all year round, with colored lights, and even a bar. Even in the coldest months, if you can brave the chilly run from the changing rooms, this is something you have to experience. They also have ‘Spartys’ on Saturdays, which are parties in the outdoor pools complete with music!

Photo: Getty Images

Head to a ruin bar

Once you’ve dried off, there is only one place in Budapest to end your night! Ruin bars are quite possibly the coolest part of Budapest; they are old derelict buildings that have been made structurally sound and then filled with all manner of bizarre and random objects. From old cars and disused fairground rides to pallets and bathtubs to sit on. Szimpla is the oldest and best of these and is actually the third best bar in the world, according to fellow travelers. There are several rooms, each entirely different – some with DJs, others live music, some only serving certain types of drink or shisha. It’s unlike anywhere you’ve ever seen before!

As you can see, you can squeeze loads into just 24 hours in Budapest, so stock up on Hungarian Forint and book the next flight out. You won’t regret it, although you may wish you had a little longer…