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An Insider's Guide to Budapest

An Insider's Guide to Budapest

Describe your time in Budapest.

I lived there for a year and opened a writing school for both expats and locals. 

What was your favorite attraction?

Although it's less famous than some of the major attractions, I loved going to the Hungarian House of Photography (also known as Mai Manó House or Mai Manó Haz). Many of the photos on display provide a unique perspective into Hungarian history. Plus, the museum is centrally located just off busy Andrássy Avenue, making it an easy stop between places you may already be visiting.

What are three things a first-time visitor can't miss?

1. Take a dip in the baths.

Budapest's thermal baths are famous, and for good reason. The top two are Gellert, with its Art Nouveau style, and Szechenyi, which feels like a palace. Both are beautiful, have indoor and outdoor pools with varying temperatures, and offer spa treatments for an extra luxurious experience. Although other bathhouses may be more popular with locals, you'll still see some Hungarians at Gellert and Szechenyi, lounging and playing chess.

2. Spend a night out at the Ruin bars.

These bars in Budapest's old Jewish Quarter aren't your average watering holes. Instead, they're abandoned buildings and outdoor spaces that have been brought back to life with eclectic furniture, decorations, and clientele. While they certainly retain their alternative vibe, some are becoming a bit more posh, so there's something for everyone.

3. Make time for both Buda and Pest.

Until the late 1800s, Budapest was two separate cities divided by the Danube River. Although now united, each side has sites you can't miss. In hilly Buda on the west bank, you have the Castle District, Fisherman's Bastion, and incredible views over Pest below. On the Pest side, be sure to visit Parliament, St. Stephen's Basilica, Great Market Hall, and Hero Square. And to get a good sense of both sides at once, book a river cruise. My husband and I went on one during our last week in town and it was a great way to say farewell to this beautiful city.

What's the best insider tip you can offer future visitors to Budapest?

Most people don't think of Hungary as a wine destination, but there are quite a few vineyards in the region, many of which specialize in a dessert wine called Tokaji. You can take a day trip into the countryside to visit the cellars, or stay local and book a wine tasting tour in the city.

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11 Tours and Activities | All Budapest Tours

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Fast Track Entrance to Széchenyi Spa with Optional Massage

Fast Track Entrance to Széchenyi Spa with Optional Massage

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958
Skip the line at Széchenyi Spa, the largest public bath Budapest with 18 indoor and outdoor pools. Under neo-baroque domes, enjoy full-day access to a handful of steam rooms, saunas, and springs-fed baths. Dip in the impressive outdoor pool or soak up the sauna in the city that is famous for its relaxing baths. This ticket includes your own locker or changing cabin and the option to upgrade your experience with a massage.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$32.12
From
$32.12
Taking safety measures

Evening Cruise on the Danube with Optional Drinks

Evening Cruise on the Danube with Optional Drinks

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188
Sip and sightsee along the Danube on this evening cruise in Budapest. Choose from multiple cruise options to suit your preferences and admire the stunning views of Buda Castle, the Parliament House, and the Citadel. Additional drinks are available for purchase on board as the evening continues along Budapest’s sparkling panorama.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$9.88
From
$9.88
Taking safety measures

Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest

Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest

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1040
Experience the beautiful sights of Budapest on a cruise along the Danube River. See famous landmarks such as the Chain Bridge, which connects the eastern and western sides of the city, as well as Buda Castle. On board you can enjoy wine and Hungarian sparkling wine and a buffet-style dinner included on the cruise, based on the tour option selected. Live music sets the mood as you glide past the capital city’s stunning backdrop.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$22.85
From
$22.85
Taking safety measures

Half-day Wine Tasting Tour in Etyek Wine Country near Budapest

Half-day Wine Tasting Tour in Etyek Wine Country near Budapest

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588
Experience the best of Hungary’s wine region on a half-day Etyek wine country tour from Budapest with dinner. You’ll leave the capital city in the morning or the afternoon to discover the serene landscape of the Etyek wine region, known best for its white and sparkling varieties. Your local guide will bring you to two or three family-run cellars to sample wines as you hear the history behind their production. This intimate group tour will conclude with a traditional, 2-course Hungarian meal.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.24
From
$64.24
Taking safety measures

Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop

Budapest All in One Walking Tour with Cafe Stop

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667
Stretch your legs and see the sights on this Budapest walking tour. Your local guide leads you to the jewels of the city, including UNESCO World Heritage sites like Heroes’ Square, where iconic statues of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars sit, as well as the beautiful Buda Castle. Take a break with a delicious Hungarian dessert and a hot drink. This walking tour is limited to 10 people, keeping the experience intimate as you discover all that this incredible city has to offer.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.09
Price varies by group size
From
$49.09
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Danube Cruise in Budapest

Danube Cruise in Budapest

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Take in the beautiful Budapest panorama on a sightseeing cruise along the Danube River. Snap photos of the Chain Bridge, Gellért Hill and more as you experience why this city’s landscape was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Multiple upgrade choices include options for a buffet lunch with traditional Hungarian dishes, an onboard winetasting session, and onboard winetasting session with round-trip transfers.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$9.51
From
$9.51
Taking safety measures

Fast Track Entrance to Gellert Spa with Optional Massage

Fast Track Entrance to Gellert Spa with Optional Massage

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302
Skip the line on your trip to Gellert Spa, one of Budapest’s most beautiful thermal baths. Relax under beautiful art nouveau architecture as you float in a Roman-style swimming pool. The spa also includes 13 baths as well as steam rooms and saunas. This ticket is valid for a full day of use, with access to your own private changing cabin. If you’re interested in a little more luxury, upgrade your entrance ticket with a relaxing massage.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$28.78
From
$28.78

Fast Track Entrance to Széchenyi Spa with Optional Massage plus Dinner Cruise

Fast Track Entrance to Széchenyi Spa with Optional Massage plus Dinner Cruise

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Combine two essential Budapest experiences into one great-value Super Saver tour! First, relax and unwind at Budapest’s largest public bath, the Széchenyi Spa, where you can pamper yourself with a steam, soak and scrub, or indulge with an aromatherapy massage (optional). Then, set sail along the Danube River for a romantic evening cruise and tuck into a delicious candlelit dinner on-board. Sip Hungarian sparkling wine and enjoy live folk music as you gaze out over the UNESCO-listed waterfront and spot Budapest landmarks like the Parliament Building, the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$97.59
From
$97.59
Taking safety measures

Budapest Bike Tour

Budapest Bike Tour

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267
Saddle up for a comprehensive 3-hour tour of Budapest by bike. You’ll hit the streets with a private guide, wheeling past top attractions like Heroes’ Square, City Park, the Parliament Building and the Great Market Hall, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Learn about the rich history of this vibrant capital city while cruising along the charming streets and bike paths. This tour is limited to 15 people in order to keep the experience as intimate as possible.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.22
Price varies by group size
From
$30.22
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Essentials of Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest

Essentials of Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest

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Study up on your Hungarian wines with this 2-hour evening tasting in Budapest. Led by an expert guide, you’ll be given an introduction to regional characteristics, sampling eight varietals at a local wine shop and sharing your thoughts with your companions. Ask questions as you take in the flavour notes, pairing your samples with artisanal bread, local cheeses & charcuteries. Groups are limited to 24 people.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$54.00
Price varies by group size
From
$54.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Chocolate & Wine Tour and Meal near Budapest

Chocolate & Wine Tour and Meal near Budapest

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66
Treat your palate to a 5-hour wine and chocolate or cheese tour in the picturesque wine region of Etyek. Departing from Budapest, you’ll be driven to an artisanal workshop to sample rich regional wines and learn the process behind making cheese or chocolate. You’ll then travel to three additional wine cellars to learn how the wine is cultivated, pairing the last visit with a 2-course meal. To keep this experience as intimate as possible, groups are limited to 12 travellers.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$108.71
From
$108.71
Taking safety measures