2 days in Budapest: Best itinerary of what to see in Budapest (+ map)

budapešť za 2 dny

Planning to spend the weekend in Budapest? Get inspired by this itinerary for 2 days in Budapest. The article also includes a map that you can download and modify as needed.

Is it possible to reach Budapest in 2 days?

Budapest is not as big as Barcelona, for example. Nevertheless, there are many beautiful places that can take you several days to visit. But in two days in Budapest, you’ll catch the highlights and at least have an excuse to return to Budapest.

We have planned this itinerary so that the locations are close to each other and you don’t waste precious minutes in Budapest.

Advantageous holiday packages in Budapest.

2 Days in Budapest – route map

On the map below you will find a marked itinerary of what to see in Budapest in 2 days. The itinerary for the first day starts at the Fisherman’s Bastion and continues through Buda Castle to the city centre.

On the second day we will enjoy the sunrise on Gellért Hill and visit the most popular market in the city.

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map with the route of what to see in Budapest in two days. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the itinerary for two days in Budapest, Hungary. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.



Sunrise at the Fisherman’s Bastion

If the weather cooperates, the Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place in Budapest to watch the sunrise. Warm rays hit the white façade of the bastion and bathe the whole of Pest, including the imposing Parliament, in golden tones.

It’s a wonderful spectacle and definitely worth the wait.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

In the morning there are relatively few tourists. The Fishermen’s Bastion is one of the most popular places in Budapest and even in the off-season there are quite a few tourists here during the day and in the evening. In the high season it is literally full of tourists and the right atmosphere is gone.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

How to get to the Fisherman’s Bastion?

The Fisherman’s Bastion is located on a hill in the Buda district and is easily accessible. Take bus 16 or 216 in the centre of Deák Ferenc tér and get off directly below the Fisherman’s Bastion. If you don’t want to go up the stairs, bus lines 16 and 116 will take you up to the Fisherman’s Bastion.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest

How much is the entrance fee and what are the opening hours of the Fisherman’s Bastion?

You don’t have to pay a single forint and still enjoy the magnificent view from the Fisherman’s Bastion. However, if you would like to walk between the towers at the top of the fortress, you have to pay an entrance fee. This applies in season from June to the end of September from 9:00-21:00 and in low season from 9:00-19:00. Outside these hours, the towers are free of charge. From Christmas Eve until mid-March, the Fisherman’s Bastion is open all day for free.

Admission is 1200 HUF, children under 14 and students 600 HUF and children under 6 free. You can buy your ticket on the spot by scanning the QR code – there is an attendant on hand to help you. After purchase, you will receive a confirmation in your email, which you just need to show to the staff.

Advantageous stay packages with half board or wellness.

Budapest in 1 day / Fisherman's Bastion

Matthias Temple

When approaching the Fisherman’s Bastion, you cannot miss the beautiful temple with its white-glowing facade and colourful roof – the Mátyás Templom. It stands majestically in the middle of the square, which is flanked by the Fisherman’s Bastion. The two monuments together form a perfectly photogenic combo.

How much is the entrance fee and what are the opening hours of St. Matthias Temple?

The temple is open daily from 9:00-17:00. The price depends on what you plan to visit – you can visit just the temple or go up to the tower and enjoy the view of the city. For more information on admission, please visit this link.

The ticket booths are located in the booths on the right side of the temple. There are also pay toilets and plenty of restaurants nearby.

St. Matthias Cathedral Budapest

The building of the regional office is being reconstructed to its original appearance in the style of St. Matthias’ Temple – with a bright facade and a glittering roof that plays with all colours. The building is located next to the temple.

It’s going to be beautiful when it’s finished. Another reason to start your visit to Budapest at Buda Castle Hill and enjoy all the sights in peace without the crowds.

Hotels Budapest 😴

Aquincum hotel

4* hotel with unlimited wellness

T62 hotel

Modern and stylish accommodation in the centre

Buda Castle

From the Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church we move on to Buda Castle, a magnificent complex on the Danube. Buda Castle offers a lot of this – from museum visits to fantastic views.

Buda Castle is just a few minutes’ walk from the Fisherman’s Bastion. Walking around the surroundings, you will understand why the entire Buda Castle Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. History literally oozes from this place. Plus, it’s very well looked after, everything is well maintained and was refurbished in 2023.

Even if you don’t plan to visit the museums, Buda Castle is still worth a visit. It is surrounded by walls that are freely accessible and offer spectacular views on all sides. The architecture is impressive, including fountains, the Habsburg Gate and the mythical turul bird, which is the symbol of Hungary.

How much is the entrance fee and what are the opening hours of Buda Castle?

The entire Buda Castle complex is freely accessible. You only have to pay to visit the museums. You can go up or down in the historic cable car. It’s touristy, but if you like similar overland cable cars, it’s worth it. It’s also easy to get around the cable car – in a few minutes you’re down by the Chain Bridge.

Buda cable car
Buda Castle Budapest view

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet after a visit to Buda Castle Hill, descend through the Várkert Bazár Gardens. There are benches and nice, quiet corners.

Várkert Bazár Budapest

Chain bridge

London has Tower Bridge, Budapest has Chain Bridge. An impressive bridge with statues of lions “guarding” the entrance to the bridge. I recommend going here in the evening, when the bridge offers a view of the beautifully illuminated Buda Castle.

More information: Things to do in Budapest including a map and useful information.

Budapest Chain Bridge

Shoes on the Danube bank

After the bridge turn left along the bank of the Danube. After a few minutes we reach the monument “Shoes on the banks of the Danube”. It is dedicated to the 20 000 Jews who were killed during the Second World War. Before their execution, they were ordered to take off their shoes. It’s a hard place that makes you think.

Shoes on the Danube Budapest

Parliament in Budapest

When visiting the Fishermen’s Bastion, you will not have missed the view of the Parliament, which is simply unmissable.

The monumental building has 691 rooms, 10 courtyards and 29 staircases. On the other side there is a small park, an artificial water area and a seating area.

Budapest Parliament

The Parliament (Országház) is built in Neo-Gothic style with a Neo-Renaissance dome that is 96 metres high. The height of the dome was chosen deliberately – it is a symbol of the arrival of the Hungarians to their homeland in 896.

Budapest’s regulation also prohibits the construction of buildings higher than 96 metres. Only the Parliament and St Stephen’s Basilica, which will be discussed shortly, reach this height.

How to visit the Parliament in Budapest

If you haven’t visited any of the museums in Buda Castle, there is plenty of time to visit the interiors of the Parliament. They are definitely worth it.

Tickets is good to book in advance. It can sell out weeks in advance. The tour lasts less than an hour – you can choose between a guided tour or an audio guide, which is available in many languages.

The visitor centre can be found on the north side of the Parliament from the side. There are free toilets and wifi.

parliament budapest

Admission to the Parliament in Budapest is as follows:

  • Admission for EEA citizens: full admission 6000 HUF, children and students 6-24 years 3000 HUF and children under 6 years of age are free.
  • Admission for non-EEA citizens: full admission 12,000 HUF, children and students aged 6-24 6,000 HUF, and children under 6 are free.

Please check the specific time when booking online.

Hotels Budapest 😴

ubytování budapešť
Impulso Fashion Hotel

Amazing hotel with great value for money

ubytování budapešť
Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel

Modern hotel near the centre, excellent breakfast

Basilica of St. Stephen

After the visit to the Parliament, we wander the streets of Pest until after a few minutes we reach the Basilica of St. Stephen. On the way you will pass the Freedom Square with the Holocaust Memorial.

St Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Basilica) is the largest church in the whole of Hungary. It has a beautifully decorated interior that will take your breath away. You can even go up to the roof and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.

St. Stephen's Basilica Budapest / things to do in Budapest

In front of the basilica is a small square where various events are often held, including Christmas markets.

What are the entrance fees and opening hours of St. Stephen’s Basilica?

Admission to St Stephen’s Basilica varies depending on what you plan to visit:

  • Full admission to the church only is 2300 HUF and an additional 4300 HUF for the view from the terrace and the jewels, or 6000 HUF for a combined ticket
  • For children over 6 years of age, students and seniors over 65 years of age a reduced admission fee of 1700 HUF and 3400 HUF for the terrace and jewels, or 4800 HUF for a combined ticket
  • Free admission for children under 6 years of age and persons with disabilities including 1 accompanying person. For more information on admission fees , click here.

The church is open the following times: Monday 9:00-16:30, Tuesday to Saturday 9:00-17:45, Sunday 13:00-17:45. The panoramic terrace is open daily from 09:00-19:00.

After visiting St. Stephen’s Basilica, you can have dinner in the area or enjoy the view from the Ferris wheel at Erzsébet tér Square.

Budapest Eye Erzsébet tér

Here are some tips on where to eat around St Stephen’s Basilica:

  • Hungarikum Bisztró – authentic restaurant with excellent Hungarian cuisine and live music. Make reservations in advance as it is always full.
  • Retró Lángos – traditional lángos prepared just the way you like them
  • Whether it’s summer or winter, treat yourself to an ice cream at Gelarto Rosa as a sweet spot after lunch.
where to eat in Budapest / Gelarto Rosa
Rose-shaped ice cream from our first visit to Gelarto Rosa

You can also find all the places mentioned in the map at the beginning of the article.

Cruise on the Danube

We will end our first day in Budapest with a cruise on the Danube. This is one of the best things in Budapest for us.

The Danube is lined with beautiful historic buildings that are beautifully lit up in the evening. It’s a feast for the eyes.

Danube cruise Budapest

Most popular cruises last 1-1.5 hours and usually include a drink (champagne, beer, wine or soft drinks). Evening dates may sell out – it is a good idea to book in advance. Part of the ship is covered and part is open.

If you want to have the best view and secure a seat in the open section, arrive about half an hour early and join the ghat straight away (it’s all marked on the electronic board). That way you’ll be among the first in line and can choose the best seat.

Book your Danube cruise here.

Budapest Danube cruise


Gellért’s Hill

Start your day on Gerllért Hill. You will have a climb, but you will be rewarded with beautiful views. Lots of people head here for sunset, but the best views are facing east. We were here early in the morning and towards the evening and the views were definitely better in the morning.

Gellertuv Hill Budapest
Gellertuv Hill Budapest

From Gellért Hill, head to the Freedom Bridge (Szabadság híd), a green iron bridge that was our favourite in Budapest.

Advantageous holiday packages in Budapest.

Central Market Hall

The Liberty Bridge connects Gellért Hill with the Central Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok). Although it is very touristy, it is also frequented by locals, so it is open from early morning.

Central Market Hall Budapest

The market is housed in a beautiful building, where on two floors there are various stalls with food, fruit, vegetables, sausages, souvenirs, crocheted tablecloths… everything you can think of in connection with Hungary.

You can buy something good for breakfast – they have a selection of sweet pastries, juices, etc.

Váci utca

Váci utca is the main shopping street in Budapest, lined with many shops and restaurants. The street and its surroundings are clean and nicely landscaped. Váci utca runs from the Central Market to the cobbled Vörösmarty tér.

Váci near Budapest

Here are some tips on where to go for a meal or a bite to eat around Váci utca:

  • Cafe Frei – desserts and coffee from all over the world, themed by continent and region
  • Zoo Café – a café where you will be accompanied by a turtle, lizard or cat
  • Molnár’s kürtőskalács – for the best trdelník, which comes from Hungary and Romania
  • Beerstro14 – pleasant restaurant with an inner courtyard and a fountain
  • Pizza Manufaktúra – excellent pizza at a great price (also available to go)
  • Dionysos Taverna – an authentic Greek restaurant with an interior where you are instantly transported to Greece

More information: Here is a detailed travel guide to Budapest (transport, prices and other useful tips).

Jewish Quarter

Wander the streets of the Jewish Quarter, which are full of history, great businesses and a relaxed atmosphere.

The dominant feature of the Jewish Quarter is The Great Synagogue which is the largest synagogue in Europe. It was built at the end of the 19th century in the Moorish-Spanish style. It is a truly beautiful, imposing building that impresses from the outside.

Budapest Great Synagogue

As you wander the local streets, head to the Street Food Karaván. Karaván is a place with street stalls and outdoor seating where you can have burgers, langos, or even just something good to drink. They are open daily from noon to midnight.

Karaván Budapest

Next door is Szimpla Kert, the pioneer of ruin bars in Budapest. A place with an unmistakable atmosphere where you can go for good food, drinks and live music. There’s even a farmer’s market on Sundays. They usually open after 15:00 and stay open until the early hours of the morning. On Sundays it is open from the morning.

There are several ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter. It’s one of the most local things you can try in Budapest. Formerly abandoned buildings that have been transformed into popular social venues with distinctive decorations.

One of them is Púder, which you can find just a short walk from the Central Market. A place full of colour, great atmosphere and delicious food.

The Jewish Quarter offers great places to eat. You rarely step wrong here. Here are some tips depending on what you like:

  • Két Szerecsen – great restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, often crowded
  • Lion’s Locker – a stylish restaurant that also opens for breakfast
  • Mazel Tov – spacious restaurant in a stylish environment and with excellent cuisine, better to book in advance
  • Vintage Garden – bistro with luxurious decoration
  • Gozsdu udvar – a courtyard with photogenic decorations and excellent restaurants
  • My Little Melbourne – a small café perfect for a good coffee and a bite to eat
  • VakVarjú – a stylish restaurant with excellent cuisine and a children’s corner
  • Trófea – an open buffet decorated in industrial style, where you can eat unlimited food from all over the world for one price
  • Twentysix – an oasis of greenery where you can go for a meal from breakfast to dinner to an evening drink
where to eat in Budapest
Gozsdu udvar

You can find all the tips for restaurants and cafes in the map at the beginning of this article.

Find the best accommodation in Budapest

Andrássy Avenue

Through the Jewish Quarter we come to Andrássy Avenue, which is the main street in Budapest. A wide boulevard lined with historic buildings and trees, with the historic M1 metro line running underground. It ends at Heroes’ Square, where we will go now.

Hotels Budapest 😴

Hotel Medos

Popular hotel with excellent accessibility

ubytování budapešť

Self-catering apartments to code

Andrássy Avenue Budapest

Heroes’ Square

Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) is one of the most beautiful squares in Budapest. Its landmark is the Millennium Monument (Millenniumi emlékmű).

It consists of a 36-metre high column with a statue of the Archangel Gabriel on top and a colonnade with 14 statues, some of which depict important Hungarian kings and leaders of the anti-Habsburg uprisings.

Heroes' Square Budapest

Behind Heroes’ Square is the vast Városliget City Park, ideal for relaxing after a day on the streets of Budapest.

Városliget Park Budapest

On the right side of the park stands Vahsdahunyad Castle, which was originally built of cardboard and wood. Later it became so popular that it was rebuilt in stone. Today, the Museum of Agriculture is housed inside.

Vahsdahunyad Castle Budapest

Széchenyi Spa

If you have time to spare, visiting the thermal baths is one of the best things to do in Budapest. In addition, the spa is usually open until 19:00-20:00, so you still have plenty of time to relax after two days in Budapest.

Széchenyi Spa is one of the most popular and one of the largest spas in Europe, with 15 indoor pools and 3 outdoor pools. Moreover, all set in beautiful architecture.

The entrance fee to Széchenyi Spa varies depending on the time and day you visit – detailed information on entrance fees can be found here.

Szechényi Spa Budapest
Szechényi Spa

Another popular spa is the Gellért Spa, located next to Gellért Hill. The spa is set in an Art Nouveau hotel, which houses 13 pools with spring water and one large outdoor pool. More information about entrance fees can be found here.

If you prefer a more intimate spa, Lukacs Spa is another popular option. You can find them in Buda near Margaret Island. This spa is also part of Budapest Tourist Card.

Rudas Spa are located at the foot of Gellért’s Hill. They date back to the 16th century and offer traditional Turkish baths.

Note: Bathrobe, slippers, towel are not included in the price of admission to the spa. If necessary, you can buy them on the spot.

We will end our second day in Budapest by relaxing at the spa.

gellert spa budapest
Spa Gellért

Where to stay when visiting Budapest for two days?

Hotels Budapest 😴

ubytování budapešť
Impulso Fashion Hotel

Amazing hotel with great value for money

ubytování budapešť
Three Corners Lifestyle Hotel

Modern hotel near the centre, excellent breakfast

How to enjoy Budapest in two days

  • Wear comfortable shoes. There are cobblestone sidewalks, stairs and lots of walking.
  • Try traditional food in Pest. The great thing about Budapest is that there is good cooking almost everywhere. Even downtown. And at affordable prices. You can find lots of tips for specific places in the article.
  • Take in the main tourist spots such as the Fisherman’s Bastion or enjoy the sunrise views, which are well worth it in Budapest.
  • Take a stroll through Budapest in the evening, when it is beautifully lit up. Or go on a boat cruise, which is our favourite experience in Budapest.
  • See if you can’t save Budapest Tourist Card.
Buda Castle Budapest

Best booking resources for visiting Budapest

Via Booking.com we search for all accommodation. It is the largest accommodation portal in the world and you will find everything from modern hotels, cosy guesthouses to seaside villas.

Slevomat is a great platform for those looking for half-board stays or wellness.

Get Your Guide is a huge booking system for buying tickets, guided tours and all sorts of activities. In one place you can read other travellers’ experiences and book tickets to the Vatican Museums, a cruise on the Danube or a desert safari in Dubai.

These were our tips on what to see in Budapest in two days or a weekend. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Budapest

BUDAPEST: Get inspired by the best things to do in Budapest. Are you only planning a short trip to Budapest? Here is the itinerary for 1 day in Budapest including a map. Looking for accommodation in Budapest? Here are tips on the best hotels to stay in Budapest.

Everything you need to visit Budapest can be found in our Budapest travel guide.

HUNGARY: Get inspired by the best things to do in Hungary. Hungary is famous for its thermal baths – this is a list of the best thermal baths in Hungary.

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