My itinerary: Budapest in 2.5 days (and what I’d change)

On either end of my trip to Japan I had a day in Budapest. It’s actually two cities divided by the river – Buda and Pest – so I spent one night in each location to best explore the different areas on foot.

Tuesday 19th April 2016: Flight into Budapest

  • Flight into Budapest from Birmingham with Wizzair at 11:35pm
  • Taxi to Budapest Museum Central hotel in Pest

Wednesday 20th April 2016: Pest

1 day easy walking route in Pest

1 day easy walking route in Pest

St. Stephen’s Basilica

  • Walked over to Freedom Bridge, then up the famous pedestrian street Váci Utca to Chain Bridge (stumbled upon a market en route)
  • St Stephen’s Basilica (cathedral)
  • Returned to Váci Utca for lunch in an Italian
  • Dohány Street Synagogue & Jewish museum
  • National Museum (focus on Hungarian history)
  • Taxi back to airport (shuttle didn’t stop at my hotel)
  • Flight out to Japan with Turkish Airlines at 8:10pm

Friday 6th May 2016: Buda

buda-map

Walking route down Danube banks & around Buda old town

  • Flight into Budapest with Turkish Airlines at 12:55pm
  • Shuttle to Santico Art Hostel & Guesthouse in Buda (one of the best hostels I’ve ever stayed in, with a lovely friendly owner)
  • Walked 5 minutes over to the banks of the Danube in Batthyany Square for view of parliament buildings on the other side of the river
  • Walked up hill to the old town & castle for views across Budapest
  • Traditional 3-course Hungarian meal (goulash soup, paprikash chicken with dumplings, and cake) from a restaurant in the old town

Saturday 7th May 2016: Buda

Fisherman’s Bastion

  • Breakfast in cafe across road from hostel
  • Walked back up to castle to the Budapest History Museum (focus on history of Buda & Pest, inside the old castle buildings & grounds)
  • Food & tourism exhibition in the old town – lunch of lángos from one of the stalls (deep-fried flatbread)
  • Watched changing of the guard at the palace
  • Explored old town – Matyas Church & Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Shuttle to airport mid-afternoon
  • Flight out to Birmingham with Wizzair at 5:50pm

What I’d change

Considering the short time I had available, I wouldn’t have taken the shuttle into the city on my second visit. The traffic was terrible and because they drop everyone off in turn, I was in the shuttle for a good hour and a half. I would also have made more of an effort to try out the language in advance – normally I brush up on the numbers/please/thank you as a minimum on the flight over, but the pronunciation was so foreign I really struggled. Staying in two different locations definitely worked for my plans, but if you were there for two consecutive days it would work better to base yourself in one of the towns and explore out from there.

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