3 Days in Budapest: Everything You Should Know
If you can't spend a whole week or more in this lovely city, you might need to fit all of your activities and plans into just 3 days in Budapest. There are so many things to see and do in this city, and you might be worried that you will miss out on some of the things that you wanted to experience during your time here. This itinerary for 3 days in Budapest will make sure that you take part in all of the best things that Budapest has to offer and don't miss out on anything.
The first thing that you need to do when you visit Budapest, is to make sure that your luggage is securely stored. Putting your luggage into secure storage in Budapest will make sure that you are not hindered as you follow your Budapest itinerary each day. Being luggage free during your days in Budapest will make your trip much more fun than if you had to deal with bags dragging you down.
Once your bags are settled, you will be able to enjoy your 3 days in Budapest without any worries at all.
Budapest Itinerary - Day 1
Whether you have arrived via the Budapest airport or the train, it is usually a simple matter to head into the city center or to get to your hotel right away. Most people plan to hit all the major historical sites later in the trip, but if you choose to go to Castle Hill first, you will start your days in Budapest immersed in everything that makes this place unique. Enjoy a filling breakfast at À la Maison Grand Budapest, and then make your way to Buda Castle and Castle Hill. You will enjoy access to the Hungarian National Gallery while you are here as well as the Buda Castle grounds.
You can also make time to visit the Budapest History Museum while you are visiting the castle district. The sumptuous rooms in this historic building offer you access to the full history of the city of Budapest, and you will love starting your 3 days in Budapest with this informative experience. You cannot visit Budapest without being sure to make the most of your time in the Castle district, and your Budapest itinerary should include all of these locales in the Buda Castle area.
Make sure to visit the Fisherman's Bastion for incredible views of the city. You can also head over to Matthias Church while you are in this spot. This church dates from 1015 and was built by the King of Hungary. You will struggle to find a better-preserved ancient church anywhere in Europe, and this one is well worth a visit when you are near Buda Castle. You cannot miss out on these sights during your 3 days in Budapest, and getting some amazing pictures of the city from up high is worth the hike to this area.
Once you have spent part of the day seeing the sites here and enjoying the medieval buildings and the various historical exhibits, it's time to move to the next part of your day in this area. Taking a thermal bath should be on the list for any Budapest itinerary, and you can head from the Buda Castle area to the Gellert Baths with ease. Soak in the warm waters and enjoy the relaxation that you have earned after traveling and wandering through all that Castle Hill has to offer.
Head to Marischka for dinner in a cozy atmosphere near Castle Hill. This is a great place to enjoy delicious Hungarian cuisine and to have delightful drinks with great service. You will love that your day spent wandering Buda Castle can be closed out with this quiet and peaceful dining experience so near to the center of the oldest part of the city.
Gellert Hill makes a great place to watch the sunset on the first day of your 3 days in Budapest. If you want to trek back to this spot to catch the sunset after dinner you can, or you can enjoy the city park here and wander the lovely manicured paths as the sun vanishes.
Budapest Itinerary - Day 2
Day two of your 3 days in Budapest can be devoted to shopping and some of the best museums in town. Part of enjoying shopping and some cultural history in this city also includes enjoying food, and you can find tempting treats throughout the shopping streets you will visit. Consider the world-famous Szimply, which serves breakfast all day for your morning meal. This spot offers Hungarian and other cuisines from around the world as well as delightful coffee and desserts.
Once you have eaten, you can head out to see the Central Market Hall, which is a huge shopping center full of stalls where locals sell their wares. This is a large market that can take more than an hour or two to walk through, and you can buy local art, enjoy delicious street food, or even buy produce if you wish. The Central Market Hall is a shopping experience that you will not find in many other places around the world, and you should make time to at least drop by here during your 3 days in Budapest.
Next on your Budapest itinerary should be the Hungarian Parliament building tour. You will have already seen the Hungarian National Gallery to take in the art that makes Budapest unique, and now you can learn about its history of government. See the crown jewels as well as other historical artifacts and learn about the various stages of the history of this delightful city. You will want to book a tour in advance so that you can make the most of your visit to this landmark.
Once you leave the Parliament building you will want to head to the Danube River and look at the Shoes on the Danube exhibit. Follow the bronze shoes to the edge of the river that are meant to commemorate the lives of the Jews who were killed along the river between 1944 and 1945. It can be easy to forget the harsh lessons of the past in this beautiful city but part of each of your days in Budapest should be devoted to some of these exhibits that explore the history of Budapest's Jewish Quarter as well as the overall history of conflict in Budapest.
Head to the Chain Bridge next and take a picture with its iconic lion statues. This is one of the most photographed bridges in the world, and it will not disappoint. Second, only to Buda Castle for selfie opportunities and great views of the city, this area is a lovely spot to stop and take a moment to capture some memories. You can also take a small side trip over to the Hungarian State Opera House to see how beautiful this building is.
One of the most unique ways that you can close out this second day of your 3 days in Budapest is to take a river cruise. Book this kind of excursion in advance so that you are sure that you get to take advantage of this fun adventure during your stay. You might want to avoid this during your 3 days in Budapest if you are there in the winter, but it can be a great way to see the city, Buda Castle, and more of the Danube River.
Close out this night with a nightcap at one of the many ruin bars in the city. You will get to enjoy a snack and some cocktails in the crumbling remnants of pre-war housing and government buildings when you head to any of the iconic ruin bars in the city. This is one of the things that you can add to your Budapest itinerary on any of the nights that you are in town, and you should not miss out on this experience.
If you want to have a long night out on the town, the Jewish Quarter will give you access to great bars and eateries as well as a party atmosphere. This part of the city is rich with post and pre World War II history, and you will be able to see the rich history of the Jewish Quarter clearly no matter what activities you decide to enjoy here. You cannot plan on visiting Budapest without making sure to consider spending some time in this important part of the city.
Budapest Itinerary - Day 3
On the last day of your visit to Budapest, you can pick and choose from a variety of other kinds of unique adventures and experiences. There are many things that you can add to your Budapest itinerary, from a visit to the city park or Margaret Island, to time spent strolling along the Danube River, to plans made entirely around fine dining or tasting Hungarian wines and other foods.
You will want to consider starting the last of your days in Budapest with a trip to Margaret Island. There is a small zoo on Margaret Island, lovely walking paths, and a singing fountain that kids will love. You can also choose to spend this day on the Pest side of the city and wander along Andrassy Avenue, which dates back to the late 1800s. There are boutiques to enjoy here as well as lots of old and crumbling mansions that give the area an almost haunting feel. Those who love Jane Austen or the Regency period of England will feel right at home here.
The House of Terror Museum is over here as well, which offers a fascinating look at the communist and fascist Hungarian history of the city. You might have already enjoyed some time in the Budapest History Museum when you were visiting Buda Castle, but this is a very different kind of cultural experience. Wander over to Heroes Square and check out the Millennium Monument, and then make your way to the city park to enjoy the quiet and serenity of the area and ponder all the history that you have enjoyed learning about.
Another option for this third day of your days in Budapest is to visit St. Stephen's Basilica or the beautiful Dohany Street Synagogue. The houses and places of worship in this city are all incredibly beautiful and well worth some time during your days in Budapest.
Some people can't stand the idea of spending 3 days in Budapest without riding the metro, and even though most of these areas are easy to reach on foot, you can add a lot of sightseeing into this final of your 3 days in Budapest by utilizing the metro to get you from place to place on your Budapest itinerary.
Consider eating your dinner at Paprika if you have closed out your 3 days in Budapest on the Pest side of the city. This lovely little hole-in-the-wall location will give you access to incredible Hungarian cuisine, and you will love the homey environment. You can also close out your last of the 3 days in Budapest in the cave system under the city. This is a really unique and fun tour opportunity, and there are few cities in Europe that will offer you access to the underground areas beneath it in this fashion.
3 Days in Budapest is Enough Time to Enjoy Amazing Adventures
If you have been planning a trip to see beautiful Budapest, you can use this Budapest itinerary to help you to plan your trip. There are so many things to see and do in this city that it can be overwhelming to plan your adventures, but this guide will give you the right plan to help you to see everything from the Central Market Hall to the Hungarian Crown Jewels.
And, if 3 days in Budapest wasn't enough, you'll just need to start planning your next visit!