5 easy must-do weekend trips from Budapest

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Weekend trips from Budapest

Budapest is actually a pretty affordable place to live, with most people needing about $800 a month to live comfortably. If you have decided to visit Budapest, you probably have a long list of museums, royal palace locations, and UNESCO world heritage site attractions that you want to see. There are so many really amazing things to do and see in the capital city, but there are also some excellent day trip options or weekend trips from Budapest that you might want to fit into your plans. Day trips from Budapest are easier to arrange than you might think, and some of these adventures even let you take a scenic train ride to get to them.

When you are considering day trips from Budapest, you need to remember that it is not a good idea to leave your bags at your hotel or Airbnb if you are not going to be coming back at night for a couple of days. Store everything at a Bounce luggage facility in Budapest instead while you are enjoying these weekend trips so that you can have the peace of mind that you need to have fun. This area is close to many small and charming town locations that make the perfect weekend getaway. Not worrying about your bags will make these day trip or weekend trip options so much more enjoyable.

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Weekend trip from Budapest to Eger

Eger

Eger is one of the best day trips from Budapest if you love feeling like a local. This sleepy little city is not a major draw from Budapest, so that means that day trips or weekend visits to this location will be peaceful, and you will feel right at home. There are lots of lovely traditional buildings in the heart of the city center, as well as cobble streets, and lots of great places to eat. You will feel like you have been transported back in time the minute you get off the train or the bus here.

Eger distance from Budapest

This beautiful town is about two hours by bus or three hours by train from Budapest.

Our activity recommendations

Eger Castle is a popular attraction to visit, and you will want to plan to spend at least a few hours here during your visit. You can also head to the downtown area to sit at a sidewalk cafe and sip on a beer. There is lots of shopping to enjoy in the old town area as well, and you can check out the activities that are often taking place at Dobo Square.

While not a bustling place full of tourist attractions, this charming small town will offer you peace and quiet, as well as lovely scenery and more.

Best season to visit Eger

July and August are the best time of year to head to Eger for a day trip or a weekend getaway. The weather will not be as good in the fall, but you can join in the activities related to the fall season, which is harvest season in Eger. It can be chilly in the winter, so you will probably want to avoid this time of the year for your day trips from Budapest.

Budapest weekend trips to Szentendre

Szentendre

Szentendre is a beautiful town that offers you access to things like hiking trails, a lovely city center, and great shopping and dining. This is a bigger city than Eger, but not by that much. The entire city is very walkable, or you can rent a bike and make getting around even easier. The proximity of this lovely city to Budapest makes it ideal for quick day trip planners, but you can easily choose to stay for the weekend as well. You could even choose to arrive via Budapest Airport and then head to Szentendre the same day.

Szentendre distance from Budapest

This adorable town is about a half-hour journey by car from Budapest or about 45 minutes by train.

Our activity recommendations

Renting a bike and riding around Szentendre is something you must make time for on at least one day of your stay. Riding off some of the calories that you ate while you were traveling to this part of the world is easy and fun when you rent a bike to go see the sights and attractions in this city. Most of the old town area cannot be accessed in a car anyway, so a bike is a perfect weekend getaway vehicle.

Check out the Marzipan Museum as well while you are in the old town area. This slightly strange but fun museum has all kinds of marzipan sculptures on display. There are few things as eccentric but also delightful that you could do during your trip to Budapest and its surrounding areas.

There are also many churches to visit in this lovely little town. Many of these houses of worship will also let you sit down to enjoy a service before or after you tour the building. There is a lot to do in the way of shopping and dining here as well, so you will be able to find something fun to do at any hour of the day.

Best season to visit Szentendre

Spring and summer are the most ideal time to visit Szentendre. You will enjoy beautiful weather, and there will be street performers and other unique local activities going on around nearly every corner of the old town area.

Weekend trips from Budapest to Esztergom

Esztergom

If you have plans to spend part of a day seeing the Royal Palace in Budapest but then want to enjoy one of these day trips from Budapest, you will need to plan to go to Esztergom. This charming and very old city offers you access to historical sites, beautiful architecture, and more. You can choose various means of getting to this city, but the most fun way is by hydrofoil. It is just a little over an hour's ride across the Danube bend to this beautiful city. The hydrofoils do not run at all hours of the day, however, so keep this in mind.

Esztergom distance from Budapest

An hour and a half by hydrofoil or about an hour by car or bus. The train ride is also an hour and a half.

Our activity recommendations

The first Hungarian king was crowned in this town, making this one of the best day trips from Budapest for history lovers. The entire city, from the city hall to the shops and houses, is like a scene from a postcard. You can have a great time just walking through the city and taking in the beauty of the buildings and the natural beauty of the location.

Visit the Basilica, which is the tallest building in Hungary. You can take pictures from atop this building that dates back to the early 1800s and check out its picturesque surroundings as well.

You will also want to see the Cathedral treasury, which offers you access to hundreds of years of artifacts and gold items belonging to notable people. You can easily spend half a day or more in this part of the city, learning about Hungary and Esztergom itself.

Best season to visit Esztergom

You will want to visit Esztergom between May and September. These are the best weather months for this lovely location since you'll want to walk around and check out the historic buildings.

Lake Balaton weekend trip from Budapest

Lake Balaton

This is one of the most popular day trips from Budapest for locals. Lake Balaton is often called the Hungarian Sea, and you will see why when you arrive. There really is a beach town vibe present here, and weekend trips to this location are easy to arrange. You might not have thought that you could head to a beach or lake location while you were in this part of the world, but you can.

Lake Balaton distance from Budapest

This city is about a two-hour drive from Budapest. There is no train route to get here.

Our activity recommendations

Siofok is the best town to stay in, and this holiday resort-style city will make you feel right at home. There are many lovely eateries along the shore of the lake, and you can easily spend the day lounging near the water and then head to one of the nearby cafes for a bite to eat and a glass of wine.

If you love hiking, this is the right weekend trip for you to take. You will find lots of opportunities to enjoy nature here with hiking trails that lead away from the sea in many directions. This spot is ideal for anyone who loves the outdoors.

Consider taking a wine-tasting tour as well when you visit this city. Lake Balaton and the surrounding areas are known for their outstanding wineries, and the volcanic hills make for perfect wine-making grapes. These are not the kind of wines that you can usually enjoy in other parts of the world, so you will want to make the most of the chance to try out the local wines while you are in town.

Best season to visit Lake Balaton

Take this weekend trip from Budapest between April and September. The weather is perfect during these months for you to make the most of your time in this lovely city.

Visegrád trip from Budapest

Visegrád

This is one of the most popular day trips from Budapest because it is so close. You can head to this scenic town for even part of a day and then return to Budapest if you wish. There is a royal castle here, as well as great eateries and shops, and a quaint downtown area. This is also the town where the drink Palinka is made.

Visegrád distance from Budapest

This little city is the perfect day trip option because you can get here in just half an hour. The train ride is about an hour if you haven't bothered with a rental car.

Our activity recommendations

You will want to check out Castle Visegrád of the Citadel, which is how the locals refer to it. The history of the castle and the Holy Crown of Hungary are worth taking in at this museum/historical site. This UNESCO world heritage site is amazingly well-preserved and incredible to visit.

The Palinka factory is worth a visit as well. This is a really cool place to learn about the way that this very popular drink is made and to give some Palinka a try. You will see this bottled drink product all over Budapest, so knowing more about how it became so popular can be really fun.

The Tower of Salaman is another tourist attraction that you will probably want to check out. There are local events and festivals held in this area all the time, and you might see a wedding procession, a fake joust, or someone selling their wares near this historic building. The activity of the city tends to center on this area, which makes wandering over here well worth the steps.

Best season to visit Visegrád

You can visit Visegrád from April to October and enjoy the great weather. This little town tends to be pretty busy so long as the weather is good, so be prepared for things to be a bit crowded.

Best Budapest weekend trips

Conclusion

If day trips from Budapest are more your speed, many of these weekend trip ideas are close enough to be done in a day. But, if you have the time to spare, spending a weekend in any of these intriguing spots is well worth it. In addition, if you will be in Budapest for just a few days, you'll need to maximize your sightseeing, and our guide on how to spend 3 days in Budapest can help you with just that. This city has a rich history, and the surrounding areas can offer you the chance to learn more about the history of the region, enjoy unique and special adventures, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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