4 days in Budapest is the perfect amount of time to get to know this exciting city. Keep reading for a fun-filled 4 day Budapest Itinerary.
Budapest is a diverse and beautiful city, bursting with life, culture, history, nightlife, and awe-inspiring architecture.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to spend a perfect 4 days in Budapest, including where to stay, where to eat, and all of our top tips for exploring the city.
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4 Days in Budapest at a Glance
There is a lot to cover in this Budapest itinerary & guide. So, for those who may have limited time to read, here is a taster of the best things to see in Budapest in 4 days.
Day 1 in Budapest
- St Stephens Basilica
- Liberty Square
- Hungarian Parliament Building
- Shoes on Danube Promenade
- Danube River Cruise
- Watch Sunset
Day 2 in Budapest
- Castle District
- Fishermans Bastion
- Matthias Church
- Buda Castle
- Hospital in the Rock
- Citadella & Gellert Hill
Day 3 in Budapest
- The Jewish District
- Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar
- Dohany Street Synagogue
- Budapest Central Market
- Thermal Baths
Day 4 in Budapest
- Andrassy Avenue
- Heroes Square
- City Park
- Vajdahunyad Castle
- Palvolgyi Cave
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Budapest 4 Day Itinerary
OK, let’s dive into this Budapest itinerary. I’ve tried to make it as strategic as possible so that you cover a lot, but at the same time don’t end up burning yourself out.
We will guide you based on our experiences, but you can switch it up as you go along. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect:
- Day 1: Get to know the landmarks of the city on foot and by river cruise.
- Day 2: Marvel all the enchanting wonders of the Castle District
- Day 3: Explore alternative Budapest and relax in thermal spas.
- Day 4: Meander the City Parks and discover Budapest’s Hidden Gems.
Save Money with a Budapest Card
Are you going to be visiting all of the cities top attractions and taking full advantage of the public transport network? If yes, you should consider purchasing a Budapest Card in advance. The card allows you to ride public transport for free, access several museums for free, plus discounted entry at most other attractions.
Reserve your card
Day 1 in Budapest
Alright, it’s day 1 of your Budapest Itinerary and we suggest you get to know the city. You can either do it alone as we did. Or you can participate in a free walking tour.
St Stephens Basilica
Let’s start this Budapest itinerary with St Stephens Basilica; one of the cities most recognisable landmarks.
A roman catholic place of worship, it is the largest religious building in all of Hungary.
The pinnacle is the exquisite dome, where you can climb 400 or so steps to the top for beautiful views over the city.
Entry: 600 HUF (Free to view outside)/Allow: 1hr
Liberty Square & The Antifascist Monument
A short 5-minute walk from St Stephens you’ll find Liberty Square – a significant location in Hungarian history that was once a large barracks known as Újépűlet.
During the 20th century, the square became the centre point of the communist revolution, protests and war. Today, various conflicting statues and columns sit throughout the square, including one of the last remaining Soviet monuments in the city.
Entry: Free/Allow: 1hr
Hungarian Parliament Building
Located just a couple of blocks away from Liberty Square, the Hungarian Parliament Building is easily one of the most impressive structures in Budapest.
It has been the largest building in Hungary since its completion in 1902.
If you wanted to see inside the Hungarian Parliament, there are daily guided tours available in a variety of languages.
Entry: 3500 HUF for a tour (Free to view outside)/Allow: 1hr
Shoes on the Danube Promenade
The monument consists of 60 pairs of life-like shoes, true to 1940s style, and sculpted out of iron. The shoes are symbolic of the tragic fate met by thousands of Jews along the banks of the Danube.
We thought it was both a beautiful and thought-provoking tribute. And while perhaps one of the darker experiences you’ll have over the 4 days in Budapest, it’s a vital one nonetheless.
Entry: Free/Allow: 1hr
Danube River Cruise
Possibly the best way to view the sights of this gorgeous city is on the water. With many significant landmarks set upon the banks of the Danube, it’s the perfect way to take it all in without the pressure of crowds.
Get your Guide has a wide selection of tours to choose from at a competitive rate, so it’s worth checking them out before your trip. Book online in advance to save you more time to enjoy your Budapest itinerary.
Or, if you’re on a real shoestring budget, you can take the public transport boats for just a fraction of the price. It will be a no-thrills experience, but the views will ultimately be the same.
Pick your Sunset Spot
The sun sets on the Buda side of the river, so many gather on the Pest side of the river to witness the spectacle unfold.
There are many places where you can enjoy the sunset in Budapest. Find a bridge along the Danube riverbank that connect Buda to Pest, as we did in the photo above.
To enjoy the sunset view with a cocktail in hand, we can recommend High Note SkyBar.
Day 2 in Budapest
OK, day 2 of this 4 Day Budapest Itinerary and it’s set to be a busy day exploring the Buda side of the city.
The entire castle district is like a scene straight from a fairy tale. You’re going to fall in love with the city on a whole other level after you’ve experienced it
Getting to the Castle District
There are several ways to reach the castle district. We went on foot; however, from the city centre, you should prepare for a 40-50 minute walk.
Alternatively, you can take the bus from the city centre. The number 16 bus regularly runs from Deak Ferenc Square and can be picked up at numerous stops along the route.
Or, you could book the Official Buda Castle Electric Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. That way you can get off and hop back on at any of the 23 major attractions in the castle area.
Finally, the Funicular cable car located at the end of the chain bridge is open from 7.30 am to 10.00 pm. A return ticket will set you back HUF 1800.
The Fishermans Bastion is the most popular photography spot in Budapest. With its fairy tale towers and panoramic views, it’s not too difficult to see why.
I’d gladly say the Fishermans Bastion is our favourite spot in the city. We loved it so much we visited twice over the four days in Budapest.
A grand white-stone staircase leads visitors up to the fortification, where several viewpoints and archways make for incredible photo opportunities.
This is another good reason to visit for sunrise, so you can get your photos before the crowds arrive at 9 am.
Entry: Free (Upper Terraces: HUF 1000)/Allow: 1-2 hrs
In front of the Fisherman’s Bastion lay another architectural gem of the city of Budapest. The equally beautiful and unmistakable Matthias Church.
The original structure of the Matthias Church is said to date back as early as the 11th century. The sleek church tower and colourful roof tiles, make it one of the finest and most unique religious buildings in all of Europe.
Entry: HUF 1000 (Free to view outside)/Allow: 30mins – 1hr
Next up we can hop back on the castle district bus, or take a gentle stroll along the charming cobbled streets towards Buda Castle.
Many would argue that the castle is the main attraction in Budapest; however, we were a little underwhelmed. In our honest opinion, the Fishermans Bastion and Matthias church are far more visually impressive.
However this is a spot of historical & cultural importance, with the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum, and the National Library all set within the palace complex.
Entry: HUF 2400-3200 for museums (Free to view the grounds)/Allow: 1-2hrs
Hospital in the Rock
Hospital in the Rock is one of Budapest’s underground attractions, which was once a secret hospital and nuclear bunker.
The hospital, built in a 10km long natural cave system underneath the Buda Castle, opened in 1944. Its purpose was to protect injured soldiers and civilians during further b0mb att@cks on the city.
Nowadays it’s the biggest waxwork exhibition in Hungary where wax figures and original machinery depict the reality of those dark times.
Entrance: 4000 HUF (Includes a guided tour)/Allow: 1 hour
Citadella and Gellert Hill
After spending plenty of time meandering the Castle District, we made our way to Citadella. A historic fortress constructed in 1854 by the Hapsburgs as a surveillance platform.
From Buda Castle, we walked for around 30-40 minutes to the summit of the hill. Although if you don’t fancy the exercise, you can take the bus directly to the top.
We strategically planned our Budapest itinerary so that we would get to this spot shortly before sunset.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 1-2 hours
Day 3 in Budapest
Day 3 in Budapest and today we are going to explore the trendier, more alternative side to the city. Think street art, local markets, quirky ruin bars, and finally, a thermal spa.
The Jewish District
In a city that largely feels somewhat royal and elegant, the Jewish District is a breath of fresh air. Boasting a realm of street art, quirky food haunts, and boutique stores, it’s by far the coolest district in the city.
Ironically, this area was once considered the ghetto of Budapest. Jews were confined to live here during the N@zi occupation of Hungary, and the Jewish influence remains prominent to this day.
I’m pleased to say it’s now the most vibrant and cultural part of the city, with plenty to see and do which I lead onto below.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 2-3 hours
The first thing you’ll notice when exploring the Jewish district is the wealth of street art that adorn the walls of several buildings.
We felt like we were in an open-air gallery as we marvelled at each of the creative murals with great admiration.
Though, most prevalent in the Jewish District, you’ll also find some artwork in other areas of the city. You can follow this map of Budapest street art to find them.
Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar (by day)
Szimpla Kert is Budapest’s most famous ruin bar by night and a cultural/artistic centre by day.
Szimpla Kert unlike any other bar in the world. From their eco-friendly initiatives, cheap drinks prices, and the whacky themed decor, walking around Szimpla Kert feels like getting lost in Wonderland.
I suggest visiting during the day and again in the evening when the party vibe gets WILD! And if you’re in Budapest over a Sunday, head down between 9 am – 2 pm for the local farmers market.
Dohany Street Synagogue
Next up is the Dohany Street Synagogue which is probably the most significant religious landmark in the Jewish District.
The architectural gem is the largest Jewish place of worship in all of Europe and the second largest in the world, built to accommodate over 3000 people.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Budapest’s Jewish community, you can join a guided tour of the synagogue.
Tours run regularly and are included in the entrance fee, but by booking in advance, you can skip the queue.
Budapest Central Market
No Budapest Itinerary is complete without a trip to the grand central market hall. It’s the oldest and largest market in the city, and impressive by both design and size.
We love to meander the local markets when we travel. They are always so full of energy and life, and it feels like an authentic local experience.
Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, we encourage you to visit during your four days in Budapest and immerse yourself in the thick of it. You won’t regret it!
Budapest’s thermal baths have formed a part of the local culture for centuries, and to visit the city without experiencing one is quite honestly, scandalous.
The history behind the thermal baths stems back to Roman times. They discovered that the waters from localised thermal springs were rich in dissolved minerals and proved beneficial for relaxation and medicinal purposes.
As a result, there are thermal baths all over the city! It’s impossible to see them all with just 4 days in Budapest.
Below I’ve listed the most popular baths with a short description of what to expect at each one so you can choose one most suited.
Szechenyi Bath is the largest and most famous thermal bath in Budapest. It is famous for its weekly ‘sparties‘, featuring DJs, laser shows, and plenty of drunk backpackers.
Gellért Baths is arguably Budapest’s most elegant thermal spa. The complex features indoor and outdoor baths fed by the thermal springs from nearby Gellért Hill. After spending an entire afternoon here, we would gladly recommend it to anybody seeking a relaxing experience.
Rudas Bath stay open until 4 am on a Friday and Saturday, meaning you could wind up here after a night out. To be clear, visiting the baths under the influence of alcohol is not recommended.
Király Baths is the budget-friendly option. It may appear a little run down at first glance; however, you can be sure the water is clean and ultimately does the same job as the rest of them.
Day 4 in Budapest
It’s your final day in Budapest, and today, you have a couple of options. You can either follow the morning activities and hit up another spa for the rest of the afternoon.
Or you can follow our Budapest itinerary as it is, which leads you to some of the hidden gems in Budapest. If you’re a real adventurer, you won’t want to miss the last activity of the day.
Our first stop is the iconic Andrassy Avenue – A 2.4km boulevard lined with exclusive designer boutiques and opulent Neo-Renaissance mansions.
Admire the architecture, and even go shopping. That’s if your pocket can afford the likes of Gucci, Dior, and Louis Vuitton, of course. Either way, the boulevard leads us to the next stop on our list, so let’s keep moving.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 30mins-1hour
Heroes Square is one of the most significant landmarks in Budapest. It’s best known for the Millenium Monument, made up of a towering column with two colonnades on either side.
It’s worth visiting the square during the day and night if you have the time. At night it’s especially picturesque when the entire monument is lit up.
There are also some other impressive buildings surrounding the square, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Art.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 30 mins
Just behind heroes square is City Park, one of the largest and most picturesque green spaces in all of Budapest.
Depending on the season, there are a variety of activities that take place throughout the park grounds.
We visited Budapest in Winter, and they had opened up a huge ice skating rink over the lake. In the Summer, you can rent little paddle boats and take to the water that way.
Entrance: Free/Allow: 1-2 hours
Set directly behind the City Park lake, Vajdahunyad Castle is a must see during your four days in Budapest.
Again, Vajdanhunyad Castle looks like a scene straight out of a fairy tale. Ironically, legend has it that the castle once imprisoned Count Dracula.
It is free to enter the grounds of Vajdahunyad Castle, so even if you do not wish to go inside, it is worth taking a romantic stroll through the courtyards.
Entrance Fee: Free to enter the grounds/HUF 1600 to go inside/ Allow: 1 hour
Budapest is the only European capital that has natural caves in the middle of the city. A collection of 170 smaller and bigger caves make up the system.
Palvolgyi Cave boasts stunning dripstone formations and an adrenaline-pumping course. Those keen on a real adventure in Budapest will not want to miss it.
If you’d prefer something a little more family-friendly, you can check out other caving tours such as The Labyrinth in Buda Castle or Szemlőhegyi Cave.
Tour Price: HUF 2200/Allow: 1-2 hours
Where to Stay in Budapest?
In my opinion, if you’re only in Budapest for 4 Days, you’re better off staying on the Pest side of the river.
There’s more of an atmosphere in Pest, and you have everything you need right on your doorstep. It’s easy enough to get in between the two sides.
I’ve recommended some hotels or you can compare prices using the map below.
4 Days in Budapest FAQs
Is 4 Days in Budapest Enough?
The short answer to this question is, yes. Four days in Budapest is certainly enough to cover all of the cities highlights.
Not only can you cover the hotspots during this time, but you could also squeeze in some of the hidden gems in Budapest.
Getting Around in Budapest
We ended up doing all of our exploring in Budapest on foot. It’s our favourite way to explore any new city as you generally discover far more.
Otherwise, the city is well connected by public transportation, hosting a reliable metro system as well as many trams, buses, and riverboats.
We recommend purchasing a Budapest Card, which will be cost effective for 4 days in Budapest. It includes unlimited access to the cities public transport network, as well as discounted or free entry at many of the cities top attractions.
Get the best deals on travel insurance!
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Best Time to Visit Budapest
There isn’t really any right or wrong time to visit Budapest, as there is a great atmosphere all your round. Although, if you are relying on warm and dry days for sightseeing, between May and October will be your safest bet.
July and August are the warmest months, but it’s also when the city is at its busiest and most expensive.
Personally, we can vouch for visiting in December. Though the temperatures can be freezing, the Christmas markets and festivities are genuinely magical.
Enjoy Your 4 Days in Budapest!
Well, that concludes our 4 day Budapest Itinerary. We hope you enjoy your time in this magical city.
If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.