48 Hours in: Budapest

by Poi on February 11, 2015

2 Flares 2 Flares ×

So you’ve got a weekend free and want to head off somewhere new? Choosing a destination is the easy bit, deciding how best to spend your time when you’re there is a little more daunting and often it’s so overwhelming you’ll just decide to do something else. Well, if you’ve done the easy bit and chosen Budapest you need not worry because we’ve done the rest for you.

So here’s our quick guide to booking and spending 48 hours in Budapest:



There are plenty of flights direct to Budapest from Luton and Gatwick, the most suitable for a weekend getaway are:

Out to Budapest Friday: Whizz air at 17.30 or 20.30 (Luton) or Easyjet at 17.50 (Luton). Back to London Sunday Whizz air at 18.25 (Luton) or Easyjet at 21.50 (Gatwick). The airport is around 20 – 30 minutes away from central Budapest so for a weekend trip with limited time we’d recommend taking a taxi to your hotel.


Hotel Nemzeti

We stayed here when we visited, it’s a beautiful building and the rooms were lovely. Best of all the location was perfect as it’s on Bhala Luzi (square) which is a massive interchange for buses, trams and the metro which makes getting around for the rest of your weekend very easy.  Price wise you’re looking at £60 a night for two people.

Budapest sign in square


Friday Night

Drop your bags and go out to explore the immediate area. We walked down to the river which is beautiful at night and a great way to get a quick feel for the place before a good nights sleep.

Saturday Morning:

Breakfast: Head downstairs to the hotel dining room. They have a wide selection – from pastries to super healthy food, best of all they offer prosecco too!

Sightseeing: Take Metro line 3 to St Stephens’s basicla and go up the cupola, then follow our walking tour to Parliament square.

Lunch and shopping: Take the tram from Parliament square to the central market. This is one the prettiest tram lines we have travelled on – it’s right on the river bank and great to look over to the Buda side with a perfect view of the castle and fisherman’s Bastian.

The central market is an old building bursting at the seams with souvenirs and traditional Hungarian food. We tried a traditional Langos covered in sour cream, garlic and cheese – it was delicious and extremely cheap (1 Euro).  I would also recommend trying the apple strudel, supposedly if you can’t make apple strudel in Hungary, you won’t be a good wife!

Saturday Afternoon:

Sightseeing: Head up the hill on the Buda side to look over Pest, you can get a bus to the top or if you are fit – climb the zig zag from the bottom. After this, you have earned a well-deserved rest and I would head to one of the coffee shops on this list.

Sightseeing: If you still have energy you could also visit the House of Terror. The building is where people were detained, tortured and killed under the fascist and communist regimes of the 20th century. It‘s an interesting museum, my only regret is not getting an audio tour. There is plenty of information, but sometimes it was difficult to follow whereas the people with an audio tour seemed to understand things a bit better. Allow yourself at least 2 hours to visit.

Hotel: Shower and change

Saturday Night:

Ruin bars: After such a busy day have a nice rest and then head out for a traditional Turkish kebab (right next door to the hotel) on the way to the ruin bars. We’d recommend heading straight to Szimpla Kert on Kazinczy Street – ‘Huge pub with old mismatched items & a disused Trabant car, with music, food, market & a garden’ Luckily the hotel is incredibly close to this road so you can easily walk it and equally easily stumble back home afterwards.

Budapest Baths

Sunday Morning

Breakfast: Wake up have breakfast in the hotel – make sure you have the prosecco!

Sightseeing: Head straight to Szechenyi Baths spend at least 3 hours here swimming around exploring all the different pools. Make sure you take a dip in one of the 18C pool absolutely freezing!

Coffee shop: Hop down Metro line 1 and go to Lotz bookshop for an amazing coffee and cake hidden in the middle of a department store.

Sunday Afternoon:

Sightseeing: Head on a bus to Pest and explore the Fishermans Bastian and Pest Castle.

Late lunch/early dinner: Whilst up in Pest make sure you go to the Pest Buda Bistro just a few roads back from the Fisherman’s Bastian. It serves lots of traditional Hungarian food and every single thing we had was delicious!

Walk down the hill and across the Chain bridge for some more photo opportunities.

Airport: Get on the metro back to the hotel, pick up your bags and head to the airport. We were incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to this wonderful city and have no doubt we’ll be visiting it again soon!

More Resources for Budapest

Check out these helpful travel guides:


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Damon and Jo April 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Thanks for this! We’re currently deciding on which Eastern European cities to visit – Prague, Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, etc – so reading these blogs definitely helps sway our decisions. Doing the whole “bathhouse” thing seems super fun and super representative of Eastern European cultures. Can’t wait for the next few months in Europe!


Poi April 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm

I can imagine how hard it is trying to choose between all those cities, they’re all very well known and just as equally appealing. Having said that we did love Budapest and would encourage anyone to visit. The baths are great…


Steph April 28, 2015 at 12:33 am

I love your guide! 48 might seem really short but it can often be a GREAT amount of time to hit the highlights and get a feel for the city. I just added this link to my “Beers in Budapest” article (about party activities in Budapest).. Thanks for the awesome article!
Steph´s last blog post ..Beers in Budapest: Top Budapest Party Activities


Poi April 28, 2015 at 2:18 pm

Beers in Budapest? That sounds like something I definitely need to read, we’re hoping to head back to Budapest soon and I do like beer…


Julie April 28, 2015 at 10:26 am

I also am based in London and also did two different weekends in Budapest over the past year. It’s the BEST city for a weekend trip. I pretty much followed your exact itinerary, although I think you were probably a little more on top of it than we were. Showing up at a museum the moment it closes isn’t the best way to go about planning! And gosh, your mention of Langos just makes me want one right this minute! Who cares if it’s a heart attack on a plate 🙂


Poi April 28, 2015 at 2:22 pm

It was a whirlwind of a trip but you’re right Budapest is such a great city for a weekend break. Langos is delicious (despite the heart attack) and there is so many different options to try, an excuse enough to go back by itself. Thanks for reading 🙂


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge