Are you about to visit Budapest in 3 days and you need to optimize your time? What to do and see in Budapest in 3 days?
Discover the best of the Hungarian capital over a long weekend by following our itinerary suggestions with some tips that will allow you to visit Budapest in 3 days and see the essentials of this rich city. Lovers of culture, architecture, history or shopping: the Hungarian capital will please everyone!
Discover the main tourist attractions of Budapest in 3 days: Buda Castle, St. Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion, Chain Bridge, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, the Great Market Hall, Széchenyi and Gellért baths, and much more to see and do in Budapest!
To learn more about the monuments mentioned in our itinerary for Budapest in 3 days, see our article,’ Budapest Must-see sights’ on this link.
You will have only one desire after this trip to Budapest, to come back as soon as possible!
Here is our program ‘Budapest Travel Tips’ for visiting Budapest in 3 days:
Visit Budapest in 3 days – Day 1
Path: 7km journey – Castle, St.Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion, Chain Bridge, Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Vörösmarty Square, Váci Street, Great Market Hall.
Morning: visit the old town to Buda
A CASTLE FUNICULAR
Start on the Buda side facing the Chain Bridge by taking the funicular on Clark Ádám Square to reach the castle district. Climbing by stairs is also possible or you can take bus n°16 at Clark Adám Square (cheaper than the funicular) and get off at the second stop called ‘Dísz tér’.
B BUDA CASTLE VISIT
After admiring the beautiful view of Pest in front of the castle, take the opportunity to visit the works of the greatest Hungarian masters in the Hungarian National Gallery located in the main building.
C THE MATTHIAS CHURCH
Reach the old town on the other side of the hill, and in 10 minutes you will be at the foot of the beautiful Matthias Church, located 50m from the Fishermen’s Bastion.
Adult admission: 1500 Ft (≈5 €). Open hours: Monday-Friday: 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday: 9:00 to 12:00, Sunday: 13:00 to 17:00.
You can also enjoy an expertly guided tour (50 mn) of Matthias Church with skip-the-line entry:
In this unique setting, the Matthias Church organizes classical music concerts several times a month with the Budapest Duna String Orchestra.
D FISHERMEN’S BASTION
Entrance fees for the upper gallery of the Fishermen’s Bastion are available on this link (free from 15 October to 10 March, free between 20:00 and 09:00 year round, otherwise adult tickets (≈2,6 €). If you want to have lunch, we recommend that you head to Chef Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant ‘Jamie’s Italian’ (Szentháromság u .9) or Café Miró (Úri u., 30) and finish off touring the old town (20mn walking).
Afternoon: visit of the center of Pest
E THE CHAIN BRIDGE
Get off the hill by the funicular or go on foot and cross the oldest and most beautiful bridge of Budapest, the Chain Bridge. You will arrive at Széchenyi István Square, facing the Palace Gresham (Four Seasons Hotel). Do not hesitate to enter and admire the beautiful Art Deco interior of this palace, or even have a coffee and then head to the Hungarian Parliament, located only 10 minutes away on foot.
F THE PARLIAMENT
Find detailed information (timetables, guided tours, etc.) and tips on the Hungarian Parliament in our article ‘How to visit the Parliament of Budapest‘. If you would like to have lunch later, we recommend on ‘Kossuth’ Square the bistro Elysée or the Café Smúz.
Do not miss: on the left side of the Parliament (facing the Danube), go down to the edge of the river for 200m to reach the poignant memorial, ‘Shoes on the banks of the Danube’, dedicated to the victims of the Shoah in Budapest.
About forty meters of metal shoes represent the thousands of Jews who were shot before removing their shoes.
G ST. STEPHEN’S BASILICA
A visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica is a must in Budapest, and if you have the courage, do not hesitate to climb the 370 steps (or take the elevator) to admire a panoramic view of Pest rooftops.
St. Stephen’s Basilica also hosts weekly concerts:
Open hours: Monday-Friday: 09:00 to 17:00, Saturday: 09:00 to 13:00, Sunday: 13:00 to 17:00.
H VÖRÖSMARTY SQUARE
On Vörösmarty Square, have a coffee and a Hungarian pastry at the famous Café Gerbeaud, one of the most beautiful historic cafés in Budapest.
Do not hesitate to consult also our article on tasting Hungarian pastries.
I VIGADÓ SQUARE
Turn right onto Vörösmarty Square towards the Danube onto Vigadó Street or Deák Ferenc Street (on the corner of the Hard Rock Café) to reach the Danube bank on Vigadó Square to admire the beautiful panorama of Buda Castle and the Matthias Church.
J VÁCI STREET
Then return to the pedestrian street Váci, where you can go shopping.
Nearby at Március 15 square, you can have an aperitif (on the terrace in the spring) or dinner at the restaurant ‘Kiosk‘.
You can also discover Budapest every night
from a new angle on a cruise on the Danube (45mn-1h) !
Information and booking on Budapest Sightseeing cruise on this link.
You also have the opportunity to dine during your cruise while admiring Budapest by night!
In the evening departing at 19:45, you can enjoy a 2 and a half hour cruise on the Danube accompanied by a dinner consisting of four courses and the musical performance of local Hungarian artists (from November to February departure at 19:00).
Visit Budapest in 3 days – Day 2
Path: 7 Km – New York Café, Széchenyi Baths, Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes Square, Andrássy Street, Opera House, Goszdu Court, Erzsébet Square.
Morning: Széchenyi Baths and the Városliget district.
A CAFÉ NEW YORK
Start the day with breakfast or a coffee in Budapest’s finest historic cafe, Café New York, backed by Hotel Boscolo on ‘Blaha Lujza’ Square in Pest (open daily from 9 am to midnight, link to New York Café menu).
B SZECHENYI BATHS
Take the tram or metro to Oktogon Station (15mn away on foot) then M1 underground until the ’Széchenyi fürdő’ stop.
It’s time to discover Budapest’s baths at the Széchenyi baths, a unique experience during any season. Full information on the baths is available in our specific article ‘The best baths in Budapest’ on this link.
Our advice: avoid long lines (especially on weekends, during school holidays, Christmas and New Year) with the tickets skip-the-line:
C HEROES SQUARE
Cross the City wood ‘Városliget’ (a 10-minute walk) to reach ‘Heroes’ Square.
This imposing square is ‘framed’ by the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hall of Art, called ‘Mücsarnok’. Take the metro line M1 (‘Hösők Tér’ station) direction Vörösmarty Tér and get off at ‘Oktogon’ station.
D LISZT FERENC SQUARE
Afternoon: visit of the city center in Pest.
E CAFÉ PÁRISI
After lunch, take Andrássy Avenue and enter number 39 on the first floor to enjoy an espresso in the sumptuous Café PÁRISI ( previously named Café Lotz).
Open every day from 09.00 to 21h00. Video of Café PÁRISI on this link.
You can also go right next door to number 39 on andrassy avenue, discover the roof of the 360 Bar that offers a panoramic view of Pest!
F THE OPERA
Continue on Andrássy Avenue to the Opera House located at number 22 which, despite its closure for renovation (until 2021), still provides tours (about 30 minutes witha’mini concert’) during the day at 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. Find information on this link.
G GOZSDU COURT
Discover the GOZDU court, one of Budapest’s night spots with its many cafes and restaurants. If you want to eat or just have a drink, we recommend the Spiler Bistro.
H ERZSÉBET SQUARE
At this point, discover Erzsébet Square Park, its big wheel and especially its patio from the spring. For an aperitif or an outdoor dinner, we recommend the Fröccs terrace. Finally, for dinner in Budapest, check out our article on our selection of our favorite restaurants!
Visit Budapest in 3 days – Day 3
Path 3 km trip – the Great Synagogue, the National Museum, the Great Market Hall, the ‘Whale’, Gellért Baths.
Morning: Synagogue, National Museum, the Great Market Hall.
A THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE
Visit the largest Synagogue in Europe which offers guided tours throughout the day. Open hours: from the beginning of March to the beginning of November, open from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 4pm on Fridays. From the beginning of November to the end of February: open from 10h to 16h from Monday to Thursday and from 10h to 14h on Fridays. Closed on Saturdays.
Since you are now in the Jewish Quarter, why not discover a ruin bar located 5 minutes from the synagogue? Indeed, the most famous, called ‘Szimpla Kert’, can be also visited during the day and worth the detour. Inside, you will find an abandoned building on several floors, an iconic place of Budapest nightspot!
Address: Kazinczy u. 14th, 7th district, Pest – map – website.
See our detailed article about the best ruin bars in Budapest.
B THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
The Hungarian National Museum allows you to discover the history of Hungary over the centuries. Temporary exhibitions are also scheduled (programming found on this link to the museum site). Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Closed on Mondays.
C THE GREAT MARKET HALL
Finish your morning with a visit to the Great Market Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which will make you appreciate the culinary specialties of Hungary and also its buffets, crafts and many souvenir stands on the first floor.
This is one of the favorites on our program,‘Visit Budapest in 3 days’!
Address: Vámház krt. 1-3, Pest – plan – website.
Open hours: Mondays from 06:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Friday: 06:00 to 18:00, Saturday: from 06:00 to 15:00. Be careful The Great Market hall is closed on Sundays.
D THE ’WHALE’
Head to the Danube and the ‘whale’ (Bálna) on Fővám tér Square 11, a cultural center whose unique architecture will not leave you indifferent. You will find the ‘Esetleg Bistro’ where you can enjoy lunch on the terrace facing the Danube.
Afternoon: at the baths!
E GELLÉRT BATHS
Cross the Danube on the Liberty Bridge to reach the Gellért Baths, a Budapest institution located on the right flank of the Hotel Gellért. On a 10-minute walk, discover its unique outdoor and indoor architecture!
See detailed information in our section on the best baths of Budapest.
The medicinal and relaxing virtues of these baths of Budapest will relax you!
You are now ready for your last dinner: choose from our selection of restaurants.
Enjoy splendid views of Budapest with a sightseeing Bus tour!
Explore Budapest at your own pace: Hop on and off at at any of the 39 stops with a 1, 2 or 3-day ticket to visit the city’s key landmarks!
3-Hour Live Guided Sightseeing Tour:
Enjoy a 3-hour guided tour of Budapest and learn the highlights of a thousand years of Hungarian history. Visit the Castle District, Heroes’ Square, enjoy the views from Gellért Hill, see the famous Central Market Hall and much more!
Discover Budapest with a guided Sightseeing Bike Tour!
During your guided Bike Tour through Budapest (3.5 hours), you can admire a number of World Heritage sites of Budapest, stop and enjoy a refreshing drink (small group tour, private tour available).