You are going to visit Budapest in 4 days and want to see the essentials while optimizing your visiting time?
Discover the best of the Hungarian capital with our 4-day itinerary suggestions, accompanied by tips that will allow you to see the essence of this great city.
Lovers of culture, architecture, history or shopping: the Hungarian capital will please everyone!
Discover the main tourist attractions of Budapest in 4 days: Buda Castle, St Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion, Chain Bridge, St.Stephen’s Basilica, Hungarian Parliament, Great Market Hall, Széchenyi and Gellért Baths, and much more.
To know more about the monuments mentioned in our itinerary for a visit to Budapest in 4 days, do not hesitate to consult our article, ‘Budapest Must-see sights’.
Unfortunately, you will only regret one thing after this trip, to come back as soon as possible! Here is our best program to visit Budapest in 4 days:
Visit Budapest in 4 days – Day 1
Path: 3.5 Km – Buda Castle, St Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion – Lunch – Chain Bridge, Palace Gresham.
A CASTLE FUNICULAR
Start on the Buda side opposite the Chain Bridge by taking the funicular at Clark Ádám Square to reach the castle district. Climbing by stairs is also possible or you can also take bus n°16 (less expensive) on Clark Adám Square and get off at the 2nd stop, ‘Dísz tér’, for the castle.
B CASTLE VISIT
After admiring the beautiful view of Pest in front of the castle, take the opportunity to visit the Hungarian National Gallery and the works of the greatest Hungarian masters in the main building.
The Hungarian National Gallery (in Hungarian, ‘Magyar Nemzeti Galéria’, MNG) is located within the Buda Castle and houses the largest public collection of Hungarian fine arts. Its permanent exhibition traces the history of Hungarian art from its founding to today with, in particular, many works by the most famous Hungarian painter, Mihály Munkácsy. Temporary exhibitions are also scheduled (programming is on this link to the dedicated website).
Address: Hungarian National Gallery, Szent György tér 2., 1st district, Buda – plan – website – Open hours: 10:00 to 18:00 from Tuesday to Sunday.
DON’T MISS! Buda Castle Free Tour (2,5h)
Explore one of Budapest’s most emblematic monuments on this free guided tour of Buda Castle and discover the secrets of the former residence of the Hungarian royal family.
Information Buda castle Free Tour and Booking – click here
Free tours do not have a fixed price, rather each person offers the guide the amount they consider appropriate, depending on their level of satisfaction.
Reach the old town of Buda on the other side of the hill and after a 10-minute walk you will be facing the beautiful Church of St Matthias (C). But before visiting it, you can have lunch nearby at Jamie’s italian restaurant:
D LUNCH AT JAMIE’S ITALIAN
This Italian restaurant opened by the famous English chef, Jamie Oliver, offers a warm and cozy Italian cuisine for a good price.
We loved there the Super Food salad (≈9 €) and the Julietta pizza (≈9 €).
Address: Szentháromság u. 9-11, 1st district, Buda – map – website – Menu.
Open hours: from 11:30 to 23:00 every day.
C THE MATTHIAS CHURCH
Address: MATTHIAS church, Szentháromság tér 2., 1st district, Buda – map – website.
Open hours: 09:00 to 17:00, may vary according to special events (check the website calendar). Adult admission: ≈6 €.
You can also enjoy a guided tour around the Matthias Church and learn about its rich history and architecture:
Buda Castle District walking tour information – click here
After visiting the Matthias Church, it is time to discover the unique view of Buda from the Fishermen ‘s Bastion, located 50 meters away.
C bis) FISHERMEN’S BASTION
Entrance fees for the upper gallery of Fishermen’s bastion are available on this link (free between 7:00 pm and 9:00 am year round, otherwise adult ticket (≈3 €). Explore the alleys of the old city before going back down to Pest either by funicular or on foot to reach Clark Ádám Square facing the Chain Bridge.
E THE CHAIN BRIDGE
Across is the oldest and most beautiful bridge of Budapest, the Chain Bridge. You will arrive at Széchenyi István Square, facing the unique Gresham Palace (Four Seasons Hotel).
ATTENTION: The Chain Bridge is closed to pedestrians and cars (except bus) for renovation until the end of 2023. During the renovation, Budapest public transport provides also the crossing of the Danube with a boat (capacity 250 seats).
Pontoon/Pier on the Pest side at the Academy of Sciences and on the Buda side at Jégverem utca (map below). Ticket price for 1 crossing: 500 Forint.
The shuttle takes passengers between 10 am and 6 pm, with a departure every half hour.
on the Buda side every hour at :00 and :30,
on the Pest side every hour at 15 and 45 minutes.
The last ferry leaves at 6.15 pm towards the Buda side from the pier of the Academy of Sciences in Pest.
F GRESHAM PALACE – FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
The Gresham Palace is a luxury hotel, ranked among the most sumptuous in the world: the building, bought and renovated in 2004, is a fantastic example of art deco architecture. Do not hesitate to enter to admire the beautiful interior, or even have a coffee. Check out the Gresham Palace video on this link.
Your first day of our program, ‘visiting Budapest in 4 days’, ends. For your dinner, do not hesitate to consult: our selection of restaurants in Budapest on this link, our tips for a show/concert on this link and where to go out at night on this link.
Visit Budapest in 4 days – Day 2
Path: 4 km trip – Széchenyi Baths, Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes Square, Andrássy Avenue, the National Opera, Goszdu Court and Erzsébet Square.
Morning: Széchenyi Baths and the Városliget district
A SZECHÉNYI BATHS
The Széchenyi baths are the biggest thermal baths in Budapest and are a must-see on our ‘Visit Budapest in 4 days program’. They are easily accessible on public transport by Metro Line M1 – station Széchenyi fürdő – and by trolley bus 72 – station Széchenyi fürdő -. Detailed information is found in our article on ‘the best baths in Budapest’ on this link.
Address: Széchenyi baths, Állatkerti krt. 9-11, XIVth district, Pest.
Open hours: from 06:00 to 22:00 every day (indoor baths from 06:00 to 19:00).
Our advice: avoid long lines at the entrance (weekends, school holidays, end-of-year parties) with the tickets skip-the-line:
Information Széchenyi Baths and tickets skip-the-line – click here
Check out a great video of the Szechenyi baths on this link.
B CASTLE OF VAJDAHUNYAD
After relaxing in the baths, cross the City wood and courtyard of Vajdahunyad Castle (a 10-minutewalk) and its park. Located at the edge of Lake Városliget (an ice rink in winter), the castle was built on the occasion of the 1896 National Millennium Exhibition and is home to the Museum of Agriculture.
C HEROES SQUARE
Heroes’ Square (‘Hősök tere’) is the largest square in Budapest at the end of Andrássy Avenue. This imposing square, built for the Millennium of 1896 and celebrating the arrival of Hungarians in the region a thousand years earlier, is flanked by the Museum of Fine Arts and the ‘Mücsarnok’ Hall of Art.
Then take the metro line M1 (the first metro line in continental Europe) at the station ‘Hösők Tér’, direction Vörösmarty Tér and get off at Oktogon station.
D LISZT FERENC SQUARE – LUNCH IN MENZA
Walk down Andrassy Avenue for 300m and reach Liszt Férenc Square and its many patios for lunch. We recommend the restaurant Menza, an institution in Budapest that is always busy: locals and tourists alike appreciate the vintage 1970s decor.
This is one of the best addresses for discovering Hungarian cuisine with good value for your money.
Address: Menza, Liszt Ferenc ter 2, 6th district, Pest – plan – website – Menu.
Open hours: from 10:00 to 24:00 from Monday to Sunday.
E CAFÉ PÁRISI
After lunch, take Andrássy Avenue and enter number 39 on the 1st floor, then 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.
Café PÁRISI is unfortunately closed in 2023.
You can also go right next door to number 39 Andrassy Avenue, and discover the roof of the 360 Bar that offers a panoramic view of Pest!
More information on the Bar 360 is found in our article, ‘The Rooftops of Budapest’, on this link.
F THE NATIONAL OPERA
After more than 4 years of renovation, the Hungarian National Opera opened its doors on March, 2022! With a capacity of 1200 seats, the National Opera of Budapest inaugurated in 1884 is an iconic place of the Hungarian capital to discover absolutely by its architectural beauty and the quality of its representations!
For informations and tickets – click here
Budapest Opera House Guided Tour
Discover the second largest stage in Europe on this guided tour of the Hungarian State Opera House, a must-see on your trip to Budapest!
A tour of the Opera House of about 60 minutes starts daily at 13.30, 15.00 and 16.30 in English. Booking at least 1 week in advance strongly recommended.
Information Opera House Guided Tour and booking – click here
G GOZSDU COURT
Discover the GOZDU court, one of Budapest’s night spots with restaurants, bars and terraces. If you want to eat or just have a drink, we recommend the Spiler Bistro.
H ERZSÉBET SQUARE
Discover downtown Erzsébet Sqaure and its park, its big wheel and especially the terraces in the spring. For an aperitif or an outdoor dinner, we recommend the Fröccs Terrace. Finally, for dinner in Budapest, check out our selection of favorite restaurants!
You can also discover Budapest in a new light with a cruise on the Danube! (45mn-1h): Find information on this link for ‘Cruises to Budapest on the Danube’.
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 two hour cruise on the Danube accompanied by a dinner and a musical performance of local Hungarian artists :
For information and booking dinner cruise – click here
Visit Budapest in 4 days – Day 3
Path: 5 Km – Parliament, St Stephen’s Basilica, Vörösmárty Square, Vigado Square, Váci Street, Citadel.
A THE HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT
Full information and tips (schedules and guided tours) for a visit to the Hungarian Parliament is found in our article, ‘How to visit the Parliament of Budapest’, on this link.
Budapest Parliament 45-Minute Guided Tour ticket – click here
Address: Hungarian Parliament, Kossuth Lajos ter 1-3, 5th district, Pest – map –
Open hours: every day from 8 am to 6 pm (at 4 pm from November to March).
Do not miss: on the left side of the Hungarian Parliament (facing the Danube), go down to the edge of the river to 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.
B STATUE OF NAGY IMRE on ‘Vertanúk’ Square
This statue erected in 1996 commemorates Imre Nagy whose call for the withdrawal of Soviet troops and the country’s independence in 1956 forged his status as a national hero.
The statue has been removed on december, 2018 for renovation and relocation.
C Lunch at the Restaurant BÖRZE
Before heading to St. Stephen’s Basilica, you can have lunch on the way at the Börze Bistro, which offers quality Hungarian and international cuisine in a warm and spacious setting. Lunch menus with good value for the money!
Address: Restaurant BÖRZE, Nádor u. 23, 5th district, Pest – plan – website.
Open hours: from 07:30 to 00:00 every day.
D ST. STEPHEN’S BASILICA
A visit to the St Stephen Basilica is a must, 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.
Visiting hours: Monday-Friday: 09:00 at 17:00, Saturday: 09:00 to 18:00, Sunday: 13:00 to 17:45.
Skip the line and take a guided tour of St Stephen’s Basilica:
Learn about its history, admire its artworks, and see the Holy Right relic. Choose the option to visit the dome terrace and treasury and take an elevator to the panoramic terrace around the dome, a unique lookout point above Budapest.
Enjoy a superb 360-degree view of the whole city. Duration: around 1 hour.
Information St Stephen’s Basilica Tour and Ticket – click here
Enjoy also an organ or a string concert in St. Stephen’s Basilica, one of the most beautiful neo-classical buildings in Budapest. Take your pick from 3 concerts, each with 4 seating classes, to tailor your experience to your taste and budget.
Duration: about 70 minutes. Information on Classical Music Concerts in St Stephen’s Basilica
and tickets – click here
Address: ST. STEPHEN’S BASILICA, Szent István ter 1, 5th district, Pest – map –
Visiting hours: March to October: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, November to February: Monday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday-Sunday: 9:00 am to 5:15 pm. Adult admission: ≈3 €.
E VÖRÖSMARTY SQUARE
In Vörösmarty Square, have a coffee and a pastry at the famous Café Gerbeaud, one of the most beautiful historic cafés in Budapest.
F VIGADÓ SQUARE
Turn right onto Vörösmarty Square towards the river on 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 magnificent panorama of Buda, its Castle and Matthias Church.
G PEDESTRIAN STREET VÁCI
Return to Váci pedestrian street where you can go shopping (international stores, cafés and souvenir shops).
H THE CITADEL
The Citadel (‘citadella’) is the name of the stronghold that dominates Budapest at the top of Mount Gellért. Built by the Austrians in 1854 on one of the peaks of Budapest (235m), the Hungarian Statue of Liberty stands since 1947.As the city symbol, it pays homage to the liberation of Budapest at the end of the second World War by the Soviet Red Army. You can discover the most beautiful panoramic view of Buda and Pest there.
Address: The Citadel, Mount Gellért, 11th district, Buda – map –
To get to the Citadel from Váci street, go to the Ferenciek tere bus stop on Kossuth Lajos Boulevard, which cuts Váci Street 200m on your left.
You have two options by bus (or go by taxi in 10 minutes).
Option 1: Bus 8E (2 stops) then a climb on foot (13mn).
Option 2: Bus 8E and bus 27 with a walk (6mn).
Visit Budapest in 4 days – Day 4
Path: 3 Km – Gellért Baths, The Great Market Hall, Hungarian National Museum, The Great Synagogue, Ruin Bar ‘Szimpla Kert’, Café New York.
A GELLÉRT BATHS
Opened in 1818, the Gellért Baths in Buda are backed by the Grand Hôtel Gellért. It is a iconic institution in Budapest with its Art Deco architecture and many thermal pools, outdoor wave pool and massage services and treatments. Complete information is found in our article,‘The Best Baths of Budapest’ on this link.
The Gellért thermal baths can be reached by public transport via the underground line M4, Szent Gellért Tér station, bus 27 and tram 47 and 49.
Information and ticket for Gellért bath – click here
Address: Gellért baths, Kelenhegyi út 4, 11th district, Buda – map.
Opening hours: from 06:00 to 20:00 every day.
Discover this beautiful video of the Gellért baths on this link.
B THE GREAT MARKET HALL
Cross the Freedom Bridge (‘Szabadság híd’) to return to Pest and a visit to the Great Market Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which offers the culinary specialties of Hungary as well as its buffets, crafts andmany souvenir stands on the first floor.
This is one of the favorites of our program, ‘Visit Budapest in 4 days’!
Here is a video of the Budapest Great Market Hall: click here
Address: Great MArket Hall, Vámház krt. 1-3, IXth arrondissement, Pest – map – 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 as Sunday the market is closed.
You can have lunch on the first floor of the Great Market Hall at your choice of many buffets,or around the market, we recommend the Hungarian restaurant, ‘Borbíróság’ (behind the market, adress: Csarnok tér 5, map – website) or the terrace of the ‘Esetleg Bistro’ at the foot of the Bridge of Liberty and the Danube (address: Fővám tér 11-12 – map – website) on the Pest side.
C THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
Continue 500 m on ‘Múzeum krt’ Boulevard to visit the Hungarian National Museum which will allow you to discover the history of Hungary over the centuries. Temporary exhibitions are scheduled (programming found on this link to the museum website).
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm except Monday.
Address: Hungarian National Museum, Múzeum krt. 14-16, 8th district, Pest – map –
D THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE
After 10 minutes of walking, visit the largest synagogue in Europe which offers guided tours all day long. Further information is on this link.
Open hours: from the beginning of March to the beginning of November from 10am to 6pm from Monday to Thursday, from 10am to 4pm on Fridays. From the beginning of November to the end of February from 10h to 16h from Monday to Thursday and from 10h to 14h on Fridays. Closed on Saturdays.
Our Tip: avoid the long queues to visit the synagogue of Budapest with skip-the-line tickets (see below). Guided visits included!
For information and Skip-the-Line tickets for the Great Synagogue – click here
Address: The Great Synagogue, Dohány utca 2, VIIth district, Pest – map –
JEWISH HERITAGE WALKING TOUR:
Discover also the Hungarian Jewish history and heritage with this fascinating walking tour in Budapest. Visits of the Great Synagogue, the Jewish Museum, the Holocaust Cemetery, and the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park:
Jewish heritage walking tour information and ticket – click here
E The Ruin Bar SZIMPLA KERT
Since you are now in the Jewish Quarter, why not discover a ruin bar located 5 minute from the great synagogue? Indeed, the most famous, called Szimpla Kert, can be also visited during the day. Inside you will find an abandoned unique building on several floors and a large courtyard of this iconic place of Budapest nightlife! More informations on this link. Find also information on the ‘best ruin bars of Budapest’ on this link.
Address: Szimpla Kert, Kazinczy u. 14, VIIth arrondissement, Pest – map – website.
Open hours: from 12:00 to 04:00 from Monday to Thursday, Friday from 10:00 to 04:00, Saturday from 12:00 to 04:00, Sunday from 09:00 to 05:00. Free admission.
F CAFÉ NEW YORK
End the day with a stop at Budapest’s most beautiful historic café, the New York Café, backed by the Hotel Boscolo on Blaha Lujza Square in Pest. You will dive into the glories of a beautiful era in this neo-Baroque style café, among the most beautiful cafés in the world! Full information is found in our article on ‘the historic cafés of Budapest’ on this link.
Address: Café New York, Erzsébet krt. 11, VIIth district – map – website.
Open daily from 9am to midnight. New York Café Menu link.
This is the end of our program,“Visit Budapest in 4 Days”!
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 designated stops with a 1, 2 or 3-day ticket to visit the city’s key landmarks!
Information Budapest Bus Tour and ticket – click here
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!
Information and Ticket – Budapest 3-Hour Guided Sightseeing Tour –
Discover Budapest with a guided Sightseeing Bike Tour!
During your guided Bike Tour through Budapest (around 3.5 hours), you can admire the main sites of Budapest, stop and enjoy a refreshing drink (small group tour, private tour available).
Information and tickets Budapest guided bike tour – click here
Historic Budapest Free Tour (2,5h)
This Historic Budapest Free Tour will take you through the southern part of the Austro-Hungarian capital while you learn about the most important events during the 19th and 20th centuries and monuments (St Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest Parliament, Chain Bridge,…).
Information Budapest Historic Free Tour and Booking – click here
Free tours do not have a fixed price, rather each person offers the guide the amount they consider appropriate, depending on their level of satisfaction.