Budapest for Beginners: 15 Tips to Get You Started!

An image showcasing Budapest's iconic Chain Bridge, bathed in warm sunset hues, with the majestic Buda Castle perched atop Gellért Hill in the background

Hey there, fellow travelers! Planning a trip to Budapest? Well, I’ve got you covered with all the must-know info before you jet off to this stunning city.

From the best neighborhoods to explore, to day trips that’ll leave you breathless, I’ll give you the lowdown on everything you need to make the most of your visit.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to fall in love with the beauty, history, and freedom that Budapest has to offer. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Research exchange rates and compare rates and fees at currency exchange offices before traveling
  • Familiarize yourself with common phrases and expressions, and consider taking structured lessons at language schools
  • Use public transportation options like buses, trams, and metro lines, or bike-sharing services for eco-friendly transportation
  • Be aware of your surroundings, keep personal belongings secure, and be cautious of scams and tourist traps

Currency and Money Exchange

You need to find the best exchange rate for my dollars before traveling to Budapest. Currency exchange rates can vary, so it’s important to do some research beforehand. ou can check the latest exchange rates on websites like XE or OANDA before your trip.

Budapest has numerous ATMs where you can withdraw Hungarian Forints (HUF) directly from your bank account. This is a convenient option, as you’ll have local currency readily available. However, be aware of any currency conversion fees that your bank may charge.

Another option is exchanging money in Budapest. There are many currency exchange offices throughout the city, but it’s essential to compare rates and fees to get the best deal.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Hungary, especially in tourist areas. Just make sure to notify your bank before traveling to avoid any issues.

It’s always a good idea to have a combination of cash and cards for flexibility.


Learning a new language can be challenging especially if talking about the Hungarian language, but it opens up a world of opportunities for communication and understanding. In today’s globalized world, being multilingual is more valuable than ever. Not only does it allow you to connect with people from different cultures, but it also enhances your travel experiences. When learning a new language, it’s important to familiarize yourself with common phrases and expressions used in everyday conversations. Language schools can provide structured lessons to help you grasp the basics and build a solid foundation. However, language barriers can still exist, especially when encountering local dialects or regional variations. It’s essential to approach language learning with respect and understanding, following language etiquette, and embracing the diversity that comes with different languages and cultures.

For language learning resources, consider using apps like Duolingo or exploring local language schools in Budapest.

Thank you!Köszönöm
Where is…?Hol van a…?
Excuse me.Elnézést.
How much?Mennyibe kerül?


Getting around a new city can be a breeze with reliable public transportation systems in place. When it comes to transportation in Budapest, there are several options that make exploring this beautiful city a joy:

  1. Public Transportation: Budapest boasts an extensive and efficient public transportation network, including buses, trams, and metro lines. It’s affordable, easy to navigate, and covers all the major attractions. For detailed information, check out the Budapest Transport Center (BKK).
  2. Bike-Sharing in Budapest: MOL Bubi – Information on Budapest’s bike-sharing service, which allows you to rent bikes for eco-friendly transportation.
  3. Taxi Services: If you prefer the convenience of a taxi, Budapest has plenty of reliable taxi services available. Just make sure to use official taxis with a yellow license plate and a company logo to avoid any scams. Bolt is one of the reputable taxi services in Budapest, providing safe and reliable transportation for travelers, that’s what I’m using all the time if needed.
  4. Budapest Airport: Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport – The official website of Budapest’s international airport, offering flight information, airport services, and transportation options to the city center.

Additionally, travel cards are available for unlimited travel on public transportation for a specific duration. For airport transfers, there are shuttle buses and taxis readily available.

With these transportation options at your disposal, exploring Budapest will be a breeze, giving you the freedom to discover all the hidden gems this city has to offer.


Exploring a new city can be exciting, but it’s important to prioritize safety and take precautions to ensure a worry-free experience.

When visiting a foreign city like Budapest, it’s crucial to be mindful of your personal belongings. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded tourist areas.

Familiarize yourself with the local emergency services and have their contact numbers handy in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

It’s also essential to respect and follow the local customs and traditions to avoid any misunderstandings or uncomfortable situations.

Be cautious of scams and tourist traps, as they can be prevalent in popular tourist destinations.

Finally, familiarize yourself with the location of nearby health and medical services, just in case you need medical assistance during your stay.

Stay updated on travel advisories and safety tips from the U.S. Department of State or your local government’s travel advisory website.

Weather and Seasons

I love the feeling of the warm sun on my skin during the summer season. Budapest, the vibrant capital of Hungary, offers a variety of climate variations throughout the year. Here are three essential things you need to know before visiting:

  1. Climate variations: Budapest experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. Winters are cold, with temperatures often dropping below freezing. Spring and autumn offer mild temperatures and are perfect for outdoor activities.
  2. Packing essentials: Depending on the season, pack accordingly. In summer, bring lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. In winter, bundle up with warm layers, a coat, gloves, and a scarf.
  3. Best time to visit: The best time to visit Budapest is during the spring (April to June) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the city is less crowded.

Budapest offers a plethora of popular outdoor activities, including exploring the historic Castle District, taking a relaxing cruise along the Danube River, and visiting the stunning Margaret Island. Furthermore, the city hosts various seasonal events and festivals, such as the Budapest Summer Festival and the Christmas Market, which add to the vibrant atmosphere and provide unique cultural experiences.

For current weather conditions and forecasts in Budapest, visit websites like or AccuWeather.

Historical Sites

Visiting Budapest allows me to immerse myself in the rich history and cultural heritage of the city by wandering through the ancient ruins and marveling at the well-preserved historical sites. The architectural marvels of Budapest are truly breathtaking. From the grandeur of the Hungarian Parliament Building, to the stunning beauty of Buda Castle, these structures are a testament to the city’s rich past. Taking historical walking tours is a fantastic way to explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites scattered throughout the city. One can’t miss the Jewish heritage sites, such as the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe. And of course, no visit to Budapest is complete without exploring the medieval castles, like the iconic Fisherman’s Bastion, which offers panoramic views of the city. Budapest truly is a treasure trove of history and culture that any freedom-seeking traveler must experience. Learn more about Budapest’s historical sites by visiting their official websites: Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and Dohány Street Synagogue.

Thermal Baths

After a long day of sightseeing, nothing beats relaxing in the thermal baths and rejuvenating my body and mind. The thermal baths in Budapest are renowned for their healing properties and offer a unique experience that combines relaxation with cultural traditions. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t miss out on visiting these famous spas:

  1. Health Benefits: The thermal baths in Budapest are fed by natural hot springs rich in minerals, which are believed to have numerous health benefits. Soaking in these thermal waters can help alleviate muscle pain, improve circulation, and relieve stress.
  2. Relaxation Techniques: The thermal baths offer a variety of relaxation techniques, such as saunas, steam rooms, and massage therapies. These techniques help to unwind and reduce tension, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
  3. Local Traditions: The thermal baths are deeply rooted in Hungarian culture and have been a part of the local traditions for centuries. Visiting these baths allows you to immerse yourself in the customs and rituals that have been passed down through generations.

To explore Budapest’s thermal baths, consider visiting the official websites of popular options such as Széchenyi Thermal Bath or Gellért Baths.


One of my favorite things about Budapest is the diverse cuisine, from traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash to international fusion options like sushi burgers.

When it comes to traditional dishes, you can’t miss out on trying langos, a deep-fried dough topped with cheese, sour cream, and various toppings. Another local specialty is chimney cake, a sweet pastry cooked on an open fire and coated with sugar or cinnamon.

To experience the vibrant food scene in Budapest, make sure to visit the food markets, such as the Great Market Hall, where you can find fresh produce, traditional ingredients, and local delicacies.

When dining in Budapest, it’s important to be aware of the dining etiquette. It’s customary to say ‘Jó étvágyat!’ (enjoy your meal) before starting to eat. Moreover, Budapest offers a wide range of vegetarian options, with many restaurants catering to plant-based diets.

From cozy traditional Hungarian eateries to trendy fusion restaurants, Budapest has something to satisfy every palate.

For restaurant recommendations and reviews, check out websites like TripAdvisor or local food blogs.


I love going out in Budapest because there are so many trendy clubs and bars to dance and socialize in. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene that offers something for everyone. Here are three must-visit spots to experience the best of Budapest’s nightlife:

  1. Rooftop bars: Budapest is known for its stunning skyline, and what better way to enjoy it than from a rooftop bar? These establishments offer breathtaking views of the city while sipping on delicious cocktails and mingling with fellow party-goers.
  2. Ruin pubs: These unique bars are set up in abandoned buildings and courtyards, giving them a cool and edgy vibe. They often feature eclectic decor, live music, and a wide selection of drinks. Ruin pubs are a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
  3. Jazz clubs: If you’re a fan of smooth tunes and soulful melodies, Budapest’s jazz clubs are a must-visit. These venues showcase talented musicians from both Hungary and abroad, creating a lively and intimate atmosphere for music enthusiasts.

Museums and Galleries

There are several museums and galleries in Budapest that showcase a wide range of art and cultural exhibits. From art exhibitions to contemporary art, sculpture collections to photography exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. One of my favorite museums in Budapest is the Hungarian National Gallery, which houses an extensive collection of Hungarian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. The Ludwig Museum is another must-visit, featuring contemporary art from both Hungarian and international artists. For those interested in sculpture, the Museum of Fine Arts boasts a remarkable collection of sculptures from various periods. Additionally, Budapest is home to many galleries that highlight the work of local artists, providing a platform for emerging talents. To explore Budapest’s vibrant art scene, check out the official websites of these cultural institutions: Hungarian National Gallery, Ludwig Museum, and Museum of Fine Arts.

Festivals and Events

I’ve attended five festivals and events in Budapest, and they’ve all been incredibly vibrant and exciting. The city truly comes alive during these celebrations, offering something for everyone.

Here are three types of festivals and events that you must experience in Budapest:

  1. Music Festivals: From the world-renowned Sziget Festival to the Budapest Summer Festival, the city is a haven for music lovers. You can groove to the beats of international artists across various genres, all while enjoying the energetic atmosphere.
  2. Art Exhibitions: Budapest is known for its rich artistic heritage, and the city hosts numerous art exhibitions throughout the year. Whether you’re a fan of classical art or contemporary installations, you’ll find something that captivates your imagination.
  3. Cultural Celebrations: Budapest takes pride in its cultural diversity, and it’s evident in the numerous cultural celebrations held throughout the year. From the Budapest Spring Festival to the Budapest Wine Festival, you can immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of Hungary.

With sports events, food and drink festivals, and so much more, Budapest truly offers a world of excitement for festival-goers. Don’t miss out on these incredible experiences when you visit this lively city!


Shopping in Budapest offers a wide variety of options, from trendy boutiques to bustling markets. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or simply looking for unique souvenirs, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

The boutique shopping scene in Budapest is thriving, with a range of stylish stores offering carefully curated collections from both local designers and luxury brands. Explore the charming streets of the city center, where you’ll find hidden gems and trendy boutiques tucked away.

For those seeking a more eclectic shopping experience, the flea markets in Budapest are a must-visit. Here, you can browse through a treasure trove of vintage finds, antiques, and quirky items.

And of course, don’t forget to visit the souvenir shops, where you can find traditional Hungarian crafts and keepsakes to bring back home.

Whatever you’re looking for, shopping in Budapest promises to be an exciting and rewarding experience.

Danube River Cruises

I absolutely love the stunning views of the Danube River on these cruises. The Danube River is a majestic waterway that flows through multiple countries in Europe, offering breathtaking sights and unforgettable experiences.

Here are three reasons why Danube River cruises are a must-do:

  1. Sightseeing attractions: From the deck of a riverboat, you’ll have a front-row seat to some of the most iconic landmarks and attractions in cities like Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. The magnificent Parliament Building, the charming Buda Castle, and the picturesque Chain Bridge are just a few examples of the architectural wonders you’ll encounter.
  2. Riverboat tours: These cruises provide a unique way to explore multiple cities along the Danube. You’ll have the opportunity to hop off and explore charming towns and villages, while also enjoying the comfort and luxury of your floating hotel.
  3. Riverfront restaurants: One of the highlights of these cruises is the chance to dine at riverfront restaurants. Imagine enjoying a delicious meal while gazing at the shimmering lights reflecting on the water. It’s a truly magical experience.

In addition to sightseeing attractions, riverboat tours, and riverfront restaurants, evening cruises allow you to witness the Danube come alive with a vibrant atmosphere and sparkling city lights. And let’s not forget about the Danube bridge architecture, which is a true testament to human ingenuity and engineering marvels.

Danube River cruises offer the perfect combination of relaxation, exploration, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, these cruises won’t disappoint. So, get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime and discover the wonders of the Danube River.

Neighborhoods to Explore

A hidden gem called District VII is known for its vibrant street art and trendy cafes. This neighborhood is a haven for those seeking the freedom to immerse themselves in the local culture and discover unique experiences. District VII offers a delightful mix of hidden gems, local markets, street art, parks and gardens, and architectural wonders.
Whether you’re a lover of art, a food enthusiast, or simply enjoy strolling through beautiful parks, District VII has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to explore this vibrant neighborhood and uncover its hidden treasures.

Day Trips From Budapest

One option for a day trip from Budapest is to visit the charming town of Szentendre, which offers a variety of museums and art galleries to explore. Here are some exciting activities and attractions you can enjoy during your visit:

  1. Countryside excursions: Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque streets of Szentendre, surrounded by beautiful countryside landscapes. Breathe in the fresh air and embrace the freedom of the open fields.
  2. Wine tasting: Indulge in the flavors of Hungary’s renowned wines as you visit local wineries and vineyards. Savor the rich aromas and taste the unique blends that make Hungarian wine so special.
  3. Castle tours: Immerse yourself in history as you explore Szentendre’s medieval castles. Wander through ancient stone walls, climb to the top of towers, and imagine yourself in a time long gone.

With nature hikes, cultural heritage tours, and a vibrant arts scene, Szentendre is the perfect destination for a day trip from Budapest. Experience the freedom of exploration and create lasting memories in this enchanting town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Local Customs or Etiquette That Visitors Should Be Aware Of?

When visiting Budapest, it’s important to be aware of local customs and etiquette. This includes greetings, table manners, tipping customs, dress code, and cultural events. Knowing and respecting these customs will enhance your experience in the city.

What Are Some Popular Outdoor Activities or Recreational Opportunities in Budapest?

When it comes to outdoor activities in Budapest, there’s no shortage of options. You can embark on cycling tours, enjoy scenic river cruises, relax in thermal baths, hike in the beautiful Buda hills, and explore vibrant outdoor markets and flea markets. It’s a freedom lover’s paradise!

Is It Easy to Find Vegetarian or Vegan Food Options in Budapest?

Finding vegetarian or vegan food options in Budapest is easy. There are plenty of vegetarian-friendly restaurants offering delicious dishes. Don’t miss trying the best vegetarian dishes and exploring the vegetarian street food scene. Here are some tips for finding vegetarian food in Budapest.

Are There Any Unique Souvenirs or Handicrafts That Are Popular to Buy in Budapest?

When visiting Budapest, there are many unique souvenirs and handicrafts that are popular to buy. From hand-painted porcelain to traditional Hungarian embroidery, there is something for everyone to bring home a piece of local crafts.


In conclusion, visiting Budapest is a blissful blend of beauty, culture, and charm.

From the bustling markets to the stunning Danube River, this city offers endless opportunities for exploration.

The diverse neighborhoods, convenient transportation, and friendly locals make it a safe and enjoyable destination.

So pack your bags, prepare for a captivating adventure, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Budapest!

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