What to do in Budapest in 2 days – Budapest itinerary 2 days

This post has been updated on October 5th, 2020

Budapest has been on our bucket list for long and finally, we cross it. We fall in love with Budapest and want to share with you our guide on how to organise a perfect Budapest itinerary 2 days. In your what to do in Budapest in 2 days itinerary you can’t miss visiting the main sightseeing of the city, drawing the perfect route to visit Budapest in two days. A perfect Budapest in 2 days includes a relaxing spa and a lovely walk to the Fisherman’s Bastion where the view is breathtaking.

Planning a Budapest sightseeing in 2 days, be ready to wake up early and walk a lot, but at least at the end of the day would be worth it. Who doesn’t love a relaxing bath with an amazing view over Budapest? Well, here we will drive you to the top places to see in Budapest in 2 days.

What to do in Budapest in 2 days
What to do in Budapest in 2 days? Chains Bridge needs to be on your Itinerary of 2 days in Budapest

Budapest in 2 days – What to do in Budapest in 2 days

Day 1 Buda – Two days in Budapest

  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Matthias Church
  • Buda Castle
  • Hungarian National Gallery
  • Budapest History Museum
  • Citadella and Liberty Statue
  • Rudas Bath or Gellert Thermal Bath

Fisherman’s Bastion- What to do in Budapest for 2 days

On the top of the hill of Buda, there is the amazing and stunning Fisherman’s Bastion. This is not only the best place where taking pictures of Budapest, but it’s even an awesome place to visit. Fisherman’s Bastion is located in Buda side and is one of the most known attractions of Budapest. The building is alongside the Buda Castle Area. You will enjoy the most beautiful panorama of the city over the Danube.

Are you still willing about what to do in Budapest in 2 days?

You have to put the Fisherman’s Bastion on top of the list of things to see in Budapest. For us the Fisherman’s Bastion was one of the most inspiring places in Budapest, the view is just breathtaking, especially at night. When the lights are down, the view of the Parliament is the best in Europe. This is the most romantic places in Budapest.

How to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion?

Visit the Fishermain's Bastion is a must do in Budapest - What to do in Budapest in 2 days
From the top of the fishermain’s Bastion looking at the Hungary Parliament

The Fisherman’s Bastion is considered one of the most important monument after the Hungarian Parliament. It is for us also one of the best photography spots in Budapest, if you are a photo enthusiast, you will love this spot in Budapest.

So, How to get on the top? Walking or you can get the funicular at the end of the Chain Bridge. The cost for one adult one way is HUF 1,200 which means £3.20 ish. You can book only one way as to walk down the Fisherman’s Bastion is easy. Get a guide to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion is highly suggested, you can learn the history of this place, which is amazing to know.

Matthias Church – Budapest in two days

Located in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church is another sightseeing which you need to visit in your Budapest itinerary 2 days. This Church is considered as one of the finest and romantic churches in Europe. You can miss seeing this church once you hike up to the hill of the Fisherman’s Bastion. The white marble church is one of the oldest in the city, mismatch of artistic styles, is actually according to a late Gothic style. This church overlooks the Buda hill and is camouflaged in the context of the Fisherman’s Bastion.

Buda Castle – Budapest 2 days itinerary

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian Kings in Budapest. The Castle of Budapest that overlooks the city is a World Heritage site, we suggest enjoying the long walk with a guide that will show you some interesting facts about the building and the history. You can hike up the hill or get the funicular just five minutes walking away from the Chain Bridge.

The 360 view from the top of the Castle is absolutely insane, you can even overlook outside the city. Royal Castle is now the house of the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. The Castle Hill is part of the Castle District, called Várnegyed, home of different building styles like Baroque, Medieval and even Neoclassical, is one of the most important pins on your list of Budapest 2 days itinerary.

Hungarian National Gallery – Budapest 2 days itinerary

Another great place to visit in Budapest in 2 days is the Hungarian National Gallery. A stunning piece of art. Our favourite part of the gallery was the Dome Terrace which is a great place to enjoy the breathtaking views over the Pest side of the city. If you are visiting the city from November to April, the dome of the Budapest Hungarian National Gallery will be closed.

The ticket for visiting the Hungarian National Gallery is less than £5 for permanent exhibitions. On historical national holidays, the admission is free of charge to the National Gallery such as 15 March, 20 Aug, 23 Oct. The Gallery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays to Sundays it is open from 10 am until 6 pm with the last entrance at 5 pm.

Budapest History Museum – Visit Budapest in two days

Buda Castle Area is one of the best places to visit in Budapest
Buda Castle Area is one of the best places to visit in Budapest

The Budapest History Museum is dedicated to the history of Budapest. Inside the huge complex of the Buda Castle, the Royal Palace of Budapest there is a part dedicated to the history of this amazing and ancient city. After visiting the Hungarian National Gallery, in your visit Budapest in two days itinerary you need to stop by the History Museum. This is located close to the Hungarian National Gallery and the price of the entrance is as well less than £5.

For a complete itinerary of Budapest in 2 days, you have to visit the Budapest History Museum in order to get more close to the culture and tradition of this population.

Citadella and Liberty Statue – Places to visit in Budapest in 2 days

The Statue of Liberty on Gellert Hill is a communist statue erected in 1947 to commemorate the liberation of Budapest and Hungary from the Nazi rule. The central statue shows a female figure standing atop a tall pedestal and holding aloft a large palm leaf. On either side are expressive statues of male figures, set on smaller pedestals. One, a triumphant figure holding a torch, represents “progress”.

The other statue, an allegorical representation of evil, depicts a man fighting a mythical creature. It is one of the perfect places to visit in Budapest in 2 days as the statue commemorates those who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary.

Gellért Thermal Bath – Itinerary around Budapest

Budapest baths in winter - Gellert Bath Budapest - Top 10 photo spots in Budapest - Budapest in 2 days

As soon as Alessia heard the word Spa she starts to be happier than usual. After a long day exploring Budapest, a well-deserved spa is needed. The top Spa we preferred is Gellert Thermal Bath. Inside it’s just awesome and relaxing, it’s a must thing to do in Budapest if you are planning your itinerary of what to do in Budapest in 2 days. There are different types of tickets as with the entrance you can choose to have a private cabin or just a normal locker. What we found useful was the locker as you have changing rooms available so there was no point to pay more.

What are you waiting for? Book here your ticket, and enjoy this awesome spa in Budapest.

How much will cost a full day spa in Budapest?

Budapest Spa itinerary - Gellert Thermal Bath
Details of Gellert SPA – Budapest Spa itinerary

It is really cheap. For a full day bath ticket with locker, the price during weekdays is £16 ish and during weekends is £18. It’s a really worthy experience, a combination of a little paradise and cultural historic sites of Budapest. We ate inside the thermal complex and a full meal, for the lunchtime was less than 15 euro for two. (Please note the prices can be different, we did calculate with the exchange rate from Hungarian Forint to British Pounds)

Rudas Baths – See Budapest in 2 days

Spa day in Budapest - What to do in budapest in 2 days - Budapest what to do in winter

Rudas Baths are famous because on Fridays and Saturdays are open in the night till 4 am. It’s an amazing experience which you need to try. We did it and we had a beautiful opportunity to see Budapest overnight when all the city was sleeping. The price for night tickets is only £14.

They are very strict on the rules as on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only men can access and on Tuesdays only women. On weekends, including Fridays and Saturdays night bathing the entrance is mixed. A Spa tour is ideal if you are looking to spend 4 days in Budapest or more.

The best thing about this Spa, which you will love, is the rooftop swimming pool with the view over Budapest. It’s incredible and you can’t miss it. Usually, during weekends, Rudas Spa gets busy for this lovely view and there is a long queue to buy the tickets. So, If you want to see Budapest in 2 days you are in the right place.

Day 2 Pest – Visit Budapest in two days

  • Széchenyi Thermal Bath
  • Heroe’s Square
  • Hungarian Parliament
  • Shoes on the Danube Bank
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • Dohány Street Synagogue

Széchenyi Thermal Bath – Budapest sightseeing in 2 days

Another important Thermal Bath in Budapest is Szechenyi. It’s a dreamer place where you need to go at least once in your life. The entrance, like the other spas in Budapest, is not expensive at all. For access to the pools with the locker, it’s £17 per person on weekdays and on weekends is £18. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath of Budapest are one of the most famous places in Budapest, and one of the most Instagrammed Spa in the World. It easy to find a photo from this complex on your Instagram feed. The outdoor hot pool is open even in winter.

To reach Széchenyi Thermal Bath is very easy as there is Széchenyi fürdő metro station, line M1.

Amazing events at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths of Budapest

The Széchenyi Baths are the most famous not just because is a stunning building with amazing outdoor pools. Give yourself a moment of relaxing and peace at the Széchenyi Bath. Enjoy the outdoor hot tub in winter, with the snow on the side for picture-perfect memory of Budapest. There are some of the most famous events in Budapest taking place in this Spa. Foam Party or World famous DJs are organised here all year, the New Year Eve events are the one that you don’t have to miss at all if visiting Budapest during Christmas and late on.

Check our post about the best thermal baths in Budapest

Heroes’ Square – Visit Budapest in two days

Heroes square is located close to Szechenyi Thermal Bath perfect for continuing your first-day itinerary in Budapest. I know, after a lovely bath you don’t feel to walk and be a tourist, but if you don’t do it you will miss the best of Budapest.

Heroes’ Square is one of the major squares in Budapest and it is a must-do if you want to visit Budapest in 2 days. On the left side of the square, you will find the statue of the great Kings of Hungary. In fact, this iconic Hungarian Square has hosted some of the most important political events of the Country, marking the memory and the tradition of the people of this nation. Close to this amazing square, you will find the city park, the Városliget, and here you will find the Museum of Fine Arts.

LAndscapes of Budapest from the bridge
Landscapes of Budapest from the bridge

Why Heroes’ Square is so important for the Hungarian?

We have talked already about the importance of this square for the Hungarian. This is one of the political symbols of change of Hungary. In your itinerary of Budapest in 2 days, you have to get inside the recent history of this country. Hungary and Budapest passed by the 2nd World War and the Nazi occupation, to the Communist Regime. After long years that marked the buildings, memories and traditions of the people of this country, Hungary became democratic.

This Square Heroes’ Square, passed all those eras, changing at any political change. It was built while Hungary was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire than damaged during the 2nd World War and rebuilt with the current status and figures. The memorial stone of Heroes, which was erected in 1929, was then removed by the Communist Regime because the message was politically unacceptable.

As you can see there is more history behind a simply selfie in the square. As always, check for our suggested guided tours of Budapest. (It will have no cost for you but will get a small add value to keep going to our work.)

Hungarian Parliament Building – Budapest itinerary 2 days

Budapest top sightseeing - Three days in Budapest
Budapest Parliament from Buda side – The most important and iconic building of Budapest

You can’t plan a Budapest itinerary 2 days without paying a visit to the Budapest Parliament which is a perfect example of Neo-Gothic style. The structure is stunning and from the Buda side, you can pick the perfect spot to photograph the building. The structure of the parliament of Budapest has inspired many people, and thanks to the atmosphere this building gives to the city, it has become for many people the little Paris of East Europe. Yes, for us was the same, Budapest is the Paris of East Europe.

To photograph the Hungarian Parliament Building head here in the early morning or at night. You will enjoy a view that is stunning and get the perfect light, just in front of the building from the Buda side.

How to visit the Hungarian Parliament?

If you want to know more you can visit the inside of the Parliament when then National Assembly is not in session. Tickets are available online or to the ticket office. The entrance fee for EU citizen is £5.95 a non-EU citizen is £10. Book your ticket for the Budapest Parliament in advance with us. Inside the Budapest parliament is stunning and if you have time you should consider to visit it. The building is not just amazing outside, but even from inside.

Shoes on the Danube Bank – See Budapest in 2 days

If you want to see everything of Budapest in 2 days another stop is the shoes on the Danube river. A symbolic memorial monument which honours the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. Such an amazing story that relate to the history of the past.

Whether you are staying in Buda or Pest it is guaranteed during your visit to Budapest that you will find yourself strolling along the edges of the Danube. Somewhere and at some point, you will walkthrough. Put it in the list of what to see in Budapest in 2 days.

St. Stephen’s Basilica – What to see in Budapest in 2 days

Dome of St. Stephen Basilica - Budapest Travel on a Budget
Dome of St. Stephen Basilica – Budapest Travel on a Budget

St. Stephen’s Basilica, located in the city of Pest, is the largest Church in the country. It is open for tourists from Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm and Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm. Be careful that religious ceremonies might affect the opening hours.

For beautiful, panoramic views of Budapest walk up the stairs, 364 steps, or take the elevators up to the dome’s observation deck (open April 1st through Oct 31st). There’s no cost to enter the church, but there is a nominal fee of £1 to go up to the observation deck. Prepare your camera and be ready to snap the amazing landscape of Budapest from a favoured point of view.

Dohány Street Synagogue – Budapest travel itinerary

This isn’t just a simple guide of Budapest, but we aim even to show you some hidden gems of Budapest. To end your Budapest travel itinerary for two days you need to visit Dohány Street Synagogue. This building will mean the high economic and cultural standards of Budapest’s Jewry culture.

The Synagogue is located in the Jewish quarter and it is the largest Synagogue in Europe. In the same building, you can find the Hungarian Jewish Museum, it’s in the list of the top 10 sightseeing of Budapest. The particular facts about this building are the Moorish influence. If you visit this place you will clearly understand that is different as the other Jewish Synagogue, because of the details that make it close to the Oriental culture. The first Synagogue in Europe with this style, with Oriental-Byzantine details, was the trailblazer for other similar structures in the continent.

Best local Hungarian food in Budapest – Hungarikum Bisztro

If you want to try something local we highly recommend this amazing restaurant. The Hungarikum Bisztro was a happy surprise on our trip to Budapest. It was Sunday and we didn’t know where to go to eat even because it was almost 9 pm. We were walking around our hotel and we found this cosy and a little restaurant. There was a message outside saying that it was fully booked. We walked in and spoke with the waitress asking her if by any chance there was a table for two.

Guess what? Yes, there was a table.

It was the best experience ever in the best Budapest restaurants. The service amazing and it was the best local Hungarian food in Budapest. Usually, this place is booked every day at every time. Book the table in advance and don’t miss to eat the proper Hungarian food. Just to give you an idea, two drinks, two starters, two main courses, bread and coffee two of us we paid everything £20.

Central Market Hall – Local Hungarian food in Budapest

If you love fresh food, shopping, photo opportunities or just sightseeing in amazing places, you are in the right place. No matter if it rains or shines, the Great Market Hall is a great option for food and definitely one of the top things to see in Budapest in 2 days. We discovered the Market Hall by mistake and we loved it. Usually, the perfect place where to have good food is always the markets and even in Budapest was like this. Most of the people love to spend hours in restaurants while on holidays but if you plan in advance all the things to do in Budapest you will have time to check on this market as well.

One day trip from Budapest to Bratislava

This is a small city, you can visit Bratislava in one day trip. You can find a lot of offers less than £10 each way.

Bratislava was our last stop before coming back to London and we had the opportunity to explore this little town in less than 24h and relax for the rest of the time. There are a lot of flight offers from Bratislava so keep in mind if you want to plan your trip around those beautiful cities. Slovakia is a small place, but a day trip to Bratislava is the best way to enjoy an underrated east Europe city. One day in Bratislava is enough to visit the best sightseeing in the city, travel from Budapest to Bratislava is easy and cheap. You can reach Bratislava even from Vienna.

Want to know more about Bratislava? Check the top 10 things to see in Bratislava!

Day trip from Budapest to Vienna

sunset from the Fishermain's Bastion - What to do in Budapest in 3 days
Amazing Landscapes of Budapest at the sunset from the Fishermain’s Bastion

After spending 2 days in Budapest, you can plan a day trip from Budapest. Just half an hour divide Bratislava to Vienna and three hours Budapest from Vienna. Check the flight offers, you can get a bargain flight back just taking a bus for half an hour. There is also another way to reach Vienna from Budapest, by ferry, on the Danube. This is one of the most romantic trips to Europe. Just sailing the Danube you can reach Vienna, and return to Budapest, passing by Bratislava.

Which one is the best way to get from Budapest to Vienna?

We travelled by bus and it was really comfortable and cheap. It was a 3 hours journey but in the end, it was worth it. We manage to find two tickets for only £10 both of us, which was a perfect deal. You can plan a day trip from Budapest to Vienna by train as well. The tickets are more expensive and the time is almost the same as is 2 hours and a half. We spent 2 days in Vienna after Budapest and we really enjoy our time in the Austrian Capital. We never liked to be in the same place for many days so organizing a day trip for us was the best solution. You never get bored and you discover new places.

Day trips from Budapest to Prague – Budapest in 2 days

Photography of Budapest at night - Hungary Parliament
Photography of Budapest at night – Hungary Parliament

Another interesting day trip from Budapest is Prague. Prague is a small city which you can visit even in one day. Most of the time we travel with Flixbus, cheap and easy way to reach all the destinations. From Budapest to Prague there are a lot of buses and you can find good offers even less than £20.

We know, the duration of the journey is around 7 hours but a real travel lover would do everything.

TopTips: If you decide to travel overnight with the bus it will take 6 hours as no many cars will be on the roads so you will avoid the traffic and the pick hours.  

Check out our latest post about all the best photo spots in Prague.

Day trips from Budapest to Croatia, Zagreb

One of the best things we discovered during our trip in Budapest was that we could plan a day trip from Budapest to Zagreb in Croatia. Budapest is really well linked with East Europe. The journey towards Zagreb will take 4 hours and a half and the cost, believe it or not, it is so cheap. Less than £20. It’s an amazing opportunity which you can’t miss. You can plan a Budapest itinerary for 2 days and with a couple of days more, you can explore the neighbourhood.

What to do in Budapest in 2 days – Visit Budapest in two days

Stunning view of the Buda Castle from the Pest riverside
We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel of Budapest with this stunning view

If you have never been to Budapest you need to start to plan your trip. Visit Budapest in two days is possible without missing anything. You can have the perfect mix between a bit of culture and architecture and a relaxing day to one of the most beautiful spas. In your what to do in Budapest in 2 days list you need to be organized and good to plan all the details. It is a cheap Europe plan, this is for us one of the cheapest trips we had in Europe and want to be back soon.

Budapest is the part of Europe that has not yet get the Euro, so the cost of living is cheapest than other parts, even cheapest than the closest Slovakia. Christmas time in Budapest is the most popular, because of the lights and the atmosphere. Head in Budapest in Spring, it’s amazing.

How many days in Budapest?

Budapest is a huge European Capital, you can stay here for a day or even a week and still have things to see. We suggest an itinerary of two days in Budapest because most of the people get just a weekend to escape from the city routine. But if you have more time, you can see Budapest in three days, enjoy more the city and get a day spa every day, relaxing a bit more. If you are tight on time, you can stay in Budapest for 24 hours and see the best of the sightseeing.

How to enjoy 2 nights in Budapest?

Budapest has a lively nightlife. You have two options to enjoy the night in Budapest, strolling around the city centre, if you are fun of fancy restaurant and a great quiet night. If you want an alternative Budapest experience, you have to head to one of the famous Ruins Bars. Those are typical bars in Budapest. Structures that were in ruins and built up with recycled materials.

What can I do in Budapest for a day?

Budapest is amazing in one, two, three or more days. In one day in Budapest, you can’t see that much but can have a great experience in one of the best European Capital of East.
We will suggest you to enjoy the cultural heritage of the city, going up to the Buda Hill and start from visiting the Royal Palace, the Buda Castle toward the Fisherman’s Bastion.

Is Budapest dangerous for tourists?

Budapest is really safe. We have been strolling around the city centre and the narrow streets of the Hungarian Capital even at night, without any problem. Obviously like every big city in the World is hazardous to show off money, valuable and don’t take care of your belonging, especially in crowded places like buses, trams and metro or visiting sightseeing.

Which visit between Budapest, Vienna and Prague?

If you have to choose between those three Capital, we have no chance to help you. All three cities in Europe are amazing. Budapest has something that makes us feel in a special place. But any place has a different feeling for different people. If you want us to help you to take choose, we will suggest dividing your holidays between Budapest and Vienna. One is cheap the other more posh, but both charming. Those two are really close to each other and if you will make it special take a Danube Cruise.

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16 thoughts on “What to do in Budapest in 2 days – Budapest itinerary 2 days

  1. Helen says:

    So many suggestions – although I didn’t realise there were so many thermal baths there. Everything else I’ve read has just mentioned Szecheny – I have a feeling I might sink into the first one and that will be the end of the rest of the weekend. Thanks for such a detailed post.

  2. Delphine says:

    Thank you for a very comprehensive post on Budapest. I especially liked the part about visiting a spa. With only 2 days to visit Budapest, it’s easy to stick to the main sights but going to a spa bath is part of the local experience. It’s also a moment of total relaxation and self-care, which is something often omitted by travellers. I had that experience myself in Istanbul recently and it was a great way to rest and regain strength in what was a very busy visiting schedule.

    • Toti says:

      Thank you for your comment Delphine, you touch an amazing point of travelling. Self-care and wellness, it will help more travellers to discover a place and get in dept.

  3. Danik says:

    I havent been to Budapest since 2007 and that was on a short visit. The one thing I do regret missing out on was the spa there. I would have loved to checked that out.

  4. Susanne says:

    Wow, what you saw in 2 days in Budapest, it took us 4 days. Only the stay in the Rudas Therme took us 4 hours and I really liked it. A tip for the next visit – the inner city parish church with its underground church and the Christmas market is worth in any case!

    • Toti says:

      Thanks, Susanne for your insight, we loved Budapest so much. It is true we saw a lot of things in the city in such a short time. That because we have literally been raped by the beauty of Budapest and start to discover everywhere, we didn’t sleep too much those days.

  5. Punita Malhotra says:

    Budapest does not quite get the attention it deserves, but it is such a fascinating city. We spent only a day there, but there’s so much more to discover. Loved the views from Fisherman’s Bastion.

    • Toti says:

      Budapest is really an underrated place in Europe. It is quickly becoming popular, but still many people think about it is unsafe. Take off it from your bucket list and go there.

  6. Nic says:

    This is a great guide to this wonderful city, there is so much to do here so longer than 2 days is ideal but we know that many people do visit for a weekend break or on a cruise or bus tour for just a couple of days so it’s a great guide for those people to make the most of that time.

    • Toti says:

      It is true, we are slow tourists. We try to get in the soul of a place every time we visit it for the first time. But, we know that sometimes the people just get a day, a weekend or a short break visiting Budapest.

  7. Melody PIttman says:

    This post brought so many awesome travel memories back. Visiting Budapest 2 years ago was one of my best travel experiences ever. The baths were my fave so I love that you featured them. Though I can’t remember the names of all the “biggies” that I saw, your post did great job of bringing them all back and with lots of educational info, too.

  8. Kevin | Caffeinated Excursions says:

    Your post made me realize I basically only know Budapest by name, and it was so nice to learn about everything the city has to offer. You were able to fit in so much in just two days! The thermal baths look so relaxing and your shot of the parliament building is just stunning! That Neo-Gothic architectural style is so beautiful and that’s really cool that the city reminded you so much of Paris!

    • Alessia says:

      Thank you very much, Kevin, for your lovely comment.
      We love to explore all the cities and make the most of it even if we have two days. Of course, if you are in Budapest you can’t say no to the gorgeous spas.

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