48 Hours in Budapest, Here's What You Should Do

A list of things to do and see in Budapest, Hungary. Ruin bars, cuisine, thermal baths, boat parties and more. If you've only got 48 hours, this is what you should do.

48 Hours in Budapest, Here's What You Should Do

Firstly, if you can, stay longer. Budapest is one of the most fun European destinations you could visit. There's everything from relaxing to partying, and from culture to cuisine. The city absolutely gets a Thrifty Backpacker tick because it's Europe and it's crazy cheap.  

The prices are similar to that of Thailand, with the perk of having easy access to the rest of Europe - that's a deal.

Consistently ranking in the Top 10 on Nomad List for places to live and work abroad, Budapest really does have nearly everything you'd want. So let's get into talking about them.

1. Casual drinks at Ruin Bars like Szimpla Kert or Grandio - Ruin bars are old buildings, factories, shops and the sort that have been converted into trendy bars with a phenomenal vibe. Great for partying or winding down with a few drinks - Grandio actually doubles as a party hostel, a part of a group of hostels that you really want to book with if you're 18-35.

A regular evening at Szimpla

2. Partying at mega nightclub and ruin bar, Instant - Instant is huge and has multiple rooms dedicated to different types of music - from your 90s trash to EDM, it's free entry and the party is on every night.

3. Relaxing at thermal baths like Szechenyi, Gellert or Rudas - These are public baths, pools, steam rooms and saunas dating back to the early 1900s - fantastic for a detox and something you can enjoy for a full day. Rudas, is the smaller of them and has a rooftop pool to enjoy the sunset - They cost around 5200 - 6500 Ft ($17-$21), pricey for a budget traveler but well worth it.

Gellert thermal baths
Photo by Joachim Lesne / Unsplash

4. Exploring food stalls at Central Market Hall - It's a great place to pick up some cured meat, fruits, vegetables, smoothies, sweets and more. It also looks quite beautiful and has a few other things to do near by.

5. Dancing on a party boat through the river Danube and seeing Budapest by night - If you're staying at one of the central party hostels, they'll do 2 every week from 9000 to 11,000 Ft ($30-$37) which come with drink packages. If you're looking for something cheaper, and independent of the hostels try this.

Photo by Jason Blackeye / Unsplash - Budapest by night

6. Try out some Cafes in the central area - My favorites are Cirkusz Cafe, Drum Cafe, Bors Gastro Pub, Ket Szerecsen. You'll find a host of Hungarian, English, American and general European breakfast options here, coffees are also on point.

7. Climb to the top of the Citadella - This fortress has a fantastic view of the city, and for that alone, it's worth the mini-hike up. It's near the Gellert Hill Cave, which is a chapel that's built in to the hillside, and of course this is also close to the Gellert thermal baths.

8. Spend an afternoon at the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Exotic animals, petting, and viewing of conservation programs. As well as exploring and relaxing in the botanical gardens. This zoo is also near the biggest thermal baths in the city center, Szechenyi, 2 for 1 anyone?

And that should be more than enough to do in 48 hours, but lets be honest, you won't be able to do all of that - so I guess you're going to have to extend your Budapest trip after all 😜

Here are some more 48 Hour Guides:

48 Hour Guides - Thrifty Backpacker
Aspiring or experienced backpackers, if you want to travel the world on a dime, Thrifty Backpacker’s got tips, guides, reviews, and more for cheap travel.

This list will be regularly updated,

Hope you enjoyed!