5 Ways to travel well in Budapest on a budget
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Budapest really does have something for everyone. Awe-inspiring architecture, vibrant nightlife, and heaps of history and culture are just the start of it! If you want to visit every attraction this fascinating city has to offer, you might be worried about how much money you should take with you.
The good news is that travelling on a budget in Budapest is not as hard as it may be in some European capitals. The cost of living here is low so you have more room to manoeuvre with your money! You can even book cheap Airbnbs in Budapest, Hungary that are under 20 USD and experience this finest city in Eastern Europe. In this post, we’ll take a look at 5 of the best ways to travel well on a budget in Budapest. Hopefully, it’ll help you make the most of your trip and also leave you with an extra few forints in your pocket!
See the sights on foot
One of the best things you can do in Budapest is explore the city on foot. Not only because it keeps the cost low, but because there are just so many incredible sights to see. And many of them won’t cost you a single penny! One of your first stops should be Gellért Hill, which you can reach by crossing the Chain Bridge. That’ll give you incredible views of the spread out below you. It’s 235 metres high and has an intriguing (and brutal) history. It gets its name from St Gerard, who was thrown to his death from the hill!
After exploring Gellért Hill, stay on the Buda side of the river and explore Castle Hill. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and a car free zone. There’s lots of medieval architecture here, and while some places like the Castle may charge you to enter, it costs nothing to take a few pictures of the outside or appreciate the views from the Fisherman’s Bastion.
Heading to the Pest side of the river, stroll along the Danube and take in the impressive and intimidating Gothic and Renaissance Revival architecture of the parliament buildings. It’s the 3rd largest parliament building in the world! Nearby, you’ll also find one of the most moving things to see in Budapest – the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial. After seeing that, head into the Old Town, meander through the narrow streets, and enter St. Stephen’s Basilica. The best thing about all of this? You won’t have spent a single penny!
There is one thing you can’t do on foot in Budapest – and that’s a river cruise. There’s a way around that too – just jump on the commuter boat. $2.50 for a ¾ hour ride is a lot less than you’ll pay for a specialised cruise!
Stay in a hostel
There are so many places to stay in Budapest. Whether you want to stay in luxurious hotels, cool vacation rentals, or hostels, there’s the perfect place for you. And don’t think that hostels are grimy and dirty – not here in Budapest! Well, some might be, but with over 100 to choose from some careful research will find the perfect one for you. If you’re okay with sleeping in a dormitory, you could be paying as little as €5 a night. And who knows, you might even make friends for life. At the very least, you’ll find someone to explore Budapest with or enjoy the delights of a ruin bar together!
Sample traditional food
Eating is the Achilles heel for many budget travellers. It’s hard to strike a balance between trying authentic dishes and keeping costs down. But it doesn’t have to be in Budapest! One of the good things about Hungarian food (unless you’re on a diet) is that it’s quite heavy. So, having goulash, chicken paprikash, or fisherman’s soup means that you can skip the next meal!
If you really want to eat out at a restaurant, you don’t have to forego it just because you’re on a budget. Just make sure you time it right. Many restaurants in Budapest offer lunch menus where meals are a fraction of a price of what they’d be in the evening. Sometimes they’re the equivalent of €2 or €3! Just make sure that you avoid tourist traps and you should be fine.
Of course, authentic Hungarian dishes made with fresh and local ingredients are always going to cost less than international food. The best place to find it? Markets. The Great Market Hall is one of the many spots throughout the city you could try!
Head to the park
There are numerous parks throughout Budapest, and these are some of the best places to spend a day without shelling out any money. One of the best places to go is Margit Island, where you can bask in the sun with a book or play a game of sport (depending on who you’re travelling with!) There’s a musical fountain show throughout the day which is definitely a source of entertainment – and it’s another free thing to do in Budapest!
Parks are another way to keep the cost of eating and drinking down. Just head to a grocery store in the morning and pick up ingredients for a picnic. With the money you save, you could even enjoy a bottle of Hungarian wine!
What’s better than seeing one European capital city? Seeing three in the same trip, of course! A 9-day imperial cities tour will see you not only visit Budapest, but Prague and Vienna too. Rather than having to plan everything yourself, that’s taken care of. Flights, travel, and all accommodation. That’ll leave you to enjoy wandering through the city’s streets and Old Town, taking a cruise along the Danube, and visiting the outstanding and iconic parliamentary buildings on the Pest side of the river.
Now that you know how to keep your costs down in Budapest…
We hope that you’ve been reassured that a trip to Budapest doesn’t have to break the bank. If you like the sound of a tour to Budapest, then check out Door2Tour. You’ll find the perfect coach trip or escorted holiday for you, and you’ll have plenty of change left over to make the most of your trip to the Hungarian capital!