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Budapest Tours

Budapest is a great discovery for the traveler because, no matter how many photos you have seen, you do not get an idea of how much the city can catch you. The city has its own idiosyncrasy and culture that are worth discovering and the best way to do it is with a guided tour of the city.

1.. The best guided tours in Budapest

The first thing you need to know is that you can take a guided tour from very low prices: you can find quality tours for less than 15 euros. There are many types of tours, so I'll tell you all about them so you can choose your favorite:

Sunset over the Danube
Sunset over the Danube

2.. Budapest Bus Tour

A local guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a sightseeing bus tour of the city. Throughout the tour the guide will show you the different points of interest of the city explaining the significance of each of them and will take advantage of key locations to tell you about Hungarian customs.

There will be several stops along the way where you can get off the bus to take a closer look at the site and take pictures. At the end of the tour the bus will drop you off at a central point and from there you will return to the hotel by your own means.

Budapest bus tour itinerary

  • Hungarian Parliament
  • St. Stephen's Basilica
  • Margaret Island
  • Margaret Bridge
  • Heroes Square
  • Gellert Citadel
  • Danube River

This option is ideal to get a first overview of the city, including the sites that are further away from the center, before visiting it at your own pace. It is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and French.

3.. Budapest night tour

At least for me, the city of Budapest is beautiful during the day, but when night comes the illumination of its streets and monuments make it an equally beautiful city worth touring again. That's what this tour by night walking tour in English of two hours in which a professional guide will take you at dusk through the emblematic places of the city to see them illuminated.

What are the main buildings in Budapest worth seeing illuminated?

The Parliament, the State Opera House and the Chain Bridge are at the top of the list, but Budapest by night is not only about its illumination. In the city there are many alternative pubs with a groundbreaking decoration that will also be part of this tour.

This tour is ideal because, although Budapest is one of the safest cities in Europe, its low temperatures (especially in winter) coupled with the fact that it gets dark early, means that during the night you will hardly see people on the street, so you can easily get disoriented. For this reason a guided tour is the best way to see the city at night.

4.. Budapest Jewish Quarter Tour

The Jewish tradition in this city is very strong and throughout the city there are different tributes to all the Jews who were killed during the Second World War. This walking tour of the Jewish quarter of Budapest:, of about two and a quarter hours, focuses on the history of this people.

In the Jewish quarter of Budapest you will see monuments such as the Great Synagogue (one of the largest in Europe) or the memorial The Tree of Life in whose silver leaves are written the names of the victims of the Holocaust. However, one of the most moving tributes to this people is not in this neighborhood but on the banks of the Danube; it is a long row of shoes carved in iron representing the murder of thousands of victims.

This tour is ideal if you are interested in the history of the Jewish people and the Second World War, because, beyond the tour itself, the real value of this tour lies in the explanations of the guide.

Tranway through Budapest
Tranway through Budapest

5.. Buda part of the City Tour

Budapest is divided into two parts corresponding to the two banks separated by the Danube River: Buda and Pest. This :two-hour walking tour focuses on the Buda side:, the bank opposite the Parliament.

Buddha Tour Itinerary

  • The citadel of Gellert, from where you will get spectacular views of the city.
  • The fishermen's bastion, a neo-Gothic terrace.
  • The church of Matthias, whose interior is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been to.
  • Elisabeth Bridge, dedicated to Empress Sissi (you will also discover a lot about her on this tour).
  • Váci Street, the most important street (utca) in Budapest.

This tour is ideal to see the city in more detail because in the time when other tours go all over Budapest, this one focuses only on one part. Then you can always complement it by a tour focused on the points of interest of the opposite bank.

6.. Three hour guided tour of Budapest

Since I am a fan of city tours, this walking tour of Budapest: is one of my favorites because, being longer than average (three hours as opposed to the usual two), it not only covers more areas of the city, but also covers a greater number of stories about the city and its customs.

Itinerary of the three-hour guided tour of Budapest

  • Gellert's hill viewpoint
  • The fishermen's bastion and its view of the beach
  • The church of Matías (a must see the interior)
  • Elisabeth Bridge
  • Andrasy Avenue and its aristocratic mansions
  • State Opera
  • Heroes Square
  • St. Stephen's Basilica
  • Hungarian Parliament Square

This tour is ideal if you are looking for a complete overview of the main points of the city without focusing on any particular aspect.

7.. Budapest walking and boat tour

The main attraction of this tour is that it combines the walking tour with a boat tour on the Danube River:. This way you will be able to take in a larger number of sights and get a different perspective of the Hungarian capital. Both the walking tour and the boat tour have commentary on Budapest's landmarks in several languages.

Walking and boat tour itinerary

  • State Opera
  • Great Synagogue
  • Hungarian Parliament
  • Chain bridge
  • St. Stephen's Basilica
  • Heroes Square
  • Buda Castle
  • Citadel
  • Danube River
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Matías Fountain

This tour is ideal for travelers with little time who are looking for an overview of the city.

Channels at sunset
Channels at sunset

8.. Guided tour of the Hungarian Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament is a landmark in the city of Budapest. Located on the Pest bank of the Danube River, it is the largest building in Hungary and also one of the most emblematic both for its impressive architecture and for the meaning it has. This tour is focused on the visit to the parliament (tickets included) and its surroundings.

The guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the entrance of the Parliament, where you will enjoy a one and a half hour guided tour. In addition to information about the building itself, you will also learn details about Hungarian politics and delight in historical narrations that will make this city even more exciting. It is a must to see the illuminated Parliament at some point during your trip.

The great thing about this tour is that it allows you to get close to a very important part of the city's history that would be difficult to get to know on your own.

9.. Night tour with folkloric show

Hungary is a country of great traditions and folklore is one of them. You will have seen few performances similar to the one offered by this night tour with show:. In addition, you will also have the possibility to taste typical Hungarian dishes during the folklore show.

The guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you in a panoramic vehicle to visit the main illuminated monuments of Budapest.

After that it's time for the restaurant with a traditional three-course dinner with drinks; during dinner you can enjoy a typical Hungarian folklore show.

The ideal thing about this tour is that it is a way to approach the culture of this city both culturally and gastronomically and also includes a tour to enjoy the illumination of the night of Budapest, something you can not miss during your trip.

Budapest at nightfall
Budapest at nightfall

10.. Organize your guided tour in Budapest

What to bring

Even if you visit Budapest in summer, temperatures are usually quite low and most of the city tours are on foot. In addition to wearing comfortable shoes, I recommend you to bring a good coat so you will not be tempted to abandon the tour in the middle of the tour in order to take refuge in a cafe for a hot chocolate.

Always hire official guides

In central locations of Budapest, it is common to find city tours offered by locals. A local person can give you interesting tips about your visit, but keep in mind that many of them are not specialized guides who can put you in the historical context of the city. In addition, some are not fluent in other languages and there comes a point in the tour when this can become frustrating. It is best to make sure you book your tour in advance.

Enjoy the gastronomy

Finally, I advise you to ask your guide for recommendations especially in gastronomic matters. In Budapest it is very cheap to eat well, but the names of the dishes are not exactly intuitive; the guide will be happy to recommend you according to your tastes, something you will be very grateful for when you sit down to eat in a restaurant.

Also in the city, dealing with street names can be an arduous task even with Google Maps; don't hesitate to ask your guide for routes near your hotel.

11.. If you are interested in the guided tour of Budapest, you will also be interested in...

If the Budapest city tours have aroused your curiosity to learn more about the country and its culture, you have at your disposal a wide range of excursions around the city that will make you discover another side of this country.

In addition, most of these tours are also guided so the battery of legends and stories does not end with the walking tours in Budapest. You have more information about this kind of tours in this other article about Day Trips and Excursions from Budapest:.

I also recommend that you value the option of taking a cruise on the Danube. The views of the city from the water are (if possible) even more beautiful. I tell you all the options in my guide on Danube River Cruises:.

Frequently asked questions

  • Is Budapest expensive to visit?

    Compared to cities such as London or Paris, Budapest is remarkably affordable to visit. While the city offers both luxury and budget options, it's possible to budget yourself to as low as €30 per day if need be.

  • Why is Budapest famous?

    Budapest's fame comes from its exciting nightlife, beautiful architecture and delicious food. With the city's rich Jewish history and numerous thermal baths, the Hungarian capital is a frequent destination for travellers across the globe.

  • Can I use euros in Budapest?

    While Budapest's main currency is the Hungarian Forint, it is possible to pay with Euros at a number of large chain shops. With that in mind, in comparison to many other places, its actually much better to exchange your Euros at a Budapest bank than anywhere else.