After a month in Budapest, we have done everything few and far between in the city. While a day is not enough to see everything in the city, there are some musts you have to do/see. Here is an itinerary that you can, of course, customize to see the best parts of the city and have a memorable time without feeling like you missed out on too much.
Milk Bar/ Pastry Shop
start your day off with an amazing danish and a delicious hot chocolate or coffee at one of the many milk bars situated around the city.
The yellow tram is one of the best ways to see the city and is actually known as one of the most beautiful trams rides. You can take this along the Buda or PEst side of the city along the Danube river.
This beautiful church can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city. It can be a very popular tourist attraction so it is best to get here early. there is about a 1,000huft fee to enter.
Shoes on the Danube/ Parliament
While walking along the riverfront there is a memorial of bronze shoes along the riverfront near parliament. This is a memorial to the Jews killed in WWII and provides a very sobering moment to your trip. Just down the road is parliament an absolutely beautiful masterpiece of mixed era architecture. You can only see inside if you have a paid tour that needs to be booked in advance.
This is the oldest bridge in Budapest and probably one of the most beautiful of the eight bridges. Just across from Parliament its the perfect transition to get you to the Buda side across the Danube river.
This is a cool opportunity to take a mode of transport you have never and probably will never take. This tram goes almost vertically up the side of the castle hill. You have an option to walk but that does take a lot longer. Otherwise, you can walk up.
The vernacular will deposit you right on the side of Buda castle. It spectacular green roof and giant eagle statue stand out immediately after you notice the amazing view of the river and parliament from the other side. You can’t go inside without a tour unfortunately but the grounds are beautiful and worth the visit
Mathias Church/ Fisherman Bastillion
Just a few steps away from the Buda castle is a magical realm. If you ever wanted to feel like a Disney princess in a beautiful castle this is the spot to do so. Overlooking the Danube river are 7 towers that are absolutely picture worthy. You can also see a great gingerbread roof topped church that completes that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
This is the highest point in the city center and can only be reached by stairs unless you take a segway/ bike tour or a hop on hop off bus. So for some this may be too much walking or too difficult but if you are up for the challenge it’s a great chance to see an amazing panoramic of the city.
Central Market Hall (grab lunch)
This is a must see! The bottom portion is full of fruits, vegetables, and amazing sausages and meats. But if you go on the second floor there is a great food court that has many traditional food options to try like fish soup, goulash, and sausages. There are also lots of trinkets and souvenirs to browse.
Based in the Jewish Quarter this synagog is amazing from the outside in. While not something as known as Stephans Basilica, it is absolutely worthy of a visit.
goulash and paprika chicken in the Jewish quarter
The Hungarian staples of goulash and paprikash chicken are not to be missed. These hearty meals leave you feeling full and your wallet happy.
see a ruin bar and grab a local beer or unicum shot
Ruin bars were first started when old dilapidated buildings were left empty. Many of these buildings were turned into bars and hangout sport filled with furniture and other eclectic furnishings. Today there are thousands of these bars and something that should not be missed. Even stopping for a single beer to enjoy the atmosphere and night scene is advised. Taking it a bit further with a local favorite of unicum just adds to the excitement of the night.
grab a langosh and chimney cake
Some other favorite foods that are great after a night of drinking include a delicious langosh which is fried dough with things like sour cream and cheese on top for the basic version and a chimney cake, more fried dough with things like nuts or cinnamon coating the outside. Both of these will leave you a few pounds heavier but a very big smile at the delicious taste.
While this is an action-packed guide, you can, of course, modify as you see fit. There is so much to do in this city and seeing everything in one day is impossible, but I have outlined the major sites of the city here.