Budapest Travel Tips: 10 Awesome Tips For Your First Trip To Budapest

by Akriti Sharma

Pronounced Boo-Da-Pesht and not Boo-Da-Pest, Budapest is a treasure trove of unparalleled architecture, healing thermal baths, and breathtaking landscapes. It is unlike any European city with a diverse history and elegant fusion of Western and Eastern Europe. If this is your first time to the Queen of Danube, we have a list of travel tips for Budapest that will come in handy.

We have enlisted 10 top travel tips to keep in mind while ticking the Budapest attractions off your bucket list.

  1. Learn basic Hungarian phrases

Before you go to Budapest, we recommend buying a phrasebook that acts as a guide to learning basic Hungarian phrases to get you going in the city. Learn how to say common phrases like ‘thank you’, ‘hello’, and ‘please’.

Hello is Helló (Hell-oh) or Szia (SEE-a)

Good Day is Jó Nap (Yo KNap)

Thank You is Köszönöm (KO-so-nom)

You’re Welcome is Szívesen (SEE-ve-shen)

Do you speak English is Beszél angolul? (BE-seyl AN-go-loul?)

  1. Definitely visit the ruin pubs

District 7 of Budapest has a plethora of ruin bars that were once not in use. However, the entrepreneurs decided to make use of the area and turn it into a rather quirky ruin. The most popular bar complex, known as Szimpla Kert, is a two-story labyrinth that has mismatched furniture, fun lights, and an eclectic vibe to suit your fancy. The bars remain open till 4 am so you can make the most of the area in the night after a day of Budapest sightseeing.

  1. Take a guided tour of the city

The best way to explore Budapest is by taking a guided city tour. A Budapest walking tour is also a popular alternative that lets you explore attractions like Gresham Palace and the Chain Bridge along with a knowledgeable guide. Also, make sure to carry some Forints and not Euros as the country hasn’t officially accepted Euro as its currency.

  1. Relax at a spa

An aerial view of the iconic Szechenyi Thermal Baths in Budapest, Hungary, showcasing its grand Neo-Baroque architecture surrounded by lush greenery, with people relaxing in the outdoor thermal pools.

Image by Linda Gerbec via Unsplash

A visit to Budapest is incomplete without visiting its thermal baths and spas. The Spa Capital of the World has over 12 thermal baths spread across the city and more so around the entire country. You will witness Art Deco bathing complexes that will leave you in awe and wonder. Also, did you know that there are over 118 mineral pools in Budapest? Dare to visit them all during your visit? Well, if you are left confused, we recommend starting with the Szechenyi Bath which dates back to 1913. You can also purchase tickets for fast-track entry to this spa. Among other Budapest travel tips, this should be definitely checked out of your travel bucket list.

  1. Check out the unusual Budapest architecture

A panoramic view of Budapest showcasing its stunning architecture.

Image by Emma Fabbri via Unsplash

Budapest is known for its world-class architecture and stately buildings that showcase brilliant design elements. The House of Music is a popular building that resembles an alien spacecraft landed in a garden which looks very cool. Another notable designer building is the Museum of Ethnography which seems like a giant boat that gives the illusion of being sunk in the ground at one side. The Hungarian State Opera House is one of the finest examples of neo-renaissance architecture from the 19th century.

  1. Sample Hungarian food and wine

Hungarian cuisine is known for its delightful taste. Budapest has a diverse gastronomic scene with Goulash as the national dish. However, there is no dearth of comfort food and mouth-watering delicacies in the city. Do try out Langos which is essentially deep-fried dough topped with an array of veggies and sour cream and you will understand what your taste buds have been missing. Do check out the chic and exquisite cafés of the city that serve everything from coffee to quality food and more. Café Gerbeaud is known not only for its gorgeous interiors but also for equally gorgeous and savory cakes.

If you have a sweet tooth, must try kürtőskalács which is a chimney cake and popular local dessert. Additionally, Budapest is world-renowned for its fine wine, thanks to the volcanic soil which makes it ideal for winemaking.

  1. Cruise along the Danube

Scenic view of the Danube River winding through lush green landscapes, with mountains in the distance under a clear blue sky.

Image by
Sukanya Basu via Unsplash

Danube River flows through the city and provides the best vantage point to watch the cityscape in the evening while sipping on a bubbly. You can book a Budapest sightseeing cruise tour and soak in the gorgeous views. A sunset or nighttime cruise with your loved one is the best way to spend a romantic evening with a backdrop of illuminated lights. You can have some sparkling wine aboard and a merry good time.

  1. Travel in a taxi by meter

Always insist on taking a taxi by the meter in Budapest. Taxi drivers often overcharge the tourists and we don’t want you falling prey to such scams. Also, taxis can get quite expensive in the city. If you are using it as a primary mode of transport, make sure that you travel by meter, nonetheless.

  1. Book tickets in advance

If you are visiting the city during the peak season, one of the best Budapest travel tips is to buy tickets to major attractions in advance to avoid long queues. It is not uncommon to witness heavy crowds during the Christmas and holiday season, especially around Budapest’s popular museums such as the Hungarian Jewish Museum and Dohany Synagogue Complex. Make sure to buy their tickets online for faster access to these attractions.

  1. Never say ‘Cheers’ and clink the beer glasses

Since 1848, Hungarians have followed an interesting tradition. They don’t say ‘Cheers’ or clink their beer glasses. They do this as a form of subtle protest against the revolution where Austria defeated Hungary and then toasted the victory by saying ‘cheers’. However, in recent times, you might come across the younger generation forgoing this. We still recommend you to follow their traditions. Keep in mind that this rule does not apply to other drinks like wine.


With a rich history, diverse cuisine, and beautiful architecture, Budapest is a great destination that offers a unique blend of old and new. This European city is every bit as charming as it is intriguing. If you are visiting the city in December, don’t miss out on its Christmas markets. Also, keep an eye on days when you can visit some popular attractions like the Museum of Ethnography for free. Usually, they are free to visit on the first Sunday of the month. Make sure to book a guided city tour or entry tickets online that come with perks such as VIP entry and audio guides.

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