Budapest in a week
In a week in Budapest you can take your time, thoroughly explore all the monuments, without mixing up different eras and styles in one day, to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Hungarian capital.
The first day I suggest we dedicate to a thorough visit of the Castle Hill and the Old Town, and of course a visit to the History Museum of Budapest in the Royal Castle, where you will have the opportunity to walk through the underground of the royal residence, which is the oldest part of it that is preserved to this day. Art lovers shouldn’t forget to visit the National Gallery in the eastern wing of the castle, where the most important paintings and sculptures of Hungarian authors are collected (especially since admission to the permanent exhibitions is free). In the afternoon you must see St. Trinity Square and Matthew’s Church along with the beautiful Fisherman’s Towers, I would also allow some time for a stroll through the beautiful, hillside streets, especially Úri utca. Here, too, you can visit the caves that have been laid out under the hill for centuries and make up the Labyrinth today.
The second place I advise you to visit on this day is Gellert Mountain. From Castle Hill you can walk down to Clarka Adama Square through the Royal Gardens, and then walk along the Danube in a southerly direction to Elzbieta Bridge. At this point, where the waterfall flows down from the mountain, the stairs that lead upwards begin their ascent, which can be climbed effortlessly to the top. Shaded paths go up the mountain surprisingly gently, and if you get tired – you can always rest on the benches, which are available in large quantities. The view, which opens from the top, will be a worthy reward for the ascent – it is one of the few places in Budapest, where you can see a 360 degree panorama. The descent from the mountain on the south side will allow us to see the Gellért Hotel, built in the art-nouveau style, at the end of the day.
I would start the second day with a visit to the magnificent neo-Gothic Parliament building overlooking the banks of the Danube. Since Parliament is not available to visit every day, it should be planned in advance. The interior furnishings are stunning in their opulence and splendor; the building is also home to Hungary’s greatest treasure: the royal regalia of St. Stephen – the original crown, now 1000 years old, is complemented by an oblique cross and a scepter. The entire royal vestment, expertly hand-embroidered in gold thread, can be seen later in the National Museum. Those interested can also check out the Ethnographic Museum across the street.
Zetam I would walk through the center of Budapest – through Freedom Square and Roosvelta, over the Chain Bridge, then continue along the Pest Boulevard through 15th March Square with the Central Parish Church and the ruins of the Roman fortress Contra Aquincum. From there it’s not far to the most visited part of Váte utca, ending in Vörösmarty Square, where the day can end with a pastry bought at Gerbeaud, Budapest’s most famous (though also most expensive) patisserie.
I would start the day with a visit to the Hungarian National Museum (on Múzeum krt), which shows the history of Hungary from ancient times to the present day. There are thematic exhibitions showing the development of the territory of the state from the earliest period of settlement by primitive peoples, the arrival of the Magyar tribes to the times of the kingdom development to the modern era.
Then we head north along the so-called Lesser Boulevard to Astoria Square, where it’s not far to Dohány utca, which has the largest functioning synagogue in this part of Europe. Those who are interested can visit the Jewish Museum with its rich exposition; in the museum yard there is a monument to the Hungarian Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II – an allegorical statue in the form of a willow tree with the names of the dead engraved on its leaves.
In the second part of the day I would go to Deáktér and from there to Andrássy ut. It is one of the most beautiful boulevards in Budapest, which includes the opera house and leads directly to Heroes’ Square. As the distance is quite long, I would suggest to use the yellow subway line under the street, the first one built in the Hungarian capital, which preserved the original appearance of the stations. We will have to get off at the Opera stop – and after climbing to the surface we will see the magnificent building of the Budapest Opera, modeled on the Vienna Opera House. Continuing walking above ground in a northeasterly direction we reach Ferenc Liszt square, where among one thousand and one restaurants we will find our own, with a small garden to relax at the end of the day. If you still have time and energy to spare, I suggest we walk to Oktogon square, turn into the lane and take the Grand Boulevards to the West Station, next to the huge WestEnd mall.
I would start the morning with a walk to the oldest area of Budapest, Obuda, where people have lived since Roman times. I would start at Batthyány Square, from where I would walk northward to Fö Tér, the square by Flórian Tér. Walking along Szentedra ut., whose name comes from the name of the place to which it leads, in Szentendre, we arrive at the place where the most famous Roman ruins of Budapest are located. Today here, among the modern buildings and green areas, are the fragments of a Roman amphitheater and the Aquincum Museum, which is really worth a visit.
Near the Museum is the station of the HÉV line (Aquincum stop). The train will take us to the beautiful town of Szentendre. We can take a few hours to walk around the city, and after returning to Budapest, we can go to the pier at the El Szentendre Bridge and take a trip on the Danube.
I would devote this day to relaxing in the green part of Budapest. I would start the tour at Heroes’ Square (Hösök Tere), where the yellow subway line takes us. After getting to the surface we will see a huge space, bounded on one side by the Museum of Fine Arts (permanent exhibitions, admission to which is free), on the other side by the Exhibition Hall. In the center is the Millennium Monument, with a gallery of Hungarian kings and a column topped with the image of the Archangel Gabriel, at the foot of which is the Hungarian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Passing behind the monument, we enter one of the largest and most beautiful parks in Budapest, the Urban Forest.
The city forest welcomes us with an artificial lake, on the other side of which we can see a replica of the castle Vajdahunyadvár from Transylvania. After the walk, during which we feel as if we are transported back in time to several eras, it is worth devoting some time to a visit to the Széchenyi district, considered one of the most beautiful and most interesting in the whole capital.
In the morning I suggest an excursion to János Hegy Hill, on top of which stands the Elzbieta Tower, with a magnificent view of the whole of Budapest and its surroundings, including the Budzinski Hills Landscape Park. The mountain can be climbed by a cable car, which we can easily get to from Moskovska Square.
On our return I suggest taking the red metro line to the terminus of the Őrs Vezér tere, where the HÉV commuter train to Gödöllo leaves from. Here we find the palace of Empress Sisi (Elzbieta), the only member of the Habsburgów dynasty to be truly loved and respected by the Hungarian people. The beautiful baroque building is sure to impress you.
At the beginning of my last day in Budapest, I would visit the Vásárcsarnok shopping malls, where you can buy various souvenirs to remember your stay in Hungary for a small price, and not only in the form of food, but also cute knick-knacks. If that’s not enough, we can take a ride from the nearest metro red line station to Mammut shopping mall on Moskovskaya Square. There you’ll find a modern shopping gallery and a marketplace behind the mall.
The day can end with a long walk to Malgorzata Island, where among the shady alleys is the tomb of the patroness of the place, and where we can calmly rest and relax before the return trip.
What to see in Budapest by yourself in 5 or 7 days: itinerary and map
Sections: Hungary 10 051 3
Going to Budapest for 5 or 7 days? You’re right! Budapest is a big and beautiful city, there is so much to see and do here that it is enough to occupy you for a week or even more. We ourselves first time came to Budapest for only three days, then we realized our mistake and came back for a week And not only for a vacation, but also to make ready for you routes, what to see in Budapest by yourself in 5 and 7 days. The itineraries turned out just right!
Don’t thank us. Thank Budapest.
Before we get to the description of our itinerary “What to see in Budapest on your own in 5-7 days”, I want to literally mention two important points in two words.
1. You can shuffle the days of our itinerary as you like. Do you want to go to the caves (day 4) the day after Buda (day 2 of our itinerary)? Or start from Margaret Island (day 5) and the next day go to Varoshliget Park and Szechenyi Baths (day 3)? No problem! It will not affect your experience in any way.
2. According to the Hungarian government decree, you are not allowed to travel to Budapest without reading these five articles:
These articles will give you answers to all the questions that may arise while reading our guide: will help you to orient yourself in the city, learn all about the sights and understand the principles of public transport. Speaking of transportation: if you are going to Budapest for 5 or 7 days, it is advisable to buy a pass for a week, it will be easier and cheaper.
And now to the point.
What must see in Budapest in 5 or 7 days? Photo of the main attraction of Hungary and its capital – the parliament building.
What to see in Budapest on your own in 5 days and 7 days: article content
Itinerary for 5 days in Budapest
What to see in Budapest by yourself on days 6 and 7
- Day 6. Tired? Time for the cemetery!
- Day 7. Making up for lost time or going on an excursion
Days 1-3: The main attractions of the city.
The first three days of our route we will focus on the main and most famous sights of Budapest. It should be noted right away that this route is detailed in our separate article – with maps, pictures, and descriptions of each of the attractions. Let’s talk briefly about the itinerary of each day, and the link to the detailed description is just below.
Day 1, sights of the Pest district (left bank of the Danube). Hungarian Parliament Building – Monument “Shoes on the Danube Embankment” – Freedom Square – St. Istvan Basilica – Szechenyi Chain Bridge – Danube Embankment – Váci Street – Budapest Central Market – Gellert Baths.
Day 2, sights of Buda district (right bank of the Danube). Hungarian State Archives – walk through the streets of the Buda Fortress – St. Matyas Cathedral – Holy Trinity Square – Fishermen’s Bastion – Buda Labyrinth – Royal Palace – Szechenyi Chain Bridge.
Day 3: Andrássy Avenue, Varosliget Park, Szechenyi Baths. Hungarian State Opera building – House of Terror – Oktogon Square – first line of Budapest metro – Heroes’ Square – Varoshliget Park – Budapest Zoo – Vajdahunyad Castle – Monument to Anonimus – Szechenyi Baths.
Each of these days is described in detail here:
All the sights you can see on your own in Budapest for the first three days are marked on this map:
What to see in Budapest on your own in 5 days. Day 4: the caves
In addition to cultural, gastronomic and recreational demand in Budapest a cave vacation! After all, Budapest is the only capital in the world where there are real caves right within the city limits.
The two main caves of Budapest are located a kilometer apart in the Obuda district on the right bank of the Danube and are called Semlehedi and Palveldi. They have stalactites, stalagmites, unusual formations in the form of flowers and corals – everything is as it should be.
However, to come there and wander just for fun is not possible: you can get inside only at a certain time with a guide as part of an inexpensive tour. The timing of the visit is chosen so that it would be more convenient to start from the cave Semlehedi, and from there go to the Palveldi and just in time for the beginning of the tour.
Details are in our article:
In the evening, you can go to the Veli Bay or Lukacs baths – both of which are also in the Obud area, a few bus stops away from the caves.
What to see in Budapest in 5 days on your own? Budapest is the only capital city with real caves, so it’s a must-see.
Day 5: Margaret Island and baths
Margaret Island is a real green oasis in the middle of the Danube, a must on the “What to see in Budapest in 5 days” program. If you do not live very close to the island, you can get there not only by bus or streetcar, but also by riverboat. You need a route D11 or D12, schedule – on the official website, the ticket costs 750 forints (and if you bought a pass for a week, on weekdays he can ride for free on the river streetcar).
On Margaret Island, you can spend half a day, or even more, with pleasure. Not only beautiful gardens and shady alleys with flowerbeds and fountains await you here. There’s plenty to see and do on Margaret Island: a contact menagerie and the ruins of a 13th-century Dominican monastery, a music fountain and casino, an open-air theater and a Japanese garden! And of course the Palatinus Baths, with its small water park, which is a nice way to end your day. A chart of Margaret Island is waiting for you at the entrance, you can’t miss it or get lost.
By the way, the most famous hotels in Budapest with their own baths are on or around Margaret Island. Read more about these hotels and the island in our articles:
What to see in Budapest on your own in 5 days : The Palatinus baths are the perfect conclusion to a walk around Margaret Island in summer. But in winter there is nothing to do there: all outdoor pools are closed.
Day 6. Time to go to the cemetery!
When we come to Budapest, we always go to Kerepesi – the most beautiful cemetery in Europe. Since you are here for a week, we strongly advise you to diversify your “What to see in Budapest in 7 days” itinerary by visiting this unusual place.
Kerepesi is not at all like usual cemeteries, where you want to cry or die. Even on Google Maps it is marked as a “Place for walking”. Kerepesi is very wide quiet alleys of huge century-old trees, benches and glades, and almost all the monuments here are true masterpieces.
As a rule, they have religious themes or tell us who is buried under them. A soccer player with a ball and a musician with a violin, a blacksmith with a hammer and a hunter with a rifle and a faithful dog – these monuments could be viewed for hours. There is also a section with the strict graves of Soviet soldiers who died during the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956.
What to see in Budapest on your own in 7 days: Kerepesi cemetery is one of the most unusual sights in Budapest.
And when it gets dark, we suggest heading to a celebration of life, a ruin bar! Ruin bars (or ruin pubs) are a unique phenomenon that can be found only in Budapest. This is the name of the cafes and restaurants opened in the abandoned buildings of the Jewish district. The owners decorate them with a bunch of junk and antiques, which only adds to the rundown and enigmatic character of these places. The first and most iconic among them is Simpla’s famous ruin bar .
– Remember when he asked for a picture of me in the tub? I’m sending it over!
Day 7. Making up for lost time or taking a field trip.
Our “What to see in Budapest on your own in 7 days” itinerary turned out to be quite full. And because you have a whole week at your disposal, you don’t have to rush through the sights every day with your tongue on your shoulder. And some points of the above itinerary you could reduce to catch up on the last day.
For example, half of the last day you can safely devote to the ascent of the mountain Gellert, walk along the bridges and embankments of Budapest evening or go to another swimming pool. Or you could just go back to the places you liked best.
Another way to spend the day is on a sightseeing trip. Budapest has dozens of excursions for all tastes, from walking and bus rides to sightseeing and non-tourist places to partying in nightclubs, accompanied by a DJ.
There are also excursions to the outskirts of Budapest, to other cities in Hungary and even abroad. You can choose a program on Tripster.ru, where certified Russian guides offer their services.
What to see in Budapest by yourself in 5 days or 7 days? One of the main attractions of the city is the snow-white Fishermen’s Bastion.
Where to stay in Budapest
If you are not only looking for what to see in Budapest in 5-7 days, but also where to stay for that time, Pest (left bank of the Danube) is probably the ideal area to stay in the Hungarian capital. And the attractions are close by, and the prices for hotels here are very nice. Buda is a quieter and more prestigious district, so hotels here are more expensive.
We always choose hotels for travel very carefully and look through dozens of options before booking. We can share our selection of hotels in Budapest from Bookings, which we liked and in which we could stay ourselves.
Comfortably-located hotels in Budapest
- Roombach Hotel: A nice little budget hotel in Jewish district.
- Amber Terrace : not expensive, with a kitchen, almost downtown
- Hotel Clark Budapest: by the Danube, adults only
- Lord Residence : good value for money in a very interesting building
- Prestige Hotel : as beautiful as Budapest itself
Dear visitors, what do you recommend to see in Budapest alone in 5 or 7 days? We are waiting for your feedback on your trip to this beautiful city!