Budapest Long Weekend Break Guide

Hop on Hop off Bus Budapest

Our guide to a 3 to 4 day long weekend break in Budapest includes what to do, where to stay, what to see and which spa is the best!

Budapest cookie

Budapest is an up-and-coming weekend getaway destination for many reasons: as it's in central Europe, it's very easy to find cheap flights to Budapest; it has beautiful architecture at every turn, world-class cuisine and wines and is the only capital in the world with healing thermal baths. You're going to love it. Here is an idea of what you can see and do in Budapest on a 3 day weekend (with a bonus 4th day if you have extra time):

#1. Day One In Budapest


Hotel Parlament Room

First things first, check into your hotel. We recommend Hotel Parlament as it's really centrally located, the breakfast is delicious, the rooms are comfy and the staff are kind (for a full review and where to book scroll to the bottom of the page). After you've checked in, take the short walk to the most beautiful building in Budapest - Budapest Parliament:

Budapest Parliament


Next up we recommend getting a Hop on Hop off bus ticket: Budapest is a great sized city, actually it's the perfect size for a weekend break - a weekend is long enough to see all the main spots (it's not long enough to truly know the city, but it's definitely long enough to fall in love with it).

Hop on Hop off bus Budapest

Whilst you could take a bike tour or even a walking tour of Budapest, you are slightly restricted by time, we think it's best you take a bus tour.

tourist bus, budapest

But which one? There are loads of hop on hop off tours to choose from in Budapest - we recommend the Official Hop On Hop Off Tour - aka the one with the giraffe. Why? Because it has 5 different lines, 50 stops and includes a river cruise!

red tourist bus, budapest

You can get a 24 hour ticket, 48 hour or even 72 hours. For your weekend we recommend at least the 48 hour bus.

Red Hop on Hop off bus

So once you have your ticket, use it to get your bearings of this beautiful city. One of the best things about the hop on hop off tours is they're double deckers - you'll get to see those gorgeous buildings up close, in a way no one else sees (because they don't look up)! Using your ticket you'll be able to jump off at all the best spots like:

St Stephen's Basilica

St Stephen's Basilica

Great Synagogue

Great Synagogue

Gellert Hill

Gellert Hill

Castle Hill

Castle Hill

St Mathias Church

St Mathias Church

And so much more! [Further reading: exciting and unusual things to do in Budapest] For tickets, head on over to their website or find them on TripAdvisor - you can also purchase tickets at any of the stops.


vegan burger, budapest

After your day of sight seeing I'm sure you'll already be in love with Budapest, but if not, perhaps it's time for some food - the stomach is the quickest way to the heart after-all! Hungary is famous for its great meat dishes like Goulash, but did you know Budapest has an incredible vegan scene? I am biased (being vegan) but I swear Las Vegans make the best burgers I've ever had - meat or otherwise.


Ruin Bar in Budapest

Budapest is famous for its legendary ruin bars: bars housed in old, (beautiful), ruined buildings. Szimpla is the most famous and conveniently located right next to Las Vegans. If you're looking for something a bit quieter (and our personal recommendation) try Ankert.

#2. Day Two In Budapest


Feeling a bit hungover after your trip to the ruin bars? There's only one cure for that in Budapest: the spas!!! Even if you're not hungover, you simply have to visit a spa in Budapest - it's what they're famous for :) Széchenyi is the most famous spa in Budapest, our favourite is Géllert, but we also like Rudas - all three of which can be easily reached using your hop on hop off ticket. You can spend a whole day in one of the Budapest spas - there are many different sections: swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms, hot hot pools, freezing pools - and plenty of places to hang out with friends or chill by yourself.


Our favourite place to go for dinner in Budapest is Napfenyes Etterem - here you simply must try the traditional, less well known Hungarian dish: Töltött Káposzta, cabbage roll, trust me it's much better than it sounds.

#3. Day Three In Budapest

On your final day it's probably time to start thinking about your friends and family back home - hop off the bus at Váci Utca, a beloved street with tourists, have a wander around there and then head into Central Market. In Central Market you'll find the best paprika (Hungary's national spice), the nicest olives (in Hungarian olive is pronounced like Oliver :D).

You'll also find palinka and unicum (the national spirits), traditional textiles and many more cool items to take home. Make sure you try one of the strudels in here - they're delicious! And whilst you're there, be sure to check out the best bridge in Budapest - Szabadsag, it's right next to Central Market. The strudels are filling, but it's your last day here - you've got to make sure you try Goulash! For the best Goulash in Budapest we recommend Kozmosz.

Bonus: Day Four In Budapest

Cat Cafe Budapest

Day 4 is a day for you to create your own magic and freestyle it - perhaps head to the cat cafe or go caving. For many, many more ideas check out 50 Things You Must Do In Budapest.

Balaton Lake

And if you'd like a recommendation from us - head out of Budapest and see some of the other wonders Hungary has to offer, e.g. Balaton - the Hungarian Sea! Also be sure to check out this post: summer trip around Hungary for more ideas of what you can do outside of the capital.

Where To Stay In Budapest

Hotel Parlament Budapest

The Hotel Parlament is a four star hotel in a prime location. We stayed here for two nights and this is what we thought:

Our Room

Hotel Parlament, room

We had the suite, which was a gigantic space fully equipped with sitting room, walk in closet, bedroom, bathroom and, perhaps best of all - a kitchen. Food is cheap in Budapest, and although we do recommend you eat out a lot whilst you're there, it's still so nice to have the the home comforts of being able to prepare your own meal or two as well. It was super cool that there was not one but two TVs in the suite:

Hotel Parlament Room

The bathroom was also awesome, not only did it have a gigantic shower, and two sinks it also had an ornate huge bath - complete with feet!

hotel parlament bathroom

And it wasn't just in the bathroom that Hotel Parlament had great water features - the hotel also has a sauna and a jacuzzi!

Hotel Parlament Jacuzzi

Breakfast was also one of the best breakfasts we've had in a Hungarian hotel. There was so much choice and it wasn't just your 'bog-standard' choices either: there were grapefruits, olives, the best coffee ever, an assortment of delicious olive oils and so much more

Hotel Parlament Breakfast

Last but certainly not least, the location. Hotel Parlament is in the best location in Budapest, because it's right next to, you guessed it, the Parliament.

Parliament Building Budapest

And it's not just parliament - there are loads of cool things to see and do nearby! We loved our stay here and will certainly go back in the future - I actually spent my birthday here and they were so kind and gave us sparkling wine :O [To book your own stay head on over to their website or find them on To see more of the hotel, check out one of our latest vlogs:

There are so many awesome Budapest neighbourhoods to stay in, every time we visit we discover a new one!

Wrap Up: Budapest Long Weekend Break Guide

So there you have it, a complete guide to your long weekend break in Budapest with where to stay, what to see, what to do, which are the best bars and spas and more. If you have longer than a weekend, I highly recommend longer in Budapest (it's the best), but there are so many other awesome places to take city breaks in Europe - try some of these! In the meanwhile, here is our vlog about the first day we spent in Budapest - enjoy :)

P.S.: If you're interested in a way of travelling and getting accommodation cheaply, you might wanna check out house sitting. was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount, feel free to click on the link to use it :)

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Travelling through the kyriarchy and weaselling our way out of the rat race - a female travel blogger writing about socially and politically conscious travelling.


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