Journeys

Travel Budget for a City Break in Budapest [+Travel Tips]

Budapest is considered one of the most affordable destinations in Europe. But how cheap is it?

I was there in May, so let me share my detailed travel budget with you and find out if that’s true or not.

We spent 3 full days in Budapest and got to see most of what this beautiful city has to offer, had no budget restrictions, and enjoyed the lovely spring weather.

Budapest Travel Budget

Budapest-Parliament---point-of-view

Budapest Parliament

Accommodation in Budapest

We booked a wonderful apartment in Budapest’s city center – Szervita Square, so every city attraction was at a walking distance.

Booking an apartment in Budapest was a lovely idea since there are so many dreamy rooms to rent in the old city center. Some have these gorgeous inner courtyards that can make a Budapest trip even more bohemian, but we weren’t that lucky this time.

Still, the interior of this apartment was a delight – spacious, beautiful styling, clean, and with a cozy bedroom.

We paid 82€/night, close to our average rate for a 3* hotel in European destinations. Still, it’s not as cheap as Brussels, where we paid 56€/night or as my recent bookings in Warsaw that went for 63€/night, but it was good value for money.

Budapest-accommodation---apartment-city-center

Budapest accommodation

Opera-Downtown-by-Icon-Collection---Budapest-apartment

Opera Downtown by Icon Collection – Budapest apartment


Food & Drinks Budget + Eating Out in Budapest

Budapest may not be one of the most affordable food destinations in Europe, but it has lots of great pubs and restaurants, not to mention the most beautiful café in the world.

Our daily food budget per person was around 40€ while the average cost for a lunch/dinner in Budapest is 26€ / 8000HUF for two people.

With me wanting to test every traditional dish I can find in each destination, our food costs are never low.

Goulash, Paprikash, Sausages, Langos, Kürtős kalács, Túró Rudi, Strudel and Pogácsa are some of the most delightful food experiences we had in Budapest. Also, we happened to bump into Rosalia Wine Festival, and had some wine and cheese tastings there, along with a great Langos.

When I think of Budapest and going out, New York Café – the most beautiful café in the world – comes to mind. We spent there around 10,000 HUF for cookies and milkshakes, but also paid for the once-in-a-lifetime experience (for architecture lovers).

Rosalia--wine-festival-in-Budapest,-Hungary

Rosalia Wine Festival in Budapest

See the beautiful interior of New York Café in my dedicated article >


Budapest Attractions: Museum Visits & More

With so many wonderful things to visit in Budapest, it’s pretty hard to stick to a budget.

Some city attractions are free: Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the Shoes on the Danube, the old Jewish quarter of Budapest, a walking tour of Buda Castle area and Liberty Bridge.

Budapest also has some lovely Art Nouveau houses, so taking a tour of the most beautiful ones is also a free city attraction.

A visit to St. Stephen’s Basilica requires a small donation (we gave 400 HUF/ 1,3€), but if you want to see Budapest from above, then you have to pay an extra 600 HUF / 2€ per person.

Budapest Museums are pretty affordable – 7 € per person on average for each visit, and spent around 14,67 € per person/day for this cultural trip.

We took two guided tours: Budapest Parliament and Dohany Street Synagogue because both attractions are only accessible with a guide.

Detailed costs for each Budapest attraction at the time of our visit (May 2017):

  • Fisherman’s Bastion – 800 HUF / 2,6 € per person,
  • Matthias Church – 1500 HUF / 5 € per person,
  • Budapest History Museum – 2800 HUF / 9 € per person,
  • Budapest Parliament – 2400 HUF / 8 € per person,
  • Museum of Ethnography (Neprajzi Muzeum) – 1400 HUF / 5 € per person,
  • Dohany Street Synagogue – 4000 HUF/ 13 € per person,
  • Vajdahunyad Castle – 1200 HUF / 4 € per person.
Matthias-Church-Budapest

Matthias Church Budapest

Check out my Budapest Travel Guide for more photos and info >


Getting Around Budapest – Transport Options & Budget

We mostly walked around the city, but also tried the public transport: the yellow trams, the buses and the metro. We bought 8 tickets each, 2 of which used for one airport transfer.

We had an early flight back, so we took a cab – the taxi fee for airport transfer is a fixed one: 30 Euro or 9000 Forints.

11,33 € per person was our average cost for transport per day.

One interesting aspect of Budapest city transport and a must-try is the metro line (4) that passes under the Danube River (see photos at Gizmodo).

It’s a vertigo- inducing ride, even if you take the elevator downstairs as we did, but it’s kind of amazing when you think about it – a metro line under a river as grand as the Danube.

Taking a boat tour on the Danube is one thing we didn’t do, but it’s always nice to leave something for next time.

Budapest-Parliament-and-the-Danube

Boat Tour on the Danube, Budapest


Budapest City Break – Travel Budget

Type of Cost Euro / Person / Day
Accommodation/night 40,83
Food and Drinks 40,50
Transport 11,33
City Attractions & Museums 14,67
Other expenses 7,50
Travel Budget Total  (Person/Day/€) 114,83
Travel Budget for Budapest   344,50
Airfare from Bucharest, RO 79,00
Budapest Travel Budget (from Bucharest) 423,50

Visited: May 2017

With a total cost of 423 €/person for 3 days, I wouldn’t say Budapest is the cheapest city break destination in Europe.

We had similar costs for a city break in Stockholm – 468 €/person for 3,5 days (view detailed budget).

*Two things to know: as with all budgets on this blog, Budapest travel budget reflects my actual costs and even if it reflects the cost per person, the trip was for two people. 90% of all my travels so far are with my partner, so the cost of accommodation is split in two – that means it will be more for a solo traveler and less for a group of three travelers.


Travel Tips for Visiting Budapest

A city break in Budapest is a lovely idea during warmer seasons, but a terrible one in autumn or winter (it’s extremely cold).

3 days is enough to visit top city attractions in a slow-paced manner, but you can add an extra day to pamper yourself in one of their famous Thermal Baths.

When organizing your city break in Budapest, please keep in mind that guided visits to Budapest Parliament and Dohany Street Synagogue have to be booked in advance.

Being the largest synagogue in Europe, Dohany will be crowded with tourists. They also keep a strict schedule for the tours, so there’s going to be a long waiting line.

Most locals speak English well and they’re also helpful.

Budapest is a very clean city, and locals really love keeping it that way. So don’t be surprised when you’ll see locals pick up trash after tourist with less consideration for this aspect.


Budapest City Break | May 2017 | All Photography: ©Ana Matei > Instagram: @MateiAna


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Ana
Last updated: January 23, 2018
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