Last Updated on January 21, 2023 by gregor
Planning a day trip to Budapest from Vienna? Find helpful tips, local recommendations, tour options, and more for your visit to Budapest from Vienna.
It takes just about 2.5 hours to travel from Vienna to Budapest, so this makes it easy to go for just a day or to spend a longer holiday in Budapest,
With its gorgeous Old Town, and historic center, admire the grandeur of Hungary’s Parliament Building, or simply relax on the banks of the Danube River Budapest is an excellent spot for a day trip from Vienna
Top Sights in Budapest at a glance
- A. Parliament Building
- B. Fisherman’s Bastion
- C. Chain Bridge
- D. Heroes Square and City Park
- E. St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Great Market Hall
- F. Margaret Island and Thermal Baths
- G. Buda Castle Hill and Matthias Church
- H. Memento Park and Gellert Hill (Freedom Statue)
- I. Szechenyi Spa and Andrassy Avenue
Day Trip from Vienna to Budapest
How to get from Vienna to Budapest
Get from Vienna to Budapest By Train
Traveling from Vienna to Budapest by train is a great way to get between the two cities. The journey takes approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on your departure time. Trains usually depart every hour or two, so you can easily plan your trip to suit your needs. Onboard, you’ll find comfortable seating with plenty of legroom and free Wi-Fi to help pass the time. Plus, the scenery during the journey is stunning, so make sure you sit back and take in the views! Tickets can be purchased online and at any train station in Vienna or Budapest; prices vary depending on which class of ticket you choose and if you’re traveling as part of a group. So why not book yourself a ticket today for an unforgettable journey from Vienna to Budapest?
For timetables and tickets, see:
Get from Vienna to Budapest By Car
Traveling from Vienna to Budapest by car is a great way to explore the two beautiful cities. From Vienna, you can take the freeway A4 in the direction of Budapest. The drive will take approximately three hours, depending on traffic and stops along the way. You can also take a scenic route with many small towns and villages. With this route, you can admire the stunning countryside views and get an insight into rural life in Austria and Hungary. Along the way, there are several places to stop for lunch or coffee and explore some of the historical sites that each country has to offer. Once you arrive in Budapest, you will be able to enjoy all of its attractions including its thermal baths, galleries, and nightlife.
Top Things to do in Budapest – What to do in Budapest
Explore the City’s Historic Sites in Budapest
Budapest is a city with rich history and culture, and there are many historic sites to explore. From the ancient Roman ruins of Aquincum, to the Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest’s historic sites offer something for everyone. You can explore the beautiful architecture of Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, or visit Buda Castle and the Citadel for a glimpse into Hungary’s past. The city also boasts a number of unique museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts, House of Terror, and Dohany Street Synagogue. With its cobblestone streets and stunning scenery, Budapest is an ideal destination for those seeking to explore its historical attractions. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to experience some of Europe’s most iconic landmarks, Budapest has something for everyone.
Enjoy the Nightlife in Budapest
Budapest is a vibrant city that offers a great nightlife experience. There are plenty of bars and clubs to explore, catering to all tastes. Whether you’re looking for a quiet evening in a cozy pub or an all-night dancing extravaganza, Budapest has something for everyone. The city’s music scene is also fantastic, with live performances happening every night across the city. If you’re looking for something different, why not try one of the many open-air music festivals that take place throughout the summer months? From jazz to electronic music and everything in between, there is always something new and exciting to discover in Budapest’s nightlife. Plus with great food venues available, it’s easy to make your night out even more memorable. So don’t miss out on all that Budapest has to offer at night – explore the city after dark and enjoy the incredible atmosphere!
Take a Danube River Cruise Tour in Budapest
Exploring the Danube River in Budapest is an unforgettable experience. A Danube River Cruise is a great way to explore this city, giving you the opportunity to see some of the most stunning scenery and historically significant landmarks. The cruise typically begins at the Chain Bridge, one of Budapest’s iconic sights, and takes you along both sides of the river, offering breathtaking views of Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament Building on one side and vibrant nightlife on the other. Along the way, you’ll also have a chance to explore quaint fishing villages and small towns with cobblestone streets. With so much to take in during a Danube River Cruise in Budapest, it’s sure to be an adventure that will stay with you for many years to come.
Visit a Thermal Baths or Spa in Budapest
Visiting a thermal bath or spa in Budapest is an absolute must-do for anyone visiting the city. Located on the banks of the Danube, Budapest is home to some of the most impressive thermal baths and spas in Europe. The main attraction for many visitors is Gellért Thermal Baths, situated inside a stunning Art Nouveau building. Here you can relax and unwind in thermal pools with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 40°C, as well as enjoy a range of saunas, steam rooms, and massage treatments. Other popular thermal baths include Széchenyi Baths, Rudas Baths, and Kiraly Baths – each offering something unique in terms of atmosphere and facilities. Whether you are looking for relaxation or recreation, there’s something for everyone at these beautiful Budapest thermal baths and spas!
Explore the Markets and Shopping Districts in Budapest
Budapest is an exciting destination for shopping and exploring the markets. The city is rich in culture and offers a wide variety of products to choose from. Visitors to Budapest can explore the bustling Central Market Hall, which has been a mainstay of the city since 1897. Here you will find countless stalls selling fresh produce, spices, Hungarian souvenirs, arts and crafts, and much more. Alternatively, head to Vaci Street Shopping District for international fashion brands such as H&M or Zara as well as local designer stores. If you are looking for antiques or vintage items, then Falk Miksa Street Antique Market is the place to go. With so many options available to visitors in Budapest, it’s easy to see why it’s such an attractive destination for shoppers from around the world.
Taste Traditional Hungarian Cuisine in Budapest
Experience the traditional flavors of Hungary in Budapest. With a rich culture and history, Budapest offers a wide range of delicious traditional Hungarian cuisine. Try the local delicacies such as goulash, stuffed cabbage, and lángos – a deep-fried flatbread with garlic and cheese. For something sweet, try kürtőskalács – a twisted pastry sprinkled with sugar or walnuts. Budapest also has plenty of restaurants featuring more modern takes on traditional Hungarian dishes. Whatever you choose to eat, your taste buds will be delighted with the unique flavors of Hungary’s traditional cuisine!
Visit an Art Museum or Gallery in Budapest
Visiting an art museum or gallery in Budapest is always a treat. The city is known for its rich cultural history and vibrant arts scene, with many galleries and museums showcasing the work of local and international artists. Whether you’re interested in fine art, photography, sculpture or anything else that inspires creativity, there are plenty of options for everyone to enjoy. From the renowned Museum of Fine Arts to smaller, more specialized galleries like the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kunsthalle Budapest, visitors can explore a wide range of artistic mediums. With so much to see and experience, a visit to an art museum or gallery in Budapest is sure to be a memorable one.
Enjoy Outdoor Activities in Budapest
Budapest is the perfect city to enjoy outdoor activities. From walking tours around the city’s historic streets to taking a boat tour along the Danube River, there are countless ways to explore and appreciate Budapest’s unique natural landscape. For those looking for an adrenaline rush, there is also plenty of adventure sports like canyoning, caving, and kayaking available in the area. The Buda Hills offer breathtaking views of Budapest and its surrounding areas, while nearby Lake Balaton provides a great opportunity for swimming and sunbathing. There are also numerous parks in Budapest where you can take part in cycling, jogging or simply relaxing with friends and family. No matter what type of outdoor activity you prefer, you’ll be sure to find something to do in Budapest!
Attend a Cultural Event or Festival in Budapest
Attending a cultural event or festival in Budapest is a great way to experience the city’s unique culture and discover its many hidden gems. Budapest hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, ranging from music festivals to art exhibitions, which bring people together from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor summer concert or an art show in a local gallery, Budapest has something for everyone. During your visit, you can also explore historic sites like the Fisherman’s Bastion and St. Stephen’s Basilica and enjoy traditional Hungarian cuisines such as goulash or langos. From exploring the vibrant city streets to discovering Hungary’s rich culture, attending an event or festival in Budapest will be an unforgettable experience!
Take a Day Trip from Budapest
Budapest is a great city to visit, but it’s also fun to take a day trip from the city. There are plenty of places to explore nearby, and some of the best include Szentendre, Visegrád, and Danube Bend. Szentendre is a charming small town with cobblestone streets, art galleries, and churches. Visegrád is a historic fortress perched on top of a hill overlooking the Danube River. And the Danube Bend offers spectacular views of nature’s beauty along the river — perfect for hiking or enjoying a picnic lunch. Taking a day trip from Budapest can be an exciting way to explore some of Hungary’s most beautiful sites without having to travel too far from the city center.
Top Sights in Budapest
Hungary Parliament Building
The Hungary Parliament Building is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture in Budapest, Hungary. It was designed by Imre Steindl in Gothic Revival style and completed in 1902. The building is 268 meters long and 123 meters wide, making it one of the largest legislative buildings in Europe. Its facade is a combination of Renaissance and Baroque elements, with 96 statues representing Hungarian rulers, statesmen, generals, and Transylvanian leaders. Inside are 691 rooms, 10 courtyards, 29 staircases and 27 gates. The building also houses the Crown of St Stephen, which is the symbol of Hungarian sovereignty. The dome-topped building stands on the banks of the Danube River and it’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Budapest.
Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest
Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest is one of the most iconic and popular attractions in the city. A unique combination of neo-Gothic, neo-Romanesque and neo-Renaissance architectural styles make it a sight to behold. Located on the banks of the Danube River, Fisherman’s Bastion offers spectacular views of the river and Buda Castle Hill. The terrace is lined with seven turrets that represent each of Hungary’s seven tribes who helped build it in 1905. Inside you will find a marble staircase, statues, ornate balconies and colorful frescoes that depict Hungarian history. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops throughout the area. Fisherman’s Bastion is an amazing place to visit for those looking to explore Budapest’s cultural heritage.
Chain Bridge in Budapest
Chain Bridge in Budapest is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. This bridge was built in 1849, and it is considered to be the first permanent stone-bridge connecting Buda and Pest across the River Danube. The bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark and Adam Clark, who had already designed a similar suspension bridge in London. It is one of the symbols of Budapest and it has become an important part of the city’s identity. It has two lions at each end, which were added in 1852 by sculptor Janos Marschalko. The views from this bridge are simply breathtaking and it is a great place for tourists to take pictures or just to relax and enjoy the view. During nighttime, Chain Bridge is illuminated with beautiful lights that make it even more spectacular. It is definitely an amazing attraction that every visitor should experience when visiting Budapest!
Heroes Square and City Park in Budapest
Heroes Square and City Park in Budapest are two of the most popular attractions in the city. Located at the edge of Andrassy Avenue, Heroes Square is a grand monument to the Hungarian people and their history. It was erected in 1896, and features statues of various Hungarian kings, as well as an eternal flame dedicated to those who died for their country. City Park is also a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This large public park offers a variety of recreational activities, such as boating on its lake, horseback riding, cycling, walking trails and more. Built-in 1914, it also features some interesting monuments from Hungary’s past, including Vajdahunyad Castle and Szechenyi Baths. Both Heroes Square and City Park offer plenty of fun for all ages – perfect for a day out in Budapest!
St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Great Market Hall in Budapest
St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Great Market Hall are two of Budapest’s most popular attractions. St. Stephen’s Basilica is a stunning Neo-Classical church and is one of the largest churches in Hungary. It was built in honor of Hungary’s first king, St Stephen I, and features numerous pieces of artwork and sculptures. The Great Market Hall, on the other hand, is an iconic three-story building that has been selling fresh produce since 1897. Inside you can find a wide selection of traditional Hungarian foods and souvenirs, as well as local artworks and handmade crafts. Both attractions are must-see destinations for those visiting Budapest, offering visitors the chance to experience different aspects of Hungarian culture and history.
Margaret Island and Thermal Baths in Budapest
Margaret Island is a beautiful 2.5 km-long island in the middle of the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary. It is a great place for both locals and tourists alike to relax and enjoy nature. The island has many attractions, including lush gardens, parks, monuments and statues, thermal baths, fountains and a small zoo. Its Thermal Baths are some of the most popular attractions on the island; they offer a variety of pools with different temperatures and treatments which make them enjoyable for everyone. Visitors can also enjoy walking trails around the island’s perimeter while admiring its attractive scenery. Margaret Island is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life while enjoying an oasis of relaxation right in the heart of Budapest.
Buda Castle Hill and Matthias Church in Budapest
Buda Castle Hill and Matthias Church are two of the most iconic landmarks in Budapest, Hungary. Located on the Buda side of the city, they sit atop a hill overlooking the Danube River. Castle hill is home to numerous historical buildings, including the Royal Palace and National Gallery. The nearby Matthias Church is a stunning example of Hungarian Baroque architecture, with its colorful tiled roof and ornate interior. Visitors can take guided tours around both sites to learn about their fascinating history and admire their beauty. From the top of Buda Castle Hill, you can take in incredible views across Budapest, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore this beautiful city.
Memento Park and Gellert Hill (Freedom Statue) in Budapest
Memento Park and Gellert Hill, located in Budapest, are two of the most popular attractions in the city. Memento Park is an outdoor sculpture park which commemorates Hungary’s Communist era. The park has a collection of 42 large-scale statues and sculptures that were originally erected throughout the country during this period. Meanwhile, Gellert Hill is home to one of Hungary’s most iconic landmarks – The Freedom Statue. This impressive monument stands 12 meters tall and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. It was built to commemorate the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi occupation at the end of World War II and serves as a reminder of the country’s long struggle for freedom and independence. Together, Memento Park and Gellert Hill offer visitors a unique insight into Hungary’s turbulent past while also providing them with stunning views over Budapest.
Szechenyi Spa and Andrassy Avenue in Budapest
Szechenyi Spa and Andrassy Avenue are two of the most popular attractions in Budapest. Located in the heart of the city, Szechenyi Spa is a large thermal bath complex that features 18 indoor and 3 outdoor pools filled with natural hot spring waters. The baths offer a variety of treatments such as mud baths, massage, and reflexology. Andrassy Avenue is one of Budapest’s grandest boulevards and is lined with magnificent buildings from the 19th century. It is also home to several important cultural institutions, including the Hungarian State Opera House, the National Museum, and numerous theatres. Both Szechenyi Spa and Andrassy Avenue are great places to explore during your time in Budapest; they are sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
Budapest is an amazing city with plenty of things to do. Start by exploring the city’s iconic landmarks like the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion. Take a stroll down Andrassy Avenue and marvel at St Stephen’s Basilica. Don’t miss out on taking a dip in one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths or visiting Margaret Island for fun activities like rowing boats or admiring the rose garden. To experience local culture, take a guided tour of Jewish Quarter and explore its markets, shops, and eateries. For nightlife, head to ruin bars in District VII for drinks and music. There’s something here for everyone so don’t forget to try out Hungarian cuisine while you’re here!