Many people come to Budapest with limited time. Maybe you only have 48 hours in the Hungarian capital. What are the most important places to visit? Which are the activities it would be a mistake to skip? Is the Margaret island worth a couple of hours during your trip to Budapest?
We have just updated our guide to Margaret island in our Budapest Guide. We have included what we believe are ten of the most convincing reasons to visit the island as you come to Budapest. If you read the article and think that it isn’t for you, then it probably isn’t worth prioritizing.
But, if you read the article and think this sounds fun, then you should probably add Margaret island to your itinerary. Are you ready to learn more about what the island has to offer?
Do not forget that you can read about many other cool activities, programs, and attractions in Budapest in our Budapest Guide. If you are looking for events taking place in Budapest during your trip to the city, look at our Budapest calendar to find out what’s going on.
Many Hollywood movies show families sitting in front of a Christmas tree. Suddenly they hear someone knocking on the door, and there he is, Santa Claus. He has a bag full of presents and Christmas is here. This normally happens on December 24th but in some places on December 25th. In other places, Santa Claus comes on his sleigh during the night, making sure that all presents are in place by the time everybody wakes up on December 25th. What’s going on in Hungary? It is actually very different!
Hungary has some similarities with the Netherlands because their Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) arrives with presents on December 5/6. In Hungary, all kids wash their shoes on December 5th, knowing that Santa Claus will arrive during the night with sweets and other nice things during the night (if the shoes are nice and clean). In other words, Santa Claus comes on December 6th in Hungary. For many people in the Netherlands, the big Christmas present thing ends on December 6th, but that isn’t so in Hungary.
Jesus brings the presents on December 24.
There are different traditions, but many add to the magic the fact that the angels bring the Christmas tree to the different houses. Then you have the interesting thing. If you visit Budapest on December 24 and walk up and down the streets between 12.00 and 15.00, you will see lots of parents and/or grandparents out walking with kids. Why is that? They need to leave the house around this time in order for Jesus to come to the houses with all the presents.
As the kids return, the tree is decorated, and hopefully, there are lots of presents beneath it.
What does it mean that Jesus brings the presents?
First of all, it isn’t a tradition among kids to tell their parents and family what they want to get from the different persons in their surroundings. They only prepare a list that they tell their parents about, who later tell Jesus about all those wishes. Under the Christmas tree, you will seldom see stickers saying “To Tom”, and “From Mum&Dad.” The reason is simple, Jesus brought the presents, so it would be “wrong” to add such name stickers to the presents.
As the children get older, they understand what is really going on, but most Hungarians love this tradition, and they speak with glimpses in their eyes about the time when they believed Jesus was the one actually bringing the presents.
Google Maps is your friend, at least so we think. But, if you are coming by train to Kelenföldi Pályaudvar or you reside somewhere else on the Buda side, and you plan on approaching the Athletics Stadium on bike or by roller, then you shouldn’t listen to Google Maps (at the moment). Find out how to get to the stadium safely!
What is the problem with this suggestion? The problem comes as you get to the Rákoczi bridge because Google suggests you use your bike and drive across the bridge together with the cars (which is both dangerous and illegal). In other words, you will stand amazed and very insecure if as you get to the bridge based on the suggestions made by Google.
You don’t have to avoid Google entirely, but instead of having Google suggest a bicycle road for you, pretend as if you are walking. You will then be shown the right path to take you safely across the bridge on the road made for those walking, skating, bicycling, or using a roller.
What will happen when during the World Athletics Championship in Budapest? When is your favorite event taking place? Here you can see a full overview of all events taking place during the event. All times are according to the local time in Budapest of the different events.
Budapest is hosting the World Championship in Athletics during the summer of 2023. It is the biggest event ever arranged in Hungary, and a brand new stadium awaits athletes and the audience. But how can you easily get to the stadium? Can I park my car by the stadium?
We have written a thorough article about the World Championship in Athletics in our Budapest Guide, and there you will find lots of information about the event and also answers to frequently asked questions. We have touched on traveling to the stadium, but in this article, we will give you more in-depth answers.
Can I park my car by the Athletics Stadium?
If you come to Budapest by car to look at the World Athletics Championships, then you probably know that finding a parking lot might be a problem. There is no big parking lot next to the stadium. What should you do then?
There are several options.
1:) Park your car elsewhere and use public transportation.
This is a great option, and it might be the easiest solution. In other words, travel to the city center of Budapest, with tram line number 2 to the end station, and walk to the stadium from there. You can read more about public transportation options later on in this article.
2:) Go shopping in OBI.
There is a OBI store (do it yourself retailer) close to the stadium. This parking lot might get packed during the event, but it might be a solution (OBI will probably not endorse this option, so don’t tell them that we came up with the suggestion). Buy a hammer and some other necessary accessories, leave your car in the parking lot, and walk to the stadium.
3:) Park your car in TESCO
A TESCO store at Soroksari út is very close to the venue. Here you pay for your parking based on the length of your stay. It is very cheap, so it will not cost a fortune, and it might be the best solution for those arriving to Budapest by car for an evening or a daytime event.ű
I want to get to the stadium by taxi!
Things are very easy if you want to use a taxi to get to the stadium. Find a taxi, book a taxi via your hotel or restaurant, and let them drive you to the stadium. There will for sure be many pirate taxies around the stadium, so only use taxies you have ordered yourself, or taxies belonging to an acknowledged company such as Radio Taxi, or you can use the service BOLT.
I want to use public transportation.
Several buses, trams, and trains (HEV) are traveling near the Athletics stadium. The best options for getting to the stadium is by using tram line number 1 or 2 and then leaving the tram at the stop Közvágóhíd. Tram number two travels along the Danube, making it Budapest’s most beautiful tram ride. This is the ideal tram if you live in the city center of Budapest.
Tram number one travels along the big ring in Budapest, making it a great solution if you live nearby this popular ring in Budapest. It starts on the Buda side near the Árpad bridge, and ends up on the Buda side again by the Kelenfoldi railway station (along the way, it travels on the Pest side and stops next to the Athletics stadium).
You can travel with the green train number 7 (HEV) to the stop Müpa – Nemzeti Színház. A public transportation boat will also travel to the Athletics stadium during the World Championship in Athletics.
Can I travel by bike to the stadium?
It is possible to travel by bike to the new Athletics Stadium in Budapest. There are many places for parking your bicycle near the stadium, and there are fairly good bicycle roads leading to the stadium. Of course, the bicycle roads in Budapest cannot be compared to those in cities such as Amsterdam, but they are improving little by little, and it is possible to use a bicycle to get to the stadium.
That’s it. You are now ready to travel to the stadium during the Worl Athletics Championships in Budapest. Do not forget to be early to the stadium, and be prepared for delays during entrance to the stadium and with public transportation (something that might happen when thousands of people travel to the stadium with public transportation simultaneously).
If you have any comments or questions, write them below! If you want to read more about other events, concerts, festivals, and markets in Budapest, take a look at this page.
Budapest is a fantastic city, and it isn’t a coincidence that you found this article. You are looking for information and inspiration because you want to visit Budapest in the future. The enchanting capital of Hungary awaits, but there are a few things you should think through before you arrive. This article will give you tips on six mistakes you should avoid making in Budapest!
There are different ways to define a mistake. Not all the mistakes you make in Budapest are bad, and if you look at an error from the proper perspective, it might make you more prosperous and come home with even more memories. Read on, and you will soon understand what we mean!
Six mistakes to avoid in Budapest.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Don’t be too proud to ask for help and advice.
There are things locals know that you don’t know. What is evident to them may be unclear to you. It is a joy to discover a city on your own, and many find it charming to spend hours trying to find a location only to discover that they could have reached it in 5-10 minutes had they asked the receptionist at the hotel or some other local.
Many tourists love to travel by public transportation from the airport. It is much easier to travel with a taxi, but it feels more authentic to travel the way the locals do. As a result, only some people want the easiest solutions and the fastest ways between A and B.
However, sometimes pride can be too big, and you spend way too much energy and time on something that would have been much easier with some tips and advice from a local. Maybe you plan on using a bus to reach an attraction that you could have reached much easier using a tram or a metro line. Or what if you spend all day trying to reach a shopping mall where you can find a Zara store, only to realize that one was located a few hundred meters from your hotel?
What do we mean? It is often wise to ask locals for advice and help. It is fun to discover a city on your own and make mistakes in the process. You often see much more due to your mistakes, which is one of the most charming experiences during a holiday in Budapest. But be humble enough to realize when enough is enough, and it is time to ask someone for help!
Don’t change money in the shopping street or at the airport!
The local currency in Budapest is HUF, Hungarian Forint. As Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, it was expected that the Euro would be introduced within a few years. We were wrong! We are far into the 2020s, and the Euro is nowhere, at least not as an official currency.
It is possible to pay with Euro in most stores, but you will often pay more than you would using the Hungarian Forint. The exchange rates used by stores are poor, which means that you, as a tourist pay a higher price for the same product if you decide to pay in Euro.
Consequently, it is wise to pay with the HUF whenever possible. How can you get some HUF in your wallet? The easiest is to use an ATM or an exchange office. But if you decide to use an exchange office, do not use those at the airport or in the shopping street Váci utca. The exchange rates there are unfavorable, making you pay much more than elsewhere. A good piece of advice is to compare the prices at 2-3 exchange offices and select the one with the best rates based on what you see. Otherwise, using an ATM is often easy and quick, and you get a good exchange rate.
We should mention that the Hungarian Forint is quite strong at the time of writing. The price of 1 Euro is about 370 Forint. Not all restaurants and cafés have remade their menus to reflect these changes. As a result, you will find a few places in Budapest where they wrote banners and menus during a weak Forint period in which 1 euro equalled 430 Forint. This is interesting because they created a banner that said that a Chimney Cake’s price is 800 HUF or 2 Euro. Back then, you would have paid more for the product if you paid in euros. The banner still says the same, but today 2 euros is only 740 HUF. In other words, you get the product cheaper if you pay in euros.
In other words, look at the exchange rate before you arrive because knowing it will give you an advantage whenever you decide whether to pay with Euro or with Forint.
Only use a taxi whenever needed, and choose your taxi wisely.
Ten years ago, the taxis in Budapest had a terrible reputation. Things have improved, but there are still things you should watch out for whenever you use a taxi in Budapest. But let us also tell you one thing first… you don’t need to use cabs in Budapest frequently. Why is that?
Budapest’s most important sights and attractions are located in the fifth district of Budapest or very close to the district. It is easy to reach this district and area using any of the four metro lines in Budapest and getting off at stops such as Astoria, Kalvin tér, Fövarm ter, Deak Ferenc tér, or Kossuth tér.
Once you are in this area, all other attractions in the area are available within less than 2 kilometers of walking (most are much closer). Here you will find fantastic restaurants, cafés, bars, and of course, popular attractions such as the St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, the Danube, the most famous bridges, and by walking across the street into the seventh district of Budapest you can see the Great Synagogue and the Hungarian National Museum.
What are we trying to say? The inner city of Budapest is fantastic and if you have some energy in your body, you can easily walk around on foot without using public transportation or taxis.
Two popular areas fall outside this category: the City Park and the Castle area. If you want to visit them, consider using a taxi. But if you visit Budapest, you should travel with the second-oldest subway in Europe! This metro dates back in 1896 and it connects Vörösmarty tér (the end of the shopping street) with the City Park. As a result, you can experience the fantastic metro and see the City Park simultaneously. Isn’t that cool? Not only is it a nicer way to travel to the City Park, it is also cheaper! Do not forget to validate your ticket beforehand; if not, you might make another mistake that the controllers love to punish!
A nice way to go to the castle area is by walking across the Chain Bridge (the oldest bridge between Buda and Pest) and then walk up the hill yourself. It is possible to use the funicular, but it is unnecessarily expensive and you spend more time standing in line than the time of the ride itself.
Once you have reached the castle area, feel free to travel by taxi back to the Pest side. Another option is to walk, or you can use one of the castle buses connecting the castle area with Deak Ferenc tér on the Pest side.
If you decide to use a taxi in Budapest.
You don’t need to use taxies a lot in Budapest. But if you need one, is there anything you need to watch out for?
Generally, it is wise to order a taxi from the hotel you live in or via the restaurant you are in. They have partners who guarantee normal fees on your taxi ride.
Another option is to use the Bolt application. Here you order the taxi yourself and you get an estimated price making it an easy-to-use application with few surprises. The prices are good, making it one of the cheapest taxi options in Budapest.
You should be careful catching cabs on the street just waiting for passengers to come. If you still do, look for one with a big phone number and a brand name on the side of the taxi. If all you can see is a yellow cab with a taxi sign on the roof and nothing else, you should look for another taxi instead.
Take some risks whenever you eat!
It isn’t dangerous to eat and drink in Budapest. Some people believe that the tap water is dangerous in Budapest, but it isn’t. You can drink and enjoy life without worrying. What do we mean then?
It is easy to choose the safe road as you visit a restaurant or buy food at a market in Budapest. The Wiener Schnitzel is fantastic, and so is a good Italian pizza, but we have seen it before and tasted it before. Still, many people end up ordering the safe and well-known instead of taking some risks. It is understandable, especially if you travel with kids, but leave your comfort zone and try something new!
When you return to work after your trip to Budapest, people will immediately ask you: “What was it like? Did you enjoy the city? What did you eat and drink?”
What sounds cooler, if you tell them that you ate a Big Mac in McDonald’s, a pizza in Vapiano, and drank some Coca-Cola next to your meals, or if you tell them that you ate a “hen testicle stew with homemade noodles”, or that you tasted the special Hungarian sausages, some fried goose liver, or maybe a real authentic Hungarian Goulash soup? Then you can tell them about the Hungarian Fruit spirits (Pálinka), followed by a Hungarian liquor named Opium (which contains poppy seeds), or that you have tasted the world-famous sweet white wine from the Tokaj region. There are endless opportunities, but you will only discover them if you leave your comfort zone and dare to order some risky food at restaurants and markets you visit.
Don’t think Budapest goes to bed at 24:00.
It is amazing to accompany people to the airport after some days in Budapest. Some have barely been sleeping, while others say all lights were turned off, and bars and restaurants were closed at 24:00. As a result, they went to bed like everyone else.
What is the difference between the two stories and the two impressions? Haven’t they been to the same city? The answer is that they have all been to Budapest, but if you don’t know where to look, it may feel as if Budapest goes to bed at midnight.
If your goal is to discover Budapest by day and sleep at night, just skip the next part of this article. If you, however, want to experience Budapest by night, the following information is crucial.
While the fifth district of Budapest is the most popular during the daytime, it gets quite quiet and dead after midnight. Would you like the party to go on? Leave the fifth district and enter the seventh district (close to the Great Synagogue). Here you can find some of the best bars in the world, including Budapest’s super-famous ruin bars. The most famous of them all is Szimpla Kert which is located in Kazinczy utca. Walk up and down this neighborhood and you will meet crowds of people walking between bars and nightclubs in an excellent mood.
Now you know where to find the parties after midnight! But remember to get some sleep because Budapest has a lot to offer during the daytime as well!
Plan ahead! Do you have any special desires for your days in Budapest?
During our guided tours, we often share information about exciting programs and activities in Budapest, and we also talk about popular restaurants, cafés, bars, and other places worth visiting in Budapest. Many guests start to discuss which programs they want to try themselves, but often we have to tell them that this restaurant is fully booked for the following days, or that the given program must be booked days ahead.
You can visit the famous thermal baths of Budapest every day without any preliminary booking. The same is true about the New York Confectionary. You might need to stay in line to get your ticket or entrance, but if you are patient, you will get in!
The same is only sometimes true regarding popular restaurants in Budapest. These are often fully booked days ahead, especially during holidays and big events. Suppose you come in the middle of the summer, or during the Formula 1 weekend, or during the Easter holiday, or during the Christmas market season. In that case, restaurants are frequently fully booked days ahead.
Finding a restaurant with a free table in Budapest isn’t hard. Still, suppose you have a burning desire to eat a medieval meal accompanied by belly dancing in Sir Lancelot. In that case, you might find it disappointing to eat a Goulash Soup accompanied by Gypsy music in a traditional Hungarian restaurant instead, as there were no free tables in Sir Lancelot.
Hotel Clark is one of the most luxurious hotels in Budapest, and the rooftop bar (Leo Rooftop Bar) is a part of the success. On the hotel’s top floor, you can sit down and drink a glass of champagne, eat a delightful meal, or drink a cup of coffee while enjoying one of the nicest panoramas in Budapest. Leo Rooftop Bar is extremely popular, meaning you need a reservation to visit the place. There are guards by the elevator taking you to the top floor, so only with a valid reservation can you visit the bar itself.
The bar (Leo Rooftop Bar) and the hotel (Hotel Clark) is at Clark Adam Square, on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge (the most famous bridge in Budapest). It gives a spectacular view of the Margaret Bridge, the Parliament, the Chain Bridge, the Castle, the Gellert Hill, the Elisabeth Bridge, and everything in between.
Leo Rooftop Bar – the menu.
One would expect food and drinks to be expensive at such a place, and compared to similar bars in Budapest, it is expensive. Here you can see a couple of price examples as of May 2023.
1dl of white wine (cheapest version)
1dl rose (cheapest version)
1dl sparkling wine (cheapest version)
Caesar Salad with Chicken
Angus Mini Burgers (3 pc)
Garlic and Chili Prawns (5pc)
Leo Rooftop Bar – the atmosphere.
The place has a fantastic atmosphere as you can see the beautiful city no matter where you look. The design is modern, and even though you sit inside, you can still enjoy the view from all the tables. This isn’t a place for the poor, meaning that you feel surrounded by wealthy people as you enjoy the view and drink your coffee. It is a perfect place for a vorspiel (if you have the money to pay for the drinks) and it is especially popular among tourists coming to enjoy everything Budapest offers.
One interesting effect of the bar is that you wash your hands in the actual bar. What do I mean? You go to the toilet, and you do your thing. Then you leave the toilet and wash your hand in the open space where everyone can see you. In other words, people will notice if you wash your hands, and maybe even worse, if you don’t wash your hands!
Leo Rooftop Bar has space for 80 people at most. It is important to know that the location is frequently used by companies who arrange a luxurious events for their employees. In other words, you shouldn’t be surprised if you cannot book a table here on a dedicated night, even though you try to book months in advance.
Leo Rooftop Bar – What more is there to say?
This is a perfect place for a drink and a good meal with a splendid view. The panorama is beautiful, and it will become even more beautiful as the construction work on the Chain Bridge is finished. Even though it is tempting to look towards the Danube and the bridges all the time, do not forget to look at the Buda Castle as it looks truly magnificent from the terrace of Leo Rooftop Bar.
Have you been to Leo Rooftop Bar in Budapest? How did you like your stay? Write your thoughts below in the comment field.
Are you a person in love with all sorts of cats? Are you dreaming of eating and drinking surrounded by cats, and you don’t mind having a cat jumping onto your lap while sipping a Cappuccino? Cat Café is not worth visiting if you can’t stand the thought of cats, and if you are allergic to cats, you should probably head elsewhere as well. But, if you are a cat lover, is Cat Café in Budapest the ideal place to visit?
Cat Café is in Révay utca in Budapest, next to the famous Andrassy út, and close to the inner city and St. Stephen’s Basilica. On the menu, you can find hot and cold drinks and some snacks. The price level is similar to other cafés, so it is neither cheaper nor more expensive than what you will experience elsewhere. The question, therefore, remains – what’s up with the cats in Cat Café?
You don’t have to spend many seconds in the café before you see the cats. They are walking around like they would in a normal home. There is a basement, a ground floor, and a first floor in the café. The basement is mostly where the cats go to eat and use their toilets and where the rest of the guests also go to the toilet. Besides that, not much action takes place in the basement.
The ground floor has one special room in which there is quite a lot of toys available to the cats, and there are also benches where guests can sit and chat and drink and have a good time.
There are tables and chairs on the first floor, which has a more traditional café look and atmosphere. All in all, the cats are visible and you immediately see and notice that this is a cat café. But, is it worth visiting?
Is it worth visiting Cat Café in Budapest?
It is impossible to answer this 100%. It is, however, important to come to the café with the right expectations. The cats in the café are used to people, and some of them are probably quite tired of all the people coming around throughout the day. As a result, there is no guarantee that you will meet a cat that actually wants to be with you. What do I mean? You cannot be sure that a cat will jump into your lap and let you pet it. It is more likely that the cats will keep their distance, and if you approach them, they will go another way. A worst-case scenario is that a cat might try to bite you (if you are very annoying) or at least make some angry noises.
What is your expectation? The cats are beautiful and they are a joy to look at. If that satisfies you, Cat Café is a place to visit in Budapest. If you come with higher expectations and long for more intimacy with the cats, you might end up disappointed.
What about the quality of the drinks? They are absolutely fine, and will satisfy you in the same way most other cafés in Budapest will.
Cat Café Budapest
Address: Révay utca 3., Budapest Opening times: 10:00 – 21:00
Have you been to Cat Café in Budapest? How did you like it? Do you have any comments or questions? Use the comment field below!
Are you a cryptocurrency fan who wants to drink something strong in Budapest? Or would you like to buy a Sprite before discovering Budapest’s remaining attractions and exciting activities? What is the Bitcoin Bar in Budapest? Where is it? Should you visit the place?
You can find Bitcoin Bar Budapest at Karoly körut 3/c. This is very close to the big Synagogue, making it a central location easy to find. It is a small bar, but with seats both inside and outside. On a nice summer day, you can discuss the latest news about Solana, Avalanche, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin while sipping a cup of coffee outdoors. Or if it sounds more tempting to discuss the latest MEME coins like SHIB while drinking a Hungarian Unicum inside, that is also possible.
It is nice to have a bar named after Bitcoin in Budapest. But does that make it worth visiting?
Let us take a look at the Bitcoin Bar Budapest menu.
Below you can see a picture of the Bitcoin Bar menu.
The strange thing about the bar is that besides the name, there aren’t much on the inside or the outside that makes you think about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Shouldn’t a BItcoin Bar at least accept payments in different cryptocurrencies? And why don’t they have some more fun with the menu and call it a Satoccino instead of Cappucino or maybe rename the Jägermeister to Lambomeister (while keeping the original title next to it so people will understand what they are about to get)?
Somehow I find the place to be a bit disappointing because I would expect a Bitcoin bar to be all about cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and it would be a natural place to meet fellow traders and people sharing the same interest. Instead, I feel like you could rename the place to “Stop your Thirst Bar” and it would suit the place perfectly as nothing but the name made me feel like it had anything to do with Bitcoin.
What are your thoughts?
Have you been to Bitcoin Bar Budapest? DId you like it? What are your thoughts? Write a comment below and let me hear from you!
Budapest is a trendy city for producing TV series and movies. Right now, there are several productions in the city, and since celebrities need to eat (just like the rest of us), you can sometimes meet them at all sorts of Budapest restaurants. Last weekend Benedict Cumberbatch decided to enjoy his dinner in Pampas Steakhouse while Adrian Brody celebrated his 50th birthday in Rostenstein Vendeglö.
These are just some examples of popular restaurants among celebrities in Budapest. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities have earlier visited Pampas Steakhouse, while Rosenstein has been visited by TImothée Chalamet, Stellan Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo.