Main Claire's Itchy Feet logo

How Many Days in Budapest? 2 Days Budapest Itinerary

If you’re planning an international trip and wondering how many days in Budapest you need to see all the top sights, this Budapest itinerary is the perfect resource. Jacob from Travel Lemming is sharing how many days to spend in Budapest and the perfect Budapest 2 day itinerary.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

How Many Days Do You Need in Budapest?

After a year of deliberation, I decided to pull the trigger—I started working online, left college, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and figured things out along the way. When most people think about a European trip, they picture the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, or the Colosseum. While those sites are stunning and definite must-sees across the pond, they barely scratch the surface of all Europe has to offer.

In fact, I enjoyed my time in Eastern Europe more than Italy and the Netherlands—the cities are rich in history, boast beautiful architecture, have terrific sights, and are insanely cheap. Budapest is one of my favorite European cities, and after spending five weeks there living and working as a digital nomad, I’d like to share my experience with you!

There’s a lot to love about the city and some mistakes to avoid while there. After reading this guide to what to do in Budapest in 2 days, you’ll be fully equipped to have a blast in the city.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Budapest ToursClick here to check out the top Budapest tours
Best Budapest Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Budapest
Best Budapest Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Budapest

Where to Stay for 2 Days in Budapest

Budapest is actually two cities merged together—it was once separated by the Danube River, which runs through the heart of the city.

Buda is hilly, has an older feel to it, and is much calmer than Pest. It’s home to the great Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, and The Citadella (more on those later). On the other side of the river, Pest is flat, compact, and full of restaurants, bars, and people. It’s the hustling, bustling part of the city where you’ll never run out of things to do.

Since Buda is more expensive and spread out, I experienced a “higher class” vibe on that side of the river. Pest is far more congested and full of bustling people, with a noticeably higher homeless population.

Budapest is split into 23 districts, as depicted below (Wikipedia):

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary,how many days in budapest,Budapest itinerary,2 days Budapest

While I stayed in District VIII, I recommend staying in District V (the city center) or somewhere else on the Buda side close to the river during your 2 days in Budapest. District VII is also really nice and known as Budapest’s Jewish Quarter.

If you want to stay near the action, District V is for you—restaurants and shops close earlier in the evening in Buda. You may have to pay more, but accommodations are cheap either way. This is the more peaceful and high-class side of the city, though you’re only a short bus ride from the action.

2 Days Budapest: Top Accommodations:

Backpacker Budget: Turquoise Lofts or Maverick Student Lodge
Mid-Range: Bohem Art Hotel
Splurge-Worthy Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Budapest City Centre

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: How Many Days in Budapest Do You Really Need?

So, how many days in Budapest do you need to see the best of the best? As someone who used to live there, I recommend at least two to three days. So, let’s jump into this 2 day itinerary in Budapest! Unlike traditional tourists who try to see everything they can on their 2 day Budapest itinerary, my attitude was, “eh, I’ll get to it later,” since I lived there. However, I didn’t do everything I wanted because I lived and worked in Budapest as a digital nomad.

For example, I visited a small bathhouse in Budapest (something the city is known for) but didn’t go to the , which is supposed to be a really cool spot. Learn from my mistake and check it out during your 2 days in Budapest.

It’s hard to familiarize yourself with the city in just 2 days as there’s so much to offer, but there are can’t-miss recommendations for what to do in Budapest 2 days.

Budapest’s borders the Danube River, directly across from Buda Castle. The huge structure is an amazing work of art—I was amazed by the sheer beauty of this building, as it’s even better in person. The Parliament Building is near the center of Budapest, a short walk from the next sight on this 2 day Budapest itinerary, St. Stephen’s Basilica.

St. Stephen’s Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica is located directly across the street from the coworking space I frequented. Step inside to marvel at the beautiful architecture or enjoy its beauty from the outside as you walk through the surrounding streets lined with shops and restaurants. The Basilica is in the center of Budapest and is next to a small chimney cake stand, which I visited more often than I’m proud of.

Budapest Eye

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary

The Budapest Eye is located several minutes from St. Stephen’s on foot and is a ton of fun. It’s next to the Ritz Carlton Hotel and many awesome places to shop and go out at night. I went up to the top of the Eye at night and saw a spectacular view of the city, although it wasn’t as nice as the view from the Citadella.

Buda Castle

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: Maximize Your Time in Budapest!

Buda Castle is my favorite spot in Budapest—what’s cooler than looking over a beautiful city from an even more stunning castle? Buda Castle is also located near Fisherman’s Bastion, the next destination on this guide to how many days to spend in Budapest.

Here’s a shot of me gazing across the Danube River on my way up the stairs to the top of Buda Castle. The view is amazing, even before you’ve reached the top of the castle.

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: Maximize Your Time in Budapest!

Walk around the castle and enjoy spectacular views of both Buda and Pest while enjoying a delicious ice cream cone. Buda Castle is located atop a large hill which you can hike up—if that’s not your thing, there are also cable cars that take you up for a few dollars.

Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is close to Buda Castle, also on the Buda side, and is another fantastic architectural masterpiece. You can see the whole city from the hill Fisherman’s Bastion is built on or simply marvel at the building’s beauty.

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: Maximize Your Time in Budapest!

As you can see, this church is magnificent—like Buda Castle, there’s a remarkable sweeping view of the city.

Citadella (At Night)

Going to the Citadella at night with my friends is one of my favorite Budapest memories. After walking about 15 minutes up a steep incline, you’ll reach the top of the hill where the Citadella is.

Constructed after the Hungarian War of Independence, the Citadella is a fort with a strategic view of Buda and Pest. The Citadella has 360-degree views, and while it looks great during the day, it’s even better at night. From this spot, I used to gaze at the millions of twinkling lights surrounding me, pondering how lucky I was to be there. It’s one of the most spectacular views I’ve seen in my life, and you must experience it for yourself.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to the top—if you’re a bit older or have a hard time hiking up steep hills, it may not be the best for you.

The Danube River

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: Maximize Your Time in Budapest! Danube River

If you’re in the mood for a stroll, walking along the Danube River is incredibly relaxing. The river is always bustling with boats and pedestrians.

You’ll see many of the city’s famous sites along the way, not to mention some beautiful bridges. I highly recommend walking across at least one of Budapest’s eight bridges.

While there, one of the locals I met took us down the river on his Saba 50 Catamaran, an awesome sailboat. If you’re not as fortunate to meet a nice local with a boat during your 2 days in Budapest, you can always book a Budapest boat tour.

Heroes’ Square

A 2 day itinerary in Budapest would be incomplete without Heroes’ Square. While a bit further from the center of the city (probably a 15-minute bus ride), it’s worth the journey. The statues there are remarkable, and it’s right next to a huge park with a castle and a large pond. I used to live next to Heroes’ Square and passed it daily on my way to a local cafe.

What to Do in Budapest in 2 Days: Nightlife

For a night of fun, Budapest has you covered, from bars and nightclubs to Spa Parties. Budapest’s 7th district is considered the best area for nightlife, but there are plenty of places to go out in the 6th district, too. The 8th district is great for those on a budget.

One of the most famous bars in Budapest is , a “ruin bar.”

The guy who owned the coworking space I used grew up in Budapest and told me he used to hang out with friends and drink at Szipla Kert 20 years ago before it became a huge tourist attraction. A “ruin bar” is a pub in an old building that’s been left in poor condition, with random stuff everywhere.

People used to visit these bars before they became a popular attraction—as more people began visiting Budapest, ruin bars caught on as a signature part of the city.

Szimpla is an awesome spot to experience once, but I visited lesser-known spots more often to avoid other tourists. Szimpla is located near an awesome outdoor food market where you can get delicious chimney cake and Lángos, a traditional Hungarian food that makes for a great snack after a night of drinking.

Budapest is insanely cheap, considering all that it has to offer, but the locals scolded me for bringing food into the heart of the city. In my mind, $4 to $6 for a meal was a bargain, but they were used to paying less than $1 outside of the city.

Spa Parties

Budapest is well known for its bathhouses due to the warm springs located beneath the city. The most popular spa party takes place at Szechenyi Spa & Baths on most Saturdays and looks absolutely insane in the advertisements.

However, I was told by a local bartender that it’s overpriced and a tourist trap, so I never visited. A big factor in deciding not to go was that I was on a work trip, and I’m not a huge party person. Lastly, I hate falling victim to over-tourism and prefer taking the road less traveled.

But if that floats your boat, by all means, go crazy!

Quick Tip: View my full Europe packing guide here.

2 Days Budapest: Cons to Visiting Budapest

While I loved my time in Budapest, there are a few things I experienced during my trip that I didn’t enjoy.


There’s a rampant homeless population in Budapest. Pest has it worst, but there’s still a large number of them on the Buda side. Of course, most big cities tend to experience issues with homelessness, but it seems especially bad in Budapest when compared to a city like Krakow, Poland.


Due to the large homeless population in Pest, there’s a lot of urine on the streets. In fact, the district I was staying in near the city center is called “the piss district.” Most streets, alleys, and subway stations had someone begging for money, which is a sad scene. I hate to say it, but you definitely get used to it after a while.


The locals warned me to watch my pockets in more populated areas, informing me some criminals would walk up with a hot knife and cut open pockets to steal the contents. While this never happened to me, it’s something to be cautious of. This is another issue you’ll encounter in just about any large city. Use common sense, and you’ll be fine.

Budapest Travel Guide Planning

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m traveling?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

How Many Days in Budapest Do You Need? 2 Day Budapest Itinerary Final Thoughts

Budapest has much to offer for all kinds of travelers. Unlike Bali and Thailand (often referred to as the digital nomad “freshman dorms”), Budapest attracts tourists from all over the world. Whether you like history, architecture, spectacular views, delicious food, amazing nightlife, or peaceful parks, Budapest has it all for a low price.

How many days do you need in Budapest? You can see many of the top landmarks and attractions in a 2 day trip. I highly recommend moving Budapest to the top of your travel bucket list!

– Jacob from Travel Lemming

Budapest 2 Day Itinerary: Maximize Your Time in Budapest!