Best Day Trips from Budapest

What is the best time of year to cruise the Danube river in Budapest?

Where to go from Budapest for 1 day – best trips routes. How to organize them by yourself, ticket prices 2023, how much the tours cost? Interesting places near Budapest, distances, opening hours – in the review by good Time for Trip.

Budapest is a big and interesting city. Having so many attractions, beautiful streets and squares, palaces and ordinary houses that a tourist simply does not have time to see them all. In those 2-3 days that he usually takes away for a visit.

Moreover, guidebooks strongly recommend not to focus on palaces, museums and water cruises along the Danube alone. But also to make at least one visit to the famous thermal baths of Budapest. As well as to make a gastronomic tour, or even two around the city.

It is also necessary to visit at least the Central Market and, if possible, pay a visit to the flea market, Ecseri. Equally, a modern tourist should definitely set aside time for shopping in Budapest – even if not to buy something, but at least to get a price.

Again, the traveler’s attention is naturally distracted by other European capitals located very close by. It’s hard to resist the temptation when you have the opportunity to go from Budapest to Vienna so easily. In recent years an increasing number of travelers has been discovering for themselves and the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava.

Reasons

Is it possible to fit something else into an already busy schedule of events? We are convinced that it is necessary!

For even near Budapest – within a radius of 120-150 km – there are places of such interest that it is absolutely unwise to ignore them. Moreover, you will spend only a few hours of time visiting some of them! And a carefully planned circular route will make it easy to keep within 10-12 hours!

What to Do Near Budapest

Hungary is not a very big country. Perhaps that is why the transport infrastructure in it is very well established. This applies to highways or rail transport.

So you shouldn’t count kilometers. After all, an extra hour is unlikely to play a huge role when planning a trip.

On the contrary, we advise you to push the boundaries of what is permissible as much as possible. And to include in consideration even those sights that are not quite near Budapest.

What is the most visited places in Hungary?

Like the same Keszthely, which is located on the western tip of the main European lake Balaton. Or Eger, famous for its “Bull’s Blood” wine and the fortress that stopped the Turkish janissaries. As well as baths, hardly inferior to the Budapest’s thermal ones.

However, we will start with the most easily accessible and known to literally anyone traveler, who is going to see Hungary, a place called

Szentendre

This cozy, souvenir-like town is located very close to Budapest – just 20 km north of its center. It is easy to get to it on your own, because there is a railway line stretched there.

Which is installed in the Budapest metro system, with the help of Batthyány tér and Margit Híd stations. The trip will take only 40 minutes, and you are in Szentendre!

But people with money don’t do that, because they can afford a little more comfort. Therefore, wealthy travelers book a car tour in Szentendre. And not only there – in the route of such trips also is usually included Vishgorod with its fortress.

What is Szentendre? This is a small but very beautiful old town, not disfigured by modern architects. And therefore it is built up with very beautiful low houses. Moreover, most of them date back to the XVII and XVIII centuries.

There are also several art galleries here. Ready not only to show visitors something original, but also to sell. There are enough souvenir and antique shops here, plus a variety of museums.

You have almost certainly heard about the Marzipan Museum in Szentendre. There is also a Retro Design Center dedicated to the Soviet era.

What Else

In recent years, has also been growing the popularity of the Christmas Museum in Szentendre. Especially among travelers who visit Budapest in December!

And this is not surprising – after all, in the museum you can’t only touch the soul to the brightest holiday of the year. But also to take a piece of Christmas home – everyone will want to decorate his native hearth with such atmospheric things.

There is also a Japanese garden in Szentendre, which allows you to immerse yourself in the landscape masterpieces native to Asia. And a private Skansen nearby. An open-air ethnographic museum, where various buildings from all over Hungary are collected.

What are the top attractions to visit in Szentendre?

Visegrad

You can get to it from Szentendre by public transport using Volanbusz. The bus will take you to the place in just half an hour!

In the Middle Ages Visegrad was the capital of Hungary and the main residence of the king. He had a powerful fortress guarding the bend of the Danube. And an incredibly beautiful palace, built in the Renaissance style by Italian craftsmen.

There is not much left of both the first and the second. But the restoration is gradually moving, and the buildings seem to grow out of the ruins.

So if you are a subtle connoisseur of beauty and have imagination, then you can easily imagine how magnificent Visegrad was once. It is still beautiful today!

In the surviving tower of Solomon in the XV century, the Transylvanian prince Vlad Tepes, captured by the Hungarians, was kept. The one from which Bram Stoker copied his Dracula.

Of course, Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned in the tower not for cannibalistic tendencies, but for cooperation with the Turks. But the vampire legend gives the place a dark charm.

Note that Visegrad, along with Szentendre and Esztergom, is included in the popular excursion route along the bend of the Danube. Quite, by the way, inexpensive – only 60 € per person.

Elizabeth Lookout Tower

Sometimes it is lost among other attractions of Budapest and its surroundings.
But those who have taken the trouble to get to Mount Janos, which stands about 10 km from the city center, don’t think that they have wasted their time.

On the contrary, they feel themselves lucky! After all, the tower dedicated to the famous wife of Emperor Franz Joseph is really beautiful. And the views that open from a half-kilometer height are quite amazing.

You can climb up in the cabin of the old Zugliget Chairlift cable car, which in itself sets up a romantic mood. But someone goes up and on foot – the climb is worth the effort.

Getting there, if you are not by car, is not easy!

First you need to take the subway to Szell Kalman ter station. And then take the bus No. 21, 21A to get to the Normafa stop. Then you walk through the park of the same name and up.

If you choose a cable car, then the city bus No. 291 arrives at its lower station. You can take it, including at Budapest Nyugati Station.

Gödöllő

The small town of that name would hardly have enjoyed the attention of tourists if not for the local royal palace. Which today bears the unofficial name “Hungarian Versailles”.

Which is quite reasonable: Kaiser Franz Josef and his wife, the notorious Empress Sissi, spent a significant part of spring and even autumn in this residence.

Those who have been to Budapest in April or May, and even more so in September-October, will easily understand what motivated the royal couple. As during these periods of the year it is warm and incredibly beautiful here.

Today, visitors can see the ceremonial and personal interiors of the emperor and his wife, an art gallery. As well as an exhibition dedicated to the first owners and builders of the palace. And the other one, which telling about the Soviet era, when a nursing home worked in the building.

The ticket price for adults in 2023 is 4,200 forints (about $ 12), family (maximum 2+3) – 9,900, children 0-5 years old are free. It is better to look at the operating mode and up-to-date information on the official website – kiralyikastely.hu/royal-palace-of-godollo.html.

You can get to Gödöllő by train from Budapest Keleti Station, the journey time is no more than half an hour. They also take excursions here. And their cost can hardly be called high – about $ 45 per person.

Visitors to Budapest shouldn’t miss out on Godollo

Esztergom

The “Hungarian Vatican” stands on the Danube near Budapest and right on the border with Slovakia. It is visited by travelers for one reason – the Basilica of St. Adalbert is located here.

The main Catholic church in Hungary at the beginning of the XI century was founded by St. Stephen, the first king of the country. Since then, the cathedral has been destroyed several times during fires and invasions. The building that can be seen today was erected in 1822-1856.

The Esztergom Basilica measures 118 by 49 meters, and its height reaches 100 meters. Some tourists after visiting the Basilica of St. Adalbert in the reviews claim that they have never seen a bigger church in their life.

The rich interior decoration, the huge altar image, the pantheon of the famous Hungarians and the treasury – all of this attract visitors. As well every first traveler climbs up to the belltower to appreciate the panoramic views.

The Basilica of St. Adalbert is open daily, from 8 to 19 in the summer season, and until 16 in the winter.

You can enter the cathedral for free. But you will have to pay for the inspection of the crypt and treasury, the ascent to the observation platforms.

In addition to the cathedral, in Esztergom you need to see the royal palace of the Arpads and the former bishop’s residence.

And be sure to take a walk along the Maria Valeria Bridge, which borders Slovakia. Outwardly, a very pretty green construction. The fascists destroyed it during the Second World War, but relatively recently the bridge was restored to its former form.

You can

Get to Esztergom

from the Hungarian capital by train from Nyugati Station. There are also regular buses and ships on the Danube. The latter run only during the navigation period – if you decide to celebrate the New Year in Budapest, take this circumstance into account.

The first two methods are optimal for the time of the trip – it will take up to 2 hours in one direction. But a cruise to Esztergom along the winding Danube will take from 2.5 hours only in one direction.

Gyor

This Hungarian city rarely sees foreign travelers. And it’s not just that it is not very close to Budapest – it is separated by 120 km of distance. Rather, thanks to absence of major attractions in Gyor itself, which are written about in guidebooks.

Although those who visit this town will be satisfied. After all, Gyor is an incredibly cozy and very beautiful city. Almost all of it is built up with buildings of the same architectural style, Baroque.

You can get to Gyor by train from Budapest Keleti Station in less than 1.5 hours. That is, faster than before Esztergom.

If it’s difficult for tourists to find some particularly outstanding buildings in Gyor, then adding Pannonhalma Abbey to the list, which is only 20 km south of the city, corrects this. After all, it was founded in 996, and as a historical and architectural monument it is listed on the World Heritage List.

Of the original buildings of the early medieval period, however, little has been preserved. And travelers see today buildings belongs to the XVII-XVIII centuries.

And, by the way, today Pannonhalma is a functioning abbey, not just a museum.

Vac

This small town on the Danube rarely appears in the list of places to which foreigners are going to travel from Budapest. Although a lot of old buildings have been preserved in Vac, and it’s full of charm!

The city is located just 40 km north of the Hungarian capital. And its center almost entirely consists of buildings that were built in the XVIII century, in the Baroque era.

The interesting architecture of the city cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, the Town Hall, several monasteries, many churches and houses – in Vac you are unlikely to get bored!

Also in the town you can see the remains of a medieval stone wall. And it is unclear how the Sharp Tower survived, which dates back to the 13th-14th centuries.

Is Lake Balaton worth a visit?

Balaton

Of course, it is advisable to come to the “Hungarian Sea” in the summer season – to swim and tan. Or, for example, in the fiery autumn – if you plan to visit Budapest in October, do not miss the opportunity to go to Balaton. Where at this time the natural landscapes are especially colorful.

There are enough notable places on the shores of Balaton. But we advise you first of all to pay attention to the Tihany Peninsula, a famous resort region on the coast of the lake.

And also inspect the southern tip of Balaton. Where is located the interesting town Keszthely, the ancient Sümeg Castle and Heviz with a thermal lake, that has recognized medicinal properties.

Going in this direction from Budapest for 1 day, however, is completely wrong. First of all, because you won’t really see anything and get very tired!

Eger

This small town is located in the north of Hungary and is adjacent to the vast Bükk National Park, a trip here from Budapest can be packed in one light day. Since the scale of Eger and the local fortress suggests a tour for 2-3 hours, no more.

But if you are not in a hurry, ready to warm up a little in the local thermal baths, then you can stay for a couple of days. Again, you will have something to warm yourself with in the evenings – the region surrounding Eger produces excellent red wine Bikavér or Bull’s Blood.

The distance from the capital of Hungary to Eger is about 130 km. The travel time by car doesn’t exceed 2 hours, a train ride will take half an hour more.

If you don’t want to come here on your own, you can become a participant of an organized excursion. Moreover, some routes provide not only a visit to the Eger fortress, but also therapeutic procedures in the cave baths cave baths of Miskolc-Tapolca.

© Goodtimefortrip.com

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