Budapest Tours: The Definitive Guide

Budapest aerial view by Eli Levit

Budapest Tours: The Definitive Guide

Explore Budapest via self-guided tours, thematic walking tours, wine-tasting tours and more. Gastro tours, bus tours, boat tours, special tours and more recommendations.

You can find three options for self-guided Budapest tours, follow the maps, and you can easily discover many great places on foot. There are also guided walking tours, gastro tours, bus tours, boat tours, special tours and more recommendations. Have fun!

#1 Walk Tour

Start the walk on the Pest side and cross the Chain Bridge to visit the Royal Castle, surrounded by buildings from the Middle Ages. You can then make your way back to Pest via Elizabeth Bridge and enjoy the lively city centre.

  • Duration: 5-7 hours.

Walk Tour: City Centre On The Pest Side And The Buda Castle Area

The walk, step by step:

  1. Start from Vörösmarty Square, city centre.
  2. Visit Café Gerbeaud and do try Gerbeaud.
  3. Pass by Vigadó Concert Hall.
  4. Continue on Belgrád Embankment towards Chain Bridge.
  5. Pass by Hotel Intercontinental and Hotel Sofitel.
  6. Visit the Statue of Ferenc Deák on Széchenyi Square.
  7. Cross the Chain Bridge.
  8. Take the Funicular to Castle Hill from the lower terminal; or take the Király steps on foot.
  9. Once at Castle Hill, pass by the President’s office, Sándor Palace from Funicular, upper terminal.
  10. Pass by Karmelita Monastery, Prime Minister’s office.
  11. Arrive at Matthias Church and explore the square.
  12. Visit Fishermen’s Bastion.
  13. Explore the Mary Magdalene Tower, the Lutheran Church and the building of the National Archives.
  14. Walk up to the top of Vienna Gate and enjoy the panorama of Buda.
  15. Walk back to Funicular, upper terminal (9.) the same way.
  16. Visit the National Gallery and National Széchenyi Library in the Royal Palace.
  17. Enjoy the Budapest History Museum in the Royal Palace.
  18. Exit the Royal Palace via the Castle Gardens.
  19. Arrive at Deer House (restaurant).
  20. Pass by Tabán Parish Church and get to Elizabeth Bridge via the Statue of Queen Elizabeth.
  21. Walk back to Pest via Elizabeth Bridge.
  22. And explore Váci Street, city centre.


2. Thematic Walking Tours

There are many thematic walking tours available in Budapest by local tour guide companies and individuals. You might join free walking tours, and tip the guide or book a professional walking tour. Most of the leading walking tour providers are not offering each of their journeys in English though.

Available walking tours in Budapest in English:


3. Houses of Parliament Tours

Tours are presenting the Houses of Parliament in eight languages: Hungarian, English, French, Hebrew, German, Russian, Italian and Spanish.

During your visit, you can see the Main Staircase, the coronation jewels in the Dome Hall, the Old Upper House Hall and the Lounge. Visit the official website of the Houses of Parliament Visitor Centre. You must book all tickets via Jegymester ticket office.

4. Bus Tours

Why don’t you take a tour of Budapest by bus to see the main sights?

There are two leading operators; Hop On Hop Off, and Big Bus. Both of them offer many routes, including the essential historical sights, night routes, and even river cruises. These tours are flexible because you can hop on and hop off the bus as many times as you like to explore the sights and to see iconic landmarks.

5. Budapest Card

The city of Budapest runs Budapest Card, a discount club for visitors.

Budapest Card is a city pass which offers free services, and cheaper tickets to spas, city tours, museums, public transport and more. Cards are valid for 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours, so you can pick the one that suits you best. You can buy Budapest Card here.

#2 Walk Tour

Start from the city centre and follow Andrássy Avenue to get to City Park. Look at impressive buildings along the way and explore Heroes’ Square, the Zoo, and Széchenyi Bath. Row on the lake in the Park, or ice-skate in winter and visit Vajdahunyad Castle and the Museum of Fine Arts. Return to the city by Underground.

  • Duration: 6-7 hours.

#2 Walk Tour: Andrássy Avenue And Városliget (City Park)

The walk, step by step:

  1. Start from Vörösmarty Square, city centre.
  2. Through Deák Square, make your way to Andrássy Avenue.
  3. Pass by the Opera House.
  4. Pass by Liszt Ferenc Square, where you can find many café terraces.
  5. Continue through Oktogon, to reach the House of Terror Museum.
  6. Arrive at Kodály körönd, one of the city’s most beautiful circles.
  7. Continue to Heroes’ Square and explore the Millenium Monument.
  8. Discover the Museum of Fine Arts.
  9. Enjoy the Zoo.
  10. Relax at Széchenyi Baths.
  11. Admire Vajdahunyad Castle.
  12. Visit the Statue of George Washington.
  13. And continue to the 1956 Monument.
  14. Arrive at the Kunsthalle and take pleasure in the arts.
  15. Row on the pond in the summer, or ice-skate in winter.
  16. Take the M1 Underground from Heroes’ Square Station and get back to Deák Square.

6. Bus Tours 

There are many boat tours on the Danube in Budapest that offer sightseeing and dinner cruises. Many of these operate hop-on hop-off service, so you can stop anywhere you like before boarding another boat.

  • Pannonia Gastroboat offers rural gastronomy in the heart of Budapest, in the middle of the Danube.
  • Legenda 
  • Portum Lines 
  • We Love Cruising  – sightseeing, dinner&cruise, wine&cruise, cocktail&cruise and more.
  • MAHART – Circle line in the Danube bend – Szentendre-Visegrád; Budapest-Esztergom; hydrofoil line available too
  • Dunarama – Sightseeing, sun boat trips, Danube bend cruises, bachelor parties, weddings and engagements

7. Bike Tours

Bike rental:

Bicycle Tours:

  • Budapest Highlights Bike Tour with Cafe Stop – a leisurely experience about Budapest’s history on an innovative and entertaining bike ride through Budapest’s major sights.
  • Hidden Budapest Bike Tour with Museum Entry – go off the beaten track, in search of what makes Budapest the unique and buzzing city it is today.
  • Budapest Summer Evening Bike Tour – an entertaining and relaxing bike ride through Budapest’s major sights.
  • Budapest Night Tour – hop on a bike and let the good wind blow through your hair while we discover the illuminated Budapest from lit-up bridges and monuments.
  • Retro-communist Tour – bike into the past and discover socialist left-overs. It is a tour full of contrasts and surprises.
  • Blue Danube Tour – start at the centre of Budapest, and bike all along the Danube to the beautiful historical town Szentendre.
  • Goulash Bike Tour – combine sightseeing with a cooking class, which will turn into an atmospheric garden party with local people and drinks.
  • Buda Castle Bike Tour Budapest – explore the oldest and most beautiful parts of Budapest, including Buda Castle with a local professional guide on a bike.
  • Mountain Biking – enjoy a mountain tour which takes you to Buda hills.
  • Ebike Tour: Hidden Gems Of Budapest – visit the Hungarian Champs-Elyssées, the City park with the Széchenyi bath, the historical Óbuda with the Main square and the ancient Colosseum.

8. History tours

If you love history, there are a few fascinating tours, even in virtual reality.

  • Jewish heritage, past and present: explore the Jewish Quarter and beyond. This tour offers both the well- and less-known Jewish-related places and sights of both Buda and Pest.
  • Rockhoppers tailor tours to the interest and personalities of visitors, but they provide many set programs, such as Art Nouveau And Eclecticism; Ottoman Turkish Budapest; Roman Empire In Budapest; The Real Gypsy Tour.
  • Budapest Urban Walks have history-oriented thematic tours, for example, about World War II and the Austro-Hungarian Heritage and more.
  • VR Tours offer a unique tour: utilizing state-of-the-art technology, you can relive historical moments with virtual reality. You can discover Buda Castle on a time-travelling walking tour where history unfolds before your eyes.

9. Food & Drinks Tours

Food and some wine perhaps? Get to know Budapest markets and take food walking and wine tasting tours – a must while in the capital.

Market Tours:

Food Walking Tours:

Wine tasting tours:

#3 Walk Tour

Start in Buda and walk up to Gellérthegy for a fantastic panorama of Budapest. Then you can visit the Statue of Liberty and the Citadel, and descend to Gellért Hotel and Bath. Cross Elizabeth Bridge and continue the walk on the Pest side, seeing the central market hall, museums, churches and the Great Synagogue.

  • Duration: 5-6 hours.

#3 Walk Tour: The Citadel In Buda And The Old City On The Pest Side

The walk, step by step:

  1. Start in Buda, at Elizabeth Bridge.
  2. Have a look at Rudas Bath.
  3. Visit the Statue of St. Gellért
  4. and the Statue of Liberty.
  5. Explore the Citadel.
  6. Walk down to Gellért Hotel and Bath.
  7. Discover Gellért Hill Cave.
  8. See the Pauline Rock Chapel.
  9. Walk to Pest via the Liberty Bridge.
  10. Visit the City Market Hall.
  11. Stop by the Kálvin Square Reformed Church.
  12. Visit the Hungarian National Museum.
  13. Relax at Károlyi Garden, Museum of Literature.
  14. Pass by Hotel Astoria.
  15. Admire The Great Synagogue in Dohány Street.
  16. Have a coffee at Café Gerlóczy.
  17. Pass by Budapest City Hall.
  18. Visit the Lutheran Church at Deák Square.
  19. Arrive at Vörösmarty Square, from where you can start walk tour #1 and #2.

10. Cultural Tours

Discover the colourfully painted walls and the unique culture of the city!

Street Art Tours:

Some of the best Culture Tours:

11. Special Tours

Discover Budapest by special means: Trabant, TukTuk, Beer Bus, Riverride and more.


Check out my detailed posts about baths and Buda Hills:

12. Bath Tours

Which Budapest Bath to Choose?

13. Tour With Kids

Buda Hills for Kids

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