Budapest Sightseeing – Sights, Tours, Guides
The best way to discover the city is by booking a Sightseeing Tour through Budapest and get all the information you need. Chose from the best tours and see Budapest exactly the way you want and the attractions you are interested in.
Budapest is stuffed with amazing sights, historical buildings, place to see and museums to visit. To find the best attractions and the most famous sights browse through the list and chose the most interesing for you incl. tour suggestion.
With over 220 Museums in Budapest the choice is yours. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire or rather communistic Budapest? You can experience it all in the capital of Hungary. This is an overview of some of the best museums.
Budapest Sights and Attractions
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a very old and historical city with many influences from other cultures over the time of existence which is dating back to 1 AD (yes that is year 1) at least when it comes to the first settlements being built by the Celts. Over the years influences from West and East have continuously brought new architecture and sights to the city such as the Turks who brought the bathing culture or the Austrians who brought the coffee house culture to Hungary and of course also to Budapest.
This mix of cultures and influences brought many great places and monuments to see into the city which have become must see landmarks and represent the city ever since such as the Heroes’ Square or the Parliament Building. From North to South and from West to East you can find historical monuments and interesting artifacts of the capital of Hungary.
Over the past years of BudapestAgents existence I have collected detailed articles about many sights that are interesting to see or even to go into. It is also great to visit one of the more than 220 museums existing in Budapest. You definitely should check the Top 10 list below of the must see attractions and sights in the city that should be on your to do list for your stay. Also, if you need even more inspiration, I have written an article with 101 Things to do in Budapest. Furthermore if you are staying for a longer time e.g. as an expat or student you might even visit places outside of Budapest.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Budapest
Budapest as such including the Danube bank is an UNESCO world heritage site but there are more single sights in Budapest that are on the list of the most remarkable landmarks in the capital of Hungary. Further to the already listed site which you can find below the “Caves of the Buda Thermal Karst System” are on the tentative list currently among other landmarks in Hungary that are already on the list or still in the pipeline. The UNESCO World heritage sites in Budapest are are:
Andrássy Avenue or as the Hungarians call it, Andrássy út, is a world heritage site and a famous boulevard in Budapest which was established back in 1872. It serves as a link between Erzsébet Square and Városliget and it boasts some of the finest shopping that Hungary has to offer. It is the site of the Hungarian State Opera House, the House of Terror, Heroes’ Square, the entrance of the City Park, The Palace of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts and also contains many fine cafes, restaurants and theaters. Andrássy út consists of four main parts, the first part is from Erzsébet tér to Oktogon which is mainly used for commercial purposes, the second part is from Oktogon to Kodály körönd which includes residential areas and universities, the third part is from Kodály körönd to Bajza utca which is also mainly residential and finally the fourth part is from Bajza utca to Városliget which contains residential areas as well as some embassies. The history of Andrássy avenue is very…
The Millennium Underground is another name given to the first metro line, or M1, in Budapest which was completed in 1896 and was declared a world heritage site in 2002. It is the oldest line of the Budapest Metro system. The Millennium Underground or as the locals call it, the underground, is the second oldest underground metro system in the world, second only to the London Underground. Construction on the millennium underground began in 1894 and was the first underground railway in Continental Europe. Construction was carried out by the German firm Siemens & Halske AG, employing 2000 workers and using the cut and cover method. During the millennium celebrations in Hungary the Millennium Underground was the main venue and the centre of celebrations. The millennium underground still runs today and is found running under historic Andrassy ut and it runs northeast from the city centre to City Park. It’s history is very rich and was originally conceived as a means of carrying passengers from the city centre to the…
The Heroes’ Square in Budapest is one of the town’s landmarks and a secured place in every guidebook about Budapest one which you can often even find it on the cover. All the tourists, expats, business travelers and also locals are thrilled each time they see this spot with the Millennium Monument, the city park next to it, the museums and all the beauty around the Heroes’ Square. Budapest is really full of historical sights and beautiful buildings but the Heroes’ Square is another dimension and it cannot be left out to not take a picture of yourself in front of it. Best shot guarantee is at night when all is illuminated. Located at the end of the beautiful Andrássy út it faces downtown Budapest and the nice living area around. The Heroes’ Square and its surrounding What many people call the Heroes’ Square is actually just the square itself but on and of course around it are wonderful sights and places to go to. On the square itself is…
The Castle District in Budapest is one of the most present sights in the city as it can be seen from nearly anywhere among the Danube and from Pest side, rising up next to the Danube from Erzsébet Híd to Margaret bridge. On top of the hill the Castle district is like a small old town including sights such as the Buda Castle, the Matthias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastion and many more things worth seeing like statues, historical buildings and museums. From up here you have a great view over Budapest, especially the Pest side, and can take really nice pictures for your photo album. Over the time the Buda Castle (Budai Vár) has been attacked, destroyed and rebuild several times. In the 15th century King Matthias ruled the country from the Castle District but from these old times very little remained after the Turks ruled the country. Since 1987 The Buda Castle is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage sight. Since the 13th century when the Castle District has…
Budapest Top 10 Sights
This Top 10 list of the must-see Sights and Attractions contains the most famous sights in Budapest which are visited by millions of tourists and interested people year by year. They are in no specific order so you should visit all of them during your stay. If you need advise how to squeeze them into a weekend trip check out this article.
- Heroes’ Square
- Hungarian Parliament Building
- Chain Bridge (and the Danube Bend) at night
- Castle District (Royal Castle, Matthias Church, Fishermen’s Bastion)
- The Grand Market Hall
- Andrássy út
- St. Stephen Basilica
- The Budapest Opera
- The Thermal Baths of Budapest
Obviously there are many more sights and attractions that are well worth visiting when in Budapest you can check out the above mentioned article with 101 Things to do or check out the entire list of attractions I have written about.
Budapest Sightseeing Tours
In the previous section you probably got a rough idea of how many places you should see in Budapest and how hard it is to get all those places ticked on your list. Apart from taking it on your own and travel by public transport or rented car from spot to spot you might take a Budapest Sightseeing Tour into consideration. As in many other European metropolis there are several large tour operators as well as small independent tour guides offering their knowledge to guide you around the city, certain parts of the city to special sights with the full injection of information about history and culture.
Depending on your preferences of what to see and how to experience there are several tours you can take. Also the factor time plays an important role, if you take a half day sightseeing tour you will see more than on a quick 2 hour trip. Up to now I have over 30 tours in and around Budapest for you that you can take, below you can find the last 5 and further below the top 10 tours you can chose from to see the most from Budapest with a fair budget.
Top 10 Budapest Sightseeing Tours
- Half Day Sightseeing Tour
- Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour
- Budapest Sightseeing Flight
- Danube Bend Day Trip
- Budapest City Walking Tour
- Budapest Parliament Tour
- Jewish Budapest Tour
- Budapest Night Walking Tour & River Cruise
- Memento Park Tour
- Budapest Bike Tour
Reasons: You see 10 top sights in 3 hours by bus, 3 departure times per day and with 20€ very cheap.
Reasons: 24 hours usage of all buses whith stop on all major sights for under 30€ incl. audio guide.
Reasons: A unique way to see the city and take amazing pictures from above.
Reasons: 10 hours beautiful landscape, historic sights inside and outside Budapest incl. lunch.
Reasons: 3,5 hours full of sights you will not see from the bus. Experience the inner city of Budapest.
Reasons: A wonderful, historical building with spectacular architecture and a lot to tell in 90 minutes.
Reasons: Budapest has the second biggest Jewish community worldwide and the Jewish quarter is very trendy.
Reasons: Budapest by night is spectacular, seeing the Danube bend covered in lights is magic, a must-see either way.
Reasons: See very impressive, historical, communist statues all collected in one place.
Reasons: Budapest is getting really bike friendly, take the chance to move fast within the city while on the fresh air.
Last 5 added Sightseeing Tours on BudapestAgent.com:
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday you have the unique chance to join the Budapest Boat Party Cruise and combine a unique sightseeing experience with party, flirting, dancing and drinking. From 11 at night you will ship up and down the river Danube for 1,5 hours and view the UNESCO World Heritage protected “Banks of the Danube” by night while having drinks and dance on deck with friends and those who might be in future. This is an ideal party or tour to start into the vibrating Budapest Nightlife which kicks off after midnight only. It is magical to see the Danube shore by night and combining this with fun and party is even better. Included in the price is the regular ticket (12,49€) for the Party Cruise as well as one welcome drink but you can also purchase a “all you can drink ticket” for only 31,06€ which obliges you to drink all drinks from the bar during the 1,5 hours of the tour. After the cruise you have the…
This Cocktail & Beer Cruise is a great opportunity to explore the city on a boat during a Budapest River Cruise while having some refreshing drinks with friends and maybe soon-to-be friends. Next to a selection of cocktails or a beer you will be offered a unique experience to explore the city from its center, the river Danube. The Banks of the Danube are a UNESCO World Heritage site so you will see a lot of great sights and attractions of Budapest during this cocktail & beer cruise. This cruise is a very good opportunity to start the evening and get in the mood for a long night out in the famous Budapest nightlife. The ticket includes either 2 cocktails of the list below or 3 pints of beer (0,5l) for the duration of the tour which lasts 1,5 hours. Of course you can order more drinks if the included cocktails or beer are not enough for you. Next to your drinks you will be served some snacks. The choice…
The 3 Hour Bus Tour through Budapest starts from the beautiful chain bridge and will first pass the Parliament building and cross the river Danube via the Margaret bridge to reach the Buda side. You will now drive up to the Castle District and stop for a short walk to visit the main attractions such as the Matthias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion from which you will have a spectacular view over Budapest to take pictures. After hopping back on the bus you will be drive by bus back to the Pest side and cross the Elisabeth Bridge to watch the Central Market Hall, the The Synagogue (the second biggest Synagogue in Europe) and than reach the city park. Around the city park you will see the world famous Széchényi Baths, the Budapest Zoo and of course the iconic Heroes’ Square where you will stop to watch the statutes of the most famous Hungarian kinds and dukes. After getting back on the bus you will drive along the Andrássy út and…
The Coffee & Cruise tour along the Danube shore offers you a great opportunity to see the historical sights among the Danube including the Bank of the Danube which in itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Within 1 relaxing hour accompanied with a cup of coffee, tea or a beverage you can enjoy the beauty of the capital of Hungary and the river Danube by daylight. Also you will be served little snacks to eat such as nachos chips, bread and dripping and bread with a Hungarian speciality – “Körözött”. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to spend an unforgettable day discovering Budapest and be on the fresh air. Of course if the weather is nice you will be able to sit on deck and have the perfect view on all the sights that are located among the Danube including all historical buildings, beautiful hotels, the Budapest bridges and the beautiful Margaret Island. Coffee Cruise Budapest Information The cruise starts at 12:00 and lasts for 1 hour. Coffee Cruise…
A concert of the Danube Symphony Orchestra is an experience no music lover should miss when visiting Budapest. A symphonic orchestra accompanied by a traditional folk instrument is quite unusual outside of Hungary, but get a ticket for one of their concerts and you will hear Mozart, Liszt or Gershwin with a twist. The Danube Symphony Orchestra is accompanied by the cimbalom, or hammered dulcimer. Adding a folk instrument to classical favorites has a long tradition in Hungary, dating back to the 19th century. The Danube Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1961. Since then they have given many performances in Hungary and abroad. Their repertoire covers almost every musical style from Baroque music to the music of the 20th century. They perform the most famous classical melodies combined with a traditional Hungarian folk instrument, the cimbalom (hammered Dulcimer). It is a unique opportunity to hear the masterpieces of the great composers interpreted by a folk instrument and a symphonic orchestra in a way which can be enjoyed only in Hungary….
There are several ways in Budapest to see the city such as by bus, boat, bike or walking. Yes you can even take a helicopter tour or decide to drive around on a Segway. The most comfortable and easiest way to get around is for sure by bus. Budapest Sightseeing by bus can take you nearly anywhere, cross the Danube, get up on the Buda hills and in the meantime you are listening to either live or off the take sightseeing instructions comfortably in your cozy seat. Also during the colder months of the year the bus is the best way to see the Hungarian capital at its glance.
Let me give you 3 Bus Tour recommendations:
1) The Hop On Hop Off Bus
The Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour is a concept that is popular in any European metropolis and so it is in Budapest. The Hop On Hop Off Bus is paid for 24 hours and you can get on or off the bus any time and as often as you want. So you can a) use it as public transportation and b) as a sightseeing bus including audio guides in several languages. There are 3 bus providers but here is the one I would chose:
2) A 2 Hours Bus Tour
A quick way around the city with an injection of all information you need to know and enough time left on the clock to do other things such as visiting a bath or going out for some drinks is the 2 hours bus tour through Budapest. From the City Center you will go up to the Budapest Castle District and after to Gellért Hill with a stop and short walk on both hills to take amazing images of (mainly) the Pest side.
3) A 4 Hours Private Bus Tour
4 hours on the road, stops here and there and all main sights included you can get on this tour. Half a day to spend on sightseeing fits in any timetable, even if you are coming for a weekend trip. Don’t go home without pictures of the most important sights and essential information you should know about them. This leaves you still enough time to tick other points on your list.
Budapest Sightseeing by Boat
There is almost nothing more romantic that shipping up and down the Danube at night with the city lights on. The bridges are illuminated, the Danube bend is lit up and the sights on top of the hills are shining bright while you are enjoying a drink or even an entire dinner on a sightseeing boat in Budapest. When I visited Budapest for the first time this was one of the program points and an unforgettable, beautiful moment.
You should not expect the best ever eaten dinner or cheap prices for drinks on the boat but this is anyways incidental. There are also budget variants to see Budapest from a boat which I will come to in a second. It is about seeing the Danube shores by night, which you can also do from the shore on the other side, and see the illuminated monuments of Budapest.
Here are 3 ways to ship up and down the Danube:
1) Budapest by Boat Sightseeing Tour
A classical sightseeing tour by boat is the choice if you want to see the most and get the most information about what you see. These trips can vary between 1 hour and 10 hours, with live music or without or on public holidays to see the fireworks. The Danube is a very important part of Budapest compared to other cities you can see a lot of sights and history during all one of the tours. Here are 3 tours that I recommend:
- Party on the Danube
- 8 Hours Danube Bend Tour (incl Szentendre, Visegrád &Esztergom)
- Coffee & Cruise or Dinner & Cruise (incl. Live Music)
There are many operators waiting for tourists next to the Danube who offer smaller 1 hour tours as well with audio guide. You can just go there, pay and get on the boat. Most of them depart hourly.
2) Public Transport Boat operated by BKV
Within the public transport network of BKV (Operator of the public transport network) there is a boat cruising up and down the Danube making several stops between Kopaszi Gát (South) and Romaifürdő (North). During the way you will go all along the Danube right through Budapest and the near water sights such as the Parliament, all bridges, The Buda Castle, Gellért Hill and many more. For only 850 HUF you can go all the way. Of course you will not be served with drinks, you can bring your own though, and will not get any audio guidance but the value is unbeatable.
3) The Bus on the Water
The so called River Ride Tour is a floating bus which is taking you through the city and than at some point enters the water to take you for a Danube Cruise. Sounds a bit like in a James Bond movie but it is reportedly an awesome trip through the city. The price for a 2 hour ride (4 departures per day) is 7.500 HUF.
When you arrive to Budapest by plane you will see the beauty of the city from above while approaching Liszt Ferenc International Airport even though you are still on a high altitude and going fairly fast. If this moment caught you and you would like to see the picture again from a lower height I absolutely urge you to take a 30 minutes sightseeing flight over Budapest. Take a stunning birds eye view on the historical, UNESCO world heritage sights along the Danube and over other parts of the city. You will not get any better pictures and impressions of Budapest than on this tour.
Fully flexible in terms of departure the flight is taking off on Budaörs airport. You will be picked up and welcomed with a glass of champagne. After takeoff you will stay in the air for approximately 30 minutes and your route takes you over the Buda side, along the Danube where you get the best possible moments for pictures from above.
Prices range between 160€ for 1 person to 232€ for 3 persons (only 77€/person!)
Budapest Sightseeing Tour Guides
A top tourist destination as Budapest is has a lot to offer and so there are many tour guides offering their services to show you around the capital of Hungary and elsewhere in the country. But where to start to search for a tour guide? Which guides are good, which tours are worthless? I am in frequent contact with several guides and tour operators and can judge them as trusted and good even without ever being on one of their tours.
There are 3 questions that you need to answer for yourself to find an appropriate tour guide.
- What do I want to see from Budapest?
- How much time do I have for the tours?
- How much am I willing to spend for a guidance?
After answering yourself these 3 questions the amount of tour guides and tours to chose from have narrowed down dramatically and allow you to pick the right tour guide, no matter if private or group guide.
So I have collected a few tour guides in Budapest here and also obviously all listed Sightseeing Tours are provided by professional tour guides with who I am not in direct contact but only with their operator.
Budapest Sightseeing Map
This map gives you an overview of important and interesting sights of Budapest.