World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Hungary > Budapest

Local time Budapest



Budapest tours and excursions

Budapest tours

Bicycle tours

Yellow Zebra Bikes offer cycle tours of the city's big sites including Hero's Square, City Park, Inner Pest and the Buda Castle District. The company has several routes to choose from, including evening rides and private tours, with refreshment stops factored in. Bicycle hire is also available.

Budapest Bike Breeze Tours run similar trips as well as Bike and Boat tours, Wheels and Meals Sightseeing routes and a special Fading Communism circuit. Guides speak English.

Tel: (01) 269 3843; (20) 488 5954

Boat tours

There are several themed boat tours in Budapest, so visitors can either glide down the Danube with dinner and drinks, or sightsee with a little more speed and surf.

Budapest River Cruise offers a Cocktail and Beer Cruise tour, where alcohol accompanies the tourist attractions, while Legenda has a more traditional one-hour waterway exploration with an optional walking tour of Margaret Island too. It also hosts a candlelit dinner cruise which includes a four-course meal and live music.

Tel: (20) 953 5251; (01) 317 2203.

Bus tours

City Tour is one of many bus tour operators in the city. Their Budapest routes typically last for two hours and depart from V Andrássy út 3, taking in the Jewish District, Buda Castle, Market Hall, National Museum and more. They sell hop on, hop off tickets that last for 24 hours.

Big Bus Tours offer a similar hop on, hop off service around the city, passing everything from Andrassy Avenue to the Castle District. The entire route takes around two hours and its talking guidebooks are available in 23 languages.

Tel: (01) 374 7050; (01) 235 0078

Walking tours

Absolute Tours offers a selection of daily walking tours, for which reservations are not usually necessary. These take around three hours and cover Budapest's major sights. Themed tours include the Hammer and Sickle Tour, Absolute Night Stroll and Absolute Hungaro Gastro.

Alternatively, the Free Budapest Walking Tour only ask visitors to pay whatever they can afford. These daily guided routes are run by knowledgeable locals and usually take 2 hours 30 minutes to complete. Specialist routes include Communism and Jewish themes.

Tel: (01) 269 3843; (20) 340 9217

Budapest excursions

Lake Balaton

The hugely popular Lake Balaton region is romantically known as the Hungarian Sea. While its water is largely waist deep, the Tihany Well in the north reaches a depth of 13m (43ft). Naturally, activities centre on the water, and include sailing, windsurfing and fishing for eels or fogas - the perch-pike unique to Lake Balaton, best enjoyed with wine from the nearby Badacsony Hills.

Approximately 120km (75 miles) southwest of Budapest, Balatonfüred can be reached by train from Déli pályaudvar in Budapest or by bus from Budapest's Erzsébet tér.

Tel: (87) 581 220.


Several waves of 19th century Serbian refugees defined the character of this historic town on the Danube Bend, 19km (12 miles) from Budapest. A group of artists found the Serb-abandoned Szentendre in the 1920s, liked what they saw, and formed a colony here. Its incense-filled hilltop churches include Blagovestenska Church, which looks on to the town's main square, as well as the spectacular Belgrade Cathedral, next to the Museum of Serbian Church Art.

Tel: (26) 300 407 .
A digital image at

Related Articles

City Highlight: Budapest

Soak in soothing thermal baths or cruise under the Danube’s many magnificent bridges on a Hungarian holiday in Budapest

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Continental Hotel Zara

With 272 rooms to pick from, the Continental Hotel Zara isn't shy on size. Between the tall windows and chic, chocolate-coloured design of the sleeping quarters, it doesn't lack style either. All rooms have satellite TVs, soundproof windows and air-conditioning, with Continental Suites and Executive Rooms available for the extra extravagant explorer. The hotel's lavish restaurant and cool little café are worth checking out too, or swap both for a chilled beer on its rooftop garden. Its wellness centre should help with any hangovers or well-travelled legs.

Hotel Palazzo Zichy

Originally built as the residence of Count Nándor Zichy, a 19th century nobleman, the hotel that shares his surname now has ample space for 80, well-proportioned rooms. Held in Pest's palace quarter, the modern simplistic style of the bedrooms has everything the modern traveller could desire from satellite TV and soundproof windows to internet access and large, laptop-sized safes. The hotel also has a gym, sauna and concierge service.

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

With unparalleled panoramas across the mighty Danube, the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge is a hotel that's all about the details. While location may be its first selling point, through its doors it offers a terrace bar, chintzy cocktails and a tinkling pianist in the Bibliotek Lounge. The centrally-located spot also has a serene spa and gives visitors the choice of 301 soft linen sleeping chambers with marble bath tubs, flatscreen TVs and free Wi-Fi in most rooms.

Hotel Parliament

As new boutique hotels carry on cropping up around the Hungarian capital city, the minimal décor of Hotel Parliament continues to stand out. With 64 double rooms to decide on, each comes with air-conditioning, soundproof windows, Wi-Fi and satellite TV. Its lobby, wellness retreat and onsite Htel Bar are more modern in design with their sharply-coloured sofas, chandeliers and sleek simplicity, while its Parliament Suite is suited to those on longer sojourns.

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Many hotels use the 'palace' moniker without justification, but not the Gresham. Built in 1906, this architectural delight is a masterpiece of art nouveau design, both inside and out. Many of the fittings, including Zsolany ceramics and a stained glass window by Miksa Róth, are original, while the rest were lovingly restored in 2004 when the palace received a glorious makeover. The Gresham has all the trappings of a 5-star Budapest hotel, including a fitness and wellness centre.

Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel

A relaxed saunter from Budapest's pedestrianised shopping area between Váci and Ráday street, the 4-star Mercure Budapest Korona Hotel has all the touches of comfort and quality expected from a chain of this stature. Generous-sized rooms come with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities, while a heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and masseuses are available too.