With its fascinating museums, hip ruin bars, and vibrant arts and culture institutions, Budapest, Hungary’s capital city, is an excellent destination for a trip. Even if you only have a weekend to take it all in, you can experience the best the city has to offer. Take a look at this suggested itinerary for 8 cool places to visit and other ideas for spending 2 or 3 days in Budapest.

Night shot of Castle District in Budapest

Budapest

Friday Evening

When you arrive on Friday, you’ll have 72 hours in Budapest. You can have dinner and drinks at Borbíróság, a quiet restaurant with an exclusive Hungarian menu and an extensive wine list. There’s plenty to choose from, such as tuna tartare, pork tenderloin, and lemon tart, and you can dine on the terrace to take in the views of the city. This is a good place to have a few drinks to get ready for your night.

After dinner, you can get a taste of the city’s nightlife with Hungarian wine tasting tours. During the tour, you’ll sample some of the city’s best wines and learn all about the wine history in Hungary while traveling through the Jewish Quarter. You could also book a Danube dinner cruise to see all the landmarks and architecture illuminated by lights. There are different options for boat cruises as well, ranging from quick dinner cruises to party boats with live music and drinks.

Saturday Morning

On Saturday morning, you’ll have 48 hours remaining in Budapest. Start with breakfast at Portobello, a specialty coffee shop nestled on a cobbled downtown street. Complete with airy high ceilings and oversized windows, Portobello has a modern charm and a variety of coffee and breakfast dish options to start your day right.

After breakfast, take some time to stroll around the city and check out its famous landmarks. You should see Matthias Church, a late-gothic Roman Catholic church in the Castle District. Nearby, you’ll find the statue of St. Stephen, Hungary’s first king, and other statues of notable Hungarian leaders. You could also visit Heroes’ Square, which features statues of the 7 chieftains of the Magyars and the Memorial Stone of Heroes.

For lunch, head to Rosenstein for a fusion of Jewish and Hungarian cuisine in the family-run restaurant. The casual space has delicious, simple foods, such as catfish fillet and chicken and dumplings.

Matthias Church in the Castle District of Budapest

Matthias Church

Saturday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, you can work off your meal with a stroll through the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden. Great for kids, the zoo is home to hundreds of animal species in naturalistic habitats, as well as a vibrant garden with beautiful blooms.

On Saturday night in Budapest, you’ll have plenty of options for how to spend your night. Start with dinner at Dobrumba, a trendy 7th district restaurant with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. The unique menu features dishes inspired by Italian, Spanish, Moroccan, Lebanese, Georgian, and Turkish flavors, such as piri piri chicken and patatas bravas.

After dinner, experience some of Budapest’s famous nightlife in the trendy ruin bars. Throughout the city, you can find quirky and unique ruin bars that combine historic charm with eclectic decor and specialty cocktails. If you want to explore more of this popular attraction, you can book a ruin bar tour to see the city’s top spots.

Sunday Morning

On Sunday morning in Budapest, you’ll have 24 hours left for sightseeing. Begin with breakfast at Szimply, a cozy breakfast spot that serves breakfast all day in a courtyard of a historic downtown building. The trendy restaurant serves inventive dishes with unexpected ingredients, such as sweet potato cream, curry-cilantro sour cream, and quail eggs.

After breakfast, head to St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest. You can tour the church to see views of the city from the cupola and one of the country’s greatest treasures, St. Stephen’s mummified right hand. The church hosts concerts and musical programs as well. If you’re in the mood for some shopping, you can visit the historic Central Market Hall and explore the goods on the offer.

For lunch, visit Café Kor near St. Stephen’s Basilica. The popular café serves traditional Hungarian dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so you have flexibility in when you arrive for your lunch.

Sunday Afternoon and Evening

After lunch, take some time to experience Budapest’s history with a trip to the House of Terror. The museum was created to house exhibits related to fascist and communist regimes and their impact on Budapest and the world.

On Sunday night in Budapest, you can take in any experiences you may have missed. Start with dinner at Divin Porcello, a stylish Italian restaurant with small plates, charcuteries, pasta, and cheese boards.

After dinner, you can relax before your trip home with a soothing thermal bath. Many of Budapest’s famous thermal spas are open late into the evening, such as Szechenyi Thermal Bath, and they often host seasonal “Sparty” nights with a DJ, pool party, and cocktails.

You could also travel to Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion to see the beautiful views of the city’s landmarks at night. Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place in the city to check out views of the Szechenyi Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica.

People in a bath in the Gellert Thermal Baths

Gellert Thermal Baths

Ready for the perfect weekend getaway?

Now that you have a weekend itinerary for an exciting trip to Budapest, it’s time to start planning your getaway. Discover other things to do in Budapest and take a look at deals on Budapest vacations on Expedia to save on your trip!