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Visit a palace, sink into a thermal bath or warm up with some palinka brandy: Budapest holidays are calling

Full of vim and vigour and bursting with rough-hewed charm and je-ne-sais-quoi attitude, Budapest has long been one of the world’s most vibrant destinations, the de-facto backdrop for colourful espionage novels, and an impossible place not to fall in love with. If you’ve been contemplating a holiday to Budapest, then there’s never been a better time, as not only is the ‘Pearl of the Danube’ having a cultural moment in the sun – inspiring designers, chefs and artists around the globe – it’s also amazingly affordable, so your wallet can stretch from the breezy hills of Buda to the eclectic backstreets of Pest. With ebookers you’ll discover an outstanding selection of Budapest flight and hotels, so just click through and see which Budapest holidays kick-start your wanderlust. It's never been so easy to find the adventure of your life – and remember, you'll save 15% percent when you book your flight and hotel together.

A holiday to Budapest offers electric and unforgettable nightlife

Mornings in the old city are languid and full of elegant pleasures: leisurely slipping into one of the colonnaded baths at the bottom of Gellert Hill, picking up a Lángos with sour cream and sausage from Central Market Hall, cruising up the river to Margaret Island, and wandering through the Franciscan ruins, but night is when the city reveals its true heart. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of Budapest at its most eclectic and resourceful, plan a pub crawl taking in some of the city’s ‘ruin pubs’ – pop-up bars that have sprung up in disused industrial spaces, overgrown courtyards and abandoned buildings. The ‘pubs’ are decorated with found furniture and knick-knacks, and some host DJs and local bands. To dip your toes into the scene, drop by the Corvin Club, a popular nightspot that’s taken over the rooftop of a Communist-era department store in Blaha Lujza Square.

Budapest holidays provide the chance to explore some of Europe’s most colourful neighbourhoods

Budapest offers things to do in every neighbourhood, and each district has its own charms. District V encompasses Budapest’s city centre, and is the perfect place if you want to be in the middle of the historical city, as well as near the Danube. The Castle District puts you within walking distance of lots of attractions, and is one of the most popular neighbourhoods – a nice landing spot for a short-term Budapest holiday. District VII, meanwhile, is the hip heart of the city’s nightlife, and is peppered with ruin pubs and colourful cafes, especially around Gozsdu Udvar, a bustling area of open-air bars and restaurants.

Getting around on a trip to Budapest

Budapest has a good public transport system, including buses, trolleys, trams and metros, but make sure to validate your travel pass before each use or you’re subject to hefty fines. Discounted multi-journey passes are available. If you plan on staying out late, Budapest offers a night bus service with 37 lines, and hiring a car allows you to travel on your own terms.

Top Budapest attractions

Budapest History Museum

See how Buda, Pest, and Obuda evolved from the 5th century all the way through the 17th century. In 1974, gothic sculptures and other artefacts were unearthed in archaeological excavations. The first floor houses the permanent exhibition: ‘Budapest in Modern Times’.

Castle Hill

Castle Hill is a huge plateau standing 170 meters above the Danube. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site because most of Budapest’s most valued monuments and museums, which you shouldn’t miss, are located here. You will also see the stunning Royal Palace, which is where the castle was constructed in the 13th century. Two museums now stand on the site.

Basilica of St. Stephen

The construction of this cathedral took many years to be completed. Its dome shattered in 1868 during a storm, requiring the entire building to be destroyed and completely rebuilt. In 1905, workers finished construction. Go to the top of the cathedral’s new dome; the view is one of the most magnificent in Budapest. Then go behind the main altar to the Holy Right Chapel, where you will see the preserved right hand, called the Holy Right (or Holy Dexter), of St. Stephen. There are guided tours in English at various times during the weekdays.

Dreher Brewery and Beer Museum

Check out the museum at Hungary’s largest beer producer’s brewery. Besides being allowed a tasting session, you can see how their beer has been brewed and bottled over the past centuries and watch a movie about the beer-making process.

Holocaust Memorial Centre

Pages from the ‘Auschwitz Album’ are displayed here. The photographs, found by a survivor after being freed, show the grisly internment and extermination of the Hungarian Jews. In 2004, the centre opened on the Hungarian Holocaust’s 60th anniversary. There is also a revitalised synagogue from 1924, which hosts exhibitions.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Parliament

The parliament building stands on the banks of the Danube River as a proud landmark of Budapest, with its domed neo-Gothic architecture that was inspired by the British Houses of Parliament.

St. Stephen's Basilica

This architectural marvel is the largest Hungarian monument after the parliament building. St. Stephen's Square is a spacious plaza at its front, flanked by restaurants and cafés.

Castle Hill (Várhegy)

The heart of medieval Budapest hosts this picturesque rock, rising 150 feet above the Danube and sighting narrow alleys, cobblestone streets and splendid classical and baroque buildings.

Gellért Hill

This dolomite cliff spots winding walkways leading to the top, where the Liberty Statue and a former fortress called Citadella stand.

The Danube Promenade

A part of UNESCO's World Heritage Program in Budapest, this promenade offers spectacular views of both Danube and Buda sides with Castle Hill and Gellért Hill.

Hungarian State Opera House

This magnificent 1884 structure boasts a new-Renaissance style in the semblance of Vienna Opera House. It is home to the State Ballet and the State Opera.

Faust Wine Cellar

Visit this romantic stone cellar of Buda Castle, and taste wines from different regions of Hungary, as well as pálinka, a traditional Hungarian fruit spirit.

Gresham Palace

Overlooking the Danube River is an architectural gem of the city, the splendid art-nouveau Gresham Palace. It houses the elegant Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace.

Thermal Baths

Budapest abounds in the world-famous thermal springs, whose healing, relaxing and fun qualities are the foundations of numerous thermal baths and spas.

City Park

Budapest Zoo, City Lake, Amusement Park and the Széchenyi Bath are located within this sprawling green park, offering attractions for adults and children alike.

Insider tips for Budapest travel

Két Szerecsen Cafe & Restaurant

Have a taste of fine Hungarian cappuccino and a delicious breakfast on Andrássy út Avenue before you explore the medieval history of Budapest.

Váci Street

The perfect shopping excursion is at Váciutca, which boasts high-end boutiques and upscale restaurants. Váci Street is undoubtedly among the world's most beautiful pedestrian shopping streets.

Chain Bridge

In summer, you can take part in the yearly summer festival that is held on this mid-19th-century stone bridge that spots lion bridgeheads.

House of Terror Museum

Stroll through the elegant Andrássy út Avenue to this renowned museum, where the violence and injustices of the horrible Communist Era come alive.

Central Market Hall

This modern indoor market is a treasure trove of Hungarian culinary delicacies. Entice your taste buds with Hungarian cuisine as you shop for souvenirs.

Best time to go on holiday to Budapest

Budapest experiences a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. January is Budapest's coldest month with an average temperature of 1°C. The hot season stretches from May to September with mean temperatures staying above 20°C. March to May and September to November are the best times to visit, as the weather remains pleasantly warm. For cheap deals that come with the off-season, visit between mid-November and March. Enjoy the Hungarian culture at the Budapest Spring Festival, which is the largest cultural festival in Hungary. It offers various performances, including dance shows, theatre performances and classical music concerts. This two-week annual event is held at the end of March or the beginning of April. Other Budapest festivals include the Museum Festival that takes place at the Hungarian National Museum and the Floralia Festival that is held in Aquincum Museum.

Budapest highlights

Soak in the Király Baths

On the Buda bank, you will find four delightfully steamy pools with temperatures ranging between 26 and 40 degrees Celsius. Built in 1570 by the Turks, the baths offer an ideal outlet for relaxation, where you can also marvel at the architecture, especially a beautiful sky-lit dome. The pools are sanitary, inexpensive, and safe.

Get a Thrill at Funfair Park

This may be among the oldest amusement parks you will ever visit, but its rides cause adrenaline to pump nonetheless. The 150-year-old park boasts 24 exciting rides, including the Ikarus Space Needle and the Hip-Hop freefall. There are also go-karts and a merry-go-round from 1906 for the whole family to enjoy!

Catch a Show at the Hungarian State Opera House

Watch a performance here and revel in the perfect acoustics. The grand neo-Renaissance architecture and interior décor are beautiful; they can also be seen on a guided tour.

Marvel at the Municipal Great Circus

Europe’s only permanent circus is an ideal one at which to watch a performance. From Wednesday to Sunday, there are shows at 15:00, as well as additional shows on Saturday and Sunday. Kids as well as adults will love this!

Shop for a Local Bargain

On a Sunday, check out City Park Flea Market, a gigantic outdoor flea market. Find tons of antique treasures, including vintage records. Nearby Duna Plaza is a three-floor mall filled with 120 apparel stores. It also has a cinema that boasts 12 screens, as well as bowling and an ice-skating rink. Meanwhile, Haas & Czjzek is an ideal place to shop for exquisite porcelain and glassware, including Hungarian-made porcelain.

Visit the National Dance Theatre

Delight in traditional Hungarian folk dances performed by the Honved Ensemble, one of Budapest’s most talented folk dancing troupes, which is now also incorporating some modern dance into its choreography. This theatre hosts every other dance troupe in the city also, including two ballet companies.

Where to stay in Budapest

Budapets remains one of the more cost-friendly cities for accommodation in Europe, and there are many affordable options for a hotel in Budapest.

The tastefully designed NH Hotel is a standout because of its soundproof windows, which create a perfectly relaxing break from the bustle of the city surrounding the hotel, which stands behind the Vigszinhaz theatre and in close proximity to Parliament. The sleek bathrooms have bathtubs and you can watch Pay-per-View films from the comfort of your plush bed. If you’re seeking activity rather than relaxation, there is an impressive fitness centre on the top floor.

The Sofitel Chain Bridge Hotel is a fashionable, classy hotel ideally set on the banks of the Danube, within easy reach of some of the city’s best areas for shopping and entertainment. The Sofitel offers 350 of the most luxurious and beautifully decorated rooms, each with delightful views of the city.

The City Ring Hotel is a clean and comfortable haven for travellers. Centrally located, it provides a hearty breakfast buffet, free Internet and air-conditioned rooms. The staff is also happy to assist you in arranging tours and outings.

The Alta Moda Fashion Hotel is beautiful and brand new. Its four-star luxury features classic Italian design and has clearly been arranged with guests’ complete comfort and satisfaction in mind, as evidenced by some special anti-allergen rooms as well as rooms designed expressly for female travellers. The Alta Moda also features a spa and sauna, a restaurant for your dining convenience, and a fitness centre.

Budapest restaurants

On a cold day, a thick hot cocoa from Bobek (Kazinczy u. 53) will warm your spirit. Roland Torok, the owner, has a knack for delicious concoctions that runs in his family; he began working in the family café at six years old. Besides the famous hot cocoa, this charming café is known for its hearty soups and sandwiches. Note that you cannot use cards to pay for food here, so bring enough cash.

For a fusion of Hungarian and Continental cuisines, try Csalogany 26 (Csalogany u. 26), a casual trattoria. Try the cold tomato gazpacho with walnuts and the delightful guinea hen with spinach. For something to sip on, sample one of Hungary’s superb and undervalued varietals, of which the wine list is full.

For fine dining at a reasonable price, head to Costes (Raday utca 4). Don’t miss the delectable kohlrabi cream soup, and if your taste buds are feeling adventurous, try the blue cheese ice cream paired with a spicy granita. There is also a tasting menu, complete with well-considered wine pairings.

For traditional dishes with a contemporary twist, Dio (Sas u. 4) is a perfect choice. Since it opened in 2007, it has become known as one of Budapest’s best restaurants. Try the breaded mangalica with ginger home fries served with a scrumptious soup of tomato and cilantro. Other traditional Hungarian dishes have been cleverly modified into tapas.

For Jewish/Mediterranean/Hungarian cuisine, stop in at Koleves (Kazinczy u. 35). The portions are grand, so bring a huge appetite for roast goose leg, hummus with pita bread and vegetables, matzo ball soup, and Jewish matzo cake.

MORE Budapest Hotels

See all 803 Hotels in Budapest
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

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5.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (66 reviews)

Amidst leafy boulevards and imperial edifices, the hotel is a half-kilometer (a quarter-mile) from St Stephen's Basilica, and one km (a half-mile) from the National ...

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Silver Hotel Budapest City Center

Silver Hotel Budapest City Center

Hunyadi ter 11, Budapest
3.0 out of 5.0
3.4 out of 5 (8 reviews)

Located in Andrassy, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of House of Terror and Hungarian State Opera House. Heroes' Square and St. Stephen's Basilica are ...

£36

£36
Hotel Palazzo Zichy

Hotel Palazzo Zichy

Lorinc Pap Ter 2, Budapest
4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (101 reviews)

Known for its friendly and gracious service, this boutique hotel is on the Pest side of Budapest, in the historical Palace Quarter. The Museum of Applied Arts ...

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£92
Budapest Marriott Hotel

Budapest Marriott Hotel

Apaczai Csere Janos u. 4, Budapest
5.0 out of 5.0
3.9 out of 5 (7 reviews)

This family-friendly Budapest hotel is located on the boardwalk, within a 10-minute walk of Vigado Concert Hall and Szechenyi Chain Bridge. St. Stephen's Basilica ...

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£149
Hotel Moments Budapest

Hotel Moments Budapest

Andrássy út 8., Budapest
4.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (11 reviews)

Located in Andrassy, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Andrassy Avenue and Hungarian State Opera House. St. Stephen's Basilica and Szechenyi Chain Bridge ...

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£105
Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Erzsebet krt 43-49, Budapest
5.0 out of 5.0
4.8 out of 5 (86 reviews)

Impressive landmark building with imposing Neo-classical façade and soaring glass atrium, set on Pest's busy Erzsébet Avenue, and housing shops, a spa, ballroom ...

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£171
Opera Apartments

Opera Apartments

Terez Krt 19, Budapest
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Andrassy, this apartment is within a 10-minute walk of Oktogon and Hungarian State Opera House. St. Stephen's Basilica and Heroes' Square are also ...

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge

Szechenyi Istvan ter 2, Budapest
5.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (26 reviews)

This Budapest hotel is located at the foot of the Chain Bridge, offering views of the Royal Castle Hill and the Danube river.

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£144
Airport Hotel Budapest

Airport Hotel Budapest

Lorinci u. 130/a, Vecses
4.5 out of 5.0
2.5 out of 5 (2 reviews)

Located near the airport, this family-friendly hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Nepliget, MindQuest, and PANiQ-Room. Arena Plaza Shopping Mall and Hungarian ...

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K&K Hotel Opera Budapest

K&K Hotel Opera Budapest

Revay Utca 24, Budapest
4.5 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5 (73 reviews)

Built in the 1990s, this marble-floored hotel sits on a residential street behind Andrassy Ut, one of Budapest's main thoroughfares, within 500 metres of St ...

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£92
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