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Visit Budapest on a River Cruise

Welcome to your Budapest travel guide. We’ve put together some of the best Budapest attractions, excursions and insider tips to inspire your Hungarian getaway. Read on to uncover what this enchanting city has to offer…

Where is Budapest Located?

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and lies along the banks of the Danube River. The city is made up of two parts: Buda and Pest – built on opposite banks of the Danube but united in their shared love for all things Hungarian including local cuisine, culture and history.

When’s the Best Time to Visit Budapest?

While this magical city is a delight to explore all year-round, the best time to visit Budapest is in spring. From May to June, you can sightsee with fewer crowds and bask in the gentle spring sunshine and breeze – perfect for exploring.

Spring is also a time of culinary celebration in Budapest. So, visiting in these months means you’ll experience the food festivals, where regional dishes influenced by Budapest’s history take centre stage.

What’s the Currency in Budapest?

The packing essentials for this city include a camera, a Budapest map, and some Hungarian Forints – the local currency of Budapest. Some places may accept euros or bank cards, but it’s wise to have Hungarian Forints for smaller purchases.

What is Budapest best known for?

What to see in Budapest

The Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest

Budapest is a must-see destination with some of the most sought-after scenery in Hungary. Offering sweeping views across the Danube River is Chain Bridge. This vantage point looks out onto the majestic spires of the riverside Hungarian Parliament building.

The bridge from the Pest side towards Buda faces the Fisherman’s Bastion. Perched atop Castle Hill, this landmark consists of seven towers with pointed arches reminiscent of a fairytale castle.

What to visit in Budapest

Budapest and its castle

Experience the best of Budapest’s attractions by blending relaxation with adventure. Budapest sits above over 100 thermal springs which have been used for their healing properties since Roman times. Immerse yourself in these iconic thermal baths which have been deeply ingrained into Hungarian culture.

There’s also plenty of history as you discover landmarks such as Buda Castle and Matthias Church – both offering a glimpse into the city’s rich heritage.

What to do in Budapest

Spirit of the Danube sailing through Budapest

When you cruise along the Danube with Saga, you could find yourself enjoying a traditional evening of Hungarian food and live folklore music. Or you could set out to conquer St Stephen’s Basilica – towering over Budapest at 314 feet!

You can see a variety of Budapest’s attractions with our excursions – included or optional on our river cruises. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer.

Budapest: A tale of two cities?

Hop aboard a coach for front row seats to the best Budapest attractions.

Come with us from the Pest side, past the Andrassy Boulevard and the opulent Hungarian State Opera House. We’ll drive by the iconic Heroes Square before crossing the Danube via the picturesque Elizabeth Bridge.

Then we’re in the Buda side, passing the legendary Castle Hill to our grand finale: St Stephen’s Basilica. This architectural marvel beckons you to explore its grounds alongside a local guide.

Flavours of Budapest at the Grand Market?

Traditional Hungarian strudel

Prepare your taste buds for a whirlwind journey through Budapest’s culinary scene. Our first stop is the legendary First Strudel House, where you’ll witness the artistry of strudel making.

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and try your hand at stretching the dough yourself, followed by a tasting that’ll leave you wanting more.

Next, you’ll enjoy Chimney Cake – a traditional Hungarian treat.

Then we’re off to the bustling Central Market Hall, where your guide will share the market’s history dating back to 1897. Don’t leave without sampling some local salami!

Buda Castle District?


Journey to the foot of Castle Hill, the crown jewel of Budapest’s skyline. Ride the elevator to the top of the summit where you’ll be greeted by panoramic views.

From this unique vantage point, gaze down on the Buda Castle Complex, nestled between the historic Royal Palace and Matthias Church.

You’ll also be dazzled by the sparkling waters of the Danube River, winding its way through the heart of the city, dotted with landmarks such as the Hungarian Parliament Building and Chain Bridge.

Hungarian Folklore Dinner?

Step into the world of Budapest’s culinary and cultural scene on this evening excursion. We’ll whisk you away to a historic restaurant for a night of traditional charm and ambience.

Indulge in your senses with a sumptuous three-course meal featuring authentic Hungarian cuisine. During your dining experience, enjoy performances from folk musicians and dancers, dressed in traditional attire.

Let the lively rhythms and colours transport you on a journey through Hungary’s cultural tapestry, leaving you with memories to cherish as your evening comes to a close.

The Best Restaurants in Budapest?

There’s no shortage of culinary delights to savour as you immerse yourself in Budapest’s cultural tapestry. When seeking out the best restaurants in Budapest, aim for ones specialising in the region’s local dishes from hearty goulash to chicken Parikas.

Budapest’s Jewish Quarter is home to a diverse range of restaurants, including Mazel Tov, offering kosher delicacies. Or try Hungary’s local Langos fried dough from a street food vendor, such as Karavan on Kazinczy Street.

Perhaps dine in the Castle District? There’s a handful of restaurants with river and castle views to make you feel like you’re living a fairytale. We recommend Fisherman’s Bastion Restaurant. Sat on top of Castle Hill, it provides a natural backdrop of the scenery for a memorable meal.

As you wrap up your Budapest adventure, explore our river cruises for more journeys along Europe’s waterways. Don’t forget, you can expect an all-inclusive service on board all our small ships.

Explore our Budapest river cruises now.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

Our Budapest river cruises