You could easily spend one week in Hungary’s capital city, Budapest, but I wouldn’t blame you for escaping from the city – those ruin bars really do take hostage of your liver! Here are the best Budapest day trips Hungary has to offer. Below is a guide to Hungary’s popular and lesser-known Hungary day trips. Many of these suggested day trips from Budapest can be done by train, others are best enjoyed with an overnight stay. Do visit Budapest but then say hello to the rest of Hungary!
- Memento Park
- Day Trips From Budapest – North East
- Fátyol Waterfall I Szilvásvárad
- Cave Bath I Miskolctapolca
- Budapest Day Trips – North
- Danube Bend
- Speak the language
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- Budapest Day Trips – South West
- Lake Balaton
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- Day Trips from Budapest to Vienna
You only have to travel 30 minutes to reach our first Budapest day trip. Memento Park has 42 displays of art from the Communist era starting from 1945 to 1989. Expect to mingle with Lenin, Marx and Engels.
- Opening times: 10am until dusk
- Getting there: “Kelenfold vasutallomas” – Metro No.4 with bus No.101 and 150 to “Budateteny vasutallomas” (Campona)
- More information: Memento Park
Day Trips From Budapest – North East
Tokaji dessert wine, Bulls blood wine, and a castle: Hungary’s second biggest city in the north, Eger, put Hungary on the map back in 1552 when an outnumbered Hungarian army saved the country from an intrusive Ottoman army. More details of the historical event, as well as activities such as archery, can be found at Eger Castle. Do try the food at the 1552 restaurant, there’s a Michelin star chef behind the pots and pans! Eger has a small park area, water park (seasonal opening), Turkish baths, and a swimming pool. Day trips from Budapest to Eger are pretty straightforward, easily reached by train, and economical. If you are staying in Eger, be sure to enjoy that 75p beers! We stayed close to Eger whilst volunteering in a small Hungarian village.
- Budapest – Eger: 1 hour 40 mins via M3 (directions)
- Public Transport / train: 2 hour train journey – 2725 FT / £7
- Accommodation: from 7200 HUF / £18 to 82,960 HUF / £209
Fátyol Waterfall I Szilvásvárad
Szalajka Valley is home to Fátyol (Veil) waterfall maximum and takes an easy 40-minute stroll through a paved forest to get to. If walking isn’t your thing, check out the train! Daredevils may want to try out the bike routes (bike hire available at the start of the hike). The crystal clear waterfall carries some controversy over whether the steps within the waterfall are natural or man-made! Plenty of restaurants at the foot of the walk making it an easy half day out from Budapest and Eger. Nature lovers will appreciate this day trip near Budapest.
- Budapest – Szilvásvárad: 2 hours via M3 (directions)
- Eger – Szilvásvárad : 35 mins via Route 25 (directions)
- Public Transport: train: Budapest to Eger / bus: Eger to Szilvásvárad – £2
- Accommodation: from 4010 HUF / £10 to 13,305 HUF / £34
Cave Bath I Miskolctapolca
So you’ve dipped your toes into the inside and outside pools of Budapest’s most popular spa, Széchenyi, what about swimming in a cave?
Miskolctapolca aka Hungary’s cave bath does exactly as it says on the tin, with the addition of an outdoor bath as well as a sauna (additional fee). The usual beauty therapy treatments are available, I recommend the back and foot massage (5000 FT / £13 for 40 mins). Weekdays would be best for maximum relaxation, screaming children kind of kills the buzz at the weekend. Miskolctapolca’s thermal bath is situated in a charming park which has its own baths and plenty of eateries. Langos anyone? The town of Miskolc itself has a nice street of shops, lots of ice cream parlours, and a small canal type water area.
- Budapest – Miskolc Tapolca: 1 hour 55 mins (directions)
- Spa entrance: £6
- Accommodation: From 6915 / £17 to 16,340 / £41
Budapest Day Trips – North
One hour from Budapest takes you to the Danube Bend which is more of a scenic drive than a tourist spot. There are a few walking routes and a cycle path in Nagymaros (bike rental available). There are many Danube Bend tours if you would prefer to not to drive or take public transport. Trekkers! Hop off the road trip here and check out this hiking near Budapest guide.
- Budapest to Lake Balaton: 1 hour via M2 (directions)
- Accommodation: Closet town is Visegrád (approx. 1.2km) 8300 HUF / £21 to 81,395 HUF / £206
Speak the language
Esztergom is home to a large Basilica and if you feel like popping over to Slovakia for the day, take a ride over the bridge! Tip – there’s a great photo opportunity of this stunning Basilica on the Slovakian side.
- Budapest – Esztergom: 1 hour via Route 10 (directions)
- Accommodation: from 5325 HUF / £13 to 17, 220 HUF / £43
Budapest Day Trips – South West
Once the popular holiday home destination for Hungarians during the communist era (when they were forbidden from leaving Hungary) this 50-mile long lake is still popular with locals and tourists alike. Most easily discovered by car (but some areas are doable via public transport), we took a road trip stopping at the following.
Hungary’s answer to Ibiza (apparently, yet to see evidence of this!) has a couple of restaurants, an H&M, and an out of sync chiming clock.
- Budapest – Siófok: 1 hour 4 mins (directions)
- Accommodation: From 6915 HUF / £17 to 62, 835 / £158 (!!)
Hungary’s Hévíz is home to one of the world’s largest thermal lake which reaches temperatures of 38 degrees in summer. A spa complex has been built around the lake with an inside bath, saunas of various temperatures, and jet pools.
Image I Heather Cowper I Flickr CC 2.0
- Budapest – Hévíz: 1 hour 50 mins via M7 (directions)
- Spa entrance: 2400 HUF / £6 for 3 hours
- Accommodation: from 5,635 HUF/ £15 to 56, 975 HUF / £144
Take a boat ride through a mineral healing underground cave, watch your head though! Not for the claustrophobic amongst us.
- Directions: 2 hours via M7 and Route 77 (directions) – one of the more further away day trips outside Budapest
- Accommodation: from 8455 HUF / £21 to 14, 090 HUF / £35
Found on the Northern shores of Lake Balaton, Badacsony is popular for its vineyards.
- Budapest – Badacsony: 2 hours 7 mins (directions)
- Accommodation: From 11, 785 / £ to 13,825 /
Airbnb is also an alternative housing option, we stayed in Csajag in a very comfortable 10-bed room (to yourself). The accommodation had parking and free wine (and Palinka!) New to Airbnb? Sign up using our code and receive money off, we get credit too. Win-win!
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Day Trips from Budapest to Vienna
Vienna truly is a lovely city with its stunning architecture and vintage fairground. There are lots of sundown drink opportunities in and museums in the land of dreams. Opera lovers should not miss a show and dancing fans, check out Vienna’s ball season!
- Vienna from Budapest: train just over 2 hours
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Distance and prices accurate at the time of writing – if this changes, do tell us!