4 Days in Budapest: The Ultimate Budapest Guide by a Local

Are you planning to spend 4 days in Budapest? You are in the right place!

Budapest has been my home for over 6 years so I’ve gotten to know the city like the back of my hand. The Hungarian capital is rich with remarkable architecture, fascinating museums, thermal baths, fantastic restaurants, and vibrant nightlife which means that there is something that will strike a chord with every traveler to the city.

In a previous post, I shared my 2 day Budapest itinerary which is perfect for a weekend visit. If you have longer in town then this article is to tell you how to see the best of Budapest in 4 days. This is the optimum time to spend in the city as you will get to see more sights and explore at a more leisurely pace. 

The following guide is going to help you suss out what to do with your 4 days in Budapest as well as where to stay, eat, and how to get around the city, all from my perspective as a local. 

*Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link.*

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Useful Info for Visiting Budapest

How to get to Budapest

Budapest has its own airport called Liszt Ferenc International Airport, or otherwise referred to as Ferihegy. The airport lies 16 km (10 miles) southeast of the city center, and it’s connected to the center by bus.

Two different bus lines serve the airport: 100E and 200E. 100E is the most convenient option as it connects Deák Ferenc square, the beating heart of the city center with the airport. It’s important to know that you need to buy a special ticket for this bus, which costs 900 HUF (3 USD). Unfortunately, normal BKK tickets or Budapest travel cards are not valid for this bus.

200E is another great option, which takes you Kőbánya-Kispest metro station, where metro line M3 terminates. For 200E, you can use a normal BKK ticket or your Budapest travel card as well.

At the moment, metro line M3 is under reconstruction, therefore selected sections of the metro line are closed. As of August 2021, the section between Nagyvárad tér and Lehel tér is closed, where the metro is replaced by public buses. Of course, this can change as the project goes forward, so it’s best to check the current closures before starting your 4 days in Budapest.

Hungarian Parliament at sunrise

Best time to visit Budapest

Budapest is a true year-round destination, so the best time to visit the city truly depends on your personal preferences. Budapest experiences all four seasons so the city looks entirely different in each season.

If you want to enjoy pleasant weather with fewer crowds, schedule your 4 days in Budapest for late spring (second half of April and May) or early fall (September and the first half of October). In spring, you can enjoy the beautiful blossoms all around the city while in fall, you can witness the changing leaves. Both are really magical!

In summer, the weather is usually nice and sunny but it can get extremely hot or stormy as well, especially in late July and August. This is also the peak tourist season so you can expect bigger crowds and higher prices. But you can comfortably sit around the terraces, attend a festival, or enjoy outdoor concerts.

During winter, the weather is usually grey and cold, so make sure to bring layers! Nowadays Budapest doesn’t see much snow, and even when it does, it melts away quickly, unfortunately. On the other hand, you can experience the amazing Christmas markets in Budapest and enjoy the festive lights if you spend your 4 days in Budapest in late November or December.

Liberty Bridge with almond blossoms

How to get around Budapest

Luckily Budapest is a totally walkable city so the best way to get around in the city is actually by foot! Most of the tourist attractions are located in the city center, quite close to each other. If you follow this 4 day Budapest itinerary, you will see how easy it is to get around without public transportation.

Of course, you always have the option to use public transportation. Budapest has a pretty great system in place operated by BKK (Budapest Közlekedési Központ), which includes 4 different metro lines and several tram and bus lines.

Prices are pretty affordable as well, a single ticket costs 350 HUF (a little over 1 USD), and you also have the option to purchase a block of 10 tickets for 3,000 HUF (10 USD). It’s best to buy your tickets in advance from vending machines because if you buy them on-site, they’re a bit more expensive (and you can only buy them with cash).

You also have the option to buy a Budapest travel card for 72 hours (4,150 HUF/14 USD) that grants you unlimited access to all kinds of public transportation, except the 100E bus (airport shuttle).

Of course like in any other major city, you can find taxis on every corner, so it’s another option for getting around. Unfortunately, ride-sharing apps have been banned in Budapest, but you can use an app called Bolt to order a taxi.

Statue of St. Stephen at the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest, Hungary

Where to stay in Budapest

At first, Budapest can seem like a big and overwhelming city but in reality, it’s far from it. Sure, it occupies an area of 525 km² (200 square miles) but most of the tourist attractions are located relatively close to each other, which makes Budapest a compact and easily walkable city.

Budapest has 23 administrative districts and the Danube river divides the city into two different parts: Buda and Pest. The classic city center is located on the Pest side, comprising districts 5, 6, and 7. This is one of the best areas to stay in Budapest for sightseeing!

Below you can find some of the best hotels to stay in the city center of Budapest, depending on your budget.

Anantara New York Palace Budapest
Photo credit: Anantara New York Palace Budapest via Booking.com

LUXURY – Anantara New York Palace Budapest

Anantara New York Palace Budapest occupies an elegant 19th-century building in the heart of Budapest, close to the Opera and Andrássy Boulevard. The spacious, air-conditioned rooms feature luxurious Italian furniture and fabrics like silk wallpaper and Murano chandeliers.

Hotel Moments Budapest
Photo credit: Hotel Moments Budapest via Booking.com

MID-RANGE – Hotel Moments Budapest

Located on the iconic Andrássy Avenue of Budapest, Hotel Moments Budapest offers stylish rooms, wellness facilities and an on-site restaurant. Every room is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Each room comes with a private bathroom and exclusive bathroom amenities.

T62 Hotel
Photo credit: T62 Hotel via Booking.com

BUDGET – T62 Hotel

Attractively set in Budapest, T62 Hotel features air-conditioned rooms, a bar, free WiFi and a shared lounge. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. At the hotel, rooms are fitted with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. T62 Hotel also offers a continental or buffet breakfast.

Overview of Your 4 Days in Budapest

Breakdown of your 4 day Budapest Itinerary

Day 1: St. Stephen’s Basilica, Breakfast at Fågel by Artizán, Danube riverside walk (Pest side), Shoes on the Danube Bank, Hungarian Parliament Building, Museum of Ethnography, Margaret Island, Danube River Dinner Cruise

Day 2: Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, Breakfast at Cinnamon Cafe, Danube riverside walk (Buda side), Buda Castle, Castle Garden, Chain Bridge, Jewish Quarter, Dinner and drinks at ruin bars

Day 3: Széchenyi Thermal Bath, City Park, Vajdahunyad Castle, Heroes’ Square, Andrassy Avenue, House of Terror, Coffee break at 360 Bar, Deák Ferenc Square, Budapest Eye, Dinner near Deák Ferenc Square, Drinks at Fröccsterasz

Day 4: Gellért Hill, Citadel, Gellért Hill Cave, Gellért Thermal Bath, Liberty Bridge, Central Market Hall, Hungarian National Museum, Szabo Ervin Library, Dinner and drinks at Bálna Terasz (The Whale)

Map for your 4 days in Budapest

Below you can find a customized map that includes all the locations you will visit on this 4 day Budapest itinerary. I marked your 4 days in Budapest with different colors – I used blue for the first, green for the second, red for the third, and yellow for the fourth day, so you can easily see which places you’re going to visit each day.

If you open up this post on your phone and you click on the bracket in the upper right corner of the map, it will open up in your Google Maps. This way you can always have it with you and check it anytime to ensure you’re not missing out on anything during your 4 days in Budapest.

Day 1 of Your 4 Days in Budapest

St. Stephen’s Basilica 

In terms of what to see in Budapest in 4 days, St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika) has to be on the top of the list.

Situated in the heart of District 5, this is the largest Roman Catholic church in Budapest and will work up your appetite for the rest of the beautiful buildings in the city. The mummified right hand of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, rests inside the church!

The church is open daily, 9am – 7pm. If you want to go inside then you will need to pay a small donation of 200 HUF (0.70 USD). It’s worth going there first to enjoy a moment of tranquility before other tourists and worshippers arrive.

In addition to ogling the architecture and interiors, I recommend extending your visit by visiting the Panorama lookout which provides a 360° view across the city streets and rooftops. Admission is 1,500 HUF (4.5 USD) and the lookout opens at 10am.

St. Stephen Basilica in Budapest

Breakfast at Fågel by Artizán 

If you didn’t grab breakfast at your hotel (or fancy a second helping!) then head to Fågel by Artizán. Porridge is the specialty and you can choose from sweet and savory options. Teamed with one of their coffees, you will feel nourished and energized for the first of your 4 days in Budapest!

The cafe is a 5-minute walk from the basilica. During the week it opens at 7am so you could always grab your breakfast before heading to the church. On Saturday they open at 8am and unfortunately, they are closed on Sundays.

Danube Riverside walk (Pest side)

Walk off your porridge with a morning stroll along the Danube River. You will get an excellent view of the hilly, Buda side of the city including such major landmarks as the Fisherman’s Bastion and Buda Castle.

As you are already on the Pest side of the city, you can head north and walk towards the Parliament Building. You can head south first to check out the Chain Bridge but we will come back to this iconic structure later on your 4 days in Budapest itinerary.

The promenade is populated with various sculptures that you can stop to appreciate and one of the most significant to pause at is the Shoes on the Danube Bank (Cipők a Duna-parton). This is a haunting memorial in honor of the 20,000 Jews who were massacred during World War II. Prior to their execution, the people were ordered to remove their shoes.

Danube River Walk in Budapest
Shoes on the Danube Bank in Budapest

Hungarian Parliament Building

Next on the agenda is one of the most impressive and largest buildings in the city: the Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház). Designed by Imre Steindl as per the Neo-Gothic style in the late 19th century, the building was declared open in 1902.

It is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary and contains hundreds of parliamentary offices. Later you will have the chance to appreciate the facade and russet-colored towers and central dome from the Buda side of the Danube but if you want to step inside, this is your golden opportunity.

Purchasing tour tickets on the day is risky as the building is so popular with tourists so it’s advisable to secure your place by booking online in advance. Guided tours take just under 1 hour and you can select the language you prefer at the time of booking. The ticket price for EEA citizens is 3,200 HUF (10.5 USD) and 6,400 HUF (21 USD) for non-EEA citizens. 

Hungarian Parliament in Budapest

Museum of Ethnography

If you are not fussed about the Parliament tour then option B of things to do in Budapest in 4 days is the Museum of Ethnography (Néprajzi Múzeum).

This palatial building was constructed in the late 19th century by the Hungarian architect Alajos Hauszmann, originally as the Royal Palace of Justice. The museum was located here in 1973 and the exhibits showcase crafts, pottery, costumes, and other artifacts that give insight into Hungarian culture and customs during the early 20th century. 

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm (closed on Mondays). The admission fee is 1,400 HUF (4.70 USD) and it’s located 2 minutes around the corner from the Hungarian Parliament Building.

Museum of Etnography in Budapest

Margaret Island

Conclude the rest of your afternoon by stretching your legs on the leafy Margaret Island (Margit-sziget) that occupies a spot on the Danube River just north of the city. The island is a popular hangout for locals as well as being a tourist attraction and you will find a mix of sports grounds, thermal baths, restaurants, cafes, and historic landmarks.

At the heart of the island, you can explore the ruins of a 13th-century Franciscan monastery and covenant, wander through the rose garden, and summit the Margaret Island Water Tower for city views. In the northern half of the island, there is a Japanese Garden and an ornate well that omits music throughout the day. Opt to walk around the island or hire a bicycle.

If you happen to spend your 4 days in Budapest during spring, it’s worth checking out the huge cherry tree in front of Ensana Thermal Margitsziget Health Spa. The tree typically blooms around early April and it’s absolutely gorgeous with its thousands of pink petals!

You can walk to the island (accessible via Margaret Bridge) in 15 minutes.

Cherry blossom on Margaret Island in Budapest
Margaret Island, Budapest

Danube River Cruise 

To wrap up the first of your 4 days in Budapest, transform your dinner plans into a floating feast. Going on a river cruise is one of the most popular things to do in Budapest in 4 days, so naturally, you will find countless tour options on the market.

Prices vary based on departures, durations, and of course, what’s included in the tour. Cruises with dinner are usually more expensive but if you only want to go for a sightseeing tour, you can opt for a tour with drinks only.

Below you can my personal recommendations for a river cruise:

  • Candlelit Dinner River Cruise with Live Music: The ultimate river cruise experience with a fantastic 3 or 4-course dinner. You get to spend a magical evening on one of the most elegant ships in Budapest while enjoying live music and of course your dinner. The tour starts at 7pm but unfortunately it’s only available from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Dinner Cruise with Live Music: If your 4 days in Budapest happen to fall during the week, this is another great option for a river cruise that includes buffet dinner. It runs every day of the week and the cruise starts at 7pm or 8pm depending on the season.
  • Ultimate Evening Cruise with Drink: If you’re visiting Budapest on a budget or you don’t want to have a dinner on the cruise for some reason, this is a great alternative. The tour lasts for 1 hour and it includes a glass or sparkling wine or an orange juice. It’s available every day except Mondays and Wednesdays, and the ship departs at 8pm.
Citadel and the Danube River in Budapest

Day 2 of Your 4 Days in Budapest

Fisherman’s Bastion 

If you can bear to set your alarm early, rise and shine at the crack of dawn and get into position for sunrise at one of Budapest’s most stunning landmarks! In my humble opinion, this spot deserves the first spot on the list of the most instagrammable places in Budapest without a question.

Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) is a 19th-century fortress comprising fairytale turrets and panoramic lookouts that will take your breath away. Due to its elevated position in hilly Buda, the views are epic, and catching them at sunrise is top of my list of the best top things to do in Budapest in 4 days.

You can explore the vast majority of Fisherman’s Bastion for free, although to access the upper towers during the summer season (mid-March until mid-October), there is an admission fee of 1,000 HUF (3.30 USD). This isn’t applicable until 9am which might inspire you to make that sunrise!

The fairytale looking Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest, Hungary

Matthias Church

The next church on your Budapest itinerary is within the grounds of the Fisherman’s Bastion so you can head there next. Matthias Church (Mátyás Templom) was the setting of King Mattias’s wedding and has been used throughout history as a coronation church.

The Roman Catholic church was originally built in 1015, but most of what stands there today was constructed during the later 14th century. It was restored in the late 19th century by Frigyes Schulek, who is credited for the fetching diamond pattern roof tiles and spire laden with gargoyles.

You can admire the church from outside or pay 1,800 HUF (5.90 USD) for a ticket to enter the hall. It’s open Monday to Saturday, 9am – 5pm, and 1pm – 5pm on Sundays. 

Breakfast at Cinnamon Cafe 

If you are in need of another breakfast recommendation then you can visit another favorite among us locals, Cinnamon. This vintage-themed cafe is definitely one of the best breakfast places in Budapest and it serves healthy brunches in a beautiful setting.

It’s a 15-minute walk from the church but it’s worth it and it will set things up nicely for the next item on this 4 days Budapest itinerary. The cafe is open 8am – 3pm during the week and 8am – 4pm on the weekends. I would recommend arriving early or booking a table in advance!

Breakfast in Budapest at Cinnamon

Danube River walk (Buda side)

After walking along the Pest side of the Danube, now you can balance things out by taking a stroll along the banks of the Buda side.

Leaving Cinnamon, you can just follow Csalogány street towards the river where you will be greeted with a view of the edifice of the Hungarian Parliament Building. Head south and you’ll have the chance to take photos of the proud landmarks of Castle Hill as well as the right bank of the river.

The Hungarian Parliament across the Danube river in Budapest

Buda Castle

On your walk yesterday you had the chance to spot Buda Castle (Budavári Palota) across the water, which is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Constructed during the 13th century, the complex was used as a royal residence for centuries.

Nowadays the castle is used purely as a tourist intuition and contains the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum (Castle Museum). It’s worth visiting the castle purely for the views it affords across the river, Pest, and out towards the surrounding mountains. It’s free to wander the grounds.

If you want to absorb more of the history of Budapest in 4 days then you might also want to check out the museums. 

The Hungarian National Gallery is open Tuesday to Thursday, 10am – 6pm, for temporary exhibitions only. The temporary and permanent exhibitions are open Friday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm. Tickets are 3,200 HUF (10.70 USD) for the permanent exhibitions and 3,600 HUF (12.10 USD) for the temporary exhibition.

The Budapest History Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, and the admission charge is 2,400 HUF (8 USD). Both museums are closed on Mondays.

You can walk up to the castle at your own pace (it takes about 30 minutes), savoring the views and capturing some fantastic photos. Alternatively, you can save your legs by hopping on the funicular which takes less than 5 minutes and costs 1,200 HUF (4 USD) for one way and 1,800 HUF (6 USD) for a round trip. 

Brown cable car in Budapest that takes you up to the Buda Castle

Castle Garden Bazaar

After exploring the wider Buda Castle (or before you climb up) you can then make a pitstop at the Castle Garden Bazaar (Várkert Bazár). The architecture and gardens provide excellent backdrops for photography and you will also get to experience a different perspective of the city. 

Castle Garden Bazaar, Budapest

Chain Bridge

Next up on your 4 days in Budapest itinerary is Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd), arguably the most famous bridge in Budapest.

Constructed during the 19th century, this suspension bridge is an icon of the Budapest skyline. Connecting Buda and Pest, the bridge registers 375 meters (1‎,230 feet). It’s named for the iron chains that link the classically designed arches. You’ll see the bridge a lot during your 4 days in Budapest (by night, the bridge is illuminated).

Although walking over the Chain Bridge is definitely one of the best things to do in Budapest in 4 days, unfortunately, it’s not possible at the moment. Currently, the bridge is under renovation and closed for both pedestrian and car traffic. Therefore, you’ll need to choose another bridge for crossing the Danube river to the Pest side.

Szechenyi Chain Bridge in Budapest with flowers in the foreground

Jewish Quarter 

You can spend the rest of your afternoon wandering around the Jewish Quarter of Budapest which is one of the most fascinating things to do in Budapest in 4 days.

The district was settled in by the Jewish community from the 18th century onwards and is great fun to wander around as the architecture is noticeably different from elsewhere in the city and it is also punctuated with lots of funky street art.

The key architectural highlights of the Jewish Quarter include the synagogues located on Dohány Street, Kazinczy Street, and Rumbach Street. The Dohány Street Synagogue is particularly elaborate and features a touching memorial to the victims of the Holocaust outside.

You can admire the architecture of the buildings from outside or tour the exteriors. The admission prices are 5,500 HUF (18.50 USD) for the Dohány Street Synagogue, 5,000 HUF (16.70 USD) for the Rumbach Synagogue, and 1,000 HUF (3.30 USD) for the smaller Kazinczy Street Synagogue. 

Klauzál tér is a huge landscaped public square where you can appreciate the architecture and murals while resting your feet in between synagogue hopping. 

Dohany Street Synagoge in Budapest

Dinner and drinks at ruin bars

You can extend your afternoon into the evening and grab some dinner and drinks in the Jewish Quarter. There are loads of cool neighborhood eateries serving kosher and international food in a bohemian setting and the district is legendary for its nightlife, pioneered by the “ruin bars”.

Essentially these are quirky drinking joints that started popping up in the courtyards of abandoned pre-war buildings and you’ll want to spend at least one evening of your 4 days in Budapest checking a few out and mingling with locals. 

Head to Szimpla Kert, Gozsdu Court, or Karavan where you can surf some street food as you drink.

Szimpla Kert ruin bar in Budapest
Gozsdu Court Budapest

Day 3 of Your 4 Days in Budapest

Széchenyi Thermal Bath 

After a busy couple of days and possibly a sore head after a night at the ruin bars, I’ll bet you’re feeling ready to tackle one of the most relaxing things to do in Budapest in 4 days!

Budapest is legendary for its thermal baths and you’ll want to experience at least one. The first option on this itinerary is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath (Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda) which is situated within the City Park (Városliget).

The grand, yellow building was constructed in 1913 and features a variety of indoor and outdoor thermal baths. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit but it’s particularly nice during the cooler months as you will feel the contrast between the nippy weather and the hot water. 

The baths are open daily, 7am – 7pm, and you can reserve your tickets online rather than risk having to queue. Prices start at 5,600-6,800 HUF (18-22 USD) but you can pay more for a private cabin.

City Park & Vajdahunyad Castle 

After your morning bath, you can take a stroll around City Park which is home to Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Capital Circus of Budapest, a boating lake, and various play areas and monuments. There are a couple of museums within the park that you may want to visit: the Museum of Fine Arts, the Kunsthalle, and the Museum of Agriculture.

A particular highlight is the Vajdahunyad Castle which was built in the late 19th century, modeled on Romania’s Hunyad Castle. With its turrets, towers, and waterside setting, the castle is right out of a fairytale.

You can visit the courtyard and photograph the exterior of the castle for free but if you want to check out the Museum of Agriculture which occupies the interior you will need to pay 1,600 HUF (5.40 USD). The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm. 

Essentially if you are looking at what to see in Budapest in 4 days for families, couples, and as a solo traveler, you will find something to entertain you in the City Park!

Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest, Hungary

Heroes’ Square 

You can exit the park into Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) which contains one of the most significant monuments in the city and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A statue of Archangel Gabriel marks the center of the square and is flanked by representations of the leaders of the seven Magyar tribes as well as other prominent Hungarian leaders. 

Girl in a blue floral dress standing in the middle of the Heroes Square in Budapest

Andrassy Avenue

The main road that connects Heroes’ Square to the center of Pest is Andrassy Avenue (Andrássy út). This 2.4 km (1.5 miles) long street is considered Budapest’s answer to the Champs-Élysées of Paris. The stately Neo-Renaissance mansions that line the street contain upscale boutiques and designer shops.

It takes around 20 minutes to walk along Andrassy Avenue to reach your next destination on this itinerary but if you’re looking to splash out then factor in some additional time for shopping!

House of Terror

Located in the middle of Andrassy Avenue, the House of Terror (Terror Háza) is a sobering but crucial museum to include in your 4 days in Budapest.

The exhibits reveal the extent of the fascist and communist regimes that took place in Hungary during the 20th century and provide insight into the conditions experienced during the Soviet occupation. The museum also serves as a memorial to the victims of these periods.

The House of Terror is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, and tickets cost 3,000 HUF (10 USD).

House of Terror, Budapest

360 Bar or High Note SkyBar

Time for a break, so head to one of the best rooftops bars in Budapest! I would recommend either 360 Bar on Andrássy Avenue or High Note SkyBar right next to St. Stephen’s Basilica. You can grab a coffee and a snack if you’re peckish and either of the bars.

As the name of 360 Bar suggests, the bar is located on a rooftop and provides panoramic views of the city. The cocktail menu is a great hit with Budapest locals if you’re after something stronger. In winter, they set up igloos on the roof which makes the place even more special!

High Note SkyBar is located inside the Aria Hotel so you need to walk through their lobby to reach the elevator that takes you up to the bar. The bar offers a wide selection of cocktails and bar food and they have a separate lunch menu between 12pm and 3pm.

Deák Ferenc Square 

The Deák Ferenc Square (Deák Ferenc tér) is a huge junction that marks the end of Andrassy Avenue. It’s a fun spot to hang out and absorb local life buzzing around Elizabeth Square (Erzsébet tér). There are fountains, a pool, and lots of lovely lawns where you can indulge in some people-watching.

The next couple of suggestions on this 4 days Budapest itinerary are located in and around Deák Ferenc Square so you can determine what order you do them in based on what you prefer.

Budapest Eye

The Budapest Eye (Budapest Óriáskereke) is located in the heart of the square and is worth hopping on for a whirl as the sun sets.

The attraction is open daily between 11am – 11pm, Monday to Thursday and Sunday, or 11am – 12am on Friday and Saturday. Tickets to ride the Ferris wheel cost 3,000 HUF (10 USD) or 3,900 HUF (13 USD) for priority boarding. You can purchase them online in advance.

Budapest Eye with green leaves and a sparkling sun

Dinner near Deák Ferenc Square 

There is a great selection of places to eat in the area around Deák Ferenc Square. Borkonyha is an upscale option with a Michelin star, exquisitely presented dishes, and an expansive wine list. For something more casual, you can check out VakVarjú Restaurant which serves traditional Hungarian cuisine in a beautiful dining room.

Drinks at Fröccsterasz

Fröccsterasz is a fun hang out for locals to grab an after-work beer and tourists to rest their feet after exploring all the wonderful things to do in Budapest in 4 days!

There are heaps of seats inside as well as a spacious beer garden from where you can soak up the vibe of Deák Ferenc Square. There are light bites and pub snacks on the menu which is why you might prefer to eat at the restaurant if you’re after something more substantial.

Take it easy on the drinks though as tomorrow you’ll be up at sunrise again!

Day 4 of Your 4 Days in Budapest

Gellért Hill & Citadella 

For the final 24 hours of your 4 days in Budapest itinerary, it’s another early start but again, it’s totally worth it.

Rising to 235 meters (771 feet), Gellért Hill is situated in the 1st and the 11th districts on the Buda side of the city, just south of the Castle District. It overlooks the Danube River and provides wonderful views across the water.

Make a beeline for the Citadella, a Habsburg fortress that dates back to the mid 19th century. Although it is closed for renovation at present, you can still enjoy views from the lookouts around the base of the Citadella. While you’re on the hill, you can also explore the various statues, monuments, and gardens that adorn the space.

If you don’t manage to make it to Gellért Hill for sunrise, at least aim to arrive as early as possible so that you benefit from some peace and quiet at the summit. The closest metro station is Szent Gellért tér and you can walk up to the top within 15-20 minutes.

Sunset from the Citadel in Budapest

Gellért Hill Cave

The Gellért Hill Cave (Sziklatemplom) is a chapel that is carved into the cliffs at the southeast section of the mound. This was originally home to a hermit before being used as a monastery as well as, briefly, a hospital during World War II.

The complex is open to visitors Monday to Saturday, 9.30am – 7.30pm. Admission is 600 HUF (2 USD) and the cost includes the hire of an audio guide.

Even if you don’t intend to go inside, it’s still worth dropping by the cave for the views. From there, you can overlook the green Liberty Bridge, as well as the whole Pest side of the city. During spring, this is a very popular spot to visit thanks to the gorgeous almond tree located at the lookout point.

Gellért Thermal Bath

Right next to Gellért Hill Cave, you will find another thermal bath. If you love these activities then you might want to visit both Gellért Thermal Bath (Gellért Gyógyfürdő és Uszoda) and Széchenyi Thermal Bath. Alternatively, you can just pick the one you most like the look of. 

Gellért Thermal Bath is situated within Hotel Gellért and features a splendid pool flanked with columns as well as an open-air option. The baths are open daily, 9am – 7pm, and admission tickets start at 6,200 HUF (20.80 USD).

Gellert Thermal Bath in Budapest, Hungary

Liberty Bridge 

Leaving the hill, you can cross the river on foot via the Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd). This decorative, green structure is another of the most impressive bridges in the city and a good place to snap some scenic photos. 

Central Market Hall 

Leaving the bridge you will be greeted by the Central Market Hall (Nagy Vásárcsarnok). This historic market is filled with fresh produce on the ground floor while souvenir stalls are available on the first floor. If you want to buy anything to commemorate your 4 days in Budapest, then this is the occasion.

From the bathhouse via the bridge, it will take 10-15 minutes to walk to the market.

Great Market Hall in Budapest

Hungarian National Museum 

The Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) is one last chance to brush up on your historical knowledge before you leave! The collections showcase cultural objects, archaeological findings, coins, artworks, and other artifacts.

The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, and the ticket price is 2,600 HUF (8.70 USD). It is a 5-minute walk from the market. 

Hungarian National Museum

Szabo Ervin Library

The Szabo Ervin Library (Fővárosi Szabó Ervin Könyvtár) is one of the most spectacular works of architecture and is a haven for book lovers to visit. Unfortunately, I don’t have my own picture from the library but just Google it and you’ll immediately know what I mean!

The reading rooms and tomes are located in a former palace that features high ceilings, chandeliers, and ornate wall moldings. If you’re looking for what to see in Budapest in 4 days that’s more offbeat then this library is the ideal choice.

The library is open during the week only, 10am – 6pm, and the admission fee is 1,000 HUF (3.40 USD). It’s less than 5 minutes away from the Hungarian National Museum.

Dinner and drinks at Bálna Terasz (The Whale)

Wrap up your 4 days in Budapest at this amiable restaurant that offers river views, hearty fare, and a well-stocked bar. It’s located in The Whale shopping mall, a 15-minute walk from the library. It’s the perfect place to finish your (hopefully) awesome Budapest itinerary!

Final Thoughts

That concludes my guide to how to spend 4 days in Budapest with all my personal local recommendations. I hope that this Budapest itinerary has inspired you to visit the city as soon as possible and will help you find your way around all the attractions and places to eat.  

If you have any questions about traveling to Budapest or elsewhere in Hungary, then feel free to send me an email, message me on social media, or drop a comment below.

Have you already visited Budapest? Leave a comment below with what you loved the most, I’d love to hear from you!

xoxo, Kriszti


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