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24 hours in Budapest

If you only have 24 hours in Budapest, there's no need to rush around like a crazy tourist. It's easy to relax, get a feel for authentic Hungarian life and visit the city's coolest spots. Here's how to spend a day in the "Pearl of the Danube".

10AM // Danube delights

Start the day strolling along the banks of the river Danube. The Danube Promenade (Dunakorzó) extends from the Elizabeth Bridge to the Chain Bridge on the Pest side of the river. Look out for the little bronze statues on the way.

We recommend continuing down the river for views of the Parliament BuildingBuda Castle and the Royal Palace. You can also cross over the river for alternative views of this architecturally magnificent strip.

Blonde girl with a yellow coat and stripey backpack is taking a photo of the Budapest Parliament building across the river Danube

12PM // A light snack

Not far from the Elizabeth Bridge, it's time to grab a snack at Budapest's Great Market Hall. If you're looking for something warm, fresh and deliciously Hungarian try kürtőskalács, a traditional Hungarian sweet pastry.

Roughly translated as "chimney cake", kürtőskalács is rolled on a wooden spit, slowly baked on an open fire and garnished with different toppings such as chocolate, cinnamon or sugar. Yummy!

Picture of 5 chimney-shaped, Hungarian sweet cakes, known as Kürtőskalács, covered in sprinkles

2PM // Spas and saunas

In the afternoon it's time to head to the edge of the city for one of the most famous and popular attractions in Budapest.

Built in 1913, the Széchenyi Bath has saunas, steam cabins and 18 mighty fine pools where you can enjoy medicinal hot spring waters. It also hosts spa parties ("sparties") at night, but you're only here for a day and there's much more to see!


7PM // Intriguing places

When you're ready to paint the town red, there's no better place to start than Budapest's famous ruin pubs. Hidden in dilapidated old buildings within the Jewish district, the pubs' quirky decor, rooms and open spaces make them the perfect venue for drinks and a lively nightlife.

For one of the original and best pubs, try Szimpla Kert. Many pubs offer food as well, to satisfy your hunger.

Image of ruin pub in Budapest with tables and stools, and decorations hanging from the ceiling.

11PM // Holy ship!

From the ruin bars, head to the main road and take trams 4 or 6 across the river. On the banks of the Buda side, you'll find A38, one of the coolest clubs in Budapest.

On a former Ukrainian cargo ship, the club offers concerts all year round. From reggae to hip-hop, there's something for everyone's taste.

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Explore more of Hungary

A popular destination amongst Interrailers, it's well worth visiting this gem of Eastern Europe.

Travel by train in Hungary

The following Interrail Passes give you access to the Hungarian rail network:

Interrail Hungary Pass

Best for exploring Hungary in depth

Interrail Global Pass

Valid in 33 countries including Hungary