Top Day Trips From Budapest:
Budapest has a feeling of being very far away from the rest of Europe, but it is actually quite accessible especially by train. This accessibility and unique location leads to a ton of great side trip opportunities. From Memento Park to the Danube Bend, if you have an extra day make sure to check these places out.
Best Day & Side Trips From Budapest:
1. The Danube River Bend: The Danube is one of the World’s great rivers and flows through 4 modern European capitals (Vienna, Austria; Bratislava, Slovakia; Budapest, Hungary; Belgrade Serbia). One of the one interesting stretches of the Danube to visits is a place where the River makes quite a dramatic horseshoe curve known as the Danube Bend.
Adding to the charm of the Bend are numerous smaller villages to help give you the old world effect. The sights in these cities vary dramatically from 300 year old mummies, to river bluff castles, to ruins of an ancient Roman city, and even a farm village where the houses still have thatched roofs. If you are in Budapest for a number of days, we highly recommend using one of your extra days to explore the Danube River Bend. Read More: our Danube River Bend page.
2. Memento Park (40 Minute Bus/Tram Ride South): Soon after the Soviets pushed Nazis out of Hungary in WWII, a pro-Stalin Communist government quickly gripped newly ‘freed’ Hungary. From 1947 to 1989 the pro-Soviet government filled Budapest with gigantic monuments and statues of Communist idols and Dictators. Most of the statues were military themed and brought out the essence of the Cold War.
When Communism fell in 1989 the Hungarian citizens had most of the statues and what they represented removed. Luckily instead of destroying all of them, many were brought to the form Memento Park just South of Budapest and give a great glimpse into a rough period of Hungarian history. The park is often called Statue Park (Szoborpark) by locals and at only 6 miles Southwest of Budapest, it is easy to get to and extremely cool. Everyone of the statues seems to be on a bigger than life scale and a main purpose of the art was to so the grandeur and power of the USSR. Our favorite piece at two large bodiless feet sitting on top of a tall pedestal. These feet are a recreation of the feet on the 80 foot tall Stalin statue that once stood near Budapest’s City Park before being tore down as part of the people’s Revolution of 1956.
Hours: Daily 10am-Dusk. Cost: 1500 HUF. Guided Tours: Guided tours in English are 1,200 HUF and are run Daily at 11:45am; May-September they add 12:45pm & 1:45pm; July-August they also add 3:45pm, & 4:45pm. Save 25% by booking on there website. Getting Here on Public Transport: Bus 150 leaves from Ujbuda Kozpont (the corner of Fehervari ut – Bocskai ut) to the Park daily every 20-30 minutes. It takes 25 minutes and costs 450 HUF for an all day bus pass. To get to Ujbuda Kozpontro from the Pest side of town you can jump on the #47 Tram at Deak Ter, Astoria, Kalvin Ter, or Fovam Ter near Central Market Hall. From the Buda side of town you can jump on the #41 Tram at Batthyany Ter, Calark Adam Ter (Funicular), Gellert Ter. Bus 150 Timetable. Tour Bus Option: This is the easiest way to get to the here and is run by the park itself. It departs daily from Deak Ter Metro stop at 11am and has a second time at 3pm in July & August. This tour is easier but more expensive at 4,500 HUF including bus and entry. Save 25% by booking on there website. Absolute Tours runs the same exact bus tour that the park runs but at a price of 7,000 HUF.
3. Szfvár, Hungary (40 Minute Train Ride Southwest): Historic Hungarian town is were the first hundred years worth of Hungarian Kings were both crowned and buried. Unlike many small towns in the region, it was spared from the Mongol invasions of the 1200’s and soon grew to power with a city wall, palaces, and cathedrals. The city wasn’t so lucky when Ottoman rule hit in the 1600’s and most every from demolished. While the the city has regrown to a population of over 100,000 people, the main attraction is Bory Castle (website). Bory was designed and built by teacher and architect Jeno Bory in honor of his wife from 1923 to 1959. Along with some of his students, Bory was able to make an awesome castle that blends many different styles of architecture. The spiral staircase inside is very photogenic and Transylvania of the whole place will trick you into thinking it was built in medieval times. (Bory Castle Website | Facebook Page).
4. Vienna, Austria (3 hour train ride): Trains leave for this historic Austrian capital about every other hour and it is well worth the trip. A great day in Vienna will consist of the free City Center Walking Tour, a trip around the Ringstrasse, and a stops at Schönbrunn Palace.
5. Royal Palace of Gödöllő (60 Minute Train Ride East) The Baroque Palace of Gödöllő which served as the Summer residence for the Elizabeth of Bavaria also known as Sissi. Being married to Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I, Sissi became not only the Empresses of Austria but also the Queen of Hungary when the two countries joined as one empire in 1867. Sissi quickly come to beloved by the Hungarians for her individual sense of freedom and her immense beauty. Prior to the joining of the Austrian-Hungarian Empires, the royal family had spent most of their time in Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace, but wanted to make more of an effort to spend time in Hungary. Upon visiting the Palace of Gödöllő, which was an estate for Grassalkovich counts, Sissi decided to make it her official Summer Residence.
While there are no guided tours, there are English explanations posted at each room highlight the important points. In 1896 the Palace served as the inspiration for the Hungarian Agriculture built inside Vajdahunyadvár Castle in the middle of Budapest’s City Park.
Hours: April-October Daily 10am-6pm; November-March Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm. Cost: 1,800 HUF. Getting Here: From the center of Budapest it will take about 45-50 minutes to get to the palace. Take the M2 Metro Line to ‘Ors Vezer Tere Station’ (last stop on the M2), from here it’s a 40 min ride on the HEV suburban train to the ‘Godollo Vegallomas Station’ (last stop on the HEV) which is right next to the palace, timetables here.
6. Miskolc, Hungary (2 Hour Train Ride Northeast): If you came to Budapest in search of a thermal bath you’ll find that the coolest one is actually here in Miskolc. The Miskolc Cave Baths (website) known for their medicinal thermal waters, are located right inside the Bükk Hills by a large system of natural caves. The hills the baths are in are just West of town and can be reached with a $10 taxi or by taking Bus #1 from the train station to Buza ter and transfer to Bus #2 which goes right to the Baths (total time for bus trip is 30 min). As a pleasant surprise in Miskolc if the ruins of Diosgyor Castle (website) on the West side of town which still has all four large towers standing. If you’re looking to fill even more time while visiting Miskolc, consider a stop in Eger on the way back to Budapest to see Eger Castle (website).
7. Sosto, Hungary (90 Minute Train Ride Southwest): The Sosto Zoo is awesome and has a lot of African animals and hands on exhibits. Village also has a couple old water towers that are favorites among photographers. Getting Here: Local Train from Budapest, then take bus n.r. 8 directly from the Sosto Train Station to the Zoo. Zoo Hours: 9am-7pm, Closes at 4pm in the Winter
8. Bratislava, Solvakia: 2 1/2 Hour Train Ride North. Trains from Budapest to Bratislava depart from the Nyugati Station, Keleti Station and stop at the Kelenfold station. The trains from Nyugati take about 2 hours 20 minutes, others take about 3 hours. The trains from Budapest arrive at the Bratislava Main Train Station, which is close to the city center and easily accessible by public transport. You can find the Budapest – Bratislava train schedule here. Type in Budapest and Bratislava, desired date and time of departure and hit Search twice.
Longer Side Trips From Budapest:
9. Salzburg, Austria (5 1/2 hour train ride): Home of Mozart, the beautiful Mirabell Gardens & Palace, and the location for The Sound of Music. Located in the heart of the Alps, Salzburg is a great spot for a side trip from Budapest. We recommend 2-3 full days in Salzburg to be able to see the old town sights, Sound of Music sights, and surrounding towns of Berchtesgarden & Werfen. Top Things to do: Salzburg Walking Tour, Sound of Music Movie Locations Tour
10. Prague, Czech Republic (6 1/2 hour train ride): Many people leave on the 530am train to get to Prague by noon, and then take the 10pm night train back to Budapest. We recommend taking the night train both in and out of Prague to maximize your time in this great medieval city.
11. Accessible By Night Train: Venice (Italy); Münich (Germany); Bucureşti (Romania); Zürich (Switzerland); Frankfurt (Germany);
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