top of page

Welcome to Hungary!

Click anywhere on the interactive Page Outline to get started

Sites and Experiences

Practical Information

hungary-1758824_1280.png

COUNTRY QUICK FACTS

Capital City

Official Languages

Bordering Nations

Currency

Budapest

Hungarian

Austria

Croatia

Romania

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Ukraine

Forint (HUF)

OUR favorite Suggestions

Rich culture and exquisite architecture highlight this one-of-a-kind European destination!

  1. Relax & Unwind at Szechenyi Baths

  2. Hike up to Buda Castle

  3. Soak in the Views of Parliament

  4. Explore Fisherman's Bastion

  5. Stroll the Danube Promenade

SITEs and Experiences

 

Budapest

 

Hungarian Parliament: One of the most notable landmarks in the country, the massive Hungarian Parliament Building has rightfully earned its reputation as one Europe's most spectacular pieces of architecture. It is the largest building in Hungary, and currently houses the National Assembly of Hungary. The neo-Gothic style of the building is one to marvel at, with its symmetrical façade and large central dome projecting its grandeur.  A great place to soak in the views of this marvelous building is on the west side of the Danube, looking across the river from along the promenade. Those that are interested in seeing the inside can embark on guided tour, and you can purchase your tickets for the tour here

Széchenyi Baths: Hungary has become well-known for their thermal bath culture, taking advantage of the over 1,300 thermal water springs that are scattered throughout the country. This culture is no better exemplified than through the spectacular Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the largest medicinal bath in all of Europe.  The bathhouse consists of a whopping 15 indoor baths and 3 grand outdoor pools, as well as a ten saunas and a variety of private cabins for massages and spa treatments. The waters of the pools are supplied by two thermal springs that sit beneath the city of Budapest, and they contain a multitude of beneficial elements and minerals. Head below for a detailed exploration of the bathhouse and the ins and outs of planning your visit to Széchenyi.

Fisherman's Bastion: This decorative fortification and monument is not only beautiful in its own architectural right, but also boasts some of the best panoramic views of Budapest. The original walls were once part of a castle that was built in sometime the 1700s, and the name 'Fisherman's Bastion' is given in honor of the guild of fishermen that historians say were entrusted with protecting these walls of the castle. The structure we see today was built from 1895 to 1902, and the seven stone towers pay homage to the Seven chieftains of the Magyars who founded present-day Hungary in 895.

Matthias Church: Standing at the southwestern foot of Fisherman's Bastion is the marvelous Matthias Church, one of the finest pieces of Gothic architecture in Europe. The current structure has been standing atop Buda Castle Hill since the late 13th century, and was re-built in the Gothic style we see today in the latter half of the 14th century. Admission to the interior of the building costs 1,800 HUF, and you can find more information on the church here.

Buda Castle: This historical castle and palace complex, dating all the way back to the Middle Ages, was once home to old Hungarian kings. Today, the castle now houses the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. The complex sits atop the Castle Hill in the heart of what is now commonly referred to as Castle Quarter, where visitors can also find Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church. The southern edge of the hill is linked down to the river at the foot of the Chain Bridge via the Castle Hill Funicular, which offers visitors a lovely ride up or down the hill. There are a multitude of ways visitors can enjoy the castle and the other landmarks of the area, and a breakdown the various prices and opening hours into each specific landmark can be found here (hover over the 'Buildings' tab); on this website you can also find guided tours that bundle some of these landmarks together into one tour.

St. Stephen's Basilica: This beautiful Roman Catholic cathedral sits in the heart of the city and is a sight to behold. The church is named after Stephen I, the first king of Hungary, and is the third-largest church building in Hungary. The top of the building is exactly equal in height to that of the Parliament building, standing at 96 meters tall. This correspondence in height is no coincidence; at the time of construction, ordinances were in place that prevented any building from being taller than the Parliament building. The basilica is free to enter, but a small donation to the church is also customary. 

Margaret Island: This 2.5 km long island sits in the middle of the Danube on the northern edge of the city. The island has become a very popular recreation spot for locals and visitors alike, as a majority of the island is covered by green landscape parks. On the island you can find a 5.5 km paved running track, popular with those looking to stay active with a nice jog. The island even has its own thermal baths, the Palatinus Baths, with its outdoor pools being some of the most beautifual in Budapest. Other activities on the island include climbing up its beautiful Water Tower, walking through the Rose and Japanese Gardens, and stopping by the famed Music Fountain, where you can find light and water shows amid the backdrop of a variety of songs and musical pieces. 

Heroes' Square: Budapest's most marvelous square sits at the entrance to City Park (which itself also encompasses the Széchenyi Baths). The central feature of the square is the illustrious Millennium Memorial, a massive stone monument that depicts the Seven chieftains of the Magyars who are said to have founded present-day Hungary in 895. At the top of the main central pillar stands Archangel Gabriel holding the Hungarian Holy Crown, the coronation crown that was used by the Kingdom of Hungary throughout its existence. Over fifty kings had been crowned with it, the last one being Charles IV in 1916; no king was considered to be legitimate without being crowned with it. Today, the actual crown is on display in the Domed Hall within the Parliament building. 

Danube Promenade: Strolling the promenades that line the Danube River (the second-longest river in all of Europe) is a great way to soak in some of the best sights in Budapest. Spanning the length of the river right in the center of the city is the beautiful Chain Bridge; completed in 1849, it was the first permanent bridge to cross the Danube in Hungary. On the East side of the river (just south of the Parliament building) you can find the Shoes on the Danube Bank monument, an extremely moving monument that honors the Jews that were massacred in Budapest during World War II. Before these victims were murdered, they were ordered to take off their shoes and stand at the water's edge such that their bodies were carried down the current after they were shot. These lives are represented by the iron shoes you see at this monument today, which was erected in 2005.

Country

Exclusive

Your Quick Guide to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths

The thermal bath culture in Hungary is one of the most prominent in the world, and the Széchenyi thermal bathhouse in Budapest stands as this culture's most prolific symbol. Navigating and planning your trip to Széchenyi can be a bit overwhelming; after all, it is the largest medicinal bathhouse in all of Europe. But not to worry; below we have broken down the key elements of the bathhouse to help you plan your own visit.

The Bathhouse Breakdown

Pools, saunas, and baths, oh my! At risk of sounding too obvious, there is definitely no shortage of ways to spend your time at the bathhouse. Covering an area of over 67,000 square feet, the facility is absolutely massive; to make things easier to visualize, we suggest referencing this handy-dandy printable PDF map.

Here is an outline of the amenities that you will be able to access with your standard entry ticket:

3 Outdoor Pools

The 'Fun Pool' (91˚F) includes a jacuzzi and a whirlpool. The Swimming Pool (81˚F) is the long middle pool that is designated for those looking to swim laps. Wearing a swimming cap while in this pool is compulsory, and they are available to rent on the spot. The Thermal Pool (101˚F) is the warmest of the 3 outdoor pools. 

15 Indoor  Pools

These pools are of varying sizes and temperatures; there are signs at each pool that specify the temperatures of their waters. There are two beautiful octagonal pools (both at 97˚F) that are on either wing of the bathhouse near the saunas and steam rooms. There are six 'Plunge Pools' that are designated for a quick jump in and out of the water; of these Plunge Pools, five are cold (65˚-68˚F) and one is hot (104˚F).

10 Indoor Saunas and Steam Rooms

Like the indoor pools, these are also of varying sizes and temperatures, with signs outside of each room that specify their temperatures. One light sauna (118˚F) and two intense saunas (212˚F) bookend the two ends of the temperature spectrum. There are also a 'Chamomile Steam Room' (122˚F) and an 'Aroma Sauna' (128˚F) that are filled with many scented aromas.

On top of everything listed above, there are additional services and amenities that you can pay extra for, which are outlined below. The official Széchenyi bathhouse website is a great source for some extra information not included here, including an FAQ page as well as their standard terms and conditions. We would suggest sifting through this website before your trip to become a bit more familiar with the baths.

Opening Hours and Pricing

Lucky for all of us, the bathhouse is open every day, seven days a week! There are a handful of national holidays where the opening hours may be slightly different; you can find a list of those days here

Standard Opening Hours:

Outdoor Pools - 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

Indoor Pools - 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

Saunas and Steam Rooms - 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

Standard Ticket Pricing:

Full-Day ticket with Cabin usage (weekday) - 6800 HUF

Full-Day ticket with Cabin usage (weekend) - 7200 HUF

Full-Day ticket with Locker usage (weekday) - 6200 HUF

Full-Day ticket with Locker usage (weekend) - 6500 HUF

These aforementioned tickets are known as 'Fast Track' tickets and are the only kinds of tickets available for purchase online. These tickets allow you to skip the line at the bathhouse, where you can also purchase your tickets the day of your visit. 

There are a variety of other tickets available for purchase (such as morning hours only or evening hours only), but those can only be purchased on-site. You can find a breakdown of all of these other ticket options and their prices by heading here

Cabin or Locker?

With the standard entry tickets, you must choose whether you want access to a locker or a cabin. What is the difference?

Locker - standard lock boxes that can be used to keep belongings; the dimensions of these are 120 x 35 x 60 cm.

Cabin - a private changing room that doubles as storage. They are large enough to fit one person comfortably, but two adults can both fit inside. You can use your private cabin to change into your swimwear, and also keep any belongings you may have. Multiple persons can have access to the same cabin, and the lock is linked to the chips in the wristband that you will be given to wear upon entry. If you do not choose a cabin, you would need to change in the men's or women's locker rooms and house your belongings in a locker instead. 

Extra Services and Amenities

There are a handful of other services and amenities that you can enjoy that go beyond just those that are included in the standard ticket.

Massages - a very popular way to squeeze that extra relaxation out of your time at Széchenyi. The bathhouse itself recommends that you book your appointment in advance online as it is rare that there are drop-in appointments available. 20 minute massages start at 9400 HUF, and 45-60 minute massages start at 18800 HUF. There are a handful of ' 2 in 1' massage deals that combine a massage with your standard bath ticket; there are a ton of bundle options to explore (including bundles for couples), and you can compare all of those options by heading here

Pedicures - these treatments last generally around 30 minutes, but could go longer depending on how much care your feet need. The cost to get a pedicure is 4200 HUF, and you cannot book these online (you have to pay in cash at the baths). Generally, they are available from 6 am to 5/6 pm.

Palm House - looking for a more exclusive experience at the baths? The Palm House is a private spa oasis within the bathhouse for those looking to get a little extra relaxation and meditation. The oasis offers a more tranquil and calm environment away from the bustle of the baths, and is filled with palm trees, exotic plants, couches and cushions, and has a glass roof.  Access to the Palm House is not included in the standard entry ticket.

Entry to Palm House only - 11,500 HUF; includes a 1 lb. fruit bowl, 1 liter herbal tea, and wi-fi access.

Entry to Palm House + Baths - 17,500 HUF; includes full bath access with a Cabin, a 1 lb. fruit bowl, 1 liter herbal tea, and wi-fi.

The Palm House opening hours are Monday - Sunday, from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Summer Night Spa Parties

What better way to party Hungarian style than spending your night out at the Széchenyi bathhouse!? On most Saturdays during the summer, the bathhouse stays open from 10:30 pm to 3:00 am for what they call their summer night spa parties, or 'sparties' for short. You can find the list of the dates of these parties (as well as their booking options) by heading here. There are an abundant amount of ways you purchase your entry to the parties, which are outlined below (listed in €):

Party Ticket - €53; includes Locker access

Premium Ticket - €68; includes Locker access and 2 drink coupons (good for two beers or one cocktail)

Duo Ticket - €106; good for entry for two people. Includes Locker access

Duo Premium - €128; good for entry for two people. Includes Locker access and 5 drink coupons

Trio Ticket - €159; good for entry for three people. Includes Cabin access

Trio Premium - €189; good for entry for three people. Includes Cabin access and 7 drink coupons

All of the above ticket options are for standard entry to the party. For a higher price, you can also purchase the above tickets with 'Fast Track' entry, which allows you to skip the line, as well as 'Express Plus' which gives you a branded towel and tote bag along with your express entry.

For those looking to splurge on a lavish time at the party, VIP tickets are also available for purchase; you can find info on those tickets here

Budapest S&E
Hungary Country Exclusive

Practical Information

Arriving in Budapest

 

ARRIVING BY PLANE

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) is the international airport serving the city of Budapest and is the largest airport in the country of Hungary. The airport is located approximately 16 km southeast of the city center. As of the end of 2019, the airport directly serves over 150 destinations in 49 countries.

Terminal 2A - This terminal houses gates A1-A33, and these gates only serve flights to and from the Schengen area. The check-in desks for the following major airlines can be found in this terminal (SkyTeam members only have check-ins in 2A).

  • Star Alliance:​ Aegean, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, EgyptAir, LOT Polish, Lufthansa, SAS, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines

  • SkyTeamAeroflot, Air France, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, KLM, TAROM

  • Non-AllianceAer Lingus, Eurowings

Terminal 2B - This terminal houses gates B1-B44, and these gates only serve flights to and from the non-Schengen area. The check-in desks for the following major airlines can be found in this terminal (Oneworld members only have check-ins in 2B):

  • Star Alliance: Air China

  • OneworldBritish Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Qatar Airways

  • Non-AllianceEasyJet, Emirates, Norwegian, Ryanair, Vueling

Getting to the City from Budapest Airport

Bus - BKK, the primary public transportation servicer in Budapest, runs two bus lines that take passengers to the city from the airport. Tickets for both of these lines can be purchased from the BKK customer service desks that can be found in the arrivals halls; trip planning assistance and free route maps are available at the desks. 

Line 100E, also known as the Airport Express Bus, takes passengers to the heart of the city, dropping off at the Deák Fenec tér stop. One-way tickets on this line cost 900 HUF.

Line 200E takes passengers to the edge of the city at the Nagyvárad tér stop, located about 3.5 km southwest of Deák Fenec tér. Unless you are willing to take the 45 minute walk to the city center, you could hop on the metro line M3 that also services this stop. One-way tickets for this bus cost 350 HUF, and the metro ticket would cost an additional 350 HUF.

Minibus - The third party company miniBUD serves as the official shuttle service provider of the airport. They offer private shuttle service to any accommodation address in the city. Reservation parties can have anywhere from 1 passenger to 8+ on the same booking; prices can range from €17.5 per person (1) to €6 per person (8+). Additional information and online booking can be found on their official website

Taxi - Fótaxi is the regulated taxi service provider from the airport. Hungarian law has a taxi decree that fixes the prices of all taxi services: there is a one-time basic fee of 700 HUF plus 300 HUF per km traveled. You can expect the average taxi journey from the airport to the city to cost around 7200 HUF depending on where you are going and what the traffic conditions are like. Reservations can be made at the Fótaxi booths that can be found at the exits at both terminals 2A and 2B.

Rental Car - The primary rental car companies that operate out of the Budapest airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National, and Sixt. Service desks can be found in the arrivals halls. 

ARRIVING BY TRAIN

Train Station - There are three main train stations that are located in Budapest: Keleti, Nyugati, and Déli. Each of these stations serve different international destinations to and from Budapest. Be sure to double check which of these train stations your train will be arriving at (or departing from, if you are traveling from Budapest onto another destination) as these train stations are pretty well spread out throughout the city. There are many direct trains arriving from Hungary's neighboring countries every day:

From Austria (via ÖBB)

Every hour, Austrian Raiiljet (RJX) and EuroCity trains link Vienna (Wien Hbf) with Budapest-Keleti in just 2h 37m. Fares on these trains begin from €19.90 and can be booked on ÖBB's website. There are also daily RJX trains that connect Salzburg (Salzburg Hbf) with Budapest-Keleti in 5h 11m, departing every two hours. Fares on these trains begin from €39.90 and can also be booked directly on ÖBB's website. 

From Croatia (via Croatian Railways)

One daily InterCity train leaves from Zagreb at 16:35 and arrives at Budapest Déli 22:24. Croatian Railways doesn't offer an option to purchase these tickets online, so you'll have to purchase them at the station. Fares run from around €29 just before departure, but if you purchase your tickets in advance (i.e. the day before departure) you could see fares from around €15. A second train also runs from June to September, leaving Zagreb at 9:49 and arriving at Budapest Déli at 16:24.

From Czechia & Slovakia (via Czech or MAV)

Multiple daily EuroCity trains link Prague-Bratislava-Budapest Nyugati every two hours beginning at 5:22 (from Prague) and 9:57 (from Bratislava). These trains are run jointly by Czech, Slovakian, and Hungarian Railways, so there are a handful of ways that you are able to book your tickets. Booking on all tickets (regardless of where you book) typically open 60 days in advance.

Prague - Tickets from €21 (520 CSK). Book via Czech Railways for the lowest price; keep in mind prices are dynamic.

Bratislava - Tickets from €9.50. Book via MAV for the lowest price. You can also book via Czech, but the prices listed here are typically more expensive (each company can set their own fares). Prices are dynamic and increase closer to the departure date.

From Germany (via Deutsche Bahn DB)

Munich - Four daily railjet trains connect Munich Hbf with Budapest Keleti in 6h 50m. Fares on these tickets begin from €37.90 and you can book directly on the DB website. Prices are dynamic and do rise closer to the departure date. A nightly EuroNight sleeper train also departs Munich Hbf at 23:20 and arrives at Budapest Keleti at 9:19 the next day; fares begin from €49.99 for a couchette in a 6-berth cabin and can be bought on the DB website.

Berlin - A daily EuroCity train departs Berlin Hbf at 9:16 and arrives at Budapest Nyugati at 20:50. Fares on these tickets begin from €46.90 and can be bought directly on the DB website. A nightly EuroNight sleeper train also departs Berlin Hbf at 18:43 and arrives at Budapest Keleti at 8:35 the next day; fares begin from €49.99 for a couchette in a 6-berth cabin.

From Poland (via MAV or Polrail)

Warsaw - A daily EuroCity train departs Warsaw Centralna at 8:43 and arrives at Budapest Nyugati at 19:20. Fares start from €27 and you can book these tickets through Hungarian Railways (MAV) or via the third party Polrail Service; you cannot buy tickets direct via Polish State Railways online, but as with all tickets you can always buy them at the station as well. 

Krakow - A daily train leaves Krakow Glowny station at 10:22 and arrives at Budapest Nyugati at 19:20. Two second-class cars leave departing on the Krakow-Prague line, and later get coupled to the Warsaw-Budapest EuroCity train (described above) at Bohumin in Czechia. There is no need to change trains when the cars get transferred over, you stay in the same car throughout the entire journey. These tickets can be booked online via MAV or Polrail. 

From Romania (via Romanian Railways

There is one daily InterCity train that departs Bucharest Nord (type 'Bucuresti Nord' in the online search) at 5:46 and arrives at Budapest Keleti at 19:50. Fares on this train start from €29 and can be booked via the Romanian Railways website. There are also three nightly sleeper trains that connect Bucharest Nord with Budapest Keleti, departing at 14:00 (arriving 4:50), 17:45 (arriving 8:50), and 22:05 (arriving 12:50). You can book just a standard 2nd class fare starting from €29, but you can also book a bed in a four or six-berth couchette wagon (from €40 in a six-berth), or a bed in a one, two, or three-bed sleeper wagon (from €55 in a three-bed sleeper). You can book all of the aforementioned tickets via the Romanian Railways website. 

From Slovenia (via MAV

There is one daily InterCity train known as the Citadella that leaves Ljubljana at 9:25 and arrives at Budapest Déli at 16:59. The train is operated by MAV, but today there are no options to book this ticket online. Simply purchase this ticket at the station on your day of departure (or a couple days before to ensure a lower fare); fares on this journey start from €29.

From Switzerland (via ÖBB

There is one daily Austrian railjet train that departs Zürich HB at 10:40 and arrives at Budapest Keleti at 21:19. Fares on this ticket begin from €44.90, but can often get pricy closer to the departure date and on weekends. A nightly EuroNight sleeper train also departs Zürich HB at 21:40 and arrives at Budapest Keleti at 9:19 the next day; fares begin from €49.99 for a couchette in a 6-berth cabin. Both of the aforementioned tickets can be bought on the ÖBB website.

Arriving in Budapest

Train Transportation Within Hungary

 

Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) - as the national railway operator of Hungary, MÁV operates over 7,000km of railway lines within the country. Five of its major railway stations are located within Budapest (including Déli, Keleti, and Nyugati), making travel to and from the country's capital and main transportation hub easy and efficient, both domestically and internationally.

  • MÁV recently launched a new online ticketing sales system known as Elvira. Where its customers previously had no means to buy their tickets online, this new system features a modern interface that brings the MÁV ticketing system up to par with many other major European railway companies. Although the system is still in its Beta stage, the site is still live and is functioning; all tickets that are bought on the website are legitimate and can be purchased without any worry in this regard.

    • The new Elvira system works hand-in-hand with MÁV's modern mobile application (for both iOS and Android)​. If you create your own MÁV account, you can use the mobile app to purchase your tickets, and you will also be able to access your tickets on your phone directly through the app. 

  • Passengers can also purchase their tickets at the train station, either directly from the ticket offices or at any of the ticketing machines that may be available for use. If the ticketing offices or machines are closed and/or not available, tickets can be bought on board the train for no extra charge. It is possible to purchase all of the aforementioned tickets with a credit card; if paying in cash, all domestic train tickets must be paid in HUF.

  • Creating an account with MÁV is not necessary in order to access your tickets; all purchased tickets online will be available and included in your confirmation email from MÁV, where they can be downloaded and printed (if desired). 

  • Every ticket, whether purchased online, on board, or at the station, needs to be validated while on board. This is done by the ticket inspectors on the train, so there is nothing passengers need to do other than show their purchased ticket(s) to the inspector while on board the train. If you purchased your ticket online, you can either show your ticket on a smart device (phone, tablet, etc.) or show a printed copy of your ticket. You must show a valid ID when presenting your ticket. 

  • There are a handful of available discounts available on all MÁV tickets, as outlined below:

    • Children under 6 years old: FREE​

    • Children ages 6-14: 50% discount (2nd class cabin only)

    • Students: 50% discount (with valid student ID)

    • Adults ages 26 or younger: 33% discount (only available from Friday at 10:00am through Sunday at 23:59pm)

    • Adults ages 65 or older: FREE

    • All Online (Electronic) Tickets: 10% discount

  • For additional information on Hungarian State Railways, head on over to their very thorough and reliable FAQ page.

Train Transport in Hungary

Public Transportation in Budapest

 

Budapest Center of Transport (BKK) is responsible for all of the busses, metro lines, trams, and suburban train lines that serve the greater Budapest region. Below is a breakdown of the different services the BKK offers within Budapest:

  • Metro Lines: There are four metro lines that run in the city, labeled M1, M2, M3, and M4.

  • Tram Lines: There are 30+ tram lines in the city; these lines are designated by the color yellow.

  • Bus Lines: There are 100+ bus lines in the city; these lines are designated by the color blue and red (trollybusses).

A detailed outline of all of these routes can be found here; a full route map be found here.

The ticket options for the three modes of transportation as outlined above are all the same, and they are facilitated and sold in the same manner. The different single ticket options are outlined below:

Those planning on traveling via public transportation frequently or for an extended period of time while in Stockholm may be interested in purchasing an SL Access card. This card is essentially a refillable card that you can load all of your tickets onto, whether they be travelcards or single journey tickets. There is a one-time purchase fee of 20 SEK, but once it is purchased, it can be used to load all of your future tickets.  The minimum amount of credit to add is 100 SEK, and you can load up to 1000 SEK at one time. You can purchase the SL Access card at any Metro and commuter rail station or SL Center, and you can refill the cards at any of the SL Access self-service ticketing machines.

For additional information on Stockholm Public Transportation, head to this website.

SL Ticket Pricing Breakdown

Public Transpot in Oslo
bottom of page