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How to spend 48 hours in Budapest

Budapest is undoubtedly a city of contrasts and convergence. It tells the story of two cities — Buda and Pest, separated by the mighty Danube River yet united to form a modern capital. Buda, with its rolling hills and historic setting, a sense of mediaeval times and royal escapades. Here, the castle, cobbled streets, and ancient bathhouses illustrate the city’s aristocratic past. In contrast, Pest, with its flat landscape, brims with contemporary urban life, showcasing impressive architecture, trendy cafes, and the grandeur of the Parliament. This blend of the old-world charm of Buda and the modern energy of Pest makes Budapest the perfect destination for a 2-day adventure.

The following itinerary will help you maximise your time so you know how to spend 48 hours in Budapest in the best way possible.

4-es 6-os villamos by Barabas Balog

Day 1


Kick off your adventure in the Castle District and start with a hearty Hungarian breakfast at Ruszwurm, one of Budapest’s oldest traditional pastry shops. Then, wander up to Buda Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a glimpse into Hungary’s royal history don’t miss the changing of the guards! Just a short walk away is the Fisherman’s Bastion. With its fairytale turrets, it offers the best panoramic views of the Pest side of the city.


For a spot of lunch, head to Pest-Buda Bistro, a cosy spot near the Bastion, known for its authentic dishes. Try their chicken paprikash – a firm favourite. Following your meal, descend from Castle Hill and visit the Hungarian National Gallery to immerse yourself in local art. Later, stroll across the Chain Bridge – a symbol of Budapest’s connection and unity, and visit the majestic Parliament Building. And if time allows, take a guided tour to see its opulent interior.


Conclude your day at Kiskakukk Étterem, a restaurant revered for its traditional cuisine. This historic eatery, established over a century ago, offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and savouring authentic Hungarian dishes, including a hearty goulash. Pair your meal with a selection from their extensive range of Hungarian wines, perhaps opting for a renowned Tokaji. Just a short stroll from the restaurant is the Danube River. A post-dinner walk along its banks offers a peaceful experience, with the city lights reflecting off the water and the iconic bridges lit up against the night sky. This is a perfect, tranquil way to digest and reflect on the day’s adventures.

Buda castle by Barabas Balog

Day 2


Start your day with a dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, an iconic Budapest experience. With 15 indoor baths, 3 outdoor pools, saunas, steam rooms, and a rooftop greenhouse, it is among the best and largest spa baths in Europe. Afterward, enjoy a leisurely brunch at Városliget Café & Restaurant in the City Park, offering a scenic view and delicious dishes.


Post-brunch, explore Vajdahunyad Castle, also within the City Park, to see a fusion of different architectural styles. Then, take a leisurely walk to Heroes’ Square, known for its iconic statues of Hungarian kings and leaders. Head over to Andrássy Avenue, a world heritage site lined with spectacular neo-renaissance mansions and high-end shops. For a more unique experience, visit the House of Terror Museum on Andrássy Avenue, which chronicles the fascist and communist regimes in 20th-century Hungary.


End your day in the Jewish Quarter with dinner at Mazel Tov, a popular spot known for its lively atmosphere and Middle Eastern cuisine. Just a short walk from the restaurant, Gozsdu Udvar is a lively passage filled with bars and cafes, embodying the soul of Budapest’s nightlife. It offers a variety of options for post-dinner drinks and entertainment, ranging from cosy wine bars to lively pubs.

Szechenyi thermal bath in Budapest, Hungary

Having explored Budapest in all its majesty, what better way to unwind than at Park Plaza Budapest? Conveniently located and embodying the essence of comfort and style, this hotel offers the perfect retreat. With tastefully furnished rooms that blend modern amenities with traditional charm, the hotel ensures a stay that’s as memorable as your adventures through the city.

Park Plaza Budapest’s facilities cater to every need of the traveller. The in-house restaurant serves a fusion of local and international cuisine, while the spa offers a range of treatments to help relax after a long day. The friendly staff are also always on hand to ensure your stay is seamless, providing insights into the city’s local attractions and hidden gems.

Lets start planning your getaway…