City breaks in Budapest
Book a short stay or weekend break in the Hungarian capital
Whether you’re on a family vacation or romantic city break, the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel is the perfect central hotel in Budapest. Explore the city on foot, or make the most of its affordable and efficient public transport. Everything is within easy reach.
Once 2 separate cities that were united in 1872, Budapest (formerly Buda and Pest) has become known as one of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities. During a weekend or short break full of exploration, you can enjoy wonderful views of the city, as well as intriguing glances into the past – the majority of the iconic buildings have been around for centuries. Opulent cafes, enlightening museums and breathtaking scenery all await.
Budapest’s streets are an architectural treasure trove – discover buildings in baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau styles. Sightsee by day and indulge in hearty Hungarian foods, then party in one of the distinctive “ruin bars” when the sun goes down. These vibrant bars are based in abandoned buildings, and lend a truly unmistakable vibe to Budapest nights.
Our top 3 Budapest attractions
- Buda Castle
- Shoes on the Danube Bank
- Széchenyi thermal bath
Our top 3 Budapest museums
- Hungarian National Gallery
- Hungarian National Museum
- House of Terror
Our top 3 Hungarian foods
- Dobos cake
Use our Budapest map to see our pick of the top attractions
Locations and Neighborhoods
Location and neighborhoods
Discover Budapest’s districts
Tip: Budapest is split into 23 districts (“kerület”), distinguished by Roman numerals. You’ll only need to visit a select few during your city break. For example, V is the city center.
Best for magnificent views: District I / Buda Also known as Castle Hill, this is the historic center, and home to some of Europe’s most breathtaking architecture. Wander the Royal Palace and learn about the Austro-Hungarian empire before taking in spectacular views of the Danube. If you stop by the Fisherman’s Bastion, you’ll also be treated to panoramic vistas of the Pest side of the city.
Best for history: District VII / Jewish Quarter
This vibrant central area boasts an assortment of attractions and architectural styles. Shop for vintage fashion, unwind in a hip espresso bar or visit the largest synagogue in Europe. This area has a complex history, which blends fascinatingly with modern life. Don’t miss the ghetto wall memorial – built with some of the material from the original wall that separated the Jewish ghetto from the rest of the city during WWII. You’ll find it at No.15 Király Street.
Best for sightseeing: District V / Inner City
Often referred to as “downtown”, this is a great area to explore on a short city break in Budapest, as it’s packed with wonderful shops, markets and attractions. The city’s main shopping street Váci utca ("Váci Street") is located here, along with the striking parliament building and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Be sure to visit Liberty Square – the obelisk statue commemorates the liberation of Hungary at the end of WWII.
Best for greenery: Margaret Island
This island is located between the banks of the Danube and offers a relaxing change of pace from the city center. Explore the beautiful fountains and immaculate flower beds in the gardens before stopping at one of the many bars and cafés. Margaret Island is a particularly enjoyable spot for those on a romantic city break in Budapest.
Best for high-end exploration: District VI (Theresa Town) Budapest’s grandest avenue – Andrássy Avenue, a World Heritage Site – runs through this district. Discover picture-perfect café bars and opulent shops, as well as the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel. This area is also a lively nightlife spot.
Where to Stay
Book a Radisson Blu hotel in Budapest
City breaks can be full of surprises. Book your stay with Radisson Blu and look forward to exploring everything Budapest has to offer.
Radisson Blu Beke Hotel, Budapest
Conveniently located in the centre of the city, the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, Budapest allows guests to experience history without sacrificing modern amenities. The 247 rooms provide individual climate control and Free high-speed, wireless Internet, while Olive’s Restaurant and Zsolnay Café serve freshly prepared meals and desserts. The hotel also offers an indoor pool, a business center with secretarial services and 8 flexible meeting rooms.
© 2015 The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. All rights reserved.
Things to do in Budapest
Must-sees, must-eats and must-dos
Landmarks and attractions
- Buda Castle: This landmark is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site. Built atop Várhegy (Castle Hill), it rises 48 meters above the Danube, and its oldest existing part was built in the 14th century. There are several Buda Castle tours available – one of which includes the labyrinthine wine cellar. For great views, try taking the funicular up to the castle.
Directions: The castle funicular is a 30-minute walk across the city from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel. You will cross the iconic chain bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd) along the way. Alternatively, take the 105 bus from Oktogon to Apor Vilmos tér.
- Shoes on the Danube Bank: A poignant and haunting memorial conceived by film director Can Togay and created by sculptor Gyula Pauer. The memorial honors the people – chiefly Budapest Jews – who were killed during World War II by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest. They were shot at the edge of the water, after being ordered to remove their shoes.
Directions: A 20-minute walk from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Fisherman’s Bastion: Straight out of a fairytale, this is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Built between 1895 and 1902, the 7 turrets represent the 7 Hungarian tribes who founded present-day Hungary in 895. Marvel at the architecture, as well as the spectacular views of Pest and beyond from the top.
Directions: A 40-minute scenic stroll from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel. You can also hop on a 105 bus – just ask our staff for directions to the bus stop.
- Heroes’ Square (“Hősök tere”): This major square in Budapest city center is known for the Millennium Monument, built to commemorate the 1000-year history of the Magyars. The central pillar portrays the Archangel Gabriel surrounded by the 7 chieftains who led the Magyar tribes to Hungary. The square is beautiful to behold at night.
Directions: A 30-minute stroll from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Széchenyi thermal bath: There are almost 125 thermal springs beneath Budapest, and the present-day spas have become synonymous with a trip to the city. The quintessential choice is Széchenyi thermal bath – opulent, relaxing and a romantic date spot for anyone on a couples vacation. There are 15 baths in total, and the water temperatures reach up to 38°C. Don’t leave without sipping from the drinking fountains – the water is rich in health-boosting minerals.
Directions: A 30-minute walk from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel (or just over a 5-minute walk from Heroes’ Square).
- Matthias Church: This Roman Catholic church is located in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion – a great place to start exploring during your Budapest city break. It’s over 700 years old – making it one of the oldest buildings in Budapest – and has been the scene of numerous coronations. You can catch several concerts there throughout the year and enjoy impressive views of the Danube.
Directions: Ride the 105 bus to Clark Ádám tér, followed by a 10-minute walk to the church. The journey takes around 30 minutes in total.
- Hungarian Parliament Building: This grand Neo-Gothic building on the banks of the Danube is difficult to miss. Open to the public 7 days a week, there are guided tours available. Catch the building after sundown for a truly mesmerizing sight – some of the best views can be captured from a Danube cruise. Buy Parliament Building tickets online.
Directions: Just a 15-minute walk from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Dohány Street Synagogue: This is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second-largest in the world. Built between 1854 and 1859, it’s a popular tourist attraction. If you’re impressed by the building’s exterior, just wait until you step inside! The Synagogue also houses the Jewish Museum.
Directions: Only a 20-minute walk from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Goulash: Hungarians are known for their hearty foods, and this delicious soup is no exception. It’s packed with beef, potatoes and other vegetables, and found in most Budapest cafés and restaurants.
- Chicken paprikash: Tender chicken served in a paprika sauce with a dollop of sour cream. This famous Hungarian meal is often accompanied by dumplings or pasta. Speaking of which…
- Dumplings (“Nokedli”): A must-eat in their own right, you’ll find these noodle-like dumplings served alongside stews and meat dishes. Pure comfort food.
- Meat from the butcher’s: Hungarians don’t just buy meat from the butcher shop in Budapest – they eat it there, too. Order freshly-cooked sausages or pork knuckle with sauerkraut and potatoes, and devour them at the counter like a local.
- Cold fruit soup (“Gyümölcsleves”): These soups are very filling, so don't just save them for dessert. A popular choice is meggyleves, a chilled sweet soup of cherries, sugar and sour cream. It’s rich, and likely different to anything you’ve ever tasted.
- Dobos cake (“Dobostorta”): This indulgent cake tastes as wonderful as it looks. Chocolate buttercream is sandwiched between thin layers of sponge, and the surface is topped with solid caramel. The finishing touch? Either chocolate sprinkles or nuts around the edges.
- Andrássy Avenue (“Andrássy út”): A recognized World Heritage Site, the buildings on this avenue were built by the most respected architects of the time. In terms of shopping, it’s full of opulent designer stores. You’ll also discover fine cafés, restaurants and theaters.
Directions: This world-famous boulevard is just around the corner from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Váci Street (“Váci utca”): This is one of Budapest’s main pedestrian thoroughfares, and possibly the city’s most popular central street. It’s a very busy tourist area, but the inviting cafés and shops are worth fighting the crowds for.
Directions: Walk to Nyugati pályaudvar station from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel. From there, take the M3 metro line to Ferenciek tere. The total journey time is around 15 minutes.
- The Great Market Hall: Take a tempting culinary walk through the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. Discover meats, candies, spices and spirits, as well as places to sit down and eat. This is also the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs. The hall is closed on Sundays.
Directions: You’ll find the market at the end of Váci Street (see above).
- Hungarian National Gallery: The National Gallery is located in Buda Castle. Take in works of Hungarian fine art, as well as international masterpieces here. The gallery houses a huge collection – around 6000 paintings, 2100 sculptures and 11,000 drawings. You can buy tickets on arrival, or gain free entry with a Budapest Card.
Directions: Take the 105 bus from Oktogon to Apor Vilmos tér.
- House of Terror: This fascinating museum commemorates victims of both the Communist and Nazi regimes in Germany. The building itself was used as the former headquarters for the Nazi party in 1940, and the basement served as a prison. As its name suggests, the museum makes for a very eye-opening experience.
Directions: Just a 7-minute stroll from the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
- Hungarian National Museum: Founded in 1802, this is the oldest public museum in Hungary. Find exhibitions on furniture, textiles, weapons, metalwork and ceramics. Don’t miss the garden – it's the ideal place to take a break from sightseeing.
Directions: Hop on the M3 metro lane at Nyugati pályaudvar, and disembark at Kálvin tér. The overall journey should take just over 15 minutes.
- Budapest History Museum: This popular museum contains three distinct sections: Roman antiquities and archaeology (Aquincum Museum), medieval (Castle Museum) and the modern age, local history and fine art (Kiscelli Museum). Like the Hungarian National Gallery, it is based in Buda Castle.
Directions: Take the 105 bus from Oktogon to Apor Vilmos tér.
Travel in Budapest
All you need to know about the city’s transportBudapest is the kind of city you can walk around without noticing the ground you’re covering. The architecture is majestic, the scenery is captivating and the attractions are numerous. Choose a central place to stay during your city break, like the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel, and you’ll have everything on your doorstep. Our concierge team is always happy to provide tailored directions or book taxis for you.
Read on to find out all you need to know for getting around Budapest – whether you need simple instructions on traveling to and from the airport, or would like to get from A to B within the city center.
The easiest way to reach the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel from Budapest Airport is by train. Ferihegy is the nearest train station to Terminal 2. Over 100 trains operate per day, each taking you to central Budapest (Nyugati railway station) in less than 30 minutes. The train station is then just a 5-minute walk from the hotel.
The airport also has its own metro station, Kőbánya-Kispest. From here, take the M3 metro towards Újpest Központ. This will take you to the city center. There are several night buses that will take you to central Budapest, too.
You could also hop in a taxi – journey time to the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel is just over half an hour.
You can find out more information about travel from Budapest Airport from the Tourist Information counters located on the arrivals levels of Terminals 2A and 2B.
Visit official site
Budapest railway stations
Budapest has 3 main railway stations – all serving national and international lines. Here are the walking distances between each station and the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel:
- Western (Nyugati): 5 minutes
- Eastern (Keleti): 30 minutes
- Southern (Déli): 50 minutes
Budapest’s public transport is generally cheaper than in most Western European cities. An easy option is to buy a Budapest Card, which permits you travel on the city’s public transport, plus sightseeing tours and entry to numerous museums. Alternatively, a single ticket is valid for 1 uninterrupted journey (without any changes). If you do need to change lines, opt for a short section ticket.
All of Budapest’s key attractions are reachable by 1 of the 4 metro lines, frequent buses, or the tram. The major tram lines are 4, 6 and 2 – jump on any of these spontaneously and you’re sure to end up somewhere interesting!
If you’re exploring Budapest at night, the metro stops just before midnight and starts up again around 5am. Tram line 6 runs overnight, though, as do the night buses. Night buses are marked with a black and white owl symbol and always start with the number 9 (from 900 to 999).
Our hotel concierge will be happy to advise you on the best route and mode of transport for your destination. You can also download the BKK app, which is available in English.
Budapest may not be the first city to spring to mind when it comes to being bike-friendly, but it’s a great destination for avid cyclists. Expect hilly trails in Buda and more urban routes in Pest. There are plenty of bike rental places to choose from.
Facts and Useful phrases
Language, costs, useful phrases and more
Top 10 Hungarian (Magyar) phrases:
|Do you speak English?||Beszél angolul?||BE-seyl ÅN-go-loul?|
|Where’s the toilet?||Hol van a mosdó?||Hol vån å MOSH-doa?|
|How much is this?||Ez mennyibe kerül?||MEN-nyi-be KE-růl?|
|Yes / no||Igen / nem||EE-gen / nem|
|I’m sick||Rosszul vagyok||RO-soul VÅ-djok|
Population: 1.7 million (2016)
Average cost of travel: A 24-hour ticket for the tram or metro is 4,900 HUF (this also gives you discount on entry to certain attractions)
Most defining feature: The opulent thermal baths
Average cost of a pint: 400-600 HUF
Top 5 Budapest facts and tips:
- Budapest’s subway is the second-oldest in Europe (after London's).
- The city is made up of Buda and Pest (pronounced “Pesht”) – two formerly separate cities that were united in 1873. The River Danube flows between them.
- There has been a huge thermal spring culture for years. Visiting one of the city’s thermal baths provides a fascinating look at its history, along with pure, unadulterated relaxation.
- Hungarians call their language “Magyar”, and it is actually the direct descendant of the language spoken by the Huns.
- Aspiring writers should visit the Anonymous statue in the park near the Heroes Square. Legend has it that if you touch the pen, you will become a great writer.
Budapest has 4 distinct seasons, with very hot summers and cold winters. The hottest month tends to be August, with highs of 26°C. If you plan on visiting during the winter, take plenty of warm clothes, as temperatures can drop into the -20s. The picturesque snowfall certainly makes up for it, though.