A City Break In Budapest, Hungary On A Budget

Thanks to a cheap flight from Bucharest to Budapest. – We aren’t going down the alphabet I promise!. We decided to continue our digital nomad adventure in Hungary.

A city break in Budapest isn’t uncommon. In fact, it’s one of the most well-known city break destinations in Europe. It, therefore shouldn’t come as a surprise that from of our time and experience here. We decided to put together a super budget friendly guide as to a city break in Budapest;

Travel Insurance

Before you go anywhere you’re going to need travel insurance. Travel insurance covers you for small things such as loss of baggage or larger things such as illness of death abroad.

Whilst it isn’t compulsory I personally wouldn’t go anywhere outside of the UK without it. I have travel insurance as part of a service with my bank. If you don’t have travel insurance already then I recommend using a comparison service such as Go Compare to find the cheapest / most suitable insurance policy for your needs.

For the purposes of this study let’s say that you don’t have travel insurance but you manage to pick up an annual worldwide travel insurance policy for £10.


We had been looking at our next stop after Bucharest before we got there so we had time to check out flights and transport. We found a bargain flight from Bucharest to Budapest for £8.25 each, around one week in advance. 

If you’re looking to get a return flight direct from the UK then prices start from around £39 each. I recommend using the free flight aggregator SkyScanner to find the best price for your departure location and dates.


Internal Travel

To keep costs to a minimum we took public transport in the form of the bus direct from the airport to a shopping centre (and the start of the metro). Depending on where in Budapest you’re staying from there you can take another bus or the metro line.

Every trip we took on public transport whether it be bus or metro cost 350 Hungarian Florent each.

We found the transport system easy to use and very simple to understand. The only slightly confusing thing is that you have to purchase your ticket before any journey and validate in a machine before getting on the metro or as you embark the bus service. However, this seems like common practice across Europe.

If you’re arriving into Budapest late then it might be worth pre-booking your internal travel to your hotel with a transfer service such as Hoppa.


It comes as no surprise that the cost of accommodation was much higher in Budapest when compared to eastern Europe (where we’d come from on this trip).

To keep costs down we went for one of the cheapest hostels we could find – Hello Budapest Hostel. We stayed in a 10-bed dorm with full kitchen facilities and bathroom. Our accommodation was in a great location with the Grand Food Market behind us and a small Tesco Express at the bottom of the street. We were a short walk to the Liberty Bridge over the Danube and not far from a strip of shops and restaurants.



While in Budapest we opted for a free walking tour, unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to film and the tour was very crowded and we found it hard to hear the guide talking. We decided to head off on our own and explore the city ourselves. We started off heading to St. Stephens Basilica, we paid 400 HUF (student price) to walk the 302 stairs to the top for a panoramic view of the city. 

We visited the Great Market Hall for a spot of breakfast one morning and got to see the amazing variety of fruit, veg and meat products as well as the home made clothes and dresses on the higher level. Just by the market is the lovely Liberty bridge which looks beautiful lit up in the evening.

We also took a simple stroll down the river to see the Fishermans Bastion in the distance, along with the many river cruises moored up for the night. Seeing the Danube lit up with the lights of the city and the boats is lovely to see. 

One of the last things we did while in Budapest was to go on a self-guided tour of some of the ruin pubs, I used TripAdvisor to pick the best locations to visit and we also tried out the local beer and spirits. The ruin pubs are a great thing to see as they have a great mix of the new and old of the cities buildings and culture. 


To minimise our expenses and maximise the use of the facilities at the hostel we chose to shop at the local market and the supermarket wherever possible.

We did however eat out on one occasion during our stay where we looked to try some of the local Hungarian cuisine. Eating at Drum Cafe and the total meal for 2 drinks, 2 mains and 2 sides came to £9.57. 


On our city break in Budapest on a budget we decided against buying souvenirs. Instead put the money we would have spent on another trip, and the chance to make even more memories.

If you have enjoyed this guide then consider checking out some of our other budget-friendly travel guides from around the world. If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve it for other budget-friendly travellers let us know in the comments below!


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