For student travelers looking to have fun for cheap, a ticket to Budapest, Hungary has to be a priority on your trip. The city offers plenty of landmarks to see, nightlife to enjoy, and hearty food to fill you up. Despite all that the city has to offer, it can easily be done in one weekend, and never fear because I have an itinerary that will ensure you get the most out of your 48 hours in Budapest!

Day 1


After arriving in Budapest, you’re sure to be hungry. For that first meal in a new country, there are two options: embrace the culture, or stick to what you know. For each of these approaches, I have a recommendation, and they’re both on the same street! For a traditional Hungarian meal, head over to Drum Cafe for Goulash (pronounced “gooyash”), the national dish of Hungary, or some gypsy-style pork. For those seeking a comfortable, familiar first meal, continue down Dob Utica (“Drum Street” in English) to Cirkusz, where you’ll be served traditional Anglo-style brunch food.

Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi Thermal Baths

You’ll certainly want a place to relax after your travel, and maybe even want a comfortable place to let all of that food digest, so your second stop should be the famous Szechenyi Thermal Baths. Located on the grounds of a beautiful, old, Hungarian-style building, these steaming outdoor pools are the perfect place to say “ahhh,” and reward yourself for….anything.

Szimpla Kert – The Ruin Bars
Szimpla Kert
Szimpla Kert

The first night out in a new city is always the most exciting, so why not go somewhere that is sure not to disappoint. Szimpla Kert, also known as the ruin bars, is a strip of bars built out of old, ruined buildings. These bars are full of lights, colors, cool people, and fun drinks. Grab yourself a drink and go explore this magical spot unlike anything you’ll ever see.

Day 2

Great Market Hall

To start off your second day in Budapest, you’ll want to check out Great Market Hall. This market is sure to be one of the biggest you’ve ever seen, but watch out because it can be easy to get lost in there. Walk around, get yourself something to eat, something to wear, or something by which you can remember this trip. This market has it all!

Gellert Hill

Hopefully you brought some comfortable shoes, because Gellert Hill has the best view in town. Just a 20-30 minute walk up to the top of the hill reveals stunning views of the Buda side of Budapest. One warning: this hike involves lots of climbing stairs, so it may not be accessible to all travelers.

Hungarian Parliament
Hungarian Parliament Building

With a full day ahead of you, and the blood already pumping after Gellert, it’s time to see some landmarks! Now, there are a number of things to see in the city, so here are some you’ll want to consider when making your plan:

  • The Hungarian Parliament- a beautiful and picturesque building
  • Shoes on the Danube River- a memorial to remember the Jewish people who were killed during the Arrow Cross terror period in Hungary
  • The Statue of Anonymous- a bronze statue of an anonymous, hooded figure holding a pen. Said to give great writing skill to those who touch the pen.
  • Dohany Street Synagogue- the largest synagogue in Europe, and a beautiful piece of architecture
Booze Cruise Down the Danube River

You’ve had a long day of walking, and likely a long trip before arriving in Hungary, so why not make your last night in the city relaxing. The term booze cruise gives connotations of spring break students getting rowdy on a floating tiki bar in Punta Cana, but I promise you it is not like that in Budapest. The hour-and-a-half Prosecco cruises are a great way to enjoy low-stress fun with a great ambience, comfortable seating, and amazing views. Sit back, relax, and let the staff refill your Prosecco glass as often as possible.

Bonus Nightlife Stop: Instant Nightclub

Instant is a club that is sure to deliver for all of those party animals on the trip. Multiple floors, dozens of rooms, a huge dance floor, great music, and an upbeat vibe make Instant a go-to spot for late-night fun. It is easily the most popular club in the city. Enjoy!

Ian Gundersen


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