How many days should we spend in Budapest?
If you're using points, I would always recommend staying 5 nights to get that 5th night for free. I was just looking at this yesterday, the Ritz is a Tier 2 (40,000/night) and the Courtyard City Center is a very economical Category 3.
I was in Budapest for a day and a half 13 years ago on a bit of a whirlwind tour, and it was my favorite of the trip.
Thanks! We are planning to stay at the Marriott.
5 days is a good amount of time. Budapest is a very walkable city and staying centrally at either the Marriott or Ritz means you can really get your walking boots on.
Cross the river on one of the 3 Central bridges and climb to the top of the Citadel, a place of hand to hand fighting for control during WW2. When you get to the top you‘ll see Budapest at your mercy and realise it’s enormous strategic importance.
Halfway up the Citadel climb, looking across the Danube
Another day, another climb, this time to visit the enormous Buda castle and it’s fascinating, rambling museum.
Avoid the funicular railway and make the climb, don’t miss this statue en route
Also an opportunity to walk around the fisherman’s bastion, a fantasy fortification, recently restored to its ludicrous glory!
Arrange a walking tour of Parliament. Based on the London Westminster Palace it offers a great tour. Another great guided tour is the Hospital in the Rock that charts the use of this hospital dug deep into Gellerts Hill as military hospital, a seige hospital and (thankfully never used) - a nuclear holocaust hospital.
The Budapest underground is simple to use and the yellow line is the second oldest underground metro line in the world. Surprisingly shallow it will take you to the disturbing but “must visit” House of Terror museum charting Budapests sufferings at the hands of both fascist and communist secret police. And sticking to Communism, take the metro and bus to the outskirts of the city to visit the fascinating Memento Park, a repository of significant communist statues. Make sure to get a copy of the guide book to make sense of the outdoor exhibits, it’s an interesting walkabout. And have your picture taken on the comminust parade Dias in the shadow of Stalin’s boots. Don’t miss the spy film either!
Memento Park, those statues are bigger than they seem
See, its all about perspective!
Then there’s the classic walks, parks, bars and restaurants of any tourist visit. Budapest has so much to offer.
Lastly, hotel choice. Well Budapest regales you with 4 Marriott possibilities. Firstly the Courtyard, its the cheapest option and good for a business visit. I wouldn’t particularly recommend it for tourism. Next there’s the Autograph Boscolo. Similarly positioned to the Courtyard this is well placed to walk to the House of Terror but little else. It’s however a fabulous hotel and routinely upgrades Golds and Plats to its wonderful suites. Breakfast is taken in the famous and sumptuously overdone turn-of-the-century New York Cafe. As a hotel it’s a fabulous experience. The best located is undoubtably the Marriott, sitting as it does on the banks of the Danube and designed so every room has a river View.
Looking across the Danube, the Marriott is the large green and white building mid left
Gold and Plats get free access to its fabulous lounge which I reckon is one of the best in the world, especially in summer when you can relax on the huge outdoor lounge terrace with a free beer (or glass of wine, or spirit) and some darn fine desserts as the sun goes down. Finally theres the Ritz, it’s expensive by Hungarian standards but cheap by Western prices. It does not have a view of the Danube, but is only a short distance from the river. Unlike the other 3, I’ve never stayed there but I’ve heard good things.
I love Budapest, the city, the people and the sights. It’s an endlessly fascinating place.
Very useful to know that 5 days is about right, because that's how long I'll have when I go there later this year.
I was surprised how expensive the hotels were, particularly when you realise you have to add 22% tax onto the headline prices. I thought points was better value for money (e.g. Budapest Marriott 140,000 points or €1224 (=$1469) for 5 nights).
This is such a great answer to a question with photos included! Makes me want to visit too .
Enjoy the day!
Thank you so much for all insights and pix!! Very helpful!
Awesome Bob! I loved the photos. Yeah those status are massive! Thanks for the perspective! lol
Really very very helpful!!! <3
Four or five days is a good amount of time to spend in Budapest. I agree with just about everything that brightlybob suggested. I especially agree with his description of the CL at the Marriott. Spectacular! The view, at night, is amazing! And the pastries that are put out each day are wonderful.
Make certain that you have Goulash in a couple of different restaurants. It varies from place to place but is consistently wonderful. The hot springs pool is great for any aches and pains.
I spent 3-4 days there and saw plenty. Don’t forget to visit the largest thermal baths in Europe
Szechenyi Baths – Szechenyi Spa Baths Budapest – Guide & Booking
What boat/tour did you take for the last photo?
There were several river cruise companies that you can jump on, some offer lunch and/or bar. Or check with Viator online & pre-arrange any day tours
Lunch and bar? sold!
We stayed five nights on points at the Marriott. That gave us plenty of time to see most all the sights. Beautiful city. If you can, visit the "hospital in the rock" (that may not be the official name but people will know what you are talking about.) Very interesting tour of the underground hospital that was used multiple time during the wars (both hot and cold). Also, the grand arcade shopping mall in the middle of the city is a great experience.
I echo previous poster's remarks about the Marriott's lounge. Simply one of the very best anywhere, and a terrific view up and down the Danube. The hotel itself is very nice -- though not much to look at. We had a private guide for a couple days and he said a Budapest joke is that if you want a very nice room, in an excellent location, with a fantastic view -- but don't want to be forced to look at the Marriott -- then stay at the Marriott! It appears to have been designed by Soviet architects -- really one of the least attractive buildings in Budapest. But inside it is fabulous.
Day trips outside the city are also nice -- several quaint villages at the big bend of the river just outside the city. Also some vineyards with wine tasting are available.
I envy you. I definitely want to visit Budapest again.
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