15 Best Budapest Tours

With a population of nearly 1.8 million residents, Hungary’s capital Budapest is also its largest city and the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the European Union.

Budapest straddles the Danube River in the north-central portion of the country and is divided into two sections—Buda and Pest.

Like many Eastern European cities, Budapest features an impressive mix of the old and new and is particularly well-known for its hundreds of natural springs, from which millions of gallons of water bubble to the surface daily.

The city is also renowned for its art, architecture, history, and vibrant food scenes, all of which are easy to experience through numerous tours.

1. Downtown Budapest 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour

Budapest

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Budapest

Despite its bustling nature, downtown Budapest is very pedestrian-friendly.

For those who’ve just spent countless hours on a long flight, this 3-hour walking tour would be a great way to get a thorough overview of the city’s main attractions while stretching cramped legs.

Tours start in historic Kossuth Square and include the Parliament building, the Holocaust Monument, and the statue of the Catholic cardinal who resided in the US embassy for more than a decade during the Cold War.

The services of a knowledgeable local guide are included, but guests are encouraged to wear appropriate shoes and clothing since it is a walking tour.

2. Small-Group Bike Tour

Budapest Bike Tour

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Budapest Bike Tour

For activity-minded travelers, bicycles are great means of exploring a new city.

This small-group, half-day tour hits many of the capital city’s most significant sites, and unlike other tours, it focuses on interesting historical tidbits and anecdotes rather than obscure events and hard-to-remember dates.

It also offers a nice blend of cycling and non-cycling time at attractions like Liberty Square, Hungarian Parliament, and the largest synagogue in Europe, plus amazing views of the city’s skyline and the Danube River.

Tours meet in a convenient central location and include your guide, bikes, helmets, and engaging historical narrative along the way.


3. St. Stephen’s Basilica Tour with Tower Access

St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest

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St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest

Renowned for its impressive Renaissance architecture and for being the home of the mummified hand of Hungary’s first king St. Stephen, the basilica that bears his name is one of the city’s must-visit attractions.

This one-hour tour with an English-speaking guide explores the basilica’s amazingly ornate interior adorned with real gold plating, frescoes, and sculptures.

The church’s massive tower and dome are also on the itinerary. These are reachable by an elevator that whisks guests to a terrace providing unobstructed panoramic views of the sprawling city below.

Tours are relatively inexpensive and leave plenty of time to see other attractions.

4. Hungarian Cuisine Tasting Program

Hungarian Soup

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Hungarian Soup

Pretty much everybody knows that goulash is a traditional Hungarian dish, but most first-time visitors are pleasantly surprised to discover that the country is home to a unique and vibrant cuisine with lots of regional and international influences.

After a brief meet and greet with their guide in a convenient location, tour participants will set off on a fun and educational tour that highlights history and culture in addition to food and drink.

Stops include markets, traditional and contemporary restaurants, street-food vendors, and coffee shops.

Expect to learn a lot, rub elbows with locals, and sample everything from cured meats and fresh bread to local wine and sweets.


5. Evening Cruise with Drinks and Live Music

Budapest Evening Cruise

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Budapest Evening Cruise

Relatively short tours are all the rage these days because they allow more time for self-exploration without being chained to a traditional all-day excursion.

This evening cruise along the Danube includes drinks and live music. At the same time, guests enjoy amazing views of the Hungarian capital as the sun disappears and the city becomes awash with light.

Previous guests have described the 90 to 120-minute tour as romantic and memorable. Highlights include the city’s famed bridges, Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Freedom Monument.

Package options include your choice of beer, wine, or cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks, water, and light fare are available as well.

6. Rudas Spa Wellness and Dining Experience

Rudas Spa, Budapest

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Rudas Spa, Budapest

Though vacations are supposed to be about fun and relaxation, they’re often stressful and hectic too.

For those who’ve had their fill of running around Budapest seeing the sights, this spa, wellness, and dining experience would be a great way to recharge drained batteries.

It’s hard to fathom, but Rudas Spa and its thermal baths have been around for more than 400 years, and they still attract visitors from near and far.

The bath’s waters are a toasty 42 degrees and are purported to hold a variety of therapeutic properties.

Spa excursions may also include multi-course meals and drinks like wine, coffee, and champagne.


7. Chocolate Museum Tour with Tasting

Chocolate Museum, Budapest

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Chocolate Museum, Budapest

Hungarians and residents of Budapest have always been big fans of chocolate. For those interested in immersing themselves in the city’s chocolate culture, this two-hour afternoon tour may be just the ticket.

Tours include the services of an English-speaking guide, entrance fees to the museum, an introductory movie, and access to a chocolate making show with a personalized gift at the end of the day.

The museum is also a repository for a number of famous Hungarian works of art. Guests over 18-years-old will have the option of sampling Hungarian liqueur.

Each participant will have a chance to make his or her own chocolate as well—a big hit with those of all ages.

8. 45-Minute Budapest Parliament Guided Tour

Budapest Parliament

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Budapest Parliament

Budapest’s House of Parliament building is one of the city’s premier historical attractions, and it’s worthwhile to visit even for those with less than an hour to spare.

This 45-minute guided tour explores the impressive structure that was built in the gothic revival-style by a famous Hungarian architect.

English visitors often note its similarity to the Palace of Westminster—the building it was designed to mimic.

The House of Parliament sits on the Pest side of the Danube and is well-known for its iconic central staircase and vaulted ceilings, as well as the Hungarian crown jewels on display.


9. MonsteRoller E-Scooter Tour

MonsteRoller E-Scooter Tour

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MonsteRoller E-Scooter Tour

Lovers of history and culture could spend days in Budapest and not see all the city has to offer.

That being said, if they were honest, many visitors would rather take a break and hit the streets on a honking big e-bike with massively wide tires similar to those usually only found on off-road motorcycles.

If that sounds like you and your travel companions, look no further than this MonsteRoller E-Scooter tour.

Tours include a local guide and five different route options that last from between one and a half and three hours.

You’ll still see and experience much of what the city is famous for, and you’ll have a blast in the process.

10. History and Myths Evening Walking Tour

Fisherman Bastion (Halasz bastya) on the Buda Hill

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Fisherman Bastion (Halasz Bastya) On The Buda Hill

It’s almost unanimously agreed that tour guides dressed in authentic Gothic attire make for more memorable experiences.

As luck would have it, this two-hour evening walking tour includes the services of just such a guide. It explores many of the city’s most fascinating historical and mystical places.

Highlights include Buda Castle, as well as eerie and macabre tales of Prince Vlad Dracula and Hungary’s bloody countess Elizabeth Bathory, who were said to be among the city’s abundant vampire residents in ages long past.

These tours may not be a good fit for very young children and the easily disturbed.


11. Generation Pub Crawl

Budapest Pub Crawl

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Budapest Pub Crawl

Long after the sun has set and older tourists are firmly ensconced in their comfy hotel beds, young revelers of all stripes emerge to appreciate Budapest’s hip party scene.

This five-hour pub crawl is typically ranked among the city’s craziest. It includes stops at some of Budapest’s swankest nightclubs, seediest backstreet bars, and traditional pubs that are popular with locals and tourists alike.

Tours are wheelchair accessible, get underway at 10:00 pm, and meet in a convenient central location.

After a brief overview of the evening’s activities, everyone will set out to experience the city’s nightlife to the fullest.

Hangovers are included free of charge.

12. Land and Water Floating Bus Tour

Budapest Floating Bus

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Budapest Floating Bus

According to legend, Budapest is such a magical city that even the tour busses float.

Intrigued?

If so, then seriously consider signing up for this unique land and water floating bus tour.

Truth be told, the tour busses aren’t magic; they’re just amphibious vehicles designed to traverse land and water, making for a truly fun and exhilarating experience for those looking for something a little different.

Tours last about 90 minutes and include city and river portions, from which guests will see many of Budapest’s most iconic attractions in perfect comfort.

Consider wearing layers, sunglasses, and a good hat if you’ll be visiting during the summer months.


13. 1 ½-Hour Segway Sightseeing Tour

Budapest Segway

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Budapest Segway

Though in years past they were the exclusive realm of portly mall cops and overly-authoritarian airport security personnel, Segways are now catching on as safe and fun means of tourist transportation.

This 90-minute city Segway tour begins with a quick training session aimed at those who’ve never used one of the unique two-wheeled vehicles.

Getting up to speed won’t take long, after which participants will head to many significant attractions, like the Hungarian Parliament, the Chain Bridge, Fisherman’s Bastion, and Buda Castle.

Along the way, you’ll hear fascinating and humorous stories, stop for photographs and selfies, and have an all-around exhilarating and engaging time.

14. 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Package

Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off

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Budapest Hop-On Hop-Off

For many visitors, seeing Budapest at their own pace beats the heck out of committing to a long traditional tour with a fixed itinerary.

If that sounds like you, then hop-on-hop-off tours are probably the way to go because they allow you to spend your time seeing the things you want without worrying about everybody else.

This two-day tour option includes stops at sites like the State Opera House, Buda Castle, and multiple churches, cathedrals, and museums. There’s even a river cruise option for those who’d like to take to the water.

There’s really too much to list, so click the link below for more in-depth details before booking.


15. 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise with Welcome Drink

Budapest Cruise

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Budapest Cruise

Cruising along the Danube taking in Budapest’s impressive sites and skyline is one of those activities that shouldn’t be missed, even for those working with limited time.

This 1-hour tour includes a refreshing welcome drink that varies depending on the season, and views of classic city attractions, like the National Parliament, Buda Castle, Vigadó Concert Hall, and many of the bridges spanning the river.

Unlike other river tours, this one doesn’t offer live narration or audio guides, but therein lies much of its allure.

Instead of having their ears talked off, participants will relax with their thoughts in the boat’s pleasant coffee house-like ambiance.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Budapest, Hungary
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15 Best Budapest Tours:

  • Downtown Budapest 3-Hour Historical Walking Tour
  • Small-Group Bike Tour
  • St. Stephen's Basilica Tour with Tower Access
  • Hungarian Cuisine Tasting Program
  • Evening Cruise with Drinks and Live Music
  • Rudas Spa Wellness and Dining Experience
  • Chocolate Museum Tour with Tasting
  • 45-Minute Budapest Parliament Guided Tour
  • MonsteRoller E-Scooter Tour
  • History and Myths Evening Walking Tour
  • Generation Pub Crawl
  • Land and Water Floating Bus Tour
  • 1 ½-Hour Segway Sightseeing Tour
  • 48-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Package
  • 1-Hour Sightseeing Cruise with Welcome Drink