Plan the Best Day Trips from Budapest During Your Stay

Are you planning a visit to the Hungarian region in the near future? If so, you are probably thinking about visiting Budapest, Hungary. While it is true that Budapest has a lot to offer, there are plenty of day trip getaways you can plan during your visit to this part of Europe. Regardless of whether you want to swing by some thermal baths or check out some baroque art, there are lots full-day options available. You might want to swing by Vienna (Austria), a royal palace in Slovakia, or check out other beautiful spots along the Danube river. Regardless of whether you visit Visegrad, Szentendre, or Esztergom, what are a few of the best day trips you should consider? Think about including a day tour if you want to plan the best day trip from Budapest!

1. Visegrad

Without a doubt, one of the day trips you have to do when you visit Budapest is Visegrad. You can reach this beautiful city in less than an hour if you take the train! This city used to serve as the capital of Hungary, and there is still a towering fortress on a high hill that served as one of the main defenses of the country. From the top of the hill, you can marvel at the beautiful Danube river that winds below! If you want to check out a few castles, this is also the place to go. There is an upper castle and a lower castle, and both have a few re-enactments that take place regularly. Clearly, this is one of the top places to go if you love history! You might want to read up on the city beforehand so you can make sure to appreciate everything you see!

2. Esztergom

While you visit Visegrad, you can also hit Esztergom! This is another great place with some amazing history. The city dates back to the time of the Roman Empire, and you can see why the country has worked so hard to preserve the city. Similar to its counterpart, the city of Esztergom was also built on a high hill. It is perched perfectly over the river, making it a great spot to defend against invaders. You will want to check out the Esztergom Basilica while you are here. This is one of the tallest buildings in the region, and it is the largest church in the country. You don’t need to be religious to enjoy it, you can still go and take a look at the architecture! Be sure to pay close attention to the intricate patterns on the outside of the building!

3. Eger

If you are looking for a gorgeous city that is not too far from Budapest, then you will want to check out Eger. People often think about baroque churches and art nouveau when they visit Budapest, and you will get your fair share of architecture in this gorgeous city. There is a towering minaret in the town center that you will certainly want to snap a picture of. The minaret went up in the 17th century. At the time, the city was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. It served as an area of worship for people following Islam, and then it was converted into a catholic church when the Austrians took the city in the 18th century. After you have gotten your fill of history, do not forget to check out the wine! There are plenty of amazing wineries in the region, and many of them are represented in the city. Once you have had your fill of wine, make your way to the Valley of Beautiful Women to see some amazing carvings!

4. Lake Balaton

Do you want to relax on the water? If so, you’ll want to visit Lake Balaton. There aren’t a lot of public transport options to get to this site, so you might need to take a taxi or rent a car, but it will certainly be worth it! There is plenty of coastline to enjoy during your visit, along with plenty of beautiful historic locations! You can enjoy some wine, take a thermal bath at the local spa, and enjoy the gorgeous waters! You might want to swing by a few small towns, such as Tihany and Keszthely, to really take it all in! It is easy to see why so many people visit this area to recuperate and de-stress! Why not join the party? There are delicious restaurants you can try to really get your fill!

5. Pecs

This is another beautiful city that you’ll want to check out. It sits close to the Croatian border, and it is only a few hours from Budapest by train. This is a town that is known for its young population, given the large university that sits in the city. You’ll want to swing by Szechenyi Square to explore some amazing architecture, and you’ll want to take a picture of the four towers on top of the Pecs Cathedral! While you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Christian mausoleum, which is deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop by the pottery shops outside the museum to look at the beautiful pottery. If you need a bite to eat, then visit the Balkan Bistro! Because of the location of the city, it serves as a melting pot of many cultures. You can certainly feel that the instant you start walking around the city. Add this to your list of trips when you visit Budapest!

6. Szentendre

Hope on some public transport, such as a train, and swing by Szentendre! This is a small town that is only an hour away from Budapest, but it is certainly worth the trip! It has a tremendous amount of history and character that dates back to the Renaissance, and the town used to serve as a refuge for people from Serbia and Croatia who were looking for a place to hide during their wars with Turkey. While the streets might be quiet, they are popular among artists who are looking for a nice place to hone their crafts. This is a great place to pick up some Hungarian clothing as well! Slip on a new outfit and check out Skanzen, which is a park that pays homage to traditional Hungarian dress and lifestyles in the main square. You might even want to sign up for a tour of the Danube Bend while checking out Szentendre! That way, you can hit Visegrad and Esztergom as well!

7. Gyor

There aren’t a lot of people who check out this old town, but if you are looking for historic towns, this is the place to go. Gyor is a tremendous cultural site, and if you want to learn as much as you can, then you might want to take a guided tour. Because of its location, it also contains a lot of cultural influences. It was controlled by the Turks for a while, it was occupied by the Nazis during WW2, and then the Allied forces liberated it at the end of the war. The French even controlled the town for a while during the time of Napoleon. Fortunately, much of the town has survived, but many people still overlook it! You can take the train from Budapest to get to Gyor easily, so make sure you don’t overlook this amazing town during your trip to Hungary! You’ll be glad you took the time to explore the beautiful Gothic architecture!

8. Godollo, the Royal Palace

You might think about Great Britain when you hear about a royal family, but Hungary has had its fair share of royalty as well! You can learn more about Hungarian royalty if you swing by the royal palace as well! Empress Elizabeth of Austria was royalty during the 19th century. She was married to the Austrian Emperor, Franz Joseph, but didn’t much enjoy the court there. Therefore, she decided to escape to Hungary to get away from the pressure of the royal court. So, she resided here! The palace has had to be rebuilt a few times, but it still looks beautiful, and you’ll want to pay a visit to this amazing location! Be sure to take some time to explore the artwork as well! You can reach the palace easily by train!

9. The Hungarian Plains

Did you know that prior to the 19th century, Budapest was actually two separate cities of Buda and Pest? When the area was first settled by Magyar tribes during ancient times, there were a few small cities instead of large ones! You can learn more about this time in history if you explore the Hungarian plains! Puszta and Kecskemet are two small towns you’ll want to check out during your trip to the plains! This is a great place to get in touch with your inner cowboy and explore what life was like to ride horses on the Hungarian plains! Be sure to check out the local markets as well! These small towns might not be as big as Budapest, but they are still very vibrant!

10. Debrecen

Do you want to check out an open air museum or two? If so, be sure to visit the second-largest city in Hungary as well. Debrecen is on the other side of the country, and you can certainly spend the night in a hotel if you don’t want to make the journey back on the same day and check out the nightlife, but there is no reason why you can’t also explore this city when you visit Hungary! You might want to learn more about the history of the country during the Second World War by visiting the House of Terror, and you might also want to explore the Deri Museum. There is a lot to do in this beautiful city, so consider adding this city to your list when you visit Hungary!

11. Aggtalek National Park

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If you get tired of seeing a bunch of historical sites in the main cities, then take some time to see what this beautiful national park has to offer! Aggtalek National Park is situated in the countryside that has also been listed as a world heritage site! It contains a lot of cliffs and forests with unique plants and animals that reside in them. You can also marvel at some amazing lakes that are surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery that you have ever seen! Some of the animals that live in the park are either threatened or endangered, so the park is serving as a protected area as well. During your trip to this area, you might want to visit Josvafo as well to learn more about the plants and animals you’ll spot during your visit! Hop on a train from Keleti!

12. Vienna

You may already know that many of the countries in Europe are relatively small. This means that you can visit multiple countries on the same trip. One of the countries you may want to get to is Austria. In particular, Vienna is absolutely beautiful, and it is not that far from the river Danube. When you are there, you will want to check out the Cathedral of St. Stephen, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Europe. You may want to check out a few of the open markets as well. The best part is that you can get to Vienna and just a couple of hours by train. That means you don't even need to spend the night if you don’t want to, but you might want to spend some extra time in Vienna once you get there! Be sure to visit the Kohlmarket to do some shopping, and swing by Schonbrunn Palace to learn more about the history of the country!

13. Zagreb

Be sure to visit Croatia during your trip to Hungary as well! Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, might have a lot of similarities to Hungary in terms of architecture (particularly the Parliament building), but it has its own feel. During your visit to Zagreb, be sure to check out St. Mark’s Church. It stands as a symbol of the city and all it has withstood over the years. If you love Gothic architecture, then you need to swing by the Cathedral of Zagreb as well. It towers over the city and holds a tremendous amount of cultural importance for the people who live there. You should also take some time to look at the exhibits in the Museum of Broken Relationships, but you might want to leave the kids at home for this one! It is literally a museum for relationships between people that did not end well!

14. Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is another stunning city in Croatia that is definitely worth your time. It might be a bit harder to get to than some of the other cities on the list, but you can certainly still get there pretty quickly! The first thing you’ll want to explore when you get here is the Walls of Dubrovnik, which helped to defend the city during ancient times. Then, take some time to wander through the Old Town to learn more about the history of the city. You should certainly relax with a meal from one of the food stalls near the street to take in the vibe of the city. Then, if you are not afraid of heights, be sure to sign up for a trip on the Dubrovnik Cable Car! This will help you get a 360-degree view of the city! If you have time, then you might want to journey to some of the islands near the city as well, such as Lopud Island or Lokrum Island! This is an amazing city that is certainly worth the visit!

15. Bratislava

Bratislava is a very friendly city with extremely low prices. Furthermore, Slovakia is very close to both Vienna and Budapest! You can get there in just a few hours by train! Sure, it might not have the glitz and glamour of some of the other cities in Europe, but you will still be glad you visited! You should take some time to simply wander the streets to absorb everything the city has to offer. The city is down to Earth and has plenty of unique houses and churches to explore. You should also take a look at some of the statues you’ll see during your journey! Be sure to check out Cumil, which is one of the most famous statues the city has to offer. Then, kick back with a beer, relax next to the road, and just watch the people who pass by you. You’ll feel right at home before you know it!

Get Ready for the Best Budapest Day Trips!

Even though Budapest has a lot to offer, you can check out a few of these other cities as day trips. Central Europe is known for its amazing history from the 11th century, 13th century, and even modern times. There is a lot to see in every capital city, and you might want to check out a baroque palace or two as well! With so many opportunities both south and north of Budapest, do not hesitate to explore away from the Hungarian capital! You might even want to see a horse show! Consider adding a few extra days to your trip to check out a few of the sites away from Budapest! You can learn more about the culture of the region and add a few more stamps to your passport!