Best day trips from Budapest

Known as “The Paris of the East”, Budapest is one of the most visited and popular cities in the world. With its breathtaking architecture, magnificent baths and vibrant culture, the city offers a great mixture of Western and Eastern Europe. However, Hungary is so much more than its capital – ancient villages, magnificent nature, baroque churches and various historical attractions.  If you want to visit and experience other parts of this beautiful country, check out our list for best day trips!

1) Esztergom

Located around 60 km from Budapest, Esztergom is one of the oldest cities in Hungary. Founded in 972, this historic place was once originally the capital of Hungary until the 13th century. It was also the coronation place of St. Stephen, the first Hungarian king. Although the city has so much to offer, if you are staying only for a day, you should take a look at its most popular attractions such as the Esztergom Basilica – the largest church and the tallest building in Hungary and the remains of the Royal Palace, which was founded by the father of King St. Stephen. You can also enjoy the long walk along the Víziváros or Watertown – home to medieval fortresses, Turkish bastions and baroque churches.

How to get there:

  • Train: daily departures from Budapest – Nyugati station. The first train leaves at 12:25 a.m. and the last one is at 11:15 p.m. The journey takes approximately one hour and the tickets cost around 1 100 HUF (~3.36€).Check out the train schedule.

2) Eger

If you want to enjoy the Turkish baths and have a glass of wine while overlooking the sunset, then trip to Eger is the perfect one for you! The city is most famous for its picturesque Cathedral, central Plaza, the Castle of Eger and Eger Basilica. It is also a home to 17 Baroque Churches, which is a perfect place if you are interested in exploring the rich Hungarian history. If you are a wine lover you should definitely have a sip of Eger’s most famous wines such as Egri Leányka, Egerszóláti Olaszrizling, Debrői Hárslevelű (whites), and Egri Bikavér (a red).

How to get there:

  • Coach: coaches leave from Puskás Ferenc Stadion every hour. The journey takes approximately two hours and the tickets cost 2900 HUF (~8,83€).
  • Train: daily departures from Keleti train station (Keleti Pályudvar). The first train leaves at 07:00 a.m. and the last one leaves at 5:00 p.m. One way tickets cost around 2725 huf (~8,30€) and the journey takes around two hours.

3) Lake Balaton

This 50-mile long lake in the middle of Transdanubia is known as “Hungarian Sea”. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe and also one of Hungary’s most precious resorts. The trip to Lake Balaton is a perfect day trip from Budapest especially if you are traveling with children and you want to experience beautiful landscapes or spend the day in nature. You can enjoy the lake’s southern shore where the water is shallow or north shore where the water is a bit deeper. The lake is most famous for its mud which is a great remedy for anaemia or nervous fatigue. You can also visit different vineyards and taste most amazing local food after a long day of exploring the lake.

How to get there:

  • Train: to get to lake Balaton you can take the train which departs from Déli Station. One-way tickets can be found from 2 375 huf (~7,24 €). The journey takes around one hour.

4) Hollókő

Hollókő or “Raven-stone” in Hungarian is an old traditional village and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located 55 miles northeast of the capital in a valley of the Cserhát mountains. The old part of the is village is known for its conservation area od 55 houses that have been rebuilt to reflect the Palóc rural architecture. Although it is most recognizable for its rich cultural heritage, this beautiful and small village is most famous for its numerous festivals that celebrate various local traditions and different craftsmanship.

How to get there:

  • Bus: there is a direct bus departing from Budapest Kacsóh Pongrác út and arriving at Hollókő Autóbusz-Váróterem. This line only operates once a day. The journey takes approximately two hours and the tickets cost around 2 100 HUF (~6,40€).

5) Gödöllő

This historic town which dates back to the 14th century is most famous for its Royal Palace, which is the second largest Baroque castle in the world. It also served as the summer residence of Franz Josef, Austrian Emperor and his wife Elizabeth, also known as Sissi. The city is also home to the famous Saint Stephen University, which is an institution of agriculture. If you want to enjoy the nature as well as the historical part of this town, you can visit the town’s most beautiful botanical gardens which cover an area around 190 hectares.

How to get there:

  • Train: take the HÉV suburban train service from Budapest Örs vezér tere station, which operates daily. Tickets are around 315 HUF (~0,96€).
  • Bus: daily departures from Puskás Ferenc Stadion. Tickets can be found from 550 HUF (~1,52€). Both journeys take approximately 45 minutes.

6) Miskolc

The city of Miskolc is located just a few hours away from Budapest. This gorgeous city is surrounded by nature and it is a great choice if you want to relax and seize the day. You can also take a look at the Bükk National Park or go hiking. Although the city is full of numerous things to do in nature, the most famous attraction is definitely the Cave Bath – a thermal bath in a natural cave. Due to much lower salt content than other thermal waters, you can enjoy unlimited amount of time in the water, which is also known to reduce pain.

How to get there:

  • Train: there are 55 different trains departing from Budapest-Nyugati, Budapest-Keleti, Kelenföld stations and arriving to the station of Miskolc-Tiszai.  The first train leaves at 12:43 a.m. and the last one is at 11:50 p.m. The journey takes around three hours and the tickets can be found from 2 400 HUF (~7,32€).

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