9 Best Day Trips from Budapest
Dubbed the Hungarian Sea, Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, offers a stunning getaway from Budapest. Stretching nearly 50 miles, its shores are dotted with around 180 towns, national parks, and protected areas. During the summer season, from mid-June to the end of August, the lake's natural beaches invite visitors to relax and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the nearby Balaton wine region and savor Hungarian wines, including the local specialty, Olaszrizling.
Distance: 60 miles
Transportation: Take a one hour 45-minute train ride from Budapest Déli station to Balatonkenese, the first town by the lake.
Less than an hour's drive from Budapest, the picturesque town of Tata offers a delightful day trip for nature lovers and those seeking small-town charm. Known as the "city of living waters," Tata is characterized by its numerous lakes and mills, with the magnificent Old Lake stealing the spotlight. Visit during the migration season, typically in the last week of November, to witness up to 50,000 waterfowl resting here daily.
Distance: 37 miles
Transportation: Take a 56-minute bus ride from Budapest Keleti station to Tatabánya.
Just outside the historic village of Dömös, the popular Rám-szakadék valley offers a rewarding hiking experience. Accessible by train or bus from Budapest in under two hours, this scenic valley boasts volcanic rock walls adorned with breathtaking waterfalls. The three-spring valley, cutting through the Rám hill, is a particularly wild and captivating section.
Distance: 26 miles
Transportation: From Batthyány tér metro station, take a 40-minute ride on the H5 suburban train to Szentendre, then board the 50-minute 880 bus to Dömös. Alternatively, it takes around 45 minutes by car.
For a regal experience reminiscent of bygone eras, Gödöllő offers a charming day trip option just a short metro ride from Budapest. Known for its eighteenth-century Royal Palace, a favored residence of Queen of Hungary Empress Sisi, this town on the outskirts of Budapest is also home to the Szent István University. Indulge in Central European delicacies at Smarni restaurant and enjoy ice cream at Sissi ice-cream parlour. In December, join the Royal Palace's annual Advent celebrations for a festive experience.
Distance: 18 miles
Transportation: Approximately 47 minutes from Örs vezér tere metro station. Take the H8 suburban train to the final stop, Gödöllő.
Situated on the banks of the Danube River, Visegrád is an ideal day trip destination from Budapest. While it is possible to reach Visegrád quickly by train, consider taking a boat journey if weather permits and time allows. Sailing along the Danube offers extraordinary views, including the beautiful village of Vác and uninhabited islands. Explore the famous Visegrád Castle, witness medieval performances, and visit the Pálinka Museum to learn about Hungary's traditional fruit spirit.
Distance: 27 miles
Transportation: Around 40 minutes by train from Budapest Nyugati railway station to Nagymaros-Visegrád.
Capture Instagram-worthy photos of the Danube Bend from the stunning Prédikálószék lookout, located on one of the prominent hills of the Pilis. Standing at 639 meters, it offers panoramic views and is one of Hungary's most renowned viewpoints. Hikers can venture further by climbing an additional 12 meters to the lookout tower. Start your journey with a train ride to Dömös and follow the hiking trail marked with the red triangle.
Distance: Just over 26 miles
Transportation: From Batthyány tér metro station, take a 40-minute ride on the H5 suburban train to Szentendre. Then, board the 50-minute 880 bus to Dömös.
Szentendre Skanzen Village Museum
Explore the rich culture of traditional village life in Hungary at the Szentendre Skanzen Village Museum, the country's first open-air museum. Spanning nine distinct areas, the museum showcases folk architecture and offers a glimpse into Hungarian rural heritage. Wander by foot or take a ride on the Skanzen train, and don't miss the opportunity to indulge in traditional Hungarian cuisine at the Skanzen restaurant. If you wish to extend your visit, Szentendre town offers various dining options and even its own hotel.
Distance: 13 miles
Transportation: Around 40 minutes by train from Batthyány tér metro station. Take the H5 suburban train to the final stop, Szentendre.
Witness the convergence of two countries along the shores of the Danube in Esztergom, a Hungarian city connected to the Slovakian town of Štúrovo by the Maria Valeria Bridge. Explore the grandeur of the Basilica of Esztergom, one of Europe's largest cathedrals. Discover treasures dating back to the ninth century at the Castle Museum or delve into the history of navigation and soda water at the Danube Museum. Take a leisurely stroll across the border to Slovakia for a beer, adding an international touch to your day trip.
Distance: 25 miles
Transportation: A one hour 30-minute train ride from Budapest Nyugati station to Esztergom.
Nestled at the southern foot of the Mátra Mountains, the picturesque village of Mátrafüred offers a serene day trip destination. Within a two-hour journey from Budapest by train or bus, visitors can enjoy lovely hiking trails through the region's forests. After an adventurous day, unwind in one of the many charming apartments or wellness hotels. Consider taking the small railway from Mátrafüred to Gyöngyös to explore more of the region and savor local wines in the Mátra wine region.
Distance: 52 miles
Transportation: Around one hour 20 minutes by the Volán bus from Kacsóh Pongrác út bus stop. Take bus number 1045 directly to Mátrafüred or take bus 1066 to Gyöngyös and change to bus 3662 to Mátrafüred bus stop.