When you arrive in Budapest, you may be ready to turn around and run away, because there is so much to do and see. We understand that it can be a little overwhelming at first, especially if you have no idea where anything is or how to safely arrive at the attractions that you want to see the most.
Thankfully, there are many Budapest Hop On Hop Off Buses available and they all offer tours that will have you falling in love with this part of the world rather quickly! While there are plenty of options, we are only sharing the best of the best. These are the tours that we know you will enjoy and learn a lot from, plus they have the best reputation when it comes to providing excellent customer service!
The Best Hop On Hop Off Buses in Budapest
City Circle Tour
City Circle Tour offers a few different options with their tours, which is perfect if you truly want to get the most out of this destination. You can purchase any of their regular packages, but they also have additional packages that will allow you to receive many extras at a Budapest Hop On Hop Off Bus discount.
The Green Line Tour – This tour is two and a half hours long and includes twenty stops. You can listen to the information provided in twenty-five different languages, so you will always understand what is being conveyed to you. This route runs everyday from April 1st until November 2nd. You will board this tour bus at the Basilica on Szt. István Sqr. and it stops there every half hour, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the evening. When you purchase your ticket, it is valid for a total of forty-eight hours, so you can enjoy this route and tour for even longer.
Stops for the Green Line Tour:
- Stephen’s Basilica
- Széchenyi Square – This is where the stunning Art-Nouveau Gresham Palace can be seen.
- Andrássy Avenue – So many gorgeous buildings here, including mansions, former palaces, and the opera.
- Opera House
- Liszt Ferenc Square – You can people watch at the local cafés and restaurants here.
- Heroes’ Square – This is the biggest square in the country and there are many statues, museums, and the Millennium Monument here.
- Széchenyi Bath/City Park – A visit to this spa is a must, but so is taking the time to see the nearby zoo and Vajdahunyad Castle.
- Grand Hotel Hungaria – This is now considered the city center and it is near the Keleti Train Station.
- New York Palace
- Astoria – This is near the National Museum and Synagogue.
- Károly Körút – The Orczy House
- Dohány Street Synagogue
- Ferenciek tere
- Clark Adam Square
- Castle District/Royal Palace
- Citadella/Gellért Hill
- Március 15. Tér/Elizabeth Bridge, Danube Promenade
- József Nádor tér
- Stephen’s Basilica
The Pink Line Tour – This tour is only an hour long, which is perfect if your time is short or you have many other plans for your stay in Budapest. There are only twelve stops and the tour guides only offer information in English and German. This tour runs everyday between April 1st and November 2nd and it leaves every hour on the hour between ten in the morning and five in the evening. The departure spot for this tour is Clark Adam Sqr./Buda. Your ticket for this tour is also valid for forty-eight hours.
Stops for the Pink Line Tour:
- Clark Adam Square/Buda – down at the end of the Chain Bridge.
- Margaret Bridge
- Parliament/Kossuth tér – This area has seen some major improvements in recent years, so expect to see more as you wander through the museums and the outdoor green spaces.
- Széchenyi Square
- Petöfi Square – This is where you can go for a boat tour.
- Whale Shopping and the Cultural and Entertainment Centre
- Fövám Square – The Great Market Hall
- Kálvin tér – The National Museum
- Károly Körút – The Orczy House
- Városháza tér and City Hall Square
- Ferenciek tere
- Clark Adam Square/Buda
Other tour options with City Circle include:
2 One-Hour Boat Excursions – You will have the chance to take a boat ride during the day and at night when you purchase this tour. These rides are available every day between April 1st and November 2nd. The tours leave every hour between ten in the morning and five in the evening, but there are a couple other times available during the months of June, July, and August.
Night Bus Tour – This tour is two hours long and leaves in the evenings at eight o’clock. These tours are only done in the months of April, May, September, and October.
One Hour Bicycle Tour – This bicycle tour is a unique way to tour Margaret Island, which is just over Margaret Bridge. You will see numerous historical sights during your tour, as well as ruins of monasteries, fountains, and a rose garden.
One Hour Walking Tour – This walking tour focuses on Kossuth Square, Parliament, Szabadság Square, the statue of Ronald Reagan, the Basilica, and the National Bank building.
River Ride Floating Bus Tours
River Ride Floating Bus tours are slightly different than the other hop on hop off tours in Budapest. When you choose to take this tour, you must understand that you are on the bus the entire time. You cannot exit the bus and get on the next time it goes by, because this is not how this tour operator works. However, it is still an incredible tour that must be discussed and used regularly!
When you take a River Ride Floating Bus tour, you will spend half of your time on land and the other half on the water. This is possible, because River Ride uses a different type of bus and it is capable of being driven on land and operated on the Danube River.
Tour Options and Times for River Ride Floating Bus
There is only one tour option with River Ride Floating Bus, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t see many of the extraordinary sights of Budapest. In fact, it means just the opposite, because this bus will take you to the most popular sights without you needing to go on multiple tours or choosing to skip a few because they are not included on the tour you originally chose.
This tour lasts for approximately an hour and a half and departs from Széchenyi Square. The times of the tour are different, depending on the time of the year you are planning on visiting Budapest. From April 1st until October 31st, you can take this tour at ten, twelve, two, and four. However, from November 1st until March 31st, this tour is only offered at eleven, one, and three.
The commentary for the tour is available in twelve different languages, so you will never need to worry about not understanding what is being said.
Stops Along the River Ride Floating Bus Tour
This tour passes by many of the popular attractions in Budapest. This is the current route that the River Ride Floating Bus takes:
- Hungarian Academy of Sciences – This attraction is where some of the world’s most intelligent people work.
- Stephen’s Basilica – Inside this Basilica, you will find the mummified hand of King St. Stephen.
- Synagogue – This is a major sight in Budapest and three thousand people can fit inside to worship.
- Opera House – The Opera House is located on Andrássy Avenue and you must see a performance there during your visit.
- Heroes’ Square – A must-see sight in this area is the Millennium Monument.
- Splash – This is the time when you will enter the water of the Danube River.
- Chain Bridge – Looking at the Chain Bridge from a different vantage point will pique your interest at this point of the tour.
- Parliament – This sight may not interest you much after the beauty of Margaret Island, bu the guide will do their best to capture your attention.
- Citadella – This is not a prominent feature of the tour, but it will still be mentioned as you are passing by.
- Royal Palace – This will be seen at two different times on the bus. The people sitting on the right will see it first and then those on the left will capture their view once the floating bus has turned around and is heading back to land.
Since there are no hop on hop off options with this tour, you will want to make sure that you take the time to visit these attractions on your own. While you do not need to visit them all, you must see the ones that interest you the most. Maybe you want to see the inside of the synagogue or you want to explore Margaret Island a little further.
The choice is yours, but at least after the River Ride Floating Bus tour, you will know a little bit more about each attraction. That knowledge will serve you well, as you decide what you want to see more of and what you can skip.
The River Ride Floating Bus is one of the shorter tours offered, when it comes to the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour options in Budapest. While this timesaving tour can be excellent for many people, it may not be the best for those that want an in-depth experience right away. Those who want the option of exploring each attraction when they first discover it, may want to choose one of the true Budapest Hop On Hop Off Bus tours.
Big Bus Tours
The Big Bus Tours are one of the more popular of the Hop On Hop Off Budapest bus on nicer days, because the top of the bus is open. This tour stops at twenty-seven of the most popular landmarks and attractions within the city and you can listen to the information being provided about each one in twenty-three different languages. There really isn’t a need to list the stops in order for this one, because they are basically the same as the other two tours combined.
The very first stop is Heroes’ Square and the first bus arrives at six minutes past nine in the morning. From there, the Hop On Hop Off buses arrive every fifteen to thirty minutes throughout the day.
Your ticket also includes an hour and a half river excursion, an hour-long nighttime bus tour, and two one and a half hour walking tours. The first walking tour starts at Andrássy út and covers the Pest side, while the other begins at Szentháromság Sqr. near Buda Castle and focuses on the Buda side.
These are the best Budapest Hop On Hop Off Bus options, despite one not being a true hop on hop off experience. So, you will want to plan on using one, or all, of them when you choose to visit this incredible destination. The reason we say all of them is because if you choose the River Ride Floating Bus, you may feel like your experience is lacking in some way. Therefore, you will need to either explore some of the attractions on your own or take one of the other tours to see these sights up close.
The main thing though is that you will not only learn so much about this fascinating city, you will experience it in a different way than you would if you were trying to see all these attractions on your own without the assistance of a tour guide!