Hop on one of the 4 scenic transportation lines in Budapest to explore top sights like the Parliament, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Buda Castle, and more.
Compared to London or Berlin, Budapest is a small capital city – or at least it feels small. Take a stroll along the river from the Parliament and it won’t be long before you find yourself in the outskirts. And when you’re busy exploring, you’ll quickly find it’s easy to see the top sights of the city in one or two days. This small-town feeling is all thanks to well-connected streets and one of the best public transportation systems in all of Europe. Whether you’re in the city center or heading for the hills, Budapest’s metro lines, buses and ferries will get you where you need to be – with some stunning views to boot. So, give your feet a break. Sit back and relax as we discover Budapest from its scenic transportation lines.
Whether you’re exploring the city by day or night, head to the river. The riverbanks of Pest are the best place to see the Parliament, Buda Castle and the four magical bridges of Budapest. When night falls, the Danube glows in the golden light of the city lights. It’s a sight you won’t want to miss, and one that’s best seen from the windows of the Number 2 Tram. As one of the best tram rides in all of Europe, this little yellow car will take you along the curve of the river on the Pest side from Közvágóhíd to Jászai Mari Square. Hop on from Boráros tér or Fővám tér to see Elizabeth Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Chain Bridge, Buda Castle and the Parliament in all their glory.
If you’re in Budapest to see the Christmas markets, don’t miss the Christmas Tram, when the Number 2 Tram is covered in Christmas lights!
Cost: 350Ft for a single ticket.
While we’re talking about the Danube banks, let’s head down to the docks and jump on the public riverboat. Operated by BKK, the national transportation system, this is an authentic and cheap way to travel by water, compared to the more touristy and expensive sightseeing boats. If you’re in Pest, hop on from Boráros tér, or Szent Gellért tér if you’re in Buda, and get off at the Parliament or Margaret Island (Margitsziget). You’ll pass under the bridges, staring up at giant marble statues, and see Castle Hill and the Parliament like the explorers of old.
If you’re staying in Budapest for a while, purchase a BKK weekly or monthly pass and ride the ferry for free on weekdays.
Cost: 750 HUF for a single ticket
While we always recommend walking across the bridges to get a great view of the city, sometimes we all need a break. If you don’t fancy a hike up to Buda Castle St. Mattias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, jump on the 16 or 16A bus from Deák Ferenc tér in Pest or Széll Kálmán tér in Buda. This fairly new, air-conditioned and electric bus will take you over the Chain Bridge, then up and around Castle Hill. As you ascend, you’ll get a gorgeous view of the riverbanks, the Parliament and St. Stephen’s Basilica.
Make sure you buy a ticket to avoid a fine from the undercover BKK ticket checkers! Look for the purple-grey ticket boxes at Deák Ferenc Tér, Széll Kálmán Tér, and most bus stops.
Cost: 350 HUF
Last but not least is the spectacularly unique funicular. From the Chain Bridge, you can watch as the toy-like cars descend from the top of the hill. With just one step into the cabin of this restored 19th century antique, you’ll be hit with a wave of nostalgia. As you slowly climb the hill, you’ll see Budapest in a new light – as the captivating and bejeweled “Paris of the East” as it was once known. You can’t beat this exhilarating panoramic view of Pest with St. Stephen’s Basilica at the heart.
Cost: 1,200 HUF each way – we recommend walking down!
No matter where your curiosity takes you in Budapest, you won’t want to miss a ride on these scenic transportation lines. Whether you go by bus, boat, tram, or the more adventurous funicular, each route offers a chance to unwind, people-watch, and explore Budapest from a different point of view. And if you want to kill all the birds with one stone, get on a hop-on hop-off bus to see all the famous landmarks and scenic sights of the city in one sitting.
- What are the most scenic transportation lines in Budapest?
- If you want to see the most gorgeous sights of Budapest, go for a ride on the Number 2 tram, the BKK riverboat, the 16/16A bus, and the funicular.
- What are the best transportation routes in Budapest?
- The Number 2 tram, the BKK riverboat, the 16/16A bus, and the Budapest castle hill funicular all provide unique, breathtaking views of the city.
- What is the best way to see Budapest?
- For the most scenic views of Budapest, take your pick from the Number 2 tram on Pest, the BKK public riverboat, the 16/16A bus, or the nostalgic funicular.