A tourist in Budapest
A tourist in Budapest

Top 3 walks in Budapest

Choose one of the top 3 walks in Budapest to explore the city like a local and see all of the top sights.

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Like many European cities, Budapest is best explored on foot. Wandering through these captivating city streets is the only way to truly understand what makes Budapest tick. It gives you the time and opportunity to stop, look up, and stare at beautiful facades and incredible pieces of history. More than any other city, Budapest stands out for its wonderfully ‘gritty’ appeal – war-scarred and soot-covered buildings, artisan cafes and shops, and odd statues that spark our curiosity. It is not too modern or renovated for the 21st century, giving it that perfect vibe of old merging with the new. So, whether you’re looking to explore the main tourist sights, or simply see Budapest like a local, let’s head off down the best walks in Budapest.

1. From Liberty Bridge to Margaret Bridge and back

Margaret Bridge and Margaret Island
Margaret Bridge and Margaret Island

You simply can’t begin to explore Budapest without first seeing the Danube riverbanks. The river is the true heart and soul of the city, and a walk along its banks offers a window into Hungarian history and a chance to really take in the main sights.Start at the lively Fővám tér on Pest. From the tram stop, head toward the river, walking past the Great Market Hall – be sure to drop in for a quick bite to eat, like a cheesy Lángos, fresh pastry, or spicy Hungarian salami. Then, take a moment to admire the emerald awnings of the majestic Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) – a favorite bridge among locals. From here, take in the gorgeous view of the art deco Hotel Gellert, Lady Liberty atop green Gellért Hill and the mystical cloister guarding Budapest’s cave church.

You simply can’t begin to explore Budapest without first seeing the Danube riverbanks. The river is the true heart and soul of the city, and a walk along its banks offers a window into Hungarian history and a chance to really take in the main sights.Start at the lively Fővám tér on Pest. From the tram stop, head toward the river, walking past the Great Market Hall – be sure to drop in for a quick bite to eat, like a cheesy Lángos, fresh pastry, or spicy Hungarian salami. Then, take a moment to admire the emerald awnings of the majestic Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd) – a favorite bridge among locals. From here, take in the gorgeous view of the art deco Hotel Gellert, Lady Liberty atop green Gellért Hill and the mystical cloister guarding Budapest’s cave church.

The majestic view of Buda from Liberty Bridge
The majestic view of Buda from Liberty Bridge

See the main sights of the Pest riverbank

Staying on Pest, start to stroll along the Danube Promenade. Your breezy, tree-lined path will open up to the stunning Vigadó Concert Hall, and you’ll definitely want to take a quick peek inside. Continuing on, you’ll start to get a great view of Buda Castle on its hill, the tower of St. Matthias Church and the ivory curves of Fisherman’s Bastion.

Just ahead, you’ll find the famous Chain Bridge Budapest (Szechenyi Lanchid) and its mighty lions. As you approach, you won’t be able to miss the impressive Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace to your right – so aptly named as it does indeed look like a palace. Feel free to take a closer look at the intricate details of the façade. Crossing the busy roundabout on Szécheny István tér can be tricky, so do look out for cars!

Four season hotel
The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace on the Pest riverbank

Before you know it, you’ll come across the somber scene of the Shoes on the Danube Bank sculpture, a heart-breaking memorial to the Budapest victims of the Holocaust. Take a moment to learn about this Finally, you’ll soon find yourself staring up at the copper dome and alabaster columns of the Hungarian Houses of Parliament. Spend some time walking around Parliament square to fully appreciate the building and the statues that surround it, such as the proud bronze lions and the Kossuth Lajos monument.

The magnificent Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest
The magnificent Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest

Once you’ve had your fill of the Parliament (trust us, you could spend hours there), continue on and head up the steps to Margaret Bridge (Margit híd). Walking along this golden bridge to Buda presents one of the best views of the city – the Parliament to the left, the wide-open river before you, and Castle Hill to the right. As you continue on, you’ll find Margaret Island (Margit Sziget) to your right – feel free to stroll on in and take a break under the cool trees of this popular picnic spot.

See the top sights of the Buda riverbank

Take the stairs on your left to get off the bridge and back on the Danube Promenade. Facing south, start walking along Buda, heading back to Liberty Bridge. You’ll be tempted to stop more than a few times to take some snaps of Parliament, now on the other side of the river — especially once you reach Batthyány tér that lies just opposite it.

View of the Parliament from Battyány tér
View of the Parliament from Battyány tér

As you approach the Chain Bridge, you’ll get a great view of Buda Castle above and a chance to explore the neo-classical Várkert Bazár. Unless you’re wanting to take the funicular up to Castle Hill, continue on until you reach Gellért Hill and the other side of Liberty bridge.

Reward yourself after a long walk

You now have your choice of what to do next. Take a quick hike up to Saint Gellért statue to get a great view of Pest, walk all the way up to the Citadel, or walk a bit further along the river to see the famous Rudas Bath, one of the oldest Turkish baths in the city.  We recommend stopping here to soothe your sore feet in the healing thermal waters after your long walk!

Ready to head home? Cross Liberty Bridge and hop on the tram home! Or, if you fancy a cool drink, don’t miss the riverside pubs at Bálna, the whale-shaped building just past Market Hall. 

Bálna at Fővám tér on Pest
Bálna at Fővám tér on Pest

2. To Heroes Square along Andrassy út

One of the best ways to explore the city center is to walk along Andrássy út (Andrássy Avenue). Dating back to 1872, this boulevard is one of the most spectacular in all of Europe – as evidence by its status as a World Heritage Site. Long and wide, it’s lined with trees and some of the best neo-renaissance architecture you’ll ever see.

Start at the leafy-green Erzsébet tér near the Budapest Eye, and make your way through the crowds to the main street, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út. Head left down Bajcsy-Zsilinkszky, then turn right at the large intersection with Andrássy. Aside from being beautiful, Andrássy is a major shopping street – you’ll pass impressive high-end shoe and clothing stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry, all nestled in gorgeous marbled buildings.

Discover neoclassical treasures

The first main point of interest will be the Hungarian State Opera House. Don’t miss this chance to explore one of the most beautiful neoclassical buildings in Europe – rivalling even those of Vienna. You can also stop to admire the now abandoned Drechsler Palace across the street, the old ballet institute that’s sure to capture your imagination.

Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest
Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest

If you need a coffee to keep you going, take a pit stop at one of the many cozy art cafes, such as Callas Cafe & Restaurant or Művész Kávéház, built in 1898. The best by far however, is the elegantly ornate Café Parisi on the second floor of Párisi Nagy Áruház.

Dive into Hungarian history

It won’t be long until you cross the chaotic intersection of Oktogon. If you need food, you’ll have your choice of restaurants here! And when you’re ready to keep going, continue straight on up Andrássy until you reach the ominous black façade of the House of Terror. Be sure to stop in this innovative museum to learn about Hungary’s history in WWII and Soviet occupation.

Continuing on, you’ll pass by regal facades, some abandoned and some renewed – and some that now act as embassies – before the sky-high Millennium Memorial of Heroes Square comes into view. Explore the square to see the icons of Hungarian history, such as the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars (the ancient tribes who settled Hungary) and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Heroes Square in Budapest
Heroes Square in Budapest

Relax in the shade of City Park

From here, you can simply turn back around and head back to Deák tér, but we recommend spending some time wandering around Városliget (City Park) just behind Heroes Square to relax.

3. Through the artsy streets of the 7th district

Rubik cube painting on a wall

Looking for a more relaxing walk in the city? If you’re not interested in checking off your ‘must-see’ list today, it’s time to spend a lazy day in the artsy 7th district. As the old Jewish Quarter (and Jewish ghetto during WWII), this district has long been the center of culture in Budapest.

Start at the iconic and hard-to-miss Dohány Street Synagogue. Take a tour inside or visit the Holocaust museum and memorial. When you’re ready to continue, head down Wesselényi utca to see old gravestones and the silver Tree of Life dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. As you walk, you’ll start to pass cafes and restaurants, like Kék Rózsa Étterem and Gettó Gulyás.

Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest
Dohány Street Synagogue in Budapest

Take a right down Kazinczy utca to see the main party street of Budapest. Szimpla Kert, the most famous ruin pub, is a great place to stop for a daytime drink – and on Sundays, it turns into a local marketplace. Bors Gastro Bar is another great lunch place if you want a quick sandwich to power you up.

Retracing our steps, turn around to take Kazinczy up to Dob utca. This part of Kazinczy twists and curves to reveal more cafes and bars. Don’t miss stopping in Kazinczy Street Synagogue – the sapphire interior is jaw-dropping. When you reach Dob, turn left and walk down to the Carl Lutz Memorial, a fascinating homage to the Swiss diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust.

Carl Lutz memorial in the 7th district of Budapest
Carl Lutz memorial in the 7th district of Budapest

Next, turn right down Rumbach Sebestyén utca. This little, unassuming street is one of the most captivating. See the awesome Rubik’s Cube mural and the Rumbach Street Synagogue, then spend some time browsing at Printa Design, a popular artisan shop, or Ludovika, a vintage treasure trove.

At Király utca, turn right to visit souvenir shops, exciting dive bars and stare at more incredible murals. Be sure to stop in Gozsdu Udvar, a magical hall of pubs and restaurants. On the weekend, it transforms into a wonderful marketplace full of vintage and handmade souvenirs you’ll love.

Inside of Gozsdu Udvar in the 7th district of Budapest
Inside of Gozsdu Udvar in the 7th district of Budapest

At this point, you’re free to walk up the entirety of Király – a long walk, but it’s worth it to see murals like Time Magazine’s Man of the Year, a stunning memorial to the 1956 Hungarian revolution against the Soviets. Whether you choose to continue on or head back to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út, you’ll have achieved an authentic experience exploring the cultural center of Budapest.

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year mural, a famous piece of street art in Budapest
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year mural, a famous piece of street art in Budapest

No matter your destination or interests, exploring Budapest on foot is the best way to see the city. Spending a day on these enthralling city walks is sure to make your time in Budapest all the more special.

Pre-walk tips:

  1. Stay connected during your sightseeing

Snap up a handy gadget that gives you loads of Internet while you’re out and about. Click here for more info. 

  1. Travel light

Check out at the hotel already? Drop off your luggage at one of our recommended luggage stores, and explore the city on foot without dragging your luggage all day.

Not in the mood to walk?

Alternatively, you can also get on a hop-on hop-off bus, and explore the magnificent historic sights of Budapest from the comfort of a seat, or even rent a scooter or segway, and go at your own pace.

Q&A

What are the best walks in Budapest?
The best walks in Budapest are from Liberty bridge to Margaret bridge along the Danube, down Andrassy avenue and through the 7th district.
Is it easy to see Budapest by walking?
Budapest can be easily discovered on foot – there are three main walks you can do to see all of the main sights with ease.
What are the recommended walking routes to see Budapest?
The best way to see Budapest is by walking along the Danube River, strolling down Andrássy avenue and by exploring the 7th district.
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