Hungary On A Budget

Visiting Hungary On A Budget (Travel Guide)

Hungary is an underrated gem in Europe that offers incredible value for budget travelers. It has beautiful landscapes, rich history, hearty food, and affordable nightlife. While most visitors only explore Budapest, there is so much more to see in the rest of the country. This travel guide will help you visit Hungary on a budget and ensure an epic trip without breaking the bank.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the beauty of Hungary without breaking the bank.
  • Explore Budapest and beyond for budget-friendly adventures.
  • Experience the unique culture, history, and cuisine of Hungary without overspending.
  • Save money with cost-effective travel tips and hacks.
  • Create unforgettable memories in Hungary on an affordable vacation.

Top 5 Things to See and Do in Hungary

When visiting Hungary, there are numerous attractions and landmarks that are a must-see. Here are the top 5 things to see and do in Hungary:

  1. Explore Budapest

    Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, offers a wealth of attractions to explore. From cheap accommodation options to historic castles, thermal baths, and a vibrant nightlife, Budapest has something for everyone. Don’t miss the chance to explore the underground caves, admire the stunning architecture, and enjoy the incredible views from a riverboat on the Danube.

  2. Visit the Ruin Bars

    Budapest is famous for its unique ruin bars, which are converted abandoned buildings that have become popular nightlife spots. These bars offer a grungy and eclectic atmosphere that is loved by both locals and tourists. It’s a great way to experience Budapest’s vibrant nightlife and immerse yourself in its alternative culture.

  3. Soak in the Largest Thermal Lake in the World

    Head to Hévíz to experience the largest swimmable thermal lake in the world, Lake Hévíz. The lake’s therapeutic waters, rich in minerals, make it a popular spa resort destination. Take some time to relax and rejuvenate in this natural wonder.

  4. Hike Gulács Hill

    If you’re a nature lover, don’t miss the opportunity to hike Gulács Hill. This hiking trail offers stunning views of Lake Balaton and the surrounding area. The relatively easy hike takes you through dense forests and past old quarries, providing a tranquil escape into nature.

  5. Take a Trip to Eger

    Visit the historic town of Eger, renowned for its castle, Baroque and Turkish architecture, thermal baths, and exceptional red wine. Explore the town’s rich history, stroll through its charming streets, and indulge in some wine tasting. Eger seamlessly blends history and natural beauty, leaving visitors captivated.

By exploring Budapest, visiting the unique ruin bars, soaking in the largest thermal lake in the world, hiking Gulács Hill, and taking a trip to Eger, you’ll have an unforgettable experience in Hungary. Keep these must-see attractions in mind when planning your trip to Hungary!

Other Things to See and Do in Hungary

While Hungary offers numerous popular tourist attractions, there are also hidden gems and unique experiences that will take you off the beaten path. These lesser-known aspects of Hungary will provide you with a truly authentic and unforgettable travel experience. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Sziget Music Festival: Immerse yourself in one of the largest music festivals in Europe, the Sziget Music Festival. Held on Margaret Island in Budapest every August, this event showcases a diverse lineup of local and international artists, ensuring an incredible cultural and musical experience.
  2. Lake Balaton: Explore the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton. Known for its picturesque beaches, volcanic hills, and therapeutic hot springs, it offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city life, allowing you to connect with nature’s beauty.
  3. Cruise along the Danube: Take a leisurely boat cruise along the iconic Danube River. As you sail through the heart of Hungary, you’ll have the opportunity to visit charming small towns, witness breathtaking landscapes, and capture stunning views of the city skyline.
  4. Necropolis in Pécs: Discover the ancient burial chambers at the Necropolis in Pécs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This archaeological treasure offers a fascinating glimpse into Hungary’s rich history, allowing you to step back in time and appreciate the country’s cultural heritage.
  5. Food tour: Embark on a guided food tour in Budapest and indulge in the delicious and hearty Hungarian cuisine. From traditional goulash to mouthwatering pastries, this culinary adventure will satisfy your taste buds and introduce you to the unique flavors of Hungary.
  6. National Gallery: Immerse yourself in Hungarian and European art at the National Gallery in Budapest. With its extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks, it provides a comprehensive overview of the country’s artistic heritage, showcasing the diverse talents of Hungarian artists.
  7. Birdwatching: If you’re a nature enthusiast, Hungary’s diverse bird species make it an ideal destination for birdwatching. Grab your binoculars and explore the country’s natural reserves and wetlands, where you can spot a wide variety of colorful and exotic birds in their natural habitats.
  8. House of Terror museum: Gain insight into Hungary’s tumultuous history at the House of Terror museum. This thought-provoking museum delves deep into the atrocities committed during Nazi and Soviet regimes, honoring the victims and serving as a reminder of the country’s resilience and strength.
  9. Cycle the countryside: Hungary boasts an extensive network of cycling paths, covering over 2,000 kilometers. Rent a bike and explore the picturesque countryside, pedal through charming villages, and embrace the serene beauty of Hungary’s landscapes.
  10. Tengerszem Nature Preserve: Venture into the Tengerszem Nature Preserve, located in an old stone mine. This unique destination is home to a plethora of incredible flora and fauna, providing an enchanting setting for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

These hidden gems and off the beaten path experiences will give you a deeper understanding of Hungary’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty. Step away from the tourist crowds and embark on an adventure that will create lasting memories.

Tips for Exploring Hungary on a Budget

Traveling to Hungary doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little planning and some money-saving tips, you can experience the best of Hungary without draining your wallet. Here are some budget tips to help you make the most of your Hungary adventure:

  1. Take advantage of budget airlines that fly into Budapest’s main airport. This can significantly reduce your travel expenses and leave you with more money to explore the country.
  2. Utilize public transportation from the airport to central Budapest. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and a great way to save money on expensive taxi fares.
  3. Consider staying in hostels or exploring couchsurfing and homestay options. These affordable accommodations provide a chance to meet fellow travelers and get insider tips from locals.
  4. Use public transportation to explore Budapest’s attractions. It’s cheaper than taking expensive tour buses and allows you to experience the city like a local.
  5. During the summer, opt for cruising the Danube on public transport for a budget-friendly sightseeing experience. You’ll still get to enjoy the scenic views without the hefty price tag.
  6. Visit the less touristy thermal baths in Budapest or time your visit to popular baths when tickets are cheaper. This way, you can relax and unwind without spending a fortune.
  7. Plan your trip to Hungary during the spring or fall for milder weather and lower prices. You’ll avoid the peak tourist season and have a more budget-friendly experience.
  8. Get lunch at local markets or choose the daily menu option at restaurants for more economical dining. This allows you to savor traditional Hungarian cuisine without breaking the bank.
  9. Consider getting a Budapest Card, which offers discounts on public transport and museum entry. It’s a cost-effective way to explore the city’s top attractions.
  10. European students and seniors can take advantage of discounts at tourist sites in Budapest. Don’t forget to bring your ID or student card to avail of these special rates.

By following these budget tips, you can explore Hungary on a shoestring and still have an incredible and unforgettable experience. Remember to plan ahead, be flexible, and embrace the local culture to make the most of your trip.

When to Visit Hungary

If you’re planning a trip to Hungary, it’s important to consider the best time to visit. The weather, tourist crowds, and specific events or festivals can greatly impact your experience. The overall best time to visit Hungary is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and fall (September to October).

During these seasons, Hungary experiences milder weather, making it more pleasant for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The tourist crowds are also thinner compared to the peak season, allowing you to explore popular attractions without long queues and overcrowding. Additionally, prices for accommodations and flights are generally more affordable during these periods, making it an ideal time for budget travelers.

Summer (May to September) is the peak tourist season in Hungary. The days are longer, and the country comes alive with festivals and events. However, this also means larger crowds and higher prices, especially in popular tourist destinations like Budapest. If you don’t mind the hustle and bustle and want to experience the vibrant summer atmosphere, this may be the perfect time for you.

Alternatively, visiting Hungary during winter (December to February) offers a quieter experience with fewer tourists. However, it’s important to note that some attractions may have limited hours or be closed altogether during this time. The weather can also be cold, so be prepared for chilly temperatures and possibly snow.

When deciding when to visit Hungary, it’s essential to balance your preferences for weather, crowd size, and affordability. Consider your interests and the specific experiences you want to have in Hungary to make the most of your trip.

Festivals and Events

Hungary is known for its vibrant festivals and events throughout the year. Consider incorporating some of these celebrations into your itinerary to immerse yourself in the local culture. Here are a few notable festivals in Hungary:

  • Spring Festival in Budapest – Celebrates music, arts, and cultural performances in various venues throughout the city.
  • Sziget Festival – One of Europe’s largest music festivals held in Budapest, featuring international and local artists.
  • Budapest Wine Festival – A wine lover’s paradise, offering a wide selection of Hungarian wines to taste and enjoy in the beautiful setting of Buda Castle.
  • Christmas Markets – Experience the festive spirit and shop for unique gifts at the Christmas markets held in cities like Budapest and Eger.

Consider planning your visit around these festivals and events to add an extra layer of excitement and cultural immersion to your Hungary trip.

Hungary Weather

Hungary has a temperate continental climate with distinct seasons. Here’s an overview of the weather you can expect in Hungary:

Season Weather Temperature
Spring (April to May) Mild and variable Average high: 14-20°C (57-68°F)
Summer (June to August) Warm and sunny Average high: 25-30°C (77-86°F)
Fall (September to October) Mild and pleasant Average high: 17-23°C (63-73°F)
Winter (December to February) Cold with occasional snow Average high: 2-6°C (36-43°F)

It’s important to note that these temperature ranges are averages, and weather patterns can vary each year. Pack accordingly and check the forecast closer to your travel dates to ensure you’re prepared for the current weather conditions.

“The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are ideal for visiting Hungary, offering milder weather, fewer crowds, and more affordable prices.” – Traveler’s Guide to Hungary

Now that you have a better understanding of the best time to visit Hungary, you can plan your trip accordingly. Consider the weather, tourist season, and any festivals or events that may enhance your experience. Whether you choose to explore the vibrant summer or enjoy the tranquility of winter, Hungary has something to offer all year round.

How to Save Money in Hungary

Traveling to Hungary on a budget doesn’t mean sacrificing an incredible experience. With these Hungary travel budget tips and money-saving strategies, you can enjoy all the country has to offer without breaking the bank.

  1. Look for budget airlines and compare prices for flights to Hungary.
  2. Opt for public transportation or walking instead of taxis to save on transportation costs.
  3. Take advantage of free or discounted entry times at museums and attractions.
  4. Eat at local markets, street food stalls, or choose affordable restaurants for cheaper meals.
  5. Stay in budget accommodations like hostels, guesthouses, or apartments.
  6. Use a local SIM card or free Wi-Fi spots for affordable communication.
  7. Buy snacks and drinks from supermarkets instead of tourist areas for lower prices.
  8. Shop for souvenirs at local markets or directly from artisans for unique and affordable gifts.
  9. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities like walking tours, hikes, or exploring local parks.
  10. Plan your itinerary to include a mix of free and paid attractions to balance your budget.

By following these Hungary money-saving tips, you can make the most of your travel budget and create unforgettable memories while exploring all that Hungary has to offer.


Hungary is the perfect destination for budget travelers looking to stretch their dollars without sacrificing an incredible experience. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich historical sites, and affordable options, Hungary offers a wealth of opportunities for a memorable trip on a budget. Whether you choose to explore the vibrant city of Budapest, venture into the lesser-known towns and hidden gems, or indulge in the delicious Hungarian cuisine, your budget-friendly adventure in Hungary is bound to leave you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

By following the tips and suggestions provided in this travel guide, you can navigate Hungary on a budget and make the most of your trip. From taking advantage of budget airlines and public transportation to opting for affordable accommodations and discovering off-the-beaten-path attractions, there are plenty of ways to save money while still immersing yourself in the country’s unique culture and history.

So, plan your budget-friendly Hungarian adventure today and embark on an unforgettable journey through a country that offers incredible value, stunning landscapes, and a wealth of experiences. Hungary welcomes budget travelers with open arms, promising an affordable and incredible trip that will leave you with a deep appreciation for this hidden gem in the heart of Europe. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore Hungary on a budget and create memories that will last a lifetime.


What are some budget-friendly activities in Hungary?

Some budget-friendly activities in Hungary include exploring Budapest, visiting the ruin bars, soaking in the largest thermal lake in the world, hiking Gulács Hill, and taking a trip to Eger.

What are some must-see attractions in Hungary?

Must-see attractions in Hungary include the Sziget Music Festival, Lake Balaton, cruising along the Danube, exploring the Necropolis in Pécs, going on a food tour, visiting the National Gallery, and birdwatching.

How can I save money while traveling in Hungary?

You can save money while traveling in Hungary by taking advantage of budget airlines, using public transportation, staying in hostels or affordable accommodations, exploring Budapest using public transportation, visiting thermal baths and attractions during discounted times, planning your visit during the shoulder seasons, getting lunch at local markets or choosing affordable restaurants, considering a Budapest Card for discounts, and taking advantage of discounts for European students and seniors.

What is the best time to visit Hungary?

The best time to visit Hungary is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) for milder weather, fewer tourist crowds, and more affordable prices. Summer (May to September) is the peak tourist season with long days and a busy festival schedule. Winter (December to February) is quieter with fewer tourists, but some attractions may have limited hours or be closed.

How can I save money while traveling in Hungary?

To save money while traveling in Hungary, you can look for budget airlines, opt for public transportation or walking instead of taxis, take advantage of free or discounted entry times at museums and attractions, eat at local markets or affordable restaurants, stay in budget accommodations, use a local SIM card or free Wi-Fi spots, buy snacks and drinks from supermarkets, shop for souvenirs at local markets or directly from artisans, take advantage of free or low-cost activities, and plan a balanced itinerary with a mix of free and paid attractions.

How can I visit Hungary on a budget?

You can visit Hungary on a budget by exploring Budapest, visiting affordable attractions, taking advantage of budget airlines and public transportation, staying in budget accommodations, eating at local markets or affordable restaurants, planning your visit during the shoulder seasons, and balancing your itinerary with free and paid attractions.

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