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13 BEST Day Trips from Budapest, Hungary

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From the stunning Hortobágy National Park to Lake Balaton to delicious local wine tours, these are the best day trips from Budapest for a great day out!

day trips from budapest hungary

As the capital of the historic nation of Hungary, Budapest is a super popular destination for an affordable weekend away.

Whether you’re looking to spend some time at the famous thermal baths, explore the many museums and galleries, or enjoy the historic architecture, it’s an amazing city break. In fact, if you’re staying in the city, you can check out my guide to the best things to do in Budapest!

However, if you’re looking to get outside the city, there are plenty of amazing day trips from Budapest. Most tourists just go and see Budapest, but there is so much to see and do in Hungary – it really is an amazing place to visit! 

best day trips from budapest
There is so much to see and do just outside Budapest

From amazing wine regions to stunning lakes and mountains, the areas around Budapest are vibrant and interesting. I love the variety that a little day trip can add to a city break – it helps you really get a feel for the country and the culture as a whole.

Whether you’re looking for Budapest tours, you want to get your fill of adventure, or you want to experience history up close and personal, one of these amazing Budapest day trips is bound to be right up your street. 

So, without further ado, here are the best day trips from Budapest. Let’s dive in and find out more!

Planning a trip to Budapest in winter? Then check out the best things to do in Budapest in winter.

Are you planning an amazing holiday to Budapest? If so, you may want to book your hotels and tours asap to ensure availability. Here are some links to quickly help plan your trip!

Best hotels and apartments in Budapest:

  1. Kozmo Hotel Suites & Spa (best rated 5* hotel)
  2. Eurostars Ambassador (best rated 4* hotel)
  3. Butik Art Hotel (cheap with great reviews)

Best activities and tours in Budapest:

  1. Evening Sightseeing Cruise with Unlimited Prosecco (top rated tour)
  2. Sightseeing Tour by Segway (great way to see the city)
  3. Full-Day Gellért Spa Ticket (the ultimate relaxation)

Best day trips from Budapest, Hungary

Hortobágy National Park

hortobágy national park
This is Hungary’s largest national park

Located just two hours East of Budapest, you’ll find Hungary’s largest national park, Hortobágy National Park. As a recognised UNESCO World Heritage site, Hortobágy National Park draws tourists from all over Europe to experience the Hungarian grasslands. 

Once you’re there, you’ll be able to experience local flora and fauna, as well as a cultural museum that has tons of examples of local folklore and craftsmanship. Whether you love the great outdoors or want to learn more about Hungarian traditions, this is an excellent Budapest day trip. 


bratislava europe
Bratislava is a really cool city to explore

Northwest along the mighty Danube you’ll find the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. If you’re driving it’s only 2 hours and 10 minutes away, but many people opt to jump on a river cruise up the Danube, taking the slower, more relaxing journey between the two European capitals. 

With charming cobbled streets, amazing hiking trails, and beautiful parks throughout the city, you can easily enjoy a day trip from Budapest to Hungary. In fact, it’s a hugely common interrailing route, so you won’t even need to drive!

Once you’re in Bratislava, I’d recommend going on a walking tour of the city so you can take in all the sites on your day trip.

Aggtelek National Park

budapest day trips
It’s time to feel like Indiana Jones!

If you’re looking to get out in nature during your time in Budapest, pack up a day bag and head just under three hours northeast to the stunning Aggtelek National Park. As another Hungarian UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aggtelek National Park has been very well-kept and protected over the years, despite the huge numbers of tourists that visit every year.

The main draw of Aggtelek National Park? Over 280 jaw-dropping caves that you can explore, including Europe’s largest stalactite cave, Baradla. Spanning over 26 kilometres long, you can easily spend your entire Budapest tour exploring just this one cave alone. You can find out more about this tour here!

Lake Balaton

tours from budapest
Lake Balaton is soooooo beautiful

Who doesn’t hanging out around the water? I know that enjoying lakeside retreats is one of my favourite things, especially when I’ve been in the city for a while. Lake Balaton, just an hour and a half away from Budapest, is also known as the Hungarian Sea as it spans over 200 kilometers, so it looks like it goes on forever.

Hike around the water’s edge, have a dip, and cool off in the waters, or enjoy watersports like paddleboarding or kayaking. Lake Balaton is especially beautiful in the summer months the resorts come to life.

There are some amazing tours from Budapest that take you to the lake, show you around, and take care of everything else for you. This really is one of the best day trips in my opinion!


This town is very close to Budapest

If you’re looking for a quick and easy day trip from Budapest, simply head half an hour north to the beautiful town of Szentendre. Almost immediately, you’ll feel like you’re a world away from the hustle and bustle of Budapest in this quieter town with its cobbled streets.

This quaint town has a ton of cultural attractions, the most popular of which is the ethnography museum, which has plenty of folklore exhibits. There are also so many museums, galleries, and churches to explore if you’re interested in Hungarian architecture. 


tours from budapest
Vac is super authentic and traditional

Want to check out a cute Hungarian town on the Danube that isn’t overrun with tourists? Vác might be just what you’re looking for. Reachable by train from Budapest in just 40 minutes, Vác is a quieter spot than a lot of riverside towns, but there is still plenty to enjoy.

One of the more niche attractions in Vác is The National Wine Museum. Yep, I know, it already sounds like a fun Budapest day trip! As Hungarian winemaking goes back centuries, this specialist museum is full of amazing facts and exhibits, as well as a tipple or two that you can try!


There are traditional horse shows in Kecskemet

If you love being out in the countryside and rural traditions then there’s going to be no better day trip from Budapest than Kecskemét. As a small farming town, the locals pride themselves on their horsemanship skills, even having festivals and events to show off to locals and tourists alike.

Aside from the horse shows, you can enjoy the calm hillsides and benefit from the local vineyards and brandy-making factories all around the area. As it’s only an hour away from Budapest, it’s the perfect day trip from the city. 


This is one for all your history lovers

Interested in European history and politics? Jump on one of the trains heading out towards Eger and get off at Gödöllő, just 25 minutes outside of the city centre. Here, you’ll find the stunning Gödöllő Palace, built and lived in by Hungarian royalty way back in the 18th century. 

In more recent history, it was occupied by Soviet Troops and since then it’s been restored back to its former glory. You can easily jump on a guided tour around the palace and learn more about the bloody history of the Hungarian royal family. 


budapest day tours
The castle here is beautiful

Located just 30 minutes north of Budapest by car, or an hour and a half by train is the stunning wine region of Eger. Honestly, if you do just one Budapest day trip on this list, I’d recommend this one. Not only can you drink some amazing local wines, but you can also enjoy a soak in one of Eger’s famous thermal baths. 

If you’re seeking out culture in Eger, head to the Egri Vár Castle. Filled with tunnels, passageways, and minarets, this beautiful castle is like a rabbit warren running through the Hungarian countryside. 


You can come to this place on a River Danube cruise

Journey an hour North of Budapest, you’ll find the amazing town of Esztergom. Straddling the border between Slovakia and Hungary, you can experience a blending of the two cultures, which can be seen in the awesome architecture all around the area.

From dazzling Baroque museums and buildings to the mighty Esztergom Basilica – the largest basilica in the whole of Central Europe – Esztergom is an architecture lover’s paradise, with stunning river views. 


This is Hungary’s second city

As Hungary’s second city, Debrecen is a popular day trip for tourists to take from Budapest. It’s around two and a half hours away from the city centre, so it’s one of the further destinations on this list, but it’s definitely worth it! 

With museums specialising in Hungarian art to historically-poignant churches to stunning botanical gardens, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy on a day trip to Debrecen. In fact, you might need more than a day to see all the sights and enjoy the many summer times festivals in Hungary’s second-largest city.


budapest to vienna day trip
Vienna is another city to can visit in a day from Budapest

Also located on the Danube River, you’ll find the glorious Austrian capital of Vienna. Whether you sail down the riverfront, speed across on the train, or drive around an hour and a half west, it’s easy to go between these two iconic European capital cities.

Vienna is best known for its stunning amount of historic buildings, including the famous St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the gorgeous Schönbrunn Palace.  Although I’d recommend staying a few days in Vienna to experience it to the max, if you’re short on time, you can hit all the major sights in a long day trip from Budapest. Oh, and if you’re looking at making it a little longer, this is one of the best weekend trips from Budapest!


budapest weekend trip
There’s great hiking at Visegrád too

If you want to check out one of the most impressive royal palaces in Hungary, jump on a train and a short boat ride to the town of Visegrád. Located on the North side of the Danube bend, Visegrád is home to the famous summer palace of King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.

Located just an hour away from Budapest, this Renaissance-era palace is situated within an impressive and imposing Medieval citadel that transports you back in time. Wander around the citadel, take a tour around the summer palace itself, or sit and enjoy a spot of lunch on the banks of the Danube. Truly, it’s a special place to visit while you’re in the Budapest area.

If you’re interested in learning more about Budapest and why this is such a fascinating place to visit, then check out my fun facts about Budapest here!

So there you have it, all the best day trips from Budapest. Where are your favourite places to visit near Budapest? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll check them out!

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13 BEST Day Trips from Budapest, Hungary

About the Author

  • Rebecca Crowe

    Rebecca Crowe is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about travel, food, and outdoor adventure. She is often found holding a taco, in an airport, or halfway up a climbing wall.

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