Best Walking Tours in Budapest 2024 1
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Best Walking Tours in Budapest 2024

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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel memoir Get Lost, and welcome to the best walking tours in Budapest. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a gorgeous city and very historically important, which makes it an amazing place for a walking tour. And fortunately, I experienced several amazing walking tours when I was in Budapest.

Some were historical walking tours, some were culinary walking tours, and some were walking tours of ruin bars, but all were amazing. It will be my true pleasure to share them with you!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Walking Tours in Budapest

#1 TOP PICK

goulash slovakian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BUDAPEST FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious authentic treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

green bridge danube

DANUBE CRUISE
✔️ Dinner included
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best Walking Tours in Budapest 2024 2

ALL OTHER BUDAPEST TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Best Walking Tours in Budapest

best walking tours in budapest

1) Budapest castle district

Walking tours are an amazing way to experience a city for the first time. On a walking tour, you can find all the cool hidden spots because you’ll have a local guide telling you where to go. For that reason, it’s very hard to get lost while you’re on a walking tour.

I say that this tour of the Buda castle district is one of the best walking tours in Budapest because this is probably the prettiest spot in the entire city. You’ll be able to hit the famous attractions as well as some off the beaten track secrets on the tour.

You can book this tour easily by clicking here.

I can’t tell you everything that I saw, but I will share a few of my favorite spots.

one day in Budapest itinerary

One of the first things you’ll be on this tour is one of the oldest spots in the city, the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene. It was a medieval church, but it has now fallen into decay, so only a few bits, like the tower, are left.

You might not know that Hungary was originally a Catholic country, but it was invaded by the Ottoman Turks, who were Muslim. After they took over, they turned this church into a mosque. After the Ottoman Empire fell apart, the mosque became a church again. And when the Communists took over in Hungary after WWII, the church was totally destroyed.

But who are Hungarians? That’s a really complicated question. In fact, the current borders of the country have not existed for that long, though Hungarians have been around for a long time. The Hungarian language is unique, and not related to any Slavic or Romance languages.

My guide said that the current government in Hungary is quite right wing, led by Prime Minister Victor Orban, and he’s always talking about going back to some amazing mythic Hungarian past that never really existed.

music museum budapest

This building is the Museum of Music History. You don’t go inside on the tour, but they do give concerts, so it’s possible to come back and head in on your own. However, the building itself is quite interesting. It used to be an actual palace!

However, the palace was confiscated under Communism, and after the Communist government fell, a lot of people who had gotten their property taken never got it back, including this family. The ex palace was turned into a museum dedicated to Hungarian music.

However, they did get something quite pleasant instead. Even though they didn’t get their palace, they do get free admission to the museum any time they want. That seems like a small consolation prize for losing a palace, even though the museum is quite lovely.

one day in Budapest itinerary

The Koller Gallery is one of the prettiest spots I saw in Budapest, and the fact that you can go on this tour definitely makes this one of the best walking tours in Budapest. It’s so peaceful and quiet, just a wonderful way to escape the touristic crowds.

It’s an art gallery, so the work is for sale, but I absolutely could not afford one piece of art. I could barely afford to breathe in the vicinity of the art. However, looking don’t cost a thing.

one day in Budapest itinerary

There’s also a charming garden where you can spend time with the statues like this shy girl hiding under an umbrella.

This gallery was founded by György Koller, but unfortunately for him, it was banned under the Communist government because they didn’t like freedom of expression. However, it kept it going anyway because he was one brave art lover. Now we can all enjoy the fruits of his courage today!

one day in Budapest itinerary

The late artist Amerigo Tot also had his studio in the building. Imagine having a view like this and getting to be a professional artist! That’s one lucky Hungarian-Italian.

Tot lived a super cool life and even played one of Al Pacino’s security guards in The Godfather. I hope I grow up to be half as cool as he was.

one day in Budapest itinerary

One of the things that made this one of the best walking tours in Budapest is that we got to see unusual spots like this. Hmm, you might be thinking. Just exactly what is this odd structure over here? This, my Internet Stranger, is the latest word in Hilton hotels.

I know you might think I’m joking, but I’m actually being completely serious. Hilton had plans to build a fancy pants hotel right here in Buda, but there were medieval ruins already being preserved exactly where they wanted to put their hotel. The city approved the hotel, but only if Hilton would use the ruins in the new building.

one day in Budapest itinerary

What do you think of it? My guide said it’s a love it or hate it place, but I think I come down firmly on the side of LOVE. How about you?

Also, if Hilton wants to give me a free room here in exchange for my positive review, I shan’t object.

one day in Budapest itinerary

Any list of the best walking tours in Budapest has to include the gorgeous Matthias Church. You actually do get to see the inside of the church on the tour, so I don’t want to give away all the surprises.

However, I will say that you’ll learn even more about Hungarian history when you explore here. You’ll especially learn about the two dapper Hungarian kings, Stephen and Matthias.

one day in Budapest itinerary

When I was in Budapest, they had a special exhibit showing the crown belonging to the monarchs of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I’m not sure they will be in the church during your walking tour, but if they are, pop over and take a look.

You’ll learn about the Austro-Hungarian rulers of Hungary, like Franz Josef, who had a fantastic mustache. I was kind of surprised to see the Austrian monarchs portrayed in such a positive light in Budapest, but maybe it’s part of that whole yearning for Hungary’s glorious past thing.

one day in Budapest itinerary

My guide said that Franz Josef really wanted to be accepted by Hungarians, and he even claimed that he was descended from Hungarian kings. No one knows if it’s true or not, but apparently the Hungarians appreciated the effort.

one day in Budapest itinerary

One thing that makes this walking tour especially special is that you get to end with a pastry! I picked cream cake but you might choose something different.

My guide said that Hungarians love pastry and that they vote on the best pastry of the year annually in Hungary. That’s an excellent policy, and I think we should take it up back in my hometown of New York City. Also, it should be my job to test all the cakes and pick the winners. Who is with me?

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the tour that I can share with you for now, but I hope you’ll agree it’s one of the best walking tours in Budapest

Check tour rates and availability by going here to find out the rest!

szimpla budapest

2) Ruin Bar Time!

Now that we’ve met the castle district and learned all about Hungarian history, why not try a different kind of the best walking tours in Budapest? I mean the kind that will get you a little tipsy.

That’s right, we’re going on a night time walking tour of the coolest ruin bars in Budapest. These bars are located in buildings that look like they are falling apart, but in a classy way.

You can check rates and availability by going here.

The most famous ruin bar in Budapest is Szimpla Kert. This was actually the first ruin bar in the city. It used to be in a different location, but the owners moved it here because it was so popular that they needed more space.

24 hours in budapest

It’s quite crowded, but that’s why it’s nice to be here on a walking tour! This way your guide will get you get your wine and find a place to sit.

I suggest getting a wine spritzer because they are crazy popular in Budapest. The Hungarians claim to have invented seltzer. I’m not quite sure how that works, but seltzer is delicious, so I thank the Hungarians on behalf of humanity for their accomplishment.

Ruin bars are also good for the environment because they repurpose old buildings instead of tearing them down and building new ones!

24 hours in Budapest

You’ll also have an opportunity to try a traditional type of Hungarian street food on this tour, which will make all those wine spritzers go down easier. We went to the Karavan Street Food court just next to Szimpla Kert and bought something called a langos, which is a decadent piece of fried dough smothered in cheese and sour cream. buy a langos.

Truly I cannot think of anything less healthy than fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream. If your doctor is worried about your cholesterol, probably you shouldn’t eat this. But for the rest of us, it’s the perfect end to one of the best walking tours in Budapest.

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the ruin bar walking tour that I can share for now.

You’ll have to go ahead and book this tour by going here to find the rest!

24 hours in Budapest

3) Food Walking Tour

There’s no better kind of walking tour than a food tour. You’ll be able to see Budapest’s most beautiful buildings, as well as appreciate its history, all while filling your tummy with amazing food and drink! What could be nicer?

And food tours are also an excellent way to make friends while you travel. As a solo voyager, I’ve had a fantastic time getting to know my fellow travelers on this tour. And while I can’t promise you will eat everything that I ate on this food tour, I am sure you’ll have a delicious time.

You can check rates and availability easily by clicking here.

24 hours in Budapest

Any food tour in Budapest has to start in the Central Market, right? That’s just science. The first bite of our tour was a unique Hungarian candy called Túró Rudi. (I have to use copy paste a lot when I write about Hungary because I don’t know how to type those accents otherwise.)

This candy is actually cottage cheese covered in chocolate. I would never have thought to do that on my own because I always think of cottage cheese as being a diet food. But it definitely tastes better when you cover it with chocolate.

Now, if I am trying to be healthy, I will only eat this candy. Cottage cheese is always good for you. That’s just science.

24 hours in Budapest

For a savory bite, we tucked into some rich Hungarian salami and other cured meat. Our guide said that meat is extremely popular in Hungary and most older Hungarians don’t understand the concept of being vegetarian.

These meats came in all sorts of flavors, from spicy with paprika to rich and decadent for the winter. I think there should be a different salami for every day of the year, personally.

ice cream

I knew that Hungary was famous for cured meats, but I didn’t know that Budapest is also an excellent place to get ice cream. Our next spot was considered to be the best ice cream in Budapest. They specialize in lavender flavors, so I was about to get one, but I was distracted by something called Blue Majik.

Blue Majik is a kind of spirulina that people eat to perk up their immune system and whatnot. The Blue Majik doesn’t particularly have any flavor, so the ice cream was mostly a gorgeous blue vanilla. I think it makes a great photo and a tasty vanilla ice cream!

24 hours in Budapest

OK, it’s time for another ruin bar, not the one we went to on the ruin bar tour. This one is less crowded and filled with tourists. There were a lot of young Hungarians here, which made me feel pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

24 hours in Budapest

Again, I recommend getting a wine spritzer when you are in Budapest. Apparently, Hungarians call them froccs, which is enough reason to want to get one. Try one with rose, just for variety.

24 hours in Budapest

Budapest used to have a large Jewish population, but as you can imagine, many Hungarian Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II. There are monuments to Hungarian Jews in Budapest, including one paid for by the late movie star Tony Curtis, who was the son of Hungarian Jews. (His daughter, recent Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis, continues to support Hungarian synagogues.)

I was glad that we were able to learn some Jewish history on this food tour by eating matzo ball soup. I’m half-Jewish so I’m quite familiar with this soup, which is made with balls of matzo bread. This is the unleavened bread that Jewish people eat during Passover, when they are not allowed to eat bread with yeast in it.

I liked this matzo ball soup better than most I have tried because it was served with some really spicy pepper! Matzo ball soup can be a little mild for my taste. But don’t worry because you don’t have to put pepper in your soup.

24 hours in Budapest

I wasn’t really expecting to find any fish in Hungary because it is a landlocked country. When I think of Hungarian food, I’m more likely to think of its desserts and meat dishes. However, the Danube goes through Hungary, which means that you can find freshwater fish there.

That’s why we stopped at a Hungarian seafood restaurant and tasted catfish and carp. These fish were prepared three different ways. One was smoked, one was fried, and a third was in a fish paste. They were packed with flavor in any shape or size.

Now I will spread the word far and wide that Hungary should be known for its tasty fish.

24 hours in Budapest

Finally, we finish our time with the best walking tours in Budapest with the most famous Hungarian dish: goulash. Many tourists don’t know that it’s illegal to come to Budapest and not eat any goulash. Victor Orban will come to your hotel personally and throw you in jail.

I’ve eaten goulash in Prague and Slovakia, and the goulash there is more like a stew. However, as you can see from my photo, Hungarian goulash is more “soup-like”. You can season it with paprika or not, but either way it’s delicious. (And don’t worry because the paprika you put in goulash isn’t spicy.)

That’s it for the food tour, but trust me that there’s tons of tips and tricks I didn’t share.

Check rates and availability by going here to find out what they are!

There you go! I hope you’ll agree these are the best walking tours in Budapest.

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: Best Walking Tours in Budapest

#1 TOP PICK

goulash slovakian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
BUDAPEST FOOD TOUR
✔️ Delicious authentic treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

green bridge danube

DANUBE CRUISE
✔️ Dinner included
✔️ Surprisingly affordable

#3 PICK

Best Walking Tours in Budapest 2024 2

ALL OTHER BUDAPEST TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

24 hours in Budapest

Best Walking Tours in Budapest

Where to Stay?

Because Budapest has become such a popular tourist destination, hotels in the city can be very expensive. Remember that Budapest is really a combination of two cities. If you’re looking at Google Maps, Buda will be on the left hand side of the Danube, and Pest is on the right. When I was looking at hotels, the ones in Pest were cheaper, though I suppose that could always change.

I recommend staying at the Diana Club Hotel in Pest. The rooms are adorable and the staff couldn’t be more helpful. It’s not within walking distance of attractions like the Castle District but there’s public transportation nearby that will get you there quickly, so you won’t waste your time with the best walking tours in Budapest

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here.

And if you’d rather explore great deals on tons of other great hotels in Budapest, click here.

This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your time with the best walking tours in Budapest. With hundreds of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

24 hours in budapest

That’s the best walking tours in Budapest

What would you do on the best walking tours in Budapest? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Budapest right now? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours with the best walking tours in Budapest.

You can add 24 hours in Prague. Enjoy a one day in Prague itinerary. Go for a one day in Bratislava itinerary. Add on a one day in Budapest itinerary. Experience 24 hours in Budapest. Get to know the Prague best tours.

Best Walking Tours in Budapest 2024 4

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