If you want to get out and about in a new city, it’s best not to forget: public transport will be your best friend, and thankfully, we have some great news! Public transport in Budapest is actually quite a pleasurable experience, as the top attractions in Budapest are easily accessible due to the city’s frequent and easy to follow services. Budapest never sleeps, and neither does its traffic, so brace yourself for a trip where discovery has no limits! The Budapest public transport system covers plenty of scenic routes, so even your ride to the next tourist spot can be a sightseeing tour in itself! Buy a ticket for any of the below services and you’ll get to see the best sights of Budapest.
Tram No. 2. – Buda Panorama
Sightseeing in Budapest simply can’t get easier than going on a journey with the cute yellow trams of the city! Catch tram No.2. at Fővám tér, next to the magnificent Great Market Hall, from where stop by stop you’ll be able to take in the panoramic views of Buda, all while riding beside the beautiful Danube. Stop at Vigadó tér, to explore the 19th-century Pesti Vigadó building, classified as one of Budapest’s historic monuments. View the ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ memorial between stops Széchenyi István tér & Kossuth Lajos tér for a solemn but important reminder of the past. Finally, make sure you check out the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building at stops Kossuth tér & Országház Látogatóközpont.
Bus No. 16. – Fairytale Views
Catch the No.16 bus and you’ll be in for a historic ride the whole way through. Stop at the heart of the city, Deák Ferenc tér to experience the buzzing city centre with pedestrian shopping streets Váci utca and Fashion Street. After, you can make your way to the postcard-worthy Buda Castle starting from Dísz tér, and discover the cobbled small streets that house the romantic Fishermen’s Bastion, the stately Royal Palace and at one of the oldest square’s in Budapest, Szentháromság tér, you’ll get a full view of Matthias Church.
Tram 4-6 – Your Nighttime Friend
Although not touching most of the top attractions in Budapest, these little trams will definitely be trusty friends of yours in the city! Tram 4-6 runs around the clock making it the perfect solace after a long night of partying in the city. During the day however, the trams run at a fast pace of every 2 minutes, and even at night you only have to wait 15 minutes. This line is the busiest of them all, with a mix of passengers and places to see. Stopping at Margaret Island (Margitsziget-Margit híd) you can enter an eternal green spot of the city, also check out Nyugati Railway station (designed by the architect of the Eiffel Tower!) and make sure you explore Budapest’s party district surrounding Király utca. For great coffee and cozy drinks get off at Móricz Zsigmond körtér, as the area is full of quirky bars and cafés. Don’t worry too much about which line you take, as only the last few stops differ.
Tram 41 – A Buda-side Ride
Tram 41 will take you to the prettiest spots in the city, stopping at three soothing thermal baths of Budapest: Lukács, Rudas and the Gellért bath. Also take a look at Várkert Bazár, set beneath the Royal Palace, it houses magnificent exhibition spaces, a magical garden and an escalator that leads up to the Buda Castle. The last stop is by Kamaraerdő (The Chamber Forest), a perfect stop for going on a forest hike after a lengthy ride.
Fun fact: With its 18,5km, tram 41 wins the position of being the longest tram line in the city making it perfect for a Budapest sightseeing trip for the price of a ticket.
The Children’s Railway (Gyerekvasút) – Children in Command
A railway service run by children? Yes, one of the lesser-known but all the more amazing tourist attractions in Budapest is this child-friendly hidden treasure, but no worries, the train engineers are all grownups! The railway line runs from Széchenyi-hegy to Hűvösvölgy (touching János-hegy too), where you can hop on and off to enjoy scenic views, forest playgrounds and lookout points all just short walk away from the railway stations. Perfect for an active day out!
The Chairlift (Libegő) – Mesmerising Views of the Buda Hills
Started from the bottom? Make it to the top! Enjoy a gentle, 15 minute long ski lift-style ride suspended 8m above the ground from Zugliget to János-hegy, and you’ll reach the highest point within Budapest’s city limits. From the Elizabeth Lookout Tower (built in a beautiful Neo-Romanesque style) you can take in stunning 360° views of city, at 527m high.
BKK Boat Service – Ride on the Waves of the Danube
The city’s transport service is full of surprises, including its very own public sightseeing cruise – there’s no better way for cheap sightseeing in Budapest!
Enjoy a unique ride along the Danube to Kossuth Lajos tér (to view the Hungarian Parlament Building), the stunning Várkert Bazár or Szent Gellért tér for the most stunning baths in Budapest, the Gellért Bath. Just catch one of three boats (D11, D12, D13) running daily to your preferred destination for an unforgettable river cruise in Budapest! Take in the sights with the wind blowing in your hair. Check out the official BKK website for route and timetable information.