Budapest Solo Travel Guide
Hungary’s capital city is a lively center, filled with plenty of excitement for solo travelers. Situated along the Danube River, Budapest is home to spectacular historic architecture, majestic thermal baths, and rich culture.
Discover famous landmarks such as the magnificent Hungarian Parliament building, the Széchenyi Chain bridge, and Buda Castle. The city consists of two separate banks, Buda and Pest, which are divided by the river.
A solo trip to Budapest provides the opportunity to see the city’s top highlights and explore things at your own pace. If you’re wondering how to best navigate this lively city, keep reading below to see our Budapest Solo Travel Guide.
Top Things to Do on a Solo Trip to Budapest
Perched on a hill in Buda, choose to make your way up by foot, or hop on the convenient funicular for a fun ride up the hill. Wander around the magnificent grounds, with lovely gardens, and a view overlooking the Danube river. Inside the castle, you’ll also find the Budapest Historical Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery.
Take a stroll through Budapest’s main pedestrian street. This lively promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. A fantastic spot for those traveling alone to experience the vibrant atmosphere, admire the storefront displays, and shop.
Situated within the Castle Hill district, this popular monument showcases spectacular architectural detail. Ascend up the staircase and admire the ornate complex. Step onto one of the many lookout terraces which showcase a magnificent panorama of the Danube River, Hungarian Parliament building, and city skyline of Pest.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
One of the major landmarks in the city, this chain bridge was built in 1840, connecting the Eastern and Western sides of the city. Enjoy a walk across this intricate bridge, or admire it at night when it is lit up with vibrant lights.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Budapest is known for their thermal baths, which are composed from natural hot springs. There are various baths and pools to choose from. Enjoy a spa-like experience at Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the largest and most popular bath in the city. This stunning historic thermal bath complex features a large outdoor thermal pool, plunge pool, saunas, and steam rooms.
Situated right in between Buda and Pest, Margaret Island is easily accessibly via the Margaret Bridge. It’s a perfect spot for solo travelers looking for a peaceful retreat in the city. Stroll through the pedestrian pathways, rent a bike, admire the gardens, or visit the lively musical fountain.
What to Eat
Central Market Hall
Don’t miss the Central Market Hall, the massive market with food vendors, fresh produce, handmade crafts, and gifts. This lively market offers plenty of delicacies such as traditional Hungarian dishes (such as Goulash), paprika gift sets, cheese and smoked meats.
Food markets are an amazing spot for when you’re traveling by yourself and wish to sample a variety of foods in a casual atmosphere, and the Central Market Hall is no exception.
A popular Hungarian street food, Langos is a fried dough with various toppings such as cheese, sour cream, bacon, and peppers. Grab a fresh bite at the popular Retro Langos, with an array of toppings to choose from.
Stop by Molnár’s kürtőskalács to try the best chimney cakes in the city! The traditional pastry is served fresh, with a variety of delicious toppings to choose from, including cinnamon, walnut, and almond. Enjoy the tasty treat as is, or add ice cream!
Best Places to Stay in Budapest
The city of Budapest is divided by the Danube River. You can’t go wrong staying on either side, as both both Buda and Pest provide accessibility to various top attractions. However, the Eastern side of Pest is where most of the action is, especially for evening entertainment and nightlife. Buda on the other hand, offers a bit of a quieter atmosphere once the sun sets.
Either way, it’s convenient to get from one side to the other, via the underground metro, or by walking across the various bridges. There’s quite a few options to consider when visiting Budapest alone.
Buda offers a more relaxing vibe, and provides close proximity to popular landmarks such as Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. Also situated on Buda, are four spectacular thermal baths including Gellert Thermal Bath and Rudas Bath.
District 1: This is the most central district in Buda, and home to the elegant Castle Hill, with cobblestone streets and spectacular historic monuments. District 1 also includes a variety of cozy neighborhoods and shops to explore.
In Pest, you’ll come across busier streets and a larger selection of restaurants, cafes, and shops. In central Pest, there’s also plenty of nightlife. Solo travelers staying in Pest will have easy access to top attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament building, the massive Szechenyi thermal bath, and Central Market Hall.
District 5: This is the central district of Budapest, where all the action is. The area is easy to navigate and great for solo travelers looking to be close to major attractions, bars and restaurants.
District 6: District 6 is a lively area, with a cultural flare. It features the Hungarian State Opera, as well as Andrassy Avenue, a tree-lined boulevard with wide streets, historic buildings, and cafes.
Getting Around Budapest as a Solo Traveler
If you’re traveling by yourself, the best way to navigate the city is through the public transit system. On the street level, there are trams that travel through popular routes such as to the Hungarian Parliament building. The efficient and cost-effective metro conveniently offers service on both sides of the river.
Solo travelers planning to use the public transit frequently can purchase a Travel Card for 1 to 5 days, which gives you unlimited access for the specified time period you choose.
The central districts of Pest are also ideal for walking and exploring the area. The vibrant districts 5 and 6 have plenty of charm to explore by foot. Single travelers can join a free walking tour to uncover hidden gems within a group setting, or venture out solo and navigate at your own pace.
To get between Buda and Pest, walk across one of the four bridges spread out along the Danube river, or hop on the underground metro which will take you from one side to the other.
Budapest is also a popular stop on a river cruise through the Danube River. On a river cruise, you’ll travel through various ports along the the famous river, providing opportunities to explore the charming towns and beautiful landscape.