Orlaith Costello
June 06, 2024

The Hungarian capital is a treasure trove of modern and ancient history.

If you love city breaks, the illustrious Hungarian capital of Budapest should definitely be on your summer bucket list.

Budapest is actually made up of two cities connected by the Chain Bridge. Buda, the older, higher medieval city on the western bank of the Danube, is where you’ll find the Royal Pace. Pest, on the flat eastern bank, is home to the National Assembly Building.

Everywhere you turn in the city, you’ll see remarkable examples of baroque, neo-classical, neo-romanesque and art nouveau architecture. It’s no wonder it was rubber-stamped with World Heritage status in 2002.

In partnership with HSBC, we’ve put together this helpful starter guide to Budapest so you can start planning your itinerary.

The Hungarian capital is a treasure trove of modern and ancient history.


Before you launch into weeks (or months) of responsibility-free fun in Europe, you’ll need to get some adult stuff out of the way, like sorting out your payment plan. With an HSBC Everyday Global Account, you can spend fee-free around the world everywhere Visa is accepted*.


Buy a City Card, which covers all public transport run by BKK (metro, bus, trams and boats) and also gives you free entry into museums and thermal baths. In summer, BKK runs a special boat service along the Danube — basically, a sightseeing river cruise. You can also hire a bike or get an Uber, a Bolt or a taxi — make sure you use a reputable taxi firm like City Taxi or TaxiPlus.


Make time in your schedule for lunch with the locals at a neighbourhood étkezdes. These unassuming, family-run eateries serve affordable, traditional Hungarian dishes like chicken paprikash, schnitzel, and hearty stews. Visit charming étkezdes like Kívánság in District 6, Norbi in District 13 or Akácfa Étkezde in District 7 to get a taste of these local favourites.


One experience you shouldn’t skip is a dip in Budapest’s thermal baths. The Gellért Thermal Bath is a popular spot often referred to as the ‘Palace of Baths’. Remember to bring a swimsuit (no nudies here) and shower before entering. While Gellért is the most famous, locals often prefer the Rudas Bath and Szechenyi Baths — the latter is the largest in the city and has a rooftop spa greenhouse.

Five of the Best

Tick these must-visit spots off your bucket list.

Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Artistic town houses and luxe hotels — the city has both in spades.

Restaurants and Eateries

Whether you've a hankering for fine dining or chimney cake (kürtőskalács), we've got the top spots for you.


The toast is 'Egészségedre!'. Fun fact: it's considered rude to clink glasses while toasting

Museums and Galleries

If you love modern art, you will be spoiled for choice in Hungary's capital.

Historical Sites

On both sides of the Danube, you'll find incredible historical landmarks.

Must-Do Experiences

Heading to Budapest for the first time? Make sure you tick all of these spots off your list.

Five of the Best

Tick these must-visit spots off your bucket list.

Further Afield

If you've got a little extra time, here are day trips you should plan from Budapest.

Bookable Experiences

Ready to start planning? We've found four experiences you can book right now, fee free, using your HSBC Everyday Global Account Visa Debit Card.

Plan Your Journey Around Budapest

Track down the must-visit spots.


Be prepared for your European adventure by opening an HSBC Everyday Global Account. For more information, head to the website.

Illustration: Haylee Poppi

*The HSBC Everyday Global Account does not support the Hungarian Currency (HUF) as one of the nine sub-currencies. However, you can still use your Visa Debit Card, and the funds will be taken from your AUD account.

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