The slowly flowing Danube is the focal point of Budapest, running between the two sides of the city, Buda and Pest. Lining its banks are magnificent structures like the Hungarian National Parliament building, dominating a large stretch with its sharp spires. Buda Castle sits upon the hill on the Buda side of town, many hundreds of years old with its stout walls and battlements now a major tourist drawcard. The Chain Bridge is the main artery connecting these two sibling towns and is filled daily with locals, tourists and street vendors making it a hive of activity over the river. Margaret Island sits quietly downriver, a serene dot of green popular for picnics and summer relaxation, just a short ferry ride away. Hősök Tere (Heroes’ Square) featuring an iconic statue complex and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is one of the major squares in Budapest. From there you can also hop on the Millennium Underground, which is the second oldest underground railway in the world. A visit to Budapest is not complete without a few hours at a thermal bath where hot, sulphurous water is run into beautifully ornate bathhouses and the day’s worries are soothed away. Popular examples include Rudas, Gellért and Széchenyi.
Flights to Budapest
Travel guide - Budapest
Split into two halves, this European beauty on the Danube is a treasure of history and culture. Having sat on this spot for hundreds of years, Budapest is home to stunning buildings, tight cobbled streets and wide avenues. The Finnair travel guide to Budapest will guide you to the best this city has to see, do, eat and enjoy.
Szentendre – Just an 80-minute cruise from Budapest, arrive at this small town full of museums, galleries and classical old buildings.
Danube Bend – A beautiful wooded nature area popular with locals seeking a relaxing day away from the city.
Hollókő – A UNESCO World Heritage listed site, this small village houses unique wooden homes set along winding cobblestone streets in the middle of the Hungarian countryside.
Győr – You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re still in Budapest on arrival here, such are the numbers of impressive old buildings and gorgeous market squares.
Hévíz – Europe’s largest thermal lake, it’s a sight to behold. Bathe in the warm waters for the reputed health benefits they provide.
Budapest has a lively and modern shopping scene, mingling big brands with local sellers.
Váci Utca – The biggest shopping street in town, this is where you’ll find all the best known European and international chain stores along with individual boutiques and everything in between.
Andrassy Utca – High fashion is the order of the day here with the best of luxury brands all on display.
WestEnd City Center – A large shopping centre at the main railway station housing familiar brands and a cinema.
Belvárosi Piac (markets) – This central market focuses on traditional goods, so head here for textiles, glassware and delicious local foods.
Hungarian food in general is rich, tasty and filling. Meat is popular and many dishes focus on this, but some vegetarian options are available.
Gulyás (goulash) – The most well known Hungarian food both inside and outside the country. Chunks of meat stewed in a thick brown sauce and served with vegetables and dumplings.
Pörkölt – Another rich stew, this one is peasant fare yet surprisingly delicious.
Halászlé – Fisherman's Soup, spiced with paprika it’s a hearty dish enjoyed year round.
Tokay wine – This special wine is world renowned, with the area itself represented in the name.
Lecsó – Vegetarian stew featuring peppers, onions and tomatoes. Similar to ratatouille.
Dobos torta – Caramel topped buttercream cake.
Getting around Budapest is both convenient and cheap. Most of the city’s interesting areas are served directly by public transport and multi day passes are excellent value for visitors.
Metro – Easily the best way to get around town, the metro will deliver you quickly to any sight you want to see in the main city area.
Bus and tram – Some parts of the city are restricted only to bus and tram traffic, so check this before you set out to avoid a long walk. Always validate your ticket upon boarding as tickets are checked often.
By foot – You can walk safely and easily in most parts of Budapest and many areas are pedestrian only. The Buda side can be very hilly, so be prepared if you intend to visit this area.
Currency – Hungarian Forint (HUF)
Electricity – 220 volts, 50hz, type-F plug.
Tips – Adding 10% on the bill is recommended when eating or drinking at a restaurant.
Payment/card – In smaller shops cash is needed.
Time zone – Budapest (Hungary) UTC/GMT + 1 hour
Water – Tap water is safe to drink.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD)
The airport is located 16 km southeast of Budapest.
- Finnair flights: Terminal T2B
- Check-in opens 2 hours before departure
- Check-in closes 45 minutes before departure