Budapest is a grand Central European city with a rich history, stunning architecture and tons of things to do On The Cheap. Where else can you see a world-class ballet at one of Europes most beautiful opera houses for just $4 USD? Follow our tips below to save money when visiting this glorious city on the Danube.

Cheap Accommodation:

Grand Hostel, Hüvösvölgyi út 69. Located steps from a tram stop and on the lushly green side of the city, this hostel is one of the few in Budapest to offer single-gender dorms. Recently remodeled, travelers can choose from 4 or 6 bed dorms or double/triple private rooms. Free Internet and parking available, and the hostel boasts a beautiful bar area and outdoor garden.

We also like Red Bus Hostel (and Hostel 2). They have 4-6 bed dorms as well as reasonably priced singles and doubles. Free breakfast and kitchen facilities are available. Bonus: A secondhand English bookstore is the perfect place to buy and/or sell reading material for your trip!

Free Things To Do:

St. Stephen’s Basilica. A grand cathedral in true European fashion complete with gilded edges. Guided tours are available for a fee, but it is free to go inside and walk around. A breathtaking sight at night.

Fishermans Bastion. In the Castle District, this structure has 7 towers symbolizing the seven tribes that came to Hungary in 896. The walkways provide stunning views over the Danube towards the Pest side of the city. Free to walk along the lower levels, small charge to go to upper walkways (no real extra view up there).

Castle District. It is easy to spend the better part of a day up here, with Fisherman’s Bastion, St. Matthews Church and the Buda Castle all within a stones throw of each other. The district is perched high on a hill above the Danube and the surrounding neighborhoods are a joy to walk though.

Margaret Island. A lush oasis in the middle of the city, this space offers trails, a bird refuge, lots of foliage, some ruins and a luxury hotel.

City Park. Another large park, City Park is home to the zoo, Szechnyi Baths, a castle, Heroes Square (including two museums) and several miles of walking paths. The zoo and baths charge admission fees, but it is free to walk through the park and castle grounds.

Cheap Things To Do in Budapest:

Not only are there lots of free things to do in Budapest, but many attractions are very affordable. Currently the exchange rate is about 195 Hungarian Forints to 1 US Dollar. Here are some of our favorites:

Opera House, Andrassy Ut. One of the most opulent in Europe, this grand building is a must see during your stay in Budapest. Even if you just step inside the lobby, the Opera House is an amazing sight. In the foyer alone there are marble pillars, a black-and-white inlaid tile floor and a gorgeous gold and fresco ceiling. Ballet, symphony, and concert programs run all year long and great seats can be had for $4 USD.

Take A Bath. Budapest is famous for it’s Turkish style baths and there are several throughout the city. Our favorite is the Szechnyi (Chain) bathhouse both for its decor and location. This delight sits among City Park, one of several attractions there. Inside, the building is breathtakingly decorated and houses over 25 pools. Some are warm, cold, indoor, outdoor, or scented with eucalyptus or other scents. Massages and other services are also available for an additional fee. Entrance fees range from $5-10 USD.

Budapest is truly a city that should not be missed. It’s an interesting mix of old and new and a great time can be had on a minimal budget.

For more ideas on how to travel to Budapest on the cheap, please visit our website at We also welcome reader tips and questions.