5 Best Budapest Dinner Cruises

Tested & Compared To Help You Choose

As local experts, we’re here to guide you through one of the most wonderful experiences this city has to offer – Budapest Dinner Cruises. Prepare yourself for an enchanting evening filled with

  • Delicious food,
  • Breathtaking views, and
  • Unforgettable memories.

Many companies offer river tours with dinner and it’s not easy for travellers to decide which one to go on. We’ve put together this guide using our personal experiences and local knowledge to help you narrow down your options.

a dinner cruise ship sailing past the lit up Parliament on the Danube
A Dinner Cruise Ship On The Danube (By Silverline Cruises)

What Are Budapest Dinner Cruises?

Budapest dinner cruises are river cruises that allow you to indulge in a sumptuous meal while enjoying the picturesque beauty of the city from the Danube River. These excursions typically last from 1.5 to 3 hours and provide a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks.

It’s a perfect blend of fine dining, entertainment, and sightseeing.

Festive Christmas Dinner Cruises

Dec.: 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29  Jan.: 02, 03

mulled wine

Christmas Atmosphere Evening Cruises with Mulled Wine & Beigli

Optional Dinner and Drink

Cruise Starts: 19.00

Duration: 180 min.

 Price: From €33

December: 24-25-26

Christmas Cruise on Szechenyi Ship

Christmas Cruise with Buffet Dinner + Unlimited: wine/beer/soft drinks

Open Bar

Cruise Starts: 19.00

Duration: 180 min.

 Price: From €125

Dec.: 23, 24 ,25, 27, 28, 29, 30  Jan.: 01

mulled wine

Christmas Atmosphere Night Cruises with Mulled Wine & Beigli

Optional Dinner and Drink

Cruise Starts: 22.00

Duration: 180 min.

 Price: From €33

The Setting

Picture this: you’re aboard a beautifully adorned riverboat, gently gliding along the majestic Danube River.

As you sip on a glass of fine Hungarian wine, the sun sets, casting an ethereal glow on the iconic landmarks that line the riverbanks like the

View of the Parliament from cruise
View of the Parliament from a cruise boat

This is the backdrop for your Budapest dinner cruise – a truly captivating setting.

Culinary Delights

Hungarian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and unique ingredients, and a dinner cruise offers the perfect opportunity to savor the best of it.

TIP: Most Danube dinner cruises offer traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash and chicken paprikash to delectable pastries like strudel or Somló sponge cake.

It is a perfect occasion for tourists wanting to try a variety of local meals all at once. See for example this 2-Hour Evening Cruise with Hungarian Buffet Dinner.

The majority of dinner menus feature a variety of options, including vegetarian and vegan choices, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

culinary_delights_on _cruise
Gastronomy delicacies on a Budapest river cruise

Sights and Sounds

As you indulge in your sumptuous meal, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Budapest’s famous attractions.

Admire the illuminated Chain Bridge, the majestic Hungarian Parliament Building, and the impressive Buda Castle.

The beauty of the city comes alive as you cruise beneath the glittering lights, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

a middle-aged woman with dark hair and glasses sitting onboard a panorama sightseeing boat, through the window the Parliament is visible in the background

Live Entertainment

To add to your dining experience, many Budapest dinner cruises feature live music performances.

From traditional Hungarian folk music to piano, jazz or classical ensembles, the melodies add an extra layer of enchantment to your evening.

Get ready to tap your feet or even take a spin on the dance floor!

diners on a river cruise with dinner program - two pianists and a young female singer performing on the stage in the back of the room
Dinner Cruise With Live Piano Music & Singing

Why Go On A Dinner Cruise?

There are several reasons why taking a cruise with dinner is considered a must-do activity when visiting Budapest.

  1. Firstly, it offers a romantic and enchanting ambiance, making it an ideal choice for couples celebrating special occasions or looking for a memorable date night.
  2. Secondly, the carefully crafted menus on these cruises feature a wide range of gastronomy treats, including traditional Hungarian dishes and international cuisine.
  3. Thirdly, the panoramic views of Budapest’s illuminated skyline create a breathtaking backdrop for an extraordinary dinner on the river.
  4. Lastly, FREE cancellation: you can cancel each cruise listed in this article free of charge (up to 24 hours or anytime in certain cruises). Simple, no-risk booking.
couple travelling together
A Couple Plannig A Cruise

#1.- Evening Cruise with Folk Show and Hungarian/International Dinner

By Hungaria Koncert Ltd.

Departure: 19:00 / Duration: 120 min. – From €69

hungarian folklore dance
Dinner Cruise With Hungarian Folk Dance

Summary – Highlights

This cruise offers typical Hungarian dinner of 3 courses served buffet style during a two-hour excursion on the Danube between Margaret Bridge and Rákóczi Bridge.

It’s really ideal for those who want to try several local dishes at once – highly recommend the goulash soup, beef ragout with dumplings, – the stuffed cabbage is not bad either though a bit dry due to use of ground turkey – and the selection of strudels for dessert.

Live folk dance shows performed by two very talented dancers and the energetic music of a Gypsy folk band will entertain you throughout the evening.

About The Count Széchenyi Ship

The large, historic Gróf Széchenyi ship accomodates up to 300 guests but due to the spaciousness of the ship it won’t feel crowded even in high season when many tourists choose this program for their evening in Budapest.

the two-deck historic Széchenyi ship moored in Pest early in the evening
Count Széchenyi Ship Moored In Pest

Classical Grandeur On Two Levels

As you step aboard you’ll be transported to a world of classical elegance and luxurious ambiance. The interior of the ship exudes a timeless charm, adorned with magnificent chandeliers, polished teak wood accents, and intricately designed intarsia walls.

The top deck boasts two symmetrical dinner sections, offering a spacious and refined setting for guests to enjoy their meals.

stainless steel containers (covered) on the buffet dinner serving table and a couple of tables set for dinne ron the Count Széchenyi cruise ship on a spring evening
All Set For The Buffet Dinner On The Count Széchenyi Ship

Additionally, there are four outdoor decks on the ship, where you can sit and enjoy the vista as well as take amazing photos:

  • Two located on the sides and
  • Two at each end.

These open-air spaces are perfect for sightseeing, allowing you to soak in the breathtaking views that unfold along the river. As I stood on the sides, I was captivated by the sweeping 180° vistas, while at the front and back, the views were a complete 360°.

However, I must note that ther protective railings partially obstructed the view from these angles.

guests sitting in chairs and admiring the view on the open deck of the Széchenyi excursion boat, the Royal Palace can be seen in the Buda side
Admiring The View From The Open Deck Of the Ship

Lower Deck

The lower deck is smaller with one open area immediately to the right of the entrance where guests that booked the cruise without dinner are seated.

It features a well-stocked bar with reasonably priced beverages, comfortable tables and you’ll find the toilets on this level too.

hungarian folklore dance
Folk Show on The Classically Elegant Count Szechenyi Cruise Ship
evening dinner cruise budapest 102
My 12-year old son, Zétény and me on an evening cruise with dinner in April 2023.

After boarding the ship you’ll receive your welcome drink (sparkling wine or fruit juice) then you’ll find a table to sit down and relish your drink.

A bottle of mineral water is also included in the package and you can buy additional drinks wine, beer, coffee, soft drinks – just choose from the menu place on every table.

After the cruise departs from the pier located right next to the Chain Bidge in Pest dinner starts and it’s time for you to savour the flavour of Hungary. There’s

  • Goulash soup for starters,
  • Beef stew with dumplings,
  • Stuffed cabbage – add a dash of sour cream

The dessert table is packed with a selection of strudels (with apple, cottage cheese or sour cherry filling), Somló style sponge cake dessert in shot glass, and various fruits.

Meanwhile take time to witness the illuminated beauty of Budapest’s most renowned landmarks, including the impressive Parliament – the ship sails at quite a slow space so you’ll have plenty of time to shoot photos, the magnificent Chain Bridge, and the Buda Castle complex or the more modern additions like the

  • National Theatre, the
  • Palace of Arts or the
  • Athletic Stadium finished in summer 2023.

During the program you’ll listen to the enchanting melodies of the traditional cimbalom instrument, and traditional Hungarian music and folk dance. The band even will play contemporary hits if you ask them.

You can even try and learn bottle dancing if you feel up to it. The dancers will be more than happy to show you the steps.

hungarian dinner cruise budapest
Hungarian dishes: Beef paprikash stew with dumplings
budapest dinner cruise strudel 02
Sweet treat: strudel with sour cherry, apple and cottage cheese

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Hungaria Koncert Ltd.
  • Ship: 2-deck ship for max. 300 guests, with panorama windows, AC in hot weather, heated in winter, 4 decks outside
  • Schedule: every day at 19.00 all year round, Note: There’s a late night, 1.5-hour crusie at 22.00 with the same dinner and program
  • Boarding Time: 18.30
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Itinerary: Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end) – Matthias Church – Fishermen’s Bastion – Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route till the pier next to the Chain Bridge
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: only the ground level is asscessible for people in wheelchair or with baby stroller, the restrooms and the upper level aren’t wheelchair accessible
  • Overall Ratings: Get Your Guide: 4.2/5 (1400+ reviews), Tripadvisor: 5/5 (3000+ ratings)

Pros:

Pleasant Atmosphere, Spacious Ship with Lovely Vintage Ambience: The ship boasts large, open spaces suitable for dining in comfort. It has large windows and outside decks from where you can take awesome photos of the city at sunset. TIP: Read also our full review of the Budapest Evening Cruise with Hungarian Dinner and Folk Show

Complete Danube Circuit: The ship travels between the Margaret and Rákóczi Bridges covering all the top landmarks lying on the banks of the Danube.

2-Hour Excursion, Not Pressed for Time: Lots of time to enjoy the evening city scape, a tasty dinner, drinks and take pictures.

Great Value for Money: Buffet style dinner of 3 courses, welcome drink plus additional drink of your choice (wine, beer, soda) coupled with the 2-hour route with folk dance and music performance make it a good, budget-friendly evening program in Budapest.

Courteous, friendly staff: English-speaking personnel is ready to help you with anything.

Cons:

❌ Not 100% suitable for people in wheelchair or with limited movement.

❌ Food quality is just OK, don’t expect gourmet quality, with the exception of the goulash soup and beef stew. These are really tasty even by local standards.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Gróf Szechenyi Ship – Akademia Port (2. ponton), Budapest, 1051 (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: Trams 2 , 2B, 23 Szécheniy István tér stop (Chain Bridge), M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10 min walk)

#2.- Cruise with 3 Course Dinner & Live Piano or Folk & Operetta – BEST VALUE!

By Silverline Cruises

Departure: 19:30 / Duration: 180 min. – From €70

dinner guests on a river boat - pinkish background lighting
3- or 6-Course Served Dinner & Piano Show

Summary – Highlights

On this 3-hour river tour

  • Catered dinner,
  • Live entertainment (piano show with singing or folk dance with operetta pieces), and
  • Breathtaking views come together

for unforgettable moments in Budapest.

You will be served a sumptuous 3-course dinner at your private table featuring a fusion of local and international flavors.

Choose from 2 soups:

  • Sweet potato cream soup (vegetarian) or
  • Hungarian goulash
View of the Buda side through apanorama window of a river boat at dusk, the interior and pinkish-purple lighting of the baot is reflected in the window glass
foie gras in its fat served in a jar with slices of bread
Appetizer: Foie Gras In Its Fat
Goulash soup in an oval shaped white bowl
Hungarian Goulash Soup

Dinner Menu – Main Dishes – 5 Options

  1. Herb-crusted salmon fillet served on creamy tagliatelle pasta with spinach and shaved parmesan
  2. Chicken breast fillet potato purée with smoked paprika and vegetable relish
  3. Beetroot risotto with fried carrot crouton and parmesan (Vegetarian)
  4. Duck leg confit with gravy sauce and fried cabbage and noodles in chimney cake
  5. Beef ragout made with dark beer, mushrooms and dark chocolate, served with bread dumpling
creamed sweet potato soup with pesto in an oval white bowl
On of the two soup choices: Sweet Potato Cream Soup With Pesto
beef ragout on a white plate
Beef Ragout Made With Dark Beer

Dessert Choices:

Finally, crown your dinner with one of the 2 dessert selections:

  1. Light tapioca pudding made with coconut milk and served with forest fruit coulis (vegan)
  2. Dark chocolate cashew brownie served with Bourbon vanilla ice cream
a slice of brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top
small slices of various cheeses on a square black plate with walnuts and leafy greens

The boat tour begins under the Elizabeth Bridge on the Pest side. You’ll head towards the Margaret Bridge passing by the illuminated Parliament.

Reaching Margaret Bridge the boat turns and cruises to the last bridge of the inner city. At this point, you’ll be able to see the National Theater, the Palace of Arts and the brand new Athletic Stadium.

From here, the boat turns once again and heads back to the starting point.

The romantic atmosphere created by the lit candles at your table and the illuminated city reflecting in the dark water of the Danube make this tour ideal for couples or people celebrating special occasions.

The Chain Bridge and Buda Castle illuminated at night
Picturesque view you will see from the boat: the Parliament and the Chain Bridge
Two guys playing the piano and a young woman singing onboard the cruise ship at night
Piano Duet and Singing

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Silverline Cruises
  • Ship size: Modern 2-level safe and stable catamaran cruise ships with all necessary equipments (life jackets, life buoys) and amenities. Cruise with Piano Show has 54 places, Cruise with Folk & Operetta Show can accept 110 guests.
  • Schedule: every day at 19.30
  • Boarding Time: 19.00
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Itinerary: Elizabeth Bridge – Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge (Pest end) – Margaret Island – Margaret Bridge (Buda end) – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end)- Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route to the pier at Elizabeth Bridge.
  • Inclusions: welcome drink (prosecco or non-alcoholic drink), catered 3-course dinner by candlelight at private table, live piano show and singing, 3-hour sightseeing cruise
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: no
  • Overall Ratings: Get Your Guide: 4.2/5 (250+ reviews)

Pros:

Best Value Dinner Cruise – with table service and high quality food, incl. vegetarian meal choice and intimate atmosphere by candlelight, live piano music and singing this is a complete full evening activity at great price (65 EUR).

3 Hours Is More Than Sufficent Time to leisurely enjoy your dinner, drinks, the entertainment of piano duet and solo singer performance, taking photos and indulging in the night panorama of Budapest.

Contemporary, State-Of-The Art Ships designed and perfectly suitable for dining while river cruising. Guests will have cozy sitting for a convenient eating and romantic experience.

Suitable For Families with Kids: discount price for children is available.

Cons:

❌ Not a large ship so places are limited 54 guests for the cruise with piano music, 110 people for the folk and operetta show. Arrive early to have a pick where to sit.

❌ Some may find the 3-hour duration a bit long but if you’re after a special, memorable program or want to celebrate a birthday or anniversary this is just the right length considering the catered dinner and piano music and singing performance.

TIP: Add a window seat if you book the cruise with dinner and folklore program. The performance is in a room where there are tables in the middle of the room, away from the windows where the view may be a bit limited.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Petőfi tér, 1051 Budapest, Dock 11. (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: Trams 2, 2B, 23 Vigadó tér or Március 15. tér stops, M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10-15 min walk), M3 metro (blue line) Ferenciek tere station (5-min walk)

#3.- Cruise with 6 Course Dinner & Live Piano or Folk & Operetta

By Silverline Cruises

Departure: 19:30 / Duration: 180 min. – From €84

Summary – Highlights

This cruise is very similar to the #3.- Cruise with 3 Course Dinner & Live Piano or Folk listed above with the only difference that you’ll get to indulge in a 6-course fine dinner:

  • 2 starters (1. Foie gras in its fat with mango chutney and freshly baked bread
    2. Amuse bouch,
  • 1 soup (choice of creamed sweet potato soup or goulash),
  • 1 main course (5 options including vegetarioan risotto dish)
  • 1 dessert (out of two choices: tapioca puding or brownie with cachew nut and vanilla ice cream, and
  • 1 cheese plate

Treat yourself to an luxurious dining experience on a modern, catamaran cruise ship that will surely leave a lasting impression on your Budapest vacation.

2 ladies and a man dressed elegantly sitting at a dinner table on a cruise ship at night in Budapest
Having a fantastic time on the cruise with 6 course dinner
budapest dinner cruise piano show
An outstanding piano and singing performance by the scenic backdrop of nightime Budapest

The delightful 6-course dinner by candlelight is paired with an amazing Piano Duet or Folk and Operetta performance if you choose that option.

As you enjoy the mouthwatering dishes and vibrant atmosphere, take in the stunning views of the water and cityscape.

The ship will take you on the same Danube circuit between Margaret and Rákóczi Bridges as the one with the 3-course dinner described above.

So you’ll pass by and have the chance to photograph the same famous attractions.

TIP: There’s a window seat option for extra charge but you don’t need this if you’re going for the Dinner with Piano Music since every table is by a window on the upper deck where this program takes place.

On the lower level however where the Folk & Operetta Show is hosted some tables in the middle aren’t by the window. So do arrive early or add the window seat when booking (costs + 20 EUR).

Some of the Delicious Food You’ll Get To Taste During The Cruise

Creamed sweet potato soup withparsley pesto and almond slices in a beige oval bowl
Creamed Sweet Potato Soup with Walnut & Parsley Pesto Sprinkled with Roasted Almond
foie gras in its own fat served in a glass jar with slices of whole bread and veggies
Foie Gras with Fresh Bread and Mango Chutney
roasted salmon fillet with herb crust on a bed of spinach and tagliatelle
Roasted Salmon Fillet with Herb Crust on a Bed of Tagliatelle & Spinach
budapest 6course dinner cruise brownie
Dark Choc Brownie With Bourban vanilla ice Cream & Caramell Sauce

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Silverline Cruises
  • Ship size: Modern 2-level safe and stable catamaran cruise ships with all necessary equipments (life jackets, life buoys) and amenities. Cruise with Piano Show has 54 places, Cruise with Folk & Operetta Show can accept 110 guests.
  • Schedule: every day at 19.30
  • Boarding Time: 19.00
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Itinerary: Elizabeth Bridge – Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge (Pest end) – Margaret Island – Margaret Bridge (Buda end) – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end)- Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route to the pier at Elizabeth Bridge.
  • Inclusions: welcome drink (prosecco or non-alcoholic drink), catered 3-course dinner by candlelight at private table, live piano show and singing, 3-hour sightseeing cruise
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: no
  • Overall Ratings: Get Your Guide: 4.2/5 (250+ reviews)

Pros:

Incredibly Good Entertaining Evening Program in Budapest with fine food and music – according to a reviewer on Tripadvisor

Modern Ships with Romantic Setting and professional pianist duo that play plenty of well-known tunes, accompanied by a skilled vocalist. – A thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Kind, attentive staff, faultless organizing

Cons:

❌ A bit pricey compared to other dinner cruises but if you want to treat someone to a trully memorable experience you sure won’t regret booking this program.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Address: Petőfi tér, 1051 Budapest, Dock 11. (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: Trams 2, 2B, 23 Vigadó tér or Március 15. tér stops, M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10-15 min walk), M3 metro (blue line) Ferenciek tere station (5-min walk)

#4.- Evening Cruise with 3 Course Dinner and Prosecco with Folk Dance & Live Music

By Eurama Sightseeing City Tours Budapest

Departure: 19:30 / Duration: 90 min. – From €55

Summary – Highlights

The Danube river cruise by Eurama – an experienced and reliable sightseeing tour operator in Budapest – is very similar to the one organized by Hungaria Koncert Ltd (see at the top) only this one departs half hour later, at 19.30 and offers serviced dinner instead of buffet-style meal.

Live entertainment, folklore performance, and music complements the tasty 3-course meal with vegetarian and gluten-free options. We were also greeted with a glass of sparkling wine upon boarding.

You can pick from three menus:

Traditional Hungarian Menu 1.:

  • Goulash Soup
  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin wrapped in Bacon with Steak Potatoes and Letcho,
  • “Sweet Dream” Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Ragout.

Traditional Hungarian Menu 2.:

  • Tarragon Ragout Soup,
  • Beef Stew with Wild Mushroom,
  • Strudel

Vegetarian Menu:

  • Cauliflower Cream Soup Sprinkled withParsley Oil,
  • Spring Rolls with Marble Cheese and Rice,
  • Strawberry Cheesecake.

There is a special gluten-free and lactose free menu version of the Traditional Hungarian Menu 1.:

Oh the table you’ll find a drink menu that lists a wide selection of beverages at a reasonable price should you wish to have something during or after dinner.

a large cruise ship gliding on the Danube at sunset, the Royal Palace of Buda Castle in the background
The Cruise Ship At Sunset
cruise ship on the Danube with the illuminated Budapest Parliament in the background
Sailing Past the Lit Up Parliament Building

Our Opinion – How Did We Find This Cruise?

The boat trip on the Danube at night is definitely worth it. The city becomes incredibly beautiful with the lights on. We took this boat trip in mid-May so we’ve also managed to catch the sunset which one of thebest times to admire the city.

However, we’ve had mixed feelings about this cruise. Upon arrival, the host handed us a glass of sparkling wine which was a pleasant way to start our evening.

Dinner has started while the ship still stood in the dock, which gave the service a somewhat hurried feel. We had a quick meal – Goulash, pork chop and strudel – served at our table accompanied by a nice folk show presented by two talented dancers and marvellous gypsy music.

Perhaps the dance could have been a bit longer.

Meal quality was OK, with the goulash soup being the best. Pork chop a bit overdone. Strudel is acceptable.

We’ve found the staff attentive and professional. Table service was very good too. Meals were brought in time with not too much lapse in between courses.

The ship is not the most modern but it was spacious enough. Toilets are outside which is OK in good weather but not so much in winter.

All in all we’ve had a great time even as locals being familiar with the dishes and the traditional music and dancing.

beef ragout with dumplings served a on a plate
Dinner serviced at your table
a pair of Hungarian folk dancers dressed in traditional costume
The professional folk dancing duo’s performance

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Eurama Sightseeing City Tours Budapest
  • Ship size:
  • Schedule: every day at 19.30
  • Duration: 1.5 hour
  • Boarding Time: 19.10
  • Itinerary: Elizabeth Bridge – Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge (Pest end) – Margaret Island – Margaret Bridge (Buda end) – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end)- Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route till Margaret Island then back to the pier at Elizabeth Bridge
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: except for the restrooms the ship is asscessible for people in wheelchair or with baby stroller
  • Overall Ratings: Get Your Guide: 4.1/5 (170+ reviews)

Pros:

✅ 3- dinner menu choices, ample food portions served at your table.

✅ Entertaining folk dance presentation accompanied by a live band showing a glimpse of Hungarian culture

✅ Overall good value dinner cruise with live entertainment.

✅ The duration of the tour is ideal: It’s not too long naither is too short. So you’ll have eneough time to enjoy everything.

✅ Professional, polite staff.

Cons:

❌ Food quality is average

❌ Toilets are outside.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Vigadó tér, Dock No. 6. MAHART PassNave Passenger Shipping Company. Boarding starts at 7:10 PM. (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: The dock is halfway between the Erzsébet and Chain Bridges. Trams 2 , 2B, 23 Vigató tér stop, M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10 min walk).

#5.- Romantic Candlelit 4-Course Danube Dinner Cruise

By Legenda City Cruise

Departure: 20:30 / Duration: 150 min. – From €85

Summary – Highlights

We really loved the Romantic Candlelit Dinner River Cruise by Legenda despite its length – more than 2 hours – and higher price range.

In our opinion it’s very similar to the 3-course or 6-course dinner cruise provided by Silverline (listed #2 and #3 ) both in terms of ambience and food quality.

This evening cruise departs at just a right time in summer to capture the captivating view painted by the setting sun.

It features a

  • Welcome drink
  • Catered 4-course dinner that you choose from the menu,
  • Kids menu (3-course) at discount price, 65 EUR (ages 3-12)
  • Live music, and
  • 2.5-hour excursion that passes by all the renowned attractions.

The cruise is known for its romantic atmosphere and attentive staff. With positive customer reviews and based on our enjoyable experience we highly recommended this boat tour for those visiting Budapest.

part of a panorama cruise catamaran on the Danube in Budapest at night. Guests are strolling on the open deck.
Enjoying the summer night on the partially open deck
guests on a cruise boat taking photos of the illuminated Buda Castle at night
Time to snap some photos!
candlelit dinner salat
Ruccola salad with dressing
candlelit dinner fish
Roasted fish with vegetables

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Legenda City Cruises
  • Ship size: 2-deck ship 150 – 250 guests, with 360° panorama windows (removable in good weather), open-air in summer, heated in winter
  • Schedule: every day at 20.30
  • Duration: 2.5 hour
  • Itinerary: Elizabeth Bridge – Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge (Pest end) – Margaret Island – Margaret Bridge (Buda end) – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end)- Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route till Margaret Island then back to the pier at Elizabeth Bridge
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: except for the restrooms the ship is asscessible for people in wheelchair or with baby stroller

Pros:

✅ It’s one of the highest rated dinner cruises in Budapest: 4.7/5 (by 700+ reviewers) 4.5/5 (by 450+ reviewers on Tripadvisor) – fellow travellers’ positive opinion is the best praise.

✅ The floor-to-ceiling panorama windows that are pulled back in good weather allow a fantastic, unobstructed view during the whole trip.

✅ Nice selection of a-la-carte meals. If you come with children they can have a 3-course kid-friendly menu at reduced price (65 EUR)

Great value for money considering food and service quality and duration of the program.

Cons:

❌ A little bit on the costly side compared to other Danube sightseeing tours.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Jane Haining rkp. 7, Budapest 1052 (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: Trams 2 , 2B, 23 Vigató tér stop, M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10 min walk)

#5+1.- Late Night Cruise with Hungarian Dinner & Folk Music

By Hungaria Koncert Ltd.

Departure: 22:00 / Duration: 90 min. – From €55

Summary – Highlights

This night boat tour by Hungaria Koncert is basically the same as the #1 – Evening Cruise with Folk Show and Hungarian/International Dinner with some minor differences: it lasts 1.5 hours instead of 2 and there is no folk dancing but there is live folk or salon music.

The same historic Count Széchenyi ship will take you on a late night sightseeing river tour.

The buffet-style dinner is also the same regarding both options and quality. We recommend the Hungarian dishes: goulash, beef stew and stuffed cabbage becuse they are really tasty and you can have as many portions as you like from the buffet spread.

Included are also a welcome drink (sparkling wine or orange juice) and a small bottle of minearl water.

night view of the illuminated Chain Bridge and buildings on the Pest Danube bank
Night view of the Chain Bridge and the Pest riverbank
the buffet style dinner on a white table clothed table, tables elegantly set for dinner by the panorama windows of the Count Szechenyi Cruise Ship
Everything is set for a splendid dinner on the Count Széchenyi Cruise Ship

TIP: Please note that the city’s decorative night lighting is turned off at 23.00 every day so be prepared if you want to catch the night cityscape on photo/video.

goulash soup in a small round white bowl with a spoon placed on the right
Traditional Goulash Soup
stuffed cabbage rolls in a stainless steel food warmer
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Cruise Details

  • Company/Cruise Organiser: Hungaria Koncert Ltd.
  • Ship: 2-deck ship for max. 300 guests, with panorama windows, AC in hot weather, heated in winter, 4 decks outside
  • Schedule: Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 22.00
  • Boarding Time: 21.30
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Itinerary: Chain- Bridge (Pest end) – Parliament – Margaret Bridge – Church of St. Anne – Chain Bridge (Buda end) – Matthias Church – Fishermen’s Bastion – Buda Castle – Elizabeth Bridge – Gellért Hill – Liberty Bridge – Gellért Bath – Petőfi Bridge – National Theatre – Palace of Arts: then back on the same route till the pier next to the Chain Bridge
  • Guiding: no guiding
  • Wheelchair accessability: only the ground level is asscessible for people in wheelchair or with baby stroller, the restrooms and the upper level aren’t wheelchair accessible
  • Overall Ratings: Get Your Guide: 4.1/5 (1400+ reviews),

Pros:

It’s one of the few late night cruises in Budapest so if you want to see the Danube and the bridges as well as Budapest’s other notable sights illuminated at night then definitely include this one in your itinerary.

✅ If you stick to the Hungarian meal choices you will have a nice, flavorul dinner while cruising past the World Heritage listed cityscape.

Comfortable, roomy ship that exudes classic, timeless charm. Perfect setting for a special celebration or just a romantic night out. The candlelit dinner make the entire program even more enchanting.

Cons:

❌ City lights are turned off at 23.00 so if you want to see more of nighttime Budapest then pick an earlier boat our.

❌ Travellers have mixed opinions on the food – just don’t expect 1st class restaurant quality and you’ll have a great time.

Meeting Point/Getting There:

  • Address: Gróf Szechenyi Ship – Akademia Port (1. ponton), Budapest, 1051 (View On Google Maps)
  • Getting there: Trams 2 , 2B, 23 Szécheniy István tér stop (Chain Bridge), M1, M2, M3 metro at Deák F. tér station (10 min walk)

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Budapest Dinner Cruise

When selecting a Budapest dinner cruise, there are several factors to consider to ensure an exceptional experience.

Cuisine and Menu Options

  • Check the cruise’s menu beforehand to ensure they offer dishes that meet your taste preferences. Some cruises specialize in traditional Hungarian cuisine (see #1 – Evening Cruise with Hungarian Dinner& Folk Dancing – while others offer a fusion of international flavors. Consider also your dietary restrictions to make the right choice

Entertainment and Ambiance

  • Find out if the cruise provides live music or other entertainment to enhance the overall enjoyment. The ambiance of the cruise is also crucial, as it sets the mood for your evening. Whether you prefer a lively and energetic atmosphere or a more intimate and romantic setting, choose a river tour that aligns with your desired ambiance.

 Reviews and Recommendations

  • Read reviews and seek recommendations from previous guests who have went on Budapest dinner cruises. Their insights and feedback can provide valuable information about the quality of service, food, and staff competence and friendliness, and the whole impression they got. Consider their opinions to make an informed decision.

Conclusion – The Top 5 Budapest Dinner Cruises

River cruises with dinner offer a unique blend of gastronomy, breathtaking views, and live entertainment, making them a must-do activity for visitors to this magnificent city.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to immerse yourself in Budapest’s charm, these cruises are sure to leave a lasting impression.

So, pick one that the best suits your needs and budget and let Budapest’s beauty and flavors captivate your senses!

TIP: If you want to have something simple yet tasty instead of a full dinner we recommend Budapest’s only street food cruise: with lángos/pizza and unlimited beer/drinks🍕🍺

How long do Budapest dinner cruises typically last?

Danube river tours with dinner usually last around 1.5 to 3 hours, giving you ample time to enjoy your meal, take in the sights, and relax on board.

The minimum duration of cruises without dinner is 1 hour but the whole experience may feel rushed and tours of this length usually don’t cover the full circuit between Margaret and Rákóczi bridges.

In our opinion a 70-80-minute boat trip with meal is an ideal length where you can fully enjoy both the food and the sights.

Are Budapest dinner cruises suitable for families with children?

Yes, most of the dinner cruises – mainly those that start early in the evening, see the Evening Cruise with Hungarian Dinner starting at 7 pm – are a good fit for families with children.
Some cruises offer special menus and entertainment options for kids, ensuring an enjoyable time for the whole family.

Can I request special dietary accommodations on Budapest dinner cruises?

Absolutely! Most dinner cruises in Budapest are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions or special requests.

It’s advisable to inform the cruise provider in advance to ensure they can cater to your needs.

Can I enjoy vegetarian or vegan options on Budapest dinner cruises?

Most cruises with meal offer vegetarian menu options. For strictly vegan meals or special dietary requests it’s best to send the organiser a request.

They understand the importance of catering to different dietary preferences and strive to provide a diverse range of dishes to accommodate all guests.

Are alcoholic drinks included in the dinner cruise package?

It depends which cruise you choose. The majority include a welcome drink or a glass of wine with the meal, and you can buy drinks from the beverage menu at additional cost at almost every cruise ship. You can’t bring your own beverages on board the ship though.

See also our main page for Danube cruises in Budapest