Discover What Hungary Offers Outside the Capital
If you think you’ve had enough Budapest buzz, leave it behind for a while for day trips to see a bit of the countryside.
We’ll recommend you several excursions out of the city, starting with the nearest attractions. Within 50 km you’ll find plenty of sights and natural treasures.
- For some artistic atmosphere visit Szentendre, or
- learn more about Hungarian history in Visegrád and Esztergom.
We’ll help you plan your excursions with tips on travelling and sightseeing. On these trips you’ll learn more about Hungary, its history and culture, and perhaps you’ll understand our nation better.
Esztergom, Visegrád, Szentendre
One of the most spectacular and scenic part of our country is the Danube Bend, 40 km north of Budapest.
In fact, it is the most beautiful stretch of the river’s 3 000 km course from the Black Forest to the Black Sea.
We regularly go for excursions to this wonderful area on weekends.
Just after Esztergom, the Danube turns sharply south before it reaches Budapest. This is where the Danube Bend starts.
The three small towns,
- Visegrád and
- Szentendre are like pearls on a string.
Each is worth at least a half day visit. You can easily access them from Budapest by coach, train, or even by boat.
Expert, English-speaking local bike enthusiasts (and lisenced tour guides) will show you parts of northern Budapest then cycle with you to the cute artist town of Szentendre sitting in the Danube Bend.
Return is by boat.Details & Booking
Plan Your Daytrips
Getting to Esztergom, Visegrád, Szentendre
Hungary is a small country, and you can get to anywhere within a couple of hours by
- train or
- by car.
Travelling by train and bus in Hungary is affordable, and the service is quite reliable.
I don’t recommend driving for foreigners; it is very troublesome just to get out of Budapest on weekdays.
Hungarian driving culture is not a thing we’re proud of. Reckless overtaking, sudden changing between lines, exceeding speed limit; you don’t need these to ruin your excursion.
Almost all major highways are under construction during summer.
If you’re still more comfortable to get to these destinations by car, you’ll find several car rental services in Budapest.
Buses depart to the three cities from Árpád Bridge (M3, blue metroline, or tram 1 Árpád Híd station).
Take the bus that travels through a town called Dorog. To Esztergom the journey takes about 75 minutes.
Another option is to take a bus to Esztergom via Visegrád.
This journey takes 2 hours and the ticket costs more.
In Hungary bus fares are determined by the kilometres of the route, and the bus route to Esztergom via Visegrad is longer than via Dorog.
You can purchase your ticket in advance at the Árpád Bridge Bus Station up until half an hour before the departure of your bus.
You can buy ticket from the driver too when you board the bus.
About 25 trains depart to Esztergom daily from Budapest’s Nyugati Railway Station (M3 metro line).
The journey takes about 1,5 hour. The ticket costs 1 100 Ft.
You can buy your train ticket at the ticket offices at the station.
For exact information on departures and ticket prices visit the official website of the Hungarian Railway Company.
The best option is to take the suburban railway (HÉV in Hungarian) from Batthyány tér (M2 metro line, Batthyány tér station).
Trains leave every 20 minutes or so every day.
The trip takes 40 minutes. A one-way ticket costs cc. 600-650 Ft.
You have to buy your ticket in advance at the ticket office at the HÉV station.
If you have a valid Budapest public transport pass you only have to pay for the distance between the boundary of Budapest and Szentendre.
For exact information on HÉV ticket prices and timetable visit the BKK’s website.
There’s no direct train service to Visegrád from Budapest. Alternatively you can take a train to Nagymaros from Nyugati Railway Station, and from Nagymaros a ferry (rév in Hungarian) will take you across the Danube to Visegrád.
The ferry dock is a few minutes walk from the train station and a ferry leaves in every hour. The train trip to Nagymaros takes less than an hour.
The most spectacular and enjoyable way to get to these three towns. Boats run between Budapest and the cities of the Danube bend from April to September.
Boat Cruise to Szentendre by Silver-Line, 01. May – 30. SEptember
- Dock No. 11, 1052 Budapest, Jane Haining rakpart (tram 2 Március 15 tér stop), at 10.45 every day (May – Sept) or
- Batthyány Square in Buda (M2, red metro line): at 11.00 every day (May – Sept).
A really good-value 2-hour boat cruise with e-guide to Szentendre during the summer season.
- Arrival to Szentendre is at 12.45.
- Return trip: 17.20, arrival to Batthyány tér: 18.20, to Dock No. 11: 18.30.
- one-way: full price: 10 EUR, children (ages 3-14): 9 EUR,
- return ticket: full price: 15 EUR, children (ages 3-14): 13 EUR.
Mahart Passnave Crusies
The Mahart Passnave company also offers boat trips to Visegrád-Szentendre. Boats depart from Vigadó tér in Pest between Erzsébet Bridge and Szabadság Bridge.
The travel time to Szentendre is about 2 hours, 3 and half an hour to Visegrád, and 5 hours to Esztergom.
For exact information on schedule and ticket prices visit the boat operator’s website.
If I haven’t discouraged you from driving, Route 11 will take you to all three towns from Budapest.Related: Visit Budapest – Budapest in A Day – Danube Cruises – Budapest Airport – Downtown Budapest