Budapest Day Trips

Discover What Hungary Offers Outside the Capital

If you think you’ve had enough Budapest buzz, leave it behind for a while for a budapest 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.

TIP: The best way to see this three towns in the Danube Bend is on a guided tour. On these trips you’ll learn about the history and culture of the settlements, enjoy the amazing panoramic views and some good local meal.

Etyek, a small village known today for its wines and gastronomy events is also worth visiting on a half-day excursion.

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.

Danube Bend, Visegrad
The Danube Bend

The three small historic towns,

  • Esztergom,
  • Visegrád and
  • Szentendre are sitting on the riverbank 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.

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

  • Bus,
  • Train or by
  • Car.

Travelling by train and bus in Hungary is affordable, and the service is quite reliable.

Esztergom Basilica

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.

Boat Cruise To The Danube Bend

The most spectacular and enjoyable way to get to these three towns. Boats operated by the Mahart Passnave company run between Budapest and the cities of the Danube bend from April to September.

Boats depart two or more times a day between Tuesday and Sunday in the tourist season (usually between end of May and mid-September) from Vigadó tér in Pest between Erzsébet Bridge and Szabadság Bridge.

You can choose from several excursions to Szentendre, Visegrád or Esztergom. Depending which town you travel to the cruise takes cc. 1-2.5 hours to get there.

For example the boat trip to Esztergom is 2 hours and 20 minutes long, Szentedre is a 2-hour trip.

Boat Tour Ticket Prices – Szentendre, Visegárd, Esztergom

A one-way boat ticket to either of the 3 towns costs

  • 2 500 HUF for adult,
  • 2 000 HUF for students, children/seniors:
  • 1 500 HUF. Youcan purchase the tickets online.

Read more about the Danube bend river trips at the official website of the company operating the ships.

view of Szentendre on the bank of the Danube
Szentendre Nestled On The Bank of the Danube
the white boat of Mahart passnave in the town port of Szentendre
The Port In Szentendre

Szentendre – A Charming, Artsy Town on The Danube Bank

Szentendre is the closest to Budapest and you can explore this cute town in about 6-8 hours depending on how many museums you want to visit.

the author of this post - a middle-aged darl haired woman in sunglasses pointing a finger up the famous colourful umbrellas in Szentendre
The Famous Umbrella Street
a cobble stoned uphill street lwith cafe terraces on the right side and a church tower in the background - Szentendre
A typical cobble stone street in Szentendre
items - photos, paintings, ceramics -on display on the door and outside a small Antiques shop in Szentendre
The town is full of such little antique shops

Getting To Szentendre By HÉV/Suburban Train

The simplest and quickest way to get there is by HÉV/Suburban Railway departing from Batthyány tér termini, but you can also get on at Margit-híd budai hídfő (Margaret Bridge Buda end) station if that better suits you (trams 4 and 6 have astop there).

Trains leave every 20 minutes or so every day. The journey is roughly 40 minues long.

You get off at the termini in Szentendre. The town centre and the riverbank is about a 8-10 minute walk from the HÉV station.

Suburban Train Ticket to Szentendre:

You need two tickets:

  • One public transport Single ticket to Budapest’s city limit, which is at Békásmegyer station (costs 450 HUF or 400 from a discount block of 10 tickets), and
  • From Békásmegyer station you need a Suburban railway ticket (15 km) to Szentendre: costs 450 HUF.
  • You can buy both tickets form BKK’s (Budapest Public Transport Centre) vending machines. You can pay with bank card (we recommend this) and in cash.
  • You can validate both tickets upon boarding the train, no need to wait till you reach the city boundary at Békásmegyer.
the two types of suburban train public transport tickets to Szentendre from Budapest

TIP: If you have a Budapest Card you don’t have to buy a public transport single ticket only the suburban railway ticket (15 km) to Szentendre:

See also the HÉV/Suburban train timetable at the BKK’s website.

By Bus

You can get to each town by coach line No. 880-889 operated by Volanbusz company.

TIP: Use this site ( to plan your travel in Hungary by bus or train.

Szentendre By Direct Bus Line

A bus trip to Szentendre is about 30-40 minutes long. Your best option is to get on the coach line that departs from Batthyány Square in Buda.

There’s another bus line that departs from Újpest-Városkapu station and gets to Szentendre coach station in about 30 minutes.

Cost of the trip is cc. 450 HUF.

Esztergom by Bus

Busline No. 800 will take you to Esztergom that departs form Bus Station at Árpád Bridge/Árpád-híd autóbusz állomás/ View on Map.

The journey to Esztergom takes 1 hour 20 minutes.

In Hungary bus fares are determined by the kilometres of the route.

Visegrad Castle

You can find information about coach fares here.

You can buy ticket from the driver too when you board the bus.

By Train

To Esztergom

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.

To Visegrád

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.

By Boat

Boat Cruise to Esztergom Mahart, 28. April – 30. September


  • Dock No. 5, Vigadó Tér 9:30 a.m.

A really good-value 1.5-hour boat cruise with to Szentendre during the summer season.

  • Arrival to Esztergom is at 11.00.
  • Return trip: 17.00, arrival: 18.30, to Dock No. 5
boat dock


  • one-way: full price: 20,5 EUR, children (ages 3-14): 10 EUR,
  • return ticket: full price: 30 EUR, children (ages 3-14): 15 EUR.
Szentendre colorful umbrellas above walking street
Main square of Szentendre
Szentendre Chapel
Szentendre romantic street
Szentendre temple
Szentendre colorful umbrellas
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Note: The boats are usually crowded in high season!

For exact information on schedule and ticket prices visit the boat operator’s website.

By Car

If I haven’t discouraged you from driving, Route 11 will take you to all three towns from Budapest.

Etyek – Wines and Gastronomy

The Etyek-Budai wine region is the nearest Hungarian wine region to Budapest lying on the southern slopes of the Vértes Hills.

White varieties (Chardonnay, Királyleányka, sauvignon Blanc) are dominant in this region too, though some wine makers started to experiment with reds, too.

The charming village of Etyek – at a 30 km distance from Budapest / 45 min by car -with its rolling vineyards and lovely cellars, flourishing culinary scene is highly recommended if you are looking for a half-day trip outside the capital.

TIP: Explore the romantic cellars of Etyek on a guided wine tour with meal. Transfer to and back to Budapest is included!

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