The Best-Value Boat Tours In The City!
If you’re planning a trip to Budapest a cruise on the river Danube is an absolute must-do activity.
This is a fantastic way to explore the beautiful city and enjoy its stunning views from a unique perspective.
We offer several river tours a day so can you include it in your travel itinerary where it fits the best. If something comes up and you won’t be able to take the cruise you can cancel it any time free of charge.
Table of Contents
Why Take A Danube River Cruise In Budapest?
We could list plenty of reasons why taking a sightseeing boat tour is a must-do activity.
Here are just a few:
- Unbeatable views: Budapest’s skyline is stunning from the water, and a cruis eon the Danube river is the best way to take it all in.
- Iconic landmarks: You’ll see all of the city’s iconic landmarks from the river, including the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and Fisherman’s Bastion.
- Relaxing experience: A Budapest river cruise is a relaxing way to explore the city without having to worry about getting around on foot or by public transport.
You Can Book Each Sightseeing Cruise With:
- Buffet meal (international/Hungarian mixed menu)
- Hungarian lunch (Goulash soup with beef, Chicken paprikash, Strudels with various fillings)
- Wine tasting – 7 Hungarian wine samples
- Craft beer tasting – 5 local specialty brews
- Cocktails: – 3 cocktails of your choice or
- Free cancellation – if something comes up you can cancel the program anytime.
About Our Cruise Ship
All our river tours are on the air-conditioned/heated Gróf Széchenyi ship, and operate all year round.
The ship is spacious with a groundfloor (wheelcahir-accessible) and upper floor. The large, clean panorama windows provide clear view to observe the various sights along the river banks.
The staff on board the ship are courteous, friendly and helpful, with a good command of English. They’ll assist you with everything.
Budapest River Cruises -Three Times a Day
You can choose from 3 sightseeing boat tours with a 3-course buffet meal or drinks every day:
- Early afternoon at 2 pm,
- In the evening at 7 pm, and
- Late night at 10 pm
Daytime River Tours At 2 PM Friday, Saturday
Recommended for Families with Kids
Although Budapest is striking at night with the bridges and buildings all lit up, you can also have a memorable sightseeing boat tour at daytime.
The Lunch Tour departing at 14.00/2 pm is a great program for kids too (ours love it) – they’ll surely enjoy a boat trip on the river complete with food – 3-course buffet meal – and drinks.
The journey is not too long – 1,5 hours – so even toddlers or babies will have a good time, not to mention their parents!
Evening Cruise With Dinner At 7 PM
Folk Dance Show & Live Music
We higly recommend taking the 19.00 o’clock evening tour with a multi-course buffet dinner, accompanied by a spectacular Folk Dance Show & Live Music.
In summer and early autumn, at this time you can admire the beautiful city scape draped in warm colours by the setting sun.
- Every day at 19.00 – 21.00 (except for 14. Feb, 20. Aug, 24. Dec and 31. Dec)
What Will You Get On The Evening Sightseeing Cruise?
Depending on which river tour you choose you will enjoy the followings:
- A 2-hour river tour where you will see the charming city scape at sunset and that’s is part of the UNESCO World Heritage project
- Welcome drink + additional drink at dinner
- Warm buffet dinner (if you choose this option): international dishes or Hungarian-style dinner, with a glass of wine/juice + a small bottle of mineral water (See dinner menu here!)
- Tasting of 7 local wines or 5 craft beers (dependig which options you book)
- 2 Cocktails from these: Cuba Libre, Old Fashioned, Mojito, Pina Colada, Sex on the Beach, Tequilla Sunrise, Gin Fizz
- Folk Dance Show, and
- Live music by a Gypsy orchestra – with each option.
- Free cancellation
Make your stay in the Hungarian capital unforgettable by going on a 2-hour excursion on the river with a pleasant three-course buffet dinner and live folk music and dance.
Besides the fine meal, a welcome drink, a bottle of mineral water are also included in the price.
- Beautifully refurbished Parliament in Pest, the
- Elegant neo-renaissance buildings of the Castle Bazaar at the foot of Buda Castle and the other
- Prominent sights under the protection of the UNESCO World Heritage program.
What’s more an impressive dance show will introduce you to the rich traditions of Hungary’s folk heritage.
Following dinner you can enjoy the romantic night vista of Budapest from the upper deck of the boat.
Night Cruise With Dinner, Starting at 10 PM
Captivating Night View Of Budapest With Lights
On specific dates, see on the booking page through the link below!
The city is just magnificent after sunset when the lights turn on in the streets, on buda castle and other buildings and also the bridges.
You’ll see Budapest in a whole new light on our 1.5-hour river excursion starting at 22.00.
A multiple-course dinner served buffet style makes the program even more pleasant.
TIP: Can be booked without dinner: with wine tasting, craft beer tasting, cocktails or just a drink of your choice.
Budapest Cruises With Drinks
If you want to skip the food you can choose from three boat tours with drinks.
- 7-tier wine tasting –
- Cocktails – 2 of your choice, and
- Craft beer – samples of local artisan brews
- Free cancellation
Date & Time:
- At 2 pm on Fridays, Saturdays (01. May – 31. October), at
- 7 pm every day, and at
- 10 pm Fridays, Saturdays (01. May – 31. October).
Wine Tasting & Cruise
If you don’t want to have a meal you can sip some excellent local wines on the Wine & Cruise program starting at 14.00 (1,5 hrs), 19.00 (2 hours) or at 22.00 (1,5 hrs)
You’ll be served 7 top-quality Hungarian wines, 80 ml of each, or in case you prefer to take our Tokaji wine cruise then you can enjoy a glass of the famous Hungarian dessert wine the Tokaji aszú.
- Tokaji Furmint Grand Selection – Tokaj region
- Büttner Pinot Grigio – Badacsony Region/Lake Balaton
- Molnár rosé – Mátra Hills region
- Merlot by György-Villa Vinery (Villány region)
- Pastor Red for Meat – a red cuvée from the Szekszárd region
- Tokaji szamorodni – a lovely sweet wine
- Tokaji aszú 5 puttonyos – an exquisite dessert wine with long-lasting aftertaste.
Craft Beer Tasting & Cruise
Discover the exciting world of Hungarian artisan beers!
Sample 5 high-quality craft brews by the country’s best micro breweries on a 2-hour river excursion.
Each sample is 150 ml and at the end you’ll get an extra pint of your choice of the tasted beers.
Live Gypsy music, snacks, and you can soak in one of the world’s most captivating cityscapes from a deck of a sightseeing ship.
Cocktails & Cruise
See the city at its most beautiful when the rays of the setting sun paints it in the hues of orange, pink and blue.
A great time to make some memorable photos while cruising on a boat and sipping cocktails to the tunes of an orchestra!
You can choose 2 Cocktails from these:
- Cuba Libre,
- Old Fashioned,
- Pina Colada,
- Sex on the Beach,
- Tequilla Sunrise,
- Gin Fizz
Holiday Cruises – Christmas, New Year’s Eve & Special Events
A perfect way for you to celebrate some wonderful holidays in Budapest is by going on a unique river tour that allows you to experience the magic of the city within the comforts of a spacious panorama ship (400 sqm, has space for 220 guests).
We offer the following exclusive river excursions with fine dinner on a festively decorated panorama ship on these specail occasions:
- August 20/St. Stephen’s Day (when you can also see the fireworks from the best possible spot)
- Christmas Eve Dinner & Cruise,
- New Year’s Eve and Day Cruises,
- Valentine’s Day Cruise,
- River tours on Easter weekend.
Please note that availability is limited for these programs!
Fireworks Show & Cruise On 20th August 2023
Budapest hosts a spectacular Fireworks Show on 20th August National Holiday to celebrate the foundation of Hungary by King St. Stephen (975 – 1038).
The fireworks are launched form ships anchored on the Danube river and some of the bridges. No doubt, a crusie ship provides an excellent viewing spot for the shop.
You can also enjoy a fine 3-course dinner served buffte style.
- 145 EUR (Full price only.)
- Free cancellation
Note: Tickets usually sell out quickly for this event so if you want to ensure your place book the program in advance.
You will receive an E-Ticket with all the details in email, that you just present to the hosts/hostesses (on your mobile/tablet or in print form). No need to stand in queue in the summer heat!
New Year’s Eve Cruise With Dinner & Party
Date & Time: 31. December 2023/01. January 2024, 19.00 – Unlimited Drink Included
Say farewell to 2023 on a fabulous cruise with 5-course gourmet dinner, live music with dance show and party till dawn.
Relaxed atmosphere on a spacious 400 sqm event ship delicious food served at your table, second dinner at midnight and open bar the all-inclusive drinks guarantee a memorable New Year’s Eve in Budapest!
Buffet-Style Dinner/Lunch Menu:
Meaning of symbols: G: gluten-free, L: lactose-free, V: vegetarian
Alföld style Goulash soup with noodles (L)
Vegetable broth (G, L, V)
Stuffed cabbage (G)
Traditional chicken paprikash
Roast pork with grilled vegetables (G)
Eggplant tower in marinara sauce (G, L, V)
Garnishes & Vegetarian:
Grilled vegetables (G, L, V)
Homemade dumplings (V)
Hash-brown potatoes (G, L, V)
Fresh seasonal salad with two types of dressing (G, V)
Home-made strudel selection (V)
Trifle (English-style, sponge cake pieces layered with custard, fruit, jelly heavy cream)
1 glass of wine (or juice) + 1 bottle of water (0,33) or soft drink
When To Go On A Danube River Cruise In Budapest?
The best time to go on a Danube river cruise in Budapest is between
- April-May and
At this period, the climate tends to be temperate with pleasant temperatures both during the day and at night.
Another advantage is that there is less crowd during these months compared to summer but still you will find a pleasant mix of locals and tourists relishing the warmer weather.
This creates a vibrant atmosphere that you can absolutely absorb during your visit, especially on a Danuber river tour.
For Families With Kids: Take An Afternoon Cruise At 2 PM
If you are here with chidlren and want to avoid the crowd we recommend our early afternoon cruise with a nice buffet lunch.
This is the least busy of all our cruises so you can enjoy a relaxed lunch during the 1.5 hour sightseeing tour.
The Grof Széchenyi Boat that will take you on the trip has plenty of space with large panorama windows on all sides.
BEST Time For Photos: Evening Cruise At 7 pm
If you’re looking to take lots of amazing photos, aim to book a cruise that departs just before sunset.
The two-hour evening cruise staring at 7 pm will give you the chance to see the city both in the daylight and at night when it is lit up by the city lights.
What To Expect On A Typical Budapest Cruise?
A typical river cruise in Budapest will take you on a scenic tour of the city’s most famous landmarks.
Most boat tour last between one and two hours and some include an audio guide with information about the sights you’ll see along the way.
You can choose from cruises with unlimited prosecco, a welcome drink, cocktails or beer.
For a more mmeorable
Here are some things you will experience when taking a river cruise in Budapest:
- Spectacular views: The views of Budapest from the river are simply stunning. You’ll get to see the city’s iconic landmarks from a unique perspective.
- Audio guide: Most cruises include an audio guide that provides information about the sights you’ll see along the way.
- Food and drinks may be included on certain cruises, varying from a basic snack to a complete dinner complemented with wine. Be sure to check what’s included before booking your cruise.
- Live music: Some cruises may also feature live music, which adds to the ambiance and creates a festive atmosphere.
Practical Information – Budapest Cruise Program Details
Length of the boat excursions: each program lasts for approx. 1.5 hours.
- Meeting is 30 minutes before the start of the river tours.
- Meeting Point: Gróf Szechenyi Ship – Akademia Port (1. ponton) – Address: Budapest, 1051
Note: After payment you’ll receive a confirmation in e-mail with all the details including meeting point.
- 15 minutes before the start of the program: Hosts/hostesses accompany the guests to the ships docked at the Pest side of the river (just a couple of minutes walk).
- After boarding the ship you are welcomed with a glass of drink and shown to your table.
- 10 minutes after the program starts the ship departs, taking you on a scenic tour between Margaret Bridge and Rákóczi Bridge, and the open buffet dinner/lunch is served (see the menu below).
- During the tour: a second round of drinks are served, and you can have further drinks in the ship’s bar.
- 1,5 hours – or in case of the 7 pm evening tour – 2 hours after the program start: the ship returns to the pier. The hosts/hostesses will call you a taxi if you would like one.
- Free cancellation
Our Sightseeing Tour on the Danube River
We took the evening boat trip with live music and dinner on a pleasant summer day.
The sightseeing ship departed from the Kossuth Ship at the foot of the Chain Bridge in Pest.
The Kossuth Museum Ship (or Kossuth Vénhajó) is a standing ship with a small exhibition about the 20th-century history of navigation in Hungary
While the ship was gliding through the greyish foams of the river – contrary to the title of the Strauss waltz, The Blue Danube, it rarely is that colour- we had a tasty dinner with a glass of wine and enjoyed the breathtaking view basking in the golden light of the setting sun.
We’ve always known – and many tourists, travel websites, blogs, magazines agree – that Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in the world but we tend to forget it living and working here day by day.
This river tour reminded us of this fact and we were really enchanted by the
- striking view of the many monuments lit up after dusk,
- romantic ambience created by the gently rocking ship,
- magical melodies of the gypsy music (only on tours starting at 19.00) and
- fine food. (The wine and champagne also helped.)
The river bisects the city into two different parts:
- the hilly and more peaceful Buda on the right side,
- and the buzzing Pest on the left.
Both river banks offer many sights: right at the start of the sightseeingcruise the graceful tower of the Matthias Church and the Fishermen’s Bastion draw your eyes to the historic Castle District.
Further up the building of Budapest Parliament dominates the Pest shore.
Joggers do their regular rounds on the picturesque Margaret Island (Margitsziget), named after a medieval Hungarian princess.
At the north end of Margaret Island the ship turned and went down the river as far as the National Theatre at the Pest end of the Rákóczi Bridge.
The fine building of the Gresham Palace – today an exclusive luxury hotel of the Four Seasons chain – stands at the Pest end of the Chain Bridge.
The dolomite rock of the Gellért Hill towers above the water between Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd) and Liberty Bridge (Szabadság híd).
The Gellért Spa and the refurbished Rudas Bath originally built by the Turks in the 16. century can also be seen at the foot of the hill.
The modern-style National Theatre marked the final attraction of our excursion on the Danube river:
FAQ – Budapest Cruise
1. How much is a sightseeing boat trip in Budapest?
The cost of Danube River Cruises can vary depending on the company and the type of cruise you choose.
Prices typically range from around 10 to 50 Euros per person. Cruises with dinner can cost up to 70 Euros.
2. How long is a Budapest River cruise?
The duration depends on the type of cruise you choose.
Most Budapest sightseeing cruises last between 1-2 hours, while dinner cruises can last up to 3 hours. Private boat tours can be customized to your preferences.
3. Can I bring my own food and drinks on a river cruise?
Most cruises do not allow you to bring your own food and drinks, but some may allow you to bring a small snack or drink (water, non-alcoholic drink).
Be sure to check with the cruise company before bringing anything on board!
4. Which cruise to take in Budapest?
There are several types of river cruises available, including sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, boat tours with drinks as well as private Danube tours.
It depends on your preferences and budget.
Some popular options include: a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise with unlimited prosecco (19.50 EUR), 2-hour Budapest Dinner Cruise with live music & folk program, and a nighttime cruise with wine/cocktail.
5. What language are the audio guides on Danube River Cruises in Budapest available in?
Most boat tours in Budapest offer audio guides in several languages, including English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
6. Are Danube River Cruises in Budapest wheelchair accessible?
Some Danube River Cruises in Budapest are wheelchair accessible the our cruise ship – the Gróf Széchenyi – is accessible for people in wheelchair on the groundfloor , but not all. Be sure to check with the cruise company before booking.
In conclusion, a Danube River Cruise in Budapest is an unforgettable experience that you don’t want to miss. With stunning views, iconic landmarks, and a relaxing atmosphere, it’s a great way to explore the city and make lasting memories. Just be sure to book in advance, dress comfortably, and bring a camera to capture the moment.
Recommended Budapest Tours – Unique Walk Tours – Buda Castle Walks – Day Trips from Budapest – Downtown Budapest – Hop on Hop Off Bus Tours – Wine Tasting Cruise