Help a Reader Travel: Budapest

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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to MauiThe Greek IslandsPacific Coast HighwayArgentina /Buenos AiresCosta RicaCape Cod & The IslandsIcelandGenevaCanadian RockiesRomeIsraelPeru / Inca TrailStockholmChicagoParisHanoiAustinPuerto RicoBrugesSalzburgIstanbulLas VegasJamaica, India/Golden Triangle, AucklandSingapore, Moscow, The Oregon CoastSeattlePortlandand Hawaii IslandsAlaska SkiingBrazil, and Prague.

So this weeks travel destination includes Budapest. After the last post on Prague, I had a few readers inquiring about other cities nearby. I received the following email from reader Michelle:

“I’m planning on visiting a few countries in Eastern Europe at the end of the summer and have been told that going to Budapest is a must-do. I’d love to use my Marriott points assuming it is a decent hotel in a good location. It is a category 6 hotel so I am still weighing my options. Does anyone have any other hotel recommendations? Additionally, aside from where to stay, how many days would you recommend? My schedule is pretty flexible as I have not booked my flights yet and can take up to two weeks off. Any other day trips to areas outside of Budapest, but in Hungry? Thanks for all the recommendations, I am very excited for this trip!”

If you’ve ever been to Prague please help out reader Michelle by commenting below.

Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. YES YES YES. The marriott hotel was FANTASTIC. Assuming you’re speaking of the Budapest Marriott and not one of the other branded hotels, hands down the top 2 or 3 marriott’s I’ve stayed at. It’s location is perfect, the staff is on point, and their english is impeccable. If you’re able to score an upgrade to the club level, the club is open from 6am-midnight, and they have full breakfast, lunch, and dinner service.

  2. I absolutely loved Budapest and for us American’s, it is very very cheap. I would highly recommend paying for your stay instead of using points as the hotels are relatively cheap.

    3 days is more than sufficient. Please go for the wine tasting in the cellar at the Hilton hotel. This is a bit expensive but absolutely worth it.

  3. I had a Danube facing room at the art’otel budapest, by park plaza a few years ago. Medium sized room with great views of the river. Room was pretty good. Club Carlson 28000 points. Cash prices are very reasonable.

    Took a biking tour of the city that was very good. Also many other good trails to bike outside the city.

  4. +1 for Jon. Assuming you can get into the Lounge, the Marriott can not be beat. Views of the Castle and Key Bridge at night, and directly on the river. Short walk to the main market.

  5. I grew up in Budapest, and would definitely like to share some tips. Even though, I do not know about the Marriott (except that its location is superb: many major brands are in its vicinity such as the Intercontinental and Four Seasons), I have heard loads about the Hilton in the Castle District – maybe you would like to check that out. It is located in a more tranquil, secluded and peaceful part of the city – do not know what you prefer.

    I would think 3 days is adequate in Budapest, though you could add many side trips – depending on season. With visitors, I always go to the picturesque artist village of Szentendre (located some 20 kms North) – in the summer season, you can even travel by public boat. Further, if you want to spend some more time in Hungary, you might want to check out Visegrád (some castle ruins) or Esztergomb – though I would not view these as a necessary component of an Easter European trip.

    Some interesting sights might include the Parliament (at certain times you can get a guided tour to view the insides), the private museums of Andrássy street, the Buda Castle, possibly the Palace of Arts, spas (Széchényi-fürdő).

    If you need any further ideas please do not hesitate to contact me, I would be more than happy to share some of my experiences.


  6. This is great, my wife and I will be there in July for the first time so we’ll be looking here to get ideas on where to stay and what to do. Thanks again!!

  7. We had a great stay at Le Meridien Budapest – just steps from the river, great access to subway lines, and nice hotel especially if you can bump up to a suite. We loved the city. The Museum of Terror is worth the time. And definitely head to the Szechenyi Baths in the park–enjoy time withe locals, relaxing in the mineral waters. Excellent place for a meal: Gerloczy Kavehaz (a nice café)–highly recommend.

  8. I stayed at both the Le Meredien and the Intercontinental last August, and I definitely recommend both. As an Ambassador member at the Intercontinental, I was upgraded to a room with a great view of the Danube.

    Whenever I’m in Budapest, I have dinner at Spoon, a restaurant on a boat tethered in the Danube. Good food and great views of Castle Hill!

  9. We’ve been to Budapest several times. It is truely a favorite destination. It is very Eastern European in flare. We’ve stayed at the Hilton in the castle. Sounds like the Marriott is great, but the Hilton would be really hard to beat. The hotel is built encompassing castle ruins. The rooms all have spectacular views. You are right in the middle of the castle grounds, with wonderful hungarian restaurants withing walking distance. A definite must see, if you don’t end up staying there.
    This last trip we did a river tour at night. It was well worth the time and money as seeing all the buildins lit up from the river at night was quite a view.
    The street vendors near the river have some cute little souveniors, but the easter market was great with all the hand painted or carved eggs. There is a similar market in Prague. We brought home a wooden box with approx. a dz. of the eggs, and even with the careful packing only about 1/2 made it as they are so delicate. Buda side is quiter in nature,

  10. I think Istvan’s post was great referencing side trips to Visegrád, Esztergomb (my Mom lives there) and Szent Endre (with many wonderful handcrafted items by local artists). My favorite way to see a new city is to take one of those tourist bus trips and “see” everything and then go back on our own to visit the places we want to explore in depth.

    We had our wedding reception at the Hilton Budapest in the Castle District, it was amazing, is a very special place for us and we have gone back there as often as we can. I was there last in July and we were very happy, we had a room facing the Danube and the breakfast buffet was generous and had something for everyone. The location is ideal, the sightseeing is great and there is lots to do in the area. During August, there is usually a famous wine festival in the Castle District which is great.

    If you are in the Castle District by the Hilton, be sure to check out the Ruszwurm Coffee and Pastry shop for a wonderful treat. The place is small and gets crowded but worth the wait. Please try the famous “krémes” custard pastry, I highly recommend it as it is my favorite. Just up the street from the pastry shop and next to the Hilton is the historical Matthias Church (Mátyas Templom) which is a must-see.

    Some of our wedding guests stayed at the Marriott Budapest across from the Castle District and were very happy with it. I heard the Four Seasons was also beautiful.

    Feel free to ask me any questions you may have. I hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Budapest and Hungary!

  11. Marriott – very good

    Intercontinental – at least as good as the Marriott (I’m Royal Ambassador, so I get exceptional treatment)

    Four Seasons Gresham Palace – top of the pack, expect to pay at least double or rather treble compared to previous two

    Other good choices (but if you are a first timer, absolutely go for one of the first three, as the view is unbeatable from their riverside rooms!)


    Le Meridien (writing from my room there :-))

    Boscolo New York

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