Budapest is an amazing city, the stunning architecture, great food, landmarks and activities have made it a popular travel destination. However, with it’s rising popularity, you might be wondering, is Budapest cheap to visit? How are the prices in Budapest compared to other European cities? How much money will you need to budget for Budapest, to have a great time?
Don’t worry. We cover all the travel related costs in Budapest in this blog post, answering your questions along the way. We focus on showing the typical accommodation, food, transport and entertainment prices in Budapest. One thing is certain though, the prices in Budapest are relatively low for Europe. So, Budapest is still a cheap travel destination by all accounts!
So, what is covered in our ‘Is Budapest Cheap?’ blogpost?
Is Budapest Cheap? – Accommodation Prices in Budapest!
As a bustling, multicultural capital city, Budapest is not short of luxury hotels. Nor is it short on fantastic mid-range hotels or even cheaper options such as hostels. You can also opt to stay in one of the city’s many apartments that are listed on Airbnb.
Your accommodation in Budapest could be as cheap or expensive as you like. In all cases, the accommodation prices in Budapest are cheaper than a lot of other European capital cities.
Typical accommodation prices in Budapest:
- Up-market hotel: 28,000 – 35,000 HUF (£80 – £100)
- Mid-range hotel: 17,500 – 28,000 HUF (£50 – £80)
- Airbnb: 7000 – 17,500 HUF (£20 – £50)
- Hostel Dorms: 1750 – 5250 HUF (£5 – £15)
As you can see, the accommodation prices in Budapest vary a lot. There will be hotels where you can spend hundreds (maybe even thousands) per night, but there are great budget options too. To put it simply, Budapest has accommodation options for all styles of travellers!
Do note that these are just typical costs for accommodation in Budapest. Other factors such as time of the year and events/festivals on specific weekends may affect the prices.
Budget-friendly options for accommodation in Budapest
Mid Range – Budget – Meininger
They like to call themselves a hotel, but in truth, they’re a kind of hotel/hostel hybrid. There are private rooms and shared dormitories on offer and from experience, we found them to be clean and comfy. The Budapest Meininger is in a great location, a few minutes walk from Central Market Hall and Liberty Bridge.
Backpacker budget – Wombats Hostel
You’ll find private rooms as well as dorm rooms here. The Wombats hostel is located in the up and coming Jewish Quarter and is close to some of the cities best ruin bars. We found Wombats in other cities to have a younger, upbeat party crowd. Though it’s nothing too crazy, definitely not a ‘party hostel’ and a place where you can still have a comfortable night’s sleep.
For more accommodation in Budapest, you can check the latest prices here.
Airbnb is also a great option for those on a budget! Want to save £25 off your first Airbnb Booking? Use our referral code!
Is Budapest Cheap? – Food and Drink Prices in Budapest!
There is no shortage of great places to eat in Budapest. You’ll be able to sample amazing local dishes and sweet treats, or international cuisines. You’ll even find some great cheap eats in the city. Obviously, there are many high-end restaurants that will inflate your budget for Budapest. Though on the flip-side, there are many places to eat for the budget traveller too.
Overall, the food and drink prices in Budapest are great. You can expect to spend less on a meal here than in most other cities.
Typical food prices in Budapest:
- A meal in a restaurant: 5000 – 9000 HUF (£15 – £25)
- Street Food: 1750 – 3500 HUF (£5 – £10)
- Cheap ‘on the go’ food: 870 – 1750 HUF (£2.50 – £5)
Clearly, finding budget food options in Budapest is no problem. There are many small bakeries, gyro shops and ‘grab and go’ eateries for you to choose from. But if you do wish to splash out and go for a nice meal, that option is there too.
You can find more information about what and where to eat in Budapest in our ‘Ultimate Budapest Travel Guide’.
Typical drink prices in Budapest:
- Prosecco or wine at a ruin bar: 500 HUF (£1.50)
- Pint of beer at a ruin bar: 500 – 700 HUF (£1.50 – £2)
- Cocktails: 2500 – 3500 HUF (£7 – £10)
- Coffee: 350 – 700 HUF (£1 – £2)
- Bottle of water from the shop: 100 HUF (£0.30)
- Bottle of coke from the shop: 250 HUF (£0.70)
It’s clear that the drink prices in Budapest, especially at the ruin bars, are very budget-friendly. If you go to nightclubs you can obviously expect the prices to be inflated. Though, day to day drinks such as a coffee or bottle of water is also cheap.
You can find some of our favourite places to drink in this section of our ‘Ultimate Budapest Travel Guide’.
Is Budapest Cheap? – Entertainment Prices in Budapest!
Budapest is a city with a wealth of history and a ton of things to see and do. Some of the top things to do in Budapest are paid activities, though there are so many free activities too. In fact, some of Budapest’s BEST things to do are free.
From the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Parliament building to Danube river cruises and the ruin bars, you will not get bored in Budapest.
Typical entertainment prices in Budapest:
- Visiting Fisherman’s Bastion: Free!
- Viewing the Hungarian Parliament building: Free!
- Exploring the old Jewish Quarter: Free!
- Visiting Hero Square: Free!
- Tour of the Hungarian Parliament building: 3,200 HUF (£8.60)
- Night-time Danube river cruise: 4,500 – 7,500 HUF (£12 – £20)
- Budapest Zoo: 3,300 HUF (£8.85)
- Visiting Gellert or Szechenyi the thermal baths: 6000-7000 HUF (£16 – £19)
As you can see, even when you must pay, the entertainment prices in Budapest are fantastic. We think the thermal baths are on the expensive side but 100% worth the visit. Everything else is fairly priced. You could easily visit Budapest and only enjoy free activities, whilst still having an amazing time.
The above list is by no means complete, but just an example of common things to do in Budapest. If you want to see more of what Budapest has to offer, check out our ‘Top things to do in Budapest’ post.
Is Budapest Cheap? – Transport prices in Budapest!
You’ll be glad to know that Budapest is super easy to get around and navigate. There is a great public transport system that connects the city via buses, trams, trains and subways. The best part is that the transport prices in Budapest are very cheap. So, using this network is really budget-friendly and will help to keep your budget for Budapest at a minimum.
The main centre of Budapest is also pedestrian-friendly and great to walk around. Obviously, walking is free, so some days you may find yourself spending absolutely nothing on transport!
Some typical transport prices in Budapest:
- Taxi from the airport to the city centre: 7000-8000 HUF (£25)
- Airport bus to the city centre: 900 HUF (£3)
- Public transport single fare: 350 HUF (£1)
- 72-hour unlimited public transport pass: 4000 HUF (£11)
These are the main transport costs you’ll encounter during your time in Budapest. Besides the airport taxi, we think the transport prices in Budapest are very good. If you do plan to use public transport a lot, get a travel pass to save money. However, if you’re like us and love to walk, you can often get around for free!
For more Budapest transport information check out this section of our ‘Ultimate Budapest Travel Guide’.
How Much To Budget For Budapest: What Did We Spend?
Okay, so now we’ve covered the typical prices in Budapest, let’s look at how much we spent. The following figures are what we spent during a 3-night stay in the city.
Breakdown of our personal Budapest budget:
Accommodation: £35 (£17.50 per person)
Food & Drink: £42 (£21 per person)
Entertainment: £16 (£8 per person)
Transport: £3 (£1.50 per person)
Total daily travel costs in Budapest: £96 (£48 per person)
After keeping track of our costs, we can say that £48 (17,000 HUF) per person is a good daily budget for Budapest. We must always keep in mind though, that not everybody travels in the same manner. Even though this budget worked well for us in Budapest doesn’t mean it’s ideal for everybody. Some people may need to spend significantly more and some significantly less.
With that in mind, let’s list some key points about the way in which we managed our budget for Budapest:
- We stayed in a no thrills, basic Airbnb which was close to the city centre.
- Generally, we made breakfast in the Airbnb or grabbed something cheap in the supermarket. This saved us money and allowed us to spend more money on a nice evening meal in a restaurant.
- Our evening meals were a typical restaurant meal, higher prices and we could have easily chosen cheaper options.
- We enjoyed a nice cold beer(s) each day, usually at one of Budapest’s ruin bars. These bars offer some of the best drink prices in the city.
- Partying is something we very rarely do, so we never spent any money in expensive nightclubs.
- In terms of entertainment, the bulk of our expenses was made up by visiting the thermal baths. We did also rent bicycles on Margaret island, hire a rowing boat in the park and visit Budapest zoo.
- Otherwise, we spent a lot of time sightseeing and visiting the city’s free attractions.
- For transport, we were located close to the city centre and mainly walked to get around. We only used public transport when we arrived/departed Budapest with our heavy bags.
How to plan your own budget for Budapest?
We’ve given you a solid overview of the prices in Budapest and how much we spent during a 3-day trip. But, how do you go on to use this and plan your own budget for Budapest? It’s worth looking at the way in which we travel listed above and compare that to how you like to travel.
It always makes sense to plan budgets with your own personal preferences in mind. Below we’ve listed some of our best tips to help you create your own budget for Budapest.
Tips for creating your own Budapest travel budget:
- Try to plan your accommodation in advance. Not only will the prices be cheaper if you book in advance, you’ll know how much you’re spending upfront. Do you want to stay in a fancy hotel, Airbnb or are you happy in a hostel dorm? Will you be sharing with a partner/friend, if you are, you can split the costs!
- Where is your accommodation located? Try to consider the location of your accommodation. If it’s centrally located, then you can often skip transport costs by using your feet to get around instead. It’s worth looking at accommodation, which is slightly further out, but within walking distance of the city’s main sights. You’ll save money by not being right in the middle of the city.
- What activities are you interested in? Have a loose idea of what you’d like to do in the city. This way, you can account for larger expenses, that will make a dent in your budget. It’s much better this way, rather than choosing to miss out because you can’t afford it at the time.
- Which types of meals are you going to be having? Clearly, if you’re on a romantic break with your partner you’ll want to be going out for nice meals. Though if you’re backpacking, you might choose to eat on the cheap. Keep this in mind because going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner can quickly blow a budget!
- Will you be partying? We say this phrase a lot…” partying is the number one travel budget, killer”. Don’t get us wrong, we drink regularly, but we don’t drink a lot. There’s a huge difference between a few social drinks in the park/hostel to going out partying. Nightclubs usually charge entrance fees as well as higher drink prices. One-night partying can easily blow a whole day’s travel budget.
Our final point on planning your budget for Budapest
Answer these questions whilst considering the typical prices in Budapest for accommodation, food, entertainment and transport. Then you’ll be well on your way to figuring out how much you need to budget for Budapest. But don’t plan on spending that amount exactly. We typically plan a budget, then keep an extra 10-20% just in case of emergencies or unplanned expenses.
Money-saving tips for travelling in Budapest
- Stay close to the city centre. You won’t have to worry about transport expenses as walking around the city is so easy.
- Book accommodation way in advance. This is a very basic rule for any travel destination. Though people still insist on booking accommodation last minute. This often leads to inflated prices when you could have saved money months beforehand.
- Get a travel pass. If you do plan to use public transport often, then get a travel pass. The unlimited travel passes will save you money each time you ride in comparison to buying single fares.
- Try the local food, but don’t live on it. People travel to Budapest with the intention of trying Goulash, and the restaurants know it. You’ll find that Hungarian food is noticeably more expensive than other types of food in the city.
- Avoid the tourist traps. Try to avoid eating anywhere around Vaci Utca and the surrounding areas. The tourist traps usually have open-air dining outside and somebody coaxing you in with a menu. These places are generally more expensive, not authentic and lower quality.
- Drink at the ruin bars. If you do want to go out for a drink, then the ruin bars are a must. You can pick up a beer or wine for about £2 and have a great night.
Did we answer your question ‘Is Budapest cheap’?
If you came here looking to answer the question ‘Is Budapest Cheap?’ then we hope you’ve found your answer. We’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts and opinions about our blog post. We hope we were also able to help answer the question of ‘how much to budget for Budapest?’
Let us know if you found the information useful and if you have any questions. Better yet, if you’ve already visited Budapest, do you agree with what we have said? Tell us all about it in the comments down below!
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