An Interrail guide to spending 48 hours in Budapest

Budapest is an incredible city within Hungary. Divided by the Danube River, it was originally split into Buda and Pest. Merging in 1873, it is an upcoming city with plenty of things to see and do. The perfect place to spend 48 hours, it has extraordinary architecture, a fascinating history and a unique culture to boot. 

Budapest is also a popular destination for interrailers; who frequently flock to the city to discover its captivating history. Easy to get to using the interrail pass, it’s ideal to visit either on its own, or as part of a bigger trip across Europe.

 If you’re travelling to Budapest in the near future, then you’ll want to know what you can do there, the best places to eat/drink and where to stay. Well, don’t worry. We’ve rounded up a list for you that will help to get the planning cogs going.

What to do in Budapest

Margaret Island 

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

Take a stroll over the Margaret Bridge and prepare yourself for the beauty that is Margaret Island. This beautiful island is full of breath-taking scenery, including a Japanese garden, a popular musical fountain and an extraordinary water tower that’s in a quirky Art Noveau style. A welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll be able to see spectacular views of Budapest from the top of the water tower.

Buda Castle 

Photo by Tjaša Oblak on Unsplash

Dating back to 1265, Buda Castle is one of the best preserved castles in Europe and was once home to the Hungarian kings of Budapest. With a distinctive appearance, the Baroque palace houses the Budapest History Museum and the National Gallery of Hungary. Situated on top of Castle Hill, it is part of the Budapest World Heritage Site. An incredible place to visit during your interrailing trip, it should definetly be on your travel itinerary.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

Photo by Elijah G on Unsplash

Easily one of the most renowned and popular tourist destinations, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath’s are a must-see. The largest medicinal bath in the whole of Europe, the water within it is supplied by two thermal springs. With temperatures reaching 77°C, 15 indoor baths and 3 outdoor pools to choose from, it’s the ultimate place to relax whilst in the city.

What to eat/drink in Budapest

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Rich and delicious, Hungarian cuisine is perfect year round. From hearty Goulash, to dreamy Langos and delectable Kürtőskalács (chimney cake), no matter what your preference, in Budapest you’re bound to find food that tickles your tastebuds.


Cafe Kor – popular with locals, Cafe Kor is perfectly situated within minutes of St Stephen’s Basilica. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner they offer a variety of tasty Hungarian food, along with daily specials.

Mazel Tov – a spacious, welcoming restaurant awaits you at Mazel Tov. Featuring a glass roof and a hybrid menu of Israeli-Mediterranean dishes, this restaurant is idyllic. From falafel burgers to chicken shawarma, take a seat in their large open-plan courtyard and delight in fantastic food and a buzzing atmosphere.

Vakvarju E’tterem – located in the popular Jewish quarter in the 7th district, Vakvarju is a sophisticated restaurant that uses moreish flavours. Each dish is also prepared beautifully, whilst offering a pricetag that won’t break the bank.


Ruin Bars Budapest – if you’re looking for something a little different, then the Ruin Bars in Budapest are just the ticket. A collection of bars set in an abandoned building, it has an abundance of plans, graffiti and it attracts a diverse crowd from around the world.

Comics Bar – featuring good music (including karaoke), tasty cocktails and affordable prices the Comics Bar is a great place to stop after exploring Budapest. Popular with people visiting the city, its unique style is every comicbook-lover’s dream. 

Hotsy Totsy Budapest – if you love jazz and a cocktail or two, then Hotsy Totsy in Budapest is ideal. Highly rated, the chic cocktail bar is intimate and cozy, making it a fabulous place to escape to after wandering around the nearby castle.

Where to stay in Budapest

Maverick Urban Lodge – a design hotel, the Maverick Urban Lodge has a rooftop terrace, cosy communal areas and comfortable en-suite rooms. Located close to the Great Market Hall (a popular hotspot for those looking for fresh and yummy produce), along with the train station, it’s a great choice when interrailing in Budapest. Get a 10% discount when you purchase Interrail Planner Premium!

Meininger Budapest Great Market Hall – within easy reach of St Stephen’s Basilica and the State Opera, this guesthouse is budget-friendly and a favourite of backpackers. Similarly to the previous hotel, it’s also close to the Central Train Station, meaning you don’t have to travel far in order to rest your head after a long day of travelling.

Netizen Budapest Centre Hostel – a hybrid hotel in the heart of Budapest, the Netizen Budapest Centre Hostel has private rooms, dorms, a lobby bar and a co-working area. It offers breakfast, perfect for filling up with before heading out into the city.

There you have it. There’s a brief guide to how you can spend your 48 hours in Budapest. Of course, there are plenty of things to choose from. But this initial list will hopefully help you in your travel planning. However, no matter how you spend your time in the city, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable two days that will create happy memories. Budapest has and always will be a popular place to visit for backpackers and other travellers alike.