Travel·Posted on Sep 14, 2019The Ultimate Weekend Guide To Budapest On A BudgetWhere else can you drink $1 wine in a world-famous bar?by Jemima SkelleyBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Getty Images / @mazeltovbudapest / instagram.com / @obsessedfoodies / instagram.com While Paris and Rome are on most people's European bucket list, Budapest is really one of the best cities you could visit. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com It’s got everything you need: Delicious food, great bars, a laid-back city vibe, green spaces, and streets bursting with character. The best part? It’s cheap. Like, really, really cheap.Hostels in Budapest are around $8 a night. If you’re not into the hostel vibe or you're in a big group, there are some really good Airbnbs for $30 a night.There’s a fast and efficient metro and tram system which makes zipping around the city a breeze — single tickets are around $1.50 and a daily pass is $5.50. But when faced with such a big city and so many options for things to do, where do you start?! Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF IFC Fear not! Here are our picks for the best things to do in Budapest over a whole weekend — and you won’t need more than $50. Note: All prices in this post are in USD, based on the exchange rate at the time of publishing (300HUF = $1USD). Jemima Skelley Start your day with a coffee from the Great Market Hall. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Budapest’s Great Market Hall (or Central Market Hall) is a tourist hotspot, so don’t head here expecting a relaxing coffee experience. But it’s a good way to kill two birds with one stone: check out the historic building and get your caffeine fix for the morning. Avoid the top floor, as that’s full of stalls selling overpriced trinkets. Enter the main floor via the Csarnok Tér entrance at the side, and you’ll bypass the tourist throngs at the main doors. The market is packed with stalls selling all types of fresh produce from fruit and veggies to meats, cheese, and spices. You'll find the best coffee at the Rózsavölgyi stand. If you’re hungry, there's a stall just around the corner from there that sells rétes, Hungarian strudel. The cherry or apple poppyseed are your best bet, though they're all delicious.COST: $2 total for a coffee and a pastry Meander down the riverbanks for some amazing views. Andrey Danilovich / Getty Images Once you’re done in the market, it’s a short stroll down to the Liberty Bridge. Fun fact: Budapest is divided into two halves — Buda and Pest. The Buda side is known for being more residential and upscale than the Pest side. The Liberty Bridge will take you over to Buda, where you can walk along the banks of the river and see the sights. On your left you’ll pass Fisherman’s Bastion, a castle-like building you can walk up to if you want views over the city. Keep going along the river until you see the majestic parliament building you've no doubt seen on Insta once or twice. If you’re not feeling like walking, you can rent a bike or an e-scooter; keep an eye out for the dock stations on the side of the road.COST: $2 for 30 mins bike rental Refuel with lunch at Belvárosi Disznótoros. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com This Anthony Bourdain-approved eatery is basic but delicious. If you don’t eat meat, it mightn’t be for you, because that’s their claim to fame. You’ll walk in to find a glass cabinet filled with different types of meat. Unless you’re feeling super adventurous, go for the classic: sausage with bread and mustard. It sounds like a classic hot dog, but we promise it’s a million times better. When it comes to meat, Hungarians really know what they’re doing.COST: $3 for a meal Enjoy $1 drinks in the sunshine. View this photo on Instagram Instagram: @undefined Budapest is notorious for its party scene, but you don’t have to be a backpacker, or even a night owl, to get into it. Ruin bars are one of the things the city is most known for, so you better spend at least a few hours checking them out. A couple of decades ago, old dilapidated buildings in the city’s Jewish Quarter were revamped and turned into bars. There are quite a few to check out, but in the afternoon you can’t beat Kőleves kert and its sun drenched courtyard. Grab a wine or cocktail (they also do epic iced coffees if that’s more your mood), and chill out on their rainbow-striped deck chairs.The most famous ruin bar is probably Szimpla. If you get there before the sun goes down and the crowds set in, you’ll be able to explore all the different areas and rooms of the sprawling complex. You’ll find different bars in different rooms: one just for wine, one for craft beer, one for creative cocktails. It gets packed at night so it’s best in the afternoon.COST: A glass of wine or beer here is about $1 Line your stomach with some typical Hungarian food. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com After a couple of drinks your stomach might be growling, so make a pit stop for some langos to help soak up the booze. A local favourite, especially after a night out, langos is a flat piece of fried dough — like a pancake — topped with cheese and sour cream. You can get some at the food truck park right next to Szimpla, or hit up Retro for the best langos in the city.COST: $1.20 Hang with locals at Budapest’s best dive bar. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com The ruin bars are a good mix of tourists and residents, but for a real local experience head to the university neighborhood of Józsefváros. Make the most of the student-friendly prices at Krúdy Söröző, with a friendly atmosphere and drink specials that put dive bars back home to shame. If you’re a fan of live music, the punk bar Trafik is just around the corner and often has acts playing.COST: About $1 a drink End your night with a greasy feast. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Not only does Budapest know how to party, it knows how to end a night as well. There are plenty of late-night and 24-hour food options to choose from, especially around areas with bars. You’ll find a kebab joint on every corner, which will set you back about $1 for a huge doner wrap filled with fries. Otherwise, PizzaMe do huge slices of pizza fresh from the oven for $2. If you’re after a big meal, Padthai Wokbar do huge potions of noodles for a couple of dollars — and they’re DELICIOUS.COST: No more than $3 Jemima Skelley Banish your hangover with a big brunch. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Everyone knows the antidote to a big night is a big feed the next morning. Luckily, Budapest has a couple of great places with stellar brunch offerings, mimosas and all. If you’re after something fancy, Mazel Tov in the Jewish Quarter is a beautiful airy space that serves up organic breakfast and really good coffee. It’s a little pricey by Budapest standards, but a full breakfast with cocktails shouldn’t be more than $10–$15. For something a little more chill, Lumen is a great option. It's all concrete and polished wood, and filled with plants and natural light. They've got a great breakfast menu and baristas who really know what they're doing.COST: Around $10ish While away the day soaking in a thermal bath. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Budapest’s second claim to fame — after its nightlife — is its thermal baths. There are quite a few all over the city: Gellert Spa is right near the city centre, while Szechenyi Baths is a bit further out (though probably the most beautiful). However the best option is to hop on a tram and head to Kiraly Thermal Baths. While it's not as fancy or beautiful, entry is about a quarter of the price of other baths in Budapest. It's got three thermal baths of different temperatures, as well as a Jacuzzi and sauna.COST: $8 for entry to Kiraly Baths; $20 for entry and a massage Have a late lunch at Bors GasztroBár. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Everyone loves sandwiches, right? Well Bors has the best sandwiches in Budapest, potentially in the whole of Europe. The baguette is thick, and the fillings are plentiful. The menu is extensive, but the BBQ pork or the spicy Hungarian are our faves. Beware: The portion sizes are huge so maybe just grab a half-size unless you’re starving. It gets busy around lunchtime but if you're there after 2pm you'll be sweet.COST: About $2.50 Wander around Margaret Island. Aislan13 / Getty Images Right in the middle of the Danube River you’ll find Margaret Island, a long skinny oasis of green in the centre of the city. Connected to the main banks by a bridge, it’s the best spot to spend a lazy afternoon. Sit in the grass and chill, watch the fountain show, grab a chair in the outdoor beer garden, or meander along the walking track that circumnavigates the island. You can rent bikes or rollerblades if you’re up for it, otherwise it’s a perfect place to chill out for a bit.COST: Free! Enjoy typical Hungarian fare for your last supper. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com Hungarian cuisine is surprisingly varied, and there are some really delicious dishes you should try. Hit up the cosy Karcsi Vendéglő for a great authentic experience. Chicken paprikash is probably the most iconic meal you need to try, though you can’t go past a classic bowl of goulash. COST: About $5 Total cost for the weekend activities: $42.70 Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Legendary Do you have a fave spot in Budapest that we totally missed? Let us know in the comments.