Budapest is one of the biggest cities in the EU and is often called the Paris of the East. It remains a popular destination because of its low prices, beautiful architecture, youthful spirit, vibrant nightlife, and rich history. Plus, it still has that gritty Eastern Europe edge—which adds to its coolness. In this Budapest price guide, we’ll outline the estimated travel expenses for food, accommodation, attractions, alcohol, and other things to help you budget your trip.
This article is part of our Europe Price Guide Series — Click here to see all our European City Price Guides.
Average Daily Cost For Visiting Budapest
It costs around $35-$60/day to visit Budapest as a budget-minded traveler. These prices are based on what you’ll need to visit the city comfortably as a budget traveler staying in a hostel.
If you want to stay in a nicer hotel or rental apartment you should add an extra $60-$80/night to your budget.
These prices also don’t include things like big nights out at the bar/pub, club entry fees, souvenir shopping, tours, random purchases, nicer food, etc. Don’t forget to budget extra for those “non-essentials.”
NOTE: We’ve converted all prices to US Dollars since the Hungarian Forint (HUF) is a bit confusing to convert on the fly. Check out XE.com for the latest exchange rates.
Daily Cost of Budget Travel in Budapest: $40
- Attractions: $9 (one paid attraction + any free sites)
- Food: $18
- Breakfast: $3
- Lunch: $5
- Dinner: $8
- Treat (dessert/beer/wine): $2
- Transportation: $2.50
- Accommodation (hostel): $23
Daily Cost of Frugal Travel in Budapest: $35
- Attractions: $5 (free walking tour + visit one of the free sites)
- Food: $15
- Breakfast: $0 (free hostel breakfast)
- Lunch: $4.50 (ethnic street food or takeaway shop fare)
- Dinner: $9 (make your own meal in the hostel or grab something cheap)
- Beer: $1 (chill out at the park and have a cold one)
- Transportation: $1.50
- Accommodation (cheap hostel bed): $16
Budapest Attraction and Museum Prices
Budapest has a load of great attractions which are all affordable or free. The thermal baths are great, so bring a swimsuit or you’ll have to find someplace to buy one (which took me a while when I was there).
- Thermal Baths: 4,400-10,00 HUF ($14-$28 USD)
- Hungarian National Gallery: 2,900 HUF ($8)
- Museum of Fine Arts: 2,400 HUF ($7)
- House of Terror Museum: 4,000 HUF ($11)
- Pinball Museum: 4,200 HUF ($12) includes all-you-can-play pinball
- Walking Tours: Free (but you should tip the guides) — 6,000 HUF/$20 (for paid tours)
Budapest Food Prices
Food prices in Budapest are cheap so you should seek out as much local Hungarian food as possible. Hungarian food consists of hearty soups, stews, goulash, all sorts of meat, seasonal vegetables, fruits, fresh bread, dairy products, and cheeses—it will fill you up!
Prices are very affordable but try to find where the locals eat to get the best quality.
Budget Breakfast Prices in Budapest: Free-$6
- Many hostels will offer a free, simple breakfast that normally consists of cereal, bread/croissant, and maybe milk, coffee, tea, or juice.
- Breakfast is an important meal in Budapest, so you’ll find plenty of cafés serving up some good options. A pastry costs about $1.5. A bigger breakfast will run about $5-$9.
- You can also find plenty of budget-friendly options at the bakery or grocery store.
A Few Budget Breakfast Spots:
- 9BAR: Tasty cappuccino, espresso, and a few pastry options.
- VINYL & WOOD: A hip little spot serving up coffee and pastries.
- Bite Bakery Cafe: Coffee, huge cinnamon rolls, and chocolate rolls.
- Cserpes Tejivo: A cozy spot with coffee, pastries, and sandwiches.
- Duran Szendvics: Traditional Hungarian breakfast sandwiches.
Budget Lunch Prices in Budapest: $4-$10
- Super budget travelers can make a super cheap lunch of bread, lunch meat, cheese, and fruit from any grocery store for a few dollars.
- Takeaway meals (like kebabs with fries) or similar dishes from a takeaway shop will cost about 800 HUF ($3).
- Grab a soup to go for 700 HUF ($2.50).
- A pizza will cost around 2,100 HUF ($5-$7)
- Budapest has a decent number of ‘self-service restaurants’ (basically cafeterias) that hearken back to the days of communism. The meals are simple but tasty… and cheap. Expect to pay around 1,000 HUF ($5) for the main dish.
- A combo meal at McDonald’s will cost about 2100 HUF ($6).
Budget Dinner Prices in Budapest: $8-$13
- Budget travelers will want to look at the many ethnic restaurants — a bowl of Pho will be about 1790 HUF ($6).
- An average meal of meat & potatoes will set you back about 1800 HUF ($9)
- You can get a nice meal from a non-touristy restaurant for about 1800 HUF ($7.50).
- A burger from a casual restaurant are around $5.
- Many of the options from the Budget Lunch section above also work for dinner.
A Few Budget-Friendly Lunch and Dinner Spots:
- Street Food Karavan: A spot with multiple food trucks/stalls serving up different food and beer.
- Klauzal Cafe: Authentic Hungarian spot serving up traditional fare.
- Bors GasztroBar: Super tasty soups and sandwiches.
- Regos Restaurant: Hearty traditional Hungarian food.
- Hoppacska: Filling Hungarian sandwiches.
- Local Korner: Excellent pizza in a super fun atmosphere.
- Hai Nam Vietnamese Bistro & Pho Bar: Solid Pho spot.
Drinks and Alcohol Prices in Budapest
- A pint of standard beer out: 360 HUF ($1.60)
- A pint of beer from a grocery store: 225 HUF ($1)
- Bottle of (drinkable) wine from the grocery store: 1000 HUF ($5.25)
- Espresso: $1.30
Budapest Transportation Prices
Budapest has a good network of trams, buses, and subways. They’re all affordable — be sure that you always validate your ticket because they do check riders’ tickets often (and you don’t want to get a fine, which is $30-$60).
- Single Ticket: 350 HUF ($1)
- Book of 10 Single Tickets: 3,000 HUF ($8.50)
- Unlimited Day Pass: 1,650 HUF ($5)
- Train Ticket Between Airport and City: 400 HUF ($1.25)
Budapest Hostel, Hotel, & Rental Apartment Prices
Hostels and hotels are fairly cheap in Budapest. All the hostels I’ve stayed at have been very high quality, too. There are also a good number of very cheap hotels (they’ll probably be fairly bare-bones), or you can spend a little extra if you want more comfort. Rental apartments can also be a nice option in Budapest.
Hostel Prices in Budapest: $17-$35/night
Hostels are cheap in Budapest. The average price of a bed per night is about $22—although many hostels raise their prices on the weekend. Remember, these prices are for a bed in a shared dorm room. Expect to pay $65-$95/night for a private room.
A few recommended Budapest hostels [Read our full guide to the Best Hostels in Budapest]:
- Carpe Noctem
- Pal’s Hostel
- Maverick Hostel & Ensuites
- Vitae Hostel
- 11th Hour Cinema Hostel & Apartments
I recommend booking hostels through Hostelworld because they have the best selection.
Budget Hotel Prices in Budapest: $45-$95/night
Expect to pay around $65/night for a decent budget-tier hotel and around $110-$145/night for a nice hotel.
We suggest checking out Booking.com to see hotel prices for your dates since they’re always changing.
Rental Apartment Prices in Budapest: $50-$130/night
Budapest has a decent amount of rental apartments throughout the city. They can be a good option for large groups or travelers who want a little more space (and a kitchen). On the other hand, you may also have to deal with inconvenient check-in processes and things like extra cleaning fees and service charges. For short stays, we prefer hotels but longer stays are ideal for rental apartments. Airbnb is always popular but you can sometimes find cheaper/better options on our list of Airbnb Alternatives.
Learn More About the Cost of Visiting Europe
Check out our guide on How Much It Costs To Backpack Europe to learn more about budgeting your entire trip (including many more city price guides).
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Thanks For Reading! — James