The Danube River winds through the heart of Budapest, showcasing the Hungarian capital’s rich history and bold architecture. Here are a few ways to explore Budapest—from the Danube Promenade to the historic Castle District—by scenic river cruise.
One of the best ways to explore Budapest by river is the hop-on hop-off boat tour. Departing from downtown Budapest’s Vigado Square, the route takes in top attractions including the Castle District, Szechenyi Chain Bridge, the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and Margaret Island. Frequent boats allow you to explore the UNESCO World Heritage–listed city at your own pace.
Alternatively, take in the best of Budapest by land and by water on a floating bus tour. Another option is to cruise out onto the waves on an evening sightseeing cruise and watch the city lights dancing on the Danube River.
Board a dining cruise and savor traditional Hungarian cuisine, such as Alfold-style goulash and hearty soups, while floating past beautiful riverside scenery. Cruises depart central Budapest for afternoon lunches and evening dinners on the water, with diverse menus showcasing the best local cuisine. Scenic night cruises typically include live music on board, adding a touch of glamour to a romantic meal on the river.
A great way to delve into Budapest’s rich history and culture, combo tours are popular among travelers short on time. Options include a Hungarian folklore show at Danube Palace, a hop-on hop-off bus sightseeing tour, and a city walking tour—all followed by a sightseeing cruise on the Danube River. For a truly special experience, see the Danube Symphony Orchestra play the Vigado Concert Hall or take in an organ concert at St. Stephen’s Basilica, then finish with a late-night dinner cruise.