Home  »  The 6 Best Walking Tours in Budapest (Tested by Local)

The 6 Best Free and Paid Walking Tours in Budapest (Tested by Local)

Last updated: Dec 17, 2023

Author: Adam Dimitrov — Budapester, Hungarian & City Expert/Guide

Are you overwhelmed by choices for walking tours in Budapest?

Look no further.

I've done the legwork — literally — by personally taking on six of the city's most popular walking tours.

Whether you're keen to explore Buda Castle, delve into the labyrinthine cave system beneath it, stroll the vibrant Pest side, uncover the city's dark WW2 and Jewish history, take a grand tour of the Budapest, or enjoy a more entertaining undead folklore themed adventure, I've got a recommendation for you.

Each recommendation is backed up by first-hand experience and countless photos, so you'll know exactly what to expect.

Ready to explore?

Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links. I get paid a small commission if you purchase anything through my links. It costs you nothing and makes my job financially sustainable. Cheers!

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Summary & Comparison — Top 6 Walking Tours in Budapest

View All
2
4.7 +1230 reviews
13€
3
4.9  +3780 reviews
Free
4
4.9 +3830 reviews
Free
5
4.5 +630 reviews
10€
6
4.4 +1140 reviews
29€

Reviews calculation: I am using the total review count of the activity from GetYourGuide, Tripadvisor, Guruwalk and Viator.

1. Night Vampire Walking Tour in Buda Castle District

Mysterium Tours — 2 Hours — Eastern European Legends & Myths — 21€
4.7 +750 reviews (Getyourguide)
5.0 +470 reviews (Viator)
5.0 +270 reviews (Tripadvisor)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my experience during the 8:00 pm English-language tour, led by Joe as our guide.

Immerse yourself in the mysteries of the night with Budapest's one-of-a-kind walking tour, centered around undead folklore and haunting tales of the Hungary and Eastern Europe.

This isn't your average historical walking tour; prepare for spine-tingling stories that delve deep into Eastern European myths about vampires, ghosts, and the undead.

Highlights of the Tour

I can attest that this tour is not just another walking tour in Budapest—it's an immersive storytelling experience. Our guide, Joe, with his 20 years of improv acting experience, brings depth, humor, and a dramatic twist to Eastern European myths.

His spellbinding narrative skills are complemented by the ethereal beauty of the Castle District at night, a setting that enriches the storytelling and makes the tour truly unforgettable.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The journey begins at Clark Ádám Square, located at the base of Buda Hill. From here, you'll embark on a 5-10 minute ascent up the hill's stairs. For those with mobility issues, a funicular option is available to take you to the top for an extra 10€ fee.

Group Size

The group size struck a perfect balance, numbering between 20 and 25 participants. This made it easy to connect with other tour participants without complicating the practical aspects of the tour, such as walking and finding a good listening spot around our guide.

Points of Critique

While Joe is an engaging orator, I found the latter half of the tour to lose a bit of its initial spark. After hearing 5-6 out of the total ten tales, the storytelling began to feel a bit repetitive.

Coupled with the late evening timing, the group's energy waned toward the end. Still, Joe’s dynamism keeps the atmosphere electric for most of the tour.

Should You Go?

If you're less concerned with historical facts and more interested in the dark and mysterious folklore of Budapest and Eastern Europe, this tour is a must-try. It's a thrilling way to explore the Castle District under the cloak of night.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 2 hours
  • 💵 Cost: 21€
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Starts at 7:45 pm and 8:00 pm
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Starts at 7:30 pm
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: No (Only children above age 10 are permitted), 15% discount (children age 11-18)
  • Accessibility: Limited (5-10 minute stair climb to Castle District; funicular available at an extra cost of 10€)
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Castle District
  • 📍 Starting Point: Clark Ádám tér (Adam Clark Square)
  • 🏁 End Point: Clark Ádám tér (Adam Clark Square)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: Yes (Tour takes place entirely outdoors)
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, and everything in between (Note: The tour only passes by these landmarks; there's no entry into the buildings)

How to Get There

  • 🗺️ Meeting Point: Gather at Clark Ádám Square in Budapest, next to the Kilometer Zero stone near the entrance to the funicular.
  • 🚌 Public Transport: Catch the 105/16/178/216/R16 buses from Elizabeth Square.
  • 🚶 On Foot: Take a scenic walk across the recently renovated Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

2. Buda Castle Cave Labyrinth Walking Tour

Danube-Ipoly Directorate — 1.5 Hours — 13€
4.7 +1230 reviews (Getyourguide)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my personal experience of a 1.5-hour English cave tour.

Discover the hidden depths of Budapest in the extensive cave system beneath the city's Castle District.

Known as Budavári barlang, this section was reopened to the public in 2019 after being off-limits for years.

The tour focuses on a fascinating 3km stretch of caves and takes you on a journey through time, exploring the geological and human history of these mysterious underground tunnels.

Highlights of the Tour

What sets this tour apart is its dedication to historical accuracy.

You'll learn about how these caves formed over millions of years — you'll even get to see where a mammoth left one of its teeth!

Beyond the geology, the tour dives into the 800-year history of human usage of the caves, from medieval storage and tax evasion to their roles as prisons, war refuges, criminal hideouts, and even locations for clandestine parties in the 90s.

It's cold in the caves. The solution? Ponchos.

The temperature inside the cave averages 10-12°C, so it's advisable to wear warm clothing and comfortable footwear you don't mind getting dirty.

However, for those visiting in summer attire, free ponchos are provided to keep you warm.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The meeting spot is at Trinity Square, right by the Trinity statue. A quick 5-minute walk will take you to the cave's entrance.

Unfortunately, the cave is not accessible to individuals with mobility impairments.

Group Size

With an group size of 20-25 participants, the tour struck a perfect balance — facilitating smooth navigation through the maze-like caves while also enabling captivating, interactive storytelling.

Points of Critique

In all honesty, there were few drawbacks to this unique journey, if any.

The tour company goes to great lengths to ensure everyone's comfort, and the expert guides make the experience engaging and educational.

If history blended with a touch of geology intrigues you, this is your tour.

Should You Go?

Absolutely, yes!

This tour is an excellent choice for those who are looking for something more niche and offbeat than your run-of-the-mill walking tour. It's an experience that leaves you both educated and intrigued.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 1.5 hours
  • 💵 Cost: 13€
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Varies by day, typically between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Typically at 6:00 pm
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: Yes (Only children aged 3 and up are allowed), 30% discount for ages 4-18
  • Accessibility: Unfortunately, not wheelchair-accessible
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Explores the subterranean cave system beneath the Castle District
  • 📍 Starting Point: Szentháromság tér (Trinity Square)
  • 🏁 End Point: Labirintus kijárat (Labyrinth exit)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: Not allowed
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: None, as the cave system is the main attraction

How to Get There

🗺️ Meeting Point: Gather at Szentháromság tér, right in front of the statue opposite Matthias Church.
🚌 Public Transport: Board Bus 16 from Elizabeth Square to reach the Castle District.
🚶‍♂️ On Foot: Take a scenic walk across the recently renovated Széchenyi Chain Bridge, climb Buda Hill, and make your way to Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér).

3. Best Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

Budapesttours — 2.5 Hours — WW2 and Jewish History — Free Walking Tour
4.9  +3780 reviews (Guruwalk)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my personal experience of a 2.5-hour English walking tour.

Immerse yourself in the rich Jewish heritage of Budapest on this enlightening tour.

The excursion not only offers a deep dive into the harrowing years of World War II but also presents a comprehensive history of Jewish life in Hungary dating back to medieval times.

As a Hungarian who supposedly knows this country, I still learned a lot of intriguing historical facts.

Highlights of the Tour

For history aficionados seeking more than just surface-level information, this tour is a goldmine.

The guide provides rigorous academic-level commentary, requiring a high level of English proficiency (unless you take the Spanish tour of course).

Notable landmarks include synagogues and poignant memorials dedicated to heroes who resisted Nazi and Arrow Cross Party oppression.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The tour kicks off at Imre Madách Square and concludes at Dohány Street Synagogue. The entire tour is outdoors and wheelchair-accessible, and it takes place in the Jewish Quarter (VII. District).

Group Size

The tour was structured well to accommodate a medium-sized group (20-30 people), ensuring everyone could hear the guide clearly and see the landmarks.

Points of Critique

Though the tour was generally excellent, the guide could have introduced himself more formally (as he just went straight into the material) and allowed pauses for absorption between his in-depth explanations (as his speech felt like speed-reading at times).

Should You Go?

I highly recommend for history enthusiasts who appreciate a nuanced, detailed exploration of Jewish history in Budapest.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 2.5 hours
  • 💵 Cost: "Free" (Suggested donation of 10-20€ at tour's end)
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Typically at 11:00 am and 3:00 pm (Sundays only)
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Typically at 10:30 am and 5:00 pm
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: Not recommended (The tour is meant for adults)
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible for those with reduced mobility
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Jewish Quarter (VII. District)
  • 📍 Starting Point: Madách Imre tér (Imre Madách Square)
  • 🏁 End Point: Dohány utcai Zsingagóga (Dohány Street Synagogue)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: Yes (Tour takes place entirely outdoors)
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: Sissi Statue, Rumbach Street Synagogue, Dohány Street Synagogue, Gozsdu Court, House of Theodore Herzl, Courtyard of Heroes, Carl Lutz Memorial, Angel of Budapest, Tree of Life, and an exterior visit to Kiraly Street & Ghetto Wall (Note: The tour only passes by these landmarks; there's no entry into the buildings)

How to Get There

🗺️ Meeting Point: Budapest, Madách Imre út 2, 1075 Hungary. Look for the yellow umbrella next to the Sissi statue.
🚌 Public Transport: Easily accessible from anywhere in the city by taking any metro line or trams 47/49 to Deak Ference square then walking to the Sissi statue.
🚶‍♂️ On Foot: The central areas of Budapest are highly walkable. You can comfortably reach our meeting spot with a 15-20 minute stroll from most central locations.

4. Best Budapest Inner City Walking Tour

GoZeppelin Tours — 2.25 Hours — Free Walking Tour
4.9 +3830 reviews (Guruwalk)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my personal experience of a 2.25-hour English walking tour.

This walking tour is a perfect way to get an overview of Budapest's history, taking place in the inner district of Pest.

You'll gain insights into our past, including the troubled times during the Soviet era, the period after the fall of the Berlin Wall which we call "The System Change," and even contemporary history and controversies.

Highlights of the Tour

For first-time visitors seeking a comprehensive introduction to Budapest's rich history, this tour is an ideal choice. The tour offers not just historical accuracy but also local insights, thanks to our Hungarian guide.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The meeting location is at Kossuth Square by the Hungarian Parliament. More precisely, it’s near the M2 metro and/or tram station. The tour is wheelchair-friendly and welcomes those with mobility challenges. The tour concludes at Vigadó Square.

Group Size

We were among about 30 participants. Despite being a larger group, it didn’t take away from the enjoyment or educational value of the tour. I even struck up some pleasant conversations with fellow tour mates.

Points of Critique

The only minor issue was that the tour guide was not a native English speaker. However, her genuine local Hungarian perspective more than made up for this.

Should You Go?

You know the answer already — yes! Especially if you're a first-time visitor wanting a rich, historical overview of Budapest, you'll find this tour worthwhile.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 2.25 hours
  • 💵 Cost: "Free" (Suggested donation of 10-20€ at tour's end)
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Typically at 10:00 am
  • 🇪🇸 Spanish: Typically at 10:00 am,11:30 am and 5:00 pm
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: Yes, offers a well-rounded historical overview suitable for all ages
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible for those with reduced mobility
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Delving into the heart of Pest (V. District)
  • 📍 Starting Point: Hungarian Parliament (Hungarian Parliament)
  • 🏁 End Point: Vigadó tér (Vigadó Square)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: Yes (Tour takes place entirely outdoors)
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: The tour starts at the Hungarian Parliament and takes you through an exploration of the Communist era and the 1956 revolution, Liberty Square, the Monument to Soviet Heroes, the Monument to the Victims of the German Invasion, the Chain Bridge, the Danube Riverbank with views of Buda’s city panorama, St. Stephen's Basilica, Queen Sisi Square, Vorosmarty Square, and concludes at Vigadó Square (Note: The tour only passes by these landmarks; there's no entry into the buildings)

How to Get There

🗺️ Meeting Point: Gather at Kossuth Lajos square, between right next to the tram stop. Look for an orange umbrella.
🚌 Public Transport: Take metro or tram line 2 and take a brief walk to the meeting point.
🚶‍♂️ On Foot: The central areas of Budapest are highly walkable. You can comfortably reach our meeting spot with a 15-20 minute stroll from most central locations.

5. Best Buda Castle District Walking Tour

Tourist Angel Smc — 2 Hours — 10€
4.5 +630 reviews (Getyourguide)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my personal experience of a 2-hour English walking tour.

Discover the architectural and historical gems in Budapest's Castle District with this straightforward yet thoroughly engaging walking tour. This tour offers a factual and no-nonsense overview of the district's landmarks, perfect for those wanting a solid introduction to Hungary's storied past.

Highlights of the Tour

The tour offers an enriching walk through the charming cobblestone streets of the Castle District, covering major landmarks like the Royal Palace ("Buda Castle"), Matthias Church, and Fisherman's Bastion.

What stands out is the tour's commitment to factual storytelling, devoid of the supernatural or fantastical elements you might find on other tours.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The tour kicks off at Trinity Square, right in front of the iconic Trinity Statue. Plus, the entire tour is wheelchair accessible, making it convenient for everyone

Group Size

With a group of roughly 25 people, it was easy to move around and the tour never felt overcrowded.

Points of Critique

The tour delivers what it promises: a comprehensive, factual overview. However, prepare yourself for the elements—like heat, if you happen to visit during a hot spell like I did. 😅

Should You Go?

Certainly. If you're looking for a straightforward, facts-based exploration of Budapest's Castle District, this tour fits the bill.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 2 hours
  • 💵 Cost: 10€
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Starts at 2:00 pm and 2:30 pm
  • 🇮🇹 Italian: Starts at 10:00 am (Weekends only)
  • 🇫🇷 French: Available for private group tours only
  • 🇩🇪 German: Available for private group tours only
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: Yes, offers a well-rounded historical overview suitable for all ages
  • Accessibility: Fully accessible for those with reduced mobility
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Castle District
  • 📍 Starting Point: Szentháromság tér (Trinity Square)
  • 🏁 End Point: Szentháromság tér (Trinity Square)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: Yes (Tour takes place entirely outdoors)
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: Royal Palace ("Buda Castle"), Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, and everything in between (Note: The tour only passes by these landmarks; there's no entry into the buildings)

How to Get There

🗺️ Meeting Point: Gather at Szentháromság tér, right in front of the statue opposite Matthias Church.
🚌 Public Transport: Board Bus 16 from Elizabeth Square to reach the Castle District.
🚶‍♂️ On Foot: Take a scenic walk across the recently renovated Széchenyi Chain Bridge, climb Buda Hill, and make your way to Trinity Square (Szentháromság tér).

6. Grand City Tour of Budapest

Cityrama Budapest — 3 Hours — Walking & Bus Tour — 29€
4.3 +910 reviews (Getyourguide)
4.5 +120 reviews (Viator)
4.5 +110 reviews (Tripadvisor)

Summary

💡 Note: This review is based on my personal experience of a 3-hour English walking tour.

Embark on a comprehensive 3-hour tour of Budapest, encapsulating both the Pest and Buda sides of the iconic city.

With a blend of air-conditioned bus rides and leisurely walking, you'll have the chance to witness major landmarks, from Heroes' Square to the Castle District while learning of their history.

Though it provides a sweeping view, be prepared for a surface-level overview that touches upon, but does not delve deeply into, each individual area.

Highlights of the Tour

The tour gave me a bird's eye view of Budapest. It kicked off with a brief but informative stop at Heroes' Square and proceeded to drive past local landmarks like the Opera House, Városliget and Keleti Railway Station.

What sets this tour apart is its unique approach to ascending the Castle Hill — coming up from the side opposite the Danube, a welcome change from typical tours.

Starting Point and Accessibility

The journey begins at Clark Ádám Square, located at the base of Buda Hill. From here, you'll embark on a 5-10 minute ascent up the hill's stairs. A word of caution: the tour is not suitable for mobility-impaired individuals.

Group Size

The tour was structured well to accommodate a medium-sized group, ensuring everyone could hear the guide clearly and see the landmarks.

Points of Critique

While the tour was extensive, it left me wanting more, especially when it came to exploring the Pest side.

The quick stop at Heroess' Square and drive-by sightings don't do justice to the richness of the landmarks.

However, the air-conditioned bus was a welcome respite from the sweltering heat. The Castle District tour was spectacular though.

Should You Go?

If you are time-constrained but still want a quick overview of Budapest, this tour fits the bill. For those looking for a more detailed exploration, consider setting aside a full day.

🗝️ Key Facts

  • 🕒 Duration: 3 hours
  • 💵 Cost: 29€
  • 🗓️ Tour Dates & Languages: (Please note that schedules are subject to change)
  • 🇬🇧 English: Starts at 10:00 am
  • 🇮🇹 Spanish: Starts at 10:00 am
  • 🇩🇪 German: Starts at 10:00 am
  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Family-Friendly: Yes, offers a well-rounded historical overview suitable for all ages
  • Accessibility: Regrettably, the tour is not wheelchair-friendly due to bus inaccessibility and staircases in the Castle District.
  • 🗺️ Tour Area: Begins at Heroes Square (15 mins), transitions into a hop-on, hop-off style tour of Pest, and culminates in an in-depth exploration of the Castle District.
  • 📍 Starting Point: Cityrama & Gray Line Travel Agency, Báthory utca 19, Budapest 1054
  • 🏁 End Point: Parlament (Hungarian Parliament)
  • 🐕 Pet-Friendly: No, the tour includes bus travel and indoor segments.
  • 🏰 Landmarks Visited: Heroes' Square, City Park, Keleti Railway Station, Blaha Lujza Square, Elizabeth Bridge, and key locations in the Castle District such as Buda Castle, Matthias Church, Fisherman's Bastion, and everything in between (Note: The tour only passes by these landmarks; there's no entry into the buildings)

How to Get There

🗺️ Meeting Point: Gather at the Cityrama & Gray Line Travel Agency office, located at Báthory utca 19, 1054 Budapest, Hungary.
🚌 Public Transport: Take Metro Lines 2 or 3 and take a brief walk to the meeting point.
🚶‍♂️ On Foot: The central areas of Budapest are highly walkable. You can comfortably reach our meeting spot with a 15-20 minute stroll from most central locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a walking tour in Budapest?

The cost of walking tours in Budapest can vary widely depending on the tour provider, the length of the tour, and the topics covered. On average, expect to pay anywhere from 10€ to 35€ per person for guided tours. Some specialized or private tours may cost more.

Can you walk around Buda Castle for free?

Yes, you can walk around the exterior grounds of Buda Castle for free. This includes several courtyards and terraces that offer stunning views of Budapest. However, to access the interior of the castle, including the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery, there is an admission fee.

How much do you tip a free walking tour guide in Budapest?

For free walking tours in Budapest, a common tip is around 10€ to 20€ per person. Some people give more for an exceptionally informative and entertaining guide.