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Pest on a budget – Brilliant things to do for under HUF 10,000

Holidays and city breaks are often associated with a bit of overspending. But good things don’t need to cost an arm and a leg – and we are here to prove it. After the Buda side, we've now put together 3 itineraries in Pest to help you enjoy the city more freely without worrying about breaking the bank. The stops encompass top attractions, or they lead you off the beaten track to make you feel like a local.

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A Belle Époque-favourite - City Park and its surroundings

Following in the footsteps of 19th-century dandies and chaperones, you can walk along one of the most beloved routes of the Belle Époque, the Városligeti fasor. Start at the Kodály körönd to admire the surrounding palaces, sitting on a World Heritage Site. Then pop into the newly opened Hungarian Art & Business (HAB) centre, before heading down to Felsőerdősor utca and unwinding with a coffee and some cake at Matinée Café. After the refreshing stop, keep walking as the area is brimming with breathtaking villas and buildings (see some photos here). And HUF 10,000 is enough to see more than just the outside. Take a detour to Bajza utca and peek into the villa of the famous opera singer Rózsi Walter.

After the time travel, come back to the present and head to the modern building of the Museum of Ethnography. This uniquely shaped gem hosts exciting permanent exhibitions (e.g. ZOOMCeramics Space) made even more fun by interactive tools. We would not miss climbing to its rooftop and chilling in the grass. If you’re tired of all the culture, walk through the shady City Park. Here, not far from the hot air balloon, you can have delicious lunch under the mighty trees at Léghajó KERT. Pizza is served on weekends and a lunch menu during the week. But you can also try the freshly opened spot of Digó, offering Neapolitan pizzas. If you are not knackered yet, keep exploring the architectural treasures of neighbouring Istvánmező.
 

  • Hungarian Art & Business (HAB): free entry
  • Matinée (coffee + cake): HUF 2,000
  • Walter Rózsi Villa ticket: HUF 1,900 (adult)
  • Museum of Ethnography ticket: HUF 1,500 (Zoom + Ceramics Space + MÉTA)
  • Léghajó KERT (main course + soft drink): ar. HUF 4,500 (lunch menu on weekdays, pizza on weekends)
  • or Digó (pizza + lemonade): approx. HUF 4,000 (pizza as of HUF 2,490)

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Suburban vibes in and around Mátyásföld, by bike

Although the public transport system makes it easy to get around on foot, it’s much more pleasant to explore suburban Mátyásföld and its surroundings by bike. Especially as there are some great cycle paths, with practically zero elevation, leading to the neat area. First, let’s cycle to Lake Naplás! Here, you can grab a cool drink or a snack (such as lángos, a deep-fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese) at Nap-Plázs on the shore. Then shuffle back along the Szilas stream and take an extra short cycle along the Veres Péter út. If you prefer a shorter tour or a hike on foot, you can skip this section and start from the next stop.

Not far from the lower HÉV station in Mátyásföld, you will find a special place, the Kertvárosi Tanyaudvar, accessible on weekends without prior booking. You will be greeted by a proper village atmosphere with lambs, calves, and poultry. The surroundings are clean and tidy, and everyone is friendly, so you will likely stay for a while. When you do leave, pass under the HÉV line and head towards the Old Mátyásföld Villa Quarter, where you will spot elegant summerhouses. Get lost in the area around Prodám utca – Zsélyi Aladár utca, and Corvin Mátyás High School. It will be long past lunchtime, so have a simple, hearty lunch at the Erzsébetligeti Restaurant. If you are by bike, hop back on and cycle to Fazekas Cukrászda, a confectionery that offers the best ice cream in the area (you can take bus 46 too).

  • Nap-Plázs (refreshments): HUF 1,500
  • Kertvárosi Tanyaudvar ticket: HUF 1,000 (only open at weekends)
  • Erzsébetligeti Restaurant: HUF 4,000 (main course + soft drink)
  • Fazekas Cukrászda: approx. HUF 1,000 (2 scoops)

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Traditional sightseeing in downtown Budapest

The surroundings of downtown Budapest are incredible. Take Lipótváros as an example: the buildings are marvellous, and there is no shortage of delicious snacks. Start your tour on Falk Miksa utca, teeming with stunning houses, galleries and antique shops. Walking down the street, you will soon arrive at Kossuth tér and bump into one of the most outstanding landmarks in Budapest: the Parliament. Get a quick caffeine fix at Madal or the Mokka Cukka before setting off on a tour inside the Gothic building.

Once finished, walk down the Danube to the statue of Hungarian poet Attila József. Then go to the quay until you spot the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial. As well as commemorating the people killed by Fascist militiamen in Budapest during World War II, take time to admire the wonders of the city. When you had your fair share of the riverside vibes, walk towards Szabadság tér. Enjoy the hustle and bustle, take in the ornaments of the National Bank and turn onto Hercegprímás utca. Soak up the colours and smells, then look up at the majestic building of St Stephen’s BasilicaYou can also choose to enter the impressive church instead of the Parliament and take in the city from its panoramic terrace. Then treat yourself to a delicious bagel and a glass of orange juice at the Best Bagel Basilica, which comes with a cathedral view. From here, walk towards Széchenyi tér and finish your walk on the former embankment with a panoramic view of the Danube. On summer weekends, this part of the quay is car-free, meaning you can roam even more freely.

  • Mokka Cukka (coffee): HUF 890 (cappuccino)
  • Parlament ticket: HUF 5,000
  • or Basilica ticket: HUF 4,500
  • Best Bagel Basilica (bagel + orange juice): approx. HUF 4,000

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