Hungary, Budapest Hungary, Budapest

Essential Budapest

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

The perfect introduction to Budapest, Essential Budapest is designed to introduce you to some of the sites you need to see on your first trip to the city, with the experience that only Exeter International can provide.

The Basics

  • Three nights in one of the city’s top hotels, inclusive of tax and breakfast
  • Private airport or rail station transportation to and from your hotel
  • Private Exeter Guide at your service as described in the program
  • Entrance Fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • 24-hour, English-speaking local assistance in case of emergency or changes

Highlight of Exeter's Simply Budapest

  • A private guide, car and driver to introduce you to the major sites of Budapest, including the famous Parliament House with the Crown Jewels of Hungary.

Easy to Combine with:

  • Vienna
  • Prague
  • Warsaw
  • Bucharest 
  • Bratislava

For custom luxury travel and tours to Budapest and Hungary, please contact one of our travel experts.

Central Europe Downloadable PDF

Download a PDF itinerary here.



Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Arrival | Budapest Four Seasons Budapest Gresham Palace

Upon arrival into Budapest, you will be met and privately transferred to your hotel in central Budapest.

On the way to the hotel, you will pass by sights of historical significance, including St. Stephen’s Basilica, a cross between Neo-Classical and Renaissance-style architecture completed in the late 19th century and one of Budapest’s noteworthy landmarks.

Over the centuries, Budapest flourished as a crossroads where East meets West in the heart of Europe. Ancient cultures, such as the Magyars, the Mongols, and the Turks, have all left an indelible mark on this magical city. Buda and Pest, separated by the Danube River, are characterized by an assortment of monuments, elegant streets, wine taverns, coffee houses, and Turkish baths.

Exeter Services: Arrival Transfer

Hotel:  Kempinski Corvinus

Day 2
Budapest | Budapest Royal Crown, Budapest Parliament, Hungary

This morning, after meeting your driver and guide in the hotel lobby, drive along the Danube to see the imposing hills of Buda and catch a glimpse of the Budapest Royal Palace. If you like, today you can stop at the moving memorial of the Shoes on the Danube Promenade. Located near the parliament, this memorial honors the Jews who fell victim to the fascist militiamen during WWII.

Then drive across the lovely 19th-century Chain Bridge to the Budapest Funicular (vertical rail car), which will take you up the side of Buda’s historic Royal Palace, the former Hapsburg palace during the 19th century and rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style after it was destroyed during World War II. Today the castle holds the Hungarian National Gallery, featuring the best of Hungarian art.

A stroll through the castle area, known as Varhegy, will take you to the Fisherman’s Bastion for the most impressive views over Pest, across the Danube. Here you’ll see the Matyas Church, a Neo-Gothic reconstruction dating from 1874 and in which many organ and choral concerts can be heard. The entire cobble-stoned area, lined with cafés and small shops, is perfect for spending the remaining afternoon. Also, in Varhegy is the excavated Medieval Synagogue, a Jewish historical sight dating to the 15th century.

Afterward, you will visit the Budapest Market Hall. Built in the 19th century, the covered market boasts soaring metal columns, high walkways, and beautiful produce shops. More than just a place where one can purchase some handcrafted and typical Hungarian souvenirs, it’s a market where locals go to purchase their produce and meats—a meeting place for many and a place where you can enjoy authentic local flavor.

Exeter Services: Guide, Vehicle & Driver (6 Hours)

Hotel: Kempinski Corvinus

Day 3
Budapest | Budapest Hungary, Budapest

Meet your guide and driver today in the hotel lobby for an exploration of the beauty of Central Pest. First, your guide will take you to the Jewish Quarter. The highlight is a visit to the Great Synagogue (Dohany Street Synagogue), the largest in Europe (and second largest in the world) – impressive in its Byzantine and Moorish style architecture. Today it’s still in use for Budapest’s Jewish Community. You can visit the Jewish Museum that is part of the synagogue, and afterwards, walk over to the Holocaust Memorial. The sculpture of a weeping willow designed in memory of the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who died under the Nazis in World War II.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

Today you will have a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dohany Street Synagogue. A synagogue security official will accompany you on the tour. Highlights today include a visit to the Groom’s Room behind the Ark of the Torah. Today this is a library of the synagogue. You’ll also be able to see the old pulpit before heading to the Queen’s Box on the upper circle, where you have the best view of the building. You’ll see the back of the organ, the special Torahs and the Ark of the Torah’s Curtains and the safe deposit box of the synagogue. Afterwards, enjoy a small snack of Kosher Flodni cake along with coffee, tea or water.

From here, you can drive to Hero’s Square and see the Millennium Monument, designed to commemorate Hungary’s Millennium Celebrations in 1896, though not completed until 1929. It marked Budapest’s high point of its development in the history of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Note: If you don’t have an interest in Jewish sites, it’s also possible to create this day around contemporary history, including the Terror House, or art and architecture, including the Fine Arts Museum and more.

Afterwards, spend the remainder of your afternoon at your leisure. This evening you will meet your driver for your transfer to the port for an evening boat tour.

Exeter International Extraordinary Experience

Tonight your driver will take you to the boat launch for your private one-hour cruise along the Danube. You will be cruising on one of the finest private motorboats in the city and you will have the opportunity to see all the majestic buildings and bridges of Budapest at their best – lit by thousands of white lights.

Exeter Services:Vehicle, Driver, & Guide (5 Hours); Round-trip Evening Transfers

Hotel: Kempinski Corvinus

Day 4
Etyek | Etyek House of Parliament, Budapest, Hungary

You will drive to the closest wine region to Budapest and one of the country’s youngest. The Etyek region is noted for its sparkling wine production and today your tour will focus on the area’s small family-run wineries and food producers. The village is located only 30 minutes or so outside the city.

Today you will head to one of our favorite vintners – Kalna. This family-owned operation focuses on sparkling wines and whites. You’ll learn all about the owner’s passion project and taste the best from his vineyards. Your wine tasting will have accompaniments from local food producers, including fresh cheese, ham, vegetables and more.

Afterward, if you like, there may be time for lunch in the countryside, payable locally, before heading back to Budapest.

Return to the city this afternoon and enjoy your afternoon at leisure.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver, & Guide (6 Hours)

Hotel: Kempinski Corvinus

Day 5
Departure | Budapest Budapest Ruins Bar, Hungary

After checking out, meet your private car and driver for your transfer to the airport. Cost of flight is not included in your program.

Exeter Services: Departure Transfer

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