SPOILED FOR CHOICE ON THE DANUBE
A boat trip on the Danube is a must on a city trip to Budapest. However, if you want to take a trip on the Danube, you will quickly find that there are countless options. In the following you will find a detailed, but certainly not complete, compilation of some possibilities.
Lines D11 and D12 have been operating on the Danube since the beginning of July 2012. These boats travel all over the city, stopping at specific stations, most of which are well connected to the public transport network. The ships can be used on weekdays with the normal 24- or 72-hour tickets or weekly or monthly tickets. If you don’t have a season ticket or want to use the ships at the weekend, you have to buy a single ticket on board for 450 HUF.
In the winter timetable, these lines are very limited. It is therefore absolutely necessary to take a closer look at the timetables beforehand.
Please note that due to the current corona situation, the scheduled boats are currently not running. Instead, you can use a Budapest cruise operated by the former state-owned shipping company MAHART. However, public transport tickets are generally not valid here (apart from monthly tickets Tuesday through Thursday). You can find more information on this on the following page:
If you want to do a classic city tour by boat, there are numerous providers. These boats can be found at the piers north of the Elizabeth Bridge on the Pest side.
The most famous and sophisticated version is the Legenda company. One hour cruise during the day and an optional stay of 45, 90 or 135 minutes on Margaret Island. One hour boat ride in the evening. It’s not the cheapest way to go on a cruise, but it’s definitely the one with the highest quality. New glass boats for a better view, open in summer. In the evening, trips with a sophisticated dinner are also offered. More Information: www.legenda.hu
The other major provider is Mahart Passnave, the former state-owned shipping company. One-hour round trip on the Danube during the day and in the evening. There are also scheduled boats to Szentendre and the Danube Bend, hydrofoils, etc. Or in summer there is a transfer boat to Margaret Island every two hours during the day. In the evening you can take a longer (2.5 hours) cruise with dinner buffet and live music and dancing on board. More details can be found on the page of Mahart Passnave
HOP ON HOP OFF
Another service in Budapest, where many different companies offer their (fairly similar) service, is the hop-on hop-off bus. Almost all hop-on hop-off tickets include a boat trip. The same applies here as for the hop-on hop-off bus tours. One shouldn’t expect a very high-quality sightseeing tour in great comfort for the price, but these offers are quite well organized and convenient. It is easy and hassle-free to get from one attraction to another.
A bit newer provider came onto the market in 2013. Silverline offers classic sightseeing tours, evening cruises with dinner and music, and transfers to Szentendre three times a day. For more information see www.silver-line.hu
A special means of transport has been around in Budapest for a few years. The bus that drives into the Danube via a ramp after a short city tour on the Pest side. This is not a fully-fledged city tour by boat, because the bus turns around at the chain bridge, but driving with such a vehicle is still a special experience.
But you can also rent your own yacht, during the day or in the evening. The yacht is comfortable for up to 10 people. The boat can also be rented for two people for a romantic evening cruise. If you don’t mind the cost, you can even take a private day trip to the Danube Bend by yacht. Or my recommendation: first a transfer by yacht to Esztergom, where I will pick you up in a suitably comfortable car and then we will do the Danube Bend excursion with the basilica in Esztergom, Visegrád and Szentendre.
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- Travelling by taxi
- Currency exchange
- Public transportation in Budapest
- Pickpockets and similar dangers
- EU citizens 65+ travel for free
- Driving your own car in Hungary
- Inside visit of the Parliament building
- Buying cigarettes and smoking
- Where and how much tip is usual?
- Private tour in Budapest. By car or on foot?