Top 5 Awesome Tips for a seriously cheap holiday in Budapest

Budapest                                                                                                 Flickr: og2t // ou gee tew tee
I just came back from Budapest last night and want to write all these tips down before I forget them so here they are:

Here are my top 5 tips for a cheap, enjoyable visit to Budapest. By the way if you get to the end of the article and still have some questions, send me an email and I'll be happy to help you out. 

Budapest                                                                                                         Flickr:Ted Drake

5) Don't say Thank You.

Yes, you read correct. I'm not just being rude. When you order food or a drink and you give the waiter more than the amount owed, followed by a "Thank you", you are telling them to keep it. For example if something costs you 1100 Ft and you give 2000 Ft note, and say "Thank you", you are telling them to keep it all. So don't say thanks until you get your change and you decide what you want to leave as a tip.

It's also a good idea to ask what the service charge is before you sit down because the food can be very cheap but the service charge can be anything they want.

 Budapest                                                                                                            Flickr: lostajy

4) See the best parts for seriously CHEAP.

At your hostel / hotel you'll be seeing many brochures selling crazy expensive boat rides on the Danube - even a bus that doubles as a boat on the river for 30 euros per person.

Forget the private options and go for the less known by tourists public transport boat option which takes you all along the river for about 1 euro! Ask your hostel/hotel to point you to the nearest dock!

Another nice and cheap option is the State Opera House, where you can buy a ticket (the worst seats tho) for as low as 2.5 euros.

Budapest, Parliament                                                                                                   Flickr Dimitry B

3) Do the FREE stuff.

If you are lucky enough to be from a country that is part of the European Union, you get free entry and a 50 minute  tour of the Hungarian Parliament. The tours are daily at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Be warned however, the lines are huge, so don't show up 20 minutes before expecting to get in. Tickets are available from 8:30am so best to get their early or expect to be lining up in the hot sun (if you go in the summer as I just did) for at least 1 hour.

The visitor center of the National Bank of Hungary also has a coin exhibition and interactive games where you can print a banknote with your face on it. Free entry for all. By the way, are you enjoying this article? Why not join us on Facebook  and Twitter to get all the latest updates?


2)  Bring an empty water bottle.

Don't waste your money buying water, the city has some of the best quality water on earth and has clean water drinking fountains on nearly every street corner. Save money and save the earth.

Statue of Liberty, Budapest.                                                                                 Flickr:lostajy

1) Free Walking Tours

There are many tours that will show you Budapest, but most of them charge an arm and a leg and you don't know if you will get your money's worth by the end of it.

I chose the Free Budapest Walking Tours to give me a guided tour and they did an awesome job! They offer 4 options:

Free Budapest Walk (The Original One) 10:30am
Free Budapest Walk (For people too hungover to make it to the morning one) 2:30pm
Free Communist Walk (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, at 3:30pm)
Free Jewish District Walk (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sun, at 3:30pm)

If you enjoyed the tour, at the end you can leave a tip to the guide.

You can check out the full details on their website.

I would also like to say an additional thank you to them because some of the tips on this page came from them originally :)

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Bonus tip
When booking your hostel in Budapest make sure you've compared all the prices of the hostels fully. For example some hostels look like to do this trick where they look cheap at first, but then make you pay additional cash for bed sheets or to rent a towel on arrival (I fell for this with the towels in Budapest and with the bedsheets in Milan). This ends up costing you more than you expected, so look in detail at the hostels on offer.

 Budapest                                                                                     Flickr: Martijn.Munneke

Also, I wanted to mention  that occasionally I send out a unique newsletter with my secret and unique money saving tips, great deals on flights, and special locations unknown to the average tourist (at bargain prices). You really can travel on a super small budget to exotic locations if you have all the information the travel companies don't want you to know about!
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