Looking up at two domes with detailed design work

Planning Your Trip

History, arts and culture, fantastic dining, shopping and more await visitors in Budapest. Whether you’re planning to while away an afternoon at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath or café hop and take in the stunning art nouveau architecture, here’s what to bring to make the most of your visit.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What to Pack

Pack a book (or two). Café culture is alive and thriving in Budapest, so plan to do as the locals do and spend a few hours relaxing with a cup of coffee, delicious pastry and a good read.

Exploring the City

There is so much to experience in Budapest year-round, from music festivals and ruin pubs in summer to Christmas markets and ice skating in winter. Pack a few key items to be prepared.


  • While there is an efficient metro, Budapest is a fantastically walkable city with stunning architecture at every turn. Bring comfortable, stylish shoes and spend your days strolling through the city.

  • Temperatures can soar north of 90 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, so bring sunglasses and consider a smart-looking hat to ward off the sun.

  • Even in chilly winter temperatures, locals are outside braving the elements to café-hop and shop. Bring warm layers to be prepared for chilly breezes off the Danube.
Spa Retreat

No trip to Budapest would be complete without a day at the famed baths. Travelers would be wise to bring a few items when they visit.


  • A bathing suit is necessary for just about all baths in Budapest. While American-style swim trunks for men are not uncommon, most local men will likely be wearing tighter-fitting Speedo-style bottoms.

  • While they’re not required, most guests are more comfortable walking around wearing flip-flops. Opt for a waterproof pair with a nonslip sole to avoid mishaps on the wet tiles between baths.

  • At some baths, and particularly at the swimming pools within the baths, swim caps are required. Most baths sell swim caps on-site, but you may choose to bring your own.  
Day Trip

Just outside of the city center are many exciting travel opportunities, from tastings at wineries to biking and fishing on nearby lakes. Add a few additional items to your suitcase to tackle all the region has to offer.


  • Consider spending a day on Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe. Bring a bathing suit and plenty of sunscreen to enjoy the surf, sand, sailing and fishing in summer.

  • Lake Velence offers spectacular routes for both beginner and expert bikers alike. If difficult roads are what you’re after, pack your gear and suit up for a serious challenge in the hills.

  • A tour of Hungary’s wine regions is a wonderful, relaxing way to spend a day. Bring a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated through the many tastings.
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What to Reserve

Budapest is a wonderland of stunning architecture, hearty traditional food, a vibrant café and bar culture and a thriving arts scene, all belied by a deep, complex history. There is much to experience and a few standouts that you would be wise to arrange in advance.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image

As the capital and largest city in Hungary, Budapest holds a special place as a major European economic power. And given its history — originally a Celtic settlement, pillaged by Mongols, a Renaissance cultural capital, Ottoman ruled, a co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire — its architecture, museums and promenades are ripe with beauty, mystery and romance. But that’s not all. It’s cuisine, culture and emphasis on arts and fashion make it a modern destination that appeals to foodies, history buffs and architecture aficionados alike.