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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.

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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.  
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Don't Forget:

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.

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.

Museum Tickets and Cultural Sights

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There is so much to do just outside of the hotel. Arrange for a visit to the Hungarian National Museum and Trafó House of Contemporary Arts, both just a short distance away. Plan a walking tour across the Chain Bridge connecting the Pest and Buda sides of Budapest and proceed to the UNESCO World Heritage Castle District featuring monuments like the Royal Palace and Fishermen’s Bastion, as well as stunning views of the city below. Don’t miss a chance to get out on the Danube to view some of the city’s most stunning buildings, like Parliament, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, from the water.

Wine Tastings

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Hungary has a staggering 22 wine regions and winemaking is a central part of the country’s gastronomy. Nearest to Budapest is Etyek, a winemaking region known primarily for its chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and sparkling wine. Arrange for a four-hour private tour and sample up to eight different glasses of the fragrant local white wines while enjoying snacks and a taste of local produce. May is a particularly wonderful time to visit, as that is when Etyek hosts its Cellar festival.

Dining Reservations

Place Setting

Experience Hungarian-inspired dishes like goulash soup with beef cheek or veal shoulder paprikash with homemade spaetzle and garlic cucumber salad at Deák St. Kitchen. Be sure to order a glass as the restaurant has one of the city’s finest selections of Hungarian wines and beers on offer. For a special evening drink or nightcap, reserve a seat at Kupola Bar. A great variety of innovative cocktails are on offer and come expertly paired with a variety of canapés, sandwiches and desserts.

Spa Appointments

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A visit to one of the famed bathhouses in Budapest is a must, from the opulent Széchenyi Thermal Bath to the Rudas Thermal Bath, which is more than 450 years old. The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest continues this bathhouse tradition with its unique in-house spa program. Arrange for the more than two-hour Royal Palace Ritual, which begins with relaxation in a thermal suite, followed by a salt and aromatic oil scrub, and finishes with a hot stone massage. Or consider the Serenity on the Danube — a period of relaxation in the thermal suite followed by a massage and custom facial.

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. 

Cultural Treasures

Centuries-old churches and museums full of art, antiques and artifacts make Budapest a wonderful city to explore if you’re fascinated by European culture. And, thanks to plenty of fine dining and open spaces, you won’t find yourself in a museum-going rut. Budapest is, in a phrase, a paradise for lovers of art and culture. What’s more, returning each day to The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest will ensure you a good night’s rest before the next day’s adventure.


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A Romantic Getaway

If its architecture, gardens and views of the Danube weren’t enough to make your heart skip a beat, Budapest’s fine cuisine, arts and culture might do the trick. This romantic city is a wonderful place to walk, talk and get caught up in a bit of European magic. Whether you’re inspired by a castle tour or a walk through a botanic garden, you’re bound to find a little szerelem on the streets of Budapest.



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A seating area and dining table in a room with windows along one wall

72 Hour Guide

In addition to the must-see
museums, majestic Buda Castle, and Neo-Gothic parliament building (which contains the Hungarian Crown Jewels), Arminta-Watts says that the Fisherman’s Bastion overlooking the river and Heroes’ Square punctuated by the Millennium Monument were two of her favorite places to take pics and enjoy the view before throngs of tourists took over. “



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