Budapest is a must-see for all travelers who visit Hungary. But if you have enough time, there are a few more nearby places to explore. The day trips from Budapest include discovering the lakes, villages, and hiking trails. The best thing is that they are easily accessible by public transport and take only a few hours.
Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe, with about 50 miles. The lake is called the sea, thanks to its size and gorgeous blue color. While the lake is beautiful by itself, there are more options to consider when exploring. National parks and pretty towns are spread along the lake shore, so you can find the perfect fit to satisfy your wanderlust.
Summer is the busiest time of the year, as the lake is a vacation spot. The season lasts from mid-June to the end of August, an excellent time for enjoying the beaches or witnessing the magnificent sunset on a boat.
The train ride takes 1 hour 45 minutes from Budapest to the Balatonkenese, the first town. You can explore it, or continue your train journey to the other cities.
Tata and Old Lake
Tata is an excellent option for those seeking a day trip from Budapest, and it takes less than an hour to get there. This city offers many tourist experiences, with the main one being the Old Lake. This lake is a natural habitat for different bird species, so bird watching is one of the things to do. The last week of November is their migration season, so you can witness many waterfowl. Here, you can also explore the picturesque Tata Castle. Tata has many lakes and mills, so strolling around is a stunning tourist experience.
If you are into hiking and exploring nature, Rám-szakadék is the perfect place for a day trip. You can get there in two hours by public transport or within one hour by driving. The beautiful waterfalls and volcano rocks create a stunning but challenging hiking trail. The valley spreading from the Ram Hill is a scenic part of this hike.
Hop in the metro and head to Gödöllő, a charming town on the city’s outskirts. The royal palace, dating back to the 18th century, is a gorgeous building, allowing you to explore history and feel like royalty for a day. It was home to the Queen of Hungary, Empress Sisi.
When appreciating the architecture, don’t forget to stop for lunch at the Smarni restaurant and enjoy the European food. Finish with a dessert at the Smarni ice cream parlor. If you happen to be there in December, you will witness the Christmas magic. The annual advent celebrations include impressive concerts, workshops, and puppet shows.
Located on the bank of the river, the Visegrád is a stunning castle town. If the weather is good, boating to this place provides a scenic view. If not, the train ride is just 40 minutes from Budapest. Get to Budapest Nyugati railway station and take the train to Nagymaros-Visegrád.
Sailing on the Danube River is an experience as you will enjoy the spectacular sight. On your journey, you will see the picturesque village of Vac. Also, there are some inhabited islands.
Seeing the Visegrád castle isn’t the only thing you’ll do there. Witness the performances, jousting tournament, and weapon gallery. Don’t forget to check out the Palinka Museum, as it provides a glimpse into the making of traditional Hungarian alcohol.