Spectacular and Stunning: Budapest at Night


The final stop on our Central EuroTrip was the Hungarian capital city of Budapest.

After an action-packed day and night in Bratislava, we awoke bright and early and boarded a train bound for Budapest. For nearly four hours, our train whizzed through the Slovakian countryside, past small towns and through communities, before finally arriving just after noon.

Maybe we were tired from our travels, but we were a bit lost on what to do upon arrival. We spent the first hour wandering aimlessly before deciding to press pause and grab some food and coffee. Once our caffeine needs were satiated we were able to make a plan.

In order to make the most of our short time in such a big city, we decided the best course of action was to take a hop on hop off tour. Not only would this give our feet a rest after several consecutive days of 20,000+ steps, but it would cover as much ground as possible – including a few steep climbs.

We decided on the Giraffe Hop On Hop Off tour specifically because it included a night-time cruise of the Danube. Over the next couple of days, I’ll be going into more detail about Budapest, what we saw, ate, did, etc., but first, let’s talk about the nighttime river cruise.


A night time river cruise was high on my travel bucket list for Budapest. It had been recommended by several people as a great way to get a different perspective on the city, and once I learned that each and every building was lit up, I was sold.

We boarded the ship around 6:45 PM, found our seats on the top deck, and as darkness enveloped the city we set off. For nearly an hour we floated on the Danube, slowly sailing past the city’s iconic sights, each of which was illuminated and glowing. It was a cold late-March night, but none of us cared; we were awestruck by the great, golden buildings that stood before us.

Budapest is stunning by day, but it is absolutely breathtaking by night.












PA-BudapestNight-6  PA-BudapestNight-4

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15 thoughts on “Spectacular and Stunning: Budapest at Night

  1. MummyTravels says:

    What gorgeous photos – the night boat tour looks amazing. I almost booked a weekend back to Budapest last year, as it’s so long since I’ve been (ended up choosing Ljubljana instead) and I keep seeing posts which make me think I really need to organise a trip.


    • Kate says:

      Thanks! It’s such a beautiful and interesting city, I’d definitely recommend a weekend! How was Ljubljana? I’m dying to visit Slovenia!


  2. Sally@Toddlers on Tour says:

    A night cruise, what a fantastic tourism idea. The city is just stunning lit up with all those golden hues.
    What type of camera are you using to get the shots? I currently have a point and shoot and need something that can get all these great images.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kate says:

      It was so beautiful! We use a Canon Rebel T3, it’s a good DSLR for beginners like us. We’ve been playing around with the settings and were so pleased the nighttime photos worked out!


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