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GoWithGuideFind your perfect tour guide at GoWithGuide. Relax and cherish unforgettable tours with loved ones. Create personalized tours for a truly memorable trip!

Tourism In Budapest Statistics 2024: Your In Depth Guide

Courtney C.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Courtney C.

Last updated : Apr 12, 202446 min read

General

The Jewel on the Danube

Nestled along the graceful curves of the Danube River, Budapest emerges as a city that transcends mere splendor — it is the Jewel on the Danube. As you explore its wide streets and take in the colossal buildings that stand as testaments to its vast history, the sheer magnitude of Budapest unfolds before you. 

 

While a city is much more than its statistics, especially one as beautiful and grand as this, it’s incredibly fascinating to learn about the intricacies of the most visited cities in the world, and who knows, you might be inspired to hire a Budapest tour guide, and get your own adventure started!

 

 

Welcome To Budapest: Exploring Vital Statistics

Tourism plays a crucial role in Hungary’s economy, contributing 9.5% of the country’s workforce in 2019, however, due to the pandemic, the country saw a significant drop in tourist numbers, plummeting from 15.9 million in 2019 to 6.6 million in 2020.

 

So, how many tourists visit Budapest yearly? Tourism in Budapest experienced steady growth since 2009, reaching nearly 4 million accommodation stays in 2019, however, the pandemic led to a substantial decline to just over 700,000 in 2020. Encouragingly, tourism in Budapest saw a resurgence in 2022, with arrivals soaring to nearly 6.9 million!

 

Budapest, with a population of approximately 1.774 million, not only stands as the vibrant heart of Hungary, but it also makes up 17% of the nation's population. Divided by the Danube's gentle flow, Budapest is a city of dualities, composed of Buda and Pest, each contributing to the city's unique character. This year, Budapest invites travelers with open arms, having been crowned among Condé Nast Traveler's top destinations. Need to know why it’s so popular? Keep reading!

 

Travel tip: Interested in some different places to visit when you arrive? Be sure to read about 6 Hidden Gems and Unusual Places to Visit.

 

Cultural Mosaic: Diving Into Budapest's Metrics

Who visits Budapest the most? For foreign travelers to Hungary that also visited Budapest, Spanish and Portuguese nationals take the lead with 96.8% of travelers from Spain and Portugal  to Hungary also visiting Budapest, closely followed by…

 

  • Finland (95.8%) - Over 95% of Finnish travelers to Hungary also went to Budapest
  • Greece (94%) - Over 95% of travelers from Greece to Hungary also went to Budapest
  • Ireland (91.4%) - Over 95% of travelers from Ireland to Hungary also went to Budapest
  • Italy (88.8%) - Over 95% of travelers from Italy to Hungary also went to Budapest 

Budapest seems to be a popular settling point for international residents. In fact, of almost 100,000 residents in Budapest, about 5.8% are foreign nationals. It was found that these residents are from Germany, Romania, Slovakia, France, Italy, Poland, Spain and Ukraine. 

 

Understanding Budapest: Your Most Asked Questions 

 

  • Do they speak English in Budapest? - While 99% of Hungarians speak Hungarian, English is spoken fluently by only 16% of the population, with many speaking broken English. In Budapest, the English proficiency is a high 600 out of 700 for tourist areas. Looking to experience the city off the beaten path and bridge the language gap? Why not book a local private guide to give you a personalized tour and help you learn beyond the surface!

  • Why Do People Love Budapest? - Budapest boasts UNESCO World Heritage sites like Buda Castle and the Budapest History Museum. Venture into Pest, where St. Stephen's Basilica reaches towards the heavens and the lively Jewish Quarter houses the world's largest synagogue. The city has so much to see. 

 

Budapest Unleashed: What Makes Budapest So Special?

Why do tourists visit Budapest? Great question! There’s so much to do and see in this spectacular city, so your itinerary should begin with what aligns with your interests. Looking for stunning buildings, arts, culture, and nightlife? Well, Budapest has you covered, and we’ve listed some great locations to get you started.

 

Experiencing Budapest's Landmarks

 

·   Hungarian State Opera: Iconic neo-Renaissance building with marble sphinxes, 1,000-seat auditorium, and year-round classical music performances.

·   St. Stephen’s Basilica: Neo-Renaissance structure adorned with mosaics, frescoes, statues, and stained-glass.

·   Margaret Island: a 100-hectare recreational island with medicinal baths, 200-year-old trees, and a Water Tower providing a panoramic view of Budapest.

·   Parliament Building: Neo-Gothic marvel, the world's third-largest parliament with Renaissance and Baroque features; built with 40kg of 23-carat gold.

·   Buda Castle Funicular: UNESCO World Heritage Site offering panoramic views of the Danube, modeled after the one in Lyon.

·   Dohány Street Synagogue: Oriental atmosphere, twin towers visible from a distance, accommodating over 3,000 visitors.

·   Széchenyi Baths: Budapest's spa city with over 100 natural springs; Széchenyi Baths date back to 1930.

 

Festivals and Celebrations in Budapest

 

·   August Bath Parties at Sziget: Enjoy vibrant summer nights at Budapest's Sziget with lively bath parties in August.

·   Budapest Fireworks Show: Witness the spectacular Budapest Fireworks Show for a dazzling display over the cityscape.

·   Junibor Wine Festival: Savor the rich flavors of Hungarian wines at the Junibor Wine Festival in Budapest.

·   Budapest Summer Festival: Immerse yourself in the cultural delights of Budapest during the lively Budapest Summer Festival featuring concerts, musicals, ballet, and opera.

 

Unveiling Budapest’s Vibrant Nightlife

 

·   Summer brings Széchenyi spa parties and winter hosts bath parties at Lukács.

·   Enjoy affordable drinks in Budapest, but check prices beforehand. Club entry fees range from 1,000 to 2,000 HUF.

·   Experience a ruin bar crawl; consider booking an English-speaking tour guide.

·   Attend a night concert or folk show, such as Hungarian Folk Dance Performances nightly at 8pm during peak season.

·   Don't miss the Summer Festival on Margaret Island from June to August, featuring concerts, musicals, ballet, and opera.

  

Okay, after all that walking around, you’re bound to be hungry, so what food should you eat in Budapest?

 

Local Flavors: A Culinary Expedition Through Budapest Markets

What food is Budapest famous for? From fluffy Lángos to the famous Gulyás, our culinary expedition unveils the city's rich tapestry of flavors. Let’s go through what you need to try when you’re there!

 

Street Food:

·   Palacsinta: A paper-thin pancake with sweet or savory fillings.

·   Kolbász: a meat sausage.

 

Main Dishes:

·   Libamáj: Fattened goose liver.

·   Lecsó: A tomato stew.

 

Dessert:

·   Esterházy Torta: A nutty almond cake.

·   Krémes: A vanilla slice.

 

Travel Treat: Budapest’s Delicious Drinks

·   Tokaji Aszú: a sweet dessert wine.

·   Pálinka: a fruit brandy.

·   Craft beer: Made from breweries like Mad Scientist, Fehér Nyúl, MONYO, HORIZONT, Reketye, HopTop and First. 

 

Ready to indulge in the culinary wonders of Budapest? Let your taste buds dance with delight with everything the city has to offer! Book a food and drink tour to ensure you’re experiencing the best while in Budapest.

 

Metro Mobility: Navigating Budapest's Transportation Statistics

Did you know, 59% of Budapest's population uses public transport for commuting, while 29% drive and 11% prefer walking? 

 

Currently, there are no direct rail lines from the airport to Budapest, but two bus lines run every 20–30 minutes, taking 35–45 minutes. Additionally, an airport minibus operates on a first-come, first-served basis. So how should you get around when in Budapest?

 

In Budapest, the central districts (V, VI, parts of I, II, VII and VIII) offer easily walkable attractions. Public transport options like the metro, bus or tram are available for those who prefer it, with most attractions accessible via the four metro lines or major tram lines (4, 6 and 2).

 

Traveling from Pest to Buda is convenient with trams 47 and 49, while Tram 19 is recommended for sightseeing Buda, the Danube and famous attractions in Pest.

 

Budapest's transportation is cost-effective compared to many Western European cities. But to also streamline your travel experience, download the BudapestGo app for ticket purchase, travel cards and route planning. Remember to validate your ticket at the beginning of your journey!

 

Hopefully, you’ve now got plenty to add to your list of things to do in Budapest. Maybe a little too much? To make it easier for you, creating a tailor made itinerary with a local Budapest guide to enhance your exploration of Hungary’s capital city?

 

Exploring Buda & Pest’s Weather: When To Visit

Budapest experiences four distinct seasons, with harsh winters and hot summers. Rain is scattered throughout the year, with November having the highest 'wet days' at an average of 14°C. May and November see the greatest precipitation, measuring between 70mm to 72mm each month.

 

  • Winters in Budapest:

Winters can be piercing but are relatively short, occasionally with bright sunny days. Temperatures in December average 1ºC, dropping to a minimum of 2ºC. January is the coldest month, historically reaching lows of -23ºC! February sees frequent, light snowfall, creating a picturesque blanket, although it’s still very cold.

 

  • Summers in Budapest:

Summer temperatures from April to September provide about ten hours of daily sunshine. July and August attract the most visitors, with average temperatures of 21ºC, which makes it a beautiful time to visit. Climate change has led to more extreme summers, though, which have been continuing into September. June averages 19ºC, while July and August have recorded highs of 39ºC.

 

Travel Q&A: What is the busiest month in Budapest? August is Budapest’s busiest month, with the Grand Prix and Sziget festival occurring, plus the country’s biggest holiday — St Stephen’s Day — and the Budapest Festival of Folk Arts. Be sure to book flights, accommodation and event tickets well in advance!

 

  • Transition Seasons:

September maintains summer warmth, gradually decreasing to 16ºC in October and 8ºC in November. Early autumn is ideal for traveling to Budapest, with sunny days and fewer tourists. Spring, like autumn, is also great, with blooming trees, bright flowers and green grass. While March and early April can be unpredictable, late April and May offer pleasant weather.

 

  • Best Times to Visit:

Spring and autumn are considered the best times to visit Budapest due to enjoyable weather and fewer tourists. If you prefer more predictability, plan your spring vacation for the latter half of April and into May.

 

Navigating Budapest: Dos and Don'ts For A Seamless City Experience

So, you’re all set for your fantastical trip, but is there anything else you should know before you go?

 

 

·   Do Buy Hungarian Forint at small exchange stores in the city, they often have better prices.

·   Do learn a few Hungarian words, like hello, thank you, sorry, yes and no.

·   Do always check the prices on the bill before paying.

·   Do drink Pálinka, a strong alcohol made from ripe fruits, like apricot, pear, plum and cherry.

 

·   Don’t fall victim to overcharging, pickpockets, physical intimidation or scams.

·   Don’t let helpful taxi drivers or local women lure you to establishments they recommend. They generally receive a commission.

·   Don’t rely on tourist buses to see all the touristy landmarks — consider a private tour instead.

·   Don’t forget to validate your public transport ticket! Ticket inspectors are dressed in everyday clothes.

 

Staying Safe: The Budapest Edition 

When it comes to staying safe in Budapest, it’s not that difficult. In fact, Budapest has a safety ranking of 65.6 out of 100, beating cities like Brighton and Bristol in the UK, and Florence, Italy. The overall crime index is a low 34.41 out of 100, and a high ranking of 61.9 for walking around at night. With that said, Budapest isn’t crime free, so these pointers should help you stay safe. 

 

  • Where should you avoid staying in Budapest? When planning your trip to Budapest, consider avoiding accommodation in Hős Street, the 8th district, the 5th district and the party district around 6th and 7th districts.

  • Special note: Budapest Nightlife - Avoid night spots like Fontana Club, Mamba Club and Nirvana; especially steer clear of nightclubs in Váci utca, but see a detailed blacklist here.

Conclusion

Alright, if by now, you’re sold on visiting this spectacular city of Budapest, it’s time to take the next step! 

 

There are a range of different Budapest tour guides offering you a unique experience on your travels, so be sure to check them out!

Budapest Tour Guide - Tiberiu C.

Tiberiu C.

Hungary

Szia! Hi! Hallo! Ceau! My name is Tiberiu(s), or Tibi for short, and I am an IT Service Manager who found his passion in tour guiding over 5 years ago. With late-afternoon and weekend availability (full time as of June), I am more than excited to take you on a mini-journey, including not only the main attractions of the city, but also the lesser-known ones including some tastings. I am also more than happy to adapt the tours to your needs and we may even go outside of the city, if you'd like to, since I own a car. I am also available for one or the other daytrip in or outside of Budapest, just let me know about 1-2 weeks in advance, so I can plan my schedule accordingly. Before booking though, please contact me online in advance, just to make sure. "In the end... we only regret the chances we didn't take" (Lewis Caroll) I want to make memories for people from all over the world! And most important of all, I like to give them an actual taste of our city. You just can't visit Hungary and not try some of our traditional foods (not for veggies or vegans though). Hope to meet you soon and "Viszlát", as we say in Hungarian!                                                                                                                                 

Zala Tour Guide - Viktor K.

Viktor K.

Hungary

The two biggest problems in my life are, that I was born too soon to become a space-cowboy and too late to become a roman legionary soldier. Since Tour guiding was the closest profession to both of these above mentioned things, I became one. Although I finished the university as a communications expert and journalist in Hungary, it seems they did not prefer my honesty, so I didn't have too many prospects in that field. Without a clue of what to do next, I embarked on a journey to find some answers. I soon found my ambition in Tour-guiding and ended up working on a cruise ship, then as a freelancer tour-guide, and then as an adventure tour-guide in Norway. I've been working in the tourism industry since 2012 and ever since, it''was my dream to create an authentic company of my own and to show the beautiful things of my home country. My travels took me to more then 40+ countries. [And I still have both of my kidneys] Sadly during my journeys, I have discovered that out of 100 companies 99 are simply tourist traps, who scam their customers with some fake "experience". But I also saw, that the authentic and quality tour operators are the longest lasting companies with 20+ years. I aspire to become like that 1 in 100 companies. I believe in win-win situations. I'm a social guy. I like to be around people and to show them around. I like to have deep and honest conversations about things and I love to meet some truly amazing guests. There is nothing that you cannot talk about with me. I like this job so much, that I would even do this job for free, but since I cannot buy food with respect, love, or honesty, I do need something more tangible. Anyways…why are you wasting your time reading about me? Go book a tour and we will have all the time in the world to get to know each other and this beautiful Country.                                                                                                                                 

Budapest Tour Guide - George rashad S.

George rashad S.

Hungary

Dear Visitors! I am happy to welcome You on my page! I am a historian and a licensed tour guide in Hungary. As a tour guide my main goal is to get the most of the dear visitor's time, during their visit in the most convenient way possible. That is why my tours are personalized with flexible departure times and routes. I'm fond of history and I am fascinated by the various cultures. I graduated as a historian. Being a tour guide, I found what I was looking for. It is a great feeling, when I can present the values of Hungary, share interesting stories and information to visitors who long to see and know more, while I also constantly expand my skills and get to know new people. For me, the real success is the joy and satisfaction of my guests. I work in the field of tourism for more than 10 years. My historic and cultural tours embrace the most beautiful and the most important attractions of Budapest, which treasure and revive the history of Hungary. The walking tours provide an exquisite opportunity to immerse you in the urban maelstrom, gain insight into people's everyday lives, try out the developed public transport network of Budapest, including Europe's second oldest tram. In case you would rather sit back and enjoy the sightseeing in comfort, you can choose one of my driving tours. I wish you wonderful time in Hungary! Best regards, George                                                                                                                                 

Budapest Tour Guide - Ágota B.

Ágota B.

Hungary

Hello, Join me for a tour and look at sights through my eyes and explore with a local. I live in Budapest and have been working as a licenced local guide for about 10 years. I have a University educational background, I did my studies in Hungary and then worked as an intern in the United States for a year and a half. Hungary is a tiny little country but it has got several attractive cities, towns and natural wonders. Besides Budapest, I really like to work around Lake Balaton, in the Danube bend including Szentendre. I have had tourists almost from all over the world so far. Come with me and discover the secrets and beauties of Budapest during a four- hour sightseeing tour. Taking in all of the principal sights, my fascinating route takes you through the most famous and interesting parts of the city. In my spare time I like doing sports like cycling, skiing, hiking and I regulary take part in sailing compatitions. So if you are tired of walking and looking for challenges there is another option to explore the city by bike with the help of the public bike sharing system called Bubi.                                                                                                                                  

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