Budapest Card 2015

by

Is it worth buying the 2015 Budapest Card? The discount offers and free entries & tours of Budapest Cards change every year. How much can you save by using the official tourist card and travel pass of Budapest is dependent on what things you like to do during your Budapest visit.

Free Public Transport with Budapest Card

Budapest Liberty Bridge Streetcar

Budapest Liberty Bridge Streetcar / Edgar Barany Photo

Undoubtedly the best part of the Budapest Card that it includes a free Budapest travel pass for all zones in Budapest, in the inner and outer districts within the city boundaries.

You can jump on as many metro lines, buses, streetcars, trolleys, as you wish. Even use the cogwheel and suburban train for free, or the train to and from the airport in Budapest.

But the Funicular on the Buda Castle Hill is extra, you cannot use your card on the Funicular (Budavari Siklo), or the Chairlift in the Buda Hills.

Lukacs Baths Free with Budapest Card

Lukacs Baths is a 19th century classical palace, with various thermal pools indoor and outdoor.

The baths is most popular among locals who love it for its fantastic hot spring tubs and pools, and for its relaxed atmosphere.

Lukacs Baths Budapest

Lukacs Baths Budapest

Very few tourists get here, as the more popular and consequently more touristy Budapest baths are Szechenyi Baths and Gellert Spa, without a doubt.

The free entry is a good value for those who want to see a local thermal bath and stay away from the crowds of tourists. The building is far from being as pretty as either Szechenyi Bath palace of the Art Nouveau wonders of Gellert Spa. If you are a first timer visitor in Budapest and only see Lukacs Baths, you will miss out on two great thermal baths.

To put it bluntly, staying in a 3 star hotel and a 5 star hotel can be worlds apart. But, if you have already been to Szechenyi Bath and Gellert Bath, or Rudas & Kiraly Baths, it may be a nice Budapest secret gem to explore.

Free Walking Tours with Budapest Card

Parliament Budapest Walking Tour

Parliament Building /Robert Marse Photo

You can get two free walking tours of 2.5 hours in Budapest: the walking tour on the Buda side will show the Buda Castle Hill attractions and things to do, while the walking tour on the Pest side will guide you through the inner city center attractions, the Hungarian Parliament building, St Stephen Basilica, Vaci Street, the Great Market Hall, the Dohany Street Synagogue. The entries to the attractions are not included though (you need to have tickets to visit the Parliament or the Synagogue).

Free Entry to Buda Castle with Budapest Card

Buda Castle Budapest with Budapest Card

Buda Castle Budapest /Azwegers Photo

The Royal Palace of Budapest, more known as the Buda Castle is currently the home of the Budapest History Museum, and the century old exhibits of Hungarian fine arts in the Hungarian National Gallery. Both are an excellent choice for tourists who love cultural things to do and arts exhibitions. However, if you are bored by museums, you can walk into the courtyards of the Buda Castle free of charge to enjoy the views and the royal courts with beautiful statues, fountains, medieval ruins. In short, the Budapest Card discount in the Buda Castle is useful for curious visitors who love cultural tourist attractions, but does not give an extra to tourists who would rather skip historical and art exhibits. Note: if there is a weekend festival in the Buda Castle, you cannot visit the Castle with your Budapest Card only with a festival ticket, which includes free entries to the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.

Museum of Fine Arts Free with Budapest Card

Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

Museum of Fine Arts /Laura Marie Photo

Free entry to the Museum of Fine Arts, the richest and most expensive collection of fine arts in Hungary, featuring many international artists (Degas, Goya, etc.) If you love classical fine art exhibitions, you will make good use of your Budapest Card free ticket to the permanent exhibitions.

The temporary art exhibitions can be very exciting, world class exhibits (Van Gogh, Dali, etc.) but unfortunately the Budapest Card can only give you free entry to the permanent exhibits. The Museum is on Heroes’ Square in Budapest at the Hungarian Millennium Monument.

National Museum Free with Budapest Card

Free entry to the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest: the comprehensive history of Hungarians with amazing objects, dresses, tools and other exhibits (medieval furniture, Communist flags, etc.). The National Museum is most appealing to tourists who love historical attractions. One of the Hungarian Crown Symbols is also on exhibit, the Coronation Robe (the rest of the Crown Jewels is in the Hungarian Parliament, while their copies are on display in the Matthias Church).