At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget

Tripoto
23rd Aug 2017
Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

You don’t need to travel all the way to Hungary to tell somebody that Budapest is, in fact, one of the most cheapest places in Europe. Just Google and a dozen stories will pop up speaking of its affordability. Where a story on Guardian would tell you that Budapest is the cheapest destination in Europe to buy alcoholic drinks, a niche travel blog would rather suggest a detailed Budapest travel guide and tips on how to travel there on a budget. And given the country’s poor currency value, the idea of visiting Budapest looks even more lucrative. Where a Euro gives you poor conversion rates and thus bringing the cost of travel unbearably high before you even land on the continent, Hungarian Forentz (HUF) makes things hopeful.

As an Indian currency holder, it felt amazingly good when I was received more than 4 HUF against an Indian Rupee. It kind of (almost) absorbed the shock of losing 70 Rupees for a Euro.

Photo of Hungary by Footloose Dev

Budapest was amazingly cheaper to stay, if compared to the two closest capitals Vienna and Bratislava and even the other capitals nearby. A 6 or 8 bed dormitory in Budapest cost just as much as it does in Southeast Asia. Despite a very favored location, the place I was staying at, called Avenue Hostel charged only 6 Euros per night, including free breakfast. But if you can stay a little outside of the main center, you can find something more cheaper — say 4 or 5 Euros per night.

Consider paying nearly double for everything for a similar experience in Vienna or Bratislava. Or perhaps three or four times more if visiting Zurich, or somewhere else in Switzerland.

Photo of Budapest, Hungary by Footloose Dev

Cost of Transportation

Budapest has cheaper public transportation too, if you compare it with other touristy places on its west. For 1500 HUF (less than 5 Euros) you get a day ticket that allows you an unlimited use of public transport for 24 hours on all city buses, trams and metros. Now compare it with a single 10 minute train journey in Zurich that can cost nearly 7 Euros. Though I understand Budapest stands nowhere near Zurich in terms of prices and costs, I’d still like to give an idea about how brutal prices in Europe can be. And how much of a bargain can Budapest be.

Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

Beer

Beer in Budapest is so cheap that it felt cheaper than buying a beer here than in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Cambodia. A pint of lager in Budapest in a cheap supermarket can cost as low as 200 HUF (or 50 Cent Euro). And if you wish to hit a pub, that’s not a very costly affair either. Ruin pubs in Budapest offer cheap beers and a lively locale backpackers. They moreover offer unique atmosphere that are very rare to find anywhere else in the world.

Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

Food

If you can rely on supermarkets, can cook most of your meals in a day (or process cheap supermarket food) expect not more than spending 4 Euros a day. If you’ll be eating outside expect your food costs to be somewhere near 6 or 7 Euro a day.

Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

How Much Did I Spend In Budapest In 7 Days

In my 7 days of stay in Budapest, I spent no more than 100 euros, that included my stay, eating out one or twice a day, free public transport using day passes throughout my stay and even attending a couple of night events (pub crawls!).

And speaking of how much did I spend in a day, let’s divide the costs per day, per activity basis.

Accommodation: 6 Euros (please note that you can stay in hostels costing 4 Euros a day and save a couple of Euros more, cheap accommodation is everywhere in Budapest)

Transportation: 5 Euros

Food & Beer: 5 Euros

Total = 16 Euros PER DAY!

Please note that this is only a rough estimation of costs. You may end up spending more (or even less) depending upon your spending habits.

Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

A Few Practical Tips

Divided by the ever blissful Dunabe river, there are two nearly equal parts of Budapest: Buda and Pest. Buda is more local and serves as a residential colony for the local people. Whereas Pest is the tourism highlight. It is in Pest where most backpackers hostels and tourist attractions like the St Stephen’s Basilica, Old street Market Hall, and the Parliament.

Make Pest as your base, find a hostel near the city center if you want quick transportation options, or a few kilometer away from it, to find a comparatively cheaper option.

Those staying in Budapest for only a few days and wanting to shop and explore all the tourist highlights, on a fast track, should consider investing in a Budapest Card available for 48 and 72 hours. It gives free (or a discounted) entry to many attractions/museums, unlimited free travel on public transport, and even a couple of free guided walking tours.

It is possible to reach Budapest form Ljubljana or Vienna or Prague in under 20 Euros by taking the bus service called Flixbus that offer some of the cheapest transportation options and travel-cards for backpackers.

Hungary’s official currency is Forentz which usually gives nearly 300 Forentz against 1 Euro. It is very unlikely to find some Forentz in your country, rather buy Euros and change them once you reach Hungary. If you’re landing in Budapest airport, be advised that the airport doesn’t give the best conversion rates in town, so change only a few Euros and take the public transport to the city center. You will find enough agents converting Euros into Forentz for a good price.

Photo of At ₹1,000 Per Day, This Guide Tells You How To Do Budapest Within A Backpacker's Budget by Footloose Dev

Visa

Since Hungary is a part of Schengen territory, Indians needs Schengen Visa to travel to Budapest. A short term single entry tourist visa costs 60 EUR on top of additional costs by vfs. The maximum time period you’re entitled to visit Schengen territory, on a short term tourist visa is a maximum of three months, but is often offered only for the duration of period you’re intending to travel (or provide travel proof for). It may take as long as a month to get the visa after the application was submitted, so plan well in advance. For Indian Passport Holders, Schengen Visa is one of the toughest visas to obtain.

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