Cruising along the beautiful Danube River in Budapest, Hungary
Updated: Apr 15
This wasn’t initially on our list but I’m so glad we did it! After visiting the various attractions alongside both banks in the day, we hopped onto an evening cruise to rest our feet, and were pleasantly surprised by the marvellous sight of Budapest Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, the beautiful bridges, and the most spectacular of it all - the Hungarian Parliament House.
The Danube River is the second-largest river in Europe and spans a total distance of close to 3,000 kilometres, crossing 10 countries from Donaueschingen to the Black Sea. In Budapest, the Danube River beautifully separates the Hungarian Capital into Buda and Pest. Buda’s the fancier and more affluent side, where you’ll find wide, clean streets with quaint buildings. Pest is a bit more vibrant and happening, where the streets are peppered with a plethora of retail outlets and restaurants.
When visiting Budapest, it is a must to visit both regions but the best way to see it all is possibly, in the MIDDLE! That is, cruising along the Danube River.
Where to get admission tickets to the Danube River Cruises?
There are numerous operators that offer the River Cruise at various time of the day. Cruising in the day grants you spectacular pictures of the sites on both banks but if you are visiting Budapest with your significant other or loved ones, the evening cruise elevates the entire experience to an extremely romantic one. #honeymooners you know what to do, or perhaps having an unforgettable #proposal? ;)
For the evening cruise there's also the option of having dinner on board. The Danube River Dinner Cruise is a 2.5 hour cruise with a 4-course meal, including a welcome champagne (or lemonade)! It is rather pricey but especially if you are celebrating an occasion, this is definitely a great idea!
You can purchase your tickets in advance online in the various links we've included or just head to the river bank (right in front of Budapest Marriott Hotel), select your tour operator and cruise away! We'd suggest booking your cruise in advance as they do get crowded and you may not be able to get the timeslot of your choice! =/
Pro Tip: For those who have already gotten themselves the Budapest City Card that offers you unlimited transportation all over Budapest for 24/48/72/96/120 hours, you'll be glad to know that you'll get an additional 20% off your tickets should you grab the Danube River Cruise by Legenda!
Budapest, kikötő, es, Jane Haining rkp. 7, 1052 Hungary
Nearest metro: Vörösmarty tér
Our experience on the Evening Danube River Cruise
We excitedly decided to go for the evening cruise on our first day in Budapest, Hungary. There was an extremely long line for the cruise and because there were just too many cruise operators, it was quite confusing as to which line we should be joining. However, should you be picking the more expensive cruises, there will be a dedicated and more private line. ;)
Since we wanted more bang for buck and didn't want to wait, we just went with whichever tour operator that was reasonably priced and had a departure time close to the time where we were purchasing the tickets. We saw a line forming at the dock and joined in a random queue. We didn't get tickets yet and was quite worried if we could even board the cruise ship initially. Fortunately, we were able to pay for our tickets right before we got up the cruise ship. We even managed to get a good seat in the covered section of the ship.
If you are heading for the public and mass-market Danube Cruises like us, do sit in the covered section first. Especially if you are there in the wintery months, the nights are long and cold! We sat in the warmth of the ship before heading up to the deck to marvel at the amazing night view of Budapest a while after the cruise ship departed!
Each cruise also comes with headsets in which you could plug in and listen to the audio guide. There are various languages available and you can listen to the history and interesting facts of all the sights that the cruise will pass as you ride along the river.
Our cruise operator also had a mini-bar on deck and you could grab a beer, drinks, and some snacks as you cruise along the Danube.
The entire close to an hour long cruise was simply amazing and stunning... I would go for the cruise again if I ever visit Budapest once more! The next time perhaps trying the Danube River Dinner Cruise!
Have you been on a Danube River Cruise? Share with us your experiences!