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8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

Budapest is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and we will tell you the tourist traps to avoid in Budapest for your next trip.

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a beautiful city with a rich history and vibrant culture. However, like many popular tourist destinations, it has its share of tourist traps. Here are some common ones and tips on how to avoid them.

What Is The Cheapest Way From Budapest Airport To City Center?

The cheapest way from Budapest airport to city center is by Bus 100E for €2.40 and it will take around 50-60 minutes. Read here how to get from Budapest Airport to city center

Read here how to buy Hungary sim card for tourist and best traditional Hungarian breakfast

WHERE TO STAY IN BUDAPEST

Accommodation in Budapest you can access a dorm that can go up to €15. And while a hotel that is a double room in a budget can go up to €60.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION

BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE

Two of our favorite travel insurance: Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full comparison of Genki vs Safetywing Travel Insurance Review and the comparison Heymondo vs Genki

Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest

1. Váci Street (Váci utca)

    Trap: Váci Street is one of Budapest’s main shopping streets but is often crowded and filled with overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops.

    How to Avoid: Explore other shopping areas like Andrássy Avenue or visit local markets like the Great Market Hall for more authentic and reasonably priced goods​​.

    2. Chain Bridge Souvenir Stalls

    8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

      Trap: Souvenir stalls near the Chain Bridge often sell overpriced and low-quality items.

      How to Avoid: Buy souvenirs from local markets or smaller shops in less touristy neighborhoods like the Jewish Quarter or near Gellért Hill​​.

      3. Expensive Danube River Cruises

      8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

        Trap: Some river cruises on the Danube are overpriced and offer mediocre service and food.

        How to Avoid: Look for reputable companies with good reviews online or opt for a simple public transport boat ride for a fraction of the cost. Alternatively, enjoy the view from the many riverside spots or bridges.

        4. High-Priced Thermal Baths

        8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

          Trap: While the Széchenyi and Gellért Baths are famous, they can be crowded and expensive.

          How to Avoid: Visit less touristy baths like the Rudas or Lukács Baths, which offer a more local experience and often lower prices​​.

          5. Overpriced Restaurants in Tourist Areas

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            Trap: Restaurants in heavily tourist areas, especially near the Castle District and around Váci Street, can be overpriced and cater to tourists with lower quality food.

            How to Avoid: Eat where the locals do. Try dining in districts like the Jewish Quarter (District VII) or areas like Raday Street (District IX) for authentic and reasonably priced Hungarian cuisine​.

            Read here best Hungarian Food

            6. Taxi Scams

              Trap: Some taxi drivers overcharge tourists or take unnecessarily long routes.

              How to Avoid: Use reputable taxi companies like Főtaxi or book through apps like Bolt or Uber. Always check that the meter is running and ask for a receipt​​.

              7. Changing Money in Tourist Areas

                Trap: Currency exchange offices in tourist areas often offer poor rates and high fees.

                How to Avoid: Exchange money at banks or use ATMs to withdraw local currency. Always check the rates and fees before making a transaction​​.

                8. Ruin Pub Tourist Hubs

                  Trap: While ruin pubs are a must-see, places like Szimpla Kert can be overly crowded and touristy.

                  How to Avoid: Visit other ruin pubs like Instant-Fogas, Anker’t, or Mazel Tov, which offer a more relaxed atmosphere and are popular with locals​​.

                  General Tips to Avoid Tourist Traps

                  Research and Plan Ahead

                  Read recent reviews on travel websites and forums to get up-to-date information on places to avoid.

                  Ask Locals

                  Engage with locals for recommendations on where to eat, shop, and visit. They often know the best places that are not in guidebooks.

                  Walk and Explore

                  Wander off the beaten path. Many of Budapest’s hidden gems are found in less touristy neighborhoods.

                  Use Trusted Resources

                  Apps like TripAdvisor, Google Maps, and local blogs can provide reliable reviews and suggestions.

                  How To Avoid Tourist Traps in Budapest

                  1. Research and Plan Ahead

                    Why: Understanding common tourist traps and planning your itinerary can help you avoid overpriced and overcrowded spots.

                    How: Read recent reviews on travel websites like TripAdvisor and forums like Reddit for up-to-date information on what to avoid.

                    2. Stay Off the Beaten Path

                      Why: Tourist-heavy areas often have inflated prices and can be overcrowded.

                      How: Explore lesser-known neighborhoods like the Jewish Quarter (District VII) and the areas around Gellért Hill. Use resources like local blogs and travel guides for hidden gems.

                      3. Use Local Public Transportation

                      8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

                        Why: Taxis in tourist areas can be overpriced or engage in scams.

                        How: Utilize Budapest’s efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the metro. Consider purchasing a travel card for unlimited travel on public transit​.

                        4. Dine Where Locals Eat

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                          Why: Restaurants in tourist hotspots often serve lower quality food at higher prices.

                          How: Seek out dining spots frequented by locals. Try districts like Raday Street (District IX) for authentic Hungarian cuisine. Check local food blogs or ask locals for recommendations​​.

                          5. Avoid Overpriced Souvenir Shops

                            Why: Souvenir shops in tourist areas can be expensive and sell generic items.

                            How: Shop at local markets like the Great Market Hall or smaller shops in non-touristy areas for unique and reasonably priced souvenirs​​.

                            6. Beware of Currency Exchange Scams

                              Why: Exchange offices in tourist areas often offer poor rates and high fees.

                              How: Exchange money at banks or use ATMs to withdraw local currency. Always verify the rates and fees before making a transaction​.

                              7. Choose Reputable Tour Operators

                              8 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Budapest (Travel Guide) And How To Avoid Them

                                Why: Some tour operators may overcharge or provide subpar experiences.

                                How: Use reputable tour companies and read reviews beforehand. Websites like GetYourGuide and Viator offer vetted tours with customer reviews​.

                                8. Avoid Tourist-Focused Thermal Baths

                                  Why: Famous baths like Széchenyi and Gellért can be crowded and expensive.

                                  How: Visit less touristy baths such as Rudas or Lukács Baths, which are often less crowded and provide a more authentic experience​ ​.

                                  9. Seek Local Advice

                                    Why: Locals can provide the best tips for authentic experiences and hidden gems.

                                    How: Engage with locals for recommendations on where to eat, shop, and visit. They often know the best places that are not in guidebooks​​.

                                    10. Utilize Technology

                                      Why: Apps can provide real-time information and reviews.

                                      How: Use apps like Google Maps for local favorite spots, TripAdvisor for reviews, and Citymapper for public transportation navigation.

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