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Complete Guide on Danube River Cruises in Budapest

The Danube River Cruise in Budapest is a popular river tour that offers visitors an unparalleled perspective of Hungary’s capital city.

Since the river divides Budapest into two parts – Buda and Pest- it provides stunning views of both when you cruise along.

Tourists can see major landmarks like the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and the Chain Bridge, all beautifully lit at night or striking against the skyline during the day.

There are many Danube River Cruises to choose from – daytime cruises, evening cruises, drinks and dinner cruises, rides with performances, etc.

This article covers everything you must know before booking river cruise in Budapest.

Insider Tip: The Danube River Cruise is one of Budapest’s most popular attractions, especially during peak tourist seasons (spring through fall) and around holidays. Cruises can fill up quickly, so booking in advance ensures you get a spot on the day and time that best suits your itinerary.

Cost of Danube River Cruises

The cost of Danube River cruises in Budapest can vary widely depending on several factors including the type of cruise, duration, amenities offered, and time of day.

The City Highlights Cruise with Welcome Drink is priced at HUF 3,845 (€10) for all guests.

The Evening Sightseeing Cruise with Unlimited Prosecco costs HUF 9,779 (€25) for all guests four years and above.

Evening Sightseeing Cruise on the Danube

A boat glides past Budapest monuments
Image: Christinascucina.com

These evening sightseeing boats usually commence their journeys after 6 pm, allowing you to enjoy Budapest’s scenery leisurely as you glide along the River Danube.

As you sail down the river, you can admire sights like the National Parliament, Buda Castle, and the recently renovated Várkert Bazár.

You can grab your seasonal cocktail and go up to the open deck for perfect views of the floodlit monuments between the Margaret and the Rákóczi bridges.

The boat can take along 70 tourists. 

Departure: DOCK 42, Northside, Budapest. (Google Maps)

Cancellation: Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the trip starts

General Ticket (all ages): HUF 3,845 (€10)

Evening Cruise on Danube + champagne or beer

During this 1-hour evening sightseeing cruise on the legendary blue Danube, you will sail between the Buda and Pest sides of the city.

These evening cruises start at 4.30 pm and carry on till 9 pm.

You will sail past the Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, Elisabeth Bridge, circle Margaret Island, and more.

Along the way, you can sip champagne, wine, beer, soft drink, or mineral water.

Recorded audio commentary gives you exciting insights and details about the twinkling Hungarian capital in over 20 languages.

Departure: Dock 7, Jane Haining rakpart, Budapest (Google Map)

Ticket price

Adult ticket (15+ years): HUF 8,281 (€21)
Youth ticket (10 to 14 years): HUF 4,338 (€11)
Child ticket (up to 9 years): Free entry

Daytime Sightseeing Cruise

Man clicks a photo during day time cruise in Budapest
Image: Legenda.hu

This trip is a 70-minute cruise on which you can enjoy panoramic views of Budapest’s landmarks, monuments, and the city itself, bathed in sparkling daylight.

These evening cruises start at 11 am and carry on till 3.30 pm.

You also get a drink of choice – champagne, wine, beer, a soft drink, or mineral water.

Recorded audio commentary gives you exciting insights and details about the twinkling Hungarian capital in over 20 languages.

Departure: Dock 7, Jane Haining rakpart, 1052 Budapest (Google Map)

Cancellation: Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the trip starts

Ticket price

Adult ticket (15+ years): HUF 5,915 (€15)
Youth ticket (10 to 14 years): HUF 3,940 (€10)
Child ticket (less than 9 years): Free entry

Daytime or nighttime?
A daytime cruise is better if you want to see the city’s landmarks. A nighttime cruise would be preferable if you’re looking for a more intimate, romantic experience. Day cruises are more family-oriented and accessible for all ages, while night cruises cater more to couples or adults seeking a romantic setting.

Brunch Cruise on the Danube River

Brunch on River Danube
Image: Tripadvisor.com

During this 2.5-hour cruise, you admire Budapest and its architecture from the water, even as you enjoy a royal four-course unlimited brunch. 

This cruise starts at 10.30 am daily and touches Budapest’s two historical sides, Buda and Pest.

Admire UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the banks of the Danube while feasting on a delicious spread.

You also have the option to add unlimited Prosecco to your feast.

The four menus offered onboard are Gluten Free, Lactose-free, Vegetarian, and Non-Vegetarian. You also get a glass of wine/beer/juice.

Departure: Gróf Széchényi Ship (Academia 3 dock), Antall József quay 18., 1051 Budapest (Google Map)

Ticket cost (Without unlimited Prosecco)

Adult Ticket (13+ years): HUF 21,300 (€54)
Student ticket (with valid ID): HUF 19,325 (€49)
Child Ticket (6-12 years): HUF 13,015 (€33)
Infants (up to 5 years): Free Entry

Ticket cost (with Unlimited Prosecco)

General ticket (18+ years): HUF 33,130 (€84)
Student ticket (with valid ID): HUF 31,160 (€79)


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Danube dinner cruises in Budapest

Dinner cruises on the River Danube offer a unique way to see the stunning cityscapes of Budapest.

As you glide along the river, you enjoy a meal while passing by famous landmarks beautifully lit at night.

These cruises combine dining, sightseeing, and entertainment, making them a must-do for tourists seeking a memorable experience.

We list three of the most popular dinner cruises on the Danube.

Candlelit Dinner Cruise on The Danube

Dinner cruise on river Danube
Image: Legenda.hu

This two-and-a-half-hour cruise starts from Central Budapest at 7 pm. 

On this Danube River cruise, you enjoy a 4-course candlelight dinner as you listen to live music while admiring the twinkling Danube River bank in night-time Budapest.

A host and catering staff will be present to assist you onboard.

You can also choose between a glass of champagne, wine, beer, soft drink, or mineral water.

Departure: Dock 7, Jane Haining rakpart, 1052 Budapest (Google Map)

Ticket price

Adult ticket (13+ years): HUF 33,525 (€85)
Child ticket (3 to 12 years): (HUF 25,635) (€65)

Dinner Cruise and Piano Battle Show

Lady sips champagne during cruise on Danube
Image: Silver-line.hu

This enchanting evening cruise along the Danube River includes a 4- and 7-course dinner menu and an entertaining piano battle show. 

The two pianists on the restaurant boat participate in a unique piano battle show as the hostess provides commentary about the melodies they play. 

This cruise starts at 7.30 pm and lasts for three hours.

You also have the option to supplement your 4-course dinner with a table by the window.

The drinks package consists of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options.

Departure: Dock 11, Jane Haining rakpart, 1052 Budapest (Google Map)

Cost of 4-course dinner

General ticket (4+ years): €91 (Ft 35,880)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry

Cost of a 4-course dinner with a window table

General ticket (4+ years): HUF 43,770 (€111)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry

Cost of 7-course dinner

General ticket (4+ years): HUF 42,190 (€107)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry

Dinner Cruise with Operetta and Folk Show

Folk artists on Budapest boat cruise
Image: Silver-line.hu

This Daube Dinner cruise combines the fantastic sights of Budapest, a yummy 4- or 7-course dinner, and a live gypsy folk show. 

It starts at 7.30 pm, and you return to the shore at 10.30 pm. 

The onboard chef handles vegetarian dishes and special dietary requirements if requested. 

You also have the option to supplement your 3-course dinner with a drinks package.

The drinks package consists of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options.

Departure: Budapest River Cruises, dock, next to the Elizabeth Bridge on the Pest side. (Google Maps)

Cost of 4-course dinner

General ticket (4+ years): HUF 35,880 (€91)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry

Cost of a 4-course dinner with a window table

General ticket (4+ years): HUF 43,770 (€111)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry

Cost of 7-course dinner

General ticket (4+ years): HUF 42,190 (€107)
Infant ticket (up to 3 years): Free Entry


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Danube Cruise with Live Music & Drinks

Lady listens to live music on a cruise
Image: Tripadvisor.com

Many tourists prefer to listen to music in peace even as they enjoy the gorgeous visuals of the Hungarian capital.

These cruises set sail at 7 pm and last for two hours.

While booking this cruise, you can supplement your sail with your choice of drink.

The options include:

  • A glass of soft drink.
  • A selection of craft beers.
  • A glass of Tokaji Wines.
  • 80 ml wine tasting of seven different types.
  • An open bar.

Departure: Széchényi boat, Antall József quay 18, 1051 Budapest. (Google Maps)

Cruise with Tokaji

General ticket (6+ years): HUF 11,460 (€29)
Student (6+ years, with ID): HUF 10,266 (€26)
Senior ticket (65+ years): HUF 10,266 (€26)
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free Entry

Cruise with Cocktails

General ticket (6+ years): HUF 14,615 (€37)
Student (6+ years, with ID): HUF 13,820 (€35)
Senior ticket (65+ years): HUF 13,820 (€35)
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free Entry

Cruise with bottomless Prosecco

General ticket (6+ years): HUF 20,550 (€52)
Student (6+ years, with ID): HUF 18,970 (€48)
Senior ticket (65+ years): HUF 18,970 (€48)
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free Entry

Cruise with Open Bar

General ticket (6+ years): HUF 25,725 (€65)
Student (6+ years, with ID): HUF 23,350 (€59)
Senior ticket (65+ years): HUF 23,350 (€59)
Infant ticket (up to 5 years): Free Entry


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Route of sightseeing cruise on the Danube

The Danube River offers a picturesque cruise route that showcases some of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

Here’s a typical route that a Danube river cruise might take –

Route of Danube River Cruise in Budapest
Image: Dunacruises.com

Sightseeing Cruise or Dinner Cruise

A sightseeing cruise might be better if your main goal is to see and learn about Budapest’s landmarks.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive experience that includes dining and entertainment against the backdrop of the city at night, a dinner cruise would be more suitable.

Sightseeing Cruise Dinner Cruise
Exploring the city Can only see lit-up landmarks at night Can only see lit up landmarks at night
Flexibility All through the day Few time slots available
Duration 60 to 90 minutes Two to three hours
Cost Cheaper – €12.50 approximately Expensive – €85 approximately
Intimacy Crowded & less personal Romantic & relaxed ambience
Culture No activity Includes shows & performances

Cruise timings

Daytime cruises on the Danube River typically start at 10.30 am, with the final departure at 3.30 pm.

Evening cruises commence around 4.30 pm, concluding with the last cruise at 9 pm.

Danube brunch cruises begin at 11.30 am for those interested in a midday meal.

Meanwhile, dinner cruises along the Danube usually set sail between 7 and 7.30 pm.

Best time to take the Danube River Cruise

The best time for a Danube River cruise in Budapest is during the fall, specifically in September and October.

This period offers pleasant weather, fewer tourists, and stable river levels, enhancing the overall experience.

From April to December, Budapest’s breathtaking views from the Danube attract thousands of tourists.

From January through early March, the temperatures along the Danube drop significantly, making it a less favorable time for cruising.

Despite the colder weather, Christmas remains a popular time for a Danube cruise.

The enchanting Christmas markets along the riverbanks create a festive and magical atmosphere, drawing many to the experience.

How long does the cruise take

Most Danube River cruises last either 60 or 90 minutes.

However, if your cruise includes additional activities such as dinner, music, or folk performances, the duration can extend to about 3 hours.

FAQs about river cruises in Budapest

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the Danube River Cruise in Budapest:

What is the Danube River, and where does it flow?

The Danube River is one of Europe’s major rivers, passing through several European nations, including Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania, eventually emptying into the Black Sea

Are river cruise tickets timed?

The sightseeing cruises on the Danube River don’t sell timed tickets. Once you have a ticket for the day, you can hop onto a boat at any time during the day. However, the dinner cruise boats have a set sailing time, which you must choose when booking your tickets.

When should I reach the departure port for my dinner cruise on the Danube?

It is best to reach the departure point at least 15-20 minutes before departure.

Are Danube River cruises suitable for families with children?

Many family-friendly Danube River cruises in Budapest often include kid-friendly activities. It’s wise to check with the cruise operator beforehand, as some voyages may have age limits.

Where do the sightseeing cruises on the Danube River go?

The Danube river cruises in Budapest sail between the Buda and the Pest regions, and get back to the Dock from where you started.

Is the Danube River disability friendly?

Unfortunately, most of the Danube River cruises cannot accommodate people with mobility issues.

However, a few cruises are wheelchair accessible, and you should check the tour’s booking page for more information.

Can I go on a Danube River Cruise in winter?

From late November to December, the Christmas fever grips, and Danube cruises continue despite the cold. However, in the slow months of January, February, and early March, most cruise operators take away their boats for repair and maintenance, leaving visitors with fewer options.

Does the Danube River Cruise make you seasick?

River cruise boats don’t rock and sway like the boats in the ocean. If you’re still concerned, you can pack Dramamine or OTC seasickness medications as a precaution.

Sources

# Budapestrivercruise.com
# Budapest-river-cruises.com
# Silver-line.hu
# Tripadvisor.in

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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