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Travel Packing Guide to Budapest

Useful tips when visiting Budapest, Hungary


Budapest radiates with folksy traditions, spicy food and romantic architecture, even offering a few surprises for which you'll want to be prepared and perhaps you won’t find on the typical travel tours. To save you the trouble, we have prepared a short list of travel packing tips which you can use along with the top security tips when in Budapest, to make your stay more comfortable. So book your airport shuttle in advance and enjoy the ride.

Choose your luggage wisely

Depending on your style of travel, you can choose a small suitcase or a backpack. If you plan to accommodate in Budapest or visit few surrounding destinations, consider sparing your back and leave your luggage in your hostel or hotel. If you're aiming for more of an adventurous type of experience, take a backpack and prepare to travel light.

Travel Packing Guide to Budapest


In general, Budapest is very cold in the winter and hotter than many places in Europe during the summer, so have in mind to pack well for the season ahead. Always pack long sleeves, a light sweater and a heavy jacket in the winter for layering. However, in the summer, you will need only lightweight cotton shorts, t-shirts, skirts and long pants. If you plan on visiting the local churches, note that they have a conservative dress code. The best way is to travel light with undergarments, since you can always wash them during your trip.

Below, we provided few separate travel clothing tips for women and men:

1. Tips for women

  • Casual clothes work best for sightseeing.
  • Add a piece of smart outfit (a smart dress, or pants and shirt) for more formal occasions or a restaurant visit.
  • Pack a pashmina, since it can dress up any outfit.
  • Add a few smart pieces of costume jewelry, since they can upgrade any outfit.
  • A swimsuit.

2. Tips for men

  • Jeans, shorts, t-shirts and shirts would work just fine.
  • Travel jacket with multiple pockets is always a smart choice.
  • Pack one smart jacket if you plan on visiting a fine dining restaurant.
  • A swimsuit.

Packing for the season is the smartest option

If you travel during May, June and November, do note that rains are highly possible so pack a lightweight raincoat or a small travel umbrella.
If you travel during December, January and February, pack very warm layers, a winter coat, pair of gloves, warm hat and scarf and waterproof warm boots.
It is windy cold during the winter, so take good care of your skin with plenty of lip balm and appropriate skin lotion.

Again, swimwear

Winters in Budapest can be dark and pretty cold, so you would want to participate in the unique Hungarian bathing experience, in one of the many thermal baths around the city. Hence, pack your swimsuit, even if you can't imagine yourself dipping in the harsh winter. The same goes for summer, when you can choose between a trip to the thermal baths or to the beaches of Lake Balaton.

Travel papers

Hungary is a Schengen member state, meaning that European Union member states’ citizens and Americans can stay as tourists for up to 90 days without a visa. However, you will need to have a return ticket or sometimes proof of funds to purchase one when you enter the country. Needless to say, you’d want to pack all of your travel documents in a small bag you’ll carry with you at all times and that you’ll be able to lock in a safe box in your hotel.


Make sure to always carry euros or dollars when traveling to Budapest, since you can easily exchange them for Hungarian forints at the post office, at any bank, exchange offices or at some hotels. If you don’t want to carry cash, you can swipe your ATM card at many locations to get forints. The most important thing is to never carry all of your money and/or credit cards when sightseeing, since even though Budapest is a safe place, tourists-mugging is as possible as in any other city.


If you have some space, pack a Hungarian travel guide, a small phrase book and a map of Budapest. And if you are a tech-savvy, download an app that works offline and let it guide you. Learning a few phrases in Hungarian can go a long way in making small talk with the locals too.


As with any travel packing, take a travel-sized portion of shampoo, soap, toothpaste and the like.  But, most basic toiletries are available in Budapest at an affordable price, so you don’t need to over-pack. If you plan on visiting lakes or rivers in the summer, pack your own bug repellent and sunscreen.

Other things to pack

A lightweight shoulder bag is welcome to carry your sightseeing essentials.
If you buy bottled water, consider carrying filter water bottle, and fill up from any tap without wasting plastic bottles.
If you travel to Budapest from a different continent, you may need a travel adapter plug to use electrical gadgets, together with a step down voltage converter if your devices are not designed for European voltage (230V).

If you're traveling with just a backpack, aim for a soft and light one, with many pockets.
Plan ahead and avoid paying baggage fees. Be informed on the allowed baggage weight and measure it at home. And yes, leave some room for souvenirs!

Same as visiting any other place, you need to be mindful on how you pack. Traveling light to Budapest, by packing the bare essentials both during the winter and during the summer, can save you a lot of trouble. And you can easily spend the saved baggage check-in fee at some of the best fine dining restaurants in Budapest. Also, you’ll catch your airport transfers faster if you don’t have to pick up your luggage from the baggage claim.