Szentendre is a lovely Hungarian town you can visit on a very easy day trip from Budapest.
This picturesque town on the Danube river is known as an “artists’ village”, because it has attracted artists of all kinds and is full of art museums and galleries. You can easily spend half a day there wandering between exhibitions, tiny cobbled alleyways and the river promenade.
I followed a recommendation from a local friend and took the train to Szentendre on an afternoon day trip from Budapest.
It’s a popular destination for visitors, but the small town did not feel crowded in any way. The atmosphere was super chilled.
If you’re visiting Budapest and have a free day or half a day, I recommend you take this day trip. Getting to Szentendre from Budapest is fast and easy and you can visit with a guided tour or use my route below for a self-guided tour.
Guided day trips to szentendre from budapest
There are a few Szentendre guided tours you can take from Budapest.
You can choose between a half day and a full day tour (the full day tours include more destinations).
You can also choose between a group tour, where the route and schedule are fixed, and a private tour, where you can tell the guide your personal interests and have the tour customised for your preferences.
Half-day group trip to Szentendre: This is a 4.5-hour group tour with an English-speaking guide. It includes a guided tour of the old town and some traditional Hungarian food (lángos). Then there’s some free time to explore at your own pace.
Full-day group tour with lunch: This is a group tour covering Szentendre, Esztergom and a quick visit to Slovakia as well. It’s a full-day tour with a 3-course lunch included, with local highlights and viewing points for photos.
Half-day private tour: If you prefer a private guided tour, this half-day trip includes personalised recommendations from your guide, local food tastings and door-to-door pick-up. It’s available in English and German.
Full-day private tour: This tour includes Szentendre, Esztergom and Basilica Castle of Visegrád. You’ll get picked up from your accommodation and have a 3-course lunch during the trip. This private tour is available in English, German and Italian.
Self guided szentendre day trip from budapest
The benefit of a guided tour is, of course, that you don’t have to do any planning. If you do want to plan your own day trip, I made a self-guided tour route and instructions on how to get to Szentendre on a day trip from Budapest.
getting from budapest to szentendre and back
Take the HÉV H5 train from Budapest and you’ll be in Szentendre in about 40 minutes.
The train departs from Batthyany Square metro station on the Buda side of the river. You can also take the same train from the Margaret Bridge station, also on the Buda side.
Get your ticket from the ticket machines at the station (it clearly says Szentendre on the screen) or from the ticket desk.
Once you are on board the train, validate the ticket using the yellow machines.
To get back to the city you can use the same train.
Alternatively, you can go by boat during the warmer months of the year. I haven’t tried it, but there is more information here.
Things to see on a self-guided tour in szentendre
When you arrive at the train station in Szentendre, follow the people or the arrows with the word “Centrum”. Within a few minutes, you’ll find yourself in the old town of Szentendre, heading in the direction of the main square.
If you’re visiting Szentendre for the art exhibitions, this site has information on many of the current exhibitions in Szentendre.
Make a stop at the Ferenczy Museum (2–5 Fő tér) on the way from the train station to the main square to start your art tour with exhibitions of 20th century and contemporary artists from Szentendre. You can also buy a combined ticket for several museums at the Ferenczy Museum.
Szamos Marzipan Museum on 14 Dumtsa Jenő street, is one of the unique attractions in Szentendre, featuring statues made of marzipan, including lifesize models of celebrities.
The main square, called Fő tér, is charming and is a great place to take pictures of the painted houses and cute cafes.
That’s also where you’ll find Kmetty Museum, on 21 Fő tér, hosting temporary exhibitions.
The Margit Kovacs museum is a few steps away on 1 Vastagh György street. It’s one of the most popular museums in Szentendre and features the work of ceramic artist Margit Kovacs.
From there you can easily walk back to the main square and explore the lovely small streets and cobbled alleyways around it.
On Bercsényi street you’ll find Erdész Galéria & Design, a design shop on the ground floor and a modern and contemporary art gallery upstairs.
A few minutes from there you can see more of the art that Szentendre is famous for at the Béla Czóbel Museum on 1 Templom tér. He was one of the most famous Hungarian painters.
A bit farther along you’ll reach the ArtMill, a contemporary art space on 32 Bogdányi street.
On the same street, Bogdányi street, you can also find plenty of local souvenir shops.
A few minutes from there, on 4 Rév street, is the Retro Design Centre. This colourful retro museum was the highlight of the day trip for me.
It houses a huge collection of 1970s items. Toys, kitchenware, cars, household appliances, books, posters, record sleeves and even stamp collections. Texts in English and other languages help put some of the items in historical context.
The Japanese Garden in Szentendre is a bit farther away. If you are into Japanese Gardens and the weather is nice, it is worth a visit.
To get back to the main square, walk along the Danube promenade. It’s a lovely, quiet walk by the water.
Along the way, there are quite a few restaurants with a river view, if you want to stop for a bite or a drink.
From the Danube promenade, you can wander into the small alleys that take you back to the main square and maybe discover a few more shops, galleries and cute houses along the way.
Szentendre day trip travel tips
If you’re going on a self-guided day trip to Szentendre, here are some travel tips to help you plan your trip:
- Pay careful attention to opening hours. Many places are open only on some days of the week. When I visited in summer, almost every place I wanted to see was open Thursday – Sunday only.
- Szentendre is small and perfectly walkable, you won’t need to use any public transport while you’re there.
- The official tourist info site has more information on the town and its surroundings. You’ll find the local tourist information centre on Dumtsa Jenő street. It also has a very sweet gift shop.
- Although Szentendre is a popular tourist destination, don’t expect to find English speakers everywhere (as you’d easily find in Budapest).
If you have more Szentendre travel tips, share them in the comments below.