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Budapest’s Best Danube River Cruise Reviews

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If you are visiting Budapest, you must include a sightseeing river cruise across the beautiful Danube. Although the river flows across 10 European countries, in Budapest, it is a real treat. You will see pages of history and stunning architectural marvels pass by, as you cruise or dine along the river Danube. We took the Danube dinner cruise Budapest and LOVED it. This post highlights our experience and offers the best Danube river cruise reviews for your trip.

Best Danube River Cruise Reviews Budapest Hungary
Best Danube River Cruise Reviews

A Danube River cruise should be on every Budapest itinerary. So here are a few tips and tour options that should help you plan this activity.

Budapest’s Best Danube River Cruise reviews (daytime, sightseeing, evening)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Danube CruiseFeaturesBook Here
Danube Dinner CruiseDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Live Music
Romantic
2.50 hours
Dinner & Folk ShowDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Hungarian Folk Show
For all
3 hours
Daytime CruiseSame views in daylight
For all
70 minutes
Floating bus tourLand and cruise
sightseeing tour
For all, perfect for families
90 minutes
Cruise & CocktailSame cruise only with cocktails (or any drinks)
Budget option
For all
1 hour

Budapest Danube River Information

The Danube River is Europe’s second-longest river and flows through 10 countries. It’s also a major water source for Europe. 

Full of history, the Danube was once a frontier of the Roman Empire. The river starts in the Black Forest and ends in the Black Sea. 

To see the Danube from Budapest is a real treat to the eye due to the architectural marvels that surround the river. Not only that, Budapest – the capital of Hungary is also the largest city and the largest agglomeration on the Danube.

If you have been to multiple countries and cities in Central Europe, you can compare the Danube from Germany- Bavaria, Austria – Vienna, Slovakia, and of course, Hungary – Budapest.

We happen to think that Budapest holds some advantage over the other Danube River cruise destinations, but we’ll let you decide for yourself.

5 Best Danube River Cruises To Choose From

There are TONS of sightseeing and boat tours available for a cruise over the Danube river. We carefully chose a few of the best options for you to consider.

You can opt for private tours or small-group tours. Customizing the dinner cruise is easy, with options of food, drink, entertainment and cruise duration.

Danube River Dinner Cruise

Duration: 2.5 hours

Cost: ± US $80

What could be better than dinner on the Danube? This is a highly recommended cruise tour, especially if you’re traveling as a couple. Spend just over two hours on the water, marveling at the illuminated sights of the city. 

You’ll be served a scrumptious 4-course meal along with a drink of your choice. In the background, listen to the sweet sounds of a live band acting as the soundtrack to your very own rom-com. It’s blissful. 

Budapest at Night

Budapest Dinner Cruise And Folk Show

Duration: 3 hours

Cost: ± US $60

This nighttime cruise along the river is a bit more lively than the dinner by candlelight but offers much the same enjoyment. A 4-course meal is served with a list of drinks as guests and crew are treated to a gypsy folk dancing show. 

This is a real look into Hungarian culture as you enjoy the country’s food, wines and beers, and its love for music and dance. The city sights and lit-up monuments are just the cherry on top of this cruise delight.  

Dive into the city’s culture and heritage and book your folk show dinner cruise on the Danube River.

Budapest Sightseeing River Cruise – Daytime

Duration: 70 minutes

Cost: ± US $15

For a brighter look at Budapest’s beauty, you could opt for this river cruise during the day. It takes you past all the same stunning sights, and can easily fit into a day trip itinerary if need be.

You’ll get a glass of champagne, or your choice of beverage when boarding the boat, and a glass of Duna Bella lemonade, too. There’s a free audio guide so you can listen to fascinating facts about the river and the monuments on the shores. 

If you’re visiting during summer, this cruise makes a stop at Margaret Island. Passengers get to climb off and take a walking tour around the island before heading back down the river to the endpoint. 

Book your Budapest sightseeing river cruise and enjoy the sights while the sun is out.

Scene of Budapest Best Danube River Cruise Reviews and more
Budapest Best Danube River Cruise Reviews

Floating Bus Tour River Cruise In Budapest

Duration: 95 minutes

Cost: ± US $30

This is a tour with a twist. Initially, you’ll hop aboard a normal-looking tourist bus, which will take you to see some of the captivating Budapest attractions. Enjoy sights of the streets and the many landmarks from the comfort of the air-conditioned bus. 

And then, when you least expect it, the bus will drive straight for the water. Your 4-wheeled tour coach will become a water-riding cruiser in just a few seconds. This is delightful, if somewhat scary at first, and is great to do if you have kids with you. 

Book your 2-in-1 bus/boat tour of Budapest for an unforgettable ride.

Budapest Evening Sightseeing Cruise

Duration: 1 hour

Cost: ± US $10

For a simpler, but still stunning, evening river tour, you can book this hour-long sightseeing trip down the river. It’s a more budget-friendly option but doesn’t include a meal or a live show. 

It does, however, include a welcome drink, and the same magnificent views over the city at night. This is great if you’re on a budget, or don’t have hours to spend on the river. Although you may be sad when the trip is done. 

Book your evening sightseeing river cruise for a quick but delightful show of the city lights and sights.

Danube Sightseeing River Cruise FAQs

If you’re still not quite sure about booking a river cruise down the spectacular Danube River, perhaps we can help convince. Here are a few common questions and their useful answers about the tours. 

What’s Included In The Danube River Boat Tours?

In typical Danube river tours, a boat ride for 1-3 hours is provided. You can include a drink or a three-course meal or add live performances. There are a variety of cruise choices, so you can book whichever one fits your budget and itinerary.

What Does A River Cruise In Budapest Cost?

Danube river cruises in Budapest start as low as $15 USD and can go up to $125 USD. This depends on the length of the cruise, as well as what’s included in the tour. (More details on the table above).

2 days in Budapest Itinerary

When Is The Best Time To Go On A Boat Cruise In Budapest?

We always recommend taking an evening tour. The way the banks of the river Danube lit up is incredible. It is also recommended that you take the tour during summer or warmer months. We were here in early spring. 

Although the skies were clear and we could capture all the amazing sights, it was very COLD in the evening. (And of course, I was not dressed appropriately). Carry a scarf or wear full sleeve tops and bottoms to fully enjoy the views (and not freeze like me).

Who Should Go On A Cruise On The Danube?

A river cruise down Budapest’s part of the Danube is a treat for anyone. 

Couples in love, families traveling together, groups of friends, and even solo travelers. You can pick the tour that suits you. If you have small kids with you, the dinner cruise probably isn’t the most exciting. But the floating bus sure will be! 

If you’re looking to create a romantic evening – perhaps even an engagement? – you can’t go wrong with a candlelit dinner river cruise.

Who Offers Danube Cruises?

This is a loaded question. 

Most local companies offer 1-3 hour tours. If you wish to take 1-3 days of cruises, then there are international cruise companies that offer such packages. In such cruises, you will be sailing and exploring through multiple countries.

I would suggest booking your tour in advance, online. This avoids arriving and finding out that your desired tour is full. It also takes some of the stress out of what should be an enjoyable day of sightseeing.

Which Danube Cruise Is Best? 

Personally, the dinner river cruise on the Danube is our favorite, because we loved it so much. And Budapest is beyond charming at night. However, the best river cruise will depend on you. 

Whether you have time for a dinner cruise or prefer something during the day. There are many options, and the above list is just a handful of the top picks.  

What Sights Can I Expect To See On A Boat Cruise In Budapest?

We don’t want to ruin any surprises for your own cruise, but some of the top attractions you can look forward to including:

  • Hungarian Parliament
  • Gellert Hill
  • Elizabeth Bridge
  • Danube Bend 
  • Széchenyi Chain Bridge

Take a look at our photos of some of these places from our evening cruise. 

Explore Budapest in 2 days

Reasons To Go On A Danube River Cruise, Budapest

Taking a cruise over the Danube River was one of the highlights of our trip to Hungary. There is something magical and romantic about sailing and watching the world go by. 

The Danube River cruise is a MUST for the following reasons –

It Fits into a Short Trip Itinerary 

If you are in Budapest (or any other city) for 1-3 days, adding a sightseeing river cruise will allow you to experience more of the city in daytime and night. 

Also if you missed exploring all of the tourist hot spots, you can easily do that on a cruise. We have taken many similar rivers and canal cruises in Paris (night time) and Bruges (day time)

It’s Romantic 

The Danube dinner cruise is one of the most romantic things to do in Budapest. It is easy and affordable to book a tour and reserve your dinner table. You can also add music or performance on the deck.

It’s Affordable 

The 1-hour sightseeing cruise on the Danube starts at $15 USD, making it one of the most affordable ways to explore a new city. And in a unique way.

It’s a Memorable Experience

A Danube cruise (or any other river cruises) are only possible in cities where river systems are navigable and are popular (or historic). So don’t lose this opportunity.

Danube CruiseFeaturesBook Here
Danube Dinner CruiseDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Live Music
Romantic
2.50 hours
Dinner & Folk ShowDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Hungarian Folk Show
For all
3 hours
Daytime CruiseSame views in daylight
For all
70 minutes
Floating bus tourLand and cruise
sightseeing tour
For all, perfect for families
90 minutes
Cruise & CocktailSame cruise only with cocktails (or any drinks)
Budget option
For all
1 hour

Our Danube Dinner Cruise Budapest Experience

We arrived at the dock at about 6:30 pm local time for our dinner cruise on the River Danube.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Danube River, Budapest

This picture was taken at the dock, leading to the ferry.

Depending on what type of cruise you choose, you will be experiencing a different level of hospitality. Our cruise liner was a simple ferry, the hosts/servers invited us inside.

There were dinner tables laid out. Traditional Hungarian music was played in the background.

We started with Hungarian Tokaji wine (a sweet white wine). Followed by some traditional Goulash Stew and potato casserole. The main course included Paprika Chicken and for dessert, we had Vanilla Kifli (sweet pastry)

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
View from inside the Dinner table

While we were dining, the cruise took one full lap of the Danube river, showcasing the beautiful buildings and bridges of Budapest.

City Views

After dinner, we stepped outside to the dock and it was amazing. The city of Budapest was lit beautifully. All the bridges were sparkling with lights. Our eyes were fixed on the Hungarian Parliament – it was gorgeous!

The Hungarian Parliament is a major tourist attraction in Budapest. From the cruise, you can capture amazing shots of the Parliament building.

The Budapest bridges at night were amazing, as seen from the ferry’s deck. The picture below is of the Elizabeth Bridge. You can also see the monument on Gellert Hill in the distance.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Danube River Cruise

Here is the stunning Liberty Bridge. This bridge was built in the late 19th century and was recently renovated and repaired. The Liberty Bridge is stunning to look at – it is green in color and has large bronze structures of Turul, which is a falcon-like creature.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Danube River Cruise

The unique structure you see, in the far-away sky, is the Liberty monument. This monument is located on Gellert Hill. It was built to commemorate the struggles and victories of Hungarians against different rulers, including the Socialist regime.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Liberty Bridge – Danube River Cruise

The bridge below in green lights is the beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This is the first bridge that was built over the Danube river in Budapest. Built in the 1840s, it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world and at that time was one of the longest bridges as well.

A pair of lions stand at each of the abutments. The picture above was taken at the ferry’s dock.

Another view of the Chain Bridge from the ferry’s deck.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Danube River Cruise

Beautiful contemporary buildings in Budapest, as seen at the end of the river cruise. One of the buildings is the Fine Arts Center.

Review of the Danube dinner cruise - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament in Budapest, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal
Danube River Cruise

Overall Thoughts of the Cruise

The Danube cruise was a wonderful experience. The price of the cruise was completely worth it. We could experience the beauty of Budapest in the evening and see all of the stunning views, in a very unique way. And not to forget the amazing wine!

Find other FUN things to do in Budapest

There you have it! Our first-hand review of a Danube dinner cruise, and tips for you to enjoy your own boat tour through Budapest. Have you taken the Danube River Cruise? Share your experience below <3

Danube CruiseFeaturesBook Here
Danube Dinner CruiseDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Live Music
Romantic
2.50 hours
Dinner & Folk ShowDinner + Drinks
4 course meal
Hungarian Folk Show
For all
3 hours
Daytime CruiseSame views in daylight
For all
70 minutes
Floating bus tourLand and cruise
sightseeing tour
For all, perfect for families
90 minutes
Cruise & CocktailSame cruise only with cocktails (or any drinks)
Budget option
For all
1 hour

Have you taken the Danube River Cruise? Share your experience below <3

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Review of the Danube dinner cruise Budapest - stunning views of the bridges and the Parliament, all in nights glory whilst enjoying a 3 course meal #danube #rivercruise #budapest

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10 Comments

  1. Oh wow, I can totally see why you’ve been raving about your cruise! The views from your dinner table alone are enough to entice anyone considering a trip to Hungary. I’ve only done one dinner cruise before, but it was along the Mississippi River out of New Orleans. It’s so awesome! And the price for the Danube cruise seems pretty reasonable, too!

  2. I spent just a tiny bit of time in Hungary many years ago and it was stunningly beautiful by day. I can see that I really missed out though because it is clearly even more beautiful my night. What an amazing experience. I would love to take the kids to this beautiful country.

  3. Happy for you to go on and on and on about it! Did the same cruise 2 weeks ago and how stunning is it?? Parliament was obviously the highlight but I also loved going under the bridges. They were all so pretty.

  4. Wow this sounds like it was an amazing dinner cruise. To be able to taste local wine and food while seeing the beautiful sites is great!!

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