Danube River cruise

The Danube River passes through 10 nations on its 1,770-mile journey from the Black Forest in Germany to the Black Sea in Romania and Ukraine.

With almost 1 million passengers each year, Europe’s second-largest waterway passing through the middle of Budapest is the most popular river cruise destination in Europe.

One of the most popular and beautiful sights along the Danube is the World Heritage-listed Hungarian capital city of Budapest. 

The Danube River Budapest Cruise takes you past some most notable sights on both sides of the city– Buda and Pest. 


Hours: 24 hours, Monday to Sunday

Time Needed: 1 to 3 hours

Sightseeing Tour: €11 (US $12) per person

🍽️Dinner Cruise: €75 (US $79) per person
Private Cruise: €199 (US $210) per group

Best Time: Sunset and night


River cruise on the Danube starts from various ports along the river bank in Budapest. Both the Buda and Pest sides offer docking stations for cruises.

Address: Budapest, 1138 Hungary. Get directions.

Where to Buy Danube River Cruise Tickets?

What to expect
Photo by Dusan Ristic on Unsplash

Danube River Cruise tickets are available only online, either through cruise operators or tourism websites.

We recommend checking out the Danube River Cruise tickets in this guide to make your planning smoother.

Why are online tickets better?

Buying your Danube River cruise ticket online in advance saves you from waiting in line at the dock and avoids the disappointment of tickets selling out during peak season. 

Online tickets are more affordable than in-person buying and often include deals and discounts. 

You can easily buy your cruise tickets from the comfort of your home, securing affordable options for your Budapest cruise.

Easy information 

You can find all the details about your Budapest Danube River cruise, including departure times, starting points, and attractions covered online. 

Search for popular tickets others have enjoyed and select the ideal one based on reviews.

How do online tickets work?

How do online tickets work
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Buying tickets online is straightforward and convenient. 

Choose the best Danube River cruise and select the date you wish to go. 

Some cruises offer the option to pick a preferred departure time. 

After booking, you’ll receive a confirmation email with digital tickets. 

Simply show these tickets at the cruise or tour’s meeting point at the appointed time. No need for a printed copy. 

You’re eligible for a full refund if you cancel at least 24 hours before the cruise’s departure.

Ticket Prices

For the Budapest evening cruise with welcome drink, tickets are available for €11 (£9) for all ages.

The 1-hour evening sightseeing cruise with drinks offers adult tickets for anyone over 15 years old at €21 (£18), while children aged 10 to 14 can join for €11 (£9). 

Children under ten can hop on for free.

For a more exclusive experience, the candlelit dinner river cruise with live music prices adult tickets (ages 13 and above) at €85 (£73).

And tickets for children aged three to 12 are €65 (£56). 

Infants under three are not permitted on this tour.

Type of Danube River Cruise Tickets

Budapest Danube River cruise is popular among all tourists visiting the city, and you will find several different cruise options.

You can reserve a one-hour cruise to see magnificent Budapest attractions along the Danube while relaxing on the boat.

Alternatively, you can enjoy the view with some food, drinks, or entertainment in terms of live music.

You can choose a daytime, evening, or even late-night cruise to explore the beautiful historic capital city of Hungary.

Here are some of the most popular Danube River cruise tickets and Danube River cruise prices. 

Budapest Sightseeing Cruise 

A Budapest Danube River sightseeing cruise offers a basic yet unique way to explore the city. 

This one-hour journey showcases Budapest’s significant landmarks and bridges, such as the Hungarian Parliament building, Buda Castle, Várkert Bazár, and Margaret Bridge. 

Departing from a dock near Margaret Bridge, the cruise provides a complimentary welcome drink and onboard WiFi, enhancing your experience as you glide through downtown Budapest. 

Priced at Ft 4,249 (US$ 12) per person, it is the most affordable and favored option among tourists.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (upto 99 years): Ft 4,249 (US$ 12)

Another popular cruise to learn more about the attractions is the sightseeing cruise with an audio guide in multiple languages.

Learn about the Danube River cruise Budapest price and discover more Danube River cruise sightseeing tickets here.  

Cruise with drinks

There needs to be more than just sightseeing to get the full European experience, and many tourists opt for the evening sightseeing cruise and unlimited prosecco.

You can snap pictures of the illuminated buildings with music and unlimited refills on your prosecco or lemonade at the bar.

You can make the most of your cruise trip by choosing an English audio guide and a meal plate including Hungarian cuisine.

The ticket cost for everyone above 3 is Ft 7,533 (US$ 21) per person.

Children under the age of three do not require a ticket.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (18 to 64 years): Ft 7,533 (US$ 21)
Senior ticket (64 years and above): Ft 7,533 (US$ 21)
Child ticket (4 to 17 years): Ft 7,533 (US$ 21)
Infant ticket (upto 3 years): Free Entry

Another option is a sightseeing cruise with pizza and unlimited drinks in the afternoon or evening. 

You can also enjoy the sun setting over the Danube with the sunset cruise offering cocktails.

Dinner Cruise with Live Performances

Another popular way to complement your sightseeing cruise along the Danube is dinner.  

Hungarian dinner cruise with live music and folk dance show is among the most well-liked dinner cruises. 

The ticket for the Danube River cruise with dinner cost for an adult between 13 and 64 years is Ft 28,972 (US$ 82); for children aged six to 12 years, the price is Ft 18,637 (US$ 53).

For senior citizens aged 65 and above, the ticket costs Ft 27,813 (US$ 79) per person.

Students with ID and 12 years and above must pay Ft 27,813 (US$ 79) for a ticket.

Ticket Prices:

Adult ticket (13 to 64 years): Ft 28,972 (US$ 82)
Senior ticket (65 years and above): Ft 27,813 (US$ 79)
Student ticket (with ID) (12 years and above): Ft 27,813 (US$ 79)
Child ticket (6 to 12 years): Ft 18,637 (US$ 53)
Infant ticket (upto 5 years): Free Entry

A romantic candlelight dinner cruise with live music over the Danube is perfect for spending an evening in Budapest with your partner. 

A boat party on a Friday night with friends is another way to enjoy the Danube River.

You can get more information about available dinner cruises with live music and dance performances and the cost of the Danube River cruise here.

Lunch cruise

Enjoy a one-and-a-half hour-long Hungarian lunch cruise with live music sailing along the Danube river at 2 pm each afternoon. 

Ticket for the Danube River cruise with lunch starting at just €17 per person in the summer of 2024 takes you along several landmarks, from the Chain Bridge to the National Theater.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (13 years and above): US$ 59
Student ticket (with ID) (13 to 25 years): US$ 54
Child ticket (6 to 12 years): US$ 36
Infant ticket (upto 5 years): Free Entry

For other months of the year, you can enjoy your afternoon among historic buildings and bridges, gliding along the Danube River on this sightseeing cruise with brunch

Browse more lunch or brunch on the best Danube River cruises 2024 here.  


You can also include other activities on your itinerary for Budapest with a river cruise.

Explore Margaret Island with this sightseeing tour, including a stopover at the 100-meter wide island in the Danube River.

Enjoy and learn standup paddleboarding on the Danube while taking in the stunning scenery with the guided tour

Wine tasting on a private boat while cruising down the river is another special way to spend an afternoon in Budapest.

Tour the nearby Szentendre, also known as the ‘village of artists,’ on the half-day tour and return via a scenic Danube River cruise.   

Alternatively, ride a bike 25 km to Szentendre with the self-guided tour, including a ticket to a public boat cruise for getting back to Budapest. 

Other activities on the river include a kayaking adventure or rafting experience.

You may pick from various additional cruises and trips; find them here.

Private Cruise

A private Danube river cruise for those traveling with friends is a great way to spend an hour on the river and enjoy the scenic views.

One Danube River cruise private tour ticket costs Ft 77,656 (US$ 219) for visitors of all ages.

Ticket Prices

Adult ticket (upto 99 years): Ft 77,656 (US$ 219)

A private yacht cruise is also available for a small group of up to 12 people. 

Ticket Discounts 

Ticket discounts
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When booking your tickets online in advance, you get discounts. 

Book one of the following scenic Danube River cruises to get a 10 to 20 percent discount on tickets. 

A popular daytime 70-minute sightseeing cruise starts at just Ft 3,496 (US$ 10) per person with a 10% discount.

You can save upto 10% on another 70-minute nighttime sightseeing cruise starting from Ft 3,885 (US$ 11) per person.

The sunset or evening cruise in downtown Budapest with a welcome drink and a 20% discount starts at a reasonable price of Ft 6,410 (US$ 18) per person.  

However, if you are looking for some food while sightseeing, you can save 10% on the bunch and sightseeing cruise [costing Ft 86,719 (US$ 24) for adults and Ft 7,459 (US$ 21) for children.] 

Discount on Combo Tours

Are you looking for a combo cruise and walking tour of major attractions in Budapest for discount Danube River cruises?

Book the sightseeing cruise with a city walk tour and get up to 20% off.

After spending an hour exploring the city on the Danube River cruise, you can visit the landmarks of your choice on foot. 

You can be guided by a digital guide on your smartphone, available in your preferred language. 

What to Expect on a Danube River Cruise?

On a Budapest Danube river cruise, you can expect to see numerous examples of architecture from various points in time and with distinct styles.

Numerous Danube river cruises to Budapest and tours are available, each offering one-of-a-kind experiences. 

You will find all kinds of the best Danube river cruises in Budapest, from an hour-long sightseeing cruise to others, some as long as three hours, with food, drinks, and live entertainment options. 

The most basic cruise takes you to sightsee the landmarks along the river banks.

Some famous sightseeing cruises also offer a complimentary drink that lasts about an hour.

Other best Danube River cruises offer dinner or lunch with live music and dance performances. 

For more information on the landmarks, some cruises provide the option of choosing an audio guide. 

Pre-recorded notes on various attractions are available to learn the history and significance of the marvelous structures. 

Below is a list of most attractions, including buildings and bridges, you will likely encounter along the Danube River on your cruise.

  • Szechenyi Chain Bridge
  • Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Gresham Palace
  • The Castle District
  • Matthias Church
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Hungarian Parliament
  • Margaret Island
  • Museum of Ethnography
  • Elizabeth Bridge 
  • Rudas Bath 
  • Gellert Hill 
  • Liberty Bridge
  • Rakoczi Bridge
  • National Theater

Nearby attractions 

Buda Castle

Perched atop the majestic Buda Castle Hill, the Buda Castle is an iconic symbol and one of the top attractions of Budapest and Hungary. 

The castle complex features the enchanting Labyrinth, a network of underground caves.

Gardens and courtyard are open for leisurely strolls and Várhegy Hill offers breathtaking vistas.

The castle’s wings houses institutions like the National Széchényi Library, the Budapest History Museum, and the Hungarian National Gallery.

Szechenyi Thermal Bath

The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest, Europe’s largest thermal bath, offers a unique and rejuvenating experience.

Fed by thermal springs with temperatures of 74°C and 77°C, the water boasts healing properties with sulfate, calcium, magnesium and more. 

This grand bath complex, a marvel of Neo-baroque architecture built in 1913, features 21 pools, saunas, aquafitness and a gym.

Take a break from all the exploring and indulge in some relaxation, entertainment, and wellness services. 

Hungarian Parliament Building

Drawing a million visitors annually, the Hungarian Parliament Building is a must-see attraction for tourists exploring the enchanting city of Budapest.

Designed by the Hungarian architect Imre Steindl in neo-Gothic style, this grand structure measures 300 meters in length and 350 meters in width.

Situated on the banks of the Danube in Pest, it represents Hungarian heritage and architectural splendor.

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