Budapest: how to explore the highways and byways of this city in a few days
Both adventure travelers and tourists who prefer a relaxing holiday will like the capital of Hungary. Outdoor enthusiasts can walk through the old town, go on a Danube cruise, and visit museums. Others can go to the thermal springs available year-around, many cafes, and bars. We will tell you how to have a good time in Budapest and make your trip memorable for a lifetime.
The places worth visiting in Budapest
Start exploring Budapest with a walk through the old town. It’s an open-air museum full of interesting buildings, unusual statues, and fountains. You must find the Hungarian Parliament. It’s a landmark of the city, just like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This huge palace on the banks of the Danube looks very impressive in the evening, thanks to the illumination of the facade.
Shoes on the Danube Promenade are a very famous monument in Budapest. You can see it right in front of the parliament. The monument recalls the tragic death of thousands of Jews shot by Hungarian Nazis during World War II.
The Buda Castle is another remarkable tourist attraction on the banks of the Danube. The Fishermen’s Bastion with an excellent viewing platform is situated nearby. Visit it if you want to enjoy the picturesque views of Budapest and the Danube.
Another viewing platform is on Gellert Hill. By the way, it’s not so popular among tourists. That’s why it’s much easier to take beautiful panoramic pictures there.
You can see and photograph the Hungarian opera, a monument to Soviet soldiers, and the St. Stephen’s Basilica in the city center. The panoramic wheel is nearby, where tourists can enjoy stunning views of the entire city.
Bridges over the Danube deserve your special attention. Some of them are true masterpieces. For example, you can see spectacular stone lions on the Chain Bridge. The green Liberty Bridge is also impressive. By the way, bridges can be used as viewing platforms.
In Budapest, you can visit a real castle Vajdahunyad in Varosliget Park. The zoo is in the same park, where visitors can see, feed, and even touch many animals.
Baths in Budapest
Baths are the main landmark of Budapest. There are many baths in the city and they cater to every taste and budget. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of the most popular baths. It’s famous for its luxury design and three outdoor pools with different water temperatures.
Gelert is the most expensive thermal bath in Budapest, and it resembles a spa resort. It looks very posh and expensive. You can try a “Cleopatra’s bath”, aroma sauna, or a chocolate massage session for an additional fee.
Go to Rudas if you like water treatments at night. This Turkish bath is open until 4 am on weekends. Only men can visit it on weekdays, except Tuesday.
You can buy a ticket to the bath right there. It’s unlikely you’ll have to wait in a queue for more than 10 minutes. However, you can also buy a ticket online at http://www.spasbudapest.com/ticket-purchase
Coming to Budapest and missing a Danube cruise is a huge mistake. There’s a good selection of cruises: guided, with national shows, pizza, and unlimited beer, operettas, live music, and so on. Any whim for your money, as it’s said. However, if you’re interested only in good views, you can cruise on the Danube almost for free.
There are ships that serve as public transport in Budapest. Simply buy a travel card for all types of public transport to get to them. By the way, the card is valid the whole day, so it will 100% come in handy. Next, get acquainted with the communication map, choose the most interesting route, and wait or the right ship at the pier.
In Budapest, there’s something interesting to see even underground. Hot thermal waters flowing under the city created many caves. Palveldi is the longest one. It has lighting and stairs on steep slopes. It’s possible to get to Palveldi only as a part of the guided group.
Semlehedi is the biggest cave in Budapest. You can see mineral formations shaped like people and animals and breathe healthy allergen-free air in this cave.
Molnar-Janos is another landmark. It’s famous for the largest underground lake with warm thermal water. If you have a diver certificate, book an underwater excursion. The overland route is available for other tourists.
Ruin Bars and Budapest Nightlife
The capital of Hungary attracts not only people who like architecture and a good rest but also party-goers. There are so-called ruin bars or bohemian establishments in abandoned buildings. These bars have never been repaired. Their owners simply brought homemade furniture to the ruins and decorated premises with items in the same design. People from all over the world come here because these ruin bars are unique.
Slimpla Kert is the first place to visit. It’s the first bar that appeared among the ruins. Both locals and tourists like it. Corvinteto is nearby. It’s in the building of the former Soviet department store. In this bar, you can not only drink but also look at Budapest at night from the top.
You can take your whole family to Super 8. Its interior resembles Lewis Carroll’s Looking Glass. There’s a special area for children in the backyard.
Try Hungarian cuisine
If you want to try real Hungarian cuisine, go to Vaci Street. This is where you can find many cafes with national dishes. Order a portion of goulash. Keep in mind that it looks more like soup in Hungary, not what we’re used to.
Libamaj is the glory of the Hungarian cuisine. It’s a tender goose liver similar to foie gras. This dish is best to try in a cafe or a restaurant. Supermarkets sell ordinary pate. It’s delicious but can’t compare to libamaj.
Paprikash is another important national dish. The chicken with paprika cooked in a sour cream sauce is a simple dish, but it’s so tasty that you’ll try to cook paprikash yourself after returning home.
Try langos of you like fast food. It’s a fried yeast scone with the cheese sprinkled on its top. There are variations with other fillings.
Sweet hounds should try shomloy golushka – Hungarian tiramisu. This dessert doesn’t look very tasty, but it’s delicious. Hungarians also love the chestnut puree that they add to different desserts.
Tokay is the national pride of Hungary
You can drink real Hungarian wine in any bar and restaurant in Budapest. However, it’s better to choose a wine tasting in a museum or a wine cellar. For example, go to the Faust cellar on the Castle Hill where you can taste 5 or 9 wine types. The Domus Vinorum wine house where wine tastings are held is close to the St. Stephen’s Basilica.
Budapest is an amazing city with Renaissance architecture, bohemian venues, underground caves, and healing springs. You can visit it at any time of the year, but it’s best to schedule your trip for late spring or early autumn. Many museums are closed in winter. The weather is very hot in the summer.
Have you ever been to Budapest? Share your impressions in comments.