Although Budapest was high on my Europe travel list, I was so busy with work that I had almost no time to do some research before departure, so this city trip would be a big surprise, and what an amazing surprise it was. Budapest is absolutely stunning, has amazing coffee, really friendly people and a very relaxed atmosphere. Yes I am hooked on Budapest and therefore very excited to share some of my discoveries with you today.
Where to stay: I booked my trip quite last minute but still managed to find a cute inexpensive hotel at an excellent location. I stayed at the Central Hotel 21, which is located in an area filled with cute coffee bars and restaurants and within walking distance of most of the sights. Budapest has a wide range of hotels, apartments and hostels so it all depends on what option floats your boat. I would recommend you however to go for a place in Pest, since this is the side with most restaurants, cafes and sights.
Where to eat: One of the things that surprised me the most, was the amount of cute restaurants and coffee bars Budapest has to offer. There are so many cute places in Budapest that serve great food and coffee, and the vegetarian and vegan options are also countless. My favorite area to go for food was around Egyetem tér, Kecskeméti u., Baross u, Mikszáth Kálmán Tér and Krúdy Gyula u. where you find a range from local, to Italian, Asian and American food. A visit to Gelarto Rosa (near the St. Stephen’s Basilica) is also a must if you want to get a flower ice cream to post to on your Insta account.
What to see/do: Budapest is one of those cities, which such a beautiful architecture, that almost every building feels like a sight, but there are some sights that are real must-sees:
- The Parliament, one of the most well known buildings in Budapest, located right on the bank of the Danube. If you don’t just want to enjoy the exterior, you can also take a tour or watch the changing of the guards, which is also a unique and fun thing to witness.
- Buda castle, is as the name would suggest a castle on the Buda side of Budapest. This must have been the biggest castle I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to miss the sight of this beautiful castle if you ever find yourself walking along the riverbank in Pest. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and gives you an amazing view over Pest. It’s quite a walk to the top but the view makes it totally worth it.
- St. Stephen’s Basilica, is the largest church in Budapest. The entrance to the church is free but for less than 2 euro, you can go to the top of the church for a beautiful view of the city.
- Shoes on the Danube Bank, is a memorial, for the Jews that were killed during the second world war. The memorial is quite small, but very meaningful and a big representation of Budapest’s history.
- Széchenyi Baths, the most well known thermal baths in Budapest and also one of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It’s the perfect relax break for your city trip.
- Great Market Hall, the oldest indoor market in Budapest, where you cannot only shop for food but also for some very traditional souvenirs. The architecture of the building is amazing and therefore definitely making it worth a visit.
How to get around: Budapest has a great public transport system, with busses, trams and quite a few Metro lines, which even make going to the airport by public transport quite easy and affordable. However the best way to get around in my opinion is by foot or by bike. All of the sights are located relatively close together and the city center is so pretty that by using public transport, you would miss so much of Budapest’ charm.
I hope you liked my first city guide; I for sure had fun putting it together.
Which European city would you recommend me to visit next?