What to visit in Budapest
Updated: Jun 2
Budapest is Hungary’s capital and largest city, located in the central part of the country. It is often referred to as the "Paris of the East". Budapest is an incredible city that should be on everyone's must-visit list. Its stunning architecture and many tourist attractions make it one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. There are plenty of things to do in Budapest, from visiting the iconic Chain Bridge to exploring the fantastic St Stephen's Basilica or taking a relaxing cruise down the Danube - the possibilities are endless!
When it comes to eating in Budapest, it's a food-lovers paradise. There are countless traditional Hungarian restaurants, cafes to explore, and various international cuisines. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty goulash or a delicious Hungarian pastry, Budapest satisfies every palate. The city also boasts an array of entertainment options, from live music to theatre shows. For those looking for an even more unique experience, there are plenty of pubs, bars, and nightclubs to explore. So, no matter what your taste in entertainment is, Budapest has something for everyone.
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What not to miss?
St. Stephen Cathedral
If you are looking for a fantastic travel attraction to visit when you are in Budapest, St. Stephens Cathedral should be at the top of your list. Located in the heart of the city, this beautiful cathedral is a must-see for any traveler to Budapest. Built in the late 13th century, St. Stephens Cathedral has a long and rich history, making it one of the most popular attractions in the city. The beauty of St. Stephens Cathedral is second to none. Its striking red-tiled roof stands out among the other buildings in the city, making it a popular destination for visitors. Inside, the cathedral's ornate architecture and artwork are breathtaking. Visitors can explore the grand nave, crypts, and chapels and see the intricate carvings and paintings that have been lovingly preserved for centuries.
Budapest, Hungary, is home to the tourist destination known as Fisherman's Bastion. It is a must-see location in Budapest because it provides expansive views of the Danube River and the Pest city center. The fisherman who once protected the city was honored for constructing this Neo-Gothic building in the nineteenth century. The building is fantastic, with its seven towers, lofty turrets, and stairways leading up to the viewing decks. Visitors may see Budapest's full beauty from the summit, where the Danube meanders through the landscape, and the spires of churches and other attractions dot the skyline. It's a pleasure to go to Fisherman's Bastion. Visitors are encouraged to explore the building at their own pace and enjoy its splendor. It is surrounded by a sizable park where visitors can roam and enjoy the beautiful vegetation and tranquil river breezes. It's a terrific place to relax and enjoy a delicious dinner because there are a few cafés and restaurants.
Buda Castle is one of Budapest, Hungary's most visited tourist destinations. Everybody visiting the city must go to the castle on the Danube River's banks. The castle's lengthy and fascinating history began in the 13th century when the Hungarian kings and queens lived there as a royal home. A wall encloses the castle, and the grounds contain several structures, courtyards, and gardens. The Baroque Palace houses the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery and is the most spectacular structure. The palace is open for visitors to tour while learning about the castle's past tenants. The Castle Garden, Hungarian National Gallery Garden, and Fishermen's Bastion are just a few of the exquisite gardens that can be seen on the castle grounds. These gardens are perfect for a romantic stroll because they provide breathtaking views of the city and river. Public transportation makes it simple to get to the castle, and guests can buy tickets to roam the grounds, visit the museums and art galleries, or take a guided tour. The court also holds a range of activities all year, including traditional dance performances and concerts of classical music.
At Heroes' Square in Budapest's City Park (Városliget) stands the stunning and historic Vajdahunyad Castle. The castle was created by the architect Ignác Alpár and had a distinctive fusion of Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and Romanesque architectural styles. Its name, "Vajdahunyad," refers to the castle in modern-day Romania where John Hunyadi, the Hungarian governor, lived in the fifteenth century. The Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, which presents the history and culture of farming and agriculture in Hungary, is in Vajdahunyad Castle today. The stunning courtyard of the castle, which features a statue of Anonymous, the historian of the Hungarian kingdom, is a well-liked location for portraits and relaxation. The gorgeous interior of the castle, which features a chapel with stunning stained-glass windows and exhibits on Hungarian agriculture, is also open to visitors. Visitors can have a unique and enchanted experience when Vajdahunyad Castle's courtyard is turned into an ice-skating rink throughout the winter. Budapest visitors must visit the castle because of its stunning architecture and fascinating history.
At the end of Budapest's opulent Andrássy Boulevard sits the enormous public square known as Heroes' Square (Hsök tere). One of the most recognizable structures in the city, it was constructed in 1896 to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Hungary's establishment. The Millennium Monument, a vast granite structure that pays tribute to Hungary's national heroes and historical luminaries, is in the middle of Heroes' Plaza. Two colonnades, each containing seven statues of notable characters in Hungarian history, flank the monument on either side. Various reliefs at the monument's base show historical events in Hungary. The Archangel Gabriel is pictured bearing the apostolic double cross and the holy crown of Hungary in the monument's central figure. One of Hungary's most significant emblems is the holy crown, which is thought to have been used in the country's monarchs' coronations since the 11th century. Budapest's two most important cultural institutions, the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, are behind the Millennium Monument. Various cultural events, such as exhibitions, concerts, and plays, are held at the Palace of Art, while the Museum of Fine Arts houses a collection of foreign artworks from the Middle Ages to the present.
What else to visit?
One of Budapest, Hungary's most well-known sites, is the Chain Bridge. It connected the neighborhoods of Buda and Pest and was the city's first permanent bridge over the Danube. By improving trade and communication between the two sides of the river, the bridge finished in 1849 was crucial to the city's growth. Scottish engineer Adam Clark assisted English engineer William Tierney Clark in constructing the Chain Bridge (no relation). The bridge is named after the chains that hold it in place, and engineers hailed its design as a masterpiece at the time of its construction. The bridge is striking with its elaborate ironwork and neo-classical design, especially at night when illuminated.
The Chain Bridge experienced numerous alterations, notably during World War II, when fleeing German troops demolished it. In 1949, on the 100th anniversary of its initial construction, it was renovated and reopened. The Chain Bridge is still a well-liked tourist destination today, and people can stroll across it to take in the city's spectacular architecture and views of the Danube River. The bridge has a fantastic ambiance at night because of the magnificently lit structure.
Castle Hill Funicular
The Buda Castle Hill and Adam Clark Square at the bottom of the hill are connected by the Castle Hill Funicular, sometimes referred to as the Budapest Castle Hill Railway. The funicular is one of the world's oldest railways because it was constructed in 1870 and has been used ever since. Take the funicular to the top of Castle Hill, one of Budapest's most famous sights. The short trip provides breathtaking views of the Danube River and the city skyline. The Buda Castle complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Royal Palace, the Matthias Church, and the Fisherman's Bastion, is accessible to visitors at the summit of Castle Hill. Visitors can take walking tours, visit museums, and view exhibitions in this neighborhood that is rich in history and architecture. The Castle Hill Funicular is a well-liked tourist attraction and a terrific choice for locals looking for a quick and enjoyable way to ascend the hill. Tickets for the funicular can be purchased at the lower and upper stations or in advance online. It operates every day from early in the morning until late at night.
New York Cafe
One of Budapest's most exquisite and storied eateries is the New York Cafe. It is situated inside the Boscolo Budapest Hotel, once the grandest hotel in all of Europe when it was constructed in the late 19th century as the New York Palace. When the cafe opened its doors in 1894, Budapest's intellectual and artistic elite began to frequent it frequently. It had the reputation of being the "most beautiful cafe in the world" and served as a center for cultural events, exhibitions, and concerts. The vast interior of the New York Cafe is spectacular and includes elaborate paintings, gilded stucco work, and ornate chandeliers. A large selection of coffee, tea, and drinks is available on the cafe's menu, along with a choice of delectable pastries, cakes, and other goodies. The New York Cafe has been returned to its former splendor, and guests may now take advantage of the same opulent and motivational ambiance that made it famous more than a century ago. The cafe is a must-visit location for anybody wishing to experience Budapest's distinct and historic appeal. It also holds live music performances and other cultural events.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths
One of Budapest, Hungary's largest and most well-known thermal bath complexes is Széchenyi Thermal Baths. The baths are in City Park and are easily reachable on foot or by public transportation. Various indoor and outdoor pools, saunas, and steam rooms are available at the facility, which was built in 1913 and is supplied by natural hot springs. Count István Széchenyi, a well-known Hungarian statesman and supporter of public health who was instrumental in creating Budapest's thermal baths, is honored by having his name associated with the baths—the Neo-Baroque design of the complex features breathtaking architecture and exquisite mosaics. Several pools with temperatures ranging from 20 to 40 degrees Celsius are available to visitors, along with spa services like massages and facials. The outdoor pools, which have several sizable, heated pools surrounded by lovely vegetation, are incredibly well-liked. Visitors can take advantage of several other attractions, such as restaurants, bars, and a chess room, in addition to the pools and treatments. The baths are a terrific location to unwind and relax all year, especially in the winter when the warm waters offer a nice break from the frigid Budapest weather. Széchenyi Thermal Baths are a must-visit location for anybody visiting Budapest since they provide a distinctive and tranquil experience.
In Budapest, Hungary, there is a well-known tourist attraction called the Pálvölgyi Cave. It is recognized for its spectacular natural formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and underground lakes. It is part of the vast cavern network extending beneath the city. Budapest's limestone bedrock is where the cave was created over millions of years by the action of water. It was found early in the 20th century, and in the 1930s, it was made public. Currently, tourists can take guided tours of the cave that usually last an hour or more. Experienced tour leaders explain the history and geology of the cave as well as the different visible natural formations and features during the visits.
How to travel to Budapest?
In the center of Europe, Budapest is a well-liked tourist destination, and there are several ways to get there. Some of the most popular choices are listed below:
Plane: Ferenc Liszt International Airport, which serves Budapest, is a 20-kilometer from the city's core. Several major airlines operate regular flights from cities around Europe and the rest of the world to Budapest. You can use a cab, the city's public transportation system, or an airport shuttle service to travel to your Budapest destination from the airport.
Train: Various train stations in Budapest link the city to other regions of Hungary and nearby nations. Several direct international trains, including those from Vienna, Prague, and Berlin, may reach Budapest.
Bus: Numerous bus stations in Budapest link the city to other regions of Hungary and nearby nations. From places around Europe, several international bus companies run frequent routes to Budapest.
Car: Budapest is easily accessible by car, and it is connected to other regions of Hungary and nearby countries by several vital highways. But remember that traffic in and around the city, especially during rush hour.
River cruise: The Danube River, in particular, makes Budapest a favorite destination for many European river cruises. Several significant river cruise operators provide frequent trips from various Danube cities to Budapest.
When to travel to Budapest?
Budapest is a terrific city to visit any time of the year because it always offers something interesting. However, the best time to visit Budapest will depend on what you'd like and your interest.
Summer is ideal for visiting Budapest if you like warm weather and outdoor activities. The weather is pleasant and sunny this time of year, and the city is bustling with festivals and festivities.
Spring or Fall may be more pleasant and less crowded. Many cultural events are happening at these times of the year, and the weather is mild and agreeable.
If you don't mind the cold, Budapest can be a magical place to visit in the winter. There are many Christmas markets and festivals to attend, and the city is exquisitely decked for the holidays. Budapest's thermal baths are also delightful throughout the winter.
Depending on your travel preferences, financial constraints, and the season you visit, the cost of going to Budapest can change. For a vacation to Budapest, these are some approximate average costs:
Accommodation: Budapest offers a variety of lodging options, from high-end hotels to cheap hostels. Mid-range hotel rooms typically run between $50 and $100 a night, while hostels and Airbnb can be found for as little as $15 to $30 per night.
Transportation: Budapest has an efficient public transit network that consists of buses, trams, and a metro. A single ticket will run you about 1.5 USD, while a day pass costs about 6 USD. There are also available taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber, with an average cost of 10-15 USD for a short trip.
Food and beverage: Options are many and diverse in Budapest's thriving culinary scene. A meal at a budget restaurant may cost between $5 and $10, whereas one at a midrange restaurant may cost between $10 and $20. A cup of coffee costs about 1-2 USD, and a pint of local beer is about 2-3 $.
Activities: Budapest is home to several historical and cultural sites, many open to the public without charge. Guided tours, spa treatments, and museums are paid activities that generally cost between $5 and $20 per person.
In comparison to other European cities, Budapest is generally a travel destination that is reasonably priced. Yet, prices can differ significantly based on your choices and travel habits.
Where to eat?
Budapest has a thriving and varied food scene that features everything from traditional Hungarian food to cosmopolitan cuisine. Here are some of the well-liked restaurants in Budapest:
Great Market Hall: Food enthusiasts should visit the Great Market Hall, a historic indoor market. A wide selection of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other Hungarian specialties is available for you to try.
Bors GasztroBar: The restaurant's specialty is the sandwiches produced using regional ingredients and inventive flavor combinations. It's a terrific spot for a tasty meal that's quick.
New York Cafe: One of the most gorgeous coffeehouses in the entire world is the New York Cafe. It provides an opulent atmosphere to indulge in authentic Hungarian pastries and coffee.
Gerbeaud: This old café is well-known for its opulent setting and mouthwatering pastries and desserts. It's a beautiful spot to sip tea or coffee in the afternoon.
Rosenstein: For over 20 years, this family-run restaurant has offered authentic Hungarian fare. Classic menu items include goulash, stuffed cabbage, and chicken paprikash.
Dobrumba: This well-known eatery serves delectable cuisine with Middle Eastern influences, such as falafel, hummus, and shakshuka. It's a fantastic choice for vegans and vegetarians.
Spíler Shanghai: Spíler Shanghai is a hip eatery that offers contemporary Asian fare like sushi, dumplings, and stir-fries. It also boasts a fun ambiance and a fantastic assortment of beverages.
These are just a few of Budapest's many fantastic restaurants. The city's booming cuisine scene offers many possibilities to explore and discover.
Budapest is a city that hosts numerous cultural and entertaining events all year long. The following are some of the most popular Budapest events:
Budapest Spring Festival (March-April):
One of the most significant cultural events in the city is the Budapest Spring Festival, which takes place in March and April and features a wide range of musical, theatrical, and dance performances.
Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix (July-August):
The Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix occurs at the Hungarian circuit in July and August, drawing tens of thousands of motorsports enthusiasts worldwide.
Budapest Wine Festival (September):
This yearly event honors the history and culture of Hungarian wine and includes wine tastings, live entertainment, and regional cuisine.
Budapest International Documentary Festival (January-February):
This festival presents the best in documentary cinema worldwide through screenings, panel discussions, and other related events.
Budapest International Book Festival (April-May):
This gathering of writers, publishers, and book lovers attracts visitors from all over the world. It offers conversations, book readings, and other literary activities.
Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival (November-December):
This yearly celebration, which features lively markets, handcrafted goods, live music, and a skating rink, highlights the holiday season.
These are just a few of Budapest hosts numerous occasions every year. There is always something in Budapest that you can enjoy, whether your interests are in sports, gastronomy, or culture.
We've reached the end of the article about Budapest. This city has a fantastic atmosphere, and we believe you will love it as much as we did! In the meantime, you can read other articles on our blog. Look at other articles about European destinations, like Portugal, Spain, and Netherlands. Remember to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!