The capital of Hungary, Budapest is like two towns in one, with the Buda district on one side and Pest on the other. This incredible city offers so much for the traveller, from good food and drinks to stunning architecture and history.
Budapest is just a quick, 2 hour 20 minute train ride from Vienna. We traveled with OBB and were very impressed at the comfort and free wifi. OEBB Website
When To Go To Budapest:
Spring, Summer and Fall are the high seasons for tourism, but the winter has its own special charm. There is an abundance of Christmas Markets strewn throughout the city, making it so incredibly festive, there’s like a whole new energy to the city, despite the cold!
Where To Stay In Budapest:
This was one of the most beautiful and spacious Airbnb’s we’ve ever stayed in, not to mention that Bernie was one of the most incredibly kind and helpful hosts we’ve had thus far (and I think we’ve stayed in 40+ Airbnb’s). This place is clean, modern and centrally located. Put that together with a super accommodating host and you’ve got the BEST recipe for an unforgettable trip!
For $33 off your first AIRBNB booking, click HERE:
How To Get Around Budapest:
SUBWAY: Because we were so centrally located and we LOVE walking, we didn’t take the subway at all during our visit, although I’m told that it’s a great mode of transport that is clean, fast and safe.
WALKING: As always, you can get some exercise in and save some cash by walking.
TAXI: We hopped in a taxi a few times and had no trouble at all. Just note that you make SURE THE METER IS ON and you’re able to visually see it, as it is known that taxi drivers have scammed tourists before.
***Sadly, Uber has been banned in Budapest, so you’ll have to use the local taxis***
Airport Transport In Budapest
Photo Credit: Minibud.hu
MINIBUD was the BEST airport transport service we’ve ever had in all our travels! For 5,900HUF ($22USD), their airport shuttle bus will pick you up at your hotel/Airbnb and take you to your terminal. Booking was seamless and so was the ride.
Where To Eat & Drink In Budapest:
This is THE place to eat in Budapest, so much so that they usually have no availability for months ahead of time. Luckily, we snuck in due to a cancellation. As soon as you’re thinking about going to Budapest MAKE A RESERVATION! The food here is traditional Hungarian, with local wine and outstanding service. There’s also a pianist playing live music during your dinner. It’s absolutely perfect. Be sure to get the Crispy Duck Leg, it’s mouthwateringly delicious.
Szimpla Kert-Ruin Bar
Ask anyone where to drink at in Budapest and ruin bars will surely be the most people thing mentioned, especially Szimpla Kert. Ruin Pubs are found all throughout old District VII in the ruins of abandoned buildings and stores. It’s a one of a kind experience to just stop in a have a look around, even if you don’t drink.
Eat in Gozsdu Udvarat-many restauratns
Eat pastries gerbeaud house or szamus groumet house
Located at Fisherman’s Bastion and a stones throw from Matthias Church, this cute little family run Confectionery is a perfect spot to stop and have coffee and homemade pastry cake, if you can get a table!
Local Foods To Try In Budapest:
A deep fried doughy flat bread topped with chicken, potatoes, cheese…anything! If you eat only one thing while visiting this great city, then this must be it! They are quite large and perfect for sharing with 2-4 people.
A warm, hearty beefy soup dish with potatoes and veggies native to the region.
Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cakes)
Photo Credit: https://dailynewshungary.com/recipe-week-chimney-cake/
The BEST winter treat around! Although we loved the chimney cakes in Prague more, the chimney cakes here were also super yummy!
What To Do In Budapest:
Photo Credit: http://visitbudapest.travel/budapest-card/
If you’re looking to enter all the top sights, attractions and public transport in the city and would like to save some cash, then grab the Budapest card prior to your arrival! First, you’ll select which card type works best for how long you’ll be visiting. Then you’ll head to a Budapestinfo Point Location at the airport or city center to redeem your card. Fill out the ‘Valid from’ portion of the card, sight the card and you’re good to go! Cost Ranges from 17-33 Euros for 24-72 hour passes (20-40USD).
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
One of the best known landmarks in the city, the Szechenyi Chain Bridge (opened in 1849) spans the famous Danube River and connects the Buda district to the Pest district.
Buda Castle Funicular
The Funicular is a short railway car that is a fun and easy way to get to the migrate to the top of Buda Castle, especially if walking up a giant hill isn’t you’re forte. We opted out of the Funicular and chose to save the cash and tackle it on foot.
Hours: 7:30am-10pm daily (car runs every 5-10 min)
Cost: Return ticket-1800HUF (6.85USD)
Buda Castle is the massive castle of Budapest, located on the Buda side of the Danube River. It’s also the palace where the Hungarian kings reside and home to the National Gallery and Budapest History Museum. One could spend a whole day or even a week here!
Prices and hours are for both the National Gallery and History Museum.
Hours: 10am-4pm/6pm depending on the season
Cost: 1800/2000 HUF Low/High Season (6.85/7.61USD)
Our FAVORITE place in all of Budapest, we spent hours exploring the beautiful white washed neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque terrace. Opened in 1902, one can have aerial views of all of Pest. Walking around Fishermans Bastion is like walking around a real fairy tale. Be sure to stop at Ruszwurm Patisserie for a cake and coffee, if you can get a table (details under the food section in this post)!
Hours: The lower and upper parts of the Fisherman’s Bastion are always open.
Cost: Most of Fisherman’s Bastion is free, except for upper tours, which have a small entrance fee of 800HUF ($3USD)
Located in Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias church is one of the first churches (opening in 1015) ever in Budapest and it is absolutely unforgettable. The mosaic on the roof will have you staring for hours. I was truly memorized by the church itself and its surrounding Fisherman’s Bastion.
Hours: M-F 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-1pm, Sun 1pm-5pm
Cost: 1500HUF ($5.70USD)
For a true historial experience in Budapest, head over the Jewish District. The narrow streets are full of charm with lots of shops and restaurants.
Heroes Square (Hősök Tere) & City Park
Photo Credi: https://hearteningjourneys.wordpress.com/tag/heroes-square-budapest-hungary/
Be sure to take a stroll through City Park and Heroes square on your visit: a historical square which features the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. City Park is a great place to run or have an afternoon picnic in the summer months.
Photo Credit: https://www.booking.com/
Thermal baths are all the rage in Budapest and Szechenyi Bath is absolutely the most popular. We decided to check out Gellert Baths instead, but Szechenyi is definitely worth stopping at after visiting Hero’s Square, especially in the cold, winter months.
Hours: 6am-10pm daily
Cost: 18 Euro (21.60USD)
Gellert Spa was so kind to host us as guests for the day and, if you’re into public hot springs, then I’d highly recommend them! They have many different baths ranging in various temperatures from cold to hot. Be sure to bring flip flops and your own towels, or you’ll have to pay to rent theirs (and many get stolen). They even have a cafe upstairs, if you work up an appetite swimming around the pools!
Hours: 6am-8pm daily
Cost: 20 Euros (24USD)
Budapest Opera House
Photo Credit: https://cheeseweb.eu/2013/04/hungarian-state-opera-house-budapest/
An absolutely gorgeous structure from the outside, the Budapest Opera House is worth taking a stroll by to grab a photo and admire, even if you don’t enter inside.
St. Stephens Basilica
The beautiful Roman Catholic Church of Budapest.
Hours: 9am-5pm, service every day at 6pm
Cost: Free, Guided tours available M-F 10 am- 3 pm, for HUF 2,000 (7.72USD).
Vorosmarty Square (Christmas Market)
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Budapest during the Christmas months, then head to Vorosmarty Square for a lovely Christmas Market filled with delicious food, treats and homemade crafts. For more retail fixes, take a stroll up Vaci Street afterward.
Gym NR1 Fitness
An AWESOME gym that is quiet, clean and has great equipment. It’s also open 24 hours. Simply sign up and pay online and you’ll be given a code to enter on the keypad outside the door of the gym. One entry will cost about 2,000HUF (7.72USD).
Thank you SOOOO much for stopping by and reading!
XOXO The Traveling Blondie
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