What to see and what to do in Budapest, Hungary, means to live and fall in love with a city. They say of Budapest which is the most beautiful city on the Danube and although it has a harsh and harsh past that almost led to its destruction in the Second World War it is still beautiful. Budapest is a city divided by a river, a river that makes it one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe.
For 2 days or a weekend we were able to know a lot of places that are today a World Heritage Site, which although it did not make us a great time, it is true that the rain or the snow could not tarnish our trip. Budapest in the background, has that halo and that force that dazzles anyone.
What you should know before leaving
A city for a walk
For us Budapest was always a city that we had in mind, a city that, for better or worse, is usually a bit in the second plan behind large capitals such as Paris, Rome or London. The good thing, that when you visit you discover that charm, which perhaps because of its size and the beautiful Danube, that you fall in love with.
Budapest is a city with an imposing past and stately court. It is a city to walk, to discover it. It is worth soaking up its recent history, the one that splashes much of the city, where World War II and the subsequent Hungarian revolution stand out, where after several riots the Soviet army invaded the city, leaving thousands dead along the way. It seems a lie, but this happened only 60 years ago. It highlights to see the flag with the hole next to the Parliament of Budapest, a symbol of the city. This flag represents that era, where the communist symbol of the hammer and sickle was in the center of the flag.
Chain Bridge in World War II
Regardless of World War II and the subsequent Soviet invasion Budapest is still beautiful. It was destroyed and as the Phoenix came back from its ashes. Today it is easy to see its baroque, neoclassical or modernist buildings. There are cafes and restaurants that would perfectly make you think you are in the 50s. That is why Budapest is a city not only for walking, but for studying.
Between pools and saunas
For people living in Budapest, going to a spa is like going for tapas in Spain. It is normal and more than usual. Although the Danube is a somewhat murky, dirty and not very transparent river, the spas that you can find in the city provide that cleanliness and warmth that sometimes this city, especially in winter, sometimes lacks. In Budapest two spas stand out:
- The Széchenyi Spa, (buy a ticket without queues)
- The Gellért Spa, (buy a ticket without queues)
You can make excursions of all kinds
The city on a tourist level is very good and knows exactly what to do in Budapest for excursions. You can make routes on the Danube and see the main places of the city. We recommend the following:
- Guided visit to Parliament
- A cruise on the Danube with Pizza and open bar
- Night tour with dinner and show
We recommend that if you are going to do an excursion, book them in advance, especially in high season. It is a luxury not to wait for endless queues.
Budget for a weekend in Budapest
If you are going to spend a weekend in Budapest, you may like this budget:
- Airplane € 100-€ 200
- Transportation € 5-€ 10
- Transportation from the airport € 15
- Hotel € 30-€ 60 per night
- Lunch / Dinner, € 15 -20 €
- Extra excursions (cruise, etc ...) about € 60
Therefore, a cheap weekend can cost you around € 200, but usually around € 300 if you do not want to get caught. Of course, it all depends on the price of airline tickets. In winter, when it's really cold, you can get them from € 60 round trip
What route did we go through Budapest?
We stayed in a small hotel on the streetSzent István körút, specifically in the Full Moon Hotel, north of the main monuments. We chose it mainly for the price and the photographs we saw on Booking, and the truth is, we were not mistaken. As we said, Budapest is a city for a walk and our goal during the two days we were was to wear the sole of our shoes. If you see the following map, the position of our hotel is in blue and the main points of interest in red.
As lovers of sight and photography, our first intention was to go to photograph the Parliament from the other side of the Danube, possibly the best panoramic of all Budapest. For this we cross the Danube by the Margit Híd bridge leaving the island of the same name on the right. Once crossed the Danube and left behind Buddha, from Pest already begins to glimpse that spectacular building. Although it seems like a long walk in the background it is not, since simply the walk and the views are worth it. In addition, once the best view of Parliament is savored, the most beautiful corners of the city appear, such as the Fisherman's Bastion, he Buda Castle, he Chain Bridge or the Royal Palace, the largest of them on a spectacular hill.
Later we go down to the Citadel and cross the Liberty Bridge, two bridges below the one of the chains, to end pecking in the Central Market, a really interesting place and with multitude of food stalls.
Budapest Central Market
From here it depends on the forces of each one, but we decided to go up to the streetVáci utca, a pedestrian street with many shops for shopping, in the direction of the St. Stephen's Basilica and at Parliament and then end up having dinner in a Hungarian restaurant where we had phenomenal dinner.
The next day we depart to the Heroes Square, a morning bath in the Széchenyi Spa and a curious visit to Jewish Museum, where we recommend you read the history of the Spanish Angel Sanz Briz, the call Schindler Spanish or Angel from Budapest. He came to save thousands of Jews during World War II.
The rest, walk, get lost, discover and above all, let yourself go, which in the end, is what makes you enjoy a city more.
What to do in Budapest
These are our selection of places to see in Budapest and not to be missed.
It is the most famous building in the city. Built in 1902, it has more than 700 rooms and 18 courtyards. You can visit, we could not because of lack of time, but simply seeing its exterior may be more than enough. From the Buddha, with the Danube, it is imposing, in Pest you can see the famous flag and the courtyard where the famous revolt of 1956 began.
2 Fisherman's Bastion
Our favorite corner of Budapest. This neo-Gothic work offers a view of Pest is magnificent. This place is a tribute to the guild of fishermen who defended the wall in the Middle Ages. During the day you have to pay admission, although if you visit at night, very romantic by the way, it is free.
- Entry: 600 HUF
- Schedule: 09 a 23h
- How to get: buses 5, 16, 78 and 116
3 Chain Bridge
Budapest is the city of bridges, bridges that connect the Buddha and Pest bypassing the Danube. The most famous is the one of the chains, although all the bridges in Budapest, like the one of the freedom, they have that something that makes them beautiful, very beautiful.
- Entry: free
- Schedule: all day
- How to get: buses 5, 16, 78 and 116
4/5 The Royal Palace and Buda Castle
Although little remains of the original palace built in the fourteenth century, it is worth going to see how this spectacular building has been reconverting over time because of wars and great battles. Next to the palace is the Hungarian History Museum and the National Library, all within a large complex.
Statue of Prince Eugene of Savo
- Entry: 1,200 HUF up in funicular and 1,800 HUF down
- Schedule: 07:30 to 22h
- How to get: buses 16 (várbusz)
6 Heroes Square
Next to the Széchenyi spa and one of the most beautiful parks in Budapest is the famous Heroes' Square. It is an ideal place to walk, because all that surrounds the lake are paths that lead to a huge lake and several places worth photographing like the Vajdahunyad Castle. This park is ideal to take food and have a good pizza by the lake.
- Entry: free
- Schedule: Open all day
- How to get: Hősök tere metro
7 St. Stephen's Basilica
This basilica is the largest in all of Hungary, with a capacity for no less than 8,500 people. Its dome has a height of almost 100m. Its size is so huge that you will need a good lens to be able to photograph it.
St. Stephen's Basilica
- Entry: 2€
- Schedule: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- How to get: metro Bajcsy Zsilinszky út and bus 15 and 115
8 Jewish Museum (Great Synagogue)
We are more impressed with the history than the museum, but seeing the tree with the names and gravestones of the people who perished excites anyone. You can see it in a short time, since it is relatively small.
Jewish Museum of Budapest
Jewish Museum of Budapest
9 Széchenyi Spa
With outdoor pools it is one of the most visited. They offer year-round hot baths and massages and medical treatments. The passes usually last 2 hours and there are exclusive days / times for men and women as well as mixed. In a classic in the men's pass be frequented by the gay community of Budapest.
10 Gellért Spa
Bathing here is swimming inside a palace. It's like being inside a cathedral with a pool inside.
Save money with the Budapest Card
From € 17 you can buy the Budapest Card, the card that will allow you to enjoy unlimited transport and get to know all these places for free:
- Budapest History Museum
- Hungarian National Gallery and Museum
- Memento Park
- Vasarely Museum, Kiscelli, Aquincum and Archaeological Park
- New Budapest Gallery
- Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
- Mai Manó House - Photo Gallery
- Hopp Ferenc East-Asian Art Museum
- Bartók Béla Emlékház
More information Budapest Card
How to get
To get to Budapest you have to fly to Budapest-Ferenc Liszt airport. These are the companies that offer the cheapest flights:
- Skyscanner (always has the best prices)
If you do not want to haggle and want to go comfortably and safely from the airport to Budapest we recommend that you hire a transfer from the airport. It is not expensive and worth it.
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