Budapest is a bustling city full of great history and contemporary styles.
How can you not love this city!
Budapest has friendly locals, great food, cheap booze and they really know how to party!
It was my first time to attend a rave party on an open field on the top of the Buda hills! AMAZING!
Where is Budapest?
Budapest is located in the heart of Europe. The capital Hungary and considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The Budapest is one of the budget-friendly destinations in Europe.
Hungary is part of the EU, but they are not using Euro, Budapest currency or the whole Hungary for that matter, use Hungarian Forint.
For my Filipino friends, you’ll probably need to get a Schengen visa to visit Budapest.
A little background about Budapest…
Budapest has a rich history from the Celts, Romans, Magyars, Ottomans and Habsburg. This turbulent past built the Budapest that we all know today.
The Hungarian language is one of the most difficult languages in the world.
I can barely say Goulash and Széchenyi!
I visited this interesting city and I think these are the best things to in Budapest that you should try and experience. Also, try to get a Budapest card that can give you free or discounted entries to different attractions in Budapest.
1.Experience the Kávéház (Coffee House)
“Black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love” – A Turkish proverb that will perfectly describe the love of Hungarians towards their coffee love affair.
Coffee has been a big thing in Budapest.
In the early days, coffee houses were really essential for artists, writers and poets of Budapest as this was the place where they create their masterpieces.
The Kávéház used to offer the “Writers Menu”, where they can have some special discounts.
After the world wars, the Kávéház opened up to the general public. The coffee houses were known to sell cheap foods and coffee in the city.
The love affair for coffee and the for Kávéház is still present in the modern Budapest. So when you visit the city, try to spend an afternoon in a coffee house.
Ruszwurm is the oldest coffee house in the city that opened in 1827 and one of the best cafes in Budapest.
Join the Budapest Sweet and Coffee House Walking Tour
2. Visit the Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Széchenyi Chain Bridge is the first stone and suspension bridge built across the Danube River in Hungary.
In 1849, the chain bridge was the only bridge that links the 2 cities, The Buda and Pest.
Back in the days, Budapest was divided into two different cities.
The Buda, the west side of the Danube bank, is the hilly, greenery and residential part of the city where you can find Castle Hill, the Citadella and the Gellért Monument.
In this side of the river, you can also find Óbuda (Ancient Buda) where Roman settled during their occupation.
The Pest, the east side of the Danube Bank, this is the urban side of the city where you can find most of the shopping centres, the St. Stephen Basilica, Opera and many more.
In the middle of the Danube River between the 2 cities lies Margaret Island (Margit-Sziget), where you can find mostly parks and spas.
During the Ottoman rule, they turned the island into a harem.
Visit the other bridges of the city:
Megyeri Bridge, Arpad Bridge, Margaret Bridge, Elisabeth Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Petofi Bridge, Lagmanyosi Bridge.
Join the Budapest Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
3.Have a drink of Palinka in a Ruin pub
The ruin pubs are an integral part of the Budapest nightlife.
The Szimpla Kert is the first ruin pub and started this fantastic trend in the city.
Ruin pubs are the abandoned buildings from the World War II. Majority of the ruin pubs are located in the Jewish Quarter.
When I visited Budapest, my friends and I went ruin pub hopping. It was a great evening filled fun and lots of Palinka and fröccs a.k.a Spritzer!
Since the ruin pubs are one of the highlights of Budapest nightlife, it would be rude not to try the famous, Hungarian Pálinka!
Palinka is a fruit brandy! Even if it’s made from fruits the alcohol percentage of this drink is pretty high. Palinka comes in different flavours like apricot, pear, plum and cherry.
Join Budapest Pub Crawl Through the Ruin Bars
4.Relax in Budapest’s Thermal Baths
Thermal Baths is one of the things you must try when you visit Budapest.
There are more than 100 thermal springs in the city alone. We visited Rudas Thermal bath in Buda near Gellert Hill.
The role of the thermal baths started during the Romans occupation. This was the place where they relax and ease their aching muscles.
The waters of these baths are known to have minerals to heal different muscular, joints and respiratory diseases or pains.
This is also the first time I’ve encountered to have a whole body massage with a male masseur.
Get this Private Entrance to Széchenyi Spa in Budapest with Optional Massage
5. Explore the different historical sites and landmarks
If you are after for a Budapest sightseeing there are many historical landmarks in the city, like the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Castle Hill and Gellert Hill in Buda.
Castle Hill is where you can find Budapest’s historical monuments and landmarks like Buda castle, Trinity Square, Fishermen’s Bastion and the Matthias Church.
Another peak in Budapest is the Gellert Hill. This towering landmark in the city is surely hard to miss and fairly rich in history too!
Other landmark and attraction that is located on the Pest side of the city are the Liberty Square, St. Stephen Basilica and the grand Hungarian Parliament.
Join the Budapest Sightseeing Tour with Parliament House Visit
6. Try the famous Hungarian Cuisine, the Gulyás (Goulash)
Hungry in Hungary? You are in the right place to be!
Hungarian’s love for paprika and other spices are undeniable.
One of their popular dishes is Gulyás (Goulash) made from beef, potatoes, onions and seasoned with paprika.
This is actually one of my favourite dishes, so this one thing I will surely not miss to try in Budapest.
Most of the Hungarian dishes are flavoured with paprika and other spices and commonly based on pork or beef.
Another popular dish in Hungary is the Goose Liver (foie gras) however I don’t know if I can able to eat it due to the inhumane practices that they do to the poor goose.
Join the Budapest Food Walking Tour
7. Cruise on the Danube River
Danube River has been the heart of Budapest and other 9 countries in Europe.
There are loads of river cruises company that you can try.
If you have plenty of time, you can also try to cross countries via Danube river and explore a unique way of travelling around Europe.
Join the Budapest Danube River Dinner Cruise
These are some of the Budapest attraction that I can recommend in case you want to visit Budapest.
In case you are looking for a cheap accommodation in Budapest, see this for the best hostels in Budapest that will suit your budget.
Enjoy and have a great time in Budapest!
If you have been to Budapest, share your experience in the comment box below!
Special thanks to Gabi and Peter who showed us the beauty of their home city! During our trip to Budapest, we collaborated with Budapest Bike Breeze, Rudas Baths, Aria Hotel Budapest and Marco Polo Travel Guides. All opinions are my own.