Budapest, the capital of Hungary, the seat of Hungarian Parliament and the most highly populated city in Hungary. This place is magical, full of culture and architecture unique to this country.
I have heard from many travelers that there is not as much to do in Budapest in relation to other big European cities. I found the opposite to be true. I was in Budapest for 4 nights and 3 full days and felt as though I could have spent even more time there. That being said 3 days was plenty of time to see all the major sites and still have some leisure time for relaxation.
Often overlooked by travelers, this city has much to offer, especially to those of us traveling on a budget. Budapest is one of the most inexpensive cities in Europe to visit with accommodation as low as $12 a night for a hostel, $30 for an Airbnb and $40 and above for a three-star hotel in the city center.
I traveled to Budapest with three good friends and we rented out an apartment via Airbnb, paying only $32 a night. Split that between the 4 of us and we were spending practically nothing!
I would recommend trying to find accommodation near the Hungarian Parliament building, it is on the east side of the Danube River, which was originally the city of Pest before it combined with the city of Buda on the west side of the river. I found the east side to be the quieter area of town yet still within walking distance of the major attractions.
Budapest has extremely beautiful views, the city running on either side of the Danube River makes this Hungarian charm sparkle when the sun comes out.
The main sightseeing attractions would be the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, The Liberty Statue atop Gellert Hill, Vajdahunyad Castle, and last but not least, the famous Szechenyi Thermal Baths.
My personal favorites were Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Matthias Church was unexpectedly ornate. It’s easy to grow tired of churches when travelling Europe because there are so many wonderful ones to see. However, Matthias Church was the only church I witnessed that had such amazing painted decals. Both the inside of the church and the outside is colorful and bright, which is far different then many of the purely grey churches in other countries. There is a small fee to enter this church but it was well worth it. Visitors are allowed to roam the church at leisure and even go upstairs to view the painting and architecture from different angles. The Fisherman’s Bastion surrounding the church is superb, with interesting and unique architecture and good views of the Danube River and Pest side of the city.
The Liberty Statue atop Gellert Hill offers the best views to see all of Budapest. To access this war memorial statue, you have to walk through a large park and up several sets of stairs. The walk is not incredibly tedious but if you suffer from sore knees or have other physical ailments it would be quite difficult to make your way up the hill. However, the walk is well worth it because once reaching the top you can see everything. The day I visited this statue was (lucky for me) a decently clear day however, I imagine this view would still be amazing even when cloudy or rainy
I know that one of the main attractions of Budapest is that it is home to many famous “Baths”. These bath houses differ depending on which one you visit but the largest and most famous is the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. Since I was in Budapest in October, it was quite chilly outside but the large outdoor heated pool was wonderful. It was not so fun exiting the pool due to the brisk and cold air, but inside the water is toasty and lovely. Inside the bathhouse building there are many natural baths. These are…interesting and each one carries it’s own “special” smell. I am not one who is picky about germs but these baths would not be for the faint of heart. They range from cold all the way to boiling hot and people of all ages and sizes enjoy them. I personally preferred the outdoor heated pool to the indoor natural thermal baths but experiencing both was a Budapest treat I would not have wanted to miss
For those of you who don’t know what an Escape Room is, basically it is a game you participate in with a group of your friends or family where you get put inside a room and in order to get out you have to solve riddles and puzzles. Budapest was the city that first invented these Escape Rooms which are now popular all over the globe.
My travel companions and I never had never done an Escape Room before but knew we had to try it out while in Budapest. I won’t give away all the secrets but it was a blast. We did the Madness room at ExitPoint Escape Rooms. This particular business is known for it’s Alice in Wonderland themed rooms and its exquisite attention to detail. My group was told before starting that only 3 out of 10 groups manage to escape in the allotted hour of time and fortunately, we made it out! The woman working gave us an extra minute because we were so close to finishing. I considered that a success. If you are interested in a fun mental workout try out one of the many Escape Rooms all over Budapest to fully experience this game in it’s city of origin!
There is so much more to Budapest than what I have included in this post. To ask me any questions about food, bars and other Hungarian activities send me a shout via my contact page.