Europe

The Ultimate Guide to Budapest, Hungary

I found a lot of beauty in this city: the food, the people, the sights, and the history.  Since it is not as famous as touristy cities like Paris or Rome, it is easy to immerse yourself in the cities (Buda and Pest) and to find something that fits your mode of traveling .  From spending your day in the famous baths to walking along the Danube River on the Chain Bridge you will see the beauty of Budapest everywhere you turn.  The city is full of activities for your day, but the city itself lights up like a golden star at night.   

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Before You Go:

  • When to Go: March-April, September-November
  • Language: Hungarian
  • Currency: Hungarian forint

Things To Do:

One big plus is that the Metro is fast and easy and will take you to basically anywhere you need to go within Budapest.

Szechenyi Baths (or other bath houses throughout the city)

Starting at 5200 HUF for bath ticket and cabin

The 20th century built baths and pools full of healing are massive and amazing for a day of healing. Many other bathhouses even include saunas, swimming pools, and other spa services for different ways of relaxation.  On many Saturday nights, the Szechenyi baths host parties at night, which are very fun but also very crowded.

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Cat Cafe

Not yet a popular concept in the United States, these cafes are full are coffee, pastries… and of course, cats coming to join your table for some head scratches and attention.  A good idea for animal lovers, but stay away if you don’t like animals too close to your food.  

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Hungarian Parliament Building

Discounted tickets for EU and non-EU students

This building is an architectural masterpiece inside and out and a definite must see for anyone coming to Budapest.  Modeled after London’s Palace of Westminster, this place will have you coming back for one last visit before you miss your train.  The “Shoes on the Danube River” memorial, the Chain Bridge, and the Parliament building are all located within walking distance of each other.   

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Chain Bridge

Free

This bridge along the Danube separates the two sides of the city: “Buda”and “Pest”.  No really, the city was really “two cities” until 1873, when the two capitals merged together.  This bridge provides amazing views of the river and the Parliament building and there is a large walkway for tourists and locals to walk across.

“Shoes on the Danube”

Free

This memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust who were told to leave their shoes before they were shot into the river is a historical sight and memorial that represents a tragic part of Budapest’s history.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica

The basilica is a beautiful architectural master piece from the inside out.

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Where I Stayed:

HOBAR – The Hostel Bar ($20-40 a night)

Although the customer service here was excellent, the rooms were pretty dirty and the one bathroom that was supposed to be shared by more than 4 people was out of order and made the room smell horrible.  The bar at the entrance of the hostel was very cool and was a great way to meet other people staying in the hostel and passerby tourists.  The location of the hostel was also perfectly located to the metro and Raday street, which is blocks and blocks of a variety of delicious restaurants.

Helpful Hungarian Phrases:

  • Hello: Szia (see-yaw)
  • Cheers!: Egészségedre! (ag-esh-sheg-ad-reh)
  • Thank you: Köszönöm! (khoe-se-noem)
  • Please: Kérem 
  • Yes/No: Igen/Nem
  • Do you speak English?: Beszél angolul?
  • Which bus do we take?: Melyik busszal kell menni?

Budapest has turned out to be one of my favorite European cities.  I love the vibe the people and the city give off and the endless possibilities to entertain yourself.  I hope you enjoy your visit to this beautiful city.

Happy travels,

L x

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