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Travel Guide to Budapest

Hello there! Traveling to Budapest was one of my highlights of 2021! This magnificent city sweeps you off your feet with incredible architecture, hearty comfort food and history-rich places. It is the ideal place to visit if you want to explore more of Europe, immerse yourself in culture and learn more about Europe’s history. In my opinion it is also the ideal place for anyone who likes to travel on a budget and still indulge in little luxuries. In this travel guide to Budapest, I want to give you more insights in how to explore Budapest! You will learn more about the best places and things to do in Budapest, where to stay and also especially, what to eat in Budapest!

travel guide to budapest

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Where to Stay in Budapest

I spent one week in Budapest and during this time I stayed at two different accommodations, which I can both recommend to you! They are both located in the heart of Pest, having most of the sights of that side of the river in direct reach! I loved them both for being so central and clean, while still being super comfortable.

Ozone Private Rooms – A lovely place with private rooms and a shared bathroom, which is something, I personally am very ok with. I understand when it is not something for everybody but I loved that place. My highlight was to order sushi there and eat it while looking into the cute courtyard of the building.

Adagio Hostel – Everything I love about a good hostel in one place! A spacious and cool open area, clean beds and showers and of course, cheap prices! The ideal place to explore Budapest when you are on a budget!

How to Get to Get Around in Budapest

Once you arrive at the airport in Budapest, the easiest way to get to the city center is by bus. There are two lines there and you have to choose one depending on which side of the river you are staying. As I stayed on the Pest side of Budapest, I had to take the 100E line which I left at the Deák Ferenc tér M station to get to my hotel!

Budapest has the most picturesque public transport!

When in Budapest, you can easily rely on all the public transport that there is! My top tip is to get an all-inclusive ticket to public transport for the length of your stay. Then you can move around freely with the bus, metro and old tram as you please. However, I personally also tried to walk as many routes as I could and only rely on the public transport, whenever I had too much distance to cover. Budapest is an incredible city and you will be able to see so many things when walking that you would just miss when taking the Metro!

Things to do in Budapest!

There are so many highlights in Budapest. A lot of them will charm you with detailed architectural wonders that you won’t find like this in any other city of the world. Some of them are ideal if your goal is to combine your trip with a lot of wellness time for yourself.

Buda Castle District

Buda Castle District is the biggest accumulation of sights in Budapest! The UNESCO world heritage holds many amazing and breathtaking things to see. The one sight which is probably the most Instagram famous is the Fisher Bastion with its epic view of the Hungarian parliament. The Fisher Bastion is in front of a very pretty church Matthias Church. Its colorful roof is unlike any church I have ever seen before!

Travel Guide to Budapest - Matthias Church

From Matthias Church and Fisher Bastion, it is only a short walk to Buda Castle, the former castle of the House of Habsburg. Not only can you catch some magnificent views of the Danube but also it is incredible to marvel at the beautiful castle and its surroundings.

Hungarian Parliament

One of the most amazing places in Budapest is without a doubt the Hungarian parliament. It holds not only the Hungarian government but also a beautiful library and exhibition which also holds the former crown of the Hungarian king. It is very much worth a visit!

travel guide to budapest
In front of the Hungarian Parliament

St. Stephens Basilica

Another wonderful building, which can’t be missed in any travel guide to Budapest is the Basilica of Budapest! Make sure to approach the Basilica from the front, so you can be blown away by its beauty in the appropriate way because its front is just wonderful to look at. Also, you have to step inside in any case! The entry fee is a donation you make to keep the basilica restored. Inside, it has the most gorgeous golden decorations and details you can imagine! Truly breathtaking and definitely something you shouldn’t miss when you are in Budapest.

travel guide to budapest - st stephens basilica
Travel Guide to Budapest - Inside St Stephens Basilica

Liberty Monument

The cool thing about Budapest is that you will always find great viewpoints, if you want to! Visiting the Liberty monument also doesn’t only include great panoramic views but also a nice hike. Which can be quite steep too, which you usually wouldn’t automatically expect in a city trip. However, the way up is giving you one amazing viewpoint after another, making more than up for the exhaustion.

Vajdahunyad Castle

If you think about a fairytale castle, the Vajdahunyad Castle is the place to think about. When visiting it in the early morning hours, it looks so incredibly dreamy. It is part of the City Park and was built to resemble a famous castle in Romania and features landmarks that look like ones in other parts of the Kingdom of Hungary. It is close to the Széchenyi Baths and are a perfect stop on a stroll through the park!

Thermal Spas

If you were to ask me where to go when planning a girls’ trip with a focus on the best spa and wellness experiences, I would wholeheartedly recommend going to Budapest. In this city are the most incredible thermal spas, like the Széchenyi Baths, the Gellert Baths or the Rudas baths. Before going, make sure to check their websites for sometimes they have special events and occasions where only males or females are allowed to enter. You can also get massages and other treatments for a very cheap price compared to other European cities.

Danube Shoes

Let’s get to a point in Budapest’s history that is terrible. Almost right in front of the Hungarian parliament you will find a momument made of shoes lined up next to the Danube. The shoes are small and it is easy to walk past them and not see them. They are there to remind everyone of the victims of the facist Hungarian militia who lined up Jews at the banks of the Danube, forced them to take off their shoes and shot them. The shoes were valuable and could be sold later and the bodies would be washed away by the river. The memorial is there so that their memory will not be forgotten. I think when traveling, it is important that we look towards the beautiful sides of a place as well take in things we would usually look away. But anyway it is always important to remember the horrors of the past and never let them happen again.

The Bridges

Another great thing about Budapest are the beautiful bridges connecting the both sides of the city. You can use them to easily cross the river if you want to explore multiple parts of the city. All of them were destroyed during World War II but were rebuild as exact replicas. They are so beautiful and a very popular spot for all kinds of people to hang out at and drink a beer.

What to Eat in Budapest

Of course, this travel guide to Budapest has to include a section about what to eat in Budapest! I want to include a general overview of some of the best dishes you need to try in Budapest and also where to have them! If you are also looking for the best cafés and breakfast spots in Budapest, make sure to check out my blogpost about it!

Goulash

It is a must-do to have Goulash at least once in Hungary! The beef soup is the Hungarian national dish! It comes in many varieties and I liked the one I found best in the Budapest Food Market.

Travel Guide to Budapest - Goulash

Hungarian Beef Stew

The next incredibly tasty thing to try is the Hungarian beef stew! It also consists of meat and potatoes but it comes with a creamier thicker sauce.

hungarian beef stew - travel guide to budapest

Chimney Cake

One thing, no one should miss when traveling is to have one of the legendary chimney cakes! You can find them all over the city, being made in small huts. They are made by hand rolling dough around a wooden “chimney” shaped roll, which then gets baked and afterwards rolled in butter and a topping of your choice. They are the perfect treat on a rainy and windy day and a absolute must do!

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