Szia! Welcome to my stopover guide to Budapest, Hungary. As i’ve mentioned in my recent posts about Krakow and Vienna my trip was very fast paced and I was only ever in a city for 48 hours maximum so I’ve been sharing the most important (in my opinion) things to do in these cities when you don’t have time on your side. So, sit back, grab a notepad (or better yet use the icon on the left and pin this post) and jot down some ideas for when you go and visit Budapest, Hungary!
Language: Hungarian (loads of people speak English)
Currency: Forint ($1=283 Forint currently)
Location: Central Europe, Northern Hungary
Where To Stay:
Budapest, Kiraly u. 20, 1061 Hungary
Phone: +36 1 883 5005
If you’re only going to be in town for a little bit, stay in a hostel, and especially stay in this hostel. The rooms are nice, and very centrally located. The breakfast was pretty crap (as I’ve found most hostel breakfasts are) but there is a Costa right across the street and a grocery store just down the block. The room was extremely clean and the bathroom was actually pretty decent. A girl in my group and I lucked out with a double room instead of a quad. It was so great to be able to spread out. (Another tidbit? Don’t do your laundry here, tons of people on my trip had to hang their clothes all over their rooms because the dryers didn’t work)
Budapest is very walk-able but there are plenty of public transportation options: cable cars, bus, metro, cab and even water taxi during the summer season. Budapest is so easy to navigate by foot that public transportation is really only needed if the weather isn’t great or your feet are sore from a long day of exploring.
The metro cars aren’t super big and there aren’t many of them to a train so keep that in mind if you’ll be riding around during peak hours. Also, unlike in Vienna, DEFINITELY get the ticket validated at the boxes in the station. Workers do come aboard and check tickets so be sure it’s validated correctly.
Things To Eat:
When in Hungary you must eat Goulash. Goulash is a meat and vegetable soup with paprika and it is to die for. I may have went back for seconds.
Do not ask me to pronounce that. This is a pretty predominant street food in Hungary. It is very similar to American fried dough, but way better. The spun dough cooked over coals and coated in almost whatever you want. I highly recommend getting the cinnamon sugar coating. I may have substituted a meal or two for these which is why I don’t have any other food recommendations. #sorrynotsorry
Things to do:
This was probably the most fun I had while in Budapest. Something about water relaxes me. Anyways. There are about a thousand different cruises to chose from, just make sure to go on a dinner cruise around sunset for the best experience. The views are amazing and the meals are buffet style so you can eat at your own leisure. I suggest starting off by taking pictures in the sunlight (that magical twilight hour). After, head to the dining room for dinner and then go back outside for some stunning night time photos. Do not miss getting shorts of the parliament building at night. This might be the most beautiful building i’ve ever seen.
Speaking of parliament, don’t miss a guided walking tour through Budapest’s streets. You will learn so much about Hungary’s tumultuous past. Hungarians are some very resilient people. Our tour lasted 3 hours and it was phenomenal. This particular tour ended with a museum trip to the House of Terror. If you’re looking to delve deeper into Hungarian history this museum is fantastic. Walking along the Danube you’ll stroll up to 60 pairs of iron cast shoes to memorialize the Jews that were shot into the river during the Nazi German occupation. The beautiful memorial sobered up even the silliest of those in our group.
*Unfortunately, I have no idea who our walking tour through as I was a bit careless in this city about getting the names of places we went. I was too caught up in wandering the streets and taking in all of the sights to pay attention to much else. Trip Advisor (not sponsored, but I wish!) has a plethora of different walking tours to recommend.
To unwind after a long walking tour a stop at a Budapest’s famous baths is in order. Széchenyi is right off of the metro line which is perfect for tired feet. The supposed healing powers of the mineral water will make even the sorest of bodies feel better. There are 3 outdoor pools with one of them being body temperature. Body temperature water is so strange and amazing all at once. Don’t stop there though, head inside and check out the other baths and saunas. A word of caution though, bring your own towel or you will pay extra.
When you fancy a drink while in Budapest one must go to a ruins bar. There are a ton of them located all over the city and they tend to pop up and move often i’m told. I’m embarrassed to say that the only pictures I have of the ruins bar I went to are not of anything cool but of ‘I love NY’ stickers that I plastered everywhere. So, when you happen to come across Szimpla Kert think of me whenever you see an I love NY sticker. ** Bonus, if you stay at the Wombats hostel it’s right up the road :-]
//The Parliament building pictured above is the 3rd largest in the entire world.
//That same building was designed by a man who won a contest. The two runners up had their buildings erected just behind the parliament building.
//Bars are allowed to be open 24 hours a day. So if you fancy that morning beer with your breakfast, or you just want to prolong the party you have endless access to do so.
//Hungary was occupied by Germany and then by the Soviets, they held their first free election in 1990.
Question of the day: Have you been to Budapest? If not, would you like to go?