Budapest is becoming the go to place in Europe, not only because it doesn’t break the bank but there’s so much to see. As the historic city is split into two halves, Buda and Pest, you will find breathtaking views across the Danube river, historical architecture, including Budapest’s magnificent bridges (eight in total) and a fabulous culinary scene. Remarkably all of these and more can be explored on foot.
Guest post by Liz from Call Me Liz
What’s the best time to visit Budapest?
Budapest’s average temperature in the Summer months (June-August) is a bearable 20-26°C and even in September they have what we call an Indian summer. When visiting in the Summer you will experience Budapest at its busy time, during these months there is so many exciting things going on including the Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix, Budapest’s many thermal baths or pools are open and there are lots of local events to come across. The Sziget Festival, the Festival of Folk Arts in Buda Castle and Hungary’s most important national celebration St. Stephen’s Day where you will witness huge fireworks over the Danube.
On the other hand if you want a cold, festive experience the best month to visit is December where the Vörösmarty Square is adorned with Christmas markets.
Few facts about Budapest
Once you’ve experienced their culture: Budapest has tons of World Heritage Sites such as the Danube, Heroes Square and Buda Castle to name just a few. After a busy day exploring you will want to sit down with a nice glass of wine. The country has 22 wine regions in Hungary itself, which also benefits the cost conscious traveller, as the Hungarian wines are much cheaper than their imported counterparts.
One Day in Budapest Itinerary
Top things to do in Budapest Hungary
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Budapest.
Visit the Most Beautiful Café In The World for Brunch
For a truly decadent dining experience, look no further than the New York cafe in Budapest. Originally opened in 1894 and given the title of the “Most Beautiful Café In The World” in 2011 and you can see why – chandeliers and marble everywhere it’s a must visit to take photographs and try their incredible food.
Take in the sights by the Danube River
Budapest is full of breathtaking architecture all equally impressive during the day or by night. On the “Pest” side of the river you have the Hungarian parliament building; built in 1885 it is a permanent seat of the National Assembly and sits bathed in atmospheric lights in the evening.
Taking a walk along the Chain Bridge you will arrive in Buda. The 375-meter-long suspension chain bridge was the first bridge to permanently connect Buda and Pest and was completed in 1849. This also looks spectacular at night, when fully illuminated.
As you leave the chain bridge, you will come across another building that dominates the Buda skyline, Buda Castle. The castle, also known to some as the Royal Palace, is home to the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Library. If you want to go to the top of castle hill quickly, you can ride on the the funicular which also offers panoramic views across Budapest. Another piece of stunning, fairy tale like architecture is the Fisherman’s Bastion also on castle hill and with lookout towers the photo opportunities continue.
Visit Margaret Island
All great european destinations have a city park so you can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can get to Budapest’s is Margaret Island via Margaret Bridge and with so much space (2.5 km long and 500 m wide) it is easy to experience a wide variety of activities, these can include; riding around the island in a golf buggy, watching the musical fountain, walking around the Japanese garden or just relaxing on the lawns and enjoying the sunshine.
Try Budapest National Dish Goulash
There are so many restaurants serving Goulash it’s hard to know which one is going to serve the most authentic. Traditionally a beef dish cooked with onions, paprika tomatoes and green peppers (but some add potatoes too). Restaurants serving this dish with positive reviews include Hungarikum Bisztro, Chef Cafe, Rosenstein and the aptly named “Paprika” to name a few.
Experience the nightlife at ruin bar Instant
For very unique nightlife you have to visit the biggest ruin pub in Budapest – Instant. Positioned in the jewish district and transformed from abandoned buildings it has twenty three rooms, six bars and four dance floors so there’s music to suit everyone’s tastes. Known as an enchanted forest and with lots of little passageways there’s so much to explore just watch you don’t get lost!
Where to stay in Budapest?
Maison Bistro & Hotel
The Maison Budapest offers a unique experience in the heart of the Buda Castle district, only a short walk to Matthias church. This prestigious boutique hotel combines historical appearance with modern design. The hotel features a bistro restaurant, an indoor garden and 17 individually designed rooms.
Casati Budapest Hotel Superior
Casati Budapest Hotel Superior is a hotel, housed in an 18th-century building, only a short walk to the famous Andrássy street. The hotel features a landscaped and interiors decorated with original artwork. The rooms and suites are designed in 4 different themes: Classic, Cool, Natural and Heaven.
Maverick City Lodge
Maverick City Lodge is a boutique hostel set in the heart of the historical Jewish Quarter on the popular Kazinczy Street. The hostel provides private rooms and dormitories, all nicely furnished. Being one of the best value accommodations in the city, the hostel is very popular among young travelers and backpackers.
Extra tips for visiting Budapest
– A great way to learn more of the history and view all the sights is to purchase a ticket for a hop on, hop off bus or walk! If you’re staying quite central don’t bother paying for the metro it’s so easy to get around to see all the sights and you can get from Buda to Pest via one of the eight bridges.
– Take less money than you think! Alcohol and food is extremely cheap even in the nightclubs.
– Make your trip to Budapest even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for the detailed list of all the activities and organized tours in Budapest or around the area.
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