When I planned our Eurotrip earlier this year, I knew that I wanted to start out in Prague, but didn’t really know what our other destinations would be. I had heard of people going to Budapest and always thought it seemed interesting, but honestly never thought I would be able to visit. When I was looking for easy cities to get to by train from Prague, there was Budapest! For those of you who don’t know, Hungary is located in Eastern Europe bordering countries like Slovakia and Romania. I could immediately tell a difference in the culture and vibe from previous European cities that we have visited. It’s hard to explain, but the people just seemed different, but not in a bad way, just a different way. People were very friendly and we LOVED how the US Dollar can go a long way in Hungary. The Hungarian Forint is very weak against the US Dollar, so you get way more for your money. You can check out my whole post about where we stayed in Budapest by clicking here. While we only had a couple of days in Budapest, here are the things I would suggest checking out:
Walking Along the Danube River– this was one of my favorite activities and the best part is that it’s free! We highly enjoyed walking the riverwalk area along the Danube River and watching the boats, people, and perusing the shops and restaurants. Budapest is split by the Danube river and the North side is very hilly and picturesque so we enjoyed the views when walking. We stayed in central Budapest and found it very easy to get to the riverwalk area.
Walking Across the Széchenyi Bridge: I feel like this is akin to walking across the Brooklyn Bridge because it was packed with tourists and people taking pictures. I really enjoyed walking across the bridge and we made this part of our daily routine for both entertainment and exercise. The Széchenyi Bridge is also an architecturally beautiful bridge being that it is a chain link suspension bridge, so it made for great pictures.
Walk to Fisherman’s Bastion and Enjoy the Views: if you can only do one thing in Budapest, please go to Fisherman’s Bastion! The Fisherman’s Bastion is, in all likelihood, one of the most visited attractions in Budapest. This is the place where locals and tourists come to enjoy the city views, and the views were well worth the climb! The Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic style situated on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill in Budapest, so it provides amazing views of the city and picturesque backdrops for photos.
Take a Danube River Cruise: We tried to book a river cruise for daytime hours, but learned that most of the river cruises started right at dusk for maximum viewing potential of the Hungarian Parliament building. The river cruise was a lot of fun and we got to see some sights that we wouldn’t have normally seen because the boat takes you pretty far down past the city and then turns around and comes back. The river cruise we chose served refreshments and you could pay for appetizers and other drinks. Be sure to take a scarf or jacket because once the boat gets going it becomes very chilly!
Where We Ate: To be honest, there were so many good restaurants along the river walk area and we would just pick a random restaurant each meal. I can honestly say that we didn’t have a bad meal the entire time that we were in Budapest and the bonus was that it was all cheap! Randomly enough, one of the best meals while we were there was an Italian restaurant that had the best pasta marinara I’ve ever had!
Travel Tip: Budapest is a very walkable city. We walked everywhere and never got tired or thought we needed to get a taxi or use public transportation. As always, I suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes (for me that’s usually tennis shoes) and then change into other shoes if you want to take pictures or if you are walking somewhere nice.
You May Want To: So many people said that we had to do the Hungarian baths while we were in Budapest, and while this sounded interesting, it just didn’t end up happening for us. I did a lot of research on the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and the Gelert Baths and discovered that there are a lot of logistical things that seemed stressful like having to rent towels and slippers and putting your items in a small locker. Also, I have a random phobia of people’s bare feet on pool areas (I know, so weird), so this whole experience just seemed like a nightmare to me.
So tell me- have you been to Budapest or do you want to go?