Top 10 Things to do in Budapest
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary in Eastern Europe on the Danube River is one of the most beautiful and idyllic cities in Europe. There are enough reasons to add this city to your list of cities to visit in Europe.
Budapest has a lot to offer both in Buda and in Pest banks of Danube River. There is a solid reason why Budapest is called “Paris of Eastern Europe”. Budapest is as beautiful (if not more) as many well known European cities like Paris or Vienna. I really enjoyed the time in Budapest. And I’m sure you’ll do too.
Here is my personal Top 10 Things To Do list for Budapest.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is probably the most photographed bridge of Budapest. The Chain Bridge became the landmark of Budapest ever since it was built to connect Buda and Pest permanently. Take a walk on this beautiful stone bridge from Buda to Pest. Enjoy the views of the Hungarian Parliament on the Pest side and Castle Hill on the Buda side. Don’t forget to greet the lions when you pass by the towers at both ends of the bridge.
In the Buda side of the Chain Bridge take the historic Castle Funicular (pretty cool) to reach Castle Hill and Buda Castle. I tell you, the Habsburger did know how to impress their guests. This Hungarian Royal Palace with its 200 rooms is compared with the Versailles. Up here from Buda Castle you’ll have beautiful views of the city of Budapest and Danube River.
As you are up in the Castle Hill area, you can’t miss Fisherman’s Bastion. The medieval looking towers and colonnades are built exactly on the same spot where the Fishermen Guild built their defence to protect the castle walls in the Middle Ages. Today the symbolic bastion offer beautiful views of the whole city.
Hungarian Parliament Building
The Hungarian Parliament dominating the Pest bank of Danube is the most beautiful one of all the European Parliaments (imho). My opinion is probably influenced by its Gothic style architecture (yeah I have thing for Gothic architecture) but see it and decide for yourself. London’s Parliament Building and Big Ben is impressive yes, but Hungarian Parliament…. wow… Anyway, it is the world’s third largest parliament building with its 691 rooms as well as an impressive 19 (nineteen!!!) kilometres of corridors and stairs. It also houses the Hungarian Crown Jewels.
Basilica of St. Stephan
The roman catholic basilica of Budapest must be on your list, even if your’re not into churches. The 360° panoramic views from the top of the dome which is 96 metres high are reason enough to visit Basilica of St. Stephan. The neo-classical church with its bell towers count to one of the tallest buildings in Budapest. You can either take the elevator or climb 364 stairs. For me the decision was an easy one to make.
Admittedly the Liberty Bridge is my personal favorite. In the very second I fell in love with its green colour. The Turul birds on top of the pillars give the bridge its royal touch. On the Buda side it ends in Gellért tér square at the foot of Gellért Hill and on the Pest side it ends in Fővám tér square where you can find the Great Market Hall.
Budapest Great Market Hall
Speaking of… Budapest’s Great Market Hall dating back from 19th century fits perfectly for a foodie break. On the ground floor you can find all sorts of meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables. The second floor is rather good for souvenir shopping. You can recognize the Central Market Hall in Fővám tér easily from its metal roof covered with decorative green and yellow tiles which are very popular in Hungarian architecture. Keep in mind, it is closed on Sundays.
Gellért Hill is absolutely my favorite view point in Budapest. Thanks to the steep 235-meter block of dolomite over Danube you have the best panoramic view of the whole city of Budapest. I spent a whole evening on a park bank in Gellért Hill sipping on my red wide which I brought myself to avoid the expensive tourist trap restaurants. Take your time while absorbing all the highlights of Buda and Pest. It is simply breathtaking, especially after sunset when all the landmarks of Budapest are illuminated.
Buda Hills and the Chairlift Libegő
You can’t leave the city without wandering in Buda Hills. János Hill (János-hegy) is the highest point in Budapest. From the Erzsébet lookout tower you have some awesome panoramic views of the city and the Buda Hills. Apart of the views the most fun of it all is how you get there! The two-way chairlift, called Libegő, operates between Zugliget and János Hill. Enjoy the beautiful views during the ride. The funny thing is that the chairlift don’t really stop. they just slow down in the main stops so that you need to get in really quickly.
Heroes Square and Millennium Monument
This is the place where it gets really heroic. In this huge square practically the Hungarian history is explained. The 36 meter high statue of Archangel Gabriel in the middle protecting the tomb of unknown soldier is the highlight of the Millennium Monument. The bronze horsemen on the foot of the column represent the Magyar Prince Árpád and six warriors. On the left and right sides of the column there are 2 colonnades. Each colonnade is decorated with 7 statues of important Hungarian rulers.
Basic Info about Budapest
- Currency: Forint (HUF) – XE Currency Converter
- Visa: Schengen zone
- Best time to visit: April-October: 20°C – 35°C
- Airport: Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport (BUD)
- Public transport: Subway and Yellow street cars. Maps
- Population: 1,7 million
- Electricity: 220 volts and Europlug
- Country telephone code: +36 | Budapest area code: 1
- Time Zone: GMT+1
- Language: Thanks – Köszönöm | Yes – Igen | No – Nem
For more insights I recommend Lonely Planet's Travel Guide for Budapest or the Pocket guide.
For price worthy accommodation check Booking.com or Agoda.com.
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