Budapest has to be one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Of course you’ve heard of Rome, Paris and London… and those cities are certainly staples of any Euro trip. However, Budapest should also be on your list for its unique history, interesting architecture, affordability and cultural activities. The city actually used to be two different cities separated by the Danube. You’ll need at least three days to explore both sides and really enjoy what we know today as Budapest.
To Eat and Drink:
Budapest is known for it’s ruin bars. The most famous ome being Szimpla, where you can explore several floors of patios, eclectic furniture and graffiti.
For less of a frat house party feel, have a cocktail in the darling courtyard of Mazel Tov. The atmosphere is so inviting and fun. I easily could have had several rounds here!
Café Gerbeaud is a touristy, yet historic café for fancy chocolates, coffee and desserts.
Visit Dionysos Taverna if you want to feel like you’ve been transported to Santorini in Greece. The inside is decorated with the iconic blue and white of the Greek Islands. I absolutely loved this place for it’s authentic Greek fare.
We are Californians living in Italy and we rarely get the chance to go to a Mexican restaurant. So when we passed Gringos Amigos, we couldn’t let the chance to have nachos pass us by. Mexican in Europe is usually pretty disappointing, but this place surprised us and was so good!
To Do and See:
Visit the Shoes on the Danube near the Parliament for a chilling tribute to this city’s turbulent past. See the best views of the Parliament from afar on the Buda side.
Fisherman’s Bastion is the best spot for views of Pest, the Danube and the Hungarian Parliament Building. This is situated right in front of the Matthias Church.
I studied propaganda art and the political aesthetic in college. Naturally, I found the House of Terror museum fascinating.
Climb to the top of St. Stephen’s Basilica.
The Budapest Castle and National Hungarian Museum had an extensive collection of Hungarian art.
I don’t care if it is touristy, we went on a quick river cruise and I loved it. Seeing the city from a boat was a whole different perspective. I’d recommend going at night so you can see all the lights reflecting off the river.
We visited the Széchenyi Baths on an early winter morning when there was still snow from the night before on the outdoor benches and the rooftops. It was so relaxing to feel the crisp air on your face while swimming in the hot water. I’d recommend getting to this popular bath early in the morning or during the off season if the idea of taking a bath with a bunch of strangers in their Speedos makes you cringe. I had visited a few years back in late summer and it wasn’t near as enjoyable.
Because I usually travel with my pup, I expect to pay a small fee at a hotel. In Budapest however the fee at many of the top rated hotels was between $30 and $50 a night. When you can literally get an entire Airbnb for $50 a night in Budapest, I wasn’t thrilled about that kind of fee.
Alfie’s thoughts on this…”$50?!”
If you’re not traveling with a dog however the Aria Hotel and the Corinthia Hotel are some of the most popular hotels in the city. They were also rated #1 and #2 of the all the hotels in Central Europe in Conde Nast Traveler’s Best in the World 2016 magazine.
7Seasons Apartments is a great option for a budget accommodation. They usually offer a free ride to the airport if you book direct.