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Best Holiday Destinations in Europe: Budapest, Hungary

Travel Guide Budapest

If you are looking for a Budapest travel guide, then you have come to the right place. Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, a place where culture, history and natural beauty are closely entwined. It’s a city that’s been occupied many times, always emerging stronger and more beautiful than before. This makes Budapest a great destination for those who love history and culture. You’ll find that there are lots of things to do here. Budapest is a cheap and cheerful city. The Hungarian capital has been named one of the top 10 cities in Europe to visit by Lonely Planet. This is for its affordable cost of living, as well as its vibrant pubs and clubs that cater to locals and tourists alike.

Is Budapest a cheap holiday destination?

Budapest is one of the cheapest holiday destinations in Europe. It’s a great city for budget travellers, with plenty to see and do without spending a fortune. There are many cheap places to stay in Budapest. There are also some affordable restaurants where you can eat well for less than €10. Budapest is a safe city with lots of free museums and attractions that’ll make your wallet happy too!

Hungarian Parliament Building

Budapest is both an ancient capital and a modern one. It’s rich history has left behind some of Europe’s best-preserved mediaeval buildings. The magnificent Hungarian Parliament building lies at the heart of Budapest’s main square. This building is a Neo-Gothic structure that is the largest in Europe. Its interior features a massive mural depicting Hungarian history, as well as stained glass windows modelled after those at Notre Dame de Paris. This prime example of Hungary’s architecture stands tall amid Budapest’s old town district. It also contains observation decks from which visitors can take in sweeping views over both the Pest side and Buda side of the Danube River. The Hungarian parliament building is one such structure, particularly appealing when it’s lit up at night.

Budapest Parliament
Wine in Budapest

The Danube river

If you visit Budapest, you might also want to take a boat ride down the Danube River. It is one of the best ways to explore the city, where you can take in its UNESCO-listed architecture on either side. You will pass some once-great palaces, historic monuments and alluring bridges. The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe and flows through 10 countries. It picks up its source in Germany, travels through Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania before making it to Ukraine where it empties out into the Black Sea. The Danube has been used for shipping since prehistoric times. You can find many historical sites along this river that shows how important it was for trade between countries as well as warfare over centuries.

St. Stephen's Basilica

A must on any visit to Budapest, St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and a beautiful example of gothic architecture. The church was completed in 1905 and can seat up to 5,000 people inside its main chapel. When you visit this holiday destination, you can take a tour to see some of these monuments up close. The Basilica itself is a large cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows and intricate stone carvings. It’s also worth visiting the Royal Crypt which is located under the church’s main altar. The crypt contains the tombs of Hungary’s most famous rulers, including King Matthias Corvinus, who ruled from 1458-1490.

Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Church

Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace on Castle Hill in Budapest. It was built in 1905, and is named after the fishermen who used to live there. The Fisherman’s Bastion is an architectural complex of buildings and spaces that were built in the style of a mediaeval castle, with Gothic and Romanesque features. It has breathtaking views unlike any other in Budapest. See over Pest from its rooftop lookout points as well as from below it; this makes it one of Budapest’s most popular tourist destinations.

Buda Castle

Buda Castle is of course on the Buda side and is a grand building. Head up to the heights of Buda Castle at sunset to see everything below turn rosy gold. The castle is open to visitors from 8:30am until 7:00pm daily. The castle is beautiful, but it’s also a great place to explore. There are plenty of things to do in Buda Castle. Walk around the grounds and take in all the sights; visit the Military Museum for its rich history and exhibits; or even go on a guided tour of the Royal Apartments. You can also just sit back and watch from afar as people walk around you enjoying their day at this gorgeous landmark.

Heroes' Square

Heroes’ Square is one of the largest squares in Budapest, Hungary. It is located in front of the Palace of Art, a building that was constructed for the Millennium celebrations in 1896. The square and its surroundings feature many statues and monuments dedicated to famous Hungarians and is often used as a venue for large events such as rock concerts or sporting competitions.

Buda Castle
Chimney Cake
Budapest Chain Bridge

As well as being an impressive feat of engineering, the Chain Bridge is also a great place for photography. Take some shots against its dramatic backdrop when you visit with your camera in tow. The best time to take photos of the Chain Bridge is early morning or late afternoon, when the bridge has more colour and contrast. The Chain Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Budapest and the oldest road bridge in Hungary. It was completed in 1849 and spans the River Danube, connecting Buda with Pest. Perfect if you wish to walk from one side of the city to the other.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath

The Szechenyi Thermal Baths should be on your list of things to see in Budapest. Széchenyi Thermal Bath is a public bath in Budapest, Hungary. It was built in 1913 and it’s located in the City Park of Budapest. The main pools are one indoor pool and one outdoor pool, with several smaller pools connected to each of them. There are also many different saunas (some of which are open 24 hours!) If you visit during summer months it may get packed because this is one location where locals come together with tourists from around the world! You’ll be floating around in waters rich with sulphur and other minerals. Furthermore, you will enjoy magnificent views of the leafy park and ornate yellow palace that surrounds it. This is one of the most beautiful public baths in Budapest, and it’s definitely worth visiting if you’re ever near the city!

Budapest Restaurants and Bars

Budapest is also famous for its nightlife and vibrant atmosphere, with plenty of pubs and clubs available for those who want a good time out. District VII in Budapest is the go to place for food, drinks and nightlife. This Jewish Quarter is an eclectic area with a rich Jewish history and edgy vibe. The streets are lined with casual eateries, food vendors and quirky design shops as well as street art. The area is known for its cafes and restaurants, as well as its bars. If it’s nightlife you’re after though then try Szimpla Kert. This is an outdoor ruin pub with various rooms spread across four floors and an open air courtyard. In Budapest, the trendiest locals hang out at Szimpla Kert and other ruin pubs.

Budapest Food Highlights

Chimney cakes, goulash and langosh are some excellent bites whilst you are in Budapest. The city is famous for its chimney cake, a pastry that resembles a conical chimney. It’s made from dough that is baked until golden brown, then coated with chocolate or powdered sugar. Buy one from street vendors for the best experience. Goulash is a Hungarian dish made with meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika. It’s the national dish of Hungary, and it’s served with dumplings or potatoes. The traditional way to eat goulash is to pick up a piece of bread and use it like a spoon. Hungarian fried bread (Lángosh) is delicious when served with garlic cream sauce, cheese and sour cream! It’s a typical Hungarian street food.

Should I visit Budapest?

Budapest is one of Europe’s top cities. Its beautiful bridges, stunning architecture and rich history make it a great place to visit if you want to see a city that embodies the best of European culture. The natural beauty found in Budapest makes it perfect for nature lovers too. Take advantage of this while still staying close enough to experience all that this wonderful city has to offer!

Budapest is a gorgeous city, with something for everyone. From world-famous museums to hidden gems like the Széchenyi thermal baths and Fisherman’s Bastion – there’s no shortage of things to do here. The Danube river runs through it and the Buda Castle offers stunning panoramic views from its hilltop perch. So if you’re looking for somewhere new to visit on holiday this year then look no further than Hungary’s capital! Hopefully this Budapest travel guide has helped.

Travelling to Budapest from UK?

Travelling to Budapest from UK offers various convenient and efficient transportation options. The most common and popular method is by air. Several airlines operate direct flights from major UK cities, such as London, Manchester, and Edinburgh, to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. The flight duration is usually around 2 to 3 hours, making it a quick and straightforward journey.

For those who prefer an alternative travel experience, there is the possibility of taking a train from the UK to Budapest. However, this option involves multiple transfers and can take significantly longer compared to flying. It might be a great choice for travellers who enjoy scenic train rides and have the time to spare, but for most, flying remains the more practical choice.

Once in Budapest, getting to the city centre from the airport is simple and efficient. The airport is well-connected by public transportation, with regular buses and a dedicated shuttle service that takes passengers directly to downtown Budapest. Taxis are also readily available, providing a convenient door-to-door service.

How Do I Travel from Budapest Airport to City Centre?

To travel from Budapest Airport to city centre is hassle-free with various transportation options. The Airport Shuttle Minibus provides a convenient door-to-door service, while buses like 100E offer direct routes to central spots like Deák Ferenc tér. Taxis and taxi apps are readily available. If you are wondering is there uber in Budapest, the answer is no. However there is something similar called Bolt.  The airport also features a train station (Ferihegy) with regular services to the city centre. Choose the option that suits your preferences and accommodation location for a smooth and easy journey. 

Is Budapest Safe to Travel to?

Budapest is generally considered a safe city for travellers. Like any popular tourist destination, it is important to exercise the usual precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety tips for traveling to Budapest:

  1. Stay in Safe Areas: Budapest is divided into various neighbourhoods, and while most areas are safe, some may have higher crime rates. Stick to well-known tourist areas and the city centre.

  2. Watch Out for Pickpockets: As in any major city, be mindful of your belongings and watch out for pickpockets, especially in crowded tourist areas, public transportation and busy markets.

  3. Use Licensed Taxis: When using taxis, ensure they are official and licensed. It’s advisable to ask your accommodation or a reputable establishment to call a taxi for you. Does Budapest have uber? No it does not, however, there are alternative taxi apps in Budapest such as Bolt. 

  4. Be Cautious at Night: Like in any city, be cautious when walking alone at night, especially in poorly lit or quiet areas.

Can You Drink Tap Water in Budapest?

If you are wondering can you drink the water in Budapest… Yes, you can drink tap water in Budapest. The tap water in Budapest is generally safe and of high quality. It is treated and monitored regularly to ensure it meets the required standards for consumption. Locals commonly drink tap water without any issues, and it is considered safe for tourists as well. Drinking tap water is a convenient and cost-effective way to stay hydrated during your visit to Budapest, saving you from the expense of buying bottled water. However, if you have any concerns or prefer bottled water, it is readily available in stores and supermarkets throughout the city.

What Language is Spoken in Budapest?

The primary language spoken in Budapest is Hungarian. Hungarian, also known as Magyar, is a unique and distinctive language with no close relatives in Europe. It is unrelated to the Indo-European language family, which includes most of the languages spoken in Europe. As a result, Hungarian can be challenging for speakers of other European languages to learn, as its grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation are quite different. However, in tourist areas and places frequented by travellers, you can often find people who speak English or other common international languages to help with communication.

Budapest views

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