Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting beautiful Budapest. My Dad’s family is from Austria and because we were going over to visit them, we thought why not see a neighbour!?
Budapest is the largest and capital city of Hungary. It is an absolutely stunning placed filled with historical stories, bridges and buildings. Sadly, much of the beautiful city was destroyed in the Second World War, but many of the sites have been completely restored or remade, and are back to their original form.
Now to the purpose of this post. Here are the 6 Things You Have To Do In Budapest.
#1 HOP ON HOP OFF BUS – THE ONE WITH THE GIRAFFE
One of the best parts of Budapest is how the majority of the attractions are very close to one another, especially along the Danube. You can walk many of them and for further distances, I suggest a Hop on hop off bus. Now, I think it’s important that I mention my usual hate for hop on hop off busses. They’re usually awful. You have to wait for a long time and many of the attractions are so so. But not in Budapest. I definitely think that it is an essential way to see the city, especially if you want to see as much as you can over a short period.
The reason why I mention ‘the one with the giraffe’ is because there’s a few different companies and the one I went with, well they said always make sure you get on the bus with the giraffe! They had an abundance of great information, in many different languages and nearly all of the stops were worthwhile.
View from the Citadella
#2 GO ON A BOAT TOUR
As I just mentioned, most of the great things to see in Budapest are along the Danube. You can always try get a photo of these amazing buildings standing in front of them on land, but I think if you really want to see them and their sheer size, you have to do it from a boat tour. Our particular one offered to stop at Margaret Island, which I think you can personally skip. But overall, I feel like if you don’t do a boat tour, you haven’t really seen Budapest. Most boat tours only take around 1-2 hours.
#3 VISIT PHILANTHIA
Along the main shopping street in Budapest, there is a magical looking store window with the name Philanthia. Now, I honestly wish I could have taken pictures inside, but you strictly aren’t allowed to. At the same time, I’m kind of happy that you can’t because it means your attention is just 100% drawn to what your eyes are seeing, and you aren’t distracted. The best way for me to describe this shop is that it is probably what fairytales are made of. It has whimsical music playing, all of these amazing flowers, home decor, christmas ornaments etc and you just walk from one end of the shop to the other, staring at everything in awe. ‘How’d they make that? Oh wow, that’s so beautiful’.. I know it might not sound like the most exciting place, but it was definitely one of my favourite things in Budapest. I’ve never seen a shop so magical and breathtaking before. If you do have a quick look on Google or Instagram you can see a couple sneaky pictures, but I’d definitely say you have to see it in person to appreciate it.
#4 GO TO FASHION STREET
Now fashion street does contain a few fashion shops, but the reason why I suggest it is because of the market in the middle of the street. It is absolutely filled with gorgeous little stalls ranging from desserts, traditional Hungarian food as well as some boutique etsy-esque type of stores. If you go to Budapest, you have to try this dessert in the below pictures. It looks like a chimney and I believe that it is called a Sekler Cake. Basically, imagine a pastry or bread of a similar consistency to a donut but slightly thinner, that you untangle. It’s usually covered in sugar and nuts, with some places even adding Nutella to the inside, yum.
#5 VISIT AND EAT AT CAFE MARVELOSA
I feel really proud of this find. I think that Cafe Marvelosa has probably got to be one of the cutest and quirkiest cafes you could find in the world. The interior just reminds me of a grandma tea house, with an artsy twist, and the food that they serve is traditional Hungarian. I ordered Chicken Paprika which is their national dish and I had it at many restaurants, but it was by far the best here. To get to Cafe Marvelosa, it’s on the Buda side probably a 5 minute walk from the Funicular (cable car) that takes you up to the castle.
#6 SWIM IN THE SZECHENYI THERMAL BATHS
Our last day in Budapest was a top of 6 degrees celsius, and was bucketing down rain, so of course we headed to the baths (right?). The Széchenyi Thermal Bath’s has an enormous amount of indoor pools as well as a few outside. The first pool we swum in was a great 38 degrees celcius and it was honestly one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had. If you’d love to visit the baths, I highly suggest doing it on a day with awful weather because I mean, does it matter if you’re already going to be wet? Or, do it on your last day when you need some relaxation before moving onto your next European adventure.
If you’re curious about Budapest but don’t have much time, I honestly think that 3 days is the perfect amount of time, which I think you definitely can and should squeeze in.
To see more of what I got up to, feel free to explore my travel hashtag on Instagram which is #katinatravels. You can take a peek here.
Have you been to Budapest before?
What’s one place in Europe that you can’t wait to see?
PS: If you’re curious, the camera for my photos is my LG G4.