I was lucky enough to be able to travel to the beautiful Budapest a little while ago and I wanted to share my experiences and tips with you.
It is interesting to know that Budapest is actually made up of two cities, Buda- on the hill, and Pest (pronounced peshed) on the other side of the Danube. Both halves of the city are incredibly beautiful and well worth a visit.
Budapest is full of literally hundreds of little cafés and independent restaurants that are well worth a visit. The one pictured below is a tiny café we found in a basement. I would recommend having a wander around and find them as they come, they are all over the place and are all a little different from each other.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge or Széchenyi lánchíd, in Hungarian, is a really cool site to visit and you can walk straight along it in-between Buda and Pest. Designed by the English Engineer William Tierney Clark. The Chain Bridge was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary and was opened in 1849 so there is a lot of history behind this beautiful monument. What’s even better is that it is totally free to visit and cross so it’s a great place to go if you’re on a shoe-string budget like I was.
Once you’ve crossed the bridge you can make your way up the hill to Buda Castle. The castle grounds are very beautiful to walk around and you can go inside. They do sell guided tours for around £20+ but we didn’t use one. It is well worth a visit in its own glory but also because it gives you beautiful views over the whole city. I pinched a photo from online of the castle itself (below) but the polaroid is of a friend and I with our backs to the view over the city, it was such a hot summer day that the glare was too much for my Instax to handle but I love it too much for sentimental value not to post it.
The Hungarian National Gallery is also a great place to visit, it’s very close to the castle. The building itself is beautiful, and of course, the fine art is incredible but the marriage of the two is really something special. You do have to pay to get in, around 1,000 Hungarian Forints but luckily that actually adds up to less than £3. I highly recommend it for art lovers and would actually recommend it to anyone looking to escape the heat and the hustle and bustle for a meditative and beautiful space.
If, like me, you like to enjoy a country through the local food, the number one thing you have to try is Hungarian Goulash. They sell it everywhere here and its really delicious usually with a fresh bread roll everyone seems to have their own version so you’ll have to hunt around to find your favourite.
Heroes Square, or Hősök tere in Hungarian, is one of the major squares in Budapest, noted for its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The monument has a lot of history behind it and is incredibly grand, its a pretty cool place to visit and is situated near The Museum of Fine Arts.
Budapest can actually get incredibly hot in the summer and the best place to go is Gelarto Rosa, it is an incredibly pretty gelato shop and they make these insanely beautiful ice-cream roses that you can get in any flavour conversations you want. The one I bought (pictured below) is mango, strawberry and raspberry.
In the day you can catch a boat to Margret Park, which is actually quite a large island in the middle of the Danube. It’s a nice park with water fountains and gardens and there’s a bunch of cute cafés where you can buy Lángos, a Hungarian traditional food which is basically fried dough on its own or with toppings.
Additionally, the park features a massive Budapest sign which is always fun for photos.
Budapest has got a really great culture of nightlife. The ruin bars are really fun and totally crazy but be warned they fill up really quickly so you want to get there early to get a good seat. They sell all these crazy coloured and flavoured cocktails and it is so much fun to go, even for a few hours. This is a photo of me and my friend in a sofa made from a bathtub.
As well as the ruin bars there are heaps of great cocktail bars all over the place which all have their own signature drinks and vibe, my advice would to just root around, make some friends and see what you can find!
One of the best bars I have been to is bar 360 in Budapest, it is a rooftop bar that looks over the city and it’s incredibly breathtaking. Be forewarned, however, be prepared to queue to get in and fight for seats when you eventually get there. Go there early to ensure you actually get in! It is also not exactly cheap, but for a special night out there’s nothing that can beat it.
The final place I would recommend you go is the Jewish District. The area is filled with history, you can even see bullet holes sprayed over some of the buildings. The district is beautiful and worth exploring and one of the best places to eat is Vintage Garden with The Sweet by Vintage Garden right next door (pictured below). It’s a really adorable bakery and well worth a visit.
Budapest is such a beautiful city and I hope my tips help you have the best adventures there!