6 minutes reading time Hungary
Located at the heart of central Europe and bisected by river Danube, with the picturesque landscape of Buda hills to the West and the Pest to the East, the Hungarian capital city of Budapest is no less than a gem. With its fascinating history, innumerable sights of cultural value, stunning natural beauty, sybaritic nightlife scenes and cheap drinks, the city offers travellers everything they could want from a European city. If you are planning to visit it for vacations or even just for a minibreak, it is going to become one of your memorable travel experiences.
Since it is one of the most popular sites among the tourists, upon your arrival, there would be a variety of options for you to book an accommodation of your own choice. Many tourists prefer staying in hostels which are as cheap as 5 euros for a bed in a shared dormitory and that also in the heart of the city. That’s cool, right! Besides the accommodation, the very next thing I would suggest you do is to buy a transport pass so that you can make most of your time during your stay by reaching in no time to the tourist spots.
Now, if you are baffled from where to start your day in this beautiful city of Hungary, come on I am going to be your guide. Starting your day by a morning walk along the mighty Danube river to the iconic Széchenyi Chain Bridge would be one of the best choices as it offers the most splendid view with the river flowing below you. Not only in the morning time but also at night, it is worth a visit as the river would fascinate you by its magnificent panoramic view with the lights of the city reflecting in the flowing stream of the river.
After the chain bridge, it would take you 15 minutes by foot to glare at one of the finest architectures which is the Parliament of the country. It provides travellers an engaging overview of the history of its political power. Inside it, one can also find enchanting artifacts, architectural embellishments, and art. If you like to delve more into its history, a guided tour of this oldest building of Hungary would do that job. Just several minutes away from this iconic building lies St. Stephen Basilica portraying neo-Renaissance architecture. If you are there around Christmas time, you would also have the opportunity to visit the most beautiful and oldest Christmas markets full of commercial life. Once there, you can find alluring handcrafts with special authentic Hungarian delicacies. There are many well known restaurants in the area and you must try them for lunch. There are, of course; dozens of Hungarian cuisines to choose from, offering everything like Goulash, Langos, Fozelek and Töltött Káposzta (stuffed cabbage leaves). My favorite has always been Langos so you should definitely give it a try. It is a deep-fried flat bread with endless varieties of toppings usually eaten with garlic sauce, cheese, and sour cream. Besides this, in desserts, go for Kürtös Kalács or in other words Chimney cakes. These are sweet spiral cylindered bread made from sweet yeast dough baked over charcoal and coated with sugar.
The next stop on your tour should be the Great Market Hall. It is the largest and above all most iconic market of the city. You can enjoy the aesthetic taste of indigenously manufactured local goods here and would have the chance to meet the hospitable locals as well who worked with bundles of love to produce these products. Over here, you can also purchase some famous local snacks like Pogacsa, Salami and Pickles. This is also the place to purchase some cheapest yet amazing souvenirs for your friends and family. Be assured that you wouldn’t find anything as cheap as it is inside this market.
Not too far from this market, is one of the romantic places that has an incredible view over the Danube and the Pest-side of the city. It’s called the Fisherman’s Bastion and is the most popular sight not only for the tourists but even among the locals like me. The building itself is stunning with all it’s little towers and staircases. Besides, the bastion is known for an aesthetically designed church of the city named Matthias church. One can enjoy the synthesis of architectural and artistic taste found both in the Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. It is a must see place when you visit Budapest.
Now, the next stop of your journey should be walking up Gallert Hills towards Citadella to catch some stunning panoramic view of the city before the sunsets. It is the highest point of Budapest and offers the best view over the city. You wouldn’t find any other such a magnificent spot to take a glimpse of the whole city at single glance. The hill has various pathways that lead to this Citadella with one starting at Elizabeth Bridge and another at Szent Gellert Square. The site is also a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Besides the tourist attractions, if you are a history loving person, then do not forget to visit some good museums. Back in the past Hungary had been ruled by various empires like Romans, Mongols, Ottomans, Soviets, Czechs and Magyars. The country’s medieval turbulent history is well portrayed in the museums with much of the ancient relics. The most important ones amongst the others is Hungarian National Museum. This is the oldest museum in the country built in 1847 and has a collection of millions of items and artifacts portraying the era of the Arpad dynasty to those of communism days. The other museums include Hungarian National Gallery, Ludwig, Budapest and Hungarian National History Museums. The entrance fees differ from museum to museum but you can visit these for free on Hungarian national holidays that are 22nd and 23rd of October. Same stands true for the Hungarian Parliament as well.
Well, now before talking about one of the best things about Budapest that can do wonders to your trip let me give you a quick suggestion for your dinner. In fact, it’s going to be more than a dinner if you go for “dinner on the cruise”. You should definitely try it! A one-hour cruise along the Danube with dinner and a cocktail included is going to bring more fun to your experience. Then continue your trip to different bars in the city to experience the city’s nightlife.
A bar crawl is always a great way to experience it and is impossible to think of ending the crawl without visiting Budapest’s ruin bars. These bars are in the Jewish district of the city. You can try the local drinks such as Palinka, which is a local Hungarian drink made of different kinds of fruits with 30 to 50% of alcohol. After the bars you can finish your amazing tour in one of the nearby clubs but just take care that you don’t get a hangover the next day.
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