budapest, hungary, travel

12 Things to do in Budapest

January 14, 2017

Ah, Budapest. So far on my travels I’ve yet to encounter a more photogenic city, from the classic Art Nouveau architecture of Pest to the evergreen hills of Buda, it’s not difficult to find beauty here in this historical, inexpensive capital.

1. See the Parliament Building

One of the most beautiful buildings in Budapest is the famous parliament building. Not only is it one of the most visited tourist destinations, it’s the single largest building in Hungary. For the best view of the parliament, try crossing the Danube river to see it across the bank.2. Visit a spa

Budapest is not Budapest without it’s world famous thermal spas. Choose from one of the classics, Széchenyi or the Gellért Thermal Spa, or opt for a lesser-known, cheaper alternative for the living-like-a-local experience and soak the day away. Get pampered with a massage, or simply enjoy swimming around inside a colourful tiled building that hasn’t aged since the 1800s.3. Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion

For beautiful views of Pest and the Parliament Building, make sure to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion, a neo-gothic styled terrace situated on Castle Hill.4. Try some traditional Hungarian food

Though not the most vegan-friendly cuisine, Budapest has plenty of vegetarian restaurants that serve veganised versions of their traditional dishes. From goulash to hortobagyi palacsinta, Hungarian dishes are usually topped with sour cream (made dairy-free for us) and paprika. They’re kind of obsessed with paprika.5. See the shoes by the Danube

Picture found on Wikicommons. The Shoes on the Danube bank is a memorial conceived by the film director, Can Togay and sculptor Gyula Pauer to honour the Jewish people of Budapest who were ordered to remove their shoes before they were shot and killed at the edge of the Danube bank. The memorial represents the shoes left behind when their bodies fell into the water.6. Hike up Gellért Hill

One of the greener places of the city is Gellért Hill in Buda, visible from almost all areas of Budapest. It’s not too much of a trek to hike to the top and see the excellent views. Don’t have much time? That’s okay, hiking half way up has great views too.7. Cross the Chain Bridge

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge spans the Danube River, connecting Buda and Pest and at the time of it’s construction in 1852, the bridge was considered one of the engineering wonders of the modern world.8. Visit a ruin bar

Budapest is famous for the bars located inside abandoned buildings, salvaged with rickety furniture, fairy lights and psychedelic statues from flying pigs to a wonderland-esque field of rabbits with wristwatches. If you’re interested in exploring Budapest’s nightlife, be sure to make visiting a ruin bar a priority.9. See Memento Park

Picture found on Wikicommons.  Memento Park is an open air museum dedicated to statues sculpted in Hungary’s Communist period. There are monumental statues of Lenin, Marx, Engels and several Hungarian Communist leaders. The park is a 40-45 minute bus ride from central Budapest so is a good opportunity to get away from the city centre.10. Visit Matthias Church

Though there are many churches in Budapest, Matthias Church is the most beautiful with an orange roof and great views over Budapest. It is located next to the Fisherman’s Bastion and is worth climbing to see the views from the top of the tower.

11.Visit the Holocaust Memorial Centre

Picture found on One of the best museums in Budapest is the Holocaust Memorial Centre, an exhibition that offers visitors an interactive opportunity to learn about the Hungarian victims of the holocaust through historical accounts, original documents and objects.12. Shop at the Central Market

Picture found on Wikicommons. Shop in the oldest, largest indoor market in Budapest for great deals on locally-grown produce, souvenirs, spices (including paprika!) and pickled items, famous in Eastern Europe.

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