It’s easy to fall in love with Budapest. The Hungarian capital is brimming with breath-taking architecture, delicious food, cool shops, interesting history and plenty of amazing things to do. The city is made up of two cities, Buda and Pest and are divided by the majestic River Danube. Both sides are joined by a number of spectacular bridges but boast two very different scenes, ensuring you have plenty to discover and explore. Here are eight of the best things to do in Budapest.
1. Take A Dip in the Szechenyi Baths
Bathing is a major pastime for locals in Budapest. The thermal water is warm year-round so visiting the city in the colder months means you can still take a dip. The most famous of all of the baths and also Europe’s largest bath is Szechenyi, an astounding Neo-baroque building that’s home to indoor and outdoor pools as well as a sauna and steam rooms.
2. Dine Al Fresco at St Stephen’s Basilica
This basilica is one of the most important religious buildings in Hungary. Classical music and organ concerts regularly take place inside the Basilica, and sometimes spill out into the square outside making it a wonderful place to grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants that are located outside.
3. Drink the Night Away at Szimpla Kert
Ruin pubs offer a unique experience and are one of the best things to do in Budapest. The highest concentration of ruin pubs can be found in the trendy Jewish Quarter, with the most popular being Szimpla Kert- a cool maze of bizarrely-decorated rooms and outdoor areas to chill and have a drink with friends. You’re guaranteed a night out like no other here!
4. Take a Stroll Down Andrássy Avenue
This wonderful boulevard puts 5th Avenue in NYC to shame. Due to its interesting cultural heritage, it was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002. Taking a walk down Andrássy is a great way to admire Budapest’s different architectural styles, including the Hungarian National Opera House, neo-renaissance townhouses, and of course the beautiful shops and boutiques where you can pick up a thing or two for yourself.
5. Splurge on a Michelin Star Meal
This city centre spot boasts two Michelin Stars which offers a fine dining experience. Reserve a table at Onyx and immerse yourself in a tingling taste-bud experience. The waiters don white gloves and crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling – a fancy dinner spot indeed! If you ever choose to visit and find yourself wanting to splurge on dinner, Onyx is the place to do it! You certainly won’t be disappointed.
6. Climb Buda Castle
Take in the views of the Pest side from Fisherman’s Bastion. Right across the Chain Bridge from Pest you’ll find a funicular that ascends to Buda Castle. If you’re feeling fit, you can climb the stairs that wind their way up the steep hill.
7. Get Lost in the Great Market Hall
Budapest is famous for its various Markets that sell a whole range of delicious Hungarian food, from local produce to fruits and vegetables. The Great Market Hall is the best market in the city, especially if you’re looking for a varied culinary experience. Try out Langos, a Hungarian speciality that will fuel you up for a day of exploring the city!
8. Dare to Visit the House of Terror
Immerse yourself in the city’s darker side. The House of Terror holds exhibitions about the Fascist and Communist regimes which ruled Hungary during the 20th Century. The building was used as a prison and torture venue by the State Security services. There is the opportunity to tour some of the prison area in the basement and the exhibition includes testimonials from some of the victims.
Have you visited the Hungarian capital? What else would you add to the list of things to do in Budapest? Tell us in the comments!
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