Budapest is definitely a gem that can't be missed on your next European trip. I really didn't realize how much I'd like Budapest. I actually didn't know what to expect. The first day we got to Budapest we decided to take in the city by wandering through the streets. This is my favorite thing to do. Get lost a little. I can't tell you how cute the Budapest streets are. The buildings have such character.
When planning your trip, there's a few things to know about Budapest. First off, I don't think you need a crazy amount of time here. I'd say 2-3 days is reasonable, especially if you don't have a ton of time available to you. Of course if you have more, that's great, but not completely necessary to see the essentials. Second, a tip on how to pronounce Budapest. I've always heard different ways to say this city name. It's actually pronounced bood-a-pesht. There's an 'h' sound in it!
Below are the top seven things you must add to your Budapest itinerary.
RELAX IN THE THERMAL BATHS
I was told that no visit to Budapest would be complete without a visit to one of the famous Thermal Baths. There are two main ones that you can visit. One is Gellert and the other is called Széchenyi. Don’t ask me to pronounce that one out loud, ha! I would say yes you should visit one, but I’m not sure I’d go back!
We spent a few hours at the Gellert Thermal Baths and Spa. It was pretty relaxing, but honestly I was a little grossed out by how many people are sitting in the pools at once. I would be interested in checking out the other bath, Széchenyi, because the outside pools, look insanely beautiful.
STROLL THROUGH THE CENTRAL MARKET HALL
Also called the Great Market Hall, but great is an understatement. This place is huge. You can find everything from goods to food and snacks to fresh produce. Make sure you check the opening hours because we almost went when it was already closed. Here you can try one of Hungary’s famous foods, Langos or really any Hungarian dish. Come hungry! Oh wait, that’s funny. Be hungry in Hungary.
CATCH THE SUNSET ON THE DANUBE
Budapest during the day is beautiful, but I think I may be convinced that Budapest is even more beautiful by night. Be sure to take in the sunset somewhere along the Danube. The colors are gorgeous and the view along the water is amazing. And as the sun goes down, the buildings start to turn on their night lights. The Parliament building all lit up at night is another can’t miss sight.
TAKE IN THE VIEW FROM FISHERMAN'S BASTION
Fisherman’s Bastion was definitely my favorite place we visited in Budapest. The view from here is unbelievable. It is up on a hill overlooking the Parliament building and really all of the city. You can grab the Number 16 bus to get up the hill, or if you’re ambitious, you can hike it!
PAY TRIBUTE TO THE SHOES ON THE DANUBE MEMORIAL
This really is a touching memorial just south of the Parliament building. It is in remembrance of the Jewish people who were persecuted in that spot in 1944 and 1945. I come from Jewish heritage so this was a must see spot for me to pay tribute.
RIDE THE TRAM
Aside from being a great way to get around this city, the Tram is an easy way to see more of the city. You can’t miss the cute yellow train cars.
VISIT THESE HISTORIC BUILDINGS:
PARLIAMENT BUILDING, BUDA CASTLE, ST. STEPHEN'S BASILICA + DOHANY SYNAGOGUE
I didn’t want to leave these Budapest sites off this list because they’re such beautiful buildings. I would say you don’t actually have to go inside these places but admiring them from the outside is totally necessary during your Budapest visit.
There you have it! You're all set with the must see's in Budapest.
Yours Truly // Shannon