In the middle of January I had a quick city break in Budapest and I want to share my tips for visiting the city in case you’re headed there.
You’re planning a visit to Budapest for a few days and don’t know where to start from? I spent a quick but very sightseeing-heavy week there in the middle of January and have made a list of things you need to see even if you don’t have a lot of time but still want to spend your time wisely.
Firstly, I have to mention the Budapest Card as it’s what I used to move around the city. I haven’t bought a tourist pass before but this one came very recommended on all of the blogs and websites I made my research on so I decided to go for it and I’m not sorry. You can get it for 24, 48 or 72 hours and it gives you a lot of discounts but most importantly – unlimited use of all their public transport. I have to say that after I bought it I came across a Hop On Hop Off bus service that offered some very nice deals as well, so if you’re just staying in the centre of town maybe research that as an option to move around instead.
Now to my ‘What to visit’ list!
1. A promenade on the riverside of Pesta is a must. The view is breathtaking both during the day and the night, plus there is quite a lot to see if you walk the whole thing. We used a mixture of walking an hoping on and off the tram line #2 as it’s quite a long way. However, if you start from the Old Marketplace you can get to the Parlament building passing by a few beautiful bridges, the Palace of Arts, the National Theatre, a wonderful view of the palace and a million wonderful places to have coffee.
2. While you’re on the riverbank, visit the Old Marketplace. It’s very beautiful for a quick walk and while you’re there – it’s the best place to buy Hungary’s famous chilly red peppers from the source instead of a souvenir shop.
3. On the other side of the river you should definitely visit the castle and walk down the Fishermens towers. It’s basically the equivalent of walking on the riverside of Pesta, only it’s much higher and on the other side of the hill there’s a view of the rest of Buda – let’s call it the less touristy side. You can get there walking for about 15 minutes or hopping on the old electric car to the top. The view is wonderful and you can see the parlament in its full glory. This is also where you realise how truly gigantic and beautiful the rest of the buildings are as well. Again, if you’ve got the Budapest Card there are a number of trams that can take you from one end to the other and there is a bus going way up to the castle and the towers.
4. Visit Városliget park. I’m sure the experience is much different in Spring/Summer but even in -5 and snow I loved the park and there is definitely a lot to see there.
The Zoo and Botanical Garden are there, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths are there, which are the most popular baths you’ve probably seen pictures of online, Vajdahunyad Castle which is truly impressive and a must see at least from the outside, and my favourite part (only available during the winter) the ice rink build in 1895. I loved this place, skating there was truly an experience and I definitely suggest checking it out. The rink is huge and has some pretty amazing views towards Hero Square and Vajdahunyad Castle on the other side.
This makes for a great day trip as right on Hero Square are the National Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts you can also visit.
Have you been to Budapest, can you offer something different for me to see? I definitely want to go back, maybe when it’s warmer as I’m sure it sill be a totally different experience.
And if you’re just headed there I hope my tips were helpful! Feel free to like this post so you can refer to it whenever you need it and have a great stay in Budapest!