Every person I’d met who had been to Budapest raved about this city so my expectations were high. Luckily, it did not disappoint!
Iconic yellow trams
People enjoying the sunshine
Great/Central Synagogue (Nagy Zsinagoga)
There is a lot to do here and I’d recommend staying for at least three days to see the highlights at a decent pace.
In the middle of summer there was a great deal going on. I was here with a friend from Australia and our apartment was very centrally placed in the Jewish quarter which made it simple to walk to everything.
Here’s a few of my favourite things in Budapest.
River cruise on the Danube
For a different angle and view of Budapest, a boat cruise down the river is a great way to take in the scenery.
Parliament as seen from the Danube
Central Market Hall (Nagy Vasarcsarnok)
I’m not quite sure what I ate here but it was freaking delicious. It kind of looked like lasagne at first but appeared to be made up of rice. There are many local dishes available for reasonable prices in here.
This is also where you can grab some fresh fruit and veggies in addition to scanning the stalls for souvenirs.
The outside of the markets
Fisherman’s Bastian (Halaszbastya)
Essentially a viewing terrace now, this place offers beautiful views of the city from the Buda side. Most areas are free to enter but the higher sections do have a fee. It’s a fairytale like structure and looks completely different yet equally amazing at night time when it’s lit up.
One of the most lovely parliament buildings I have ever seen, this structure looks amazing up close and just as great when admired from across the river on the Buda side. You can even go for a tour inside.
The site of many important political events in Hungarian history, Heroes Square is a located near City Park, between the Museum of Fine Arts and Palace of Art.
There’s many statues commemorating key people involved in shaping the country from it’s foundations.
What was once an old fortress from the 1850s, now offers a fantastic panoramic view of Budapest from one of the highest points in the city.
Shoes on the Danube
It took me ages to locate this monument! It’s on the Pest side, about 10 minutes walk away from Chain Bridge in the opposite direction of the city centre.
The memorial is dedicated to the Jewish people who had to remove their shoes before being killed by the Arrow Cross (a fascist group active during the 1940s, not exactly like the Nazi’s but not that different either).
There’s some fantastic bridges joining the two sides of the city together and there’s even the small Margaret Island located in the middle of the river where you can simply walk around and enjoy the greenery.
House of Terror
This museum is dedicated to 20th century Hungary and the role fascism and communism played in relation to it.
There’s a particular focus on the treatment of Jewish people during this time and the part which really stood out to me here was a room in which video interviews were played of victims sent to concentration camps.
The building itself was a site of torture and detainment and the bottom level is where the cells were, I happened to be down there alone for a period when all the other tourists were either behind or in front of me and let me tell you it was extremely scary and quiet, I can only imagine how the victims must’ve felt.
Definitely worth a visit if you have the time and are interested in WW2 era history.
I’m sure there are many other ruin bars around the city that aren’t as much of a tourist draw card as Szimpla Kert but it’s still an amazing place and the bonus was it was only 2 minutes from our apartment.
Basically at first glance it appears as if it’s a dilapidated, unstructurally sound house which has been decorated like someone took the contents of a Good Will store and threw them sporadically around.
There’s 1980s computers hanging from the walls and not one couch or chair appears to not be destroyed or match.
It all seems to work really well though and the atmosphere is very cool. It’s a great place to enjoy a few drinks and people watch.
The major attraction of the city is of course, the baths.
We intended to go but not being a major fan of public swimming pools anyways (I come from Australia, we are spoiled with beaches OK) it wasn’t the number one item.
I feel I’d be more keen to do it in the winter months though when it wasn’t so enticing to spend the day wandering the city.
Underneath the city there is many caves and you can explore them on a tour if you wish!
Budapest Zoo & Botanic Garden
A friend of mine loves sloths and if you do too be aware that you can get up close and personal with (and even touch ) them at Budapest Zoo, one of the oldest ones in the world.
Relax for a reasonable price
After a few hectic weeks on the road together my friend and I decided to spend half a day getting haircuts and massages. I think the two services combined cost be about 40 AUD which is maybe a fourth of the price compared to back home!