Five things to do in Budapest
Today I wanted to do something a little different and write the best five things I did when I visited Budapest. Firstly, I just need to say how incredible this place is - I went with my friend a little over a year ago, just before Christmas 2017, and we had the best few days exploring. The food, the history, the thermal baths - it’s absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and it’s one of the places I would definitely visit again.
So let’s hop into the best bits:
Fisherman’s Bastion. Holy guac, talk about the perfect place for an Instagram pic. This place is completely breathtaking. It’s almost in a little town of it’s own - it reminded me a little of the scene from Shrek when they first go back to the castle as ogres haha. But then you see this fairytale castle built with light stone with the most breathtaking views peeping through the windows. There are steps on the other side that make for the perfect picture spot. There’s also a really cute shop next to it selling traditional Hungarian souvenirs that’s definitely worth a look in.
Buda Castle. On the Buda side of Budapest again is this incredible castle. Just for info before I go on, there is the Buda and Pest sides that make up Budapest - Pest has all the shops and bars and is the more lively side, whereas Buda is quieter and more residential. In the grounds of Buda castle we saw horses, looked around the little outdoor stalls that sell Hungarian trinkets and even had a little look inside the castle. The views are just as breathtaking as Fisherman’s Bastion and there’s a picture spot that gets the Bridge in shot which is just insane. We got the little hill funicular up from the street to the castle which cost around 7 euros and was worth every penny - this would be a great spot for a time lapse too. Talk of pennies, there’s a penny squishing machine here too which is the perfect little keep sake.
Hopping across to the Pest side of things, I need to mention the shopping - including the Christmas market. This city has so many shops. There are rows of little side streets with every shop you can think of. Make sure you give yourself enough time to have a stroll around as some of the shops are little boutiques and just pretty to look at. Their Pull and Bear is also huge and I love me some Pull and Bear as you know. The streets are also littered with stalls selling handmade crafts and traditional items. Definitely check out the markets too - Central Market Hall is worth looking at. The first floor is full of different foods and other produce while the 1st floor is full of souvenirs. Lastly, I would highly recommend going around Christmas as the market is beautiful. They have every stall you can think of and the smells of all the traditional food mixed with mulled wine is the most festive experience ever. They have music playing and little bars dotted around - plus they have a huge Budapest sign which is great for pics (if you can quickly get one without a load of other people doing the same thing).
The food. Oh my heavenly lord the food is on another level. If you’re a foodie like me, you will love this place. They have everything - I don’t actually know where to start. I’m getting all excited thinking about it. So I’m talking restaurant after restaurant, market stalls full of all the food you can imagine, tea and coffee shops, street food. Honestly, there are streets lined with every cuisine you can imagine. But not in a scruffy way - they’re all pretty from the outside and look amazing. We went to Hard Rock, a very random Mexican we found late at night when we arrived that did honestly the best nachos I’ve ever had, we had tea in a tea shop, browsed all the food in the food market I mentioned above, ate pizza in a random pizza place we found. The whole weekend basically just consisted of food - even the independent little places were incredible. Honestly it’s worth a visit just for the food.
Last but not least - bars. There are bars and little wine places that spill out onto the street with outdoor seating, giving you the chance to glug back some wine while looking at the beautiful buildings. There are the ruin bars that are so worth a visit. There are also rooftop bars and oh my goodness - this is a must! We went to High Note Sky Bar and it was breathtaking. We walked into the hotel entrance and were met by such welcoming staff who took up through to the foyer. There was a sweeping piano drawn on the floor and up the wall setting the tone of the entire place. The music made you feel like you had stepped into a parallel and very swanky new world. We then took the elevator up to the rooftop bar. It was dimply lit with the bar taking up most of the left hand wall (it was a small space that made it feel very exclusive) - filled with every beverage you can think of. The tables were small and intimate and the whole thing made us worry about how much of a hole in our purses it was going to make. Through the window on the right hand side, right there, was St. Stephen’s Basilica, lit up and taking complete pride of place. We sat down at a table and browsed their menu - only to realise the cocktails were only around 8 euros each! We could not believe how cheap it was. We were served popcorn to snack on while we sipped away taking in the view. It was probably top three cocktails I’ve ever tasted. We then went right up to the roof and, I mean, I can’t put into words how insane the view was. You can see every single monument from that one place. We just stood taking it all in for so long. This is an absolute must if you visit - such a great picture op.
So - those are my five recommendations of things to do in Budapest. We stayed in an Airbnb and I highly recommend this. You can also purchase bus passes that include boat trips and again, I highly recommend as it makes travelling around completely stress free. There are reps everywhere for the main bus service so you can ask anyone if you’re a bit confused on where you need to go. I know I didn’t mention the thermal baths but that’s because it’s an absolute must and you probably would have already stuck this on the top of your to do list. It’s amazing!
Let me know if you’d like more travel posts - I’ve loved writing this.
See you soon,