As you all know, we love to travel and one of our favourite things to do is to explore a new city. In this blog we are going to share all our tips for exploring a city we love… Budapest. The Hungarian capital was formed when two cities, Buda and Pest merged. Buda and Pest lie on opposite shores of the Danube and became one, Budapest. Below is everything you need to know about the city; where to explore, things to do, where to eat, where to socialise and even all our tips for transport during your stay. If you have been to Budapest and have any new tips to add to the list, just leave a comment below. We are always looking for new travel tips and would love if you shared your tips with each other on our platform.
- Exchanging money: Do not exchange your money at the ‘exchange centres’ in Budapest Airport as they will rip you off. Try to have enough on you to get you into the city or use your card to get money out at the airport. When you get into the city, there are ‘exchange centres’ all over the city, every few blocks and most stay open until 8:30pm/9:00pm particularly near Octogon (city center). Still keep an eye on the rate you are getting so they don’t give you ‘the tourist special!’
- Transport wise: you can get a 24 hour or even a 72 hour pass for the metro (includes bus, tram, metro) for about €12, which is very handy for a weekend of adventures. Public transport in the city is excellent and easy for getting to most places. A taxi is pretty handy too, just make sure to phone one or get the restaurant / bar you are in to call you one, otherwise there is a much higher rate for flagging one down. A taxi from the airport is about 5000ft flat rate to anywhere in the city. There is a stand just outside the terminal at the airport. There is also a train from terminal 1 (about a 5 min bus ride from terminal 2).
Things to do:
- Old Town – Be sure to explore the Gellert Castle District on the Buda Side, it is just across the Chain Bridge. Go for a nice for a stroll around and be sure to explore the Castle and grounds. While you are there pencil in a visit to the Fisherman’s Bastion to enjoy great views of the city. From there, you should be able to see Margrit Island, Parliament Building, Basilica, Chain Bridge, Four Seasons (the old Gellert Palace). If you really want to spoil yourself, book into the Four Seasons for a lovely lunch.
- St Stephens Basilica – This is such a beautiful place to take a look around. Be sure to climb to the top to experience spectacular views of the city.
- Baths – Szechenyi or Gellert are two of the famous baths. We would recommend going to the Szechenyi as there is more of a selection plus their outdoor baths are open all year round. Szechenyi are located in City Park (2nd last stop “Fürdő” on the yellow metro. It costs about 3000ft entry. There is no need to get a changing room with your ticket as there are changing rooms downstairs with individual lockers anyway. If you want to visit The Gellert baths, they are attached to the Gellert Hotel on the Buda side and they are also a lovely experience. A little bit more pricey and sometimes they only have the indoor baths open. If you have to pick one, we would recommend going to the Szechenyi.
- Margrit Island (it is one of the stops of the 4/6 tram – the one in the middle of the bridge). This is a pedestrian island with a running track of 5 miles surrounding it if any of you fancy taking a run or a walk on your holiday.
- Opera House – If you want to experience the Opera, you can call in during your visit and should be able to get reasonable tickets. It is definitely worth checking out while you are there but we would recommend going to see a performance rather then just getting a tour. Take a look online to see whats on and what tickets are available.
- Vaci Utca – Shop till you drop! This is the shopping street which lies at the end of the yellow metro (Vorosmarty Ter). If shopping isn’t your thing, there is also the oldest Coffee House in Budapest called the ‘Gerbaud’ you can check out. If you walk from this area towards the Basilica you will come across some more shops with slightly more upmarket designer stuff.
- Argentinian Steak House – Pampas – (6 Vamhaz Korut). This is close to Szabadsag Bridge. Fantastic food and pretty reasonably priced. It can get very busy so it’s best to make a reservation.
- Vapiano is an Italian self service restaurant close to Deak Ferenc Ter. This was one of our favourite places to eat as they cook your pasta or pizza to order in front of you. We would highly recommend it.
- Liszt Ferenc Ter – This is a pedestrian street near Octogon with lots of good restaurants there. If you walk from Octogon towards the Opera House it is the first street on the left. Some of our favourite restaurants there are Karma which is one of the first ones on the left and Cafe Vian which is one of the last ones on the left. Becketts is an Irish pub in the area if you are missing home a little!!
- Iguana Bar and Grill– (Zóltán u. 16) – A great Mexican restaurant with great cocktails. It is always busy with an electric atmosphere. This restaurant is close to the Parliament building.
- Ruben’s Restaurant – (Magyar Utca 12-14) – This is a nice Hungarian restaurant close to Asoria. You would need a reservation here as it is a popular spot.
- Sir Lancelots – (Podmaniczky Ut 14) – A great place to eat at if you have a group of people on the trip. It is a big feast of meat and the best option is to order a platter for however amount of people are in your group. There is good entertainment all night, such as belly dancers, sword fights and flame throwing.
- Taj Mahal – This Indian restaurant is an excellent choice too. It is located close to Octogon which is very central.
- Hungarian: Szimpla Kert (on Kertész utca 48) or Most are two popular options. The entrance of Szimpla will be very off putting like you are going into a seriously dodgy rundown place with huge bouncers but once you are inside theres a good atmosphere. Very Hungarian!
- Callas is a bar next to the Opera house. It is more upmarket and nice for a drink or cocktail before or after the opera.