Eight Things To Do in Budapest

During our eight months abroad, Zack and I spent about 5 months living in Budapest (you can read all about my first impression here and catch up on our time in Madrid here). I honestly had no idea what to expect when I found out we would be living in Budapest. It really wasn’t on my radar of places to visit, but it completely exceeded my expectations.

The city is full of so much history, incredible architecture, and more restaurants than you can possibly imagine, and today I’m finally sharing eight of my favorite things to do in Budapest.

1. VISIT THE CASTLE DISTRICT

The first thing you should know is that Budapest is split by the Danube River. Buda sits on the west, while Pest is on the east. The Castle District is on the Buda side where you’ll find Buda Castle, the Fishermen’s Bastion, and Matthias Church. The architecture is STUNNING, and the views of the Danube and the city are unbeatable. Make sure you go inside the Matthias Church AND climb the tower!

2. STROLL ALONG THE DANUBE RIVER

There are 8 bridges to explore, but the oldest and most famous is the Chain Bridge. Grab a bench on the Pest side of the river to watch the sunset over the Buda Castle. Be sure to stop by the Hungarian Parliament building, another showstopper. Worth seeing at both day and night.

3. CLIMB ST. STEPHEN’S BASILICA

Climb the 364 steps to the top plus check out the church’s interior too!

4. RELAX AT A THERMAL BATH

The thermal baths are one of the biggest attractions in Budapest. There are tons of natural warm springs under the city, and many believe that the mineral water can be healing. I visited both the Széchenyi (the most popular) and Gellért Baths (considered one of the most beautiful).

5. HIKE UP GELLERT HILL

The Citadella sits at the top of the hill plus you’ll get another great view of Budapest. There is also a Cave Church located at the base of the hill that you can tour.

6. GO TO A RUIN BAR

You can find them all over the city – abandoned buildings converted into eclectic bars and clubs. Szimpla and Instant are two of the most popular.

7. EXPLORE CITY PARK + HEROES’ SQUARE

Heroes’ Square is one of the major squares in Budapest which displays the large statue complex of important Hungarian leaders. Nearby is City Park where you’ll find the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the zoo, and the Vajdahunyad Castle.

8. TRY ALL THE FOOD

Check out some of our favorite restaurants + foods to try:

RESTAURANTS
• Menza
• For Sale
• Toprum
• Mazel Tov
• Tereza Mexican Restaurant
• Ristorante Millennium da Pippo
• Street Food Karavan
• Cafe Zeller
• Sao
• Koleves
• Borze
• Grand Cafe

BARS
• Szimpla
• Ankert
• Instant
• 360 Bar

COFFEE SHOPS
• Flow
• Ecocafe
• 9Bar
• Bloom Coffee

FOODS
• Goulash
• Chimney Cake
• Chicken Paprikash
• Lángos
• Sausage
• Anything Paprika!

DRINKS
• Tokaji Wine
• Fröccs
• Palinka

The city has SO much to offer, and if you can believe it, there’s still even more to explore in Budapest! If you ever find yourself in Hungary’s capital, this should be a good start!

It’s hard to believe Zack and I are finally back in Los Angeles! This entire experience was unforgettable, and I hope you’ve enjoyed following along on all my adventures this year. I still have a few more blog posts coming up from our time abroad including the best day trips from Budapest AND our trip to Paris. And it’s safe to say we’ve still got the travel bug with a trip to North Carolina and New York already scheduled. Stay tuned!

– Courtney


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