If you’re into alternative cities, bath houses, Gothic architecture, art and a sick nightlife, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Budapest, Hungary’s capital, cultural powerhouse and home of The Sziget fest. With a population of over 1.7 million, Budapest is a city of art. It has an abundance of museums, opera houses, art galleries and gorgeous Gothic buildings with facades looking like pieces of art! Still not convinced? Then maybe our Budapest travel guide will give you the nudge you need:
LET’S TALK HISTORY
Did you know that Budapest used to be three different cities? True story! Back in the 9th century, King Bela IV established the city of Buda as the capital of Hungary which was conquered by the Ottoman Empire from the 16th until the 18th century. A century later the cities of Buda, Pest and Obuda were united in a single city, creating what we know today as Budapest.
WHAT OF THE COST
When you’re planning a trip on a budget, cost is usually the one of the main deciding factors. So, just how expensive is Budapest? Despite being in the center of Europe, Budapest is pretty affordable. In fact, compared to cities like London, Rome, and Paris, Budapest is definitely the cheaper option. We would go so far to say that it’s possible to go through three meals a day for as low as 20 quid.
Just trotting around the city is an experience itself, and this makes Budapest a perfect destination for backpackers. Not into long walks? Here are a alternatives you shouldn’t miss:
1- The Gellert Baths: Arguably the most famous thermal baths in all of Hungary, if not Europe. The underground springs go back all the way to the 12th century. Nowadays, they offer multiple spa services.
2- The Danube Promenade: If you do enjoy walking you can’t miss a night walk along the Danube. From there you can see iconic landmarks and pretty buildings. It certainly is the most picturesque (and free) place to visit in Budapest. And it’s hardly overrun by tourists!
3- The House of Terror: If you’re a more recent history buff you’ll probably wanna end up here at some point. The House of Terror has many exhibitions focusing on both fascist and communist regimes and their history in Budapest. A visit to the old underground prison is must.
4- The Hungarian State Opera House: Like most of Europe, Budapest is filled with art, and a night at the opera is obligatory.
5- Ecseri Flea Market: Unleash your inner hoarder and go trinket scavenging. With any luck you might end up with something of potential future value!
6- Ruin bars: Budapest’s famous ”ruin bars” are abandoned buildings that were turned into quirky multi-level pubs with a bohemian feel and fun vibes.
1- The Legendary Vampires of the Castle Courts: Away from the hustle and bustle of Pest, this Vampire Tour, takes you to the most charming, magical and intimate places of the city of Budapest: the Buda Castle District.
2- Taste Hungary’s Dinner Walk: From the illuminated bridges and lit-up skyline, to the buzzing café-packed neighborhoods, Budapest truly comes to life after dark. Experience it on this Dinner Walk, where a meal becomes an opportunity to explore some lively Budapest neighborhoods.
3- Pub Crawl Budapest: Lot’s of fun, booze and laughs on this longest running ruin bar tour in Budapest!
Hungarians love spicy food, A lot! Paprika is sprinkled on almost everything edible. These are some traditional dishes you have to try at least once:
1- Chicken Paprikash: This is exclusively for spicy food lovers. Chicken with sour cream, olive oil, bell peppers and you guessed it… lots and lots of paprika and occasionally served along with pasta.
2- Toltott Kaposzta: A.K.A stuffed cabbages. The cabbage leaves are rolled and filled with rice and meat, with a topping of sour cream, and usually served with bread.
3- Langos: Langos are non-spicy friendly! It’s basically deep-fried bread, with the consistency and texture of a doughnut! You can have them with many toppings like cheese, jam, sausages, or just a sprinkle of salt.
Before you arrive at Budapest, consider downloading the BKK FUTAR app, it’ll help you navigate your way through Budapest’s public transport. Budapest has many transport options. There’s an underground railway, metro, tram, trolleybus, bus, and even boats! The easiest to ride are the metro and bus. You can buy a single ticket, a 10 tickets card, a card for 1, 3, or 7 days. You can even get a card for 1 day for up to 5 passengers at a reduced price. A ticket would set you back approximately a quid, and the 1-day card about 5. If going green is more your thing, Budapest has a public bike system in which you use with the 1, 3, or 7-day cards! Definitely the better option for outdoor lovers.
We’re truly passionate about Budapest, its curious streets and sweet sights! It’s a little bit of everything all rolled into one and arguably one of the lowest-cost capitals in all of Europe… Why are you still here? Go start packing!