Budapest is the capital city of Hungary located in the heart of Central Europe. Budapest is a very lovable, affordable and safe city with a remarkable history, religious values and unique gastronomy. Through its cultural diversity, the city offers many possibilities and sightseeing experiences for all ages. Budapest is becoming more popular amongst tourist around the world year after year. Before traveling to a foreign city the first question you might ask is: what to do and see in the city? As a local resident I would like to answer this question in a different view. In this post I will highlight those outstanding values of Budapest which you should definitely include in your “to-do” list:
– Learn about Hungarian history
– Don’t leave without trying Hungarian dishes
– Relax in one of Budapest’s thermal baths
– Get to know more about Hungarian Culture
– Discover Budapest on foot
Let’s specify the above listed suggestions.
1. Learn about Hungarian history
Take time to learn about Hungarian history during your visit. Hungary has been involved in several wars, battles and survived against heavy oppression in the past. Walking the streets of Budapest you will see famous statues, historical monuments and buildings which captures defining moments of history. Gain insight on how Hungarians fought for their freedom and independence over the centuries. Explore the historical sights in Budapest, experience the significant historical periods of Hungary by visiting the Museum of House of Terror, learn about the 1000th-year Hungarian history in the National Museum and take a guided tour in the Parliament building.
Related to history, several religious buildings and churches can be discovered in the city as well. Mostly you will see Turkish, Jewish and Christian churches and memorial sights in Budapest. All of them has a wonderful story. Discover Budapest’s largest Catholic church the St. Stephen’s Basilica, explore the beautiful Matthias Church in Buda Castle and pay your respects and the Dohány street Synagogue.
2. Don’t leave without trying Hungarian dishes
Get insight into Hungarian cuisine and taste the famous dishes what we call Hungarikum. In the course of history, several ethnic groups had a positive effect on Hungarian gastronomy. The most common ingredients are onion, paprika and pork fat which are the basis of many Hungarian dishes like soups and home-made stew for example. Definitely taste the famous Hungarian Goulash, roasted meats made from duck, pork and beef and do not miss desserts either. Try Hungarian pancake, home-made strudel and cream pastry dessert. During your stay, visit the famous Great Market Hall where you can choose from fresh vegetables, fruits and variable types of paprika. Hungary is also famous for its very delicious meat products such as goose liver pate, csabai and gyulai sausage and Pick salami which you can also find at the Market Hall. Furthermore, make sure to taste palinka, the Hungarian national drink and learn more about the production of this Hungarian speciality.
3. Relax in one of Budapest’s thermal baths
Budapest is often called the city of thermal baths. No wonder, since Budapest has the most thermal waters and medical baths of the world’s capitals. Medicinal waters helps the healing process on rheumatoid diseases and skin problems, furthermore inhaling vapour has a good effect on respiratory diseases. Most of the thermal baths were built in the 16th century during the Turkish occupation and still reflects the Turkish architecture. Spend a few hours in Rudas Bath in the Turkish-style department or in the Wellness section where you can see a beautiful view of the city. Relax in Széchenyi Bath, which is the largest bathing complex in Europe or visit a very special Turkish spa in Budapest, the Veli Bej bath where you can find the city’s largest Turkish pool.
4. Get to know more about Hungarian Culture
Theatrical performances, opera, dance, ballet and musical works always played an important role in the sphere of culture in Hungary. The development of cultural buildings were favoured in the 19th century in Budapest therefore cultural events became more and more popular. These buildings are not only famous for their history but their architecture is amazingly impressive as well. Learn about the history of the Hungarian State Opera House, listen to an organ concert in St. Stephen’s Basilica and meet the outstanding background of the famous Hungarian musician, Franz Liszt. Budapest offers several cultural entertainment in the form of theatrical performances, music concerts and festivals throughout the year. The 39th Budapest Spring Festival is coming up this month between the 5 and 22 April. During this period several venues will give home to outstanding cultural performances all around the city. Would you like to attend cultural events in Budapest? Let me know what type of performance you are interested in and I will help to plan your sightseeing schedule to Budapest.
5. Discover Budapest on foot
Discover Budapest on foot and plan self-guided walking tours during your stay. Several monuments and famous places are just in walking distance to each other. You can reach many attractions within a few kilometres only. Admire the Buda Hills and Liberty Statue by walking on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade. By roaming the streets of Budapest’s city centre you can reach historical buildings in couple of minutes, such as the Parliament, Liberty Square and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and discover Buda Castle’s interesting sights on foot as well. Gellért Hill is also popular in Budapest, not just symbolizing a significant part of Hungarian history but also a great place to spend a few hours in nature while observing the most beautiful view of the city.
Are you up for more ideas on how to spend your time in Budapest?
First of all, plan ahead your daily program schedule in order to bring out the most of your visit and to maximize your time in Budapest. It is worthwhile to include different types of activities in your itinerary to get to know better the city. For inspiration, check out the itinerary offers I drafted which can be customized according to your needs, or in case you already have an idea then let me know your preferences.