Budapest what a gem you are. Budapest was my first trip outside the country while studying abroad and it did not disappoint. I really loved the vibe here and walking past all the adorable coffee shops, restaurants, and shops. We only spent two days there, and while I think that's enough to be able to see all the major things, I wish I would have had another day to aimlessly walk around and pop into some local stores. The city is incredibly affordable, walkable, and should definitely be on your list of places to visit if you are ever in central eastern Europe.
As far as Logistics go, we stayed in a hostel and walked almost everywhere. The only times we used public transportation was getting to and from the bus station and from the baths back to our hostel (we walked there, but it was too cold for us to walk back). It costs about $1.30 USD for a metro ticket one way. Food was very affordable and I probably spent around $6 USD per meal. There are nicer restaurants that are more expensive, but you can still get a good meal (a burger and fries, or pancakes and a latte, etc.) for a very good price. Something that surprised me about Budapest was how commonly and well english was spoken. While it's always nice to know basic phrases in the language of the place you are traveling to, I had no difficulty talking to people at restaurants or shops.
For your convenience, I've included a google map with all the placed mentioned, including some places that i didn't get the chance to check out, that you can save to your phone and use as a guide if you're ever in Budapest!
TO SEE AND DO
- Szechenyi Thermal Bath
- Must do while in Budapest, it costs about $16 for entry and to get a locker if you go during the week. Make sure to bring your own towel and flip flops!
- City Park
- The thermal baths and Vajdahunyad Castle are inside of this park, which I can imagine would be a nice place to stroll around when the weather is nice.
- Vajdahunyad Castle
- A beautiful, smaller castle located in the park. I wouldn't say it's a must see, but it's very close to the Thermal Baths so you might as well stop by.
- Buda Castle
- The grounds are huge, you can easily spend a lot of time walking around and taking pictures of everything.
- Hungarian Parliament
- Walk to it to admire it up close, but also make sure to go see it in all it's glory from across the river.
- St. Stephen's Basilica
- St Stephen's is absolutely gorgeous. I went at night and during the day and I think I preferred it at night. You can climb to the top, for a small charge, for an awesome view of the city.
- Chain Bridge
- We walked across the bridge to get to the Buda part of the city (fun fact: Budapest used to be two separate cities named Buda and (you guessed it) Pest)
- Liberty Statue
- This is quite a hike, so be prepared. If possible I would try to go around sunrise or sunset. You get an amazing view of the entire city for free!
TO EAT AND DRINK
- Cirkusz Cafe
- Great spot for brunch but they're pretty popular so you may have a wait. I had the french toast which was perfect and a lavender lemonade which was sooo good.
- Szimpla Kert
- Ruin bars are quirky bars in abandoned buildings and are a huge deal in Budapest. We only spent a little time at this bar, but the it was super lively and upbeat. I'd recommend that you get there a bit earlier in the night (8/9 pm or so) to find a spot to sit. When we left around 10 there was a huge line going down the street.
- Bamba Marga Burger Bar
- Y'all. Let me tall you abut this burger joint. Honestly to this day I'm still thinking about those burgers. They are beyond delicious and very affordable. Their fries are also well done and taste great with their various dips (I recommend the coriander and lime!)
- This is where we went for breakfast our first day in the city. Very cute atmosphere and pretty decent food.
Blue= things to see/do