5 things to do in Budapest

visit budapest this year

5 things to do in Budapest

Budapest is a lovable city that offers a lot for her visitors all year round. With its rich cultural and historical heritage, thermal baths, architectural gems, and superb gastronomy it won the “European Best Destination” award in 2019. 

Let’s learn some more about what this lively capital has to offer in this guest post by Budapest Connection about  the Top things to do in Budapest.

Visiting the Castle District in Buda

As one of the main hubs of attractions in Budapest packed with historical sites, visiting the Castle District is a must.  Its cobblestone streets are full of medieval buildings and details so take your time and walk around paying attention to these gems. 

The deep of the Castle hill has its secrets: a labyrinth of cave systems that are in use since the middle ages as shelters and storages. Visit Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum to see an example. 

One of the main attractions of the Castle District is Fisherman’s Bastion. The fairytale castle looking Bastion was built to serve as a lookout point. It is only 100 years old so do not be deceived by its medieval look.  It was named after the fishermen who actually protected this section of the castle wall in the medieval times. 

Fisherman's Bastion
Photo Credit : Budapest Connection

Next you must visit Matthias Church. This 700 years old church stands right next to Fisherman’s Bastion and is one of the oldest buildings in Buda.  Visiting its inside is definitely worth your time. It is richly decorated with hand-painted frescoes.

There is also a lookout point on the top of the tower so if you are not claustrophobic and are in a good physical condition, attend the guided tour because the view is incredible from up there. 

matthias church in budapest
Photo Credit : Budapest Connection

Finally a visit is not complete without seeing the Royal Palace in Budapest. The Palace was originally built in the 13th century as a defensive building against the Mongolian invasion. 

During its long, rough history it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. It got its current shape after WW2.

There are three institutions situated in the Palace today: • Széchényi National Library • Budapest History Museum • Hungarian National Gallery

Palace Quarter in budapest
Photo Credit : Budapest Connection

Getting to the Castle District in Budapest

The Funicular is the most fun way to get to the Hill but there are several other options. You can use the escalator and elevator from the Castle Garden or just choose one of the beautiful staircases of the hill and walk up in 10-20 minutes (depending on the route you choose).

Also, there is a bus line (bus no. 16 aka “Castle Bus” from downtown Pest that takes you up to the hill and it has a stop right in front of Matthias Church.

Getting lost in the Jewish Quarter in Budapest

This area in Budapest has a unique atmosphere. Here old synagogues live together with ruin bars and design shops. Its narrow streets are full of gems: murals, stickers, and drawings make this district colorful and detailed. 

I recommend visiting this quarter in an afternoon (preferably on Friday of Saturday) and staying here until the evening to see how the atmosphere changes as the night comes. 

Submerge in the healing waters of Budapest Baths

Baths are the most often recommended attractions of Budapest. There are more than a hundred thermal springs in the city. The healing waters can help with several illnesses and conditions from stress to degenerative conditions. 

Some of our baths are date back to the 15th century and were built by the Turks, some are architectural gems from the turn of the 20th century. 

I recommend visiting Széchenyi Bath as it has the largest outside area with several pools and Király Bath as it has a unique, medieval part. 

Szechenyi Bath in budapest
Szechenyi Bath (Photo ; Pixabay)

Exploring the hidden gems of the Palace Quarter

This district is fairly known to most of the tourists. It is still a secret gem that is full of architectural secrets: about 30 palaces were built here before WW1.

These palaces and mansions are used as institutions, hotels, and libraries today.  Visit Szabó Ervin Library and after a quick registration go up to its 4th floor where you will find the most beautiful rooms. 

Understand Hungarian history at Heroes’ Square

The largest square in Budapest can be reached by walking along Andrássy Avenue or by taking the Millennium Underground, the first subway of mainland Europe.

Arriving at the square you will see a huge monument in front of you. It is literally a physical representation of Hungarian history.  In the middle stands a 36 m tall column with Archangel Gabriel on its top.

heroes square in budapest
Photo : Pixabay

Under the column 7 Hungarian tribe leaders are sitting on horseback.  The statues on the semicircular colonnade show 14 important men of Hungarian history. 

The square is a popular meeting point for young people and couples. The best time to visit it is during late afternoon right before sunset

Top Tip for Visitors to Budapest

Budapest is an all-year-round destination, but spring and autumn are the best seasons if you would like to enjoy sightseeing and walking around.

It doesn’t mean that summer and winter do not have their merits: summer is full of open-air programs and Christmas time is magical. 

Getting around Budapest

Budapest is a walkable city and I urge you to walk a lot because this is the best way to feel the vibe. That being said, Budapest also has an excellent public transportation system.

If you are a first time visitor to Budapest, your best friends will be: subway system, Castle bus (no. 16), tram 4-6 and tram 2 aka the best sightseeing tram line in Europe. 

Kata Nemeth
Photo Credit : Budapestconnection

Author bio : Kata Németh runs Budapest Connection, a city blog about her home city, Budapest. She writes about her city as she discovers the best Budapest has to offer. Social Media Links Facebook Instagram  


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