Budapest is a fascinating place to visit, with a mixture of influences from Romans and Turks to the Astro-Hungarians and the Soviets. Budapest- capital of Hungary consists of two medieval cities- Buda and Pest, which was later merged into one in 1873 as Budapest. Both sides of Buda and Pest are situated on the banks of Danube, with amazing sights to witness. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with a wide range of sights and things to see and experience here.
It’s a package of history, food, nightlife and culture. It is highly recommended for you to start exploring the city of Buda first and then cross over to Pest, by crossing city’s most beautiful bridge, known as Chain Bridge. It is difficult to experience Budapest in 3 days; however, we’ve planned the itinerary for you, so that you experience the most of it while you’re here in the stipulated time period.
HOW TO GET TO BUDAPEST?
There are a lot of direct and overnight trains connecting you to Budapest from several other capitals of Europe, such as Vienna, Prague, Warsaw and Bratislava.
If you’re travelling from other parts of the world, you can take direct flights (if you’ve limited time) and indirect flights (in case, you’ve a stringent budget).
ITINERARY TO BUDAPEST
Roam around Buda and experience this Castle District,encompassing popular places like Hungarian National Museum, Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Hospital in Rock, MatthaisChurchRoyal Palace.
- Visit the Great Market Hall
It’s one of the best places to buy fresh spices. Hungarian Paprika, Budapest’s most famous souvenir is the best thing to buy.
Stroll around in the market hall building, filled with vendors, butchers, bakers, souvenir sellers and spice vendors.Try plum strudel in the downstairs bakery, a true dab in the centre of the market.
On the second floor, you’ll find the restaurants, clothing stalls, cheap Chinese made souvenir and a mix of traditional Hungary item.
- Take Tram to Budapest Parliament
Budapest Tram is nominated by National Geographic as one of the most scenic tram rides in the world. It connects many iconic landmarks in Budapest, making it convenient means of transport to get around. The most beautiful part about your trip is that it runs on the edge of river Danube.
- Budapest Parliament
Post the amazing ride on the Tram, you reach your destination Budapest Parliament. It’s a beautiful and magnification building, a true work of art in every sense.
Budapest Parliament is a functioning government house and it’s not open for visit; however, you can go for a guided tour. It is better to book the entry tickets in advance, to save you on time by just collecting the ticket over the counter.
The tour inside the Parliament last for 45 minutes and includes the great hall, the ornate central staircase, the Hungarian Holy Crown and its precious jewels.
Since the tour inside the Budapest Parliament is expensive, you can take a tour through the building itself, to save you from spending.
- Pay respects at the shoes on the Danube Memorial
Pay visit to this touching memorial to the victims of anti-Semitism, located at walking distance from the Budapest Parliament. During the World War II, the Arrow Cross Party- a influenced by Nazis, murdered 20,000 Jews in the span of just two months.
These victims were ordered to remove shoes, before being shot by the side of the river, strategically, so as to the bodies directly landed in the river. These are the shoe sculptures of those victims.
- Check out the Fisherman’s Bastion
It looks like a Castle; however, it’s an insanely ornate terrace, built in the late 19th and early 20th century in the neo-Romanesque style. It was built to celebrate 1,000th Birthday of Hungarian State.
- Walk to Buda Castle
It’s no longer a Castle, but converted into two different museums, Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery.
- Cross over to Pest side, via the Chain Bridge
Spanning the Danube, Chain Bridge connects the two sides of Buda and Pest. It is one of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in the city.
- Start your day with a bath at the Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi baths, located in the heart of City Park is one of the most iconic places in Budapest. It is the largest medieval bath in Europe, with 3 outdoor and 15 indoor ones.
These thermal water baths are fed by two hot springs, with temperatures of 77degrees Celsius and 74 degrees Celsius, respectively. To tolerate the temperatures, it has been cooled down, so that the water doesn’t boil you alive, to 27 degrees Celsius and 38 degrees Celsius.
The water have curative properties, full of helpful minerals like sulphate, fluoride, magnesium and calcium, that helps reduce inflammation and to certain extent improve joint conditions.
Above all, these baths are incredibly amazing to spend time and enjoy the naturally warm waters. These baths are usually quite crowded, especially the outdoor ones, make sure you pre-book your tickets. If you need privacy and are not open to changing in front of same sex/gender people, then you can book your private cabin here; otherwise, a cabin should do.
- Get intrigued by Vajdahunyad Castle
This castle is located near the Szechenyi baths and should be your next stop. Built in 1896 as a part of celebrations for the 1,000 years of Hungary’s existence, was never intended to be permanent castle and was originally built for temporary exhibition and thus constructed out of wood and cardboard.
It has free entry to it and quite close to Szechenyi baths, making it worth a visit.
- Walk on the banks of Danube river
Walking along the sides of the river Danube, gives you a glimpse of both sides, i.e. Buda and Pest. This is an unmissable experience while you’re here in Budapest.
If time permits, enjoy cruising over this beautiful river, with cruise timing varying from 1 to 4 hours (according to the availability of time). Evening cruise is highly recommended to witness and experience the illuminated Danube River and its surroundings.
It’s breathtaking and beautiful in every way.
- Visit the Ruin Pub
To soak the city’s nightlife, you must visit the ruin pubs. There are several of them worth trying. However, SzimplaKert is a favorite amongst the crowds. There are dozens of great restaurants and bars to explore and sticking to one place might limit you nightlife experience of the city.
- Heroes Square
Start your day by visiting the Heroes Square, connecting to Andrassy Avenue, Budapest’s most famous walking street.
It commemorates the Chieftains of Magyars (the founder of modern day Hungary).
He’s called as Magyarorszag by Hungarians and they call themselves Magyars, speaking in their native language, i.e. Hunfgary.
If you’re an art fan, stop at the Palace of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, located close by. The entry to these places is free.
- Checkout the House of Terror Museum
Stroll around the streets of Andrassy Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It holds on its streets the House of Terror, Hungarian Opera House and Liszt Ferenc Square. Along with these historic places, it’s home to exquisite and expensive designer shops, with some of the best and rare fashion statements.
It holds the history of torture and how people were imprisoned and even killed in the basement cells.
- See Dohany Street Synagogue
The largest in Europe and one of the largest Synagogues in the world, the Dahony Street Synagogue has the capacity to seat 3,000 people inside.
It was originally built in Moorish Revival Style and formed the border of the Budapest Ghetto during the early 20th Century. However, it was damaged during the World War II due to heavy bombing and was later renovated to restore its charm during the 1990s.
It is an important piece of Jewish history and must be visited, if you’re here in Budapest. Entry tickets to this place are quite expensive and costs around $15 per head.
- Eat and celebrate your last night in Budapest
Grab a memorable dinner at some of the delicious restaurants around here in Budapest.
If you’re a partier, head to the ruin bars and pubs here. The nightlife is amazing in this city