Budapest is one of my top favourite cities, and I can’t wait to go back to visit one day. The culture and history is so rich and deep, and it has such a unique character with so many things to do and see!
Apart from the fact that once you’re here, the conversion makes you get a whole lot more bang for your buck, and it’s a short train ride away from other equally amazing cities, such as Prague and Vienna, here are just 10 reasons why you should visit this historic and beautiful city.
1. Great Free Walking Tours
I have been on many walking tours, and only on the very rare occasion have I had a ‘bad’ walking tour, and it was only because the guide didn’t project his voice enough. Both of the walking tours I had in Budapest were great! I did a typical tour one day which visits some of the biggest attractions (like Chain Bridge) and then the Jewish quarter one another day.
2.The Parliament along the Danube
This is a very iconic building of Budapest, and when you see it, it’s no wonder why. It sits along the Danube River (can we just take a moment to realize that the famous classical song “Blue Danube” is named after this river that is the heart of Budapest? Isn’t that cool? Or am I just a geek?) and it has some amazing character.
3.Best Pastry with cottage cheese
I’m drooling at just the memory of it…and not ashamed! These pastries got me going through some long walking tours and were prefect on-the-go breakfasts! Definitely check out a bakery, don’t be surprised if no one really speaks English, just say “Szia!” as a greeting, then use those typical tourist hand gestures!
4. The Beautiful Hungarian State Opera House
Once I booked my flight to Budapest, I checked some of the main things to see. The Opera House was one of them, and I thought ‘why not see an Opera?’ The tickets weren’t all the pricey and there happen to be one playing during my stay, so I booked it!
The opera was in Italian, with Hungarian subtitles, so it was rather hard to follow, but the inside of the building is….wow. The pictures I took do not do it justice at all!
5. Homage to the Shoes on the Danube Promenade
The story behind this memorial is a heart-wrenching one, as it reminds us of the dark side of humanity and the scars left by history. If you go on a walking tour, you will find out the sad story behind these silent and solemn shoes…Do take the time to show some respect, and be thankful for the best side of humanity that exists in the world.
6. Stunning St. Stephen’s Basilica
This church is stunning…the outside alone is rather impressive, but the inside is absolutely gorgeous! Now, typically they ask for a donation for you to go in. When I was there, for some reason, the deacon decided to let me in for free, kissed my hand and let me through! Creepy? Or cute? Didn’t care, because that was one less thing I had to pay, and getting kissed on the hand is far from the worst thing a male could do to a female.
7. Delicious Goulash and Hungarian Beer
Of course there is another spot on this list for Hungarian food! Hungarians are proud of their traditional dishes, and they have every reason to be! I had a very lovely meal of Goulash, possibly the most iconic dish of Hungary, along with a good pint of local beer! Your stomach will not be unsatisfied.
8. Fisherman’s Bastion
Chances are, your walking tour will end here, on the Buda side of the city. There is a beautiful view, some great architecture and a unique cathedral all in the same vicinity. If you like, you can go and venture the underground caverns and passages on this side of the river!
9. The Fascinating Jewish Quarter
I mentioned there was a Jewish Quarter walking tour, where you explore significant monuments and places of historical and heritage value, particularly from the second World War. So yes, some of it will be sad, but there will be some beauty as well. There is a lovely Synagogue, and this wonderful piece of art knows as the Weeping Willow.
10. Relaxing Szechenyi Baths
I do believe I have saved the best for last…It was in the month of February when I went to Budapest, which made it an excellent time to go their baths, and it was simply incredible! It is an absolute MUST! The building is jaw-dropping gorgeous, and the baths are unbelievably relaxing. It’s only a little pricey, but the experience makes you feel luxurious…You will love every minute of it and feel incredibly rejuvenated by the end.
Just a quick shout out to my friend Michelle Rivers! One of the nicest and coolest girls I ever met during my travels! Some of these photos are hers, as my camera died during my second last day, and I had forgotten my charger! Thank you Michelle for being part of my Budapest experience!
Honestly, choosing only 10 reasons to love and visit Budapest was hard! I could easily make it a list of 20, but I want to leave some of it a surprise for you to discover when you go there! Did you know I have been there twice now? Hop over for my more detailed guide to this great city.
Have you been to Budapest? What would you have on your top 10? How do you fancy my list? Let me know below!