Discover Budapest: The Top 10 Things to See
Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is a city of culture, history, and stunning architecture. A city with two sides, Buda and Pest, it has been a place of great influence since the Roman Empire. From a city filled with vibrant cafes, quaint shops, and stunning landscapes, Budapest certainly has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re a thrill seeker, a culture lover, or just looking for a relaxing stay, Budapest is guaranteed to impress.
A Quick Snapshot of Budapest
Budapest is located along the Danube River, and is the largest city in Hungary. It was formed when the three cities of Buda, Pest, and Obuda were unified in 1873. The population of Budapest is currently estimated to be 1.75 million people.
The city is known for its stunning architecture, ranging from Gothic churches to baroque buildings. It is a hotspot for tourist attractions and cultural events, making it one of the most visited cities in Europe. Budapest is also known for its unique cuisine and local specialties like goulash and langos.
1. Explore Buda Castle
At the heart of Budapest is the majestic Buda Castle. Built in the 13th century and expanded over the years, the castle has been home to many important figures in Hungarian history. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and contains many fascinating attractions like the National Gallery, Hungarian National Library, the Museum of Military History, and more.
The castle is located at the edge of Castle Hill, which provides stunning views of the city and the Danube River. It also provides access to many other attractions like Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion.
2. Visit Fisherman’s Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion is a 19th century terrace overlooking the Danube River. It was built to commemorate the fishermen who defended the city in the Middle Ages. Its seven towers represent the seven Magyar tribes who settled in Hungary in 896 AD.
Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Budapest. The terrace offers stunning views of the Danube River and the city skyline. It is also known for its beautiful neo-Gothic architecture and its many statues depicting famous figures in Hungarian history.
3. Step into Matthias Church
Matthias Church is an iconic landmark located in the heart of Buda Castle. It was built in 1255, but was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in the late 1950s. The church is known for its Gothic and Renaissance style architecture, its colorful frescoes, and its ornate interior.
The church is also home to several important relics, including a copy of Hungary’s crown jewels, which have been on display here since 1970. Matthias Church is also one of Budapest’s most popular wedding venues.
4. Stroll Along the Danube Promenade
The Danube Promenade is a scenic walkway along the banks of the Danube River, stretching from Margaret Bridge to Petofi Bridge. It is one of Budapest’s most popular attractions due to its stunning views of the city skyline and its many historical monuments.
The promenade is especially beautiful at night when the city lights up and reflections from the river can be seen from the walkway. It is also popular for its many cafes and restaurants, making it a great place for a romantic evening stroll or a night out with friends.
5. Admire Heroes Square
Heroes Square is located at the end of Andrassy Avenue, one of Budapest’s main thoroughfares. It was constructed in 1896 to honor Hungary’s greatest leaders, warriors, and statesmen who have shaped the country’s history. The square is surrounded by statues of famous figures like King Saint Stephen I, King Mathias Corvinus, and others.
Heroes Square is one of the most iconic landmarks in Budapest, and it is also home to many cultural events like concerts and festivals throughout the year.
6. Experience Hungarian Cuisine
No trip to Budapest would be complete without sampling some of Hungary’s delicious cuisine. From traditional dishes like goulash and paprikash to more modern fare like lángos (deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream), there is something for everyone to enjoy here in Budapest.
Be sure to try some local specialties like kürtőskalács (chimney cake) or lángos (deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream). Or try some Hungarian wines from the local vineyards located around the city.
7. Explore Margaret Island
Margaret Island is a small island located on the Danube River between Buda and Pest. It is home to many historic buildings and monuments, as well as gardens and parks with walking paths that make it perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.
The island also features several attractions like an open-air theater, a music fountain show, a Japanese Garden, an animal park, and more. Margaret Island is also home to some of Budapest’s best music festivals throughout the year.
8. Climb Gellert Hill
Gellert Hill is a small hill located at the southern tip of Buda Castle District. It offers stunning views of both sides of the Danube River as well as several popular attractions like Gellert Baths, Citadella Fortress, and Liberty Statue.
Gellert Hill also provides access to some of Budapest’s best walking trails, perfect for an afternoon hike with stunning views of the city skyline or a romantic sunset stroll.
9. Take in Szechenyi Baths
Szechenyi Baths are one of Budapest’s most popular attractions due to their thermal springs which are said to have healing properties. The baths are open year-round and feature 18 thermal pools ranging from warm to hot temperatures as well as saunas, steam rooms, massage services, and more.
Szechenyi Baths are also home to some of Budapest’s best nightlife events throughout the year including live music performances and DJs playing until late into the night.
10. Go Shopping at Vaci Street
Vaci Street is one of Budapest’s main shopping streets located near Vorosmarty Square in central Pest. Here you can find everything from high-end designer stores to local craftsmen selling their handmade wares.
The street is known for its vibrant atmosphere as well as its many cafes, bars, and restaurants that line the street making it perfect for an afternoon stroll or an evening out with friends or family.
Two Popular Tours in Budapest
Budapest is filled with unique tours that can help make your stay even more memorable. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience or an adrenaline-filled adventure, there are tours for everyone in Budapest! Here are two popular tours perfect for any first-time visitor:
1. Danube River Cruise Tour
The Danube River Cruise Tour offers stunning views of Budapest from the comfort of a boat as you sail along one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers. On this tour you will pass by iconic landmarks like Buda Castle and Chain Bridge while learning about Hungary’s history and culture from your knowledgeable tour guide. The tour also includes delicious refreshments such as local snacks and drinks that you can enjoy as you take in all that Budapest has to offer from your seat on the boat! Book a Danube River Cruise Tour here.
2. Castle District Bike Tour
The Castle District Bike Tour offers an exciting way to explore some of Budapest’s most iconic landmarks like Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion while getting some exercise at the same time! On this tour you will get up close views of these famous sites while learning about their history with your knowledgeable guide as you ride through this part of town on your bike! The tour also includes delicious refreshments such as local snacks and drinks that you can enjoy on your ride! Book a Castle District Bike Tour here.
Final Thoughts on Exploring Budapest
Budapest is certainly one of Europe’s most interesting cities with something for everyone! From its stunning architecture to its vibrant culture, there are so many things to explore here in Budapest! Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure or a relaxing staycation, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests in this amazing city! So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and explore all that Budapest has to offer today!
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