Welcome to Budapest! There is so much to do in here and it can be hard to know where to begin. There is more than one way to discover Budapest… dramatic architecture, fascinating history, Danube, thermal baths (in 1934 Budapest was officially ranked as a “City of Spas”), countless restaurants, bistros, taverns, fast food places (Hungarians love their food) and… a buzzing nightlife scene (city became a hot-spot for hen and stag parties).
It is my 3rd time in Budapest and we are have 3 days to explore that beautiful city. But we will be back for more 🙂
After lovely breakfast, we are on our way to discover historic Castle Hill. The easiest way to reach Castle Hill from Pest is to take bus 16 from Deák Ferenc tér to Dísz tér. Alternatively, you can walk up the Király lépcső (Royal Steps) leading northwest off Clark Ádám tér. Buda Castle (Unesco World Heritage Site) is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest. Take your time, walk along the cobblestone streets and explore Castle Hill, its medieval monuments and museums.
It is lunch time, we are heading to Margitsziget (Margaret Island), an island in the river Danube. It is is a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) long island, 500 metres (550 yards) wide, mostly covered by landscape parks, and is a popular recreational area. It is great place to relax and get a fresh air after the buzz of the city. You can climb water tower (built in Art Nouveau style in 1911) and enjoy a view of Margaret island, the city and Buda Hills from above. You can also relax in Platinius baths (thermal pools, adventure pools, water slides and wave pools) or enjoy The Musical Fountain (renovated in 2013 and beautifully illuminated at night).
Another hot day! 37 degrees already at 10am! We are eating super-duper breakfast at The milk bar “Tejivó”.
Today we are climbing Gellért Hill from where we can enjoy one of the most stunning views of Budapest. Besides the wonderful view, you can visit Sziklatemplom (Cave Church) – built in the 1920s, served as a chapel and a field hospital during World War II and today it belongs to the Hungarian Paulite order. On the top of the hill, there is Szabadság Szobor (Statue of Liberty) – erected during the Communist era and she can be seen from all parts of the city. Another tourist attraction is Citadella (Citadel) – built by the Habsburgs after 1849, has been a military checkpoint, prison, anti-aircraft missile launch pad.
We are walking down to the banks of the Danube to take one-hour sightseeing cruise. There are several companies in Budapest offer sightseeing cruises, and most of them are head-set-guided in multiple languages. I can even choose to listen in Polish! Great!
Our final stop today is over 100 years old Hungary’s Parliament. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the tallest building in Budapest. The tour takes about 45 minutes and it covers the main entrance stairs and hall, one of the lobbies, the old House of Lords and the Hungarian Crown Jewels. The architecture outside and inside is beautiful.
The final day! Again we eat breakfast at The milk bar “Tejivó”. Then, we visit St. Stephen’s Basilica – the largest church in Budapest. It’s free to enter the church and there is only a nominal fee of HUF 500 to go up to the observation deck.
We catch my favourite Metro 1 – the oldest line of the Budapest Metro system, built from 1894 to 1896, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
We get off to see Hősök tere (Heroes Square) – one of the major squares with iconic statue complex featuring the leaders of the seven tribes of the Hungarians and other important national leaders, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We spend whole afternoon in Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden. It is the oldest zoo park in Hungary (opened in 1866) and one of the oldest in the world. The most special animals that are present in the zoo are the Komodo dragon and from December 2011 the wombat. Click here to read more and buy tickets.
3 days are not enough for Budapest. Next time I will be back to enjoy famous Thermal Baths, take one-day boat trip to Visegrád, visit House of Terror, and much more.
Don’t forget to learn few Hungarian expressions before travelling 🙂