5 Ways To Experience Budapest
Often referred to as the ’Paris of the East’ and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is filled with history, culture, architecture, shopping and dining options. Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your stay in Budapest.
Get Around Like a Local
The best way to experience a city is by becoming a local with the use of public transportation. Luckily Budapest has a great network of subways, trams and buses that will get you everywhere you need to go; rest assured that they are safe to use. While most of the drivers speak English, you might still run into some who are unable to help you with directions. Plan ahead by downloading the Budapest Public Transport app, a great tool to search available stops and the current position of vehicles, its also a useful route planner.
Soak in Budapest
Make sure to pack your swimsuit, as a visit to one of the thermal baths is inevitable. Széchenyi and Gellért baths are the most popular, however locals prefer Rudas bath because it is more cost efficient and features a rooftop jacuzzi with amazing views of Budapest. They also offer night-baths every Friday and Saturday from 10 pm to 4 am. The kind of night out that will leave you tired but rejuvenated!
Walk the City Park
Just as New York has Central Park, Budapest has City Park (Városliget) which is easily accessible by the Millenium Underground (Subway line 1), the first ever metro line in Continental Europe. The City Park has many attractions for all ages, including museums like the Museum of Fine Arts, Kunsthalle for contemporary art lovers, Budapest Zoo, the Circus and Széchenyi Bath. If you are visiting during warmer months, I suggest renting a rowboat for some fun on the pond. No reason to be disappointed if you’re visiting during the winter time, the pond transforms into an outdoor ice skating rink, the largest one in Europe actually.
Cruise the Danube
Another way to experience the beauty of Budapest is from the water. There are many river cruises available, some with dining options as well. The glass boats of Legenda are great even if the weather is not. For those who prefer some privacy, choose Dunarama, a water limousine company with stylish boats manufactured in Hungary that can accompany up to 10 people. The Budapest Public Transport also has boats connecting Buda and Pest that offers unlimited boat rides. This is just one more reason to buy a pass for public transportation. When is the best time for a boat ride on the Danube? Definitely during sunset.
Shop in Budapest
Take a break from sightseeing and discover the great variety of shops in Budapest. Head over to Váci Street to find the best selection of high street fashion stores. For luxury items, take a stroll down Andrássy Avenue, a major hub for culture and architecture, the home of the Hungarian State Opera House and many theatres of the capital. If you’re searching for a nice memento of your Budapest vacation, visit the Great Market Hall, the local’s favorite market for daily shopping that offers a wide selection of souvenirs on the upper floor. Be sure to get a taste of traditional Hungarian meals such as lángos, gulyás, stuffed cabbage, and fresh, warm strudels.
Every season is amazing in Budapest. The city is the perfect place for a city break with places to see, cultural attractions, festivals, shopping and great restaurants. Budapest definitely deserves a mention on your travel bucket list.