Budapest quickly made my top 5 places to visit, there’s an incredibly vast array of things to do, easy transport, great prices and an incredible amount of things to see. It’s one of those cities that has a great balance of partying and getting your culture fix.
As always, there’s a mixture of things to say, places to eat and where to get your drinks, with handy tips thrown in.
We’ll start with some context, Budapest is two towns connected by the river. Pest is the flat side and Buda, obviously, hilly.
The airport isn’t that near to the city centre but there are multiple options. We used the airport shuttle buses and just booked on the day we arrived It’s a little chaotic inside the airport, but the shuttle bus cost us around £15 each for a return journey. There is no Uber, but taxi’s are easy enough to flag down (you’ll need cash for taxi’s).
The tram system is really easy (and cheap) to use to get around too
The currency is the Hungarian Forint, however everyone works in Euros also.
Where to Stay
We stayed out of the main centre (But as I said transport is easy) at the Thermal Hotel Aquincum, we actually booked the hotel because of the huge pool, gym and spa it has, along with lovely rooms which added a touch of luxury to our trip. I think it worked out around £50 per night each.
Remember, if you’re a fish lover Hungary is land locked so there isn’t huge amounts available.
Dinner here is an absolute must (try to book in advance if you can, or you may have to queue for around an hour – we did this and didn’t mind it too much!). The restaurant is Lebanese/Mediterranean cuisine and is an Instagram dream inside with live music. They have vegan / veggie options (I had the sweet potato vegan burger). A meal for two (we shared a starter and had a glass of wine each) cost us £35.
OK, I have three favourites for you, if each a little wild!
This is a huge ruin bar, each room is a different theme with live musicians and shisha bars. The atmosphere in here is buzzing and I honestly could have stayed the whole night just to people watch. Make sure you do a full lap before you decide where to settle. Drinks are cheap, cards are accepted but if you’re looking for a quiet place to sit and drink, this one isn’t for you.
This is a strip of bars and restaurants and is a great place to head for easy food and beers. There are multiple places you can make you way down. It’s around a ten-minute walk from the central square and St Stephens Basilica. Vicky Barcelona is a great little bar for drinks on this strip.
Bluebird Karaoke Bar
IF you love karaoke you can hire a private room for the hour, we were just two so it cost us £87 between the two of us (but that also included unlimited drinks for the time you’re in there up to the value of the room). It’s a great on to book if you’re on a stag or hen do.
Things to do
Everywhere you turn in Budapest is a fantastic view, from walking along the river to see the houses of parliament, to visiting the castle (you can either hike up 200+ steps or take the cable car. I wouldn’t recommend the steps on a hot August day…)
Budapest has an array of different baths you can visit, all of which will most likely be heaving. We went to the Gellert Thermal Baths I’ll be honest, it’s definitely an experience but not one I’d rush back to. I found it to be over crowded (with a lot of drunk people ruining it) to not feeling like it was too clean either. That said, it is an experience, make sure you pack your own towel and flip flops for when you go!
If you have any recommendations for people please comment and share them below!