Whilst I was residing in the European continent, Budapest was on the top of my “to-go” places and I’m glad I got the chance to visit. The city left a lasting impression for me and I will definitely go back and visit. Though I must admit that the heat was slightly unbearable since I visited right smack in the middle of Summer (and barely made it for my hike up the Citadel).
First thing to note before you head to hungary is the currency! In hungary, the currency is HUNGARIAN FORINT, not euros. As a traveler, you can afford to lower your budget for your trip to hungary as the expenses are generally lower than average. I tend to use food and alcohol as a rough guide and they are cheaper in comparison to other European cities.
What to see?
I didn’t really have time to research and my trip was also a short trip so these are the places that I actually went to could give you an opinion on.
- St Stephen’s Basilica
For those who have been to the Vatican city, no other Basilica is going to wow you. But for those who haven’t, this little gem is quite impressive. Well, little may be the wrong adjective to use here, for it is the third largest church in Hungary and the most important one present. This church also houses the hand-relic of the first Hungarian Christian King Saint Stephen I, also know as the Holy Right Hand (though this was slightly too creepy for my liking). I saw this architecture by day and by night and the night view is really gorgeous.
There is a popular wine bar just beside the basilica which is bustling with the local crowd all night. I do suggest for one to pop by at night for a glass of wine and a view of the architecture. Even if you’re not interested in the architecture, I would still recommend a visit to the wine bar. It’s called DiVino .
- Hősök tere
Also known as Heroes Square, its name practically spells out its purpose. It is iconic for its rich political and historic connotations.Apart from the history lesson, it is a nice place for picture taking (minus the fact there is completely no shade there).
- Széchenyi thermal bath
One of my favourite places in Hungary. I practically spent the entire afternoon lazing and chilling at the bath house. They’ve got a pool but note that you got to wear a swimming cap to swim. Other than the pool, there are also other available “baths” for one to soak in during a hot sunny day. Indoor thermal baths are also available if you’d rather get away from the scorching sun. If you feel like pampering yourself, manicure and massage services are also available.
At the top of the Citadella, a panoramic view of Budapest awaits. A word of advice, go in the evening/at night.
- Chain Bridge
Multiple bridges run along the River Danube and amongst them, the Chain Bridge stands out, loud and proud. Its significance lies in the fact that it is the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest. By day or by night this structure is beautiful. I had a lovely dinner on a boat by the bridge and watched it as the sun went down. If you’re interested, the restaurant I patronised was, Spoons, not far away from the bridge. After dinner, one could take a lovely walk across and back on the bridge and marvel at the landscape of Budapest.
There are other places that I would visit if I had more time to. For instance, Magaret Island, Buda Castle and the Fisherman Bastion. Do head there on my behalf. I will try and find another opportunity to return to Budapest.
I mentioned above about the wine bar, DiVino, and Spoons, the restaurant on the boat. Both are definitely worth visiting. Other restaurants worth visiting are:
This place potentially offers the best italian food in Hungary. Though it is slightly more expensive than the average restaurants in Hungary, TG Italiano is worth the splurge. The deco of the place would definitely catch the eye of anyone that walks pass. There is a massive screen outside that shows whatever is happening at that point in time. When I went it was the Eurocup season. If you fancy having a meal at the outside area (which is really nice as compared to the inside), then I suggest you make a reservation to avoid disappointment! I personally liked the mussels that I ordered, and a prawn dish that was cooked in chilli.
The food here is good and cheap. The drinks are also good, and cheap. Period.
The public transport system is pretty good in Budapest. There are underground trains and buses that would get you to the major attractions with ease. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets! They are rather strict with checking that everyone has bought a valid pass.
That’s all I have to offer for Budapest as like I said, my trip was rather short! But I did enjoy myself relaxing and eating good food like a queen.
After Budapest, I took a train to Vienna. The return only cost me 25Euros. If any of you fancy taking the train across Eastern Europe, getting the train ticket at the train station itself is more economical (though risky as tickets may not be available).
My next post will be about Vienna and its magic…
To be continued…
Peace & Love