Budapest is the home to marvelous architecture, relaxing places, thermal baths, spas and many more. It is the best city to get away from the busy routine and relax for a while. There are many amazing snowy landscapes and ideal areas to sit and spend time.
Why should anyone visit the city?
Budapest is well known for its tourist attractions all around the world. It is filled with historical landmarks. It has Danube river and many lush green spaces. There are many neoclassic, art nouveau and gothic wonders in the entire city.
How does one get to the destination (airport, ferry or others)?
Budapest is easy to visit from different parts of Europe. There are different ways to reach the city.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) welcomes flights for Budapest from all around the world. If you want to travel to Prague and Budapest, then take the flight from Prague to Budapest instead of train because it is quick and cheaper.
There are three international train stations in Budapest which are well connected to different parts of Europe and other nearby cities.
Travelling by a coach is one of the cheapest ways to travel to the nearby European cities and other destinations from the international bus station of Budapest.
Visitors can travel from Bratislava or Vienna to Budapest through the river cruise. It is a very romantic and beautiful way to reach the city.
Is the city safe? What areas are not safe?
Overall Budapest is a safe city. However, minor crime happens especially in the major tourist spots. Travelers should avoid some areas which are risky especially very late night. Vaci Street and 8th district is not safe because pick pocketing and bag snatching happens in both areas frequently. Budapest is a very beautiful destination so you can stay safe by taking care of your belongings and avoiding sharing personal details with strangers.
What’s the weather like?
- March to May is the spring season with minimum crowds and cheap accommodation prices. Many airlines also offer good deals for visiting Budapest.
- June to August is the summer season when the hotels are over-crowded and the prices are very high. Rains are also frequent and some hotels have no air conditioning.
- September to November is the most appealing season to visit Budapest. Tourist crowds for summers leave the city and the festival preparations starts. Main festivals of this time are Budapest wine festival and Jewish cultural festival.
- December to February is a pretty chilly winter time with heavy snowfall. This is the best time for photographers to click many awesome scenes. December till January also has many Christmas markets.
What languages are spoken in the area? Is English spoken?
Official language spoken in Budapest is Hungarian. Many locals also speak German. English is also widely spoken and tourists face no issues in communication.
What’s the local currency?
Is US Dollar widely accepted?
Hungarian Forints (HUF) is the official currency of Hungary. Banks in Budapest offer better exchange rate for Hungarian Forints than the international exchange. You can also keep Euro, Sterling and USD to use. Many places accept these currencies and it is very cost effective and cheap.
What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?
- District I (The Castle District) is the hilly area on the west bank of the Danube river.
- District III (Obuda, Margaret Island and Buda Hills) is a very calm area in the west side of the Danube river.
- District V (The Parliament Area) is located near the busiest parts of the downtown Budapest. Many streets are close to the river with many amazing eateries and attractions.
- District V (Belvaros) is the downtown with many eateries, cafes, shopping and wonderful attractions.
- District VII (The Jewish Quarter) is the most populated part with many bars, clubs, ruin pubs and restaurants.
- District VIII (Palace District, Joszefvaros) It is the book lover paradise with many cheap restaurants, old libraries, cafes and amazing nightlife options.
What’re your top 3 hotels (budget, moderate, luxury) and why?
- Marmara Hotel is the budget accommodation that is stylish and comfortable. Hotel décor portrays the design taste of the Turkish owner.
- Buda Castle Fashion Hotel is located on the street of Castel District on the Buda river side. This area is the blend of old and modern lifestyle.
- Corinthia Hotel Budapest is the luxury accommodation in the heart of Budapest. It was an 18th century spa that was restored and hotel guests can enjoy the spa facilities.
How does one get around the city? Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs?
- Taxis are easily available in the entire city. Avoid sitting in the un-licensed taxi at the airport. Fotaxi is the most popular and old taxi service in Hungary.
- Shuttle services are comfortable and fast way to travel to travel from the airport to the other destinations.
- Car can be booked online from a plenty of car hire companies in Budapest. You can find the complete list of car hire on the Budapest airport website.
- Public Transport is very convenient and tourists can get travelers card specially designed for their convenience. Most of the city is walkable whereas there are trams, trollies and busses available.
- Metro/Subway has four lines connecting different parts of Budapest.
- Ferry Service of Danube river takes the passengers from one district to the others. River boats are also available for the passengers.
Can you highlight the Top 5 MUST see sightseeing?
- Budapest chocolate Museum is the place to see the rich history of Hungarian chocolate. Visitors can enjoy the culinary session and try different types of historical chocolates. There is a chocolate fountain to dip and eat chocolate coated marzipan, visitors can make their own chocolates and check the historical art of Hungary. Do not forget to book the ticket in advance especially during the peak season.
- Szechenyi Thermal Baths are one of the Europe’s largest bath complexes located in the heart of Budapest. They were built during 19th The complex has three large outdoor pools, spa, massage rooms, plunge pools, saunas, steam rooms and beer bath. Book the ticket in advance to avoid getting stuck in the queue.
- Dohany Street Synagogue was constructed during the 18th century in the Moorish Revival architecture style. It is the biggest synagogue of Europe with the capacity of 3000 people. There is a great synagogue, Temple, graveyard, memorial and a Jewish Museum. You can book a guided tour for the place.
- Stephen’s Basilica is the famous Roman Catholic Basilica named after the first king of Hungary, Stephen. He ruled on the country between 975 and 1038 CE. This neo classic building was constructed in 54 years. This architecture master piece has stunning interior and intricate paintings.
- Buda Castle is the historical complex constructed during 12th century whereas the palace was built in the 17th It is a part of UNESCO world heritage site. It is the Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery. There are many museums, shops, restaurants, hotels and cafes near it.
What’s the best place to take a photo?
Entire Budapest is stunning to click the best photos for the travel album. There is a plenty of historical and modern locations worth clicking. However, the city becomes more beautiful during the snowy season.
What about the top 3 restaurants?
There is a huge variety of foods available in Budapest. Some of the best restaurants are:
- Mazel Tov – Glass roof restaurant, Israeli-Mediterranean food and cocktails.
- Borkonyha – Michelin star restaurant, more than 200 wines in the menu.
- Dobrumba- lively and trendy restaurant, middle east and Mediterranean food.
What about the top 3 breakfast places?
Best breakfast options with a huge menu are:
- A la Maison Grand Budapest – downtown
- Portobello – Coffee and Wine
- Kaptafa – breakfast-all-day place
What’s the one thing you MUST eat in the city?
Fozelek is the unique Hungarian dish made of fish and vegetables. It is a national dish that is commonly cooked in the houses of Budapest. You will find many Fozelek bars in the entire city.
What about food markets?
- Great Market Hall – local foods, wines and souvenirs
- Hold Utca Food Market – farm fresh foods, fruits and vegetables.
- Feny Street Market – local fruits, vegetables, meats, flowers and Hungarian Specialties.
- Hunyadi Square Market – fresh products, dairy, baked goods, fruits and vegetables.
- Lehel Market – Kolbasz (Hungarian sausages), wines, honey, fruits and vegetables.
- Szimpla Farmers market – iconic ruin pub of Budapest, honey stands, bakery, fruits, vegetables, spices, DIY brunch, local products and coffee.
Where should one go at night? Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?
- Mazel tov – Jewish District (7th district) stylish, spacious and cultural nightlife scene
- Szechenyi Spa Baths – Spa, Sauna, nightlife events, house music and cocktails.
- Gozsdu Passage – tunnel of buzzing bars, restaurants, open spaces, courtyards and gardens.
- Ruin Pubs – pop up bars and clubs
Any rooftop bars or restaurants that you recommend?
- Toprum – classy bar and restaurant, traditional Hungarian recipes
- High Note Sky bar – classy rooftop place, morning yoga classes
- Pontoon – live bands, DJs, dance floor
- Intermezzo – ornate rooftop, steak, burgers, paninis.
- Corvin Club and Corvin rooftop – Cinema screens, electronic music
Can you recommend the best shopping areas? Best shopping mall?
- Paloma – V District courtyard, design emporium, boutiques and fashion stores
- Nanushka – Most famous fashion label of Hungary
- Retrock – large vintage shop
- Falk Miksa Street – art, furniture, antiques, porcelain and jewelry
- Herend – world famous pottery and porcelain
Do you recommend any tours outside the city? Islands? Boat Tours?
You can plan following day trips outside the city.
- The Danube Bend and Vac
- Eger’s Baroque Heritage
- Kecskemet and the Puszta Great Plains
- The Royal Palace of Godollo
- The Hungarian Open Air Museum
- Nagyteteny Castle and the museum of applied arts
- Szekesfehervar’s Royal Basilica
- Aggtelek National Park and the Baradla Cave
Are Casinos allowed? Blackjack tables? If so, what’s the best Casino in town?
Casinos are legal in Hungary. There are many modern and classic places offering many games including roulette, black jack and poker. Most popular casinos of Budapest are
- Las Vegas Casino
- Tropicana Casino
Any last advice for people visiting the city?
Budapest is an amazing destination whereas there are several things to keep in mind while visiting the city.
- Double check the payments in the currency you are carrying (USD, Euro or Sterling) and the Hungarian Forints. You will get a huge amount of Forints for each pound or USD. Do not mistake 10,000 and 1000 while giving tips.
- There are many vintage coffee houses where struggling artists and writers sit. You can sit and watch them at these places.
- There are two cities Buda and Pest which are located on both sides of the Danube river. They are considered as one. However, Buda has more historical sites, rocky hills and traditional places and Pest is modern and eclectic.