GF and I are taking a cruise down two legs of the Danube, and we stop over in Budapest for five whole days. I am eager to love the city (if not the present government) but have no idea where to start. What should we not miss?
Although I personally haven’t been there, I’ve definitely marked Szimpla Kert as some place I’d like to visit one day. It looks so wacky and cool!
Have you looked at the Budapest destination page for some inspiration?
No, I have not–I much prefer comments like yours to a more formal catalogue. Szimpla Kert is on the list!
do go to one of the baths. We went to one near the zoo, built in 1912, a huge building with multiple pools of varying temps and 2 outdoor swimming pools. it was amazing! Do bring a swim suit as it is coed. there are private dressing rooms. There are also Turkish baths dating back, some of them, to the 1500’s. Go to the General Market, go to a couple of coffee houses. If you like night life Budapest has it. go through the old Jewish Quarter. There is a lot to do in Budapest, you will not be bored.
I knew I was right to ask instead of looking at long lists of stuff in a travel guide. Thanks, this is on the list.
We just returned from 4 nights in Budapest - I was absolutely floored at the stunning agriculture and breadth of culture. You’re in for a treat. Check out the Zwack Unicum Museum for a fascinating look into the city’s native digestif - they give a guided tour and then turn you loose in a boozy museum that doubles as a crash course in history.
Consider Lavender Circus Hostels & Suites for lodging - central location, comfy apartments, and whimsical decor.
Thanks! These are on the list. I did know about the breadth of the culture–there is simply too much to see and do in 5 days–so these individual experiences pick out goodies.
This is my last expensive trip; I have recently retired, and retirement pays a good deal less than working, but I paid for the whole thing last year when I was working, so it is all covered. Our hotel was laid on as part of our “cruise,” (though I hope it does not go downstream, too).
This looks great! I’m always interested in trying spirits and alcoholic drinks that involve lots of herbs. You never know what you’re up for, which sometimes goes … okay. But sometimes goes great! Here’s the link to the Atlas entry if anyone else wants to mark it “Want to Visit”!
Seconding the baths - we went to the ones near the zoo mentioned above- Széchenyi Baths - and they were amazing. (We were there in February.) If the evenings are still cool when you go, it’s extra nice to go then, the steam rising off the baths makes it special. (When we were there it was about 45F/5C so there was a lot of steam coming off the 95F/35C water!)
We stumbled across it, but there’s a statue of Ronald Reagan in central Budapest. I’m not sure of the exact location but it’s one straight street down from the Parliament building. (Link to AO entry: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/ronald-reagan-statue-in-budapest)
And very close to there is a restaurant called Hungarikum Bisztro - it’s specifically for tourists but don’t let that scare you off. It’s a great way to sample traditional Hungarian food, and they have Hungarian musicians and give you a shot of palinka at the end of the meal. The food was incredible, the atmosphere really nice and welcoming. I had the Loin of Pork with Paprika Sauce, Bacon and Sour Cabbage Dumplings and it was the standout of our group. You are supposed to make reservations - we just stumbled on it and there happened to be a cancellation but I wouldn’t take that chance.
Let’s see, what else … we went out to Monument Park, which is a bit outside the city but easy to get to by bus. It’s an outdoor park with a bunch of Communist-era statues. There isn’t a lot of information on them, so you’re kind of on your own figuring some of them out, but research after the fact was interesting for me.
I’ll probably come back with more.
I am a flavor hound, and this looks like a good place for taste testing. Thanks!
We shall definitely hit the Hungarikum Bisztro, but I’ll take a pass on the statue of Saint Ronnie, the Man Who Gave Us Trump (along with our heroic Invasion of Grenada). Thanks!
(This is the first time I have been addressed by a saint–sorry, I don’t know the proper honorific.)
Stay at the Hotel Bara!!! It’s on the Buda side of the city and within walking distance of many wonderful sites! Also, walk across the bridge to the Pest side and take in the Shopping Mile! No cars allowed!
Not a Reagan fan here either! I thought it was kind of weird, honestly, because I also associate him more with Grenada, Star Wars, loosing the mentally ill on the streets, etc., but it was interesting to think he was seen differently in other countries.
Heroes’ Square is one of those big open plazas that just feels epic. We went at night, and I’d actually recommend that. As a friend of mine said, it looked like a scene from a Cold War spy movie:
As for honorifics, “Your Perfection” will do.
I’m going to also say the Széchenyi Baths…really great. There are several caves that one can visit, varying levels of ‘tour’; walking thru a show cave to crawling thru squeezes. The Buda Labyrinth is a really odd and fun visit. The Terror Haza Museum is very well down for history, though fair warning it deals w unpleasant subjects. It is really an excellent city to just wander and look around, sample the pastries.
Hail, Your Perfection,
You must feel out of joint during the Trump administration.
Looks great, but the cruise line has us booked into the Hilton Budapest (included in what we have already paid–they probably get a kickback). Thanks, though.
GF tires easily, so the caves might be a bit much; the labyrinth looks doable, though, and the pastries will definitely take a beating! Thanks!
see the inside Hungarian Parliament Building, get online tickets with time for the official guided tour. Home - Országgyűlés
Fisherman’s Bastion is beautiful, and you can take a bus up to it so you don’t have to walk up tons of stairs.
The cave church (Sziklatemplom) is lovely as well but, if I remember, requires a slight uphill walk to reach the entrance. However, it’s easily seen from the street and is near Liberty Bridge. In fact, you can get a nice picture of the bridge from a statue near the cave church entrance.
I second the visit to the Terror Háza. It’s fascinating place to spend a few hours (I’d allot at least 2 hours to it). I’d recommend getting there as early as possible because the line built up quickly when I was there (on a Sunday morning).
I haven’t been to the Szabó Ervin Library yet, but next month I’m planning to go. It looks likea nice place to wander and relax in for a while.
We’ve seen the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, so this will make two. (We might do the U.S. Capitol some day when it is not infested by Republicans.) Thanks!