Bountiful Budapest

The beautiful capital of Hungary is a travel destination that needs to be on your travel bucket list… stat!

Budapest is a beautiful city with breathtaking architecture and interesting things to discover at every corner. With scenic views whether you’re exploring the city or strolling along the River Danube, the most important thing to bring on this trip is a fully charged camera and extra memory cards! Purchase a BKK (Budapesti Közlekedési Központ – Centre for Budapest Transport) pass, take full advantage of their public transport system and you’re ready to explore Budapest. Here are a few stops that needs to be on your itinerary:

Hungarian Parliament Building

This is the most well-known sight in the capital and is a must visit spot. It is the biggest building in Hungary and also known as the Parliament of Budapest. Facing the River Danube, Europe’s second longest river, it is well-known for its architecture and its eastern staircase is flanked by two lions. Walk up the opulent stairs and remember to look up to see the frescoes on the ceiling.

Tram 2

It sounds a bit strange hearing advice to take the tram as a ‘must-do’ in any city. After all, you just need to get from Point A to Point B right? Tram 2 is famous as one of the best and cheapest ways to sightsee in Budapest! It travels along the Danube’s riverbank and remember to look to the left and right as it passes by Hungarian Parliament Building and Chain Bridge. Across the River Danube, you’ll be able to see the Buda Hills and Gellért Baths too.

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

When you’re in Budapest, you may notice that boats are part of their public transport options! Use the BKK pass and hop on one of the four boat lines. Your journey can also double as an affordable way to see the city via the river! The D11 and D12 lines pass under seven bridges and offers a different view of popular tourist spots! The Széchenyi Chain Bridge connects Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest and was featured as a backdrop in a few Hollywood films. Take it at sunset and witness the bridge being lit up!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Not exactly a historic landmark, Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place to see the River Danube and the Pest cityscape. It is particularly beautiful in the early morning and it’s open for visiting all day throughout autumn and winter. Dodge the tourist crowds and wait for sunrise with your sweetheart and you won’t regret it! Do note that in spring and summer, tickets will need to be purchased and more information on that can be found on their website (www.fishermansbastion.com). 

Gellért Spa

The Gellért Spa is one of the best-known thermal spa baths in Budapest and it is located in an interesting Art Nouveau building. Did you know that this was where the world’s first wave pool was opened in 1927! This is the best place to stop by after a day of exploring and you’re a little tired with sore feet. Indulge in their massage treatments which range from affordable 20 minute sessions to luxury private baths (includes three hour use, a bottle of champagne and a fruit bowl) and massage packages!

Since you’ve come all the way to the famous baths, you simply must go for a dip at the natural spring water baths! A lot of the pools have underwater jets which provide aqua massage therapy. The indoor thermal baths are kept between 36 to 40 degrees Celsius. The outdoor pools are made up of a wave pool with artificial waves and thermal sitting pool. There’s also a plunge pool that’s for after using the steam and sauna services. For more information and bookings, check their website (www.gellertspa.com). 

Great Market Hall

This interesting building was opened in 1897 and the fresh produce arrived via the canal in the middle. Presently, the canal doesn’t exist anymore but this market is still famous for the amazing array of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, baked goods, wines and Hungarian delicacies!

If you’re a foodie and looking for Hungarian nibbles to try, this is the place to be. Try dishes such as stuffed cabbage (töltött káposzta), meat-filled pancake (hortobágyi palacsinta), deep fried bread (lángos) and the ever famous goulash!

There are also plenty of shops selling little trinkets and souvenirs that would make beautiful gifts for your loved ones back home!

References: Hungry Passport; welovebudapest.com