Where do stay in Budapest
It may come as a surprise to you to learn that Budapest
is Europe’s seventh largest capital city. It’s known as the Paris of the east, which should give you a good indication of the picture postcard nature of the city. Budapest is so impressive that the city has been deemed one of the world’s most outstanding urban landscapes by UNESCO which has given it heritage site status. Unfortunately Budapest is not as good value as most former Eastern Bloc
cities and it is hard to find cheap accommodation in the centre. There are plenty of hotels and hostels, but maybe a better option is to stay in a short-stay apartment or guest house. You’ll get to choose exactly where you want to stay and see pictures of the kind of accommodation in Budapest you are booking.
Budapest is hot – the thermal springs underneath the city bring 70 million litres of thermal water to the surface every day.
A statue of a chronicle of Bela King named Anonymous holding a pen located in Vajdahunyad's Castle is said to improve the writing skills of anyone who touches it.
The ‘biro’ pen was invented by Sir Biro László József who was born in Budapest.
You might know Budapest used to consist of two settlements Buda and Pest, but did you know that there was a third settlement? Óbuda along with Buda and Pest were united under Habsburg rule.
Things to do in Budapest
New visitors to Budapest should begin their sightseeing at Andrassy Avenue
. From here it is best to walk along the avenue to Hero’s Square
. Old and New art museums line each side of this impressive boulevard and time should be taken to admire the architecture. Castle Hill
is the medieval old centre of Budapest. It is steeped in history and contains 6 museums, 3 churches and a former royal palace. More beautiful architecture can be found at the Hungarian Parliament
. This immense building was built in the style of European neo-gothic architecture and contains 691 rooms and 20km of stairs. The Chain Bridge
is also a must-see and is considered one of the wonders of the world. This bridge connects Buda and Pest and was rebuilt after it was destroyed in World War 2. Budapest Opera House
is considered to have some of the best acoustics in the world and we recommend you see a show there. The best view over Budapest is arguably from the Fisherman’s Bastion
, a former fish market located on Castle Hill. A good way to relax whilst gaining an appreciation for life in Budapest is to visit one of the many hot baths in the city. The Szecheny Baths
are the largest natural spring water baths in Europe and were built in a neo baroque style in 1903. Traditionally, Hungarians used the baths to socialise and we recommend you do the same! Play a game of chess, sit back and watch the world go by!
Hungary in the 20th century
Hungary’s recent history should be appreciated too and Memento Park
is the perfect place to get a feel for life behind the iron curtain. This park is an open air museum filled with over 40 relics from life behind under communist rule. Monuments to Marx
, which prior to the fall of communism were scattered around the city, are featured in the park. The park is a powerful reminder of the strength of communist ideology and is worth exploring. There is also a memorial to the Jews of Hungary who were killed by members of the Nazi-sympathising Hungarian right wing party during World War 2. 60 pairs of metal shoes are lined up on the bank of the Danube, a reference to how the victims lost their lives. It is a simple but powerful memorial and it is worth taking the time to visit this solemn place.
Off the beaten track in Budapest
Budapest has many different faces and it would be a shame to leave the city without exploring some of the city’s less well known sights. Szimpla
is a stylish nightclub situated in formerly abandoned buildings dating back to the communist era. The nightclub owner has decked the place out in old furniture and the club is a favourite with Budapest locals. We also recommend the area known as 5th district
, it’s got a very Hungarian feel to it and despite being in the heart of the city has been ignored by tourists. There are also plenty of Flea markets in Budapest which give a unique insight into the lives of people in Hungary. You can find all kinds of interesting artifacts and relics from the communist era including Soviet army watches and antique top hats. Our favourite is the Józsefváros Market
, often known as the Chinese Market, due to its large amount of Asian food stalls which nestle for place amongst the market traders.
Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport
is located to the east of the city. It is 20 minutes from the city centre and the airport runs a shuttle bus to the centre – be prepared to queue at the airport though! Budapest has a reliable and extensive tram system and we recommend you use this when travelling around the city. Three metro lines also operate in the city centre. Budapest has good links with Bratislava
to the north-west of the city. There are several direct train connections with the city and if you would like to do the journey at a more leisurely pace you can take a boat up the river Danube to both cities - the journey is unsurprisingly beautiful!