Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, is ranked as "the world's second best city" by Condé Nast Traveler and "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes. This city attracts millions international tourists every year, making it a popular destination in Europe.
In this beautiful, safe, budget-friendly city, there are so many incredible things to do.
The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments. While walking, you can see the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church, the Liberty Statue and more. Above is the famous Liberty Bridge.
Saint Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) is a Roman Catholic basilica in Budapest, the third largest church in Hungary. This is the most important church in Hungary and also one of the most attractive tourist destinations. The architecture is constructed in "Neo-Classical" style. Visitors may access the dome by elevators or by foot to have an overlooking view of Budapest.
The interior of the cathedral is also very interesting as it has a unique atmosphere with a combination of gold and marble.
One of the national dishes of Hungary and a symbol of the country is Goulash (gulyás). It is a stew of meat and vegetables like potato and carrot and it is usually seasoned with paprika. Don't forget to try this famous dish when you are in Budapest!
Budapest is be one of the most relaxing cities in Europe, thanks to more than 120 thermal springs. Almost all thermal baths in Budapest are a century old. The most important bath might be the Turkish ones such as Kiraly Bath and Rudas Bath, which are the legacy of Turkish occupation. Bathing at thermal spas has become a part of Hungarian people's life in general and Budapest residents in particular, which is why these places are always crowded, even during the cold winter days.
Don't forget to bring your swimwear to Budapest!
Traveling by the Buda Hill Funicular (Budavari Siklo) is the easiest way to get up to Buda Castle from the river level. In front of the Chain Bridge, on the Buda side, the Funicular was admitted to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1987, after 7 years in service.
Hours of operation: Mon–Sun 7:30-22:00
Prices : Adult one way 1,200 HUF, round trip 1,800 HUF / Children aged between 3-14 one way 700 HUF, round trip 1,100 HUF/ free for children under 3 (only HUF is accepted)
At Buda side, you can visit the Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and the Matthias Church. From here, you will get the best views of the Pest side including the Parliament building.
Another spot you don't want to miss is the Matthias Church, the place of old kings' coronation with its famous multi-colored tile roof.
The ceremony of changing the guards in front of the Hungarian Presidential Palace is one of the Buda Castle attractions. It is a spectacular choreographed show performed every hour, The palace is called Sandor Palota (Alexander Palace), right next to the Funicular Railway.
Pre-war buildings transitioned into cool pubs and bars and visiting them would be a unique experience in Budapest. Ruin bars have become so popular not only for locals but also for tourists and foreign students.
They have everything you need; live music, drinks, and snacks.
Words and Photographs by Phan Thanh Thuy