Fell in love with Budapest!
We’ve already been two times in Budapest. And who knows – maybe one day we will return to this city again, because we simply love it! 🙂 The first time we were here in the autumn. Despite the gray weather and the short day we left the city happy but with great discomfort. We didn’t see everything what we wanted, so we decided to come back some time. Two years later, specifically 2 weeks ago, we visited the capital of Hungary again. This time we were shocked by the heat, but at least we were more satisfied. However, I’m pretty sure that two days are enough to see everything, but 3 days will be also ok. Let me explain now why Budapest is such a great city and what you should see in this amazing city!
How to get to Budapest?
Well, there are few cheap ways, but depends on your destination. I was traveling from Kraków so my transportation costs were low. Basically, from Poland you have a lot of good deals:
- Polski Bus – departs from many Polish cities to Budapest. It was also our transport and we paid 33 zl (8 euro) for round way.
- Hungarian buses Orangeways – but they travel only to Kraków, but they have also other destinations
- Wizzair flights from Warsaw
- Don’t forget to check trains – it might be a nice alternative 🙂
Unfortunately they still don’t have euro and their currency is not easy at all to calculate. That is why I have an example for you how to count money:
- 1 EUR is 303.67 HUF
- 10 EUR is 3036.67 HUF
- 100 EUR is 30366.68 HUF
What to see in Budapest?
Let’s start with our recent tour. Firstly, we will show you how we spent our summer day in Budapest, and then we will show you other places that we visited in autumn. So don’t be suprised by different pictures! 🙂
Budapest stop Kelenföld vasútállomás M
This is the last stop of Polski Bus and also for many other bus company’s. There is also a railway station and what is most important for us – the metro line M4. Before traveling to Budapest I recommend to download a map of the metro on the phone. In our case, the M4 line was perfect for us, because our day began with a tour to the Gelert Hills, which is exactly on the M4 way. We bought a set of 10 one way tickets for 3000 HUF. It was enough for us, We split 5 per person, which I think is a pretty good deal. There are also daily tickets, but in our case more cost-effective was the set of 10 tickets.
We arrived to Budapest before 6am. Normally at this time we are still sleeping, but we spent the whole night in a bus, and on the same day at 6pm we had a return way. All in all, it didn’t go wrong that we started our visit so early. Most of people were still sleeping and the temperature was really nice. Not too hot nor cold.
As I mentioned above, the tour begins with Gellert Hill. For this purpose we get off at the metro stop of the same name. By the way, we admired the beautiful and historic Hotel Gellert. Its construction began in the days of Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1912. You can immediately see the splendor and style of that period! Its construction was much delayed because of the I World War, but in 1918 the Hotel was finally ready.
On the booking the average price for a weekend night starts from 70 euro per person 🙂
I didn’t realize that 235m high hill may be a challenge for a hot day! 😀 Of course, the views from this place are worth every drop of sweat. In the past, the area wasn’t the safest places in the city. At present there is nothing to fear, especially in the morning, where dog owners and first runners are present here. Possibly passengers of Polish Bus who like us arrived for 1 day. 😀 On the hill is located an old citadel, which was built in the 19th century. It was intended to prevent possible attempts revolt against the Habsburgs. In addition to the fortress, there is also the Freedom Monument, which commemorates all the fallen for a homeland.
For us, Gellert Hill is place with the most amazing and beautiful view of Budapest. Becareful, because you might spend lots of time staring on Budapest. 🙂
On Wikipedia I found a very interesting thing about Gellert Hill. I don’t know how it is with the Northern part, but as I climb South I felt as if I was somewhere in the South of Europe! Here explanation of this feeling:
Gellert Hill has a specific microclimate – on the southern slopes conditions resemble countries like Morocco or Tunisia (high temperatures, high sunshine) and Scandinavian countries on the northern slope (lack of sunlight). Because of this, the growing plants differ considerably from one another – fig trees (planted in Turkish times) are mixed with subalpine vegetation.
Ybl Miklós tér
Our next stop was the royal castle. We walked there, although the distance wasn’t as small as we thought at first sight. Fortunately, along the way we passed some interesting buildings, which are located on the street Ybl Miklós tér. Thanks to that, our long walk was rewarded! 🙂
There are not many cities in the world where the bridge belongs to one of the greatest attractions!! Budapest is the case where are several bridges worth your attention. The most desirable and beautiful is the Chain Brigde. The stone bridge was built between 1839 and 1849 and was the first link on the opposite sides of the Danube – Buda and Pest.
It’s a beautiful and enormous building, proudly towering over the city. It is not known when exactly the first royal residence appeared in this place, although the chronicles point to the 14th century. Zygmunt Luxembourgian intensified the castle’s construction, but with his death, the desire to expand this place was gone. The next rulers expanded only small parts. In the sixteenth century the castle was taken by the Turks and they made an arsenal there, which had exploded and destroyed the castle completely. The present shape was given by Habsburgs family.
Nowadays, the castle has been turned into a museum complex.
As you can see, the royal castle is on the hill, which means you have to climb again. But … because it was already very hot, we were tired after a night trip, etc., etc. 😀 We decided to go by train for 1200 HUF.
It is a fairly modest building built in the early 19th century by a family of the same name as the name of the palace. It was bought by the state and renovated to the head office of the Hungarian Prime Minister. However, the new Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy didn’t want to move to the palace. As a result, the building is occupied by the President of Hungary. 🙂
Then we were on the way to the famous Fisherman’s Bastion. At first, however, we had to pass the Church of Sts. Matthias. It is one of the most important and most recognizable Hungarian churches. The beginning of the temple dates back to the 13th century, and since the dawn of history it has seen royal crowns and other important national holidays.
Of course the entrance is paid, but we skipped. Recently we visited many churches and spent a lot of money on them, so it’s time to stop. On the other hand we get the impression that most of the cathedrals/churches look the same …
We were at the Fisherman’s Bastion after 9 pm. Despite the relatively early time, Budapest reminded us how touristy the city is. Crowds of tourists have already occupied the Fisherman’s Bastion. We immediately remembered that it was Saturday and mid-summer, so what could we actually expect?
In any case, Fisherman’s Bastion was built in the 19th century and its name owes thanks to the fisherman’s who defended this part of the Tower. Amazing construction will surely catch your eye and the Budapest panorama will charm you for 100%!
From the Fisherman’s Bastion we wanted to find a good spot for the best view of parliament. I guess you all see the pictures of the beautiful parliament building from the opposite bank of the river? Do you know where to go for it? 🙂 The best option is the underground stop Batthyány tér. From here you will take beautiful photos of Orszaghaz in all its splendor. Just a note: Be sure to come in the afternoon. In the morning you will have the sun behind the building. Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to get here in the afternoon…
Cafe New York Budapest
At Batthyány tér we jumped on the metro line M2 and we stopped by Blaha Lujza Ter. This is our next stop – Cafe New York! It is hard to believe that the building was built at the end of the 19th century and was owned by New York Insurance. In the days of communism it has declined considerably and it was only in the beginning of the 21st century that it was restored to full glory. Today there is a 5 star luxury hotel and propably the most beautiful cafe in the world.
This is another amazing place in Budapest, where you will feel like in the days of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although prices are high, the cafeteria is very crowded place. It is worth to reserve a table a little earlier, especially if you are going there over the weekend. When we arrived there, the queue was not that big – 20-30 minutes of waiting. For this I recommend you visit the official website of Cafe New York, where in addition to booking a table, you can look at the Menu with prices. 🙂 Remember that 15% service is added to your bill.
In the rhythm of classical live music, we drank delicious coffee and hot chocolate with people from all over the world. Prices may not spoil, but all things are delicious! At least for such money they serve really high quality drinks and ice creams that we also ordered. I was tempted to taste strawberry-champagne ice cream, which turned out to be very refreshing and delicious. 🙂 Darek, however, choosed some heavier toffee flavors. Everything cost us 9315 HUF.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
At New York Cafe we spent a little over an hour to get back on track. Later on we went to St. Stephen’s Basilica. It is currently the largest church in Hungary, which can accommodate 8500 people. It was built in the middle of the 19th century and it is the second tallest building in Budapest.
Of course the entrance is paid and once again we skipped interiors. 😉
Id. Antall József rkp.
Then we headed to the parliament building. In this case is good to go via Id. Antall József rkp. You will enjoy the view of the opposite site of the river. 🙂
We’ve already seen it from Gellert Hill or Fisherman’s Bastion, but finally we came to the building closer. It is not only the seat of the Hungarian authorities, but for many people the most beautiful symbol of Budapest! There is no denying that this is a true work of art that is recognizable throughout the world. This colossus was established at the end of the 19th century. If anyone wanted to know why such a small state has such a huge parliament, then check again to the date of construction. At that time it was supposed to serve Austro-Hungarian Empire. Unfortunately, (for the Austrians) after the fall of the empire, the building left on hungarian site and it left only for the hungarians.
The Parliament building is publicly accessible and can be visited without any obstacles, but for a small fee. We were inside during our first visit, so this time we skipped. However, I recommend to check out the official site where you will find the exact opening hours, ticket prices and the possibility to purchase tickets online.
For retro fans, the old yellow trams run around the parliament. They blend well with the surrounding buildings, although on such hot days, old non-climatic wagons must be a very uncomfortable for travelers. Anyway, from what we’ve noticed, it’s just one line – no. 2 – that drives this old stock. 🙂
Budapest and its flavors
Finally lunch time 😉 . I honestly say – we cheated on this visit, because instead of going for a typical Hungarian food, we ended up having pizza. Near Orszaghaz, 2 pizzas, lemonade and beer cost us 6150 HUF.
The first time was a little easier with food because we were in the Christmas market. As you may have guessed, you could eat all the Hungarian dishes and some other things there. I was in love with Langosz. I choosed versions with cheese and garlic sauce. Quite specific taste and very fat. Not everyone will like it but I will always enjoy it! 🙂
We also ate some interesting cakes that were fried on an oven under the iron. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of it!
At the very end of our trip we went to Margaret Island. You can get there only but one bus – 26. It is worth to come here in summer, because the beautiful and spacious park will allow you to completely forget that you are in the crowded capital. The island is also equipped with a complex of swimming pools, both recreational and sporting, for the world’s largest events. During our stay the swimming pools were preparing for the Masters World Championships! 🙂
At this place we finished our summer day in Budapest. Tired? Yeah, but imagine that it’s not all. So what else can you see? Here are some places we saw during the first tour. 🙂
House of Terror
It is a museum commemorating the events of 1956. We didn’t enter, but we recommend because of the rather interesting building!
It is one of the most important and largest square in Budapest. Many political demonstrations took place here. On both sides of the square are located the magnificent buildings of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Palace of Arts. However, the most important site on the square is the Millennium Monument, whose construction began in 1896 on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian state.
Széchenyi Thermal Baths
On our first trip, we just passed Széchenyi. Honestly, somehow this place doesn’t convince me too much, because as a swimmer I don’t like to sit in the water – I prefer to swim! Hence the terms ares not so attractive to me.
In 1896, on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Hungarian state, in the capital took place a great Millennium Exhibition. A complex of buildings from unstable materials (mainly wood) was erected, which were copies of objects from the area of Great Hungary and they represented different styles in Hungarian national architecture. The exhibition was so popular with the public that the buildings in 1904-1908 were re-built of durable materials. One of them is Vajdahunyad vára castle. 🙂
Budapest at night
Budapest at night is a must! It looks so romantic and so different. Take your camera with you and don’t hesitate to take some pics of this city by night.
During our first stay the town was already preparing for the Christmas and it looked really stunning!
After such intensive sightseeing, most of you probably want to go home and sleep as long as possible. Meanwhile, Budapest offers another unique attraction, namely Ruin Pubs! In the central area of the city new places were opened one after another in tenement houses and factory buildings doomed to destruction. These were equipped with rejected furniture of old community centres, cinemas, and grandmothers´ flats, bringing a retro feeling into these places. They were soon called ruinpubs and became popular very fast among the youth of Budapest – ruinpub is the exact translation of the Hungarian name.
That’s all. Thank you for being till the end 😀 I hope you like it and you are not bored after all. I also hope it’s a useful guide and you will enjoy your stay in a Budapest. Let me know how was it! 🙂