Local Favorite: GoulashNothing is more Hungarian than goulash, a dish you will find across Budapest, from ritzy restaurants to local diners. Herdsmen in the hills and pastures originally made Goulash as they needed a hearty meal to keep them going, and it had to be cooked over a campfire. Goulash varies per region in Hungary, but some items are staples of the dish no matter where you are. Budapest is no exception. Beef is combined with potatoes, carrots, herbs and spices, and Hungary's most famous ingredient, paprika. They are mixed into a meal that is too thick to be soup, but too runny to be stew. A proper goulash is served with freshly baked bread to help mop up every last drop.
Some of the best things to do in Budapest
Buda Castle is one of the most iconic structures in all of Budapest. It provides the backdrop to some amazing photographs. Budapest is split into two parts. On one side of the Danube River is Buda, which is the oldest part of the city and where Buda Castle lies. On the other side of the Danube is Pest, which is the newer part of the city.
Buda Castle sits upon a hill that overlooks the capital. There is a funicular railway that takes visitors to the top. Next to the castle is the beautiful Matthias Church, which has been repaired over the last few years. Every year, a number of festivals are held on the castle’s grounds. One of the most popular is a Palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) and sausage festival that attracts thousands.
The Hungaroring racetrack is famed for having continuous sequences of turns. Every year the circuit puts on a memorable Formula One race, and car enthusiasts can visit the circuit on a trip to Budapest.
Petrolheads are spoilt for choice at the racetrack. The 'Empire of Speed' track experiences give visitors the option to race around the 2.7mi circuit in one of the Hungaroring's many car options including Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini. There are even options for rally-spec cars such as the Audi S1 Rally or the Mitsubishi Lancer IX. If sitting behind the wheel is too much pressure, the Race Taxi service will give the same speed thrill from the passenger seat. Finally, the track tour is a must for any F1 fan to see behind the scenes of this historic circuit
Budapest has a handful of iconic lanmarks but it’s hard not to point at the Fisherman’s Baston (Halászbástya ) as one of the most intriguing. Located close to the Buda Castle, it offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the city from the lookout terraces. Currently recognized as a World Heritage Site as part of the Buda Castle District, its unique design draws a large number of tourists.
If you find yourself wondering if the designers of the Disneyland castle took inspiration from the Fisherman’s Bastion, you’re probably not alone, as there is a striking resemblance. Maybe that has contributed to the landmark’s popularity among tourists. If you’re unable to visit all the great attractions the city of Budapest has to offer, you have to put this place on your shortlist. The views are that good.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of the most awe-inspiring attractions in the center of Budapest. Located in a square, visitors can tour the basilica for free before sitting at one of the many of nearby cafes for a drink and bite to eat.
The area is just as beautiful once the sun sets and visitors can enjoy a night out in the Basilica’s shadow. Inside the basilica, visitors will find a world of ornate imagery and beautiful statues. Visitors can ascend to the basilica’s cupola for panoramic views of Budapest.
Travelers can easily walk around parliament building and take in the views of the gorgeous structure. It is the third largest parliament building in the world and its size must be witnessed first hand to truly appreciate it.
Travelers can take the city’s trolleybus right to the foot of the building before disembarking and walking around the area. There are guided tours of the parliament building when the country’s politicians are not meeting.
Szechenyi Chain Bridge
The iconic Szechenyi Chain Bridge stretches from Buda to Pest across the Danube River. Built in the 1880s and rebuilt after World War II, the bridge still possesses many of its original features. It isn’t far from St. Stephen’s Basilica, and it is easy to get from one to the other on a walking tour, so be ready to burn some calories as you hike across the bridge.
You don't need to be particularly fit as you can walk across the 1,250-foot bridge in no time and explore the different sides of Budapest. The bridge's ornate lions are perfect for photographs, and its promenade is perfect for strolling at any time of the day.
Magyar Vasúttörténeti Park
Opened in 2000, Magyar Vasúttörténeti Park (Hungarian Railway History Park) is a 70,000 square meter museum that showcases a collection of Soviet-era steam trains and electric engines for visitors to explore. Other exhibits include hand-powered cars and inspection cars. The great thing about the museum is that many of the exhibits are open for interaction by visitors. But maybe the most exciting train in the park is the miniature railway that children and adults alike can take a ride on. The museum is mostly outdoors, so seize the opportunity to stretch your legs while enjoying the exhibits.
In the heart of the vibrant city of Budapest, Margaret Island is situated right in the center of the Danube River and offers a change of pace to bustling city life. Visitors can enjoy the tranquil parks of the island for an hour or two or make a day of their visit by exploring the several attractions on the island, such as a zoo and medieval ruins.
Mihaly Kolodko's Miniature Sculptures
Since you're on vacation, you should have some time to indulge in a unique treasure hunt. Explore the city of Budapest at your own pace, doing your best to find as many of Mihaly Kolodko's miniature sculptures as possible. These hidden gems are intricate pieces of art scattered around the famous sites of Budapest, so pay attention as you visit each tourist attraction. One of these sculptures may be sitting right next to you, waiting to be discovered. Don't forget to take selfies of the ones you're able to find.
Danube River by Viking Longship
Explore the Danube, just not as you expected. Let a long Viking cruise take you on your trip as you explore the sights of Budapest from Europe's second-longest river. Along the Danube's banks, you'll find the Hungarian Parliament building and classic examples of European architecture to enjoy from this unique transport.