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The best things to do in
Budapest

Language:   Hungarian

Currency: HUF

Sales Tax: 27%

Exchange Rate

Formed from the unification of three cities, Buda, Óbuda and Pest in 1873, Budapest is a city of contrasts. New meets old in the Hungarian capital as the city’s communist-era remnants rub elbows with more modern structures built post “Iron Curtain”. Budapest has plenty of interesting landmarks and other tourist attractions, so you’re not likely to have a dull moment while you’re in the city.

Formula 1 fans will have plenty of reasons to descend on Budapest. The city is home to the Hungarian Grand Prix every Summer. Beyond hosting the race, the famed Hungaroring racetrack offers a fantastic day out for racing fans. Here are some of the best things to do in Budapest:

Some of the best things to do in Budapest

Buda Castle

 Buda Castle

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.

Hungaroring

Hungaroring

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. Track experiences give visitors the option to race around the 2.7 mile circuit in one of many car options including relatively current Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini models. 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.

If you’re a Formula One fan, you’re likely familiar with Hungaroring, and it won’t surprise anyone that driving on the track and touring its facilities is at the top of your list of things to do in Budapest.

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion

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

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.

Parliament Building

Parliament Building

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

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

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.

Margaret Island

Margaret Island

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

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

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.

Budapest is filled with history that stretches back centuries. It is a city of proud people that endured decades of Soviet rule and is still coming to terms with capitalism. The city has many great attractions and anyone planning a holiday to the Hungarian capital needs to plan carefully because there may not be enough time for it all.


Weather

Goulash

Local Favorite: Goulash

Nothing 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.

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