Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and it’s a very popular destination.
The capital of Hungary combines history, sightseeing and delicious food. It has also plenty of activities to do.
Public transport in Budapest is very affordable and convenient. There are many tram lines with very frequent routes, every 2-3 minutes.
Except from trams, there are three metro lines, buses, and ferries that cross the Danube river.
A one-way ticket costs 350 forints (about 0.90€), but there is a 24-hour unlimited ticket which is more beneficial and costs 1,650 forints (about 4.50€). If you are going to stay more days, there is the 72-hour ticket and the 7-day pass.
The roads are quite small, so at peak times there is a lot of traffic. I don’t think a car is a good choice in this city.
Where to eat in Budapest
High Five Budapest
High Five Budapest is my favourite restaurant in the city. A lovely modern space with beautiful details and friendly staff.
Everything we tried was delicious. We chose chicken schnitzel with sweet potatoes, chicken quesadillas, nachos, waffle burgers (burgers but with waffles instead of bread) and chicken schnitzel burgers.
100% worth a visit if you go to Budapest.
Belvárosi Disznótoros – Király utca
I chose this restaurant to try traditional Hungarian dishes. It is a traditional restaurant with plenty of food options. The portions are generous and the prices are quite affordable. We tried duck, schnitzel, sausage, rice, beef soup and potato salad.
A few meters away from Belvárosi Disznótoros – Király utca you will find MiR Restaurant, which is a kebab shop.
You can enjoy both Turkish and Greek dishes. I chose doner sandwiches -one of my favorites- and chicken nuggets (dinosaur-shaped).
Vintage Garden is the cutest instagrammable place you’ll find in Budapest. It’s a very pretty pink space with quite friendly staff.
You can drink coffee or cocktails, or alternatively have a meal. I tried one of their sweets of the day and it was amazing.
Gelarto Rosa is a small coffee place in the heart of the city, where you can enjoy rose-shaped ice cream.
I tried hazelnut and stracciatella flavours. At Gelarto Rosa you’ll find dozens of unique flavors to choose from, and if you don’t want ice cream you can enjoy your coffee at the tables next to the Cathedral of St. Stephen.
What to see in Budapest
The Hungarian Parliament is built on the Danube river and is perhaps the most famous and most photographed building in the country.
Public visiting areas are limited and include a hall with statues of Hungarian monarchs of the Middle Ages, a room with a crown of that era (half Byzantine) guarded by soldiers and a balcony with a view of the parliament conference room.
In order to enter the building, you definitely need to have your ID card with you. For EU citizens the ticket costs 2,000 forints (about 5.50€).
Shoes on the Danube River
Just before the Hungarian Parliament, you’ll find a very heartbreaking monument dedicated to the Jewish people who suffered from tortures.
At this place, the German Nazis, together with their Hungarian partners, gathered the Jews of the city and executed them, throwing them into the river after forcing them to take off their shoes.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 members of the Jewish community of the Hungarian capital died during the German occupation and this monument honours their memory.
The most popular attraction in Budapest is undoubtedly the Fisherman’s Bastion, as it is the most beautiful part of the city. Every day it is full of hundreds of tourists.
From there you can enjoy the magnificent view of Budapest, the Danube and the Parliament.
Tip: There is a ticket fee to the tower in front of Matthias Church that costs 800 forints (about 2-2,50€), but if you continue to the west you will find an identical tower that is free of charge!
Tip2: To avoid the crowds and take pictures without any tourists around, visit it before it opens (around 7-8).
The original medieval church was built around the 14th century and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Most of this church was destroyed in 1541, when the Ottomans occupied the city and turned the building into a Grand Mosque. After the Hungarian liberation, the church was rebuilt again and in the 19th century it was restored by Friesian Sulek in neo-Gothic style.
The church is open from 09:00-17:00 and the entrance fee is 1500 HUF (about 4€)
Up on Buda Hill you will find the Buda Royal Palace, one of the best places to enjoy the panoramic view of Budapest.
The castle has survived from several disasters over the years. It is worth visiting the castle by foot, in order to admire the walls and the important sights around it like National Gallery, Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church etc..
The most popular way to reach the Castle is to take the old and traditional 1870’s cable car which is right in front of you once you cross the Chain Bridge. The ride costs about 1,600 forints (about 4-5€).
If you are a fan of walking, then I recommend the route from the path to the castle, a distance of about 15 minutes.
Southeast of Buda Castle is the famous Gellert Hill, named after the statue of the homonymous statue that dominates it.
You can take a walk on the green hill, while locals choose it for bike rides and picnics.
St. Stephen’s Basilica
The majestic 19th century church was named after Stephen, King of the Hungarians who Christianized his people around 1000 AD and was therefore declared as a saint.
It’s located in a very central part of the city and you can combine your visit to the church with a walk to the Parliament and the Chain Bridge.
The Liberty Bridge is the third southernmost public road bridge in Budapest, connecting Buda and Pest on the Danube.
The green bridge is a very popular spot and attracts many tourists every day -it’s a very famous insta spot-, especially when the city’s vintage yellow tram passes by.
Heroes’ Square is one of the largest squares in Budapest and is famous for its iconic Millennium Monument with statues of the Seven Leaders of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders.
Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad Castle)
After Heroes’ Square you will find the magnificent Vajdahunyad Castle. This beautiful castle was built in 1896 to celebrate 1000 years of Hungarian history, since the Hungarian occupation of the Carpathian Basin in 895.
Great Market Hall
One of my favorite things about traveling is tasting local cuisines and traditional foods. It’s definitely worth a visit to see the indoor market where locals and non-locals buy their daily products.
Sausages are one of the most famous products in the market, as well as paprika, which is a local delicacy and is sold in various versions, including sweet and spicy.
Upstairs you will find souvenirs such as traditional costumes and little magnets. There are also many small restaurants serving traditional dishes.
Cruise on the Danube
It may not be an attraction, but it’s an activity you MUST do. I recommend booking a cruise during sunset or in the evening.
This experience is undoubtedly worth including in your schedule, as you will enjoy the view of the Buda Hill, as well as the beautiful buildings of Pest, such as the Hungarian Parliament.
You’ll find dozens of agencies to book a tour. We paid €8 per person for an evening cruise with a glass of champagne.
What you need to know before you go to Budapest
- The currency of Hungary is the Hungarian forint and 1€ is equivalent to approximately 369 forints.
- Budapest is a cold city, as in addition to the low temperatures, it has very high humidity levels and it’s next to the Danube River
- Mobile data and mobile minutes minutes from Greece packages are available for use in Hungary.
- I recommend you to visit Budapest for 3-4 days
If you want to see more about my trip in Budapest, visit my profile on Instagram.