Budapest tips for beginners
Is it your first time in Budapest? Do you want to find a brief information about everything in one place? Let’s suppose you want to know what to see, to eat and explore there. If so, check Budapest tips offered here. I summed up all the useful information you might need before visiting this Hungarian beauty.
Before we start, acknowledge these things:
- The City of Budapest is divided into two parts – Buda and Pest.
- Those parts are connected with nine super cool bridges. NINE! Wow, right?
- Buda is situated on hills. There is a Citadel, Gellért Hill, the Royal Palace.
- Pest is on the other side. There a Parliament, St.Stephen’s Basilica, Váci Street, Heroes’ Square, etc.
So, yeah, you should go on both sides of the city. However, book your stay in Pest. Pest has much more to offer.
Budapest is suitable for
Long walks and sightseeing,
Enjoying the city view during the night
Architecture & history addicts
But also lovers of candies, cookies, and cakes!
Budapest has all the mentioned things. If you find yourself in any of it, hurry up! Pack your suitcase and go go go!
When to visit Budapest?
Because of all walking mentioned, spring/autumn is the best time for a visit. Visiting Budapest during the Christmas can be a good idea, however, keep in mind the weather. If it’s your first time in Budapest, you’d probably explore the city, walk around and enjoy the view, with? That can be difficult to achieve during the winter. If you go for it anyway, check some good spa at least to relax. The outdoor spa centers in Hungary are extremely popular in Europe and the winter is actually the best time to visit them.
How to get to Budapest?
FlIGHT: It’s quite easy to reach Budapest from all around the world. The main airport is Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport, and some smaller airports in Hungary are Gyor-Per, Debrecen, Hévíz-Balaton and Pécs-Pogány airports. If you don’t mind landing in another country and taking a few hours bus, then check Vienna’s airport and Bratislava’s airport as well.
Where to spend the time?
Parliament – the symbol of Budapest.
Why so impressive?
It’s the second largest parliament building in Europe (the biggest one is in Bucharest). It has around 700 windows, with more than 40 kilograms of gold. Impressive, right? If you have time, definitely go inside. Tour of the Parliament takes around 45 minutes. And it’s gorgeous!
The Chain Bridge – the first bridge to connect Buda and Pest.
It’s the most popular bridge in Budapest. Do you know why?
There are many legends about the lion statues on the bridge and the bridge is often considered as the most beautiful one in Budapest. According to the belief, the architect of the bridge committed a suicide there. What was the reason? Well, they say he realized that the lions didn’t have tongues (even though they do, but they are not very visible).
Another story I heard from one local is regarding the unfaithful women. If they cross over the bridge, the bridge will fall down. However… in spite of all the years that have gone by since it was built, the bridge still stands.
So, which legends looks more logical to you?
Night walk/boat tour – a remarkable experience
Every night it’s kinda beautiful during the night, right? Well, Budapest is even more beautiful.
All nine Budapest bridges are incredible but they are particularly beautiful at night. That’s why these night tours are so popular there. The view is magnificent and the impression on a boat is even nicer cause it’s accompanied by Viennese Waltz music. Check this video below:
Váci Street – the main street in the city
Not important as, for example, Vienna’s main street, however, it’s definitely in similar style and worth of seeing. As every central street, it’s full of cafes, restaurants, clothing stores, souvenir shops and so on.
A tip: It’s still recommended to see it as there you will find a famous pastry shop – Zerbo store. There you can find the best sweets in the whole city.
Heroes Square – people say it’s the most impressive square in the city
On this square, you are going to find many statues honoring Hungarian heroes. The Millennium Monument is located there, with a height of 36 meters. No worries, it’s easily recognizable because of the many movies that have been filmed there. The Square is big, but as every tourist, you probably just take some photos and leave. Don’t count spending much time as there is nothing to do actually.
The Royal Palace – a view to the city
People usually include this place as a must see thing to see in Budapest. I wasn’t that amazed with it and, unfortunately, the real Royal Palace was destroyed in the Second World War. Nowadays is active the restored one and the Royal Palace is popular because it gives stunning views over the city, the Danube, and the bridges. Again, cool place for, at least, taking photos.
Tropicarium – a public aquarium
Are you ready for this?
It’s located in a mall called Campon. A ticket costs around 10 euros. A tour can take a few hours but if you are a lover of this things, it’s definitely worth seeing. Besides exhibits of freshwater and marine fish, you can see rare tropical amphibians and reptiles. The best is the walk through an acrylic tunnel when sharks and rays are only a few meters from you.
See the video below:
Good to know
1. Public transport is well organized and you don’t need to have an app, just follow google maps updates.
2. Currency: forints. One euro is around 318 forints which causes a big confusion in your head when it comes to calculation. Everything is going to sound extremely expensive to you!
A tip: Be careful while changing money in Budapest, because the rate is different with each exchange. Many times I experienced unpleasant situations and got less money than I should have. If that happens to you as well, you must insist on getting the rest of the money. They will pretend they don’t speak English but in the end, all of them give up and return the money.
3. In Budapest, parking is a big problem. If going by car, keep in mind that sometimes you must park a bit far from your location. Luckily, many online accommodation sites offer parking places along with room bookings.
See all the mentioned things in this video as well:
Where to sleep?
Budapest is quite a safe city, however, if you are able to, look the accommodation in the center of the city. Sleeping a bit further can save you some money, however, you’ll need to spend much time traveling + money buying tickets. Calculate is it worth it. For booking the accommodation, I mostly use booking.com, Airbnb, Hostelworld or Couchsurfing.
A tip: If you decide to stay in a hostel or a hotel, pay attention to the details of your reservation. Sometimes you must pay extra for sheets and towels or some other things you count on.
What to eat?
Speaking about food, in Hungary, it is traditional to eat goulash and paprikash. Don’t worry, you will find those dishes almost everywhere. 😀 Hungarian sweets and cookies are also a tradition in this country. And Hungarian “bread” called Kürtőskalács with different flavors (mostly with cinnamon). Delicious!
That’s it from my side and I hope it was useful! If so, feel free to like and share the article with the ones who are traveling there. 🙂 In case of any questions – you know already – feel free to comment the article or send me an email to my social media pages or firstname.lastname@example.org. See you soon. 🙂