Admittedly when you wander through Budapest it doesn’t look that great, the remnants of what appears to be a relatively poor Eastern European country; and then occasionally you stumble across pure brilliance. The beautiful remains of a city that was, or could be if it had befallen a different fate. Hungarians are incredibly proud of their city, their history and their culture.
Here are my top 5 things to do in Budapest.
1. Buda Castle/Castle Hill District.
There are a number of ways to make your way to the summit. You can walk up one of the many pathways or steps leading to the top, you can take the funicular, or catch the bus which takes you all the way to top. Castle Hill district is a whole day affair with a number of attractions and restaurants, it’s a free activity that just keeps on giving! We were lucky enough to witness the changing of the guard.
2. Fisherman’s Bastion.
Just stunning. Enough said. Also on Castle Hill so it makes sense to so this whilst you are visiting the castle.
3. Gellért Hill/Gellért Thermal Baths
Budapest is full of hills, it’s great exercise. Unfortunately the only bus that will take you to the top of this one is a Hop On Hop Off or tourist bus, otherwise it’s a hike, but a beautiful one at that. There is a metro, Szent Gellért tér which takes you to the famous thermal baths ( a must do!). There is then a path which leads all the way up the hill to the Citadella with plenty of viewpoints along the way for you to rest and take it all in.
4. Parliament House.
This is a spectacular building, a stunning example of neo-Gothic architecture. Definitely something that stands out on the riverbank. Hungarians believe it to be blessed as a bomb was dropped on it, which didn’t explode, during the war.
5. Hero’s Square.
This spectacular area has Vajdahunyad Castle, Budapest Zoo, Ice skating in winter and the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. You can’t be in Budapest and not visit one of its baths right? Unfortunately as the sun sets so early during winter (around 4pm or so) the lighting wasn’t very good for me to get pictures. You’ll just have to take my word for it.