Budapest – the best in 36 Hours
If you are into Vienna, and Prague, you will absolutely love the Hungarian capital Budapest. It’s chilled, relaxed and has a lot of character. There’s plenty to see for those of you who like castles and buildings, but also for those who like to take scenic walks along the river and enjoy a good meal (and dessert!). So here’ what you can experience in Budapest in a short weekend:
What to see and do in Budapest
Buda is very impressive as it features many stunning buildings and viewpoints. The extensively decorated roof of Matthias Church is just one of the many examples. Arcades ornament the walls of Castle Hill. The Fishermen’s Bastion is the perfect place to overlook Buda and Pest (plus it is free to go up there).
The closest metro station is Batthyany tér from where you can ascent to Castle Hill.
The Danube is the second largest and second longest river in Europe. Many alluring cities were built next to the Blue Danube, so is Budapest. It divides the city into its main quarters Buda and Pest. Enjoy a walk along both sides of the Danube to understand its enchantment.
The Hungarian Parliament was first built from 1885 to 1902 by Imre Steindl. Extensively decorated with gold, arches, stained glass windows, carpets and so much more. The glass windows were not damaged during WWII because wise parliament workers took them out so the explosions caused by bombs would not destroy them.
It is by far the most beautiful and charming Parliament building I have ever visited and it seems more like a castle than a governmental edifice.
Note: You can only enter the Parliament with a guided tour because it is still used and parliament sessions are taking place. There are special discounts for students, EU students, children and EU citizen.
The closest metro station is Kossuth Lajos tér.
St. Stephen Basilica
Impressive from the outside and inside. High arches and dim lighting make the St. Stephen Basilica a nice stop to calm down.
An entrance donation of about 1 €/1 USD is required.
The closest metro station is Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út.
A very impressive square and place to visit. Many different styles of architectures surround the famous Heroe’s Square.
The closest metro station is Hösök tere.
Hungarian Agriculture Museum and Ják Chapel
Just a very short walk from Heroe’s Square you’ll find a gorgeous castle which is home to the Hungarian Agriculture Museum. You’ll find yourself sent to a different time walking the along the path and the square. Right across you’ll find Ják Chapel and can catch a glimpse of the beautiful atrium.
The closest metro station is Heroes’ Square.
Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial
Sixty pairs of iron shoes were put on the Pest side of Danube river near the Hungarian Parliament Building to the South.
This very unique memorial was built to remember the people who were shot into the Danube during 1944-45.
In the harsh winter of 1944 despite the fact he did not have a Jewish name and had married into a catholic family Miklós was rounded up along with others from the ghetto by the ruling Arrow Cross Party for Jewish activities. Like many before him and many more after him he was forced to strip naked on the banks of the Danube and face the river; a firing squad then shot the prisoners at close range in the back so that they fell into the river to be washed away. This was a common practice that occurred during 1944-1945; although the Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg did save many more from this terrible fate. Source Visit Budapest
Shopping in Budapest
The main shopping area is váci u, which is a lovely pedestrian area with many shops.
I encourage you to visit Philanthia – which is much more than a flower shop. It truly is wonderland come true! Lots of love and details were put to make this little shop so unique! Even the display window is a masterpiece itself.
A nice and different clothing store is Szputnyik Shop. T-Shirts and tank tops with creative and lovely prints are being sold here.
Very nice souvenirs can also be found at the Great Market Hall.
Where to eat in Budapest
Budapest offers so many wonderful restaurants and coffee shops, take your time to recharge your batteries after long walks and experience coffee house culture.
Good pastries are served here in the pedestrian area of váci u.
This café is located on Castle Hill – please try their wonderful cakes and pastries – I especially recommend the marzipan cake.
A great Italian restaurant that also serves Hungarian dishes. Prices are very reasonable and the food is yummy!
How to get around Budapest
Budapest is very easy to navigate, as you can spot the Danube almost everywhere.
The city is best explored by foot, distances are not far and you can get the best impression by walking.
For greater distances such as Heroe’s Square, I recommend taking the metro, which operates about every 10 minutes. Tickets can be bought at the ticket machines in the metro stations, which were 350 forints per ride in 2018.
Where to stay in Budapest
It doesn’t matter if you stay in Buda or Pest – there are many comfy choices for hotels and hostels in Budapest.
One of the oldest hotels in Budapest that was rebuilt in 1910. Just reopened back in 2010 and with a central location it is a great way to spend the nights in Budapest. Rooms are really nice and friendly and so is the staff. There is a rooftop pool with a stunning view over the city. Another pool, whirlpool and saunas invite to relax and enjoy yourself. Breakfast is excellent with a great buffet and fresh orange juice.
They offer a great variety of events in the restaurant, such as a typical Hungarian dinner with traditional music.
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When are you planning on going to Budapest? Let me know in the comments!
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