The Hungarian capital is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, there’s no doubt about that! There’s a certain charm about the two-in-one Buda and Pest combination, the incredible architecture, the big squares and the relaxing river side. If you are planning a trip, and you should, here are some of the coolest things you can do!
Ride in mini hot rods
Let’s admit it: few other things scream style more than Hot Rods. Now imagine yourself driving one of these, in a miniature version, on the biggest avenue in Budapest! You can choose between a day or a night tour and drive up Andrássy Avenue all the way to Heroes’ Square while admiring the beautiful buildings, passing by the Opera State House, crossing busy Oktogon and finally arriving at Város Liget (the City Park). Style, indeed!
Explore the music scene
When it comes to the underground music scene, it’s hard to beat Budapest. If you are up to discovering new sounds, head to A38 Ship (yes, it’s a ship anchored on the Danube and a concert venue!) or check out Dürer Kert, where you can also sit on the inner garden just for a drink. Music is big in Budapest and there is always something going on. Some bars/pubs like Lámpas or Gólya also have small showcases in a more intimate vibe.
Play old arcades
Sometimes Budapest feels like it’s stuck in the past – in a good way! Head over to Gozsdu Udvar and try to find the entrance to the Arcades! Tip: it will be somewhere midway all the modern and cool restaurants and bars. When you find it, it will be like stepping back in time. You can lose yourself playing air hockey, pinball machines, shooting hoops, and racing simulators! For even more fun, pay a visit to the Pinball Museum!
Experience the classic cinemas
And talking about a blast from the past, if you are a movie lover you’ve arrived at your destination. In Budapest you can still go to the movies without stepping foot in big multiplex cinemas and get an absolutely retro experience. Places like Uránia, Puskin, Bem and Corvin Mozi still play old (and new) movies, a lot of times either in the original language or with English subtitles for selected sessions. The beauty of the rooms will impress you, for sure.
Bar hop the many Ruin Pubs
One of the many things that Budapest is known for is its many, many ruin pubs. A trip to the city cannot be complete without a little bar hopping in the Jewish Quarter, where most of the nightlife is concentrated. Szimpla Kert is probably the most famous bar in the whole city and with good reason. From there you can head to Ellátó Kert, Anker’t and finish your tour for a bit of dancing at Fogaz Ház. Who would have thought that “ruined” buildings would hold so much charm?
Explore tram line 2
A great way to sight see the city is on board of Tram 2. Because it runs all along the river on the Pest side, you can enjoy beautiful views to the Buda side. It’s a very inexpensive way (the price of a simple tram ticket – around 1.10€) to get a beautiful panorama sight of the Buda Castle, the Parliament, Gellért Hill and a few of the most important bridges. If you finish the ride on Boráros Tér, you can come all the way back using the boat which is also part of the public transportation system. One of the best ways to enjoy the city!
Try the Thermal Baths
If you are planning a trip to Budapest you have, for sure, heard about the many Thermal Baths the city has. Gellért Hotel is home to one of the most beautiful and classical Thermal pools, so if you want something a bit upscale and authentic, make sure to put it on your list. Other options around the city include Turkish style baths and therapeutic pools. From big swimming complexes, to small and more hidden locations, you will surely find something that suits you.
Climb up to the lookout points
Budapest is divided in flat Pest and hill-side Buda. And so, crossing the river to reach the Citadella and the Buda Castle is definitely something to do if you wanna get the best over views. In the Castle you can visit the National Gallery and check the most incredible view of the enormous Parliament. At the Citadella (after you regained your strength from the steep climbing), you’ll be on one of the highest points in Buda and the view is truly worth it!
Relax on the Danube riverbank
You may not be able to swim in the Danube, but Hungarians sure know how to take advantage of the riverside. When the weather gets warm the margins of the river become filled with open air cafes and chill out areas for everyone to enjoy the water and the summer breeze. All along the river, on both sides you can find spots to sit down and take a break. Check out Valyo Kikötő, Pontoon and Fellini Római Kultúrbisztró for some of the best experiences.
Go for a food tour
Budapest offers an incredible amount of food options. Whatever your preference is, you will find something here, for sure. Try a food tour that will take you to the most famous and authentic restaurants in the city for typical Hungarian cuisine or try something different in one of the many vegetarian and vegan restaurants and bakeries the city has to offer. A lot of pubs and bars also serve food so you can be sure that you will never go hungry on your visit to Budapest!