Budapest is the beautiful capital city of Hungary that sits on the Danube river and boasts both historical sites and a modern twist. Here are some of the best experiences that you can have while in Budapest that combine both the culture of Hungary, and the modern young life of Budapest.
1. Soak in the thermal baths
Budapest is probably most known for its many thermal baths with Szechenyi baths probably being the most popular. While the outside bath is most photographed, there are plenty more inside including saunas and pools of different temperatures. Admission in is around 18 U.S. dollars and there’s an additional fee to rent a locker as well. Keep in mind that the inside baths are like an indoor public pool and can get pretty crowded and gross. Make sure to bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet to avoid having to walk around barefoot. The baths also turn into a kind of party at night, so be aware of that if you’re looking for something more quiet.
2. Climb to the top of Saint Stephen’s cathedral
Saint Stephen’s is a beautiful cathedral in the heart of Budapest. The inside has magnificent gold pillars and for around 4 euro you can head to the top with an outside lookout. The top part can be packed as it is small and filled with people. The early morning tends to be less busy and the mid-afternoon tends to have the biggest crowds and lines to get in.
3. Take the ride up to Buda Castle
Buda castle sits atop a hill overlooking the Danube River. You can take an old-fashioned pulley car up the hill for a fee or follow the paths and walk your way up. At the top is the Hungarian national gallery and incredible views. Head inside to the gallery or just enjoy the view on the cliffside path.
4. Walk Around Fisherman’s Bastion
Just a short walk from the Buda Castle lies Fisherman’s Bastion, a unique neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque architectural structure. Take in the views on top of castle hill and enjoy Matthias Church all for free.
5. Have a drink at the Ruins Bars
The ruin bars began as owners looked for cheap places to start a bar and have become a collection of some of the most unique bars in the world. They were built from derelict buildings and sustain an image of feeling underground and almost run-down. The most popular of them, Szimpla Kert, has several different bars as well as rooms with different themes and decorations. They often have a line so expect to wait to get in and also expect several of the bars to be cash only.
6. Take in a night time river cruise
The best views of Budapest and its extraordinary parliament building can be seen on the water. Hop on a cruise of the Danube River to see both sides of the city lit up at night and enjoy food, drinks, and music. Most cruises meet on land and guide you to the boat and offer options for a cruise with dinner and drinks or a cruise with only drink vouchers.