I have always been so intrigued by Eastern Europe — especially Budapest. Until this spring, I really had only traveled to Western European countries and everything from their food to their culture is so different.
Out of all of the places that I visited during my post grad Eastern Europe trip, Budapest was my favorite. It had a little bit of everything that I looked for in a trip: good food, culture, sites to see, and history. Let me walk you through them all!
Budapest is a fairly walkable city. It was originally two different cities, Buda and Pest, split up by the Danube River. Today, they come together as one as Hungary’s capital. There are a few walkable bridges that make visiting the two different parts easy. I also loved that all of the main attractions could be hit in a walking loop!
Here’s What I Did While I Was In Budapest:
Want to get the best view of the city? Hike up the hill to Fisherman’s Bastion. With it’s beautiful Gothic architecture, it is also a site to see all in it’s self. Once you walk up, exploring the grounds are free. If you want to walk up into the towers, which is a must, you can buy a ticket for a few dollars. Exploring the towers is so much fun and you can find the best views of Budapest here!
Once your done exploring the bastion’s towers, admire Matthias Church. I was in love with it’s color and to die for mosaic roof!
A short walk from Fisherman’s Bastion is Buda Castle. If you have been a reader of my blog, you know I love a good castle! When I drove into the city, I actually drove right through the castle walls. SO cool! Here you can find so more amazing views of the city, iconic bridges and landmarks, and the Danube.
Take your time exploring the grounds and cobblestone streets. At Buda Castle I also saw my 5th changing of the guards in my 5th country! If you’re around when one is going on, definitely stay and watch. It is so interesting to see how the tradition and uniforms vary country to country.
Great Market Hall
Time for lunch! Whenever I am visiting a new city, I always look up to see if there is a food hall or market. They are the best places to find authentic, easy, and inexpensive food and the Great Market Hall is the perfect place to do just that.
The Great Market Hall is centrally located, so it is the perfect mid day pit stop. The bottom floor is filled with all of your grocery and souvenir needs, but head upstairs to try some Hungarian food! I love how travel pushes me outside my comfort zone. I have never had anything like Hungarian food and think it is so interesting. It is very meat centric, so I decided to try the traditional lagos bread. It is almost like a savory fried dough and then they top it with sour cream and cheese. Sounds interesting right? You’re traveling, give it a try! You can also give your lagos an untraditional spin and get any sort of topping on it. Think “Hungarian sandwich shop”.
Even though Hungarian money is very different, it is worth taking out some to use it in the market. Lots of the stands are cash only. Some have euro options, but you for sure end up paying more because of the exchange rate. I used my leftover change to buy some Hungarian cookies and it was a great decision :)
I have been dying to see this iconic building in person! I was SO excited to check this this off my bucket list. I would always see pictures of the Hungarian Parliament and thought it was just so beautiful. I fell in love with it’s Gothic architecture. While you’re in Budapest make sure you see it during the day and all lit up at night! Amazing!
Take a walk around the building to see it from all angles. Stroll through Kossuth Square and think about all of the history that took place right where you are walking. I did not know much about Hungarian history until I went to Hungary, but it was really interesting to stand in the square and see bullet holes dot different buildings from the Hungarian revolution.
Have you been to Budapest? Leave me your recommendations in the comments!