Budapest Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Budapest. How to get there and more…
There are few places in the world that are as unabashedly unique as Budapest. The hungarian capital is situated on the banks of Danube in Central Europe. It’s the political, economic and cultural heart of the nation. And one of the most beautiful and liveable cities on the continent.
There’s some historical buildings that are breathtaking in Budapest that it’s hard to comprehend. For centuries this has been a tale of two cities, the city of Buda rising from the steep western hills and Pest, stretching away into the flat plains of the east.
The river Danube kept these two cities apart until 1873, when the first of Budapest’s seven bridges began stitching the two halves into one. This tale of two cities has been one of destruction and renewal too. Just as the Danube’s waters have coursed through Budapest, so too have the great tides of European history. Often gracefully, but sometimes with a ferocious force.
How To Get To Budapest From The Airport
Budapest is served by the recently renovated and renamed Ferenc Liszt International Airport, locally referred to by its old name Ferihegy. It’s a small but very solid airport. In fact, it’s won the Skytrax best eastern european airport award for the last 4 years in a row.
By bus & metro
While there’s no direct train or metro connection, the 200E Bus from the airport takes you to the Kobanya-Kispest metro terminal on Line 3. From there you can continue on the metro into the center of Budapest in about 20 minutes.
You can buy your ticket for the bus inside the airport or from the driver. But you’ll need to buy your metro ticket for your onward journey at the metro station itself.
You can also take the 100E Bus directly from the airport to Deak ter in Budapest for 900 Ft ($3). The journey takes around 40 minutes and you can buy your ticket from the BKK kiosks, information desks or directly from the bus driver.
Finally you can also take a taxi from the airport into Budapest. Be sure to use the official airport taxi, which is located right outside the doors as you leave the arrivals hall. The journey takes about 30 minutes and will cost you around 6500 Ft ($21).
Best Ways To Get Around Budapest
When you arrive in Budapest you have a comprehensive public transport system available to you. Occasionally derided by sneering western europeans as tired and a bit delapateded, what they’re clearly failing to see is a public transport system that is cheap, efficient and oozing with mid-century charm.
The metro consists of 4 lines that cover most parts of this city, but the lines don’t convert at many points. So make sure you use apps like Google Maps to plan your route and your transports. The metro is cheap, clean, very easy to use and pretty noisy.
An alternative to the metro are the city’s trams. A slower but arguably a more enjoyable way of getting around the city. Lines 4 and 6 are set to host the longest trams in the world.
Uber is no longer available in Budapest, the alternative is called Taxify. Which is a cheaper option to regular taxis and also helps prevent taxi scams since you pay just like Uber with your phone and the prices are pre-determined when you book the ride.
There are a variety of ticketing options available to you. The 350 Ft ($1) single journey ticket is good for one uninterrupted journey along the length of any metro, tram or bus line. But it does not include transfers between buses and trams.
There are also packs of 10 tickets, transfer-tickets, short journey metro tickets, boat tickets. It gets a bit complicated. The easiest way around it is to get a travel card. They come in 24h and 72h passes as well as 7, 15 and 30 day passes. You can buy them from any of the ticket machines, most of which take credit cards.
One very important thing to remember with the tickets is that you have to validate your ticket before you get on whatever form of transport you’re getting. That means finding one of the ticket machines, sticking the ticket in until it takes a small chunk out of it. If you don’t do it you can get a fine from one of the ticket inspectors. The only exception is that you don’t need to validate your travel cards.
Best Places To Stay in Budapest
District 1: Buda castle. If you want history.
The famous Buda Castle is located on the Buda side of the river. It has plenty of cool history with its cobblestoned streets, grandiose monuments and medieval buildings. The castle is on top of the hill of the city and you’ll love it if you are drawn to history and architecture.
District 3: Obuda-Aquincum: Old Buda, affordable.
Located in the northern part of the Buda side of Budapest. It’s cheaper and the district offers Baroque style buildings, museums, great food in hungarian restaurants and the Zichy Palace.
District 6: Terezvaros: Best for shopping trips.
Budapest’s Broadway that offers a thriving cultural life. It’s close to the Hungarian Opera, the Liszt Ferenc Music Academy and the Operetta Theater. Along the historic Andrassy Avenue lies great shopping experiences, restaurants and bars.
What to Eat And Drink in Budapest
We tend to have a fixed impression of what hungarian food is. Gulasch, paprikash… The dishes that have escaped the country’s gravitational hold and are now for better or worse Hungary’s culinary ambassadors to the world.
But the food here is much deeper and much richer than its two famous exports.
Langos for example. Langos gets its name from Lang, the hungarian word for flame. Which was the original method for cooking these doughy, chewy street treats before deep frying took it to a whole new level. The langos is topped with creme fraiche, cheese and many comes in many different varieties. A comfort food to try out while in Budapest.
Another food experience guaranteed to make you smile is a literal sausage fest. Belvarosi Disznotoros is a local butcher shop turned into a restaurant that sells sausages, grilled meats and gulasch. It’s also very cheap, a plate costs around $5.
Top off the lunch or dinner with a desert. How about a Ritesh, which is a hungarian form of apfelstrudel. Or perhaps a hungarian desert institution called chimney bread. Dough rolled into sugar and roasted over a bed of charcoal. What is not to like about any of that?
One of the country’s best secrets is its outstanding wine. Near perfect growing conditions in various parts of the country have propelled hungarian wine to the international stage.
Top 7 Things You MUST Experience In Budapest
- Wander around the city by foot
No matter where you choose to get off or how you choose to get around Budapest, I encourage you to wander on foot as much as possible. Not only is Budapest a famously beautiful city, but the 7 main bridges that stitch this city together are works of architectural and engineering magnificence. Each is as impressive up close as they are from afar. And each with its own unique role in this city’s history. The city is filled with impressive buildings and landmarks with so much history and excellence that you’ll be amazed.
- Enjoy a unique Thermal Bath
One of the things that makes Budapest unique is a little bit of geological anomaly. Because of the city’s unique geography, thermal waters run unusually close to the surface. And when the Turks occupied this part of Hungary they brought with them their proclivity for thermal bathing. So as a result, all over this city you have these beautiful public and private thermal baths. With people flocking in thousands, often on doctors orders because the minerals in the water are supposed to cure a variety of elements. Whether you’re feeling unwell or just fine, you got to come to one of the thermal baths because they are really nice and unique to Budapest.
- The beautiful Parliament building
Hungary’s parliament building is one of Europe’s oldest parliament buildings and a welcome landmark in Hungary as well as a popular attraction among tourists in Budapest. The building, which is Hungary’s largest, is located on Kossuth Square and began construction earlier in 1885, but was not completed until 1904. Very impressive and almost fairytale-like.
- Mattia Church
The Mattia Church is a church near the Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary. The church was built in 1015, but the building that stands today was built later. The church was renovated during the 19th century and is today one of Budapest’s major attractions. Just outside the church is the Fish Bastion and nearby is also the Buda Castle maze. Majestic, beautiful and filled with history.
- Bath in the Balaton sea in the summer
Balaton or Lake Balaton is a lake in southwestern Hungary. The lake is 592 square kilometers, making it the largest in Central Europe, and the 20th largest in Europe. It is 77 kilometers long and between 4 and 14 kilometers wide. The average depth is 3.2 meters and the maximum depth is 12.2 m. Lake Balaton is a popular area for Hungarian and foreign tourists. There are many swimming spots and many attractions around the lake.
- Visit the market hall
The large market hall or central market hall at Fővám tér is the largest market hall in Budapest, Hungary. The hall is designed by Samu Pecz. A large number of stalls paid vegetables, fruits, cheese and meat. Plan 2 has mostly souvenirs and clothes as well as customers. The mall is closed on Sundays, but open on other days.
- Heroes Square
Heroes Square, also Heroes Place, is one of the major squares in central Budapest. It is located at the end of Andreas Boulevard and Budapest city park. Next to the square are two art museums and the Embassy of Serbia. The square is probably best known for its Millennium Monument. The central square of the square is the landmark Millennium Monument. The central part of the monument contains rider statues of the chiefs, with Arpad primarily, for the seven Magyar tribes founded
Hungary in the 8th century and a tall column crowned by a statue of the Archangel Gabriel.
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