A Weekend in Budapest!

Sometimes I think I should change my name to Rick Steves. I’ve become a travel agent. All year long, I hear from people around the globe who will be traveling to Budapest. They ask me what they should do and see and eat. I’m happy to help. Today, I’m going to share my top 10…scratch that…13 ways (I couldn’t whittle this list down to only ten!) to discover the Pearl of the Danube. If you live in Hungary, or have been to Budapest, what would you add to the list?

1. Walk across the Chain Bridge.

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2. Shop at Central Market Hall.

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3. Explore the Castle District.

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4. People watch at Gerbeaud.

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5. Scan the cityscape from the top of the Basilica.

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6. Time travel at the Lotz coffeehouse.

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7. Stroll Down Andrássy Avenue.

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9. Promenade along the Danube.

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10. Take a river cruise at night.

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11. Stand on top of the Clark Adam Tunnel at sunset and watch the riverboats.

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11. Explore the State Opera House.

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12. Take a ride on the M1, the oldest Metro in continental Europe.

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13. Soak at Széchenyi Baths.

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15 thoughts on “A Weekend in Budapest!

  1. I’d visit my friend Gizella. We became penpals over 30 years ago but have never met in person. She is my Hungarian sister and I love her tremendously. She now lives in Torokbalint.

  2. There are so many faces of Budapest.

    Explore drip stone caves of Budapest, named Pál-völgyi-barland and Szemlő-hegyi-barlang. It is unique to have drip stone caves under a capital city. There are tours (even in English) hourly but Pál-völgyi-barlang is closed on Monday and Szemlő-hegyi-barlang is closed on Tuesday.

    Visit Gül Baba utca (Gül Baba Street) on the Buda side which is, I think, the narrowest and steepest street in Budapest. This street leads to a memorial (not real) grave of Gül Baba who was a Turkish dervish living in Buda in the 16th century.

    Explore Víziváros (Water city) area between Halászbástya (Fisherman’s bastion) and Batthány tér (Batthány Square) and you’ll see streets that are different from the usual streets in the downtown of Pest. There are stairs and interesting buildings too.

    Visit Budapest Zoo.

    I think Central Market Hall (Központi Vásárcsarnok at Fővám tér) is now more about tourists. It is a nice building and nice market, but there are some other old markets or market halls (piac or vásárcsarnok) in Pest and Buda and they are more like real markets in Hungary.

    Visit Wekerletelep (Wekerle estate). This place/area is out of the downtown of Pest but worths a visit.

  3. I’d also find it hard to resist adding…. the Zoo, libegő (chair lift in the Buda hills), and the parliament tour.

    The big thing for me on top is the food and for me that means Onyx, Costes, Borkonyha, Menza, Bock, Déryné, Olimpia, Csalogány 26, Zóna, Szalon for meals and then Ruszwurm for cake and pogácsa!

    I think a weekend isn’t enough to see the main city sights, it needs five days :) But then if you’re there for five you may as well add a few more days and head to Balaton afterwards. :)

  4. Walk up as high as you can in St. Stephen’s Basilica and out from the tower for a wonderful view of the city and far off Gellert Hill. Inside St. Stephen’s don’t miss the hand-in-a-box reliquary.
    We also hiked up G.H., not a ‘must’ but a nice accomplishment and likewise views are far-reaching.

  5. Great list :) I’d add the “Libego” (chairlift), Erzsebet-kilato and a walk to Normafa where you can eat the best strudels in the world.

    Margareth Island is beautiful, too. You can hire bikes or vehicles called “bringohinto”, it’s fun !

  6. I recently visited Budapest and wish I had seen this before! However I would say that Budapest zoo is definitely a place to visit along with the statue of liberty and the cave church – all were great experiences when I visited them!

  7. You really are the best. You have given so many insights in to budapest. They should pay you, I am sure there are people who will go just based upon their interests in your writings. Thanks, again.

  8. Amazing list. I would definitely add the amazing Deak Square Lutheran Church, and the adjacent National Lutheran Museum. It houses the original manuscript of Luther’s will, along with many other important artifacts. Budapest (along with Gyor) is the center of Lutheranism in Hungary, and home to many beautiful Lutheran Churches. Lutheranism along with Catholicism and Calvinism is one of the three traditional faiths of the Hungarian people, and there are amazing houses of worship of all kinds in Budapest open to visitors, not just religious people. Google Deak Teri Evangelikus Templom to see images. We are a historic Hungarian Heritage congregation in America, promoting religious toleration and diversity and serving as a living link of friendship between the US and Hungary. Please visit our website, and like us on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ascension-Lutheran-Church-New-Brunswick-NJ/326694440686212 You’ll see non-sectarian inspiration, fun stuff, and updates on Hungarian happenings in the NYC metro area!

  9. Nice list.

    +1 You need to visit the Hármashatár-hegy there is the best panorama in the city that is the one place where you can see all 7 Duna bridges from one place! ;)

  10. I definitely wouldn’t miss out János-hegy and Harangvölgy (both located around 30 minutes from Déli railway station) for a nice atmospheric walk and some panoramic photographs; while traveling around the capital, the small town of Zsámbék with spectacular scenery of Buda hills and a beautiful medieval church. :)

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