If you remind yourself of my weekend trip to Budapest before Christmas you probably know how deeply I fell in love with Vienna’s “Sister”. And now, almost 4 months later I’m finally doing a 7 things to do on this breathtakingly beautiful city, which celebrates it’s historical elegance and adolescent ease in equal measure. This is an homage to one of my favorite cities!
So what to do in Budapest? If I tell you every little thing that one can do in this amazing city than this would be a hell of a post and none would really read every single world of it. So I want to keep this quick guide to Budapest short and straight to the point with all the things I’ve done when I visited the city for the first time.
#1 stroll the castle district
Let’s start with a Budapest Sightseeing tour, which is pretty simple: Explore the Castle Hill and you’ll be good. And the best way to do so is to approach the beautiful hill from Pest (the eastern part of Budapest) and make your way across the Danube using the beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Then either take the historical funicular up the hill of if the queue is to long simply walk up the hill. On top you will be speechless how beautiful the city looks from above. Then stroll around the castle and the castle district until you reach the Fisherman’s Bastion. From there you will have a marvelous view on the Parliament which lies on the other side of the Danube. The whole castle hill is an attraction on its own and if you have explored this part of the city you can tick off almost every important sight at once, which one or two exceptions.
where? the whole 1st district
#2 explore the Jewish Neighborhood + have lunch there
This neighborhood is as unique and fascinating as is the whole city. I never expected to find a district as vibrant and full of energy in Budapest. When we entered the area on our first evening we simply thought it would be a short cut to the famous Synagoge and found ourselves speechless on all the great restaurants and awesome street food markets. It was winter and still people were strolling the alleys or standing outside a hip restaurant smoking their cigarettes. In a very strange way I felt like I was walking the streets of Rome – in summer. It seems as the whole city was up and around the Jewish Neighborhood – it was great. I was totally overwhelmed by all the nice little restaurants and bars that we first had problems deciding on where to have dinner that night but as we had 3 days in Budapest we simply came back every day for lunch and dinner 🙂 but still there are many restaurants that I noted for my next visit.
Believe me you gonna love this area and I’m sure this is the place were Budapest finally wins your heart for good!
#3 shop at Szimpla Design Shop
I didn’t went on a shopping spree in Budapest but one shop we stumbled into is so unique that I have to share it with you. It’s the design shop Szimpla and it offers a great deal of everything you can imagine. Packed with old and new design products ranging from old radios to funny wall clocks and from lovely jewelry to antlers. You definitely won’t walk out of this basement shop without a little souvenir! I’m sure you gonna like it there!
where? Síp utca 24.
#4 have (the best) coffee (ever) at Espresso Embassy
Whenever someone asks me where to find the best coffee – as I’m an avowing coffin addict – it is this little coffee shop in Budapest called Espresso Embassy. Honestly I don’t have words to describe the coffee I had at this little coffee shop situated near the Parlament and I don’t think anyone would understand. One has to experience the art of coffee making as it is celebrated at the Espresso Embassy in Budapest to know what I mean. It’s a super lovely place crowded with students working on their laptops and people from all over the world enjoying the most delicious flat white ever. A great atmosphere and the most friendly staff make this place my favorite café in Budapest and a must for any lover of freely brewed coffee.
where? Arany János u. 15
#5 enjoy dinner at Fat Mama Eatery
We actually had lunch there once but only because the night before when we wanted to go there every table was booked. But having lunch there was perfect as well. With its laid back atmosphere and delicious food I simply have to share this restaurant with you and can highly recommend it to anyone who loves an Hungarian interpretation of modern western cuisine (awesome!).
where? Kazinczy u. 24
#6 celebrate good life at Boutiq’Bar
This is hands down one of the best bars I’ve ever been to. First – and this is always a good sign when it comes to bars – the Boutiq’Bar is hard to find. In a strange looking back alley you gonna find a small door and when you push it open you gonna enter paradise for speak easy fans with a secret passion for old fashion (sorry the pun 🙂 ). Anyway, Christoph and I had the best time there in this small crowded bar and slurped the most delicious cocktails ever – which are all created by the barkeepers of Boutiq’Bar. One Tipp: talk to the barkeeper and tell them what kind of cocktail you normally prefer and they will come up with something that will blow you off your feet (metaphorically speaking). Enjoy!
where? Paulay Ede u. 5
#7 don’t leave before you’ve seen the Parliament
Okay, this most famous building of Budapest simply has to be a fix point on this 7 things to do list. Just like the city this crown jewel of Budapest’s architecture is simply breathtaking. Every little detail is perfect within the whole imposing structure and it is hard to find the words that would do its justice. The only thing one can do is stand still and take it all in – and for this I recommend either sitting on the river bank on the other side of the Danube (at the bottom of the castle hill) or walking on one of the jetties beside the Parliament to get an spectacular angle for your snaps. Of course you can enter the Parliament as well but we wanted to explore the neighborhood some more so we only strolled around the building and then headed back to the city center.
where? Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3
I hope you enjoyed this Quick Guide to Budapest and maybe try some of my tips yourself on your next trip to Budapest. Find my latest 7 things to do posts here.
Have you ever been in Budapest? If yes, how did you like it? I’m curious!