Our arrival on a Hungarian soil wasn’t the best. The weather was pretty awful exactly the opposite of what I and the meteorologists expected. Nevertheless, we tried not to worry about the drizzling and the fog but instead, we focused on how to get to the city.
How to get from Budapest Airport to the city center?
- With public transport: You first need to take bus 200E from Terminal 2. This bus will drop you to the closest metro station – Kobanya-Kispest. From there take M3, (the blue line of the metro) and it will take you straight to the city center. In case your flight is late, there is also a night bus 900.
- With a shuttle: There is a shuttle bus from Budapest Airport. For more info check the Budapest Airport website.
- LittleBig Tip: Do not exchange money at the airport, because the rates are a complete rip-off.
What to do and see in Budapest
Once you drag yourself to the center there’s plenty to do and see. Probably the most famous attraction in Budapest is the Hungarian Parliament Building (Országház) – one of the biggest parliament buildings in Europe. Are you curious to see the Parliament inside? There are guided tours almost every hour.
Shoes on the Danube bank
Within striking distance of the Parliament, you will find a very moving monument – pairs of shoes left on the bank of Danube. Men’s, women’s, even children’s, they represent the victims executed by firing squad during the World War II.
Take a short walk trough Vaci Street
Vaci Street is the main pedestrian street in Budapest, famous for the abundance of different cafes, bars and restaurants. Because of that fact, it’s also an arena of pickpockets, not that glamorous restaurants and overpriced food. I wouldn’t recommend a meal on Vaci Street exactly because of our bad experience. The street is worth a short walk but don’t spend too much time there.
If you are hungry, go to Raday street
Raday street or the Budapest Soho is a lively street full of cafes, bars and restaurants. It’s a perfect place to try some traditional Hungarian dishes or just to stretch your legs and review your day plan over a cup of coffee.
Wherever I go I try typical local dishes. And speaking about Hungarian cuisine, the goulash is the first thing popping into my mind. So many flavors in just one bowl, ready to warm your body and you soul.
Visit the Great Market Hall
I’m such a fan of local markets and the Great Market Hall is the biggest indoor market in Budapest. There you can find all kinds of fruits and vegetables, meat, spices and souvenirs. This might be the best place to buy paprika powder, which is the Hungarian national spice. Can you possibly name a better souvenir?
Take a stroll through Andrassy Avenue
There’s actually a lot to see on Andrassy Avenue. Walking around, you will possibly have the feeling you are in Paris. A hundred years ago the richest people and aristocrats lived in this area. Public transport wasn’t allowed and therefore the idea of The Millennium Underground Railway was born. The M1 or the yellow line is the oldest metro line in continental Europe and is part of the World Heritage.
The Hungarian State Opera is one of the jewels on Andrassy Avenue. Some of the tenants on the boulevard are top brand boutiques, embassies and luxurious hotels and restaurants. The House of Terror Museum is located at number 60.
Make a stop at the Heroes’ Square
Hősök tere or the Heroes’ Square is the main square in Budapest. Although some people find it not that attractive, it worths a visit. There’s a whole bunch of statues of leaders and great people, related to Hungarian history. The Art Galery and the Museum of Fine arts are located there.
Buda castle and Fishermans bastion
If you are in Budapest you should not miss visiting the Buda castle and the Castle Hill. There’s so much to do and see around – Royal Palace, Matthias Church and Trinity Square are just a few of the attractions in this area. You can literally spend a day walking on the cobbled streets and exploring the beautiful Castle Hill district. Besides all that, the Fishermen’s Bastion offers an astonishing view over Budapest.
Another place with an amazing view is Gellért Hill. I believe it’s the most romantic spot in Budapest at night.
That’s just a small part of the things you can do and see in Budapest. In my next posts, I’ll show you how’s the nightlife in the capital. I visited one of the most famous ruin pubs in Budapest. During my stay there I also treated myself to a Spa day. Yep, you heard me, Budapest is a Spa capital.
Budapest – Must-See Sights
Budapest, the “Pearl of the Danube,” is a city brimming with history, culture, and stunning architecture. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply looking for a charming getaway, Budapest has something to offer everyone. Here’s a quick guide to help you plan your trip:
Buda Castle & Fisherman’s Bastion: Dominating Castle Hill, Buda Castle is not just a historical treasure offering city-wide views but also hosts the Hungarian National Gallery. Nearby, the Fisherman’s Bastion, with its seven neo-Gothic towers, presents a picturesque panorama of the Danube.
Hungarian Parliament Building: Budapest’s pride, this neo-Gothic marvel lights up the night sky. Inside, its lavish decor awaits discovery through guided tours.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge: Bridging Buda and Pest, this suspension bridge is a scenic route across the Danube, perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride.
Heroes’ Square: Home to the Millennium Monument and statues of key Hungarian figures, this square is a walk through history.
St. Stephen’s Basilica: As Budapest’s largest church, its neoclassical grandeur culminates in a dome climb offering city-wide views.
Central Market Hall: A haven for food enthusiasts, offering everything from fresh produce to traditional Hungarian spices and crafts.
Shoes on the Danube Bank: A moving tribute to WWII victims, this memorial is a stark reminder of the city’s past.
Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum: Delve into Cold War history in this once-secret nuclear bunker.
Memento Park: An open-air gallery of communist-era statues, reflecting on Hungary’s Soviet history.
Ruin Bars: Unique to Budapest, these bars in derelict buildings mix eclectic charm with innovative drinks.
- Utilize Budapest’s efficient public transport with a Budapest Card for free rides and attraction discounts.
- In restaurants, tipping isn’t expected, but rounding up the bill is appreciated.
- Embrace the local culture by learning a few Hungarian phrases.
- Be weather-ready; Budapest’s climate can be changeable.
- Relax and enjoy the city’s laid-back vibe, taking time to absorb its unique character.
Have you been in Budapest? Why don’t you add some tips in the comments?
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Eve, the heart and soul of Littlebigtraveler, has been a dreamer and explorer since age three. Her early fascination with Strasbourg blossomed into a life of adventure. Through her blog, she shares budget-friendly travel tips, captivating stories, and guides to hidden gems, inspiring others to explore the world's vast beauty without breaking the bank.