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Budapest travelers guide

Budapest travelers guide

Budapest travelers guide

Budapest is an awesome mix of rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife. Whether you're wandering through its grand castles, soaking in thermal baths, or enjoying a sunset cruise on the Danube, this city has something for everyone. Get ready to explore off-the-beaten-path spots, feast on delicious Hungarian food, and experience the unique charm of this European treasure.

Let's dive into our ultimate guide to Budapest!

How To Get From The Airport To Budapest

Bus: The 100E bus service connects the airport with the centre of Budapest, stopping at key locations such as Deák Ferenc tér station. This option is economical and efficient, with services operating frequently throughout the day.

Bus + Metro: Another common and recommended option is to take a combination of bus and metro. In this case, it is bus 200E, which is taken at the airport itself. You have to go all the way to Kőbánya-Kispest and get off there to catch the M3 metro which takes you to the city centre.

Taxi: Taxis are available at the airport 24 hours a day. They are the fastest and most comfortable option, but also the most expensive. It is advisable to take an official taxi to avoid excessive fares.

Private transfer service: You can also choose to book a private transfer service in advance.

What You Should Know If You're Visiting Budapest For The First Time

Here are some practical tips to help you make the most of your visit to Budapest if it's your first time in the city:

It's best to explore the city on foot: Budapest is a wonderfully compact city, where many of its main attractions are within walking distance. Be sure to plan your route well, because although the city is easy to walk around, it's best to visit as much as you want in Buda and then cross over to Pest or the other way around. Continuously crossing bridges can take up a lot of your time and mean you don't get the most out of your visit.

Use public transport if you need to get around faster: Budapest's public transport system is efficient and inexpensive. Invest in a 24-hour, 72-hour or even weekly transport card, which gives you unlimited access to trams, buses and the metro.

Visit the thermal baths: Budapest is famous for its thermal baths. Széchenyi and Gellért are the most famous, but there are many lesser-known ones worth exploring such as Rudas or Lukács.

Take advantage of the free views: Climb Gellért Hill or Fisherman's Bastion for spectacular views of the city free of charge.

Shop at local markets: The Grand Central Market offers a wide variety of fresh produce, spices, and handicrafts, perfect for experiencing the local culture and finding unique souvenirs. Don't hesitate to shop there if you need anything.

Drink tap water: One of the most frequently asked questions among travelers arriving in Budapest is whether or not the city's tap water is good for human consumption. Well, the answer is yes. The water in the Hungarian capital is safe to drink and there are several fountains throughout the city that supply it to those who want it.

Learn some Hungarian phrases: Although many Hungarians speak English, especially the younger ones, learning some basic Hungarian phrases can be very much appreciated and open doors during your visit.

The Best Views Of Budapest

If you can't visit a city without enjoying its skyline, here are the best viewpoints in Budapest.

The Three Most Beautiful Bridges In Budapest

Chain Bridge (Széchenyi Lánchíd): This is the oldest and perhaps the most famous bridge in Budapest. Opened in 1849, this suspension bridge connects Buda and Pest, offering magnificent views of the Parliament, Buda Castle, and the Danube. Its imposing structure with guardian lions at each entrance makes it an emblem of the city.

Elisabeth Bridge (Erzsébet Híd) or Sisí White Bridge: Named after Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, this elegant white bridge is one of the thinnest in the world. It offers spectacular views, especially at night when lit up.

Freedom Bridge (Szabadság Híd): With its characteristic green decorative elements and bronze statues of turul (a mythological Hungarian bird), the Freedom Bridge is one of the most picturesque bridges in Budapest. It connects Mount Gellért and its famous spa with the Central Market and Corvinus University.

Why Stop at the Budapest Parliament

The Budapest Parliament is not only one of the oldest functioning legislative buildings in Europe, but also one of the most iconic and beautiful in the city. A visit is essential for several reasons:

Stunning Architecture: The Parliament is a magnificent example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, being one of the most photographed structures in Hungary. Its intricate design, adorned with statues, columns, and a dazzling dome, makes it worth exploring both inside and out.

Historical Significance: Built in the late 19th century as part of the Hungarian nation's millennium, the Parliament symbolizes the country's sovereignty and independence. Housing the crown of St. Stephen and other national insignia, it is a vital centre of Hungarian history and culture.

Panoramic Views: Located on the banks of the Danube, it offers spectacular views of the river and the city, especially impressive at night when the building is illuminated.

Educational Experience: Guided tours of the Hungarian Parliament provide an in-depth look at the workings of the country's government, as well as access to ceremonial halls, the main staircase, and the dome hall, allowing visitors an up-close look at national treasures and interior architecture.

What And Where To Eat In Budapest

Goulash (Gulyás): This is probably Hungary's most famous dish, a meat stew with onions, red pepper, tomatoes, paprika, and other spices, traditionally served with fresh bread. According to our guides, you can try the best goulash at Hungarikum Bisztró (Steindl Imre u. 13), Tetek Bisztro (Nádor u. 5), and Vigadó Étterem és Söröző (Markovits Iván u. 4).

Paprikás Csirke: Chicken in a creamy paprika sauce, often accompanied by nokedli, a kind of Hungarian gnocchi. According to our guides, the best paprika chicken in town can be found in some of the same restaurants and bars where you can eat the best goulash. Their recommendations are: Hungarikum Bisztró (Steindl Imre u. 13), Tetek Bisztro (Nádor u. 5), and Vigadó Étterem és Söröző (Markovits Iván u. 4).

Lángos: A fried flatbread that can be eaten on its own or with toppings such as garlic, cheese, sour cream, or ham. Budapest's most popular lángos are at Retro Langós (Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út 25), Langós Land (Lövőház u. 12), and Budapest Central Market (Vámház krt. 1-3).

Töltött Káposzta: This dish consists of cooked cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of meat and rice, cooked in a rich tomato sauce and often served with sour cream. The guides recommend trying it at the Hungarian taverns Hungarikum Bisztró (Steindl Imre u. 13), Tetek Bisztro (Nádor u. 5), and Vigadó Étterem és Söröző (Markovits Iván u. 4), as well as Százéves Étterem (Piarista u. 2) and Regős Vendéglő (Szófia u. 33).

Kürtőskalács: Also known as chimney cake, this is a traditional Hungarian dessert made of sweet dough baked and rolled in sugar or toppings such as nuts or cinnamon. This sweet can be purchased at any metro station in the city, at practically all the street food stalls scattered around Budapest, as well as at specialized establishments such as the Pichler Fagyizó ice cream parlour (Kossuth Lajos u. 4), one of the most recommended by locals for eating ice cream-filled chimney cake.

Where To Have Breakfast In Budapest

Another concern for travelers when they arrive in Budapest is finding a place to have a good breakfast to start the day with energy. For them, our guides recommend the á table! chain of cafés that can be found all over the city. They also suggest Dorado Café (Klauzál u. 35) or Magvető Café (Dohány u. 13) as good options for a great start to the day. For those looking for brunch, the Franziska chain is a top choice.

Budapest Night

Some of our gurus' recommendations for drinks are Twentysix Budapest (Király u. 26), which offers modern and exotic cocktails, the Bálna Terasz area (Fővám tér 11-12) in summer, and the Rumpus Tiki Bar (Király u. 19), an establishment with a great atmosphere and unique decor.

How to Travel from Budapest to Vienna

Traveling from Budapest to Vienna is a classic for tourists who want to make the most of their European trip by covering Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. These routes usually start or end in Budapest and have Vienna in the middle, so it's important to know how to travel from the Hungarian capital to the Austrian one:

Train: The train is the most popular option, combining comfort with beautiful countryside views. Direct services like Railjet run frequently between Budapest and Vienna, with a travel time of about 2.5 hours. It's a good idea to book in advance for better rates. The minimum price for this trip is 9.23 euros but can increase with high demand.

Bus: Buses offer a generally cheaper alternative to the train. Several companies like FlixBus and Eurolines operate direct routes between these two capitals for a minimum price of 12.74 euros. Although the trip can take a bit longer, around 3 to 4 hours, it’s often the cheapest option.

Car: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, allowing you to stop at interesting spots along the way. The trip takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and the route taken. Don’t forget to consider the costs of rental, gas, and tolls, as it can be one of the more expensive alternatives.

Flight: Although the distance is relatively short, flying is an option for those who prefer speed or have international connections from Vienna. However, when you add airport transfers and waiting times, it might not be the most time-efficient or cost-effective choice.

If you're heading to Vienna, remember that there are also GuruWalk guides there, ready to show you the best of the Austrian capital on an unforgettable free tour. In Vienna, there are specialized tours of the historic center, the heart of the city; guides who are experts in gastronomy and even offer café tours; and tours that delve into the history of Vienna and Europe.

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