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BUDAPEST TRAVEL GUIDE

Budapest will not be in your go-to places if you are on Euro tour from India. We’ve seen people who come to Europe on a 10-day tour prefer Paris, Switzerland & Italy, that’s the time they’ve got. Honestly we enjoyed much more travelling to lesser known places (from an Indian perspective)

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Things to Know before you Go

Visa (for Indian Passport holders): Schengen Visa will give you free access to Hungary. If you hold a residence permit in Schengen countries you can travel Visa free

Currency: Hungary’s currency is the forint (HUF). Even though it is inside the Schengen area, Euro is not the currency. If you have Euro it is easy to get it exchanged at a decent conversion rate

 

Best way to travel in Budapest: Metro is the best way to travel, majority of the sightseeing places are concentrated in the city Centre, so it will be more of walking. 

 

Use AIRBNB, it’s cheaper the hotels. 

 

Hungarian is the official language of the city, but you can find English widely spoken and boards/signs in English

 

We personally loved the local Hungarian food and keep it as habit to try local delicacies. We didn’t have any restaurants in mind. Plenty of Indian restaurants, take away and café’s, even if you are vegetarian there will not be any problem with the food. 

 

Credit Cards and ATMs: It was easy paying by card in malls & big shopping areas. But the smaller shops on the street preferred cash. So better pull out some cash in ATM’s. There are plenty around.

Image by Tomas Anton Escobar

City Centre

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Hero's Square

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Thermal Baths

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The Parliament

How to get to Budapest 

Our Budget

While returning from our trip from Bosnia, we planned to have a 3 day stop over before getting back to Stavanger, Norway (we were living in Norway)

There are 2 lines connecting the airport and the centre of Budapest: 100E and 200E. There are also night buses which you can combine in order to get to the city centre.. One-way ticket: € 1.20

We bought the 72 hour Budapest card, unlimited public transportation, costed us 11.5 Euros/person 

We flew Ryan air, the best budget carrier in Europe and ticket costed us less than 20 Euros per person travelling from Sarajevo(Bosnia) to Budapest. 

We found a private apartment in Airbnb costed us 30 Euros per day

 

Eating out was again not expensive. 10 Euros/person/meal

If you are travelling in public transport all three days, we recommend getting a 3 day Travel card @ 11.5 Euros/person. It includes airport travel as well

 

Where to Stay

As we mentioned earlier, we stayed in Hostels, Hotels, Resorts, Airbnb’s

Here are some of my favorite places to find accommodation options around the world:

  • AirBnb

  • Booking.com

If you’re traveling solo, we recommend staying in a hostel. You will meet fellow travelers and it’s a great way to have fun. It saves you money. If you prefer privacy, you can still get a private room, but you can also get to know people.

We stayed walking distance (like 20 mins ) from Budapest parliament, just closer to the Metro line. Our Airbnb costed 30 Euros per night (for two people). It’s a whole private apartment

Budapest is well connected with Metro & bus network. Almost most of the attractions are close by and concentrated around the Danube river. So our advice would be to stay closer to the city Centre.

3 Days in Budapest!!What to Do?

We’ve seen so many people visiting Budapest and wondering why? Slowly Budapest has become a hotspot for travelers, especially in the winter enjoying the thermal baths. It’s a vibrant city with beautiful buildings & castles, you can spend hours along the Danube river and always bars & restaurants everywhere. Spending 3 days in Budapest is just about enough to visit its most interesting sights, fall in love with the food and get to taste some of the local drinks and specialties.

This Map will give you the must see places in Budapest. You’ll get an overall idea of what to do and you can mix it up the way you want

Day 1: Danube, Parliament & St.Stephen cathedral

Day 2: Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias church & Buda Castle

Day 3: Thermal Baths, Hero's Square & Buda @ night

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Day 1: Danube, Parliament & St.Stephen cathedral

Danube River & the Buda bridges

 

The first place you’ll notice coming into the main tourist areas are the bridges built across Danube, connecting Buda and Pest. The most iconic one is the chain bridge which was built a couple of centuries back. Lot of photo opportunities here. There is a designated walkers path

Image by Dan Freeman
Image by Thomas Winkler

Parliament

How could you miss the most beautiful buildings across Europe? The most iconic and the tallest in Budapest. Tickets can be bought in front of the building or booked online(recommended), The Parliament building tour is a very popular activity and time slots do fill up fast

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St. Stephen Cathedral

Just beside the parliament, is the St. Stephen Cathedral. Again an architectural marvel which you cannot miss. Entry to the cathedral is free, but as you would have heard, a small donation approx.  1 AUD (50 INR) is recommended. We’ve seen people going up the Panorama towers for the city views, but it’s a personal choice. As you know there are plenty of viewpoints around.

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Visiting the Thermal baths in Budapest

Széchenyi Baths  is the largest spa complex in Europe, and probably Budapest’s most popular baths. It attracts huge crowds, but we personally loved the atmosphere. Iconic "sparties" take place here on Saturday nights

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Image by Liam McKay
 

Day 2: Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias church & Buda Castle

Fisherman Bastion

Anyone visiting Budapest will not miss the best viewing platforms in the city. Good thing is that it’s free. Budapest city, the bridges, parliament, Danube river all in one sight. You will be travelers all over the place and irrespective of time, this place is always full. We went early in the morning and also at night. The city views are amazing at all times.

It can easily be reached on foot from Buda’s side of the Danube, but for those looking to avoid the numerous stairs a funicular can be taken near to Szechényi Bridge up to Buda Castle, from where it is just a short walk. You can also take a bus up the hill to the Matthias church and walk

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Image by Tobias Reich

Matthias church

Another iconic building on the hill which you cannot miss. Its known for its history and architecture, besides it’s still a centre of religious ceremonies, so we’ve to be respectful of the day to day activities. It will be closed for travellers if nay events take place. There is an entrance fee to go into eh church and also up the bell tower. 2 separate tickets pricing 1800 HUF each

Image by Krisztian Tabori

Buda castle

Nowadays, Buda Castle has been converted from the residence-styled and furnished Palace it was. It now houses two of the most important things in the nation of Hungary, The Hungarian National Gallery, a collection of some of the most famous and important artwork to have come out of Hungary, and the Budapest History Museum, which is one of the most famous museums in the whole of the nation. The hill comprises the majority of the city's attractions and viewpoints.

Image by Tomasz Abramowicz

Day 3: Thermal Baths, Hero's Square

& Buda @ night

 

Thermal Baths

Budapest is known for its thermal baths and not going further into history, this is one of the must do activities when you visit Budapest. Imagine yourself in an open thermal bath when the outside temperatures around 2 or 3 degrees. 

Széchenyi Baths  is the largest spa complex in Europe, and probably Budapest’s most popular baths. It attracts huge crowds, but we personally loved the atmosphere. Iconic "sparties" take place here on Saturday nights

Our Personal experience in Széchenyi Baths, Click here!

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Heroes square & Millennium Monument

Another iconic and Historic place to visit is the Heroes square. This was built to mark the 1000th anniversary of the arrival of Hungarians into this region. The column in the centre is flanked on either side by semi-circular colonnades with statues of those who made their mark on Hungarian history

Heroes square is very much accessible via Metro and we hardly walked from the station to the monument. It is very difficult to avoid the tourist buses where the group will jump in front of you to take pictures. We waited until a couple of buses left and we did have the complete square for us. Lot of photo Opportunities

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Buda at night

Budapest under lights is even more beautiful. As we mentioned earlier, hop on a bus and get to fisherman’s bastion. You’ll be immersed with the beauty of the parliament building. It’s the same on the opposite end, get to the parliaments side and you can see the castles lit under lights.

Walking along the Danube river in the evening will give you the best views of the Parliament Building and the Buda Castle, crossing the river over one of the bridges to get the best of both banks of the river.  

Vaci street is one of the world’s most attractive pedestrian shopping streets and the most famous street in Budapest. Most of the shops were closing by the time we reached, so just have a stroll or you can avoid it.

Image by Alex Quezada
Image by Yuki Matsukura

Conclusion & Our Recommendation

We had an awesome time in Budapest. It is a beautiful city with lots to see and explore. 3 days should be enough to cover the city trip. The Thermal baths in winter could have been a different experience.

 

Things we missed: Gillert Hill, A cruise in Danube & Local markets. Of course it is not a must, but we could have. You can very well add Bratislava & Vienna to make it a 10 day trip

Our Recommendation: Don't Miss

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