A Quick Stop At Budapest

I was forced to muster up the energy to reach my next destination. Which I did. Albeit in a zombie-like trance

My travel to Budapest was an adventurous tale. I almost missed my flight from Athens to Budapest in spite of being at the airport 2 hours before my flight departs …….phew. Travel gets exciting when you encounter such unexpected incidents. Though it did not dampen my excitement to see the lovely city but my advice to you; if you are traveling by a budget airline in Europe (I flew Ryanair), do checkin online and print your boarding passes before hand to save 50€ to be paid at the airlines counter. I had not factored this time at the airport which lead to late checkin and then a good athletic run to reach the boarding gate. I was forced to muster up the energy to reach my next destination. Which I did. Albeit in a zombie-like trance. Well the story gets spicy if experiences are terrific and that is how travel makes us explore more.

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City Panoramic View

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, lies on the Danube River, with the hilly, castle-filled Buda on one side, and the flat, lively Pest on the other. Budapest’s history hasn’t always been a happy one, with multiple world wars, communism, and a failed revolution taking its toll on the city and its people. Despite these hardships, the city’s stunning architecture, re-burgeoning food scene, and longstanding traditions like “taking to the baths,” make Budapest a singular destination worthy of exploration. Buda is the hilly side, it has lots of little winding streets, an amazing old castle and the prettiest views of the city… Pest is where you’ll find all of the wonderful markets, eclectic shops and bars and the buzz of everyday city life. Indeed a lovely city and probably a bit underrated though I think I prefer it that way so that it can keep its charms without the hordes of tourists found in other popular cities.

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The Chain Bridge Connecting Buda and Pest
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The Iconic Chain Bridge at night

The Chain Bridge was the first permanent, stone bridge to connect Buda & Pest and the second bridge to span the Danube in Europe. The bridge remains a notable feature of Budapest today, and affords lovely views of the city at Golden Hour. Take a stroll from Pest to Buda, enjoying the views as you go. I really love that while in Budapest you don’t have to check any guidebooks for the prettiest areas or main sites (well, of course you can if you’re on top of things like that) but you can simply wander around and everything you see will be stunning. That’s a promise

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Ruin Pubs

Something that Budapest is famous for, and one of my absolute favourite bits, are their ‘Ruin Pubs’ or ‘Ruin Bars’ and if you take a trip to Budapest you have got to check these places out, they’re amazing. The Ruin Bars are hidden in derelict, old and abandoned buildings and factories all over the city. They’re unlike anything I’ve ever seen before or anywhere I’ve ever been, it’s like being in a big old house filled with mismatched furniture, fairy lights and neon signs and a refreshing and cool mix of people. From the outside they do look a little bit scary, but once you step inside, trust me, you’ll be amazed.

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St Stephen’s Basilica

The impressive St Stephens Basilica took half a century to build and is home to the mummified right hand of the first King of Hungary. Although the interior architecture isn’t really my style, the dramatic exterior deserves recognition. Spend some time exploring the surrounding square and pedestrian areas before heading to dinner

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The Parliament Building at Night

The massive and beautiful, Gothic-styled Parliament building has a prominent position along the Danube, and can be easily seen from many vantages in the city. Stroll by to take a closer look at the building and even take a tour if you fancy.

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City View from The Fisherman’s Bastion
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The Fisherman’s Bastion

The Fisherman’s Bastion is, in all likelihood, one of the most visited attractions in Budapest. This is the place where locals and tourists come to enjoy the city views. From here you can enjoy the splendid panoramic views of Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage, the river Danube along with its historical sights, from the Fisherman’s Bastion. You can sit on the benches, hide in the arcades when it rains, snows or when the midday heat in summer time gets hard to bear. You can stand on the balconies free of charge, or you can enter the top turrets to get a bit higher

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Tram 2 Scenic Route

Tram 2 is one of the most scenic public transport routes in the world (don’t take just my word for it – National Geographic named it one of the top 10 trolley rides in the world). It hugs the Danube River and provides gorgeous cityscapes that encompass Buda Castle, the House of Parliament, Gellert Hill, the city’s architecturally beautiful bridges and so much more

A few tips

While Hungary is a member state of the European Union, it hasn’t adopted the Euro as currency. While you can try your luck at the tourist traps, you’ll probably receive your (scant) change in the national currency, Forints. Not all restaurants take card, so make sure to hit up the many ATMs spotted around the city.

Budapest’s transport network is convenient, efficient, and simple to use – there’s no excuse not to hop on board.

It has a very tourist friendly airport services so spend a few minutes looking around for information rather than rushing straight out after landing.

Hungarian wines are easily available in most restaurants and wine stores. Tokaj is perhaps the most reputable wine region in Hungary so you know you can’t go wrong when ordering the Tokaj label. I loved it.

Here’s no shortage of street food in Budapest and langos is one of the city’s most popular snacks. You’ll be hard-pressed to walk down the street and NOT see a vendor selling this yummy fried piece of dough covered in sour cream and grated cheese.

Let me know your story of Budapest!

43 thoughts on “A Quick Stop At Budapest”

  1. There are so many things about Budapest I never knew before like the fact that Buda & Pest are separate areas of the city. So cool. I must may what really won me over are these Ruin Bars you speak of. I love finding hidden gems. Guess it’s true, you never know what’s inside.

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    1. Absolutely. I never knew about it until I visited though I had read many posts on Budapest. Its truly said that its better to see than read about it hundred times.

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  2. I totally agree that unplanned circumstances sometimes only add to a trip. Budapest, and Hungary in general has always been a place I’d love to visit.

    Like the comment above, I also had no idea that Buda and Pest were separate areas. You learn somthing new everyday, haha.

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  3. Reading more is learning more… I had no Idea BudaPest is a fusion of two opposite sides of River Danube in Hungary! I love you narration style and amazing photography! Keep up.

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  4. I appreciate the tip about the local wine. When I travel, I love to drink and eat the local treats, eats and drinks. Budapest keeps surprising me when I see people talk about how much they loved it, even (or especially) as solo travelers. Great tips I’ve noted!

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    1. If you are a wine lover, then go in September next year. Wine festival takes place in Buda Castle every year and you get to taste the best Hungarian wines.

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  5. Looks like there is so much to see. Never been to Budapest. I totally like the idea of “ruin pubs”. It seems to be the place with the most life. Good to get to know the locals.

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    1. It is indeed, though it rushes the adrenalin at that moment but its fun to share the story once you experience that. haha. I am sure we all have missed a train, bus or flight once 🙂

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  6. Thanks for this great overview of Budapest; really liked the layout of this post. We didn’t visit it on our last trip in that zone of the Europe, but hopefully we’ll visit this gem on our next vacation. We love your photos too much!!

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    1. Europe has so much to explore that I totally understand being not able to visit all the beautiful places. I missed so many on this trip and definitely going back for another trip. I love Europe.

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  7. I still haven’t been to Budapest so this will be helpful. Tram 2 would be a must especially to see all the sights. As too would the ruin bars, such an intriguing name behind it, would love to see it!

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  8. I didn’t know about the ruin bars and pubs in derelict building there. I’ll definitely visit those next time. The chains bridge is always an impressive site to see no matter the time of day. As are all the UNESCO sites along the banks of the Danube.

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  9. I’ve had quite a few invitations to visit friends in Hungry, especially Budapest, but for one reason or another never got around to it. It really is a city of excess, and i’ve seen and read a lot about the food there which is something I really want to try. Then there is of course the history and the architecture, both of which interests me. I guess I just have to finalize a trip soon and of course will make sure I don’t take a low budget airline.

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  10. I’ve been reading a lot about Budapest lately and I can’t say it has not tempted me one bit. I would love to explore this city. The Ruin Bars are so intriguing and those would be high up on my list! The Parliament Building (looks amazing at night) and St. Peter’s Basilica are architectural masterpieces. Good thing that the mishap at the airport did not ruin everything as it would be a shame to miss your flight to Budapest.

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  11. What a great round up of things to do in Budapest! I would love to catch the Chain Bridge at sunset, like you mentioned! That sounds like an absolute dream! I’d definitely head over to the Ruins Pub after because I always love finding unique bars and meeting locals and fellow travellers that way! Thanks for sharing all your incredible highlights! It seems like you had a blast in Turkey!!

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  12. I love Budapest I have been a couple of times now and everything has been a completely different experience. I have also been caught out with Ryanair before and paid the fee for the ticket but that was 10 years ago and I definitely have not done it since. Great tip at letting people know to that Budapest hasn’t adopted the Euro as currency yet.

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  13. Budapest is one of my favorite European city break destinations. The buildings, the culture and the fact everything is practically withing walking distance makes it a great place to explore. I love your photo of the Parliament building at night though – just stunning!

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  14. Budapest seems like a beautiful European city to visit. I would to wander the streets all day to take in and capture the amazing architecture there! So much detail and character, hope I can visit sometime soon.

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  15. I was in Budapest for 5 days in July, and love the city. Your pictures remind me a lot about my journey. I love the transportation there. The jam looks really nice, even though it was super crowded when I used.

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