Four Days in Budapest

By Unknown - November 06, 2018

Budapest was easily our favorite stop on our trip around Austria + Hungary. Having received a ton of recommendations from family and friends ahead of our trip, we allotted the most time to Budapest, staying for four nights. I think four to five days is the perfect amount of time for exploring the city. I like to think I've been to a fair amount of cities in Europe and yet Budapest really stood out to me. It has such a unique personality, with funky cafes and restaurants on every corner and truly diverse neighborhoods. We're also not museum people and yet we were never at a loss of what to do. One of my favorite ways to explore a city is to just start walking, and in Budapest I was never disappointed. On top of all of this, the city is so cheap. Drinks for 2 Euro? Count me in.

// S T A Y //

We stayed at a private Airbnb apartment right by St. Stephen's cathedral and found it was a great location. The neighborhood itself was pretty residential and quiet, but the apartment was only a block from the metro and a 5-10 minute walk to major sites. 10/10 would recommend.

// D O //

Hungarian Parliament Building - Such impressive architecture! We just walked around the outside of it and oo'd and aah'd at just how intricate each detail is. Also worth looking at it from across the river.

Chain Bridge - Chances are you'll walk across this bridge to get to Buda, but the views from the bridge are unparalleled. We liked walking on the right side of the bridge (when facing Buda) as it had better views.

Fisherman's Bastion - An iconic viewpoint that looks across the river to Pest. Crowded, but definitely worth the views.

Matthias's Church - One of the coolest roofs I've seen. Weird sentence, I know, but the roof is composed of these small colored tiles and it's so beautiful. We didn't pay to go inside because we're cheap but the outside of the church was impressive own its own.

Old Town - This area is in Buda, right by Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias's Church. It's easily walkable in a few minutes, but the candy colored buildings mixed with old churches and towers are worth the detour.

*For all of Buda, we bought a ticket for the Budapest Castle Bus, which for 7 Euro brought us up the hill and stopped at 4 locations throughout Buda in a hop-on hop-off fashion. We thought it was totally worth the money!

St. Stephen's Cathedral - One of the only attractions we actually paid for, haha. With a small donation we were able to walk around the interior of the church and take in all of the gold detailing and stained glass windows. The true highlight, though, was taking the 302 stairs up to the top of the church and enjoying the 360 degree view of the city. We went right before sunset (unintentionally) and it made it that much more beautiful. Can't miss!

Szechenyi Baths - The iconic baths of Budapest. Touristy and crowded, but for a reason. We bought a day ticket and, stupidly, rented towels and slippers, which ended up being waaaay overpriced. Note: bring your own towels and flip flops. Otherwise, we loved our time at the baths. It was about 70 degrees out when we went so we spent most of our time in the outdoor bath, but there's also a bunch of different (and hotter) baths indoors. The place is huge! We may or may not have gotten lost a couple times 😂. *Also, we did not buy tickets ahead of time and had no wait in line when we arrived. 

Central Market Hall - One of the biggest food halls I've ever seen. The ground floor is mostly stalls of fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood, with some ready-to-eat food and souvenirs interspersed throughout. Upstairs is where you'll find the takeaway food and a whole section of kitschy souvenirs and textiles.

Andrassy Avenue/Hero's Square - Andrassy Avenue is the main shopping street of Budapest with all of the classic high end stores. If you follow it all the way up, you'll hit Hero's square, which has some impressive statues and is at the entrance of the park where the baths are located. A solid stop if you're walking up to the baths.

House of Terror - Okay, so we didn't actually get to go here, and I'm really bummed. We tried to go on a Monday (our last day in Budapest), only to realize they're not open on Mondays. So don't make the same mistake as us!

// E A T + D R I N K //

Blue Bird Cafe - Located in adorable pedestrian alleyway near the Jewish district, this was the perfect low key breakfast spot.

A La Maison - If you're looking for more bougie brunch vibes, this is the spot. From the gold accented furniture to the grey velvet chairs, I was ready to move in. Don't worry, the food was good, too ðŸ˜‰.

Gossip Coffee - On our way back from the baths I could not for the life of me find a casual place for lunch with GF options. We finally settled on Gossip, and although the menu is limited and it's definitely more of a coffee shop, I was able to make it work.

MRKT - Of course after eating at Gossip, we stumbled upon MRKT, which was exactly what we were looking for (🙄ugh). A counter-serve place with a burger counter, a Mexican counter, and a beer counter, it's perfect for a casual lunch or mid-day snack. We enjoyed nachos from the Mexican counter and they seriously hit the spot.

Papitos - This little stand was right by our apartment and had cheap and delicious Mexican food. We both had tacos and were happy to not spend a ton of money on dinner.

Tom George - Also nearby our apartment, we went here for dinner on our first night. Gluten free pasta is pretty much all you need to know. But actually, make a reservation because we got the only open table available.

Spoon - While we were in Budapest we celebrated our fourth anniversary and I was lucky enough to be taken to Spoon to celebrate. The restaurant is on a boat on the Danube overlooking the Buda Castle. From the best seat in the house to complimentary champagne and the best salmon I've ever eaten, I can't recommend it enough for a special occasion! Truly one of the best meals I've ever had.

Szimpla Kert - Probably the most popular ruin bar in Budapest, but for good reason. From the random assortment of plants and objects that kind of look like they were collected at the local dump, to the themed rooms, this bar is one-of-a-kind. No matter what vibe you're looking for when you go out, you're bound to find it at Szimpla.

BB'z Bar and Grill - So if you happen to find yourself in Budapest with someone who has to watch the NFL, find your way to BB'z. Truly the best of both worlds - they show football games in a modern space that has a wide variety of cocktails and food options. We just ordered some bar food but the rest of the menu looked good as well.

My Little Melbourne Coffee - We're always trying to find coffee that compares to that of Melbourne, so we figured this would be a good option. Our flat whites did not disappoint!

Naspolya Nassolda - A GF/vegan bakery with lots of raw bars and brownies and coffee options. A great place to stop by for a snack.

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