Hey! First of all, welcome to this article about Budapest. If you are reading this, it means that you are planning to travel to Hungary. Great plan! I spent four months in Budapest during a summer internship. Here are my tips to get the most out of the city.
What to visit?
- Let’s start this trip by what is definitely to most iconic building in Budapest: the Hungarian parliament. It seems quite obvious but I would feel stupid not to mention it. What is more, I do recommend to observe the parliament by night from the Margaret bridge, the view is incredibly beautiful. From this bridge you will be able to see most of the main buildings of Budapest.
- Margaret Island is probably one of my favorite place in Budapest. If you would like to relax in a park, this is the place to go. Even if crowded, the island is big enough to make you feel like there are not so many people staying there. Also, the main fountain is often animated with lights, it is fairly beautiful to look at.
- There are many other squares and buildings that you need to see. Apart from the Inner city that is quite obvious to visit, here is a short list of places where you need to go: Elizabeth square, St Stephen’s Basilica, Fisherman’s Bastion and the Citadella. I personally do not recommend the baths. They are very crowded, fairly expensive and not the most hygienic place in the world so far.
- Leave the city! There are many things to do in Hungary. Lake Balaton is a must-do if you are spending several days in Hungary and that the weather is good. Nonetheless, it will requires a bit of time by bus, but if you still have time to spend in Hungary, it is worth it. Besides, there is a closest city to Budapest that has a great atmosphere: Szentendre. However, if you are going there, I strongly advise you to bring something to eat or to eat before you leave Budapest because restaurants are not so great there.
Where to have food?
- Please give a try to Kakaós Csiga. This pastry is delicious. However you will need to find a good bakery, otherwise you will often find overcooked pastries. You can also give a try to the most “touristic” food: Kürtőskalács. You will also find the latest in all other Central European countries.
- I do not know so many restaurants unfortunately. However, I can attest that restaurants in general are very good in Budapest and very affordable.
- I can nevertheless recommend two restaurants. Meatology that proposes very good burgers and M. étterem that offers more diverse & excellent food.
- Last but not the least, you definitely need to give Goulash a try! As I was doing an internship in Budapest I had the chance to try homemade Goulash. I am thus not capable of giving a good address where you can find the best Goulash in town but please, do not leave Hungary without trying this wonderful dish.
Where to have drinks?
- In the main squares! Definitely one of the most enjoyable aspect of Central European countries regarding nightlife. You are free to drink alcohol wherever you want outside (abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health, please drink carefully :-) ). I do recommend Elizabeth square where many people enjoy to gather. I also recommend to go to the city park. It is located a bit further from other main places where you can spend the night out, but there are less tourists and the park is really great by night.
- Wesselényi utca is clearly the main street where you can find all the bars you want to go to.
- If you are traveling to Hungary in August, do not miss out the chance to go to Sziget Festival! I do not have much to say about it, except that it is definitely one of the best festivals in Europe.
Leaving for several days to spend in Central Europe? Let’s do a road-trip!
Buses are very convenient and quite cheap in Central Europe. You can leave from Prague, go down to Vienna, then spend one day in Bratislava, go to Budapest and later go further in the South, direction Croatia.
Damien Saby, student at SKEMA Business School and president of S’Konnection, mandate 2018.