10 Things to see in Budapest
I am living here, so I thought I can help with some ideas if you planned to visit this city.
View from the Gellert hill which is one of the best place to view the city. Left behind the green vegetation is the Unesco World Heritage site Buda Castle district located, which is not a small Castle but a huge area with lots of attractions. For example there is the Rock Hospital which was an operating Hospital in the World War and a prepared Nuclear shelter with separate water and electricity supply in the caves under the Buda Castle district.
The Hungarian National gallery with the paintings of the most important Hungarian painters, the Mathias Church, the Fishermen’s Bastion (the name come as the Fishermen’s guild was appointed to defend this area in case of an attack), the Military History museum also located here, together with several very nice restaurants, and bars. A Unique Buda Castle Labirinth is also located here (unfortunately sometimes closed). The Buda Castle is certainly a must not miss place in Budapest.
In the second World War in 1944-45 the Soviet troops arrived to Budapest siege. The last places was the Soviet troops to attack was in the Gellert hill and the Castle. In the Castle the 45,000 mostly German and Hungarian soldiers (little bit more German than Hungarian) had extremely hard situation against 500,000 Soviet soldiers who formed a 40km ring around the Castle. The defenders in the end barely has any spare ammunition or food so decided to try to breakout from the Castle. Out of the 40,000 soldiers only 200 reached the German troops. Many of them managed to come out to the Forested Buda hills but after were killed there and other places. The Budapest siege lasted 102 days totally (the first Soviet tanks arrived in the area in October 1944 and the last buildings in Buda Castle was occupied in February ) and was an extremely hard fight, why most other cities has been invaded in several days, for example Berlin was occupied in 14 days, Vien was occupied in 6 days by the Soviet troops.
The Chain bridge and the National gallery in the Buda Castle.
1. Spas – I recommend to visit Széchenyi Bath:
The Szechenyi or Szecska (it called like this by the locals) is in Városliget City park near Heroes square in the green area. The bath is open until 10 o’clock usually, the best to visit the bath in late afternoon, night time around 7-10, where it has a unique atmosphere. There is an external hot water pool, a swimming pool, and a third pool with a circulating water in the middle and some other attractions. There are many (18 totally) different water temperature inside pools, from 20-40 degrees of water temperature, several saunas, steam and infra cabins as well and beautiful historical scenery.
See more about Szechenyi spa here
Turkish baths and Turkish heritage in Budapest
The Turcs has invaded the city between 1541-1686. It is also interesting story, first the Habsburgs wanted to invaded it without success, but the Turks occupied it with a Trick (which is hardly understandable now). First they supply the defenders with some food, after they want to meet the queen and the dauphin, while the Turkish soldiers went to the Castle as they want to see how it look. (When they were inside they quickly occupied it with little effort) From that period not much architecture remained in the city, the Tomb of Gul baba pilgrimage site, several other buildings and 3 Turkish baths. The oldest from the 16th century is the Veli bej bath under the Hospital. As most Turkish baths is consisted from an octogonal pool under a huge dome, and several smaller pools with different water temperatures. The Veli bej is a smaller more exclusive spa which was recently beautifully renovated. In the bath (in the pool) there is a dark environment which is similar as it were in the old times I think.
There are two other Turkish bath as well in Budapest, the Kiraly and the Lukacs. The Lukacs is the biggest in the side of the Gellert hill. It is a bigger sized spa with several other rooms and a swimming pool as well.
2. Pálvölgyi cave
– Hungary currently longest cave 29,5km length in Buda side near Szépvölgyi street. The cave is properly formed with stairs, the official tour is 4-500m. There are an other cave nearby (Szemlőhegyi cave) as well, especially for the more radical cave funs. I have a gallery about the Pálvölgyi cave in the main menu.Palvolgyi cave Budapest
3. Danube view
– check the gallery at the bottom of the page. I recommend to go up Gellérthegy nighttime, to enjoy the beautiful panorama of the city. You can go along the Danube with Tram No 2 at Pest side – backlight in the morning, or with Bus no 86 at Buda side – backlight afternoon. There is a plan for a boat trip from Boráros tér(South) to Árpád bridge(North) in every hour.
4. The Castle
– Buda hill castle with beautiful panorama, Mathias church, fishermans bastion, and National gallery. All in a lovely athmosphere area with shops, and restaurants.
5. Margit island
– There are a small zoo, lots of tree, Danube bank, possible rent of small cars, can play frizby or picnic, restaurant, japan garden. There are several other islands in Budapest for example the famous Hajógyári island with the annual music festival, and there is a Szúnyog sziget North Pest (currently a peninsula, not so arranged).
6. Heroes’ square and Városliget City Park
– another green park next to Széchenyi fürdő and big square with a column and some monuments, and a romantic multi-styled castle (Vajdahunyad castle see the below gallery), Zoo, Amusement Park, also winter time a big ice-skating ring, and a small lake with mallards. Here is the Museum of fine art and Műcsarnok as well. There are several other museums as well here, see below.
7. Kopaszi gát (dam) and Bay
– there is a lovely green area at South Buda side next to Lágymányosi bridge. Nice alley, small wooden restaurants, big trees, Danube both sides.
8. Inner city
– the vicinity of Deák Square – Opera house, St Stephens cathedral, Váci street – a shopping street parallel with the Danube
9. Andrássy street
from Deák street to Városliget. Beautiful historic buildings, nice trees, good atphosphere.
10. Open baths
There are several excellent open baths in Budapest. These facilities are only open at summer, starting from June to approximately September depending on weather conditions. Usually located in beautiful place with huge green area. Palatinus at Margaret island, Romai at North of Budapest, Paskal, Punkodfurdo.
See more about open baths here
Other Program possibilities:
(Every hotel you can have a map, and many booklets with program possibilities)
Lots of them at Jókai square between Oktogon and West Railway station closer to Oktogon.
Many of them from indian to japanese hungarian, etc. If you want hungarian:for example Szeged restaurant near to Gellért hotel in Buda (with gypsy music).
You can go to the castle with a funicular, and there is a thing in Buda hills called flicker (Libegő) this is something like an open ski lift where you can see the city from above. The complete route is 1040m, the height difference is 262m, the total trip time is 18 minutes. The starting point is Zugligeti steet(út) XII district, the end point is János hill.
Summer time Római bank at North Buda
side with lots of small Restaurants, next to Danube with music and good atmosphere.
Rent a canoe or boat – 10 Things to see in Budapest
at North Buda at Roman bank (Római Part in hungarian).
Lots of museums everywhere
if you like them(around 90): At Városliget: Museum of Fine arts and Műcsarnok, Agricultural museum, Traffic museum, National Museum at Calvin square, National gallery in the castle, Museum of Military history in the castle, Hungarian Nature Science Museum at Ludovica square, Memento Park at outside area Balatoni street, House of Terror at Andrássy street, Etnographic museum, Jewish museum at Dohány street sinagogue, Aquincum museum at North buda, Vasarely Museum, Museum of Eastern Culture, House of Quality Hungarian Wines, Firemarschall museum, Policeman museum, etc.
Go-kart or dodgem:
There are several places to go with small cars, you can check for example silvercart.hu
You can go to Buda hills
with bus number 21 from Széll Kálmán square, you can go to the end station after some walking you out in the hill forests.In Széll Kálmán square the upper part is the bus stop. From same place you can go to the castle with a small bus.
10 things to see in Budapest-Aquaworld:
in North part of Pest little outside of the city there is a covered water theme park, next to Mo, and Megyeri bridge.
Paintball or lasertag:
several places inside outside
Opera hall, The Palace of Arts next to Danube at South Pest, Lots of rock, jazz, blues concerts.
Things to see near Budapest(10-60km):
Danube bend at North, with beautiful places like Szentendre (10kn), Visegrád(50km), Esztergom(60km)
Pilis hills with fresh air(15km)
Hungaroring adventure park:
Go-kart, car or bike racing (perhaps with own vehicles). Formula 1 ring, Mogyoród – 30km from Budapest
along the Danube bank you can go all along to Danube bend with beautiful scenery.
More distant possibilities in Hungary:
(595 km2 lake at South West, app 110 km from Budapest) you can go around with bicycle, beautiful circumstances, shallow water at South side. Average depth 3m.
(42km from Budapest) with several beaches all along the bank.
Several smaller hills
(Mátra 1015 m high, Bükk, Börzsöny, Transdanubian Hills)
– huge cave in east North of Hungary
– See my gallery and article in the main menu
Lots of spas
– most famous are Hévíz, Hajdúszoboszló, Gyula, Sárvár, Harkány.
Lots of fishing opportunities.
For more detailed information see the website below