A weekend guide to Budapest
There aren’t enough words that can describe my love for Budapest. Located along the river Danube, Budapest was originally two separate cities (Buda and Pest) until 1873 where both cities were unified. Today both parts of the city retain their individuality – Pest having a modern and Boeheim flair in comparison to Buda’s rich history and medieval charm.
Only got 48 hours to spend here? No problem. Here’s how to squeeze in all the amazing sites Budapest has to offer in just 2 days…
The best way to see a city is to wake up early – but believe me, these early mornings are well worth it. To start your whistle-stop tour of Budapest, head to the Pest side. Grab a 48hr transport pass from your nearest metro or tram stop – this will be your golden ticket for the entire trip as it will allow you access to all the public transport in Budapest (minus the airport shuttle bus). Once you have this card, your 48-hour adventure in the Paris of the East can begin.
Start by the metro line 1 to Hösök tére. Here, you will discover the wonder that is Heroes Square. But before you reach the square take time to marvel at the Metro line 1, it is the third oldest underground railway in the world and has been in operation since 1896. You’ll truly feel like you have stepped back in time whilst riding along to your destination.
After a few stops, you will reach Heroes Square. Wander a little further from here and you’ll reach the magic that is Vajahunyand Castle. The castle blends a variety of architectural styles, and you get serious fairy tale vibes from the moment you step through its gates. Once you close the chapter on this fairy tale, take a walk-into city park opposite. Here you will find some of the best langos (a traditional Hungarian dish that consists of deep-fried dough topped with cheese and sour cream) that Budapest has to offer. After all, trying the local food is one of the best parts about travelling, am I right?
After refuelling with langos, jump back on the Metro 1 to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut, it is here you will discover St. Stephens Basilica. St. Stephen’s Basilica was named after the first king of Hungary and is an architectural masterpiece. Think the outside is impressive? Just wait till you step inside. Bright colours all outlined in gold, there are no words – it is truly breathtaking. During your stop in the Basilica, you can even take the 302 steps to the top of the Basilica where a scenic view of the city awaits you.
After yesterday’s madness, I think we deserve some relaxation. You’re in luck; Budapest plays host to some of the greatest thermal baths in the world and sits on almost 125 thermal springs, so visiting these baths has become a part of everyday life here. There are plenty to chose from but my favourite is the Gellért or Széchenyi thermal baths.
You can spend hours here relaxing in the multiple indoor pools with temperatures ranging from warm to hot, saunas and steam rooms or even opt to have a massage. A lot of these thermal baths also have an outdoor pool, as well as a plunge pool where the temperature is less than favourable. Only take the plunge if you dare!
After your relaxing day at the Thermal baths, spend your evening hiking up to the Citadella fortress. This UNESCO world heritage site is located on the top of Gellért Hill. The Citadel is a true symbol of freedom. Once again you will get to see the whole city, I mean who can get tired of these views. At the top, you will also find Lady Liberty who has been watching over Budapest from here since 1947. Tonight, venture back to the ruin bars as they are so, many to discover and when will you ever again get to party in the ruins?
It’s hard to say Goodbye to the beautiful Budapest but before you know it you will be jetting off on your next adventure or booking a return trip back to this amazing city.
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