Updated: Sep 1, 2019
After visiting many cities, I came recently to a conclusion, that Europe's most underrated big city, is Budapest . That enchanting city, straddling the Danube River, with the Buda Hills to the west and the busy lively life to the east, Budapest is a gem of a city.
I have to say Budapest is buda-ful :) and that I had the pest time in Budapest loooool.
The name Budapest comes from the combination of the 2 cities :
Buda and Pest that were unified in the 18th century ..yet I got to know that it was named Pestbuda but the name didn’t stick, well .. I didn’t like it either .
Both cities are on the Danube river, Buda is on the West Bank and pest is on the East Bank.
Arriving from the airport to the city : You have multiple options , it’s that easy :
1) There is the 100E bus – a direct shuttle bus connecting the airport from the Terminal 2 to ( Deak Ferenc Square) in the city center. The bus operates in both directions every 30 minutes.
2) Fotaxi is the official taxi service of Budapest airport, they have booths at the exits from terminals 2A and 2B.Cost to and from City center is about 7200 HUF (22 euro) . http://fotaxi.hu/?lang=en
I downloaded their app for easy access and used it while getting back to the airport at 3 Am.
Where to stay ?
Each half of the city offers such different experience, the debate over which is better will likely never be resolved, so here is what I can say from my visit :
Pest is the city’s vibrant half, where most of the action happens: Bars, restaurants, clubs, cafés, shops,it’s the pulse of life of the city and more touristy.
The area close to the Danube, between the 1st and 2nd districts, is rich in historical and architectural landmarks and therefore also rich in tourists.
And here were I stayed .. in Buda ..
I rented a modern appartment with a quick access to Buda palace , and 2 minutes walk to Danube River & public transportation stop , and never regret that! It’s a peaceful being away from the hustle and bustle of central Budapest.
( Donati appartment - rented through www.booking.com ) and is much recommended . Cost was 70€ for one night
Budapest's main attractions:
This is one of top Budapest attractions without a doubt. These towers were built in the 19th century to serve as a lookout tower for the best panoramic views in Budapest.
The views from the Fisherman’s Bastion well deserve coming uphill , plus the Danube riverfront sights are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
It is a Roman Catholic church located in Budapest, in front of the Fisherman's Bastion at the heart of Buda's Castle District
The Shoes on the Danube Bank:
These shoes are created as a memorial in Budapest, on the east bank of Danube to honour the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank
The Chain Bridge
This is the first permanent stone-bridge connecting pest and Buda, and only the second permanent crossing on the whole length of the river Danube. It is one of the symbolic buildings of Budapest, the most widely known bridge of the Hungarian capital.
The Hungarian parliament building
This is a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too), is just over 100 years old.
St Stephen‘s Basilica
The largest church in Budapest, is dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen.
After you visit the church , look heading to Váci street , queue up to taste the most delicious gelato from https://gelartorosa.com/en/
This is Budapest’s most attractive pedestrian street , and since Váci stretches parallel with the Danube, you can reach the river side through small side streets.
This is one of the most beautiful places in Budapest for some quietness, peace and a cup of coffee during the spring and summer.Always left out by Budapest tourists..
What makes this square so special to me are the buildings surrounding it, and the resto-cafe in the park that is in the middle of the square.
Heroes square :
This is one of the major squares in Budapest, located near the city park and at the end of Andrassy Avenue ..
When you are there, don’t miss the city park, check below for details
City park :
This is a public park in Budapest close to the city centre. Its main entrance is Heroes' Square , one of Hungary's World Heritage site. There, you can find everything, Budapest botanical garden, Budapest zoo, restaurants and cafes , Vajdahunyad Castle,
and Széchenyi thermal bath.
Budapest is very well-connected, there is a number of public transport operating well between Buda and Pest . It ’s easy to be transported around Budapest in no time .
Tickets can be purchased from the vending machines near stops, or from kiosks, at the price of 350 HUF (1.20 euro) for a simple one way ticket.
You can also buy the ticket from the driver, directly in the bus, but then the price will be 450 HUF (1.50 euro). Make sure you have hungarian forints (HUF) with you, euros and other currencies are not accepted.
Tip:you can also buy the 24-hour, 72-hour, weekly and monthly tickets.
for more details about Budapest and other interesting places, check my Instagram account