Have you worked your way from Berlin to Prague and then Bratislava and Vienna, wondering where to go next? Well, it’s Budapest, Budapest is where to go next! Why? Because the Hungarian capital is packed with sights, entertainment, and awesome food, and you’ll find yourself in the midst of grand architecture and majestic buildings – think Palace of Westminster (next to Big Ben), but cuter!
Once you’ve seen the Parliament Building and walked along the Danube, there are still so many things to do – so many that it’d take ages to scroll through all the websites and pages and find the best ones. Luckily, we’ve sorted that out for you already, and put together our top 8 things to do in Budapest; all you have to do is sit back and enjoy!
Pro Tip: The public transport in Budapest is a great way to get around, and if you’re going to be taking the subway and trams a lot, get a travel card so you won’t have to worry about getting a new ticket each time!
Well yeah, that’s what you’ve been doing, right, but here are some really cool ways to get to know Budapest and having all the fun while doing it! Other than the walking, cycling and boating tours, you can actually do some sightseeing on a segway. Yep, a segway. Not fast enough for you? Then how about a Trabant (the classic car of East Germany) retro tour? Still not exciting enough? Well, would you rather be a bit of a detective and go on a treasure hunt, or on a secret tour through private property and other lesser-known places? Heck, why not do all of them!
When you’re familiar with the surface, it’s time to see what’s hiding underneath Budapest. Caves. It’s caves! And not just any caves: under just one part of the city (the Buda part, to be exact), there are over 200 caves and counting, and in some of them you can go climbing underground walls and crawling through narrow passages – not recommended if you don’t love confined spaces. Don’t worry, though, there are less adventurous but equally amazing and fascinating cave tours – you can even go diving in some of them. How cool does that sound?!
In between all the fun, fun, and mega fun, it can be hard to remember that Budapest has a dark history. It suffered through both WWII and the Hungarian Revolution and if you want to know what it was like during those terror regimes, you need to go to – that’s right – the House of Terror. This museum is a memorial, and here you can see former prison cells and other rooms displaying how people suffered, or the gulag, and show trials. But it’s not all bad: there’s the Resistance room, and you can also go visit Hospital in the Rock, where soldiers and civilians alike were given treatment during the difficulties!
After all the heaviness of the past, let’s mix it up with something more lightweight – and what’s more lightweight than flying through the air, with a miniature but oh-so-detailed model of the city below you? Not a lot, that’s for sure! It starts out with an awesome rush of adrenaline before it turns into a couple of really peaceful moments, with only you, the view, and the wind stroking your face. If you want to you can do a tandem glide, and there’s also skydiving on the aerial menu. The perfect fusion of excitement and serenity!
We do love us a weird museum, and when it’s all about old, to us rather bizarre, medicine, then you’ll know where to find us! In Semmelweis Medical Museum, the childhood home of said Dr Semmelweis, you’ll learn about the work this medical pioneer did on pregnant women, and the Golden Eagle Pharmacy Museum is full of very curious, albeit eerie, pharmaceutical oddities: how about some Ambra Grisea Malac (don’t ask), or some actual mummy powder? If this stuff kind of turns your stomach, you can always check out the Telephone Museum instead.
If you haven’t had enough of eerie and scary yet – and when has anyone? – you can wander around the massive palace offering you amazing views of Buda and Pest, visit the gorgeous Fisherman’s Bastion, and admire the fantastic architecture and beautiful facades. What’s spooky about that, you ask? Maybe it’s not that spooky – in daylight. This, however, is a nocturnal tour, with dark figures leading the way and telling you both exciting and rather sinister stories and legends, is that ghoulish enough? We definitely think so!
This place is not as ghostly as the castle but it sure is as dark – even darker, actually! What they do, is they let you experience what it’s like to be without one of the senses that give us the most information: sight. You will be lead by guides who have lost all or some of their vision on a journey of everyday situations, such as paying for a cup of coffee or crossing the street – even though you can’t use your sight, it’s a very eye-opening experience that will allow you to explore yourself and your other senses. Oh, and there’s blind wining and dining too!
It’s not only caves that hide under the streets of Budapest, but also, believe it or not, hot springs! These springs have made water and bathing an essential part of the city’s culture, and at Szechenyi Baths you can release all your tensions while submerging yourself in the hot water, or why not pamper yourself with a wonderfully relaxing massage? There are large, turquoise pools out in the open air, and also interior ones inside the fantastically beautiful neo-baroque and -renaissance bath palace, decorated with the most amazing aqua motifs. It’s virtually impossible to hold onto any stress or worries in this magical place!
So, what’s the verdict, are we gonna see you in Budapest any time soon? We sure do hope so, but if you don’t manage to catch us, please let us know all about what you did and what your Budapest list of favorites would look like!