A city filled with beautiful architecture, history and unique cuisine, Budapest (called Boo-Da-Pesht, not Boo-Da-Pest) may seem intimidating to those who have never visited.
Although known to many European travelers, the Hungarian capital is finally starting to catch the eye of the adventurers everywhere. And for good reason! From spas to ruins to delicious local dishes, Budapest is bound to exceed all your expectations.
Here are 10 tips for your first trip to Budapest!
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Visit the Baths
Did you know there are 118 hot springs in Budapest? 118!
This gives you many options to relax. If you're not sure how to choose, start with the largest, most magnificent and most lively Szechenyi Bath-Budapest spa. It is also the first bath in the city, dating from 1913. The Bath Gellert is also a great option if you have more time.
But most importantly, do not forget to pack a swimsuit!
I'm going around
Budapest is a very popular city, but nonetheless, the fun is extremely easy thanks to the metro system. The heart of the subway consists of 4 intersecting lines that take you basically everywhere you want to see.
Using the metro is also extremely cost effective, with a single ticket costing about $ 1.68. You can buy a package of 10 from the station or a newsstand, which costs about $ 1.40 a ticket.
Go to the Ruins bar
A ruin bar is exactly what it sounds like, a pop-up bar in the ruins of an apartment, shop, or terrace in the desolate Jewish Quarter. It's the perfect combination of a pub and a speakeasy. Along with cheap drinks, you will also find art facilities, dance parties and flea markets.
If you feel like you are seeing everything started, head to Szimpla Kert, the first bar that opened in 2001.
Take a Walking Tour
If you want to see the city but don't know where to start, I would recommend getting one hiking the city! Excursions usually take place daily at 10:30 am. and 2:30 pm and depart from Lake Krini in Vorosmarty Square.
You will visit typical sites such as the Gresham Palace and the Chain Bridge, as well as the history of the Jewish population and communism in the country.
Understand the money
Although Hungary is part of the European Union, they have not yet adopted the euro. At present, $ 1 is equivalent to ~ 300 Hungarian Forints (HUG). Be aware that when you make money, their $ 1,000 account equals about $ 3.30.
That prevented me when I was there because I made 50,000 HUFs – but it was actually about $ 160 dollars. Conversion is not an extremely easy way to understand the fly!
Explore Buddha and Pest
The city, together with its name, is divided into two separate halves. The Buddha is submerged on the hills to the west of the Danube, while the Pest stretches to the opposite side. Both are easy to walk on foot, tram or metro.
Back in the day, the Buddha was the traditional home of rights and is still characterized by the castle. Pest, on the other hand, was a commercial hub.
Try the local dishes
My advice is to get hungry in Hungary!
Hungarian food may seem intimidating at first, but once you have your first goulash meal (beef, potatoes and vegetables), there is a good chance you will fall in love. I got to try some of the most delicious treats from one Budapest winter market
Other famous dishes include the fisherman soup also known as Halaszle (paprika-based fish tavern) and csirke paprikash (simmering chicken in paprika sauce and sour cream).
One of the best ways to try your way around the city is by participating in a food tour!
My recommendation: Make a trip to the New York Café! While it's more for hot drinks and small tweaks, the interior was absolutely gorgeous!
Fun event: In the early 20th century, it was the most favorite coffee in all of Budapest!
Visit Vintage Stores
Hitting up to vintage shops in Budapest may not be for many drivers, but it's worth checking out the select boutiques throughout the city. Just be sure to save space on your suitcase for your funky finds!
Inversion is common
Unlike other parts of Europe, it is advisable to consult your server at least 10% when in a living room. Many restaurants include a 12.5% service charge or "szervidij" which counts as a tip to make sure you check the account before you leave.
On more occasions, there may be a jar edge or you can round up to the nearest forint bill name when paying for the server.
Many places close on Sunday
Many restaurants are closed on Sundays, so make sure you check the hours before you start your trip to get a bite. If it is a restaurant with good food, it is likely to close on Mondays.
Bonus: Get to History
Hungary is a country full of history and there are many monuments and works of art to commemorate those who died during the Holocaust and under Nazi and Soviet rule. Take some time to reflect on the artwork, history and people.
Budapest is becoming increasingly popular with European travelers and backpackers. The lively city is full of beautiful parks, incredible architecture, hip bars and food that will let you relax with your pants.
Oh, and if you're there in December – you don't want to miss Christmas shopping! Are you planning a trip to Budapest soon or have you already found one? Let us know in the comments below!
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