Follow These 5 Tips for a Magical Trip to Budapest
Budapest has become one of the hottest European city destinations in recent years! From its enchanting architecture to a pub scene that holds it own against other iconic cities, Budapest has something for everyone.
Just like any beloved destination, it helps to have a few good tips in your pocket before setting off on an adventure. Before kicking off your trip to Budapest, make sure you read these five valuable tips.
- Explore Buda & Pest
The historic Danube River cuts this remarkable city in half and the two sides of Budapest have a distinct character all their own.
Most tourists will stick to the Pest side of town due to its higher number of tourist attractions. You’ll find the Hungarian Parliament Building, Central Market Hall and the Szechenyi Baths just to name a few.
Also, nightcrawlers will have a more entertaining evening strolling through Pest’s vibrant Jewish Quarter. The primary attraction in this historic neighborhood is the ruin bars that have taken the city by storm.
So, those seeking a livelier scene will gravitate towards the Pest side of the Danube. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect the Buda side altogether.
One of the best things Buda has to offer is the breathtaking panoramas of iconic landmarks overlooking the Danube. Climb Castle Hill to reach Buda Castle or visit the Fisherman’s Bastion for two magnificent vantage points.
Besides the views, Buda offers a more relaxed atmosphere than the raging nightlife in Pest. Some time in this half of the city will give you a more personal feel of the city and a better glimpse into the local life.
Bottom line, Buda and Pest are both worth seeing and it would be an injustice to skip either one.
- Purchase a Travel Card
Getting around Budapest by foot is no easy task and you’ll surely utilize the public transportation system at some point during your visit. This may come as a surprise, but the Budapest Metro is the second oldest in the world. In addition to the Metro, there are many trams and buses to scoot around the city.
For the best value, you want to avoid purchasing one-way tickets and stick to the city’s Travel Card. You have 24-hour, 72-hour and 7-day Travel Cards at your disposal. This allows you to hop on the public transport system as much as you want while your card is valid.
Forget about having to wait in line for a ticket, validating it each time or stressing over penalty fees. You can even use your Travel Card when trying to reach the city from the airport.
Check here for the most updated fares
- Cruise the Danube at Night
Budapest is truly at its best once the sun goes down and a river cruise offers majestic views of its stunning architecture. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Parliament Building and other gems glow underneath the stars. Coasting on the Danube gives you a terrific angle to see each beautiful landmark.
There are numerous ways to take in the sights including party boats, wine cruises and filling buffets. Whether you’re in a party mood or wish to have a romantic evening with your partner, you’ll have a memorable experience.
- Hit Up the Money Exchange
If you’re in the middle of a European tour, you can easily sink into the habit of relying on euros to pay for everything. That won’t take you far in Budapest since Hungary has yet to adopt the euro as its standard currency. The local currency is Forints and it may be wise to exchange some euros to avoid any hassles.
You’ll find that not all shops and restaurants accept credit card and visiting an ATM is recommended. Before taking out Forints, ensure the ATM charges a fair exchange rate and minimal fees for each transaction. Also, contact your credit card provider to inquire about any foreign transaction fees.
- Shop Wisely
Budapest is a dream for shoppers due to the extensive number of items available for a quality price. With an infinite number of souvenirs at your fingertips, it can be easy to go overboard and have the head-scratching dilemma of getting all these items back home.
Three fantastic places to begin your shopping spree are Central Market Hall, Memories of Hungary and the Paprika Market.
Central Market Hall is the place to go for delicious produce, local wines and traditional knickknacks. Memories of Hungary boasts multiple locations and Paprika Market holds the title of the biggest souvenir shop in Budapest.
If you need help picking out the best souvenirs in Budapest, we got you covered!
One item that you simply cannot leave without is a Tokaji wine! Hungary is one of the most underrated wine destinations in the world and taking one home is a must.
Another treat that is a Hungarian speciality is paprika and adding some to your personal recipes is sure to spice up your cooking.
Hungarian dolls, porcelain and embroideries are just a handful of the other items you’ll notice when browsing each store.