Budapest is just a 3 hour train ride apart from my hometown Vienna. As I just went there for the second time, I already saw quite a lot there. Here are my favourite things to do in Budapest!
#1 Go for a ride at the Budapest eye
I have to admit, the first time I went to Budapest I didn’t even see the Ferris wheel standing in the centre of the city. This time, we randomly ran into it and instantly decided to go on a ride.
We went at about 6 p.m. and could take a glance at the inner city during the golden hour. However, I expected to have a much broader view than we had. You can’t see the Danube from above, but it still offers some great views of the city centre.
Also, there is not much of a queue in front of it during the day and sunset times. At night there were quite some people, but it also wasn’t that much of a crowd.
#2 Try some vegan food
One thing I did not expect from Budapest is that they have a vast variety of vegan restaurants there.
They even have an area full of vegan food trucks called “Vegan Garden”. There you can grab your favourite vegan fast food and sit down in a super friendly atmosphere.
Even if you’re not on a plant-based diet, I’d recommend visiting this place once, it’s inviting, and everyone is kind.
By the way, if you want to know more about the Vegan Garden, make sure to check out the best places to eat in Budapest!
#3 Visit Fisherman’s Bastion during sunrise
Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the most famous sights in Budapest. However, it’s also one of the most crowded ones. Everyone who gets there tries to take a picture of the beautiful view or the famous little towers.
The place was so full of people that we left about 5 minutes after we got there because we couldn’t enjoy it at all. We decided to come back during sunrise and went there shortly before 6 a.m. the next day. (PS: 6 a.m. is a little late for the sunrise, I’d recommend being there at five if you want to see the whole sunrise)
Against our expectations, there were quite a few people who had the same idea. Most of them were photographers who did a photo shoot. The sunrise was stunning. Furthermore, we didn’t feel weird taking a lot of pictures at all as most of the people there were taking pictures, too.
#4 Walk from Buda to Pest (or vice versa)
As you may know, Budapest is a city split by the Danube River. One part was once “Buda”, and the other one was “Pest”. The bridges leading from one part to the other are also a famous sight. It’s totally worth walking across them as they are really overwhelming and provide beautiful views of the city.
I’d especially recommend walking along “Széchenyi Chain Bridge” (The oldest bridge connecting Buda and Pest) during the sunset or nighttime, as the lights will be turned on.
Also: Buda is more famous for the old-town, the Buda Castle and the fisherman’s bastion. Pest offers a lot of cool restaurants, the Budapest eye, the Parliament building and some cool places to have a drink.
#5 Visit the worlds most beautiful café
Honestly, we went short on money and time, so we didn’t do this one, but I still decided to tell you about it. The “New York Palace Café” in Budapest was elected the most beautiful café in the world.
It has golden interior, and all in all, looks pretty ostentatious. However, the prices do fit the location. You can get brunch for about 29€ and a 24-carat coffee for almost 10€. In the end, it wasn’t worth it for us (Mainly because we do have a lot of old cafés in Vienna).
However, if I’d go there someday, I’d probably get the afternoon tea as the pricing of this one isn’t that over the top and it looks quite good.
#6 Visit a ruin bar
Ruin pubs are very trendy in Budapest. You can find a lot of them on the “Pest” side of the city in the Jewish district. We didn’t manage to visit a lot, but one I constantly heard about was Szimpla Kert.
However, another one that combines ruin pubs and also fits the Jewish district is Mazel Tov. Mazel Tov offers middle eastern dishes, in a perfect urban garden atmosphere. We had some Shawarma, Babaganoush and a Falafel pita. All of the food was enough and tasted good. They also offer a cookbook filled with middle eastern recipes.
As Mazel Tov works as a restaurant as well as a bar, the place is really crowded in the evening, and there may be a queue to get in.
By the way, if you want to know more about Mazel Tov, make sure to check out the best places to eat in Budapest!
#7 Take some pictures at the museum of Sweets & Selfies
Photo spots like this one are prominent in the USA or Asia. The “Museum of Sweets and Selfies” in Budapest is the first of this kind in Europe. You have different rooms which are all unique in their own way.
The whole museum is just designed as a photo location. You can find a sprinkles pool, a wall full of bananas or a unicorn to sit on (it’s all pretty over the top and cheesy and seems like a colossal playground).
However, it’s quite a lot of fun to visit, and you can find a few backdrops for some nice portraits.
#8 Visit the Parliament
The Parliament is (in my opinion) one of the most breathtaking buildings ever. It’s the largest building in Hungary and when you look at it from below it is completely overwhelming.
The architectural style is a mixture of Victorian Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture. We didn’t go in, but I loved watching it from up close and the whole building from the other side of the Danube.
If you plan to go inside the Parliament, make sure to book your tour in advance, as they are often sold out.
#9 Get in the tram and enjoy the views
Budapest is full of its yellow trams. If you want to get a first glimpse of the city, or just get around fast, I’d definitely recommend buying a ticket. You need to buy the ticket beforehand, but ticket vending machines can be found on the bus and tram stops.
Tram number 2 is considered one of the most beautiful lines to get on and explore the city centre a little. The tram also makes it faster to get from one side of the Danube to the other, as it also crosses Liberty Bridge (which btw looks stunning).
#10 Go vintage / second hand shopping
Budapest has a lot of cool Vintage and second-hand places. Some of the second-hand stores also offer products that were designed locally, as Budapest is really famous for its designers.
We went to two places, but there are a lot more. The first place we went to was Humana Vintage. It can be found on one of the main streets in the city and offers all kinds of nice and cheap second-hand clothing.
Furthermore, everything was 50% off the day we went there, so it was even cheaper. Humana is a chain focusing on development aid in other countries. There are quite a lot of them in Europe, but the “Humana Vintage” one in Budapest was my favourite so far.
Another Second-Hand / Vintage and designer shop we went to was “Retrock Designer Vintage store”. They had some clothing by local designers, some new ones from foreign countries and second-hand clothing.
The interior of the store looked super nice. All the findings were hand-picked and a little more on the fancy side. So, if you don’t like searching through a lot of clothing for the perfect piece, you should definitely stop by.
Thanks for reading and see you on Thursday for some Food Adventures in Budapest!