by Vincent I. Porter
6 Ways Budapest Will Blow You Away
Budapest is, hands down, one of the best cities in Europe. It is a beautiful city, rich with culture and history and (fun fact) did you know the city is actually made up of two different cities- Buda and Pest? They just combined the names together to form what we all now refer to as Budapest. It is also delightfully cheap, meaning you get some serious bang for your buck when you spend here.
Thinking about visiting? Here are some of the ways in which Budapest will blow you away.
1. Szechenyi Baths
Best visited on a hot summer’s day, these baths will undoubtedly be the highlight of your trip. Picture the scene: you’re under the weather after a night of cheap Hungarian beer and you just need to unwind and chill out. Now imagine huge outdoor pools with perfectly heated medicinal water, accompanied by a whole host of indoor pools and saunas at varying temperatures for health purposes. One word of warning, once you’re in, you can’t go out and then come back in again so take lunch with you or you’ll end up forking out for over-priced poolside food.
It’s actually pronounced Gwee-Yash according to a reliable Hungarian source. You’ve probably heard of it but chances are you’ve never experienced real Hungarian goulash. Well now is your chance. It’s a weird but wonderful experience and once you’ve had your first sip, there’s no going back. For those of you that don’t know, goulash is chunks of meat and potato in a delicious broth spiced with paprika. What more could you possibly want? There are loads of places that sell this stuff in Budapest and, of course, it is dirt cheap.
3. The Castle
To get to the castle you’ve either got to take the Funicular train or you can try and burn off some of that heavy Hungarian food you’ve been stuffing yourself with and walk up. The castle itself is gorgeous, but what really blows you away is the view from the top. The castle is in Buda and from the top of the hill you can see the entire of Pest, including the spectacular houses of parliament, the river and the famous chain bridge. It’s worth going up there at night as well when the city is all lit up.
If you’re a fan of heart-stoppingly greasy but mind-blowingly delicious food then Langos is the only Hungarian word you need to learn for your trip. This national staple contains a hideous number of calories but it will be the best thing you eat on your trip. It’s a thick disk of deep-fried dough smothered in a generous layer of sour cream and then sprinkled with grated cheese. Simple yet deeply satisfying.
5. A River Cruise
What better way to enjoy the city than cruising along the Danube Rivers, which separates Buda from Pest? There are dozens of different cruises available, day and night, If you are after something civilised opt for a dinner and wine cruise. If you want debauchery, there are a number of booze cruises to choose from. Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed world class views of Hungary’s finest architecture.
6. The City
Just walk around the city and look at everything. It is free to do and highly enjoyable. The National Museum, the Synagogue and the National Gallery are all incredible on the inside but also pretty beautiful from the outside as well. Once you get in to the touristy centre near the river, things start to get a bit more modern but the city has somehow found the key to modernising without becoming cheap and tacky. Everywhere you turn there is something remarkable – you’d be amazed at how quickly time passes when you’re meandering through the streets of Budapest.