City trip to Budapest
Looking for a nice cheap city trip in Europe? Then I can highly recommend Budapest. You’ll be there in 2 hours of flying. In my blog: “The Queen of the Danube” you get practical tips on the preparation and transport in Budapest. In this extensive blog you can read about fun cultural places and hotspots where you can eat and drink.
Discover nice places in Budapest
Once you arrive in Budapest, you want to immerse yourself in the culture. We’re not the only one. It is busy with people who want to get a spot on bus 100E, which runs directly to the city centre. Within 1 hour we arrived in the heart of the city centre, at De
ák Ferenc.We stay at the ARCadia Hotel Budapest and that is 5 minutes away. First we’re going to freshen up first, and then we’re going to explore the city.
5x Great-to-see & 5x Great-to-taste= 10x enjoy
I’ve become totally excited about Budapest. Lots of historic buildings, great views, good food, cheap and good accessibility. During our 4-day city trip, we’ve seen all the famous places. Many people opt for a travelcard, but this doesn’t always have to be beneficial. Only if you really use public transport a lot. The ferry and cable tram are not included in the travelcard. Furthermore, all well-known buildings are centrally located along the Danube and are easily accessible on foot. That’s why we went for a walk and so you suddenly come up with hidden beautiful places.
I like to take you ina cultural tasting of well-known and lesser-known locations. When you’re on the road, you often get hungry. And if you get hungry, how nice it is to spot nice eateries along your itinerary! Below is a selection of cultural highlights with tasty food and drink locations in the same neighborhood, which you don’t want to miss.
This journey of discovery also includes insider tips and fun facts from the past and now.
Museum Hospital in the rock
Curious and triggered by the unknown, we walked off the beaten path in a side street of the Vissersbastion. When I saw a signage board from ‘Hospital in the rock’. In fact, I like to discover hidden locations in addition to the well-known highlights. Now I love old buildings myself, to tell a story about this with my photos. So it was triggered right away. Do you recognize that, too? Under the Castle Hill of Boeda, a cave system is hidden. During World War II, it served as a shelter, but was set up as a secret military hospital in 1944. The hospital also has a Dutch touch, because there was a Dutch volunteer here, Anna Boom, who wrote a book about it. The secret hospital later served once more during the Hungarian Uprising in 1956.
In case of emergency, a nuclear bunker was built. This well kept secret has been broken for a while and has been serving as a museum since 2002. The interior has remained authentic and you can only do an organized tour here. A must for those who love history and really want to get to know Budapest authentic.
Address: Lovas útca 4/c, Budapes
If you walk up from ‘Hospital in the rock’ with the wooden staircase between the tourist and folklore shops towards the Vissersbastion. You will pass Budapest’s oldest 1827 patisserie. You can’t miss this coffee house with its green striking façade. Wow, a true treat for your taste buds is this! The Szamos Likör szelet is delightful. This is a typical Hungarian pastry with Hungarian marzipan liqueur. You get a free water to steal the sweet taste and not drop your teeth haha.
Aren’t you sweet-toothed? They also serve Hungarian scones and you can also order coffee, tea or soft drinks. We even saw people ordering beer, something you don’t expect. It also seems to be the smallest coffee house. Outside is a small terrace and if you walk past the display case, you will find in the back of a seating area. Literally taste the atmosphere of Hungary in the 19th century. The service is extremely friendly and they still know what hospitality is here.
Address: Szentháromság útca
Fisherman’s bastion and matthias church
This is the most visited attraction of Budapest. A must-see that you shouldn’t skip during your trip. For me with dot at number 1, the most beautiful structure in town. The bastion was built between 1895 and 1902 and is also located on the Castle Hill in the Burcht district, the old town heart of Boeda. The Boeda side of the castle wall was protected by the fisherman’s guild, hence the name Vissersbastion. The fisherman’s guild was responsible for defending this part in the Middle Ages.
In the middle of the square there is a beautiful historic building: Matthiaskerk. A great-to-do to visit the church and also the tower. You are not allowed to take pictures within the service every Sunday until 13:00. The church is a striking appearance with its colored roof tiles.
Find your special roof tiles for Your house? These are roof tiles are for sale. A very original souvenir, that make You don’t come with me very often. Only in your suitcase will that be too heavy haha.
Furthermore, the structure is part of 7 towers, which are represented by the 7 tribes of Maygar Posta (as Hungary used to be called). This beautiful location has not gone unnoticed by the music business. At this location is the music video clip of Ellie Goulding feat. DJ Diplo with Close to me recorded.
We went to Budapest at the beginning of March, just before the tourist opening hours and prices. If you don’t depend on school holidays, I would recommend this time and early October as the best travel time. It is less crowded and outside the high season you can visit the watchtower for free. In terms of views you see the same as downstairs, so it’s more for the experience to look it up a little higher.
You can enjoy views to parliament building, Danube, Margit Island and Gellértheuvel. You want to avoid the mass of people? Then I would recommend you to come here before 8:30 am and maybe before 08:00 in the summer. Early on you can see the coaches arriving with hordes of tourists. A must-do is also to visit this structure in the evening glory. You want to take beautiful pictures? Then the blue hour is beautiful. Because the structure is white, the contrast is magnificent.
Address: Donáti útca tér (from Pest bus 16, stop for Vissersbastion) or Szentháromsag tér (stop at the top of Matthiaskerk)
Restaurant 21 Maygar Vendéglö
We’ve been hungry for a day to explore Boeda. In Budapest, you don’t have to be afraid there’s no restaurant nearby. In the gastronomic quarter of the Castle district you will definitely get your way. There are 5 restaurants in this group: Baltazár (grill & winebar), Pierrot (French cuisine), Pest Buda (old Hungarian cuisine), Jamie’s (Oliver, Italian cuisine) and 21. We went to restaurant 21 dinner.
This Hungarian hip restaurant serves typical Hungarian cuisine in a modern 21st century jacket. I would highly recommend this hotel. Atmosphere, hospitality, good food and drink is top here. You can find this hotspot in a side street behind the Fisherman’s Bastion.
When I’m in another country, I always want to taste the local cuisine, because that’s how you literally really taste the country. I like nice and extensive food and the food is in Budapest spot cheap. Even in more luxurious restaurants you are cheaper out than in the Netherlands. This only motivates you to try out all kinds of food and drink. Very annoying ;-). And if you’re going to eat out in Budapest, of course you take Hungarian Goulash. After having eaten this, I order at 21: Csirkepaprikás vajas gal. This is Hungarian chicken with the special Hungarian paprika powder prepared, which is also used for Goulash, with a kind of stuffed dough rolls (also called dumplings). Delicious dish. This restaurant is also suitable for vegetarians.
As typical Hungarian wine I chose Tokaji. Wow, I didn’t know the wine here is so good too! Right in front of home. The wine has a dry (often Furmint on label) and sweet dessert wine variant (the strength is indicated with puttonyos). This wine is from the Tokaj Hegyalja wine region and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What makes it very special is that this wine region is the oldest in Europe. Even 100 years older than the famous Bordeaux wine from France. At the time, many kings and popes were customers of this Hungarian wine region. Later, communism destroyed production by producing more wine than going for real quality. At the moment the quality is good again and I have certainly tasted that. With a well-stocked stomach we take bus 16 back to Pest.
Address: Fortuna útca 21, Budapest (bus 16, stop Szentháromsag tér)
Climb the Gellért hill & visit the cave church
Do you want to see Budapest at a glance? Then the Gellértheuvel is the place-to-be! What a super panoramic view. Here you can find the skyline of the town parts Boeda and see Plague. This location is located in Boeda, south of the Castle District. The hill is 235 meters and with it literally the highlight of Budapest.
Since 1987 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is named after Bishop Gellért Sagredo. His statue is heading towards the Burcht district. On top of the hill is the statue of liberty.
You can climb the mountain in different ways. The easiest way to get the closest to the top is bus 27 to grab and get off at bus stop Busulo Juhasz (Citadel). Here you can walk 600 meters to the top.
We went for the adventure and took the climb from the cave church to above the slopes in the park and stairs up. A big challenge for Your condition, but if you’re healthy, this is fine to do. The nice thing about this is that you also have views at different heights, which are super to to enjoy and rest in between. I would definitely have a water bottle and something to eat. We took 30 minutes to get from the cave church to the citadel with the statue of liberty quiet to walk. Wow, you’re really going to be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views!
With small children or with buggy, the climb may be too heavy and not too then with the steps. An alternative to children is the playground, which lies between the cave church and the citadel in and on the route to the Top. Here are several slides and climbing possibilities. It is not too lack the children’s sounds.
This natural cave church from 1926 originated in a dolomie pride under the southern slope of gellért hill and still provides services. You can’t go in during the services. The cave church is closed on Sundays. The entrance is with audio tour and is 600 HUF (€1.84) and students and seniors receive a 100 HUF discount and for children under 10 years of age admission is free of charge. It is a small church and through a narrow corridor you pass the main altar, pulpit and a reproduction of the black madonna. It’s not big and within 15 minutes you’ll be out again. If you’re around, I’d definitely go in. The cave church is interesting to see and in combination with the Gellért hill and all its monuments, this visit to the cave church completes the round.
Address: Sziklatemplom útca 1, Budapest (at Vrijheidsbrug, opposite the Gellért hotel with bath)
Grand Market Hall
The Grote Markthal, is located on the Pest side in the Jewish quarter. A great-to-do & taste location to visit. It is recommended to visit this market hall early and store some food and drinks on the go. Nice combination with the Gellértheuvel. This is about a 10-minute walk via the Freedom Bridge to the cave church. In 2006, CNN Travel declared europe’s most beautiful market hall. The market hall is from 1897, formerly there was another channel where market traders came in. In the mid-1990s, the market hall was renovated and the canal was removed. Nowadays you can run errands every day from 06:00, except not on Sundays.
Tip: First walk past all stalls and let all the smells and colors come at you before you buy something. Downstairs fresh vegetables, fruits, spices, sweets and drinks are sold and on the first floor you will mainly find souvenir shops and eateries. It is said that because of the high price you should not buy your souvenirs, but food and drink products do.
It is a beautiful building, which is based on the same style as the Matthias Church. I noticed that right away from the colored roof tiles. Once inside you have all kinds of stalls with food and drinks on either side. My eye fell on the chocolate stall, which is reasonably close to the entrance. Mmm all kinds of flavors of chocolate are for sale here and I could obviously not resist the temptation to buy some of it, jammie jammie.
Do you want to strike for traditional Hungarian paprika powder for in the goulash? Then I recommend buying it here just like the Hungarians.
Address: Vámáz Krt, 103, Budapest (Tram lines 47 and 48 and metro M3, stop Fóvám Tér
Budapest Great Synagogue
This is the largest synagogue in Europe and after New York the second largest in the world.
A great-to-see that impresses and even if you’re not a believer, don’t miss it! The synagogue is closed on Saturdays and Sunday morning there is service. Admission is free and for the museum you pay 4000 HUF (€ 12,00). The structure is already beautiful and large from the outside. In the narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter, the two large domes are located on towers of 43.6 meters, which form the entrance. The synagogue was built in Moorish architecture between 1854-1859 and has no less than 3,000 seats.
Memorial Temple and Garden of The Righteous
After entering I was the first to visit the monuments around the synagogue. Next to the synagogue lies the memorial to the 10,000 Hungarian soldiers, who fought during World War I. If you walk through you you will come into the memorial garden, where thousands of Jews are crammed together under inhumane conditions. That’s why you get goosebumps when you walk through this and read the stories. Further in the garden you will be the first to see a tree of silver, a mourning willow that has 5,000 leaves of names of Holocaust victims. The tree originated in memory of Raoul Wallenberg, who rescued 35,000 Jews from the camps during World War II.
Once inside the synagogue is the décor, a very beautiful architectural highlight. In space you can see warm golden yellow, orange-red colours with browned wooden benches on either side. The beautiful arches, mosaic floors, frescoes, ornaments and a high ceiling with large chandeliers, provide depth. In the synagogue you can see many tours with guides in up to 10 different languages.
A funny fact is that the synagogue was restored in 1996, thanks to large investments by the luxury cosmetics company Estée Lauder. The ancestors of the Director are Hungarian and Jewish. A second investment came from the film fund by Tony Curtis, who is also of Hungarian descent. Due to the renovation, the Interior in Byzantine Style and equipped with two new Chandeliers.
Jewish Historical Museum
The museum is located next to the synagogue and you’re going to have a number of stairs Up. Here you come into contact with the history of Judaism. At entry you can see all religious objects from the 18th and 19th Century. There is also a memorial room to the Holocaust.
Address: Dohány útca 2, Budapest (metro M2, tram 47 and 49, bus 7 and
Shoes on the Danube Quay
On the Pest side
danube between the chain bridge and diagonally opposite Parliament you will find
6o shoes of 40 meters long, which also form a memorial. Times
World War II, about 800 Jews were shot on the edge of the
The Jews were forced to take off shoes and go on the edge stand with their face to the waterfront. In 2005, for this reason, a monument was placed to commemorate the victims. Very impressive to see.
New York café
After your visit to the synagogue, would you like to eat and drink on a special great location? Then the most beautiful café in the world, as they call it, a great-to-see & taste in one. It’s definitely not cheap, not even for Hungarian concepts, but you get a super experience + great food and drink for back. A cup of coffee starts from € 5,00. The service costs Add to this in your account.
If you walk out of the street of the synagogue, you’ll come after approx. 1 km at this beautiful hotel with the New York café. The New York Palace hotel was built in the Eclectic Italian Renaissance style in 1894. The entrance to the café is on the corner side and the entrance of the hotel in front. We were there at the beginning of March and could go straight in without reservation. In high season it is useful to book in advance.
Furnishing and atmosphere
Actually, café is not the right word, because it has the grandeur of a palace when you’re inside and it’s also an event location. You really feel like a princess here. Everything here is gold and shines with beautiful frescoes and gold ornaments with chandeliers on the ceiling. It is decorated in Art-deco style with lots of kitsch. It’s like a museum, a real attraction. I’d definitely go for a walk if you got in. Personally, I didn’t feel a stiff atmosphere under the service.
Upon entering we were escorted to a table. In the left wing The café is all tables and chairs. A floor higher in the another wing plays a pianist, which brings with it a relaxed atmosphere.
In the back of the café is a space that can also be rented for events. After having a delicious hot chocolate with a chocolate banana dessert, We were able to handle it again.
Address: Erzsébet Kőrút 9-11, Budapes
Shopping, ruin bars and food courts
Although Budapest is known for its beautiful structures and bath culture, You can also shop here. Shopping is not missing during a city trip. During The shopping you also sat nice streets with beautiful facades and in between nice hospitality.
Shopping in Fashion Street and Váci utca
Shop lovers pay attention! I especially recommend an afternoon in the Jewish quarter. In the Jewish quarter of Pest you will find the most famous shops in the city. Boeda has one covered shopping centre, but there is little else to be found here. From Deák Ferenc you walk towards the Danube, so on the Fashion Street. Here you will find all types of fashion stores, but also glasses, bags and shoe shops. In the side street you will find the car-free shopping street Váci utca, which runs parallel to the Danube until the Markthal. Here you can also see common retail chains that you see everywhere such as the H&M, Zara etc., as well as souvenir shops and other diverse offerings such as jewelry and home shops.
1000 Tea (1000)
While shopping I suddenly ran into a nice tea hotspot! That came out well, then the feet can rest from strolling haha. This tea house is called 1000 Tea and is in the last part of Váci utca at no. 65 and you’ll walk right past it. It is hidden in a small alley in a quiet place. It is traditionally decorated with rugs and tables with stools. Take a moment, as you can choose from 50 different types of loose tea, which is served on a wooden tray in a traditional teapot. Websi
Shopping in luxury on the Andrássy Boulevard
Do you like luxury? Then go to Andrássy Boulevard. This is budapest’s Rodeo Drive. Below is the first metro of the European mainland built. Since 2002, this long avenue with trees of 3.3 km long has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This avenue starts at Deák Ferenc and ends at the Heldenplein. Behind it you have the beautiful Vajdahunyád castle and famous Széchenyibad. There are also a host of restaurants, theatres and ruin bars. About the latter I make a nice bridge to the next subject.
Ruin bars: Szimpla Kert
If you want to have a drink and taste culture in a relaxed place, you really have to discover the ruin bars in the Jewish quarter! The most famous ruin bar is Szimpla Kert. Kert means garden.
In 2002 this first ruin bar was opened and here you can visit here both in the afternoon and evening. During the day there is an open air cinema and on Sunday there is a farmers’ market. Szimpla promotes their food and drink here and local non-profit organization can promote their funds with activities here. You can also go to a free concert three times a week.
The ruin bars are created by old abandoned buildings and find a new Life. Szimpla Kert is the oldest and largest is Instant. It looks grungy and scary, but it’s a Become a Hungarian lifestyle. You really have to go in and with your own eyes.
Szimpla, New New 901 Kert is very large and inside you have different spaces on different floors and a melting pot of old interior. There is a cocktail bar, wine bar, beer and soft drinks, snack bar, shisha lounge and a shop with merchandise. All drinks are very cheap, far below the euro prices, as we in the rest of Europe.
Address: Kazinczy útca 14, Budapes
Food court: Gozsdu Udvar
Right behind our hotel is this foodcourt and it runs parallel to Szimpla Kert. Like this place, this is the heart of Boeda’s nightlife and focused on youth. This food court is less well known. It is a street with all kinds of eateries with various kitchens and entertainment such as karaoke bars. On Saturdays and Sundays you will find during the day mark stalls with vintage (2nd and 3rd hands) products.
Address: Gozsdu Udv
Budapest is such a nice city, which there is so much more to say about, but otherwise you will keep scrolling. You really have to experience it yourself!
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