Budapest is a city which has plenty to offer; beautiful scenery, a great night life, and brilliant weather, to name a few. And that is just a few. I was only visiting for a long weekend, so didn’t get chance to soak up as much of the city as I would have ideally liked, however the trip was for a stag weekend so I can comment quite well on the nightlife side of things.
Going straight through the city of Budapest is the River Danube, which is the 2nd longest river in the EU, stretching from Germany through Austria (Including Vienna), Slovakia (Including Bratislava), Hungary, Croatia, Serbia (Including Belgrade), Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania.
The river itself actually contributes quite heavily to the cities name of Budapest. 1 side of the river is called Buda, and the other side of the river is called Pest. Over time the 2 were referred to as Buda-Pest, or Pest-Buda, and eventually in the 19th century they were officially brought together as Budapest.
There are plenty of bridges which join the 2 sides of the river Danube, so whilst I waited for the others to arrive, I went on a solo 1st night excursion around the city. Crossing the Petőfi Bridge at the south, which is a rather nondescript bridge itself, gives amazing views looking north up the Danube and towards the Statue of Liberty on top of Gellert Hill. When visiting Budapest, I would highly recommend crossing this bridge for the views, specifically at dusk.
A more aesthetically pleasing bridge is Liberty Bridge, which is the next bridge up from Petőfi Bridge. It is a grand green bridge from the late 19th century, and truly looks spectacular. As it is the next bridge up from Petőfi Bridge, it makes for an easy walk in a square if you’re not wanting to travel too far.
Heroes’ Square & Thermal Bath
A grand square located on the edge of Szechenyi park, which plays home to Vajdahunyad Castle, and some Thermal Baths, Heroes’ Square is a location which is not to be missed. It is location to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and plays a major role in many events in Budapest.
There is plenty to see in the park next to Heroes’ Square, and you could easily spend an entire morning there, and then when you have had enough of the park head into the Thermal Baths! Which is exactly what we did.
The single photo I took (I know, I know) really doesn’t do it justice. Sat in a bath of water in the high 20s whilst the sun is shining down in the mid 30s is an amazingly relaxing experience. In no way is it uncomfortable, as you might expect. However if it does start to become uncomfortable, then you can head inside to find a slightly cooler pool out of the sun. If you were feeling anything but relaxed on entering these baths, then that will all have changed by the time you leave.
Statue of Liberty
Budapest features its very own Statue of Liberty, located on top of Gellert Hill. It’s a little bit of a hike to the top, maybe around 20 minutes, and it can be rather tiring if you’re
hungover not used to walking up hills, especially in the sun, however it is absolutely worth it. The views from the top are amazing, looking out over the Danube and across the city, you wont be disappointed, even if you are a little out of breath.
The Statue of Liberty, dating back to 1947 is in “remembrance of the Soviet liberation of Hungary from Nazi forces during WW2“, and is situated next to a 19th century fortress, The Citadel. So aside from the views, there is a little bit of history to be had at the end of you’re climb. And if that doesn’t do it for you, then at least the journey down is substantially easier than the journey up.
I only spent 3 nights in Budapest, and as mentioned previously it was for a stag party, so unfortunately I didn’t get to see as much of the city as I would have done if it was for a city break. However I got a taster for the city, and is somewhere I will definitely return to, to explore some more.
There is plenty to see and do in Budapest, which if you were going for a trip to see & enjoy the city to its fullest then you should be able to achieve everything you want to in 4 days. If you’re heading there for a short trip, and are only taking hand luggage then check out my packing list.
Have you been to Budapest? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.