Often referred to as the Paris of Eastern Europe, Budapest is an enchanting land that offers sights and experiences quite different from other European cities. It is also among the best-value cities to travel to in Europe, making it the perfect destination for your next holiday. Be it historical landmarks, natural splendor, architectural wonders, shopping options, unique food and wine, or its ubiquitous spa baths—a Budapest city break spells experiences that are a far cry from the usual ones. After all, it isn’t for nothing that Budapest has been named as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
To encompass everything that Budapest has to offer in a single holiday is almost impossible as there are simply too many wonderful places and activities in the city. However, it does not mean that you can only experience the beauty of the Hungarian capital if you have at least a month-long vacation. However, when on a shorter break, you have to prioritize the things that you can accommodate in your schedule. But if you plan smart, there’s no need to compromise on getting an authentic experience of any city. Here are some of the must-visit places and things to do in order to maximize your Budapest city break experience.
There can be no comprehensive list of things to do in Budapest that does not include one of its famous spa baths. After all, it isn’t called the ‘City of Baths’ for nothing. With abundant thermal springs, Budapest has a bath culture dating back to the times of the Romans. For the locals, it is a way of social interaction as well as using the medicinal waters for healing purposes and for relaxing massages and beauty treatments. You cannot return from a Budapest city break without visiting one of these spa baths to experience the luxury of Turkish culture. There are a many options to choose from, some of which are the traditional Rudas Baths with the bathing pool under an ancient Turkish dome, the Lukács Baths that is strewn with marble tablets expressing gratitude for the healing properties, the Király Baths that is placed under a traditional octagonal roof, or the more modern Széchenyi Baths that boast 18 pools. Whatever you pick, this will be one of your most memorable experiences from your Budapest city break.
The first bridge to permanently connect the historical hilly Buda area to the more modern and vibrant Pest in 1849, this iconic bridge over the Danube River is a must-visit attraction on a Budapest city break. Although a stroll on the bridge might be a short one, the bridge holds an interesting history, making it a well-known attraction in the city. In addition, you can take in spectacular views from this suspension bridge, which is adorned with magnificent stone lions at each abutment. For an even better experience, visit the bridge in the evening to view the structure in all its well-lit glory.
A boat ride on the Danube is another must-do thing while you are on your Budapest city break. View this beautiful city from the waters and take in the panoramic vistas of both the Buda and Pest areas. There are numerous sightseeing cruises available that cover the attractions located along the river banks, and also include a walk on Margaret Island, a beautiful recreational area in the middle of the river. For a truly unforgettable experience, we recommend going for one of the evening cruises that paint a beautiful picture of the lights from the buildings twinkling on the dark waters of the river as you float by. These cruises also offer romantic dinners and a chance to dance under the stars, giving you the perfect opportunity to rekindle your romance during your Budapest city break.
Displaying magnificent Neo-Gothic architecture with hints of Renaissance and Baroque characters as well, the Parliament of Hungary is the third largest Parliament building in the world, and is over 100 years old. This is one of the best places to visit to witness the famed architecture and history that defines the city of Budapest. The Hungarian Parliament building sits majestic on the banks of the Danube River, and has guided tours available when the National Assembly is not in session. The highlights of these tours include the Hungarian Crown Jewels and the old House of Lords.
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