Few talk of Budapest as they talk of Rome, Paris or London. Even I wouldn’t have been aware of this city had I not visited it. It feels nice to know of a not-so-famous city that turned out to be so good! Travel to Budapest because it really is an underrated city in Europe. There are so many things to do and see in Budapest that even 5 days were not enough for me!
Budapest:An Unexpectedly Remarkable City
THE WORLD IS FULL OF KIND STRANGERS
On my Ryanair flight from Milan Bergamo airport to Budapest, I had no idea what to expect of Budapest. For starters I was panicked since my ATM and credit card did not work at the Budapest airport. I had no local currency (Forints in this case) and was only carrying some euros. This was also a useful lesson for me to be more prepared during travel. Luckily, a young lady helped me in reaching the city centre without taking any money for the ride.
She herself was taking a flight to Africa but her parents who had come to drop her gave me a ride in their car and also a tram ticket for free!! OMG!! I am now connected with her through Facebook and hope to visit her someday in her home in Africa and/or Romania. Bless her and her parents!
BUDAPEST- THE CITY
Anyhow, once I reached the city and settled in my room, I realized my card worked in the city! I was also pleasantly surprised by what I saw around me. I think the city deserves attention, a lot of attention and you will see the “why…..more people should travel to Budapest!
Not only was Budapest a gem of a city filled with wonderful things to do but is also home to stunning Neoclassical and Gothic architecture. Having been through a lot of destruction during the World War II, Budapest seemed to have fought back to keep itself on the high. It definitely shows the resilience and power of its people.
Budapest is a city divided into parts – Buda and Pest. The former is laid back, residential and quieter while the latter is the “happening” side of the city. As a famous city of Eastern Europe, Budapest is not only a financial centre but also ranked as one of the 7th most livable city of the continent!!
THINGS TO DO IN BUDAPEST:
- Walk around and feel the city. I don’t mean it dramatically but just don’t go with a list. Walk in in its many bookstores, cafes and restaurants and feel the pace of this Eastern European City.
- Drink lots of beer and have goulash (traditional soup) and make sure you see the list of festivals happening around the time of your visit! Read more on what to eat here.
- Visit the Danube river at sunset. It is surreal and Budapest comes alive at night.
By the way, I clicked several pictures from my phone camera and was wondering what the effects would have been if I had had a DSLR. So if you are there, Make sure to take a good camera… There are so many great photo opportunities.
4. Visit the Fisherman’s Bastion on Castle Hill. It has unique monuments and the name itself derives from the fishermen who defended the walls in the Middle Ages. The entire area on Castle Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also houses the Buda Castle, gothic styled Mathhias Church and National Gallery of Hungary. Bus No 16 takes you to the hill or simply take the funicular.
5. Explore the many bookstores and beautiful libraries in the city. If you are a booklover like me, you will thank me later!
6. Take a ride in the historic trams of Budapest that offer a certain vintage charm to the city. Hop on one and enjoy the local vibe!
7. Take a Free Walking Tour and explore the city with a local for free!! Mine ended up at a Ruin Pub in the city and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Make sure that you tip the guide something at the end of the tour.
For those who are traveling in the summer, there are a lot of things to do in Budapest and you can always refer to this post.