8 Things To Do in Budapest

I have mentioned this multiple times before (and maybe a bit excessively) but I think that Budapest is one of the best cities in all of Europe! Seriously…the history, the food, the coffee, the architecture, the thermal baths, the politics. Everything about the city fascinates me so much! I was lucky enough to go back over Easter weekend and continued to fall in love with the city.

Here are some of my favorite things in Budapest that you must NOT MISS on your next visit there!

1 // Stroll around Liberty Square

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerProbably the most historically and architecturally interesting square in all of Budapest, Liberty Square houses the U.S. Embassy (it is an amazing building!) and the controversial Holocaust memorial. It is a wonderful place to just walk around on a warm day. I went there Easter Day and everyone was taking afternoon strolls.

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerThere are huge protests surrounding the Holocaust Memorial erected last year. Besides architectural debates (the German eagle going towards the Angel Gabriel, for example), Hungarians are angry that this memorial is specifically focused on the German occupation and brutality towards Hungarian Jews instead of what the Hungarian government did to their own people. In fact, Hungary was the first country to have anti-Semitic laws in the early 1900s! Protests still happen here daily and the police are always present.

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Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerI try to stay non-political on this blog (in fact, I’m in the process of making a political blog with no affiliation to Beer Time With Wagner), but I couldn’t resist :) Hungarians absolutely LOVE Ronald Reagan because of his work to promote freedom and democracy throughout the region. And now you all know my political affiliation ;) please still love me?

2 // Admire the Parliament Building + Side Streets

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerRight down the street from Liberty Square is the Hungarian Parliament, probably one of the most stunning governmental buildings I have ever seen. While there, take some time to walk around the side streets. They are lined with gorgeous architecture that dates back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner3 // Soak in Buda Castle + Fisherman’s Bastion

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerA trip to Budapest is not complete without going to Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. Fun fact: Fisherman’s Bastion was actually the pit stop in one of the earlier Amazing Race seasons (yes, I’m a dork and love that show). Not only is Buda breathtaking but the views are the best in all the city!

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerSeriously though, how does the view get better than this?! Budapest has me swooning at every. single. corner. (and view!)

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner4 // Drink lots of COFFEE!

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerConsidering my coffee addiction, I’m still having dreams about the coffee from Espresso Embassy and my yummy latte. Espresso Embassy is located a few blocks away from the U.S. Embassy so it is probably a good thing I don’t work in that Embassy. I’d be there at least a few times a day. I went there like 5 times in 3 days…so they knew me by the end of the weekend. Also, I realize this cup is from a different coffee place in Budapest (still good but not as good as Espresso Embassy) but the quote is just so applicable to me.

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner5 // Roam through the Jewish Quarter

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerOne of the most vibrant (and young) neighborhoods in Budapest, I’d highly recommend staying in that area while there. I stayed at an amazing Airbnb owned by a professor originally from the USA. He had a Seder at his house and invited me over for Passover. How sweet is that? Also, he knew I was Christian and it was Easter weekend so he bought me a bunch of chocolate eggs and bunnies. Seriously, the nicest ever!

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This neighborhood is vibrant with lots of cool bars, restaurants, and food trucks. Definitely the place you want to be on a Friday or Saturday night!

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner“A” is for Awesome (aka ME! haha)

6 // Relax at the Thermal Baths

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerThe thermal baths in Budapest are some of the best. I can easily spend all day at them! I really enjoy the quaintness and location of Gellert although Szechenyi is much bigger (which means more pools) and tends to be the more popular option!

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner7 // Enjoy the endless Restaurants + Cafes

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerThe food culture here is insane and the cafes are even better. I’ve mentioned it above with my coffee section, but really, you must try to enjoy as many cafes and restaurants as possible while in Budapest! And how adorable is the man above? He sat writing in his journal for over an hour!

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner8 // Walk the banks of the Danube River

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerOne of the most beautiful, yet tragic parts in all of Budapest. The Danube River gives gorgeous views of the entire city from both banks. However, this was also the site of a Jewish massacre by Hungarian fascists during World War II. Jews were asked to take off their shoes, lined up on the banks of the Danube River, and shot from behind so their bodies would fall into the river. The only thing left behind were their shoes.

Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With Wagner
Budapest To Do via Wayfaring With WagnerQuick Recap of the 8 things you MUST do in Budapest!

1 // Stroll around Liberty Square
2 // Admire the Parliament Building + Side Streets
3 // Soak in Buda Castle + Fisherman’s Bastion
4 // Drink LOTS of Coffee!
5 // Roam through the Jewish Quarter
6 // Relax at the Thermal Baths
7 // Enjoy the endless Restaurants + Cafes
8 // Walk the banks of the Danube River

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Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

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  • Wow, beautiful photos! My best friend went to Budapest a few years ago and raved about it as well. I’ll have to see it for myself one day! :) I had no idea about the Jewish Massacre alongside the Danube. Are those the actual shoes of those who were murdered? Such devastating history :(

    Glad I found you through Travel Tuesday!

    • Thanks so much for stopping by! The shoes are actually brass replicas cemented to the ground. Still really moving and touching though.

    • Ahhhh, Prague is such a great choice as well! How long with you be there? Definitely put Budapest on your list for next time :) xo

  • Oooh, you missed Margit Sziget!! (Just blogged about it). It’s the island in the Danube, close to one of the bridges. It’s car free and such a haven! And pretty tourist-free too.

    • Ahhh that’s such a great suggestion! I’ll be honest, I’ve always stayed a bit further south so I’ve never made it to that island. I must put it on my list for the next time I’m in Budapest. I’ve heard such great things about it. xo

  • Love these recommendations. I really want to visit Budapest soon reaaaaallly soon. Your pictures are gorgeous and all the historical information you included is so interesting, I will see Budapest with different eyes then. Thank you for sharing!

  • You know, I have mixed feelings about Budapest based on my time there. I think it is a great big city with lots of things to see and do and unlike Luxembourg or Milan, I definitely think people should see it! I think it’s a great city in a living sense and in a visiting sense and sometimes you really don’t get that. But I think my experience was really overshadowed by feelings of discomfort as a black woman. No one was overtly racist, really, but I felt a sense of otherness in a way that I didn’t get from other countries. Like when I lived in Austria, I felt more of a curiosity about me being black, as opposed to a sense of judgment in Hungary. That was really hard for me to get past. But I will say that 4 years later, I’m not sure I would have the same sentiments or if it would affect me in the same way. Reading this post does remind me of how many great things we did see while we were there and despite the uncomfortable feelings, I did have a good time!

    • I’m sorry you felt so uncomfortable there! That would definitely taint an experience. You should definitely give it a second chance at some point :)

  • This definitely makes me want to visit Budapest even more! Those views from Buda Castle, oh my goodness so gorgeous! Such lovely photos! I’ll admit, I love you more now that I know your political affiliation, haha! Definitely interested in your political blog!

    http://www.ashbam.com

    • hahahaha glad to know :) political blog is still a work in progress (I just need to find time to sit down and write uninterrupted for hours!). Thanks so much for the sweet words!

  • Ahhh Budapest… every time I read a post about it, I’m like “I have to go!” When I first saw your picture of the guy writing in his journal… I was like is that Adam Levine… haha I know they look nothing alike but it threw me off guard lol.

    • hahaha, yes! Budapest is such a great and underrated city. One of my favorites in Europe :) I can totally see the Adam Levine connection at first glance :)

    • Thanks! I can’t wait to read all about your trip :) Let me know how it goes! The Holocaust Memorial is on the same square as the US Embassy…you can’t miss it!

  • ahhhh this gets me excited to head back this july for a wedding! i enjoyed budapest a lot last time, but didn’t have enough time there. this trip should be ideal! btw you take amazing photos :)

  • I was there over Easter as well! And I agree. Definitely one of the best (and most underrated) cities in Europe. I LOVED the food. Everything deep fried and covered in cheese and sour cream. My favorite were the Langos!! I still think about them regularly!

    • Yesss! I was there during Easter as well..too bad it was FREEZING! It is such a foodie city, something I didn’t expect at all! I gained at least a few pounds when I was there :) Also, on a totally unrelated side note, I absolutely love your blog and have been following it for a while. I am moving to Edinburgh in September and plan on visiting London a lot so we definitely should meet up at some point xo

  • Good information. Lucky me I recently found your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it for later!