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Spas and bars... what more could you want?

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Budapest is known for its incredible thermal baths, hidden caves and great bars (with great prices)! It’s a city split into two halves by the River Danube, both with very different things to offer, but just as exciting to visit. Hungary isn’t exactly a tourist hotspot, but Budapest has put this great country on the map for travellers, and we completely understand why this city has become so popular in the last few years.

See the sights - There are so many amazing buildings to go and visit during your time in Budapest. The one you will recognise the most from pictures of Budapest is the incredible parliament building. There are lots of tours that you can pay to join if you want to go and explore the interior, but we thought the exterior was stunning enough! You can then head over to the Buda side of the city and explore the Buda castle area - a huge complex with great architecture and views of the city below. The area encompasses the beautiful “Fisherman’s Bastion”, the castle and the stunning Matthias Church.

A glass of prosecco by a window with a view of the Hungarian Parliament building
Our view of the Hungarian Parliament on the Prosecco Danube Cruise!

If you’ve been looking at visiting Budapest, you may have noticed that sightseeing cruises along the Danube are a very popular activity for tourists visiting the city. We took one which was just over £20pp and included unlimited prosecco for an hour and a half - what’s not to love? We thought it was too good to be true but it was genuinely one of the best experiences we had in the city. You can book it here!

Enjoy the nightlife - Budapest is famous for its nightlife, specifically the ruin bars. These are once derelict buildings such as abandoned warehouses that have been converted into huge bars and community spaces. They’re bustling every evening, filled with locals and tourists alike, and you can find lots of them dotted around the city centre. As a major attraction in the city, they aren’t where you’ll find the cheapest prices in Budapest, but the electric atmosphere is something you don’t want to miss out on! Most are open from early evening but stay open and get louder until the early hours of the morning. We loved Szimpla Kert, the biggest ruin complex made up of several vibrant, exciting bars, but there are also lots of smaller and quieter ruin pubs around the city.

You may see a lot of a drink called “unicum” in bars and off-licences dotted around the city centre. It's one of the national drinks of Hungary and we would definitely not recommend it! Try it at your own risk...

An ornate building - the Fisherman's Bastion in Budapest
Fisherman's Bastion (Buda Castle)

Experience the culture - Although ruin bars are a huge part of Budapest’s culture, there’s so much more to this city than drinking. There are countless amazing churches and museums that you’ll stumble upon whilst exploring the centre. Budapest is also famous for its one-of-a-kind thermal baths. The biggest baths (Szechenyi) are the most popular, however we opted to try the Gellert indoor baths as they had a beautiful looking spa with a stunning interior, and it was a very rainy day. Relax and unwind in these rejuvenating thermal baths with both locals and tourists, and experience a huge part of Budapest’s culture. There are so many options of different thermal baths throughout the city, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but this is an experience not worth missing! We booked our ticket to Gellert baths here.

Another great way to experience a city’s culture is through the mouth-watering food on offer. From hot goulash soup to sweet chimney cakes to Langos (deep fried bread, often topped with sour cream and cheese), you’ll be sure to find a new food you’ve never tasted before. These are all delicious, traditional Hungarian foods and available in most bars, restaurants and even street food pop-ups!

Yes, Budapest is a great choice of city for an amazing night out, but there is also a lot more to this city in terms of history, culture and food too! From museums to nightclubs to exploring the underground caves, we think everybody could find something they love in this city.

Additional information:

Getting there: Budapest is easily accessible by air, with direct flights from many major cities around the UK. It's easy to get from the airport into the city centre either by the public bus or a quick taxi (we recommend using the Bolt app in Europe). It's also accessible by train or coach from major cities in Hungary and surrounding countries.

Visas: Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Hungary for a stay of up to 90 days.

Currency: The currency of Hungary is the Hungarian Forint. Be careful, a lot of places will convert prices to Euros but add on a pretty large conversion fee. It's always so much better to pay in the local currency if you can.

Language: The official language of Hungary is Hungarian. However, English is widely spoken in Budapest.

Time zone: Hungary is in the Central European Summer Time, usually an hour ahead of the UK.

Ready to go?

- Search for a hotel in Budapest on Expedia here

- Find tours, experiences and things to do in Budapest on GetYourGuide here


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