Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Budapest, Hungary. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.
Hello and welcome back to Aperture & Wanderlust!
Last December I decided to go on two solo trips, the first one was a 72-hour trip to Lisbon and the second one was to Budapest. I spent four days in Hungary’s capital in stayed in a Hostel at Oktogon, which is one of the major intersections in Budapest. From there, I was able to catch metros to different districts of the city and if you are into walking like I am, you can also go to many places by foot.
Budapest first became „Budapest“ in 1873 when the three parts of the city, Buda, Óbuda and Pest united. The city has many Museums, great places to eat, shop and drink and a lot of history to offer. As I already said, I spent four complete days in this beautiful city, however, there are many things that I still want to see when it comes to Museums and historical places. In this post I will share with you what I did on my first day in Budapest.
Hősök tere (engl. Heroe’s Square)
From Oktogon, I walked up Andrássy út (street) and it took me around twenty minutes to get to my first stop, Heroe’s Square. It is located next to the City Park and is one of the major squares in Budapest. In the middle of the square, you will find the Millennium Memorial, which was built for the thousandth birthday of the Hungarian land-taking in 1896. On top of the memorial rises the angel Gabriel. To the left and to the right of the Millennium Memorial, there are statues of the Seven chieftains of the Magyars and other Hungarian national leaders. The history of the Heroe’s Square is very interesting to my mind, I can highly recommend reading about it. As I source I used a wikipedia article which I will link you here. At this point I need to say, that I really like using our well-known encyclopedia to learn something about the cities I visit, I feel like sightseeing is so much more interesting when you have some background information and are actually able to recognise sculptures or people in paintings.
Városliget (engl. City Park)
Passing the Heroe’s Square, you will find Budapest’s City Park. Part of it is turned into a City Park Ice Rink during winter, which was actually a highlight for me since I love ice skating! I linked you a website that I used to learn about the opening hours and the entry and rental fees. It was such an amazing experience since you are skating in front of the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle. It was magical! I paid around 11,90 EUR (13,12 USD – 10,05 GBP) for the entry and the skate rental, but it was totally worth it! (1000-1500 HUF entry fee, depending on the weekday and 2500 HUF Skate rental, you also need to bring a deposit of 2000 HUF for the skates)
Széchenyi gyógyfürdő (engl. Széchenyi thermal bath)
Heading a little bit further into the City Park, you will find a huge building in the Neo-Baroque style, which is Europe’s largest medicinal bath. The also called – Széchenyi Medicinal Bath – gets its water from two thermal springs and is, according to many travellers, a must-do. Too bad I did not bring any bathing suits … next time!
Margit híd (engl. Margaret Bridge)
The Margaret Bridge connects Margaret Island with Pest and Buda across the Danube. Margaret Island is a 2.5 km long island in the middle of the Danube River and is famous for its recreational area. I really liked the bridge because of its colour, plus- you have a great view on the Danube and the Parliament building (which I will tackle in another post).
Széchenyi lánchíd (engl. Széchenyi Chain Bridge)
Another well-known bridge connecting Buda and Pest is the Chain Bridge, which is at the same pitch as the St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika).
Szabadság híd (engl. Liberty Bridge)
Liberty bridge is to my mind, the most beautiful bridge in Budapest. I was told that it is a famous gathering place for young people during the warm summer months. You will probably see some more pictures of this „instagram-worthy“ bridge in the upcoming posts.
Cipők a Duna-parton (engl. Shoes on the Danube Bank)
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial that was created in 2005 on the east bank of the Danube. It reminds us of the Jews who were killed during World War II by the Arrow Cross Party, which was a right-wing extremist party in Hungary. This party was in power from October 1944 to March 1945 and during this short period, tens of thousands of people were killed, most of them Jews and Romani. The memorial is very impressive and should serve as a warning for future generations.
Climbing Gym: Monkey Boulder Budapest
I travelled with carry-on only, but still had some space left for my climbing shoes. The evening I arrived, I went to the biggest climbing gym in Budapest, called Monkey Boulder (The website is in Hungarian, but Google Translate did a good-enough job for me :D)
It was really cool to boulder with locals and at least five people talked to me in Hungarian which was super funny. No, I do not speak Hungarian, but they were fortunately fluent in English. Bouldering in Germany is pretty expensive, but I only paid 2100 HUF (6,25 EUR – 6,89 USD – 5,28 GBP) which is super cheap. I really loved getting in touch with locals and just chilling out after my flight from Germany.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of my Budapest series, let me know if you have ever been to Budapest and what you liked most about the city!
Thanks for reading, Sophie