Budapest, the city of wonders
January 1, 1970
It gives me a great pleasure to write my first travel guide about a city that I grew up in. First I want you to know that I absolutely love Hungary and Budapest, and I am thrilled that the tourism is booming right now, at least in the capital city. In the next few minutes you will read the most important things to know about Budapest, through a university student’s eyes. (I study Tourism and Hospitality at the Corvinus University of Budapest.)
Budapest’s finest destinations and events
Having my university in the heart of the city, I get to see almost every sightseeings in Budapest every day. In my honest opinion the unis in Budapest are also worth visiting, because they are magnificent with their 100 year old architectural cultures. Of course, they are not the main attractions. One of the the best experience might be crossing the Liberty Bridge. It starts from Buda from the amazing Gellért Hotel and Baths, and it is located right next to the Gellért Mountain, so you get a perfect view of the mountain from the bridge and also from the Pest side of it. I love this area, because apart from The Great Market Hall, which is a “must” to visit, there are also countless restaurants, cafes and bars with the perfect Hungarian vibe. This is also the square, where the famous Váci Street begins, where you can find any famous clothing shops that you desire. I must add that this area is filled with tourists all the time, so if you are not into that, you might exclude the Váci Street from your list. Going past the extremely long Váci Street, you finally arrive to the gorgeous Vörösmarty Square, where every year there is a huge Christmas Market, which is breathtaking with all the christmas lights and shops.
The next sightseeing I would like to focus on is the St. Stephen’s Basilica and its great area. The third largest church in Hungary stands gracefully in all its enormous glory and seduces almost everyone inside. Though it is truly gorgeous I thinkthe more interesting thing is the nightlife in this area. Close to the church there is the huge Deák Square, which is the meeting point for every young people, who go out to party, because every cool party place is located near the Deák Square and the Basilica. My favourite places are ‘Ötkert’, ‘Kraft’ and the so called ruin pubs. If you are to partying, you should definitely visit one of our ruin pubs, nowadays they count as a huge attraction because of their unique interior designs, they have become the most hip places for tourists and hipsters to drink at, but if you are into more fancy and posh places I can recommend the ‘Mini Bar’ or the ‘Kiosk’ also located near to these places. The nightlife on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, especially during the summer, is really crazy, the Pest side of the city is filled with youn party people. If you would rather rest on the weekend, you should not book an accomodation close to this area, because it gets really busy and loud. If I can give you a good tip, please visit us during the summer. Every year in August one of the most popular music festivals is held in Budapest, called Sziget Festival. This is the most crazy and memorable experience that you can get in Hungary, people from literally all around the world come together for this unbelievably successful festival. I have also been last year for 7 straight days and I got to see artists like Ellie Goulding, Major Lazer, Robbie Williams, Florence amd the Machine and the list could go on for a while. Just unforgettable, you should try it once in your life.
Continuing our Budapest adventure I encourage you to try street food places during the day, they are really awesome. I do not care what anyone says, the so called and heavenly delicious Chimney Cake is a traditional Hungarian dessert and it is not from the Czech Rep. When you are filled with our delicious treats, you should go and check out the Hungarian Parliament. I must admit, ten years ago it was not that pretty as today. Luckily the whole area got renovated and it all looks stunning now. The parliament to Budapest is like the Eiffel Tower to Paris. Everyone associates it as the utlimate sightseeing. Here is what you should do: Hop on the tram number 2 at the Liberty Bridge and the tram takes you all the way to the parliament offering an amazing view of the city and the Danube river, but you might as well just walk the distance, as you prefer. The tram stops at Jászai Mari square, which is really close to the Margaret Island, another great destination while visiting Budapest.
The Margaret Island is located in the middle of the Danube river and the main entrance is located in the middle of the Margaret Bridge. This magical island is home for several concerts during the year and other big events, it is just amazing and lively, especially during the summer. Perfect place for a picnic and you also can visit a small zoo with indigenous animals of the country. Basically it is the Central Park of Budapest.
Closing our destination tour there is one place that I cannot leave out from this article. I mentioned before, that we have Váci Street for cool clothing shops and restaurants. Now, the Andrássy Avenue (Andrássy út as we call it) offers almost the same services but on a much higher level, you see the Andrássy Avenue is all about the luxury. It is the Champs-Elyseés of Budapest, interestingly it was designed after the avenue in Paris. Not only luxury shops like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci or Armani are located on this avenue, but also the Hungarian State Opera, The Palace of Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts and the incredibly famous House of Terror. The road connects the Elizabeth Square and the Városliget, as we get to the end of the avenue you arrive at one of the most visited sightseeings in Budapest, The Heroes Square. Almost every tour bus rides across the Andrássy Avenue, but I think it gives you so much more if you walk the not so short distance to the Heroes Square. Beyond Heroes Square there is the amazing Városliget with the National Zoo and an amazing lake, where you can go boating in the summer and ice skate during the winter.
I hope you liked my little tour about the most hip places in Budapest, I really like living here, and I interact at the uni with lots of foreign students and basically everyone loves this city. The most tourists come from Germany, UK and France, but it is nice to run into Australians and Americans every now and then. Hope to see you soon in Budapest! All the pictures are my own and for more please visit my Instagram page, @armells_world, where you can join my journeys. 🙂