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Budapest is central Europe’s version of Paris. It is stunningly beautiful with incredible architecture and amazing food. Everyone we met was incredibly friendly and there is plenty to do after 5:00 pm.
You HAVE to visit both sides of the incredible Danube River. On the east side you’ll find Hungarian Parliament and Shoes on the Danube, the heart-wrenching memorial to Jewish people killed during World War II. On the west side is Mathias Church and the Instagram-worthy Fisherman’s Bastion. Joining both sides is the majestic Chain Bridge.
How to Get to Budapest
Budapest is easily accessible. Budapest airport is a short 30-minute drive from central Budapest and if you’re visiting a neighbouring country, Budapest can easily be reached by car from Vienna (2 hours), Prague (5 hours) and Zagrab (3.5 hours).
When in Budapest, the transit system will be your best friend. The city is incredibly linked with an incredible metro and bus system. If you have an individual ticket, it must be validated before riding; however, we recommend purchasing a travel card. It doesn’t require validation and can be used repeatedly during the timeframe covered by the card. Because there is a special family rate for the 24- hour card, we purchased a family 24hour card for each of our days in Budapest. It was fantastic and allowed us to travel by metro and bus as often as we wished. As a side note, the Budapest metro is honestly one of the cleanest metros we’ve ever seen! But if you need to validate your ticket, and you don’t, you will be caught. We saw metro inspectors regularly during our visit.
Where to Eat in Budapest
We absolutely loved eating in Budapest! The food is different from any we’ve experienced elsewhere in Europe but our whole family enjoyed something new at every meal.
Zeller Bistro, Hercegprímás utca 18 // Zeller Bistro is our favourite restaurant in Budapest. As you pass through the front of the restaurant, you arrive in an indoor garden area with beautiful twinkling lights. It’s beautiful and the food is delicious!
Dubarry, Wekerle Sándor u. 1 // Dubarry is perfectly located along the bank of the Danube River. While it is primarily an Italian restaurant, they also serve delicious Hungarian dishes. There’s nothing like enjoying a meal while enjoying the view of Castle Hill and Chain Bridge in the distance. Being near the river cruise ships, it’s a wonderful place to have dinner before your evening Danube River cruise.
Hungarikum Bisztro, Steindl Imre u. // This is one busy restaurant! Upon arrival we were greeted by a sign indicating that the restaurant was booked for the next few days. Thankfully, we had reservations and highly recommend that you do as well. When you visit, try the töltött kaposzta (Hungarian cabbage rolls). It’s so good!!
Baltazar, Országház utca 31 // Located on the Buda side of Budapest, Baltazar is a fantastic small Hungarian restaurant located on a quiet side street about a 10 minute walk from Fisherman’s Bastion. You have to try their gulyas! We enjoyed a fantastic meal on their street-side patio and afterwards, wandered down to Batthyány Tér for the best night time view of the Hungarian Parliament.
Muvesz Kavehaz, Andrassy Ut 29 // Muvesz Kavehaz looks small from their outside sidewalk patio but as you enter, you’ll find a large, gorgeous, old-school café with dark wood finishes. We enjoyed both breakfast and lunch at this wonderful café and highly recommend trying their fresh sandwiches, homemade soda and some of their delicious sweets.
Things to See in Budapest
As pretty as Budapest is, it is even more beautiful at night than during the day. Some of our favourite Budapest activities involve experiencing the lights of Parliament and Castle Hill as they reflect off the Danube at night. That said, Budapest is also filled with an array of cultural activities that visitors of all ages can enjoy.
Cruise on the Danube River // There’s absolutely nothing like flowing down the Danube River, sitting on the top of a river boat, and watching the twinkling lights of Budapest reflect in the water. The ride is a relaxing way to experience the true beauty of Budapest.
Walk along the Danube Promenade to experience parliament and the Chain Bridge at night // Budapest is blessed with a beautiful waterfront on both the Pest and Buda sides of the Danube. Along each side runs a wide promenade allowing people to stroll in the evening and enjoy the lights of Budapest.
Budapest Circus // The Budapest Circus is a fantastic show filled with acrobats, jugglers and aerialists. It’s an incredible experience for adults and children alike. While many of the shows take place during the day, every Saturday night there is an evening performance.
Visit a Ruin Bar // You can find ruin bars throughout Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. At the end of Soviet occupation of Hungary, this area of Budapest was filled with dilapidated buildings. In early 2000s, several of these buildings were transformed into rustic, affordable bars for the younger crowd. A visit to a ruin bar is one of the most unique things to in Budapest. While several can also be enjoyed during the day, the real action takes place at night.
Szechenyi Baths // You have to visit a thermal bath while in Budapest. Budapest is home to several thermal baths but our favourite is Szechenyi baths. Open every day until 10pm, it’s the perfect place to relax after a long work day and experience a uniquely Budapest activity.
Also check out:
- Bilbao, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Copenhagen, Denmark After 5:00 pm
- Sol Area of Madrid, Spain After 5:00 pm
- Brussels, Belgium After 5:00 pm
- Dubrovnik, Croatia After 5:00 pm
- Nuremberg, Germany After 5:00 pm