If you are looking for a cheap fairy-tale trip, then Budapest is THE place ! Budapest is full of history, architecture, nightlife and you will fall in love with the place at first sight. You'll find here the top things to know to make your visit to Budapest a success.
Did you know that Budapest was originally two separate towns called “Buda” and “Pest” which were divided by the Danube River ? Buda was the west side, and Pest the east side.
Budapest is a must-see if you are planning a trip in the Eastern Europe countries. You'll get to discover this lovely city, and to help you out we have listed for you the top tips to visit this city on a budget.
WHAT TO DO ?
◦ Parliament : it's the third largest parliament building in the world and is open to visitors. Moreover, you can visit inside the building, the tour last 45-50 minutes and cost 7€.
◦ St. Stephens Basilica : This is a Roman Catholic church and most importantly the largest church in Budapest.
◦ Fisherman's bastion : From there you'll get a view of the Danube river and the Hungarian Parliament. This is the busiest place for sunset so you won't be alone. However, the view is amazing and you can enjoy a beer or a coffee while watching the sun setting behind the Parliament.
◦ Liberty Bridge : It's the shortest bridge in Budapest and on it you can find art nouveau design and mythological sculptures. In addition, the tram pass on it which is great for photographers to take nice shot!
◦ Matthias Church : Located just next to the fisherman's bastion this church is over 700 years old and the roof is covered with the famous Zsolnay ceramic tiles, making the building looking amazing !
◦ Buda Castle : Just a few minutes walk from the Fisherman’s Bastion is the Buda Castle. Located on a hill you have a beautiful view over Budapest.
◦ Eat a chimney cake : Kürtőskalács. This is a must while in Budapest and it cost 3€ at most. We would say it taste like a churro, and you can find many different taste : cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, coconut, honey...and many more ! We tasted all of the one we listed above except honey. It's amazing !
◦ The Szechenyi Chain Bridge : Did you know that 8 bridges link the city ? This bridge is the most famous and give a nice view of the Parliament and Buda castle.
◦ Ruins bar : Budapest is well-known for its ruins bar. These are called so because they are abandoned spaces turned into clubs by locals with second-hand furniture and lots of creativity.
HOW TO MOVE ?
We did everything walking ! Budapest isn't a massive city so you can definitely see everything by walk in 3 days.
Budapest's public transportation is great : tram, bus, metro, train and trolleybus connect every corner of the city. In other words, you'll never struggle to get around this lovely city.
First of all, tickets or passes must be bought before boarding; you cannot buy them from the driver (except on the night bus network). They are available at metro stations, tobacconists, newsagents, and from vending machines at many bus and tram stops in the city center.
◦ A single ticket in Budapest cost 350 HUF (1.10€)
◦ Ten tickets for 3000 HUF (9,30€).
◦ A Budapest 24-hour travelcardcost 1650 HUF (5,10€)
◦ A Budapest 72-hour travelcardcost 4150 HUF (12,90€)
◦ A Budapest 7-day travelcard cost 4950 HUF (15,40€)
◦ Monthly pass: 10500 HUF (32,5€)
There are dozens of other types, feel free to check it out here!
TIPS : be careful about fake inspectors ticket in the metro scamming people .
Secondly, you can opt for the Budapest Card which is a great option to get around Budapest in a cheap way. You can choose the length of your card, up to 5 days.
Prices are :
◦ 24h : 5500 HUF (22€)
◦ 48h : 8500 HUF (33€)
◦ 72h : 8900 HUF (<18yo) = 33€
◦ 72h : 10900 HUF (43€)
◦ 96h : 14500 HUF (53 €)
◦ 120h : 17500 HUF (63€)
Most importantly, these cards gets you free or discounted entry to 60 museums and more than 100 restaurants, tours and other big Budapest attractions. Above all, you also get unlimited free rides on public transport.
However, the card can't be used for boats ride, cable cars and train outside Budapest.
TIPS : You can buy this card at the airport, from your hotel, at Deak Ference square or Franz Liszt square.
WHERE TO PARK?
Parking in Budapest is really complicated as in every big city, and as a result, it easily become a real challenge to find a place. Budapest is divided in different zones, with different hourly fees, but you can find all the necessary information by clicking here.
TIPS : Because we were on a road trip, we arrived in Budapest with our car. Paying for a parking isn't really our thing, so we had to find a place where to leave the car, not too far from the city center and in a free spot.
Try to first check shopping center and supermarkets, which usually offers free unlimited parking.
In our case, we left our car in Arena Mall Shopping Center, and slept on the parking for 3 days.
Enjoy your travel, be adventurous and create memories!
Lots of Love, Valerie & Alex