Updated: Mar 30
Earlier this year I has the pleasure of visiting the Hungarian capital, thankfully it was before the Coronavirus pandemic so if you are thinking about travelling there now be sure to check for any restrictions or new protocols before you travel. The city is split into two halves 'Buda' on the west of the Danube river and 'Pest on the east, both parts of the city are beautiful and you can easily spend weeks exploring everything. Not sure where to start? Here are my top five sights...
Széchenyi Thermal Baths
If you can only do one thing whilst in Budapest then I would definitely choose the thermal baths, with a multitude of baths to choose from there will almost certainly be one near to wherever you stay. I personally went to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths (located in the city park) and I cannot recommend them enough, I actually ended up going twice because I loved them so much! If you are planning to visit here are a few things to remember:
Go early in the morning! The baths are extremely popular are get busy very quickly, both times I visited I arrived before opening and it didn't take long for the pools to fill up.
If you visit during winter, even though the water is warm the surrounding can be freezing to be sure to bring something flip flops and a towel.
If you have forgotten your swimwear you can buy or hire some from their shop however you will be expected to pay tourist prices.
Easily accessed by foot or public transport Hero's Square is the entrance to the city park and you will no doubt pass it on the way to some of your other stops but its defiantly worth a mention itself. The Millennial Memorial is the centrepiece and showcases several historical figures, you can take a walking tour around the city to find out more about the history of this and the other highlights of the city.
Liberty Statue (Szabadság Szobor)
This statue holding a gold leaf stands at an impressive 14 metres on top of a 26-metre pedestal. It was erected in 1947 in recognition of the Soviet liberation of Hungary. The Statue is sited on Gellért Hill which also has incredible viewpoints showcasing the Danube river.
St Stephen's Basilica
As the largest church in Budapest it can hold up to 8,500 people, I, unfortunately, didn't go inside but the outside is impressive and defiantly worth a visit even if you don't go inside. Stephen's square also has some cafés where you can sit and watch the goings-on in the square.
Stretching along the Danube river this impressive building is best captured from the opposite side of the river. Although you can walk around the building freely if you want to go inside you will have to join an organised tour. If you have a chance to see this building at night it is lit up by warm golden lights which have stunning reflections along the river.