Hungary’s capital Budapest is the most populous city in the country and one of the largest in the European Union. In 1873 it became one single city occupying both banks of the Danube River and unified Hungary’s former cities Buda, Óbuda, and Pest. There are various things to do in Budapest and here are some free or cheap activities.
Granted with UNESCO World Heritage Site status, Budapest is for many is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It mixes its fascinating history with a bright, laid-back modern artistic style. There is a broad range of different things to do in Budapest – museums, thermal spas, parks and historical sites will not leave anyone unsatisfied.
1Feel as If in a Fairytale
We all dreamed of having a fairytale castle in our childhood. You can easily fulfill this dream at Fisherman’s Bastion – Budapest’s must-visit place for its gorgeous architecture and panoramic views over the city. Surprisingly, the castle is not medieval. It was built in the 20th century in a neo-Gothic and named after the Guild of Fisherman, who defended that part of the city walls during the Middle Ages.
Most of balconies and towers are FREE
2Enjoy a Boat Ride Over the Danube
Dividing the city into two parts – Buda and Pest, Danube River offers various cruises all day round. However, if you do not fancy a boat ride, you can still enjoy the banks of the river by walking along the coastline. You can even enjoy a cold or warm beverage at the bars and restaurants situated here.
Adults – 3.900 HUF; Students – 3.500 HUF
3Take it Slow and Relax
Budapest is the city of spas and recreational parks, enabling its visitor to experience the culture and relax at the same time. The capital boasts with 12 thermal baths scattered across the city, where a temperature is at least 30C. Gellert and Szechenyl baths are the most popular ones. However, if you do not feel like visiting the public baths, you can still enjoy many recreational parks.
Cheapest Bath 3,300 HUF Check prices
4Learn How the Government Works Here
The Parliament, located on the bank of the Danube River, accommodates the National Assembly. The building built in 1884-1904 in neo-Gothic style, is 268 meters long, the domes are 96 meters high and have 691 rooms. Many believe (including me!) that it is the most fascinating and gorgeous building both inside and outside. If you are more interested to know how the government functions here, you can get a 45-minute tour.
FREE. Tour 5,200 HUF
5Commemorate the History
One of the mesmerizing things to see here is shoe monument on the coast of the Danube River. 60 pair of shoes honors those Hungarian Jews killed by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-1945. The victims were lined up at the coastline and shot into the water. Very touching and straightforward memorial is a must-see to understand country’s history.
6Visit One of the Most Famous Squares
Heroes’ Square is the largest, most impressive and the most visited sites in the city. It was built in 1896 to mark the thousandth anniversary of the country. An iconic monument features a central pillar and two parallel colonnades on both sides. On top of the post, Archangel Gabriel is holding the Hungarian crown, while the colonnades house statues of other historical Hungarian figures.
These are the very few things Budapest has to offer. Have you been here? What other things did you to that I did not? Or maybe you know some hidden gem? Share in the comments. I would love to know.