One of the cities people are starting to pay attention to for travel is Budapest. It makes sense because the city covers history, culture, aesthetic value, hot baths and nightlife. What more could you ask for?
For decades, people have been vocal about wanting to visit the cities of London and Paris. However, I would like to tell you the reasons why Budapest should be on your bucket list.
That being said, here is your city guide– nay, TWIN CITY guide to Budapest!
The Fraternal City
Budapest is literally a tale of two cities; Buda and Pest. They are frequently regarded as twins, but they’re not necessarily alike.
Did you know that there is a never-ending debate about which side of Budapest is better? This is because the two sides of the city, (while only separated by the Chain Bridge) are quite different in physical structure and social climate.
First of all, Buda is the hilly side, it has elevated and sunken parts to its topography, whereas Pest is the pancake side; flat and leveled throughout.
Secondly, Buda and Pest are immensely varying in whose interest it caters to. Buda being the peaceful, more residential side. While Pest is the more upbeat and urban side.
That being the case…
Travel to your interest.
Buda is where you can be closer to nature. It’s a peaceful sanctuary and it’s richer in historical and architectural landmarks.
For instance, the Buda side of the city is where you’ll find Buda Castle. While it is arguably the face of Hungary, historically being the main residence of the country’s rulers after all. It has gone through several phases of ruins and redemption.
Today it stands as the house of the Hungarian National Gallery, Castle Museum, Matthias Church, and the National Széchenyi Library.
You can find more in-depth explanation of what you will find inside this complex of historical museums when you visit Buda Castle Budapest Official Site.
The Buda in Budapest.
Most cities’ names are a celebration of its identity, of what’s abundant in that city. That being the case, Buda (as a city) is abundant with water.
We have established that one of the reasons people go to Budapest is because of thermal baths, there’s no other in Eastern nor Central Europe that will come against the caliber, that is Budapest Thermal Baths.
For example, we have The Gellért hill and Citadel. It is sometimes referred to as “Saint Ivan’s Cave” because of an old story of a hermit who lived there and used thermal water from a muddy lake nearby to heal sicknesses.
These thermal waters are now believed to be the same ones found at the Sáros fürdő (Muddy Baths) that are now known as Gellért Baths.
These thermal pools’ temperature could be between 35°C to 40°C and is said to be really good for regulating blood circulation, easing asthma, and getting rid of joint paints and arthritis.
Bonus info: Since you’ve already hiked all the way up Gellért Hill, why not stop by the Cave Church (Sziklatemplom)? This is a church within a cave. Pretty unique, huh?
The Budapest viewpoint.
The Buda in Budapest is anything but short of views, given its topography. For instance, there’s the undying Fisherman’s Bastion. A definite go-to for people travelling to the city.
Called such because of the many fishermen that helped defend the castle walls during a time of war. Fisherman’s Bastion offers the best views in Budapest that will make the entire trip worth it.
Other interesting places in Buda-side:
Golden staircase? Budapest Parliament.
The cutest train operators ever? Children’s Railway.
…but that’s just the half of Budapest.
We’ve properly gone through what entails in Buda. So it’s time to go through what’s buzzing in the Pest side. (No pun intended.)
Pest is the half of the city where the hustle and bustle is located. It is where the pubs, the bigger restaurants, and the nightlife truly is (And we’ll get to that eventually). For now, it’s the daytime Pest go-tos.
First of all, this side of the city is where you’ll find the biggest and most symbolic Millennium Monument in Cross Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) which is dedicated in memory of the heroes who sacrificed their lives for freedom of Hungarian people and the nation.
Since you’re already here…
Head on over to Andrássy út (Andrassy Boulevard), which is a stretch from the Cross Heroes’ Square which will eventually lead you to Deák Ferenc tér (Deák Ferenc Square), which is one of the major intersections and transportation hub in Budapest.
Deak Square is also known to be a hotspot for young people who just sit on the grassy areas and drinking beer and merry making until midnight.
Transylvania in Hungary.
Secondly, If you’re thinking you will only manage to Uncover Dracula in Romania, then you’re sorely mistaken. You may, in fact, come close when you go to Vajdahunyad Castle.
One of the spots most people like to see at the castle is the Apostles’ tower and the Gatehouse Tower. Today, it serves as home to the Hungarian Agricultural Museum.
The Only Rival to Budapest and their Thermal baths…
…is even more Budapest thermal baths.
Take Széchenyi Baths, for example. The Pest-side baths are more popular with tourists because of they have English-speaking attendants ready to assist.
I know they’re actually really good for your health. but make sure not to stay too long in them in one sitting!
Shopping with that Budapest vibe.
Vörösmarty tér (Vorosmarty Square) is where the galleries, trendy cafes and Budapest smart shops are. Called so because of the iconic Mihály Vörösmarty statue that could be found here. He was a poet in the 19th Century and his statue is made of Italian Marble.
There is so much to appreciate in the grace and grandness that is equal to both Buda and Pest. While one of them is more suburban and one more upbeat and modern, it still remains that Buda and Pest are cities whose history consistently intertwines. Hence, the two cities despite being “separated” by a river, is made into one by the same heritage.
So end your day with a cruise by the Danube River and gander at the places that you’ve been to all day, and simmer into the feeling of being in this great city.
If you want to find the perfect Budapest package, don’t go too far from Team AFC Holidays.