tips-and-inspiration Weekend Getaway: Things to Do in Budapest

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Weekend Getaway: Things to Do in Budapest

Looking for ideas on where to spend a weekend away? Find cheap flights to Budapest - בודפשט and discover the capital of Hungary. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe!

If you fancy a short break without spending all your days-off allowance, find cheap flights to Budapest – בודפשט. The capital of Hungary is an ideal destination to leave home and relax for a few days. Therefore, we’ve listed for you where to go and things to do in Budapest.

1. Buda Castle and Castle Hill

Buda Castle is known for its dominating position on the Budapest skyline atop Castle Hill. Today, the fortified walls of Buda are part of modern Budapest in addition to medieval houses and churches. There are also several important museums on this World Heritage Site. Also, the Hungarian National Gallery displays Hungarian fine arts, sculptures and stone carvings. Above all, the #1 attraction of Buda Castle is The Fisherman’s Bastion in front of the castle palace. From there you can enjoy a spectacular view over the Danube and Pest, the other part of Budapest. 

2. Hungarian Parliament Building Budapest – בודפשט

The glorious Parliament Building in Budapest
The glorious Parliament Building in Budapest

The spectacular Neo-Gothic construction on the banks of the Danube could easily be considered a royal palace. However, this is actually the Parliament building erected during the Habsburg Dual Monarchy. The Hungarian Parliament Building was Inaugurated back in 1886. Its 691 rooms are spread across about 19 kilometers of corridors. As a result, it’s considered the third-largest parliament building in the world. That’s after the Houses of Parliament in London and the Capitol in Washington. If the Hungarian National Assembly doesn’t meet, you can take part in guided tours lasting about 45 minutes. It also includes a visit to the halls and rooms inside, definitely a must-visit in Budapest – בודפשט.

3. Hungarian National Museum

The Hungarian National Museum in Budapest was founded in 1802. However, it moved into the purpose-built Neoclassical building in 1847. This monumental building resembles an ancient temple and is embedded in two well-tended gardens that invite you to linger. The entrance hall is impressive with its Corinthian columns and the gable decorated with marble sculptures. In the exhibition, one can vividly follow the history of human settlement in Hungary from the Paleolithic to the late Middle Ages. Above all, of course, is the invaluable Hungarian crown jewels. For example, it includes the almost mystical St. Stephen’s Crown. If you admire classical music, they present here the grand piano of Ludwig van Beethoven. It was acquired after his death by Hungary’s own master composer Franz Liszt.

4. Margaret Island

The naturally created Margaret Island was inhabited since the earliest times, as you can learn from the archaeological excavations. This is a long and narrow island, 2.5 km long but only about 500 meters wide. Margaret Island offers its visitors medieval ruins, a small zoo, and a flower garden. Even more, This green island in the center of the Danube, best known for being the home of the Sziget Festival in summer.

5. Chain Bridge Budapest – בודפשט

Chain Bridge in Budapest - בודפשט
Chain Bridge in Budapestבודפשט

Together with the parliament building, the Chain Bridge is undoubtedly the most famous landmark in Budapest. Built between 1839 and 1849 at the suggestion of the reformer Count István Széchenyi, it’s considered the oldest of the nine Danube bridges in the Hungarian capital. The bridge gets its name from the two mighty iron chains. They run left and right over two massive, triumphal arch-like pylons (pillar gates) stretched across the entire 375 meters of the bridge body. In January 1945, the bridge was blown up by the retreating German army, but reconstructed after the end of World War II. The bridgehead on the Pest side is flanked by two gigantic sculptures of two lions lying on high pedestals. Curiously, the tongues are missing. Ask locals for the reason – there are some interesting myths about it.

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6. Heroes’ Square & Millennium Monument

Millennium Monument in Budapest - בודפשט
Millennium Monument in Budapest

The Austrian architect Albert Schickedanz designed this beautiful monument in Budapest. He is also responsible for the Museum of Fine Arts (we’ll get there, no worries!). At its center, a 36-meter-high pillar rises. On the top of the pillar, a statue of the Archangel Gabriel spreads its wings. The pillar stands on a pedestal, decorated with six life-size bronze equestrian statues. They represent the Magyar king, Árpád, and his followers. The pillar is framed by two colonnades, which together form half a circle. Between the columns are statues of various Hungarian rulers – the heroes who give the place its name. The monument is known as the millennium monument because it was inaugurated in 1886. The occasion: the one-thousandth anniversary of the founding of Hungary.

7. Andrássy út – Budapest’s historic boulevard

Andrássy út was the magnificent boulevard of Budapest even in the time of the kings. It was built in 1876 and stretches almost two and a half kilometers from Heroes’ Square to Elisabethenplatz, right across the historic center of Pest. Road traffic may have become more chaotic today, but the historic street hasn’t lost any of its magic. The reason for that: the incredible neoclassical architecture that lines the boulevard on either side. In addition to the Hungarian State Opera and Academy of Music, the Zoltán Kodály Memorial Museum and the Ferenc Hopp Museum of East Asian Art are among the most important cultural buildings to be discovered.

8. The Jewish Quarter

The Great Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and the second-largest in the world, definitely the highlight of the district. The Jewish Museum Budapest בודפשט belongs to the same building complex. In the Jewish quarter, there are also many things to discover or even to taste. Delicious bakeries are dotted across the area, where you can get excellent cakes, and of course – it’s kosher!

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9. Museum of Fine Arts

Another neoclassical, rather bombastic building, is the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest – בודפשט. The building is in the style of ancient temple architecture and was designed by the architect Albert Schickedanz. The exhibition is divided into six sections: Egyptian Art, Ancient Art, the Old Sculpture Gallery, the Old Master Gallery, the Modern Art Collection, and the Graphic Art Collection. However, the collection of Old Masters is one of the most fascinating displays in Europe and contains works of the Spanish, Italian and Dutch schools from the 17th to the 19th century.

10. Danube promenade

Walk along the promenade or take a cruise on the Danube
Walk along the promenade or take a cruise on the Danube

The Danube goes up to 640 meters wide on its way through Budapest’s city center. It is lined with pedestrian promenades, On both sides, Pest and Buda. As a result, it encourages a relaxed walk, during which you can soak up the unique atmosphere. You can stop here and there, have a seat in an elegant café or one of the bistros and restaurants. On the Pest side near the parliament building, you can find the “Shoes on the Danube bank” memorial. It consists of 60 pairs of steel-cast ladies’ and men’s shoes. They represent the Jews of Budapest בודפשט when they were shot at this point during the Second World War by German occupation forces. Their bodies were simply dropped into the Danube.

Tip: Enjoy a Hungarian buffet and a drink on a Danube cruise in the evening. You will enjoy live music and some beautiful views. The highlight is undoubtedly the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, which is lit by hundreds of lights after sunset. 

11. Thermal Bath and Spas in Budapest – בודפשט

Budapest is known as the “Spa Capital of the World” due to its 130 hot springs dotted throughout the city. At the spas, you can find pools of healing thermal waters, each with a different mineral and metal composition which come with an array of reported health benefits. Some of the most famous spas in the city are Szechenyi, Gellert, and Kiraly. The oldest one Budapest is the Szechenyi Spa Baths. It’s also the largest Spa in Europe located in a beautiful neo-baroque building in City Park. This Spa offers over 15 indoor pools of varying temperatures, three outdoor pools and spa treatments such as detoxification in the thermal waters, massages, and pedicures. After that, you would feel like a new person!

12. The Ruin Bars

In Hungarian, they are called Romkocsma: the ruin bars of Budapest. From the outside, they look like abandoned houses, but once you are inside, you’ll find a retro world of mixed furniture, exposed brick walls, art objects, and fabulous light effects. For that reason, you better take a look around: old bars, trumpets, vintage toys, or plastic jellyfish hang on the walls in these bars. 

The Best ruin bars in Budapest – בודפשט:

  • Szimpla Kert – 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 14.
  • Anker’t – 1061 Budapest, Paulay Ede utca 33.
  • Ellátó Kert. – 1075 Budapest, Kazinczy utca 48.

Tip: Are you more into a romantic evening in a wine cellar? How about tasting some of the best Hungarian wines? Try Faust wine cellar located under the Hilton Budapest. 

13. Central Market Hall

If you like exploring local markets, visit the Central Market Hall in Budapest – בודפשט. Here you can try local food and buy traditional Hungarian products. It’s a huge indoor market which has everything from chocolates and spices, to clothing and souvenirs. Finally, you must taste some of the famous local dishes such as beef gulyás (goulash) and rétes (Hungarian fruit strudel). The food stalls and restaurants are on the second floor.

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14. Budapest Pinball Museum

This one is definitely not a regular museum. The Budapest Pinball (פליפר) Museum is a relatively new attraction having opened in 2014. There are more than 130 different retro pinball machines for you to play. Another option is to take a guided tour, maybe you can learn something new about the history of the pinball machine!

Important Info about Budapest – בודפשט

Country 🇭🇺Hungary
Currency 💵Forint – Ft
Currency exchange 💱1 HUF ~ 0.12 ILS
Flight time from TLV Airport ✈️02:35 hours
Average temperatures in July-August 🌞26
Average temperatures in December-February ⛄(-3)-4
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