If you are on the hunt for your next great travel adventure or are already contemplating Budapest as a vacation destination, I’m here to tell you GO! It’s such a magical spot. From the moment I landed, Budapest took me by surprise. Not only is it picturesque but it was so much more hip, youthful, and artsy than I expected. Not to mention, the locals are incredibly friendly – always striking up conversations at the bar, or offering helpful tips. It truly made our visit that much more enjoyable. Below, I’ve rounded up my favorite must-sees, where to eat, where to stay, the best shops, plus what to know before booking your trip to Budapest, Hungary.
The Layout – The city itself is split into two with Buda on the left and Pest on the right. The majority of Buda is more suburban; consisting mostly of families while the main part of the city is in Pest and feels a little more lively and vibrant. I suggest sticking to Pest but it is definitely worth popping across the Danube River for the gorgeous view back towards Pest.
The Currency – They use Forent, not the Euro, but many places will accept both. A Forent is approximately 300 to 1 USD.
The Food – The food is wildly diverse, as in you can find anything you could possibly want to eat. I particularly loved the Israeli food in the Jewish quarter.
Transportation – City center is about 30 mins from the airport by car. Download Bolt (Taxify) app for easy transportation. It works just like Uber.
Safety – Budapest is ranked the safest city to travel alone as a woman, and even though I wasn’t alone, I certainly felt particularly safe!
Not to Miss – Whatever you do, don’t miss the evening boat tours. You can skip the dinner ones, an hour is plenty long. But the city is really magical at night with so many bridges
Királyi Pál u. 4, Budapest, Hungary
Located on the Pest side of the Danube (the most fun in my opinion), Hotel Rum is in a great spot. It is situated in a 19th-century apartment building where old world architecture is paired with modern design and a rooftop restaurant with 360-degree views.
Dohány utca 42-44, Budapest, Hungary
The Continental is situated on the site of what was once Budapest’s most famous baths. The architecture is a mix of art deco and modern boutique hotel and includes everything from grand arched ceilings to covered courtyards and rooftop gardens.
MONO Art + Design
Kossuth Lajos utca 12., Budapest
Mono is so worth stopping in just for the ambiance alone. I picked up two porcelain ring dishes from a local artist here.
Budapest, Andrássy út 2, 1061 Hungary
This gorgeous skincare line is over 100 years old and originated from Budapest’s thermal baths.
Paulay Ede utca 15, 1061 Budapest, Hungary
This super cute boutique with a really nice sales staff houses a bunch of local designers.
The Garden Studio
Paulay Ede u. 18, Budapest, 1061 Hungary
This shop is filled with so many bright patterns and expertly tailored shapes. Plus, it is in a great location, right by the Opera house and up the street from PUNCH.
Budapest, Andrássy út 26, 1061 Hungary
Featuring high-end artisan perfumes, the store itself is a gem. Grab your favorite lines like Byredo in this super gorgeous architectural store.
Rumbach Sebestyén utca 10, Budapest
All the wares are eco-friendly, minimal and so chic.
3 Bésci Street Budapest
The definitive cool-girl brand of Hungary – the store feels very French, very minimal and very sophisticated. I especially loved the bag selection.
Budapest, Dob u. 19, 1074 Hungary
A super cute Israeli restaurant in the Jewish quarter with generous cocktails and incredibly fresh food. We got the meat plate to share, the garlic dipping sauce, hummus, roasted cauliflower, mint yogurt, and alllll the pita. It’s a quick walk around the corner to some of the best Ruin Bars right after.
Budapest, Kazinczy u. 48, 1075 Hungary
Mexican themed ruin bar – meaning, the building was pre-WWII and the ceiling was bombed out. It’s now an open-air bar with a Mexican beer garden vibes + super kind, chatty locals
Budapest, Andrássy út 39, 1061 Hungary
You’ll find the best views of the city right here.
Budapest, 1061, Paulay Ede u. 33, 1061 Hungary
This ruin bar has live music, art installations, and separate wine tasting rooms.
Budapest, Március 15. tér 4, 1056 Hungary
They have a sister property out front that is a self-serve bar with comfy lounge furniture right under the bridge and a live DJ. Inside, the interior design is beyond. Be sure to order the mushroom risotto.
Budapest, Szent György tér 2, 1014 Hungary
Take a walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and snag amazing panoramic views of the city while you’re at it.
Budapest, Kossuth Lajos tér 1-3, 1055 Hungary
Go for the gorgeous gothic revival architecture and history. It’s situated in Kossuth Square in the Pest side of the city and is hands down my favorite sight in Budapest.
Great Market Hall
Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary
The largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest, explore local food stalls on the first floor and souvenirs on the second.
Centre of the Danube River
Set in the middle of the Danube River, this tiny island getaway in the city is perfect for exploring. Rent cute mini cars, rowboats, or grab a drink at the many pop-up bars.
Budapest, Kós Károly stny., 1146 Hungary
Close to the center of Budapest, this public park is a DO NOT MISS. It literally looks like a fairytale.
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