Budapest, the enchanting capital of Hungary, is often nicknamed “the Paris of the East”.
In fact, this magnificent nineteenth-century style town boasts an immense cultural and artistic heritage, as well as a lively nightlife and a young and cheerful atmosphere.
However, what most strikes its visitors is the magical aura that spreads from every building and every street: Budapest is a city of other times, steeped in history and enchantment. It is a unique place that manages to be both elegant and decadent at the same time.
The great Habsburg capital was born from the union of three distinct villages straddling the Danube: Obuda, Buda and Pest. The different souls that make up the city are still clearly visible today, almost two centuries after the merger. In fact, the old city on the western bank of the river and the new city on the east side, are different faces, equally fascinating and complementary to any visit to the Hungarian capital.
Furthermore, as recently published in an article in the Expedia Explore magazine, wonderful Budapest can be easily visited in just 72 hours. With 3 days at your disposal and a well-structured itinerary, you will be able to appreciate the best that the city has to offer and do not miss any of the unforgettable experiences that make this European capital a destination so rich in history and charm.
Practical Information on City Visits
In all probability, the first thing you will see of the beautiful Budapest will be the Ferenc Liszt airport. If this is your case, then the most important thing to do is to understand how to reach the city center, but not before having taken some florins. In fact, despite being part of the European Union, Hungary has maintained the national currency.
To get to the center there are several alternatives, but the most economical and effective method is certainly to take the 200E bus from Terminal 2 to the Kőbánya-Kispest stop. From there you will have to change and get on line 3 of Europe’s oldest metro to destination. The entire journey should not take more than 45 minutes.
As for moving around the city, even if urban transport is very efficient, the best way is to go on foot. In fact, walking with an upturned nose, you can fully appreciate the bohemian and somewhat retro air of this splendid European capital.
If you are thinking of using public transport, you can opt for single tickets for 350 HUF (about one euro) or for one of the passes, available for 24 hours, 72 hours or 7 days. The same tickets can be used on all forms of transport in the city.
Finally, staying on the subject of money, you will soon notice that shopping in Budapest is much cheaper than in Italy. This is true for almost every aspect of city life, except for entry to major tourist attractions. Try to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate, especially to taste the local meat and paprika delicacies, or the delicious soups.
Spas, Parliament and other attractions
When talking about Budapest, the first thing to jump to mind are without doubt its hot springs of geothermal origin. Among the spas of the city, the most famous and picturesque is certainly that of Széchenyi, right in the center. This is the largest spa in Europe and the cost of the day ticket is just 5500 UFT (about 17 euros). However remember: Széchenyi is just one of the 130 thermal baths scattered around the city.
Another must-see is a visit to the gigantic building that houses the Hungarian Parliament, a mammoth neo-Gothic building on the eastern bank of the Danube. Think, with its 268 meters long and its 691 rooms, the Budapest Parliament is the largest building in all of Hungary. The only way to visit the interior of the building is through a guided tour. To avoid disappointment, try to book the experience a little early.
Finally, do not miss the visit to the beautiful Buda Castle on the hills to the west of the city, an evening stroll on the magnificent Chain Bridge and why not, also a boat trip along the gentle waters of the city river. In this way, you will be able to admire from a different perspective the majesty and elegance of the city on the beautiful Blue Danube