When traveling, there is always more than one way to explore and experience a city. There is the tried and true route with guided tours and museums, and the off the beaten path route with a focus on food and local experiences over parks and exhibits. The city of Budapest is no exception.
When traveling to Budapest for the first time, there is plenty to see and do no matter which category suits you best. To plan your trip discover our beginner’s guide to Budapest.
For the Tried and True Traveler
1. Memento Park
Check out this eerie and historic park just outside Budapest, where the life-sized statues of Communist leaders were relegated in 1989 when Hungary first embraced a free-market economy.
The park also offers an exhibit showcasing what the military barracks were like in Communist Hungary and a cinema plays films of Communist propaganda. There is even a gift shop selling Communist-themed merchandise. A must see for anyone with an interest in Budapest’s history.
2. The Museum of Fine Arts
Stop in an experience some of the most beautiful European art, both historic and modern. With a focus on paintings, drawings, and sculptures, the museum’s crown jewel is a horseman sculpture made by Leonardo Da Vinci.
photo credit: Andreas Lehner 2013 via photopin cc
For Those Off the Beaten Path
1. Hunt for Treasure
Budapest offers two great places to experience the true feel and culture of the city while looking for a unique souvenir to bring home. The first, called Antique Row by locals, is located steps from the Parliament Building and features more than 50 small booths and galleries where vendors sell a wide variety of antique treasures.
Another option, a little further out of the heart of the city, is The Ecseri Flea Market. Smaller than Antique Row, this market place has the added benefit of being less picked-over, making it more likely that you’ll discover something truly special.
2. Experience Local Cuisine
The easiest way to enjoy an experience-centered day in Budapest is to eat the local food. Hungarians love fried food, and the Central Market Hall, the largest indoor market place in Budapest, is a two-story showcase of the best local delicacies.
Take your own walking tour through the market and sample the homemade sausage and fried cheeses. Be sure to pace yourself, there are nearly a hundred food vendors in the massive market on any given day, and you’ll want to try it all.
photo credit: Szechenyi Baths via photopin cc
Something For Everyone
Whether you are the type of traveler who focuses on history and fine art, or the type who values the experience of hunting for antiques and indulging in fried foods, everyone who visits Budapest should stop at one the world famous thermal baths the city has to offer.
Budapest isn’t called “The City of Baths” for nothing, and no matter where you’re staying in Budapest, there should be a bath nearby. There are historic and traditional Turkish baths dating back to the 16th century, and high end modern ones with health spas built around them.
No matter which you prefer, you simply haven’t experienced the city properly until you’ve taken a dip in one.
About the Author
Jason Kane is an avid traveler and a professional blogger. He recommends Travel Docs for any passport and visa needs.