Buda + Pest = Budapest

Wanderguide by

Viktor Grasztity

The Ultimate Guide to Budapest

This ultimate guide to Budapest breaks down the things to see and do into neighborhoods, so it's easier for you to plan your trip. Each neighborhood has the best selection of sights, museums, eateries, bar and clubs. Enjoy!

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Buda Castle

Introduction to Budapest 101

Image - Buda Castle
Place
Buda Castle
Viktor:Buda Castle is the number 1 tourist attraction in Budapest. If you're not really into traditional sightseeing, but you do want to see a little bit of history, you should come here.
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Image - Matthias Church
Place
Matthias Church
Viktor:One of the oldest Gothic churches in Budapest located in the castle
Image - Fisherman's Bastion
Place
Fisherman's Bastion
Viktor:Next to Matthias Church, the Fisherman's Bastion offers some great views of the river Danube and the Pest side of town
Image - Savoy terrace
Place
Savoy terrace
Viktor:In the southern part of the castle, this terrace is home to the equestrian statue of Eugene of Savoy located in front of the National Gallery. And of course beautiful views...
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Image - Hungarian National Gallery
Place
Hungarian National Gallery
Viktor:Collection of international and Hungarian art from the 19th century to the present day and temporary international exhibitions
Image - ZONA
Place
ZONA
Viktor:After a long walk in the castle, have something to eat in this contemporary restaurant serving modern cuisine overlooking the river and the Chain Bridge.
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Image - Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Place
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Viktor:Stroll across to Pest on the oldest bridge in Budapest built in the 19th century.
Image - PONTOON
Place
PONTOON
Viktor:Finish your tour of the castle with some drinks next to the river with picturesque views of Buda.
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Gellért Hill

Climb up a hill, and then go to one of the world-famous baths of Budapest

Image - Gellért Hill
Place
Gellért Hill
Viktor:Right next to the city center, walk up for a panoramic view of the city.
Image - Citadella
Place
Citadella
Viktor:On top of Gellért Hill, it is worth coming up here at night too, when the whole city including the castle and all the bridges are lit up.
Image - Rudas Baths
Place
Rudas Baths
Viktor:After climbing Gellért, relax in this traditional Turkish bath at the foot of the hill. On weekdays, there are separate men's days and women's days, so check before you go.
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Image - Gellért Thermal Bath
Place
Gellért Thermal Bath
Viktor:Alternatively, you could go to this elegant Art Nouveau style thermal bath also next to the hill.
Image - Liberty Bridge
Place
Liberty Bridge
Viktor:Walk across Liberty Bridge to Pest.
Image - Great Market Hall
Place
Great Market Hall
Viktor:The historic building of the Great Market Hall is a beautiful sight in itself. However, if you want to buy some Hungarian produce, this is one of the best places to do it. This is also one of the few places where you can find fresh fish delivered 2 times a week. Look for the fishmongers in the basement after the pickles.
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Image - Szegedi Halászcsárda
Place
Szegedi Halászcsárda
Viktor:One of the lesser know stars of Hungarian cuisine is fish soup. Try this delicious dish at this unpretentious specialty restaurant located on a stationery boat next to Liberty Bridge.
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Image - Travelade Image
Place
Limo Café
Viktor:Next to the river, this closed-down café hosts underground raves at irregular intervals. If you see a crowd outside, or you hear music, just go inside confidently and pay the cover. The historic riverside building has an ironically tacky 90s interior. There's a 50-50 chance that the music is good, but even if it's not, take the stairs up to the rooftop bar, and you'll get to see Budapest at night or even at dawn.
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Danube

The Danube is the river of Budapest with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the world. The public transport system operates 3 boat lines along the river, and this is the cheapest way to see the city from the water.

Image - Margaret Island
Place
Margaret Island
Viktor:Margitsziget is an island in the middle of the Danube between Pest and Buda. It's a verdant park with a musical fountain, an open-air theater, swimming pools, and a running track, among others. You can lie down on the grass and have a picnic if the weather is good.
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Image - Margitsziget, Centenáriumi emlékmű
Place
Margitsziget, Centenáriumi emlékmű
Viktor:From this boat stop, take the D12 boat line towards Kopaszi-gát, and you get to see both waterfronts from the river.
Image - Hungarian Parliament Building
Place
Hungarian Parliament Building
Viktor:On the way, experience the best view of the Parliament.
Image - Ludwig Museum
Place
Ludwig Museum
Viktor:Get off the boat at Müpa, and visit the Ludwig Museum inside the Palace of Arts. The Ludwig in Budapest is one of the best contemporary art museums in the world with exciting exhibitions on several floors.
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Image - Müpa Budapest
Place
Müpa Budapest
Viktor:The Palace of Arts is a modern architectural wonder with two world-class concert halls hosting classical and contemporary classical performances, and even popular concerts.
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Image - Petőfi Bridge
Place
Petőfi Bridge
Viktor:From the Palace of Arts, take a walk along the Danube to Petőfi Bridge, and cross to Buda.
Image - A38
Place
A38
Viktor:Next to Petőfi Bridge stands the A38 stationery boat, which is a former Ukrainian ship turned cultural center with a restaurant, two outdoor bars, an exhibition space, and in the bottom of the ship, the best concert venue in town offering seasoned artists and upcoming newbies in every genre, from indie pop to hard techno to death metal, literally everything.
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Jewish Quarter

The inner part of the 7th district is currently the hippest part of the city. Historically the Jewish Quarter, then during communism a lot of people were rehoused here from the countryside, in the early 2000s a favorite of university students, and now the it place mainly for young travelers.

Image - Dohány Street Synagogue
Place
Dohány Street Synagogue
Viktor:The largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. There is always a line in front, so it's better to buy your ticket in advance.
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Image - Rumbach Street Synagogue
Place
Rumbach Street Synagogue
Viktor:Moorish style synagogue
Image - Kazinczy Street Synagogue
Place
Kazinczy Street Synagogue
Viktor:Late Art Nouveau synagogue
Image - Gettó Gulyás
Place
Gettó Gulyás
Viktor:Traditional Hungarian cuisine served in a contemporary ambiance
Image - Fricska Gastropub
Place
Fricska Gastropub
Viktor:Don't let the name fool you, Fricska is nothing like a gastropub, it is currently the best fine dining restaurant in the neighborhood serving a daily menu of the freshest ingredients at affordable prices. There is also a cheaper lunch service, but if you want to go in the evening, you have to make a reservation at least a few days in advance.
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Image - Soul Food
Place
Soul Food
Viktor:Creole food
Image - Ramenka
Place
Ramenka
Viktor:Hipster ramen restaurant
Image - Sáo food&bar
Place
Sáo food&bar
Viktor:The best Asian restaurant in Budapest with a tastefully beautiful interior serving Vietnamese-Chinese fusion. Closed on Sundays
Image - Szimpla Kert
Place
Szimpla Kert
Viktor:If you are in Budapest, you have to see at least one ruin bar. Szimpla is the first and most famous one, which started the whole trend that contributed to the revitalization of the Jewish district. Because this is the original ruin bar, it is usually overrun by tourists, so go during the day for a coffee or a drink, and they even serve decent burgers. Walk around the whole space, and if the weather is nice, sit in the courtyard to take in the unique atmosphere of this run-down residential building.
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Image - Telep-Art Galéria
Place
Telep-Art Galéria
Viktor:Hip bar with a small art gallery on top. Urban legend has it that the hottest people can be found here during the night.
Image - Kisüzem
Place
Kisüzem
Viktor:The ultimate hipster bar of Budapest with an unbelievable selection of hard liquors. At night, it's always full of people, but during the day this is a great place to work. They even have a cheap and tasty lunch offer, which rarely leaves you unsatisfied.
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Image - Fogas Ház és Kert
Place
Fogas Ház és Kert
Viktor:LÄRM! Fogas Kert is another ruin bar, which is pleasant at daytime. Unfortunately, at night it turns into the biggest tourist trap of Budapest playing the worst music to a basic target audience at several stages. However, hidden in this complex of mediocrity, there is the best techno club in town, Lärm. There are several entrances with face control from the street. Don't stand at the end of the line sometimes stretching to the corner of the street, but go to the front, and find the queue-less entrance to Lärm. The bouncer will ask you questions like do you know where you're going, what party it is, or who's playing. Just check online before, and you'll get in. Inside it's dark and all about the music! At Lärm you can always feel at home, even if it is your first time.
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Heroes' Square

Spend a day in the City Park

Image - Heroes' Square
Place
Heroes' Square
Viktor:The largest and most impressive square of Budapest serving as one of the entrance points to Városliget (City Park)
Image - City Park
Place
City Park
Viktor:Take a walk, and discover some of its hidden gems.
Image - Vajdahunyad Castle
Place
Vajdahunyad Castle
Viktor:Located in City Park, Vajdahunyad is a fake castle built at the end of the 19th century.
Image - Museum of Fine Arts
Place
Museum of Fine Arts
Viktor:If you don't like the weather, take in some high culture at the Museum of Fine Arts housing collections of international and Hungarian art from ancient times to the end of the 18th century. Located on Heroes' Square
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Image - Kunsthalle
Place
Kunsthalle
Viktor:Also located on Heroes' Square, the Kunsthalle has been exhibiting contemporary art since its foundation at the end of the 19th century.
Image - Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
Place
Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
Viktor:If you're not into historic sightseeing, or you want to spend a fun day with the family, visit the Budapest Zoo on the edge of City Park. There are so many animals to be seen that you can literally spend the entire day there, and they also have a petting zoo for the children.
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Image - Robinson Étterem
Place
Robinson Étterem
Viktor:If you've worked up an appetite from all the walking around City Park, have a tasty meal at this restaurant with a two-storey terrace overlooking an artificial lake.
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Image - Kertem
Place
Kertem
Viktor:Have a drink at this outdoor bar in the middle of City Park. Family-friendly
Image - Pántlika Bistro
Place
Pántlika Bistro
Viktor:Originally an information pavillion built for the Budapest International Fair in 1964, this nostalgic communist building has been transformed into a hip bar located at the furthest end of City Park.
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Children's Railway

The Children's Railway is truly unique. You get to experience a cute form of communism in the beautiful natural environment of the Buda Hills with outdoor activities along the way.

Image - Hűvösvölgy, Children's Railway
Place
Hűvösvölgy, Children's Railway
Viktor:The Children's Railway is not a train line for children, but one operated by children (with some adult supervision). Don't worry, the train driver is a grown up. This communist era railway line travels through the Buda Hills, and has 9 stops with something to see and do at almost every station. Family-friendly
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Image - Kaán Károly kilátó
Place
Kaán Károly kilátó
Viktor:The first stop is Hárshegy. Here you can go for an easy hike up Hárs Hill to this watch tower to experience some spectacular views of the nature surrounding Budapest.
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Image - Budaszentlőrinc Pauline Monastery
Place
Budaszentlőrinc Pauline Monastery
Viktor:The second station is Szépjuhászné. Here you can see the remains of an old monastery.
Image - Budakeszi Wildlife Park
Place
Budakeszi Wildlife Park
Viktor:The third stop is Vadaspark. Here you can visit this wildlife park in the middle of the forest. Family-friendly
Image - Elizabeth Lookout
Place
Elizabeth Lookout
Viktor:The fourth station is János-hegy with the Elizabeth Lookout Tower.
Image - Annaréti Szent Anna-kápolna
Place
Annaréti Szent Anna-kápolna
Viktor:The fifth stop is Virágvölgy. Here you can go for a walk in the Annarét Meadow.
Image - Normafa
Place
Normafa
Viktor:The next station is Normafa, one of the most popular outdoor destinations of locals.
Image - Budapest Cog-wheel Railway
Place
Budapest Cog-wheel Railway
Viktor:From the last stop of the Children's Railway, Széchenyi-hegy, take the Cog-wheel Railway (seems like Hungarians are obsessed with trains). The Cog-wheel takes you down from the Buda Hills to Városmajor, a park in Buda.
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Image - Városmajor
Place
Városmajor
Viktor:A splash of green in a mainly residential part of Buda with outdoor workout equipment, running track and tennis courts
Image - Fióka - Restaurant, Wines, Beers
Place
Fióka - Restaurant, Wines, Beers
Viktor:Cute restaurant at the entrance to Városmajor with outside seating in the summer

Wanderguide map

  1. Buda Castle
  2. Matthias Church
  3. Fisherman's Bastion
  4. Savoy terrace
  5. Hungarian National Gallery
  6. ZONA
  7. Széchenyi Chain Bridge
  8. PONTOON
  9. Gellért Hill
  10. Citadella
  11. Rudas Baths
  12. Gellért Thermal Bath
  13. Liberty Bridge
  14. Great Market Hall
  15. Szegedi Halászcsárda
  16. Limo Café
  17. Margaret Island
  18. Margitsziget, Centenáriumi emlékmű
  19. Hungarian Parliament Building
  20. Ludwig Museum
  21. Müpa Budapest
  22. Petőfi Bridge
  23. A38
  24. Dohány Street Synagogue
  25. Rumbach Street Synagogue
  26. Kazinczy Street Synagogue
  27. Gettó Gulyás
  28. Fricska Gastropub
  29. Soul Food
  30. Ramenka
  31. Sáo food&bar
  32. Szimpla Kert
  33. Telep-Art Galéria
  34. Kisüzem
  35. Fogas Ház és Kert
  36. Heroes' Square
  37. City Park
  38. Vajdahunyad Castle
  39. Museum of Fine Arts
  40. Kunsthalle
  41. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden
  42. Robinson Étterem
  43. Kertem
  44. Pántlika Bistro
  45. Hűvösvölgy, Children's Railway
  46. Kaán Károly kilátó
  47. Budaszentlőrinc Pauline Monastery
  48. Budakeszi Wildlife Park
  49. Elizabeth Lookout
  50. Annaréti Szent Anna-kápolna
  51. Normafa
  52. Budapest Cog-wheel Railway
  53. Városmajor
  54. Fióka - Restaurant, Wines, Beers

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