Your Budapest Perfect Itinerary (Day 1)
Geographically located in the central of Europe, Hungary is a landlock in Europe. The land borders are shared with Austria to the west, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia to the south and southwest, Romania to the southeast, Ukraine to the northeast, and Slovakia to the north.
Speaking of travelling destination, in recent year, Budapest sure has gained big attention as one of must-visit cities in the world. I visited Budapest after finishing my trip in Prague. What I want to emphasize is those two cities are completely incomparable, because they really have their own charm. I love Prague as I feel like living in such a fairytail world with narrow streets and castle on the hill. I also love Budapest so much as it showed me how a European city evolves and remains kept even in modern age.
Budapest is divided into two parts by the Danube in a north-southerly direction. The hilly left bank is called Buda, with over 20 hills within the territory of the capital, and the plain right bank is called Pest.
Learn what to see, do, where to stay, and what to eat in this guide to the city!
Where to Stay
There are lot of fine and affordable accomodation you can find in Budapest, as the living expense in the city is not too expensive to begin with. You can easily find some accomodation in Airbnb or other booking site.
Some good, well-located and affordable accomodation in Budapest city center:
- Mira and Spicy Luxury Apartment
- Treasure Box Apartment
- Full Moon Design Hostel Budapest
- Parliament apartment
Tip: Most of sightseeing spot in Budapest is located along Danube river, so try to find the accomodation also somewhere along the river (doesn’t matter it is on Buda or Pest side).
1. Shoes Danube Bank
I am actualy a morning person when I travel. Why? Because I want to avoid crowds of tourist as much as I can. Also I want to feel the sensation of the early morning fresh air in other countries.
I left my hotel at 7.30 am and go stroll along Danube River. Whilst the views are spectacular and the moments timeless I urge you to stop by what I consider to be one of the most moving memorials that can be found openly in this fantastic city, and possibly in Europe. Apparently Shoes Danube Bank is the memorial to those marched down to the Danube by local fascist groups at 1945, they were forced to remove their shoes before being shot. Their bodies washed away in the river. I could feel the chill myself when visiting this place.
During a visit to the shoes memorial you may see relatives lay flowers, wreathes or light candles to honour the fallen who have given their lives; whilst at night under the ethereal glow of flickering candles and the moon the sculpture presents a very different image of solitude. Take a moment to stop by these shoes and reflect on how fortunate we all are.
While waiting for your 9 am Parlement Tour, have a breakfast at PICK Deli & Gourmet which is located at the intersection of Shoes Danube Bank and Budapest Parlement. It is a great self service restaurant with authentic Hungarian dishes. Cool place, modern layout, affordable price and you can enjoy traditional meal .
2. Tour Budapest Parliement
This Parliament is mind-blowing. Super pretty and looks luxury.
It is the city’s most symbolic building and one of the most famous in Europe.
On this 45-minute guided tour we visited the interior of the magnificent House of Parliament in Budapest. Built in the Gothic Revival style, it is the third-largest Parliament in the world. Also we could see the amazing Hungarian Crown Jewels and Hungarian Holy Crown, among other treasures.
Click here to book Budapest Parlement tour.
Ticket Price for adult: 5800 HUF (JPY 2500/IDR 300.000)
3. Lunch at New York Cafe
A gem in Budapest to enjoy exquisite pastries, chocolate cakes & coffee on the beautiful boulevards of Budapest, all in a historical place decorated with frescoes of the turn of the century. It is the one of the place you should visit if you are in Budapest!
Why you should come early tho? Well you may have lunch on time if you come before the lunch time. For non-hotel guest, you can only come directly to the restaurant and be on waiting list. The restaurant has really nice architecture, worth seeing but you need to wait for the queue at least 45 minutes.
The overall price is a little high (but not too high), but very worthwhile to be there. Amazing place for resting and the waiters are so kind. My friend was about to order one lunch set plus one main dish because he thought the set only is not enough. However the waiters suggested us not to order main dish because one lunch set must be fulfilling enough for us. And yes! the set portion was quite big, much better and bigger than what’s shown on menu. Thanks Mr. Waiters for your honesty and kindness!
4. Szechenyi Baths
It is the biggest and most popular of all the thermal baths in Budapest. Make sure you take your own flip flops and towels. Borrowing/buying one here is so expensive.
I think the thing impressed me the most from this place is the architecture. It was my first time going to this huge thermal bath yield with very classic beautiful European architecture. The building is very old which shows in its stunning architecture but can also be seen in some of the general Hungarian culture.
There’s even a Beer Spa, cozy wooden baths filled with the same thermal waters and mixed with beer to utilise the malt, and hops and yeast to benefit the skin. There is also the Palm House, a tropical oasis located in the rooftop of the baths with a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere for those wanting to get away from the crowds of the waters. And guess what? I visited this thermal bath WITHOUT knowing about the spa thing. I thought it was too expensive for only a thermal bath..that’s it.. without knowing about the Spa thing… I knew it from friend lately right after leaving the city. Don’t be like me guys. Make sure you have enough information first before visiting any places.
5. Hősök Tere (Heroes’ Square)
Catch the sunset in Hősök Tere or Heroes’ Square. It is the largest and most impressive square of the city. It is located near the thermal bath, only 10 minutes by walk.
6. Terror Háza (House of Terror Museum)
Museum does a very good job at conveying a sense of fear with the background sounds. Again many if the Video translations were poor and hard to follow.
Maybe controversial but felt some of the written commentary in parts tried to justify/give explanations re the decisions made by previous administrations.
7. Dinner at Hungarikum Bizstro
While you are in Budapest, try to eat the authentic cuisine in town. It is not hard to find Hungarian restaurant in the city center. Google maps will show you the best which match to your taste and budget.
Honestly I don’t really remember what I ordered. The Hungarian name is so difficult hahaha. But I will give you recommendation of what you should eat.
Főzelék is such a unique Hungarian dish it can’t be translated into English. Though it looks like a soup at first sight, a more accurate description might be a thick vegetable stew. Főzelék is one of the few healthy choices on the list of national dishes and, being practical and easy to make, it is a typical home-cooked dish. There are special főzelék bars spread around cities, making it an ideal choice for a quick, healthy and very Hungarian dining experience. There are many variations including potato, peas, beans, lentils and carrot főzelék, all made by simmering and thickened by flour mixed with sour cream.
8. Night Danube River Cruise
Do you know that Budapest is one of the city which has one of the best and most romantic night view in the world? Okay, I may be exaggerating but that’s my impression of night view in Budapest. They literally light up almost everything. They light up the Parlement building, Buda Castle, some churches, and all of the bridges along the river in the city.
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Day 1 sightseeing route in Budapest