Why Budapest Should Be At The Top of Your Bucket List

Why Budapest Should Be At The Top Of Your Bucket List

This holiday season was one that is simply unforgettable. Instead of flying from Florence to JFK like many of my study-abroad comrades, I found myself on a jet from Pisa to Budapest with two friends. About two months ago, we talked about where we wanted to celebrate Christmas; and for the first time in our lives, it wouldn’t be at home in the States. After doing some brief research, we booked three nights in Hungary’s bustling capital at a cheap Air BnB right in the city centre. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this historic city; I cannot wait to return to this ‘hidden treasure chest’. Here is why Budapest should be on the top of your bucket list this year. 

Food and Drink

Devouring goulash, sausages, roasted potatoes and onions is how to eat heartily while traveling. Hungarian cuisine is the ultimate definition of comfort food. You can’t go wrong with any of the choices at the hundreds of restaurants in the city. Don’t miss out on a Hungarian beer or glass of Tokaji (Hungarian sweet sine).

Castle Hill

We weren’t the only ones exploring Castle Hill on an early Sunday morning. Here you have an impeccable view of Buda and Pest (yes, they were separate cities that combined in 1873) as well as access to Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. These historic landmarks cannot be missed, and their architecture is to be fully admired. Hop on the funicular and enjoy the ride up the hill (without recording it for your Snap story).

The Chain Bridge

Walking on the Chain Bridge is a great, free thing to do when you just want to do something low key. Soak in a perfect view of Buda Castle and the Parliament Building as you stroll across the Danube River. I recommend checking this out around sunset!

The Parliament Building

The Parliament Building is a truly magnificent building to walk around. At night, it’s lit up and absolutely beautiful to look at from Fisherman’s Bastion, giving off a golden glow. You do not fully grasp how large this building is until you’re right up next to it!

The Opera

The Gothic style of the Opera building is simply beautiful. Hop on the Metro or walk to enter this grand building. There are shows year round. Just make sure you reserve tickets in advance! Don’t forget to enjoy a classic bowl of goulash with battered dumplings at the Opera Café after the show.

The Thermal Baths

Budapest is known for their thermal baths spread throughout the city. We soaked in the Széchenyi baths for hours, and it was once in a lifetime experience that balanced out our trip with some much needed relaxation. Many other people enjoyed a nice soak in the medicinal waters with us.

The Prices

Everything is fairly cheap and affordable in Budapest! You can get a full meal and drink for less than ten euros, a coffee for two euros, and a single ride on the hipster metro is about one euro. Most places take credit and debit cards, but exchanging dollars or euros into HUFs is a smart idea.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in convenient and easy to use in Budapest. The metro, trams, and buses run frequently and are very reliable. We used all three many times to get around the city.

Budapest has recently become a popular city to visit in Europe, and I now know why. Don’t miss out on this Hungarian gem!

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By Emma Lemay

Emma is a communications major at Marist College who is spending her freshman year in Florence, Italy. She has an in depth passion for hanging out at cozy cafés. When she isn’t attending classes above cobblestone streets, she can be found writing in her journal with a cappuccino, traveling throughout Europe, or binge watching “Gilmore Girls.” To keep up with her European adventures, catch up on her blog. She’d love to hear from you!


  1. Truly wanderful city. We’ve just been there last week… unfortunately for a couple of days only and when the really freezing cold weather had started. But even though, we enjoyed our stay 🙂

  2. I live here, in Hungary, and I go to Budapest frequently. But I live in an other city, Pécs which is also worth to go to. 🙂

  3. Budapest has been on my to-visit-list for years! I live in Vienna so it’s just a short trip by car or even boat… Maybe this year..


  4. I visited Budapest last year and it’s definitely on my list of places to go back to! It’s such a beautiful, fun city!

    Ali – alibourke.com

  5. OH yeah, I am Hungarian, and lived in Budapest for 8 years, it is a city to love that is for sure!I can only recommend it!

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