The third leg of our trip to Europe this past spring took us to Budapest, Hungary! We took a train from Vienna and arrived in the early afternoon, with 2 and a half days to fit in everything we wanted to see and do. Here’s how we did it!
After getting settled into our Airbnb, we discovered that Budapest’s Spring Festival was going on at Vorosmarty Square just a few minutes walk away! The way our tour guide described it was that it’s like the Christmas festival but with nicer weather. We wandered around the festival for a while and then grabbed dinner at a restaurant on the square.
After dinner, we went on a pub tour and got to check out Budapest’s nightlife. We had a blast visiting four different bars, including Szimpla Kert, the most famous ruin bar, trying a few local drinks and making new friends with others in our tour group! I’d highly recommend the tour, read more about it in my last post.
The next morning we went back to the Spring Festival to grab breakfast (the street food in Budapest is amazing!) and then joined Trip to Budapest’s Free Budapest Walk tour. They offer it every day at 10:30 and it met right in Vorosmarty Square where the festival was. The tour lasted about 3 hours and it started on the Pest side of the city, passing through the Elisabeth Square and by St. Stephen’s Cathedral before heading across the Chain Bridge to the Buda side. We climbed up the hill to Buda Castle where there’s incredible views looking onto the Pest side of the city across the Danube river. We saw the changing of the guards at the presidential palace, walked to St. Matthias Church and ended the tour at the Fisherman’s Bastion (with more great views of Pest). The tour was fantastic, a really good way to get our bearings of the city.
By the time the tour ended it was mid-afternoon and we were hungry again so we stopped at a café in Buda for coffee and dessert and then on our walk back to our Airbnb, we stopped at a street vendor for a langos, a delicious fried dough with sour cream, cheese and garlic.
Back at our Airbnb, we got ready and then headed to St. Gellert Baths for a relaxing evening at the thermal baths. Between the indoor and outdoor pools, and the sauna and steam rooms, we left that evening feeling rejuvenated and refreshed for the 2nd half of our trip! More on our visit to the thermal baths in this post.
The next morning, we took a walk past the Parliament building – it looks more like a castle than the actual Buda Castle! Then we visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral where we saw St. Stephen’s mummified hand and climbed to the top of the bell tower, another spot with great views of the city!
From there, we took a walk down Andrassey Avenue, a UNESCO World Heritage street lined with elegant mansions and townhouses and boutiques, ending at Heroes Square.
Then after continuing our walk into City Park, we took the metro (the first metro system in Europe!) to Elisabeth Square to sit outside and drink a Frocc (a wine spritzer). The square was full of young people just hanging out in the sunshine – brought us back to our days in college hanging out on Ohio State’s oval!
In the evening, we sprung for a dinner cruise to see the Danube all lit up at night. After stuffing ourselves of Hungarian foods at the dinner buffet, we went up on the top deck of the boat to take in the views!
And that wraps up our fun two and a half days in Budapest!