Budapest was a delightful surprise, to say the least. I don’t actually remember what made me want to go, but I do remember once I had Budapest in my head, there was nowhere else I wanted to go. So I talked it up and made sure I found unbelievable flights super good stay so that we would end up there on our week-long European adventure. The decision to go was heavily influenced by me in my group I am not going to lie.
Also, just a heads up in you are planning to go to Budapest, it’s hot there, like really stinking hot if you are coming from milder May’s so pack according, if you want to see what I pack check out my last video: Pack with Me: How to Only Pack a Carry On.
Where to Stay in Budapest
When we landed in Budapest, I kind stranger explained to me that Budapest is broken out into 2 distinct areas separated by the river. The “Buda” side and the “Pest” and to keep it real simple you just need to look at a map and you see how the river just splits the two and left side will be the “Buda” side and the right side will be the “Pest” side. Personally, I would say that the Buda side is for beautiful views, but Pest is where the action and food is at, so for that reason, I would recommend staying on the Pest side.
From there Budapest is split into districts 23 and the lower the number, the closer the district is to the city centre (roughly). We ended up staying in District VII (Erzebetvaros) because my research showed that it was the most lively at night. However, if I were to do it again, I would try and stay close to the river and the Chain Bridge on the Pest side just because that’s where ended every night (you can’t beat that view and vibe). But our place was just a 20 min walk away so it wasn’t bad at all. For our trip, we decided to go with an Airbnb for our trip because there were super cute properties for really low prices. We ended up with a really cute loft style apartment that I really like and would recommend.
What to Do in Budapest: a Complete 3 Day Guide
Day One: Buda – All of the Beautiful Things
- Breakfast: The Alexandra Bookcafé, because its really pretty.
- Activity: Go up the Buda Castle Hill Funiclar you either go up the tram for rough ($6 CAD) or you can walk up as well. The Tram would be a super fun experience but we walked because we didn’t want to wait in the line and we were feeling cheap #realtalk
- Brunch / Light Snack: Walzer Cafe
- Activity: Buda Castle, it’s really grand here.
- Lunch: Pest-Buda Bistro
- Activity Explore the Matthias Church Neighbourhood
- Activity: Fisherman’s Bastion, if you go closer to sunset or in the evening, it’s actually FREE! But it’s completely worth paying for cause the view and pictures you can get are spectacular.
- Have dinner at Osbudavar Pizzeria
- Activity: Grab Ice Cream or a hot chocolate and walk the Chain Bridge – don’t forget a sweater cause although it hot during the day, it was quite breezy at night!
Day Two: Pest – Eat Your Heart Out
- Get breakfast at Cirkusz
- But save your Coffee run for Expresso Embassy
- Activity: St. Stephen’s Basilica – to go up cost something ridiculous like 600 HUF, which is $3 CAD and it was the best 3 dollars we spent because the views were amazing.
- Brunch / Light Snack: New York Cafe, this place is completely overpriced but the cafe is amazingly pretty, so my advice would be to just grab a drink and a dessert to split.
- Activity: Central Market Hall, but your souvenir here they have it all!
- Lunch: Lucky 7 Burgers
- Activity: The Opera House, if you can get a show do it!
- Activity: Walk along the River and see the Shoes on Danube & Hungarian Parliment
- Dinner: 2 Spaghi, its neighbourhood was really cute here!
- Activity: Night River Cruise or just walk it again with some desserts if you didn’t want to pay (that’s what we did).
Day Three: Explore, Relax & Play
- Breakfast: A la Maison
- Activity: Thermal Baths, full discloser we didn’t do this, the day we were supposed to we talked ourselves out of it cause we stayed up way too late the night before.
- Activity: Heroes Square
- Lunch: 360 Bar
- Activity: Váci Street for Shopping
- Activity: Citadella for Sunset – this is a hike up, it didn’t take that long but pack some cold drinks and stay hydrated. We ended up staying up here for so long, the view was breathtaking and you could see all of Budapest and then some, it was spectacular.
- Dinner: bpBARbq
- Activity: Ruin Bar
How Much Did We Spend in Budapest?
Honestly not that much. Budapest was really pretty and really cheap. I think I ended up spending something around $75 cad a day for EVERYTHING, accommodations, food, drinks, attractions, transportation, everything. Budapest was incredibly reasonable price, most of the attractions were free if not just a few dollars and I even found myself splurging on treats and drinks throughout the day because I could.
Extra Budapest Travel Tips
- Take the Trams, they are so cool and a total #throwback
- English was okay, it’s all we spoke and we were okay
- Check out the dessert bars, there were so many amazing ones
- Go into the old building and hotels, they are incredible on the inside
- Walk the streets in the day and night, the street in Budapest are so charming
And that’s my guide to Budapest, if there is anything must do thing that I missed please let me know because I do plan on going back soon. I absolutely loved the city, the people were nice, the food was amazing and the views were spectacular especially if you are sunrise and sunset chaser like myself.