What are the best things to do in Budapest?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Roberta Gyori

Budapest is a great walking city, and many of the city's attractions can be reached on foot. The main sights in Buda are located on and around Castle Hill, while most of the attractions in Pest can be found between the Danube and Grand Boulevard. While Budapest has a lot to offer, here are five things that Forbes Travel Guide’s editors think should not be missed:
1. Tour Castle Hill. One of the most visited attractions in Budapest, Castle Hill has a varied history that goes back as far as the 13th century. The cobblestone streets will lead you through narrow passages, and past Gothic ruins and rows of Baroque houses. The view from Fishermen's Bastion is simply magnificent, the courtyards of the former Royal Palace are majestic and the Castle Hill Funicular is a fun ride to the top of Castle Hill.
2. Stroll along the Danube Promenade. Whether you choose to promenade during the day or during the evening, when the city is all lit up, you’ll understand why Budapest is called “The Pearl of the Danube.” The Danube Promenade, located on the Pest riverbank, starts at the foot of Elizabeth Bridge and ends at the historic Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge to connect Buda and Pest.
3. Visit a historic bath. Budapest sits on a large natural thermal water system, feeding a number of historic baths. With a bathing culture dating back to Roman times, the city’s baths or spas are perfect places to kick back and relax. Baths like Széchenyi and Gellért are perhaps the most popular choices but a visit to Rudas or Király baths, two original Turkish baths from the 16th century, is also a unique experience.
4. Shop at Central Market Hall. The largest indoor market in the city is a Budapest landmark. The ground floor and the lower level are packed full of local merchants offering everything from fruits and vegetables to fish, sausages and dairy products. Be sure to try the homemade strudels and farmer’s bread sold by several vendors on the main floor. When you get hungry, the upper level food court offers a variety of traditional Hungarian street food.
5. Enjoy a coffee house. The city’s coffee house culture dates back several hundred years, but it truly flourished in the 1900’s. Coffee houses in Budapest have a rich history, beautiful architecture and an old world charm. They are perfect for spending a couple of hours lounging, people watching and indulging in coffee and delicious cakes and pastries. The most popular and storied grand cafés are Gerbeaud, Auguszt, Lukács and Centrál.

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