How to capture the essence of Budapest in a day? Follow this one-day guide to cram in all that makes the city what it is: a Central European metropolis with an over 1000 year long story to tell!
To get an overall view of the city, take a tour, like the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing tour, or the Free Budapest Walking Tours. Once an image of the city has started to emerge after a formal introduction, take some time to get to know some of Budapest’s most prized attractions from close up, and try some of Budapest’s most delicious foods and drinks.
Have lunch at the Gundel Restaurant, one of the finest in Budapest with excellent Hungarian and French cuisine. Culinary must-tries include the pörkölt with galuska, the halászlé and of course the good old goulash soup.
Start the afternoon with Andrássy Avenue and Hero’s Square, the pride and joys of Budapest, built in the late 19th century standing to represent the golden era of Hungary. Strolling along the grand Andrássy lined by eclectic architectural masterpieces will make one feel as if in a movie, and not incorrectly, as the boulevard is a popular venue for shooting films. The vast and majestic Hero’s Square dominated by Millennium Monument and closed in by two beautiful museums is a feast for the eyes.
Just behind the Hero’s Square is the palace-like Széchényi Bath – pop in for a soak! Being the capital of a country boasting with the fifth largest thermal water capacity in the world, Budapest is the city of water, and for this reason, an ultimate spa destination. One can only say they have experienced Budapest, if they have visited a bath house.
Once revitalized, make your way up to the Castle District, the oldest area of Budapest with romantic medieval streets, lovely baroque buildings and gorgeous view of the Budapest’s unique and diverse cityscape. Stroll around the cobble stone streets and alleys, and then stop at the Royal Wine House and Cellar Museum for some wine tasting. Budapest is not only the city of water, but the capital of a wine country with 22 wine regions. As a result, not drinking wine in Budapest is just as much of a sin as say doing the same on visiting France. Hungarian specialities include the Tokaji wine coming from the Tokaj region, with excellent sweet desert wines. The Egri Bikavér or Bull’s Blood from Eger is favoured by red wine lovers. With the day coming to an end, it’s time to enjoy the sunset from the Fishermen’s Bastion.