Szia (hi in Hungarian) everyone! If you want to explore Central Europe, Budapest is a destination that you cannot miss! Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is known for its thermal springs. What couldn’t be a better way to start this trip with bathing all your problems away in thermal waters with healing elements? 😁
I spent three days here in Budapest and I had enough time to explore the city while munching on some sweets at some cute cafes. Be pending of the upcoming posts, because then I will be sharing my food moments with you in Budapest 😝
1. Széchenyi Baths
On our first day here, we decided to spend our evening in the thermal pools at Széchenyi Baths, the most popular bathhouse in Budapest. The bathhouse’s exterior looks like a grand yellow summer palace with greeneries surrounded around it. With 18 pools and 10 saunas available, it was quite busy and festive in a way. What makes this bath house really popular is because they usually hold pool parties between 10:30 PM until 3 AM on Saturdays. Guests would have the opportunity to play chess in the pools, dance to the music and have fun all night long here. Since Széchenyi Baths is the most popular one, it means that many tourists visit it too. The pools and saunas were not the cleanest, as it has many dead skin cells floating in the indoor thermal baths 😟 . However, many visitors seem to enjoy the baths a lot without troubles because of the large varieties of baths that are present. The indoor thermal baths have different temperatures and medication, so make sure to try all of them! On another note, the sauna area do have a strong smell since it has medication in the water. There are three outdoor pools which two of them is considered as thermal baths while there’s one that is a swimming pool of 50 meter and you can only enter if you have a swimming cap.
indoor thermal baths
We took a cabin ticket, which costs 5900 HUF (18 euros) in the weekends. The reason for choosing the cabin is because you get to have one changing room for yourself and you get to put all your belongings there and have it locked. For the cabin, we received a plastic watch with sensor on it so we can always open it whenever we want. I advise you to bring your own swimsuit, slippers and (not too new looking) towel, because my towel got stolen within the first hour since it looks a bit new and unused 😅. Overall, Széchenyi Baths is quite nice to visit since there are multiple pools to choose and the outdoor pools have an even nicer atmosphere when it is dark.
2. Gellért Baths
Known for its Art Nouveau architecture, Gellért Baths is located inside the Gelllért hotel of the Buda area. Compared to Széchenyi Baths, this one is much more smaller in acres and therefore has less pools. In my opinion, Gellért Baths is cooler than Széchenyi Baths because it has a wave pool too! There are 2 swimming pools, 2 outdoor pools and 8 thermal baths in total. What makes this place better is that the pools and thermal baths are much more cleaner and less crowded with tourists.
inside the indoor thermal baths
the wave pool
This time we also took a cabin ticket, which costs roughly 5700 HUF (18 euros) during the weekdays. In total, I spent more time here in the baths because of how relaxing it is and because it is not too crowded. One of the outdoor pools is a bubble bath pool, so that makes it even more soothing for my back muscles 🤩
the "cabins" they provided for us
3. Buda Castle
I still remember how warm that day was when we decided to visit the Buda Castle. Unbeknown to my knowledge, I took the hard way to go up the castle via a zigzag stair path with lots of stairs to climb (at the east of the castle, near the trams). Meanwhile, there is an easier approach to go up to the castle via elevators, which is near the central gate of the castle. The Buda Castle is on top of the “hill”, so once you go up there you will be able to see an overview of the city Budapest.
Tips for everyone, even though the trams (funicular) look appealing to take to go up to the Buda Castle, don’t do it. It’s a tourist trap. The 2-min ride will cost you roughly 4 euros one way. Unless you want to see the view of Budapest in an ascending/descending motion, then this is the best way to experience it.
Inside the Buda Castle, you will find the History museum of Budapest. The ticket price is 1800 HUF (roughly 6 euros), which is worth it if you are a museum fan since there are several floors filled with paintings and statues.
4. Parliament Building
One of the largest parliament buildings in the world, this is a must-see building in Budapest. In order to be able to enter the building, you are required to book the tickets in advanced (you can choose in different languages: Spanish, Chinese etc). To see the interior of the Parliament building, a guide will give you a tour around the building in groups. An interesting thing I picked up is that there are many guards walking around and guarding the building in each room, so it is quite cool to experience that. Another interesting story is the Holy Crown which is stored inside the Parliament Building, since it was stolen or lost several times before. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of the Holy Crown~ On another note, the admission ticket is 2000 HUF for EU citizens and 4000 HUF for non-EU citizens.
the meeting room
the back side of the parliament building in daylight
the hungarian parliament building at night
Chamber of the Lower House of the National Assembly
the grand staircase inside Parliament building
5. Chain Bridge
One of the bridges that connect Buda and Pest is the Chain Bridge. The suspension bridge was completed in 1849, and it was the first bridge that connects Buda and Pest together. It is the best to visit or walk on the bridge at night since the lights on the heavy chains will go on (Emoji). The length of the bridge is roughly 400 metres, so it is pretty walkable to the other side (emoji) When you are on the bridge, you will get to see the Buda Castle, the Parliament building and Fisherman’s Bastion too.
6. Fisherman’s Bastion
You think the Buda Castle would provide the best view of Budapest? Nope, that would be the Fisherman’s Bastion, which is farther up on the hill. A suggestion: take a bus up there otherwise it will feel like you are hiking on a cemented hill.
The Fisherman’s Bastion was built between 1895 and 1902, to celebrate the 1000th birthday of the Hungarian state. Basically, the Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace for panoramic viewing, where you can see the Pest side from here. It is best to visit the Fisherman’s Bastion when the sun is setting or when it is dark because the Chain bridge and the Parliament building will light up ✨🌉
Attractions in Budapest
That’s the top attractions that we have visited in Budapest! The public transportation in Budapest is very convenient and thus easy to go from A to B. There are many other less popular attractions that you could visit like St. Stephen’s Basilica or House of Terror. Nevertheless, Budapest was a fun yet relaxing city to visit!
A city that will make you fall in love instantly with its beautiful buildings and bridges
Until next time~