5 Reasons to Visit Budapest Right Now
Have you ever visited a specific place and immediately felt enraged at yourself because you hadn't managed to get their earlier?
This is what Budapest did to me. I'd always heard it's name and really never thought anything about it. "In one ear, out the other," as they say. But, once I managed to finagle my way to and through this city, I simultaneously fell in love and kicked myself for never listening to people talk about Budapest before.
I'd be strolling the streets, almost misty-eyed from the vibrant colors, clean streets, and mind-boggling architecture, muttering to myself, "How don't more people know about this place?!" "Why isn't this city more popular?!" and "I'm such an idiot for even contemplating not coming here!"
So, obviously, I needed to inform you folks about this experience and make sure you don't make the same mistake I almost did.
Because you need to go to Budapest. And here are 5 reasons why.
1. The Luxurious and Relaxing Baths
Did you know that the city of Budapest is situated on thermal springs with healing qualities? Or that their bathhouses date back centuries?
If not, now you do! If you already did, kudos! Budapest really doesn't mess around when it comes to R&R (Rest and Relaxation). They have plenty of bathhouses throughout the city where you can walk in and unwind by soaking in their both indoor and outdoor thermal pools, which are filled with the healing waters from the thermal springs!
If that's not enough to make you want to pack your things and go already, then I really don't know what you look for in a vacation...or life!
2. The Plethora of Sights
The city was officially named "Budapest" in 1873, but the area was first settled as early as 1 A.D. That's right: it dates back to the year One. Clearly, many things have been built from then until now! Therefore, luckily for all of us, we get to admire tons of architectural works of art for our own pleasure. (However, nothing from 1 A.D. Boo!)
Warning: Images may cause drooling and extreme wanderlust.
Heroes' Square (Hősök tere)
Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyad vára) & Varosliget Park
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge
Buda Castle (Budavári Palota)
Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion (Halászbástya) [Our personal favorites!]
The Hungarian Parliament Building
Other great places to go that we just didn't have enough time for: Gellert Hill, Gellert Baths, Shoes on the Danube Bank, and St. Stephen's Basilica
3. Affordable Prices
Although Hungary is situated in Europe, the country (and the city of Budapest) is not nearly as pricey as other fellow European countries, like Italy, France, and Spain. That's always something I look for in places I travel to, so this was a huge bonus for me!
But, really: who doesn't enjoy not worrying about money while spending time in a new city and/or country!?
4. The Food
Much to my surprise, Hungarian food is divine! There are lots of hearty dishes to try! My favorite was the paprika chicken, or "chicken paprikash," with dumplings, but there are a lot of other dishes to try, like goulash, langos, and tons of pastries! Even their pickles are decadent!
Oh, and their portions are incredible. One might say their American-like!
They even have lots of diversity in their food options, too, in case you don't want to have very filling Hungarian food all day every day! Your stomach will not be disappointed here!
5. The Nightlife
I had no idea that Budapest knew how to party. No clue! My favorite part of town to indulge in the nightlife was in the Old Jewish Quarter, or District VII neighborhood. Why?
What in the world is a ruin bar? Well, pretty much what it sounds like: a bar that looks like it's in ruins. However, they don't look particularly unique on the outside. In fact, they look like normal houses! But, inside, they are certainly not normal houses! These bars were built out of abandoned homes, then just...uniquely decorated! It's more of an artsy, dimly lit, colorful bar. And there's usually multiple floors!
My favorite had to be Szimpla Kert mainly because, to be quite honest, it was the only one I went to. But it was incredible and unlike any other bar I've ever witnessed! Two floors with cool vibes-- and every room was drastically different from the next (and there were so many rooms, I couldn't count!). There were even small bars hidden everywhere throughout the place so you didn't need to wander all the way back to the front door where the main bar is located!
What's not to like?
So? Have you booked your ticket yet?