2 Days in Budapest on Study Abroad.
Tips for making the most of Budapest, Hungary in 48 hours
One of the best parts of study abroad is being able to plan spontaneous weekend trips to other countries. Budapest, the capital of Hungary, should without a doubt make it on your list of must-see cities. The city is definitely up and coming with many study abroad participants and young tourists adding it to their lists, and with great reason! Budapest is a gorgeous Eastern European capital city complete with stunning architecture, loads of culture, great nightlife, delicious food, and countless things to do and sights to see. And although I’d recommend spending more then two days in the city, if a weekend is all you have it can definitely be done! Below are the must see/do things in Budapest if pressed for time!
What to See
One of the best ways to see all of the major sights in Budapest in a hurry is to buy a pass for the big sightseeing buses. Yes, those big red ones that are in every major city and automatically deem you a tourist. But definitely don’t let that stop you because for such a great price (about $17) you can get a 24-hour pass for the hop on hop off bus, and a ticket to a boat cruise along the Danube river.
Where to get off:
If you have two or three whole days in the city, definitely buy a 48 hour bus pass and hop off at every stop because they are all worth seeing. Though if you only have one day to see it all here are the stops you shouldn’t miss
1. The thermal baths. You can’t visit Budapest without a stop to one of the cities iconic thermal baths and spas. Hop off near Szèchenyi thermal bath and spa, put on your bathing suit, and relax for a few hours. For about $15-20 you can visit the baths and soak in the medicinal waters for as long as you like!
2. Buda Castle: Take the bus over the famous Chain Bridge to the Buda side of the city and hop off at Buda Castle. If you don’t have time to enjoy the art collection inside, just take in the stunning views an architecture of the buildings outside. The walls around the castle offer spectacular views of the Pest side of the city.
3. Fisherman’s Bastion: Once you’re done taking in the beauty of the castle make the short walk over to Fisherman’s Bastion, a medieval fortress that provides even more picturesque city views. If you have a friend that’s been to Budapest I’m sure you’ve seen a profile pic or Instagram taken at this spot! You’ll also be right next to Matthias Church, so snap a few pics there as well!
4. St. Stephens Basilica: take the bus back over to the Pest side of the city and hop off at St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest’s grand church with a memorising interior. If you have time, climb to the top of the Church’s some for a few great photo ops. and more city views.
5. Boat Cruise past Parliament: take advantage of your free boat cruise ticket and enjoy a ride along the Danube River seeing the sights from a different perspective. Here you’ll have great views of Budapest’s massive Parliament Building. I’d recommend opting for the nighttime cruise, as you’ll see the cities buildings lit up gorgeously!
These are just 5 of so many incredible places to see in Budapest, but if crunched for time are the top places I recommend!
What to Eat:
You can’t go to a different country without sampling some of the local cuisine, and Hungary is no exception! Below are a few dishes to try when in Budapest.
1. Hungarian Goulash soup: Goulash is a must try dish when in Hungary, and rightfully so, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s reminiscent of beef stew with amazing Hungarian spices in the mix.
2. Paprikás Csirk (paprika Chicken): paprika chicken is another staple Hungarian dish. It’s exactly what it sounds like: chicken served in a delicious creamy paprika sauces. It’s often served with a side of dumplings or pasta.
3. Langós (fried dough): you can’t travel to Budapest without seeing catching a glimpse (or taste) of Langós, served from food carts, in the markets, and at restaurants. It consists of dough fried and topped with (most frequently) cheese and sour cream! Kind of like a savoury and delicious funnel cake.
4. Cocktails: okay so not really a food, but Budapest is known for its reasonably priced food and goods and (thankfully) cocktails are not excluded! Cocktails at the majority of restaurants are priced around 5 euros and the options are endless, so trying one or two is a necessity! I recommend a classic Mojito or Strawberry Daiquiri.
Where to Go Out
If you’re only in Budapest for a weekend, attend one of the famous Sparty’s (spa party) held in the thermal baths. The Spa Parties are held every Saturday and are definitely an unforgettable and unique experience! Not very often will you have the chance to party and hangout in a thermal bath, so take advantage of your chance in Budapest.
If this isn’t your style though enjoy a more relaxed evening in one of the many bars and clubs around the city.
Budapest is quickly becoming a weekend hotspot for study abroad students, as it should be! The city is filled with plenty of places to see and things to do. It has a unique charm and feel to it as well, setting it apart from other popular European cities. A trip to Budapest is sure to enrich your study abroad experience and leave you with amazing memories. Although you could spend weeks exploring the city, it is more then possible to take it in on a weekend!