A Cheat Sheet for Budapest, Hungary, First-Time Tourists

Photo by Kate Kasiutich on Unsplash

Welcome to Budapest, where history and innovation harmoniously coexist amidst grand architecture and vibrant street life. For first-time tourists, navigating this mesmerizing city can be a bit overwhelming. But fear not! In this post, we’re handing you a Budapest Cheat Sheet, packed with insider tips and must-do experiences to make your visit a breeze.

Master the Basics

Hungary uses the Hungarian Forint (HUF), so exchange some currency upon arrival. While Hungarian is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas. Budapest’s public transportation system is efficient. Get a Budapest Card for unlimited trams, buses, and metro travel.

Explore the Buda and Pest Sides

Cross the Chain Bridge to explore Buda Castle, which offers panoramic views of the city. Don’t miss the Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. Admire the stunning Parliament Building along the Danube River, which is particularly striking when illuminated at night. Discover Budapest’s unique ruin bars, like Szimpla Kert, set in abandoned buildings and courtyards.

Soak in the Thermal Baths

Dive into Budapest’s thermal bath culture at Széchenyi, one of the largest in Europe. Relax at the Art Nouveau-style Gellért Baths, known for their healing waters. Experience Rudas Baths’ historic Ottoman-era atmosphere.

Cruise the Danube

Enjoy a romantic Danube River cruise in the evening to see Budapest’s illuminated landmarks. Stop by Margaret Island, a lush oasis in the middle of the Danube. Walk across the Liberty Bridge for striking views and great photo opportunities.

Budapest by Night

Dive into Budapest’s nightlife at Gozsdu Courtyard, lined with bars and restaurants. Attend a performance at the Hungarian State Opera House, known for its impressive acoustics. Check out night markets like Karavan Street Food for late-night bites.