In today’s world people turn quite lazy and when searching in Google they end up typing Budapest best, a very strange „expression” instead of typing for example Best of Budapest. In a time when everyone uses such strange expressions surfing the internet it has a quite strange influence on the written language, and it is strange when you see smiley faces and other internet abbreviations in official letters and work communication around the world.
In the city of Budapest there are several highlights and incredible places to see, restaurants to visit and activities to enjoy, but in this article our aim is to present what we consider to be Budapest best or in a more normal way to write it, the best of Budapest. This list is of course a list of my personal favorites (Budablogger), so I guess you might disagree at several points, and if you do, feel free to write a comment about it, but if not I believe that you might find the list both amusing and interesting and maybe also inspiring if you have not been to Budapest yet.
In this list I have decided only to list the five best of Budapest, so maybe in another blog post I will focus in on the top 10 attractions or maybe top 10 activities of Budapest, but here I will simply list the overall best of Budapest. The list will consist of the best five of Budapest, so keep on reading, and let us start with the place listed as number five on my list named Budapest best!
Budapest best – nr. 5: The view from the Margaret Bridge
The first object on my list presenting the best of Budapest is the view from the Margaret Bridge, the second oldest bridge between Buda and Pest finalised in 1876. It was designed by Ernest Gouin who worked together with Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the creator of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty in New York (source: Budapest Guide). The view from the bridge is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and from here you can see the Chain Bridge, the Hungarian Parliament, the Fishermen’s Bastion, the Matthias Church, the Castle, the Gellért Hill and much more. The view is at its best from the middle of the bridge, and if you plan a visit to the bridge, make sure to do it after the sunset, because then you can see Budapest at its most beautiful.
Budapest best – nr. 4: The view from the Gellért Hill
The panorama along the Danube is what makes Budapest one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Few cities can brag about such a beautiful river and marvelous buildings on both sides of it. One of the special places to visit along the Danube is the Gellért Hill, located on the Buda side between the Liberty Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge. It has had an important part in the Hungarian history and today visitors can drop by Second World War museum at the top of the hill, drink some champagne at the outdoor cafe/bar/restaurant or eat a nicer meal at the Panorama restaurant. Still the symbol of the hill is the liberty monument which can be seen from almost all parts of Budapest, originally raised in honor of the Communist liberators (the Hungarians were forced to build it), but today it stands commemorating the heroes who sacrificed their lives for Hungarian liberty. The statue and the citadella on the hill is illuminated in the evenings so it is beautiful to look at, but it is even more beautiful to stand at the hill and look out towards the Danube and both the Buda and the Pest side. Our advice is to visit the Gellért Hill in the evening, and take a scroll around the entire top of the hill. The hill has a piece of bad rumor among locals, so young girls should not walk alone, but in general nothing ever happens here, but it is better to be a bit too careful!
Budapest best – nr. 3: The Goulash soup
When you come to Budapest there is one thing you will find in almost all restaurants and as a part of all menus used as standard menus for tourists… the Goulash soup. Many people ask if the Goulash is a soup or more of a stew in Hungary, because in Prague it is more of a stew. But, when you come to Budapest and Hungary the Goulash as people mention it always deals with a soup. There are some different versions of the soup when it comes to ingredients, but in general it always starts with Hungarian pepper, onion and oil, and later potatoes, carrots and beef meat is added to it, together with other delicious stuff. The tourist version is very „thin” and not to tasty, but the real grandmother version of the Goulash soup in Budapest is packed with ingredients, it has a very good soup (the water feels thick and tasty) and it makes you extremely full if you get a large portion. There are several places in Budapest where you can get a good Goulash soup, but my personal favorite is the one at Lazar Equastrian Park (outside Budapest).
Budapest best – nr. 2: The Hungarian Parliament
When considering what five things to add to my best of Budapest list I wondered whether I should add the Hungarian Parliament or St. Stephen’s Basilica. I am a big fan of both of them, but in the end I made up my mind and the Hungarian Parliament became the winner. The building is magnificent both on the inside and the outside, and it shines like a real diamond in the Hungarian capital. Of course, the Parliament looks best from the Danube, or from the Batthyány tér on the Buda side of the Danube, but when watching it from Kossuth tér on the Pest side you can see the greatness of the building as well. From the Buda side it is clean and majestic, while it looks more dirty from the Pest side, but all in all a real beautiful neo-gothic building. It has quite some similarities to the Parliament in London, but in our eyes it is much more beautiful. Since 2011 it also has a fairy tale like illumination in the nighttime, so do not miss out on that one!
Budapest best – nr. 1: The City Park
Why should someone make the City Park the number one place in Budapest? I have debated the question myself, but as I prepared writing this article I wondered whether I should add the Széchenyi Fürdő (thermal bath) to the top list. I also considered adding Budapest Zoo to the list, and in fact the Vajdahunyad Castle could also end up on such a list presenting the Budapest best. In the end the smart idea came to my mind, and I joined them together and made the City Park (Városliget) the winner. The area has something very few large European cities has, an enormous park area ideal for families with children where they can spend several days, making Budapest a perfect destination for families with children. Don’t get it? Consider the following. In the City Park you can find the zoo. It is a great zoo where you can easily spend 3-4 hours while watching elephants, crocodiles, spiders, snakes, butterflies, monkeys, pet some goats and eat, drink and enjoy life. As you walk out and continue your walk you will end up by the State Circus where you can see different performances (changing three times a year) at one of the few permanent circus buildings in the world. If you walk across the street you can enter into the Széchenyi Fürdő where you can enjoy 3 outdoor pools and 15 indoor pools throughout the entire year. It is made up of natural thermal water, so the hottest outdoor pool is 38 Celsius throughout the entire year. Many people are afraid that children will get bored on the inside, but the opposite is the reality. Children love this place!
As you leave the thermal bath and walk across the street again you will find a small part of the zoo again which is free to enter where you can see some more animals close up. After a small stop there you can walk further on and there you will find the Amusement Park of Budapest. It is not the best in the world at all, but if you just want a small adrenaline kick or a place where the children can hang out and have fun with a roller coaster, go-karts and similar activities, the amusement park will do it. A couple of hundred meters from the amusement park you can then find the Vajdahunyad Castle, a fairy tale castle constructed in four different styles making it especially interesting to those who love architecture and creative buildings. Inside the castle area you can find a restaurant, an Agriculture museum and some more stuff. In my eyes the City Park is a worthy winner!
Much more to see in Budapest
There are so many other things, places, sights, attractions and activities that could be listed here. Preparing to write this article I consulted friends and family and they all had suggestions to other things that could be added to the list of the best of Budapest. But, in the end I wrote the article and my ideas and thoughts are the ones featured here in my article Budapest best – Best of Budapest. You probably have comments, input or maybe you disagree or agree with what I have written, and when that is the fact, please write a comment and share your thoughts on the matter! I look forward to hearing from you, and maybe I will have to write a revised version in a while if someone manage to persuade me and make me change my mind concerning what is listed on my Budapest best list.
One thought on “Budapest best – the best five of Budapest!”
It has been over 20 years since my wife and I were in Budapest. The baths were closed. We are returning in June. Do we need locks, or will the lockers have a lock and key for us to use for storing our clothes?