Budapest has a very gritty feel. The city has impressive buildings that seem like they could use a power wash. For tourists, Budapest offers a variety of activities. Ranging from incredible scenery, historic buildings, museums, baths, and an awesome nightlife. I even got my hair cut at a local chain hair salon for under 10 USD, and it wasn’t too bad of a cut!
The river dividing the Buda and Pest parts of the city provides beautiful views of the city. I highly recommend climbing up to the top of the Citadella to see the former fortress protecting the Buda part city and the landscape views of the Pest part of the city.
View of Pest from on top of the Citadella
View of the city down the river
The tall monument on top of the Citadella
Heroes’ Square and Castle Vajdahunyad Vara
On the other part of the city in Pest, there’s the Heroes’ Square with a large monument surrounded by open space and museums. Right across the river behind Heroes’ Square lies the Vajdahunyad Vara castle. The castle is stunning and composed of various architectural styles, colors, and bricks. The buildings comprising the castle are encompassed by trees and greenery and stand right next to the river. Luckily, the weather was beautiful when we visited, which made the castle really feel magical.
Heroes’ Square monument and two museums in a pano shot
Entrance to the Vajdahunyad Vara castle
One of the buildings of the castle
The back of the castle across from the river
One cannot visit Budapest without making a stop to a bath. While the architecture and history of the baths are fascinating, the overall experience was not great. The bath house has many rooms with different shaped baths of different temperatures. Every room felt hot and had wet, slightly dirty floors surrounding the baths. The water didn’t seem to be chlorinated or salted, so I got the feeling that they weren’t the cleanest. Overall, I didn’t last long in the baths, but it was a worthwhile experience.
Baths building exterior
The ceiling of the main entrance room of the baths
We walked up the ramp to get to castle hill, although, you can take an old trolley like vehicle that goes directly up the hill. We opted to walk because there were gorgeous views of the city on the walk. The castle is massive and has an art museum in the middle of it. The art museum has many famous pieces and details a lot of the art history behind Budapest and the Austrian empire. The castle hill includes a large cathedral and a watch tower. On top of the watch tower, you get views of the castle, Budapest, and the Hungarian parliament building. If you walk past the museum and castle, you can visit the old town of Buda with cute, small buildings containing shops and restaurants.
View of the castle on left, ramp in middle, and Buda on the right
The front of the museum
View of Budapest and the Hungarian parliament building
View of the back of the castle and museum
Hungarian Parliament Building
We visited the grounds of the Hungarian parliament building after coming back from castle hill. Unfortunately, it was raining and we arrived too late to go through the museum. However, the building is impressive and worth a visit.
One of my favorite parts about Budapest is the style of the old, run down, grimy buildings. Naturally, some of these buildings had been abandoned and became akin to ruins. Now, some of these buildings have turned in pubs. Most of the ruined pubs have multiple rooms and feel very hipster. The décor ranges from eccentric to minimal depending on the pub. We were able to check out a few of the ruined pubs to have some beer and wine and see some live music.
Ruined pub with jellyfish light decors.