2 days in Budapest – Watch the gorgeous sunsets, Take a dip in Turkish baths and much more!
Budapest was the last stop of my Euro trip, and though it had been almost a month of traveling, I was all fresh reaching this quieter yet one of the most happening places in Europe. Budapest is the largest city of Hungary and is flooded with tourists all the year round, especially in the summer months. With so much to offer, Budapest is an ideal place for a budget traveler who wants to get an essence of European life.
Here is how I spent two days in the city, exploring its historic places, watching the gorgeous sunsets and, taking a dip in the old Turkish baths.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in Budapest is quite budgeted – in fact, the cheapest accommodation I stayed in during my whole trip.
I stayed at GoodMo House hostel – conveniently located close to a tram stop and a walking distance from the city center. The main highlights of the hostel are, its colorful common room and local tips ranging from places to visit, to foods to try compiled by the staff in a booklet.
Though the rooms are very standard and there is no elevator in the hostel, but the hostel is overall very nicely maintained. Its clean premises stood out for me other than its price.
Pro Tip: Take the hostel provided Airport Shuttle. It costs around 7-8€, but is a better option than taking the City Airport Shuttle which costs around 3€. Less wait time and you get a comfortable seat to sit!
You can use this link to make a booking with the hostel!
Stroll through the city’s Jewish Quarters
Walk to the largest Synagogue in Europe (in fact the second largest in the world) crossing the narrow streets and old buildings that were once occupied by the city’s Jews. Treat yourself with bits and pieces of history as you stroll through the area.
If hungry, grab a bite at the funky Sock’s Cafe right opposite to the Dohany Street Synagogue.
Make a quick stop at St Stephens Basilica
Come back for an open-air screening, if any
As you continue to walk around the city, make a stop at this incredibly beautiful church, located in the downtown Pest. With a small donation fee of 1€, you can see the church from inside. Spend some time praising its architectural marvel.
There was an open-air movie screening later that day, so I came back in the evening for the same.
You’ll generally find people setting the space if there is a screening or a concert in the evening.
Stop for Lunch at Govinda Vegetarian Restaurant
I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. The overall vibe of the restaurant is so peaceful that it takes you on a short trip to the holy cities of India. The food is simple but per serving size is ample. I remember, leaving so fresh after my lunch here.
Walk across the Chain Bridge spanning the Danube between Western and Eastern Budapest (originally, Buda and Pest)
As you walk from the Pest side of the city, walk over the Chain Bridge (the first permanent stone bridge connecting the two side, Buda and Pest) and enjoy the majestic views of the Danube, and the city on either side.
Visit the Fairytale towers of Fisherman’s Bastion
With towers straight out from a fairytale story, Fisherman’s Bastion is a perfect treat to the eyes. And once you finish adoring its beautiful architecture, you can look across to panoramic views of the city and the grand Hungarian Parliament.
Watch the sunset from Elisabeth bridge as the bridge’s shadow shift across the buildings
Head back to the town following the Elisabeth bridge, running parallel to Chain Bridge over the Danube. Take your time, and enjoy the beautiful sunset, as the bridge casts its shadow over the buildings in front as they turn golden.
Bathe in the Traditional Thermal Baths
As my long 26-day trip was coming to an end, though mentally still fresh, I was a little tired physically – daily commuting on foot, hiking to unknown places, missing buses, and then running to catch them, it was now time to treat myself to some pampering.
Thermal baths are believed to be medicinal that can cure just about any illness.
I decided to go to Lukács Thermal Baths and, I swear it was 3 hours of complete bliss in just 11€. There are four indoor pools maintained at different temperatures, a steam room, and an ice-cold plunge pool to cool down. Other than that, there are two outdoor pools and a sunbathing terrace that you can use as part of your ticket.
Sit by the Danube river at Margaret Island
Close to the Lukács baths, a walk down the Margaret Bridge is this peaceful island – a great hideaway from the city. The island is famous among locals, and you’ll see a lot of joggers sprinting along the track throughout the day.
You can walk along the river, or sit by it quietly enjoying its tranquility. Other than that, you can dine in one of the few cafes on the island, watch the musical fountains, and stroll through its gardens.
Walk by the Kossuth Square – home to Hungarian Parliament and other notable buildings
Walk back from the Margaret island to the Kossuth Square and spend some time appreciating the grand architecture of the surrounding buildings, including the Hungarian Parliament.
Hike to the Citadella for the amazing sunset and city views
Take a short easy hike up the Gellert Hill to be amazed by the glorious city views and an incredibly beautiful sunset. Other than that, take a close look at the Liberty Monument sitting atop the Citadella. The monument signifies liberation from the Nazi rule and is a symbol of progress.
Shop at Central Market Hall
Visit the largest indoor market of Budapest to try and buy local produce, traditional Hungarian foods. Take your time and walk around this 3-floor market as you sample the Hungarian food, wine, and spices.