The enigmatic Hungarian capital is full of things to do and see. From the ornate St Stephen’s Basilica to the crypt-like House of Terror museum, it takes just a few hours to discover this beautiful city’s best kept secrets. Budapest also happens to be one of Europe’s most affordable cities to explore, thanks in large part to its low cost of living and the cheap public transport system. In just one day, you can experience a wide range of unique things to do in Budapest, from exploring an unusual grocery store to enjoying a show on a retired freighter.
1. Get out on the water: Take a Danube cruise and admire Hungary’s beautiful capital from a different perspective. It’s a fun way to get an overview of the Chain Bridge, Buda Castle, and Hungarian Parliament building, all while soaking up some culture and relaxing on a comfortable river boat.
2. Visit an art gallery: Budapest’s arts scene is booming after decades of Communist-era censorship. The city’s top art galleries are a great place to sample everything from conceptual pieces to new works by the next generation of Hungarian artists. Most galleries are fairly affordable and open to the general public.
3. Stroll down Andrassy Avenue: The city’s version of the Champs-Elysees or Ringstrasse, Andrassy is lined with impressive neoclassical buildings and is a must-visit for architecture buffs. You can easily spend an entire afternoon strolling this grand boulevard, which connects downtown Budapest to Heroes’ Square and the City Park.
4. Visit a ruin bar: Budapest’s coolest bars are found in the old Jewish Quarter, where once-derelict sites have been reimagined as funky hangouts. The first – and most popular – of these is Szimpla Kert, which has become renowned for its eclectic interiors, an open-air courtyard, and cool seats made out of old Trabant cars. Other notables include Corvin Club, a hip bar set in a renovated Communist-era department store, and Durer Kert, which features hammocks and free concerts.
5. Check out the Fiumei Road Cemetery: This vast garden cemetery is an unexpected hidden gem, where you can admire Hungary’s most famous statesmen and artists (as well as a few of its infamous Communist heroes). You can walk around this impressive graveyard to learn more about the country’s history while admiring some of Budapest’s most beautiful architectural designs.
6. Have a delicious gelato: After a hike up Gellert Hill, nothing hits the spot quite like a scoop of artisanal Budapest gelato at Fuge Shop and Café. This quirky little shop is one of Budapest’s hidden gems and has some of the city’s best flavors, including white chocolate hazelnut pistachio.
7. Enjoy a concert on the A38 Ship: A former Ukrainian cargo ship has been converted into the city’s premier music venue, where local and international bands play every night of the week. It’s a unique way to experience Budapest, which is quickly becoming a live music hub.
Budapest is a city of many wonders, from its ornate cathedrals and churches to its long, elegant 19th-century streets. You can also delve into the darker times of WWII and Communism at museums like the House of Terror or visit a memorial dedicated to the victims. things to do in Budapest