What to see in Budapest: A photographic love affair

It was a lovely day of Spring when I first created my plan on what to see in Budapest. The weather was warm, the air smelled sweet, and the trees were already blooming. I've long read stories of Romanian intellectuals who took the road for better learning opportunities in Budapest and been wanting to visit the Hungarian capital for far too many years to still count.

There are far too many places to visit and things to do in Budapest. In fact, my affair with Budapest was out of ordinary. It was the first ever city which reminded me of various European cities at once. I remember starting my morning walking by the Danube, which in turn reminded me of London's Thames. Some streets took me to Barcelona, others reminded me of Romania's Sighisoara. Major churches took me in small German towns, whilst other's made me admire Rome once more. The majestic bridges made me think of Paris whilst certain interiors brought me back to Vienna. Budapest is magic, I say to myself! A couple of days in Budapest were enough for me to fall in love. And as in love as I might have been, my mind was everywhere but down to Earth. Emails came from readers asking me about what to see in Budapest and in my infatuated state, I advised everyone to ditch any Budapest guide and just come and see. Budapest was my new Paris, the city of love, the city of romance.

Danube At Twilight Budapest

Months have gone by, hoping that my infatuation will ease on me, but instead, I found myself day dreaming of my next Budapest visit. We are so often asked what is our favourite city here, what is our favourite country there. As travellers, it's difficult to just pick one place and stick with it. The more we see, the more we evolve and our tastes change accordingly. A decade ago, I would have been madly in love with London but having passionate affairs with Paris. Today, I can't stand the thought of being far away from Tokyo, yet I'm shamelessly flirting with various European cities. Everyone said that Budapest is one of those gems on the Danube. Budapest truly took my breath away in ways I can't even describe. One moment, I was admiring a vibrant, fast-paced city, the other, I was smiling in expectation, looking at the quietest sunset I've ever experienced in a European capital.

What to see in Budapest

If I were to give you one advice, it would be to just visit everything and nothing specific. Your visit to Budapest should be like a blind date, where you seek to discover, but without knowing what you are precisely looking for. There are, however, Budapest sights which I wouldn't bear for you to miss. But remember, that timing is of the essence. For example, visit the Fisherman's Basion on the Buda side, but during night time. This will enable you to forget about the tourists and have the place for yourself. Indulge yourself in photographing the fantastic House of Parliament through the great arches.

Why You Need To Enjoy The Danube River Cruise In Budapest

Start your morning as early as possible, and have a walk next to the Danube. Sunday mornings are ideal for walks on the Elizabeth bridge. Cross to the Pest side and meander around the city centre. Saturday night is known to be great for partying, which makes Sunday morning the best time to photograph a more deserted Budapest, just before brunch time. As the city awakens, the streets soon fill with families eager to promenade along the centre. Now it's the time to hunt for some traditional Hungarian cuisine. Try the langos at Retro Làngos Büfé place. We shed tears of joy upon tasting this magnificent fried bread topped with sour cream and cheese. Guaranteed for your taste buds to attain nirvana.
A more non-conventional place is the Lucky7 burger. Not only the service was impeccable, but the cooked to perfection burgers were hugged by the softest brioche bun I've ever tasted.

For the best place to stay in Budapest, I recommend the Buda side without a shadow of a doubt. But do note that we are not party people, so having a quiet night, in a safe and elegant neighborhood was essential for us. Should you wish to taste the wicked side of Budapest, then Pest is where you need to get accommodation.

Fun Accommodation In Budapest - Pest Side

Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget

Arcadia Hotel Budapest

Bliss Hotel & Wellness

Avenue Hostel

Beyond the beautiful, exciting, and sexy Budapest, there is a relaxing, soothing part of the city which many know of but few take the time to explore: The Budapest Spa. Known for its incredible thermal waters, Budapest attracts countless spa enthusiasts who wish to experience the health benefits of the hot spring waters. I couldn't miss the opportunity of soaking in the Gellért Spa. I bounced between the swimming pool and the thermal waters.

Quaint Accommodation In Budapest - Buda Side

Carlton Hotel Budapest

Hotel Castle Garden

St. Gellért Square - Minilux Apartman

Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Hotel Collection

Relaxed, invigorated, spend the rest of the day wandering around Pest, with the camera in your hand. Take each street, explore each possibility. Stop and eat, buy, taste. Don't be afraid to experience Budapest with all your senses.

I'm not going to skip the sunset, which looks like an explosion of soft hues, gently painting the skies for your visual pleasures. Take a seat by the Danube, on the Pest side, and get lost in your thoughts, allow yourself to just fall in love with Budapest, once more.

15 Comments

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I have never been to Budapest but it looks magic in your photos! So interesting that the city reminded you of other European cities... I'm from Barcelona so I'm curious to know if Budapest would also remind me of my city. Thanks for the tip about watching sunset from the Pest side :)

Hi Laia, I think Budapest is such magical place. YES! It def reminded me of Barcelona as well. It reminded me of the old city a little. It's soo cool

Such elegant prose & imagery! It's easy to see your love of Budapest. I overnighted there years ago during a snow storm, so couldn't get out to explore, but your post makes me want to see this Hungarian gem! Are those accommodation prices off-season? Thanks!

Dear Sally, thank you for your comment and glad to hear you liked the photos. The prices off-season are a bit cheaper to be fair. BUT there are plenty of airbnbs available during season which are well priced too.

Beautiful photos <3 I lived in Bratislava for most of my life, but somehow, I never properly visited Budapest, always just transited there. Would love to return and have a walk in those streets!

Hi karin, we are planning a trip to Bratislava. I heard amazing things!

Budapest is absolutely stunning. I visited last year, and I took an insane amount of photos while I was there. Unfortunately, I had a lung infection while I was there so I ended up spending most of my time in my hotel bed. I guess it just means I have to go back again right? ;)

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear about your lung infection. That sucks big time! Glad to know you are safe and healthy again. I hope you will return to Budapest and you will fall in love with the city! This time all healthy!

Beautiful post! Makes me want to visit even more than I already wanted to!

Thank you Staci. I love Budapest, really is great!

Kyntra Strickland
Kyntra Strickland

I'm going to Budapest in a couple of months and your post has made me even more excited for it. Thanks for sharing your experience and lovely photographs!

Oh so cool! I can't wait to see what you think of the city. Enjoy your trip and stay

Budapest is such a beautiful city and I need to go back! I love your photos, especially the parliament one!

Thank you so much, Karen. It really was difficult to nail that one, I'm very chuffed to see you like it.

Ronald
Ronald

My trip to Budapest was my first experience in a European city. It blew my expectations away. The people were kind and the city was beautiful. I regret that I didn't get to enjoy the The Budapest Spa, but I guess that's just a reason to go back.
-Enjoy you future travels. Cheers.

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