The capital of Hungary is one of the most beautiful places in Europe, it is not for nothing that the city is called “the second Paris”. Budapest attracts tourists with fascinating routes, beautiful architectural monuments and rich history. The friendly local population and delicious cuisine are conducive to good impressions of the city and make you want to come back here again.
Budapest is very interesting. It is divided into two halves that make up one whole. Previously, the city of Buda was located on the hilly bank of the Danube. On the opposite, flat bank lay the city of Pest. Over time, these two settlements merged into one wonderful, unprecedented beauty city of Budapest. Theaters and fortresses, royal monuments, as well as thermal waters and gorgeous views of the Danube attract tourists from year to year. Some of the sights are worth talking about in more detail.
What to see in Budapest: overview
Attractions of Buda
Acquaintance with a new place should always start with its history, and the ancient half of the city is the best suited for this. Mountains, castles, caves, palaces and temples – all this will open to the eyes of those who wish, where the city of Buda used to be located. In this place, tourists can visit the Royal Palace , which houses the Museum of the History of Budapest and the National Library .
A little further away, on the square of St. George, Sandor Palace is located. This is the current residence for the presidents of the country. The Matthias Church , which was first mentioned in the 13th century, is of historical importance. This temple survived the Turkish invasion, for over a hundred years it served as a mosque.
Also Fisherman’s Bastion is popular among tourists. It is a small but very beautiful port overlooking the Danube. It features towers and arches of white stone, towering over a bronze statue of the first Hungarian king. Here you can listen to musicians and buy souvenirs. Taking this opportunity, it is worth descending into the underground caves , as well as taking a walk through the tunnel, which was built in the middle of the 19th century.
Another wealth of Budapest is the Szechenyi Chain Bridge time contributed to the unification of the two parts of the city. During the war, the bridge was blown up, but over time it was rebuilt.
Attractions in Pest
You can start exploring the second part of the city from the famous Parliament Building , which combines several architectural styles. This is a truly magnificent building. It is decorated with 90 statues dedicated to people who have contributed to the history of Budapest. Inside the building is an art gallery, as well as royal relics, which are the symbol of Hungary.
Those wishing to get to know this part of the city can go for a walk along Andrássy Avenue (Andrassy), during which you will be able to admire the view of the Opera House. Nearby is the city park and Heroes’ Square , one of the symbols of the city. At the moment, it is the site of national holidays and political rallies. On either side of the square are the Exhibition Hall and the Fine Arts Museum . In order not to get tired of viewing the many architectural structures, you can diversify walks and see the sights of Budapest during a boat trip along the Danube.
In addition to architectural monuments that combine all kinds of styles, there is another place in Budapest, located on the waterfront. It is a memorial to the victims of the genocide that killed thousands of people. The memorial is called “ Shoes on the Danube embankment “. This is the most touching place in Budapest. During the war, Jews were massacred. They were placed along the bank of the Danube, chained to each other, then they shot at the extreme man. His body fell into the water, dragging people along with it. There were even children among them. The name of the monument was due to the fact that they took off the shoes of the condemned in order to sell them on the black market. In the evenings, candles are lit here in memory of the victims.
Baths of Budapest
The city is famous not only for monuments and architectural buildings, it is also called the capital of thermal waters. Today, there are about 27 baths here, half of which are medicinal. The average water temperature ranges from 38 to 44 degrees Celsius. People from all over the world come to recuperate with the help of these natural springs. The most famous spas in Budapest are: Széchenyi, Gellert, Lukács and Rudas.
What to see in the area
After enjoying the beauty of Budapest, you can go to the suburbs. After driving to Gödöllö , you can find the residence of the monarchs, a palace that was built in the middle of the 18th century. And in the small town Szentendre there are temples, museums of wine and ceramics, as well as galleries of famous Hungarian artists. Also a lot of interesting things can be found in the towns of Vac and Visegrad .
You should definitely go to Budapest yourself to see all its riches and beauty, to feel the local atmosphere and get a boost of health in thermal springs. This place does not leave indifferent any traveler, calling to return there again and again.
What to bring from Budapest: souvenirs and gifts
So, what to buy in Budapest interesting and authentic, not made in China, as a memory of a visit to Hungary?
Let’s start simple – edible “souvenirs” and drinks, especially since Hungary has something to brag about in this regard.
- Tokay wine ! After all, Hungary is famous for its wine-making culture. These wines are produced in the Tokay region in the north-east of the country, they include different types: dry, native, asu, essence, forditash, mashlash. The most popular is sweet tokay-asu.
- Palinka (palinka) is essentially a fruit vodka, because the minimum alcohol content in it is from 37.5%. Usually made from plum, you can also easily find a palinka made from apricot, pear, peach, apple and cherry. You can also buy a set.
- Unicum (Unicum) – a bitter herbal liqueur, which contains more than 40 herbs. Someone compares him to Jägermeister. Unique is sold in recognizable containers and in different volumes, so it is quite possible to choose for any occasion.
- Paprika . If you have tried Hungarian paprikash, then you probably wanted to purchase such a spice. Paprika is made in Hungary and can be bought at regular grocery stores, but there are also sets that are suitable for a gift. It comes in many varieties from tender to strong, the brighter and redder the usually sweeter.
- Chocolates and candies. Hungarian sweets are worth trying, such as Stuhmer chocolate, or Szamos marzipans, as well as kurtosh kalach , a pastry that can be found at fairs or from street vendors.
Pay attention to souvenirs from the category of clothing and accessories, especially matyo embroidery (matyo) – this is an old Hungarian embroidery from the region of the same name, very bright and beautiful. You can look for clothes decorated with this embroidery (for example, traditional costumes, or their elements – aprons, blouses), and household items, or small souvenirs such as bookmarks for books, handkerchiefs.
Another interesting gift option from Budapest will be dishes and household items:
- Ajka crystal (Ajka Crystal) are unique crystal products of different colors that have been produced since 1897. An impressive home decor item and a wonderful gift.
- Hungarian porcelain – namely Herend porcelain. Alas, the products of this brand can hardly be called inexpensive. If you are a fan of this craft, but are not ready to spend a lot of money on it, then buying products from other brands is not a problem. Thus, you will still buy a souvenir and pay tribute to the wonderful tradition of porcelain making in Hungary.
- secret box – it looks like an ordinary jewelry box, but you just can’t open it. it’s a whole quest.
- paintings by street artists – while walking along the Danube embankment, notice these beautiful works. For art lovers, this is a great souvenir, especially if the views of Budapest really sunk into your soul.
And, finally, a few options for souvenirs from the cosmetics category:
- soap from thermal waters – if you have visited the baths, then pay attention to the cosmetics that are sold there, you may not want to leave empty-handed.
- lavender – yes, in Hungary it is grown and sold essential oils and other products.
- cosmetics Helia-D – the creams of this Hungarian brand are easier to find in stores, besides, these products are of good quality and would be a good gift.