Welcome to Budapest! 👋 Budapest, known as the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, is at the same time effortlessly charming and tranquil, yet is also home to one of the best nightlife scenes in central Europe. The city offers everything from impressive architecture to world-renowned thermal spas and spectacular views. Check out the top things to see and do and our guide to where to stay below.
Buda and Pest, the two halves that make up the Hungarian capital and joined by the majestic Chain Bridge, are simply stunning. Each has its own distinct personality and to get the full experience, make sure to plan enough time to hop across the bridge and explore both sides of the city. 🏙️
A daytime or evening cruise is perfect to take in the skyline of the city and glide past key landmarks such as the Parliament, Buda Castle, and Széchenyi Chain Bridge (and more along the way).
The famous Széchenyi Baths is the biggest spa complex in Europe and while you can expect to see many tourists, the architectural columns and outdoor pools are an unbelievable experience. For a more tranquil and equally beautiful spa day, check out the Gellert Baths or Rudas Bath (complete with a rooftop hot tub).
These iconic, retro bars were built with a lot of creativity, colourful graffiti art and upcycling old furniture to get the ultimate hip interior design. Check out the most famous of the ruin bars, Szimpla Kert, or explore a variety of others in Budapest’s 7th district, each with its own distinctive vibe.
Without a doubt, this is one of Budapest’s top attractions with gorgeous lookout towers and the best panoramic views of the city. Sitting atop Buda Castle Hill, this area was once protected by the guild of fishermen in the Middle Ages.
Take a stroll down Budapest’s most famous boulevard! It connects Erzsébet Square with Heroes’ Square and ends at the City Park, one of the most popular green spaces in the city. Nowadays, this boulevard houses many exclusive boutiques and designer shops with plenty of Neo-Renaissance mansions and even the famous Hungarian State Opera for you to see along the way.
Here are some useful bits to keep in mind before your trip to Budapest:
1) Hungary has its own currency – the Hungarian forint. Payments by credit or debit card are widely accepted but you may need cash in smaller shops, street vendors and on public transport. 💰
2) Budapest is one of the most Wi-Fi accessible cities in Europe and you can find it free at hotspots around the city, mainly museums, malls, hotels, cafes, restaurants or even in parks and on busy streets. 🌐
3) If you have an EU SIM card, mobile roaming is free! 📱
4) Hungary is in the CEST (Central European Summer Time) time zone. 🕒
5) Most shops are open from 10:00 to 20:00 or 21:00 during the week and are open on weekends. Museums and a few restaurants are usually closed on Mondays. 🛒
When travelling to Budapest, you may think of the Danube River, thermal bath, and iconic architecture such as the Hungarian Parliament Building, but you shouldn’t forget about the variety of food options that this city has to offer:
A traditional Hungarian stew recipe dating from medieval times made with tender beef, potato, vegetables, and spices. It is often served in a loaf of bread rather than in a bowl – try it and you won’t be disappointed!
Paprika is one of the most common spices in Hungarian cuisine, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to try chicken paprikash. Tender chicken pieces are simmered in a very flavourful sauce made with paprika, cream, onions and garlic. An effortless recipe with a delicious result!
This Hungarian stew is a great vegetarian alternative to meat dishes in Budapest. Mushrooms are stewed with paprika powder, onions, tomatoes, garlic and sour cream.
This Hungarian deep-fried flatbread can be found at street vendors or in restaurants. It comes in many different variations, but the most common Lángos is topped with grated cheese (and plenty of it!), sour cream, onions, parsley and bacon.
A slice of Dobos Torta is perfect for those with a sweet tooth! Available in most restaurants and pastry shops around the city, this layered sponge cake is filled with rich chocolate buttercream and topped with caramel to create a unique flavour.
When you get hungry in the middle of the day, give this sweet Hungarian chimney cake wrapped in sugar and roasted over an open charcoal fire a try. Toppings such as cinnamon and walnuts can then be added.
Hungary is also renowned for its drinks, including its traditional red wine, more recently its white wine (called Fröccs if you mix it with soda), or the national fruit brandy Pálinka. If you're looking for a non-alcoholic option, order a tasty mix of raspberry syrup and sparkling water: Málnaszörp.
🥂If you meet a local when exploring the culinary scene, ensure you wish them Egészségedre! (pronounced Ag-esh-sheg-ad-reh!), meaning ‘to your health’, when you raise a toast.
Each district of Budapest has its own appeal for football fans and visitors, so we’ve broken down the city into several areas to give you a better indication of the best option for what you want to see and do. Budapest is certainly a budget-friendly destination, with many affordable options and a wide range of properties ranging from hostels and hotels to rental apartments and luxury choices.
For those eager to stay close to the venue, Zugló, Budapest’s 14th district, is just a leisurely stroll from Puskás Aréna. This district offers plenty of architecture and monuments, with highlights including the new buildings of City Park such as the Museum of Ethnography and the House of Hungarian Music. You can also relax before or after the match in mineral-rich waters at the famous Széchenyi Baths.
To be in the heart of it all, stay in the Belváros-Lipótváros area. Here you’ll find the neo-Gothic Hungarian Parliament Building and Széchenyi Chain Bridge. There are an abundance of properties located in Belváros-Lipótváros to take in the city sights before and after the final.
To kick off your UEFA Europa League final celebrations, stay in Erzsébetváros, the city’s 7th district. This eclectic area is known as one of the best places in Budapest for a night out.
💡 Useful info
With the abundance of things to see and do in the city, be sure to read Budapest's official tourism page for regular updates and ideas to plan your trip.
🚨 Local emergency services
Sometimes unforeseen accidents happen. We want you to stay safe in Budapest so if you are involved in an emergency of any kind, you can dial 112, the European emergency number.