Twenty-Four Hours in Budapest
by Roma Patel
photo courtesy of Pexels
Ahh, Budapest. George Ezra’s song just makes one think of how magical this city must be, and I can positively attest that it is. With its rich history, delicious food, and lively activities, it is the perfect destination for a getaway. So, whether you have a halt, a spare day, or just want something different, Budapest is the place to spend 24 hours.
When visiting Budapest, there are a variety of hotels. The Ritz Carlton is definitely the best. It is walking distance from everything you might want to visit, and it is definitely a beautiful place to stay. Like everything else in Budapest, the Ritz Carlton is very affordable. So, if you can, it’s certainly worth staying at.
9:00 AM: Spend the morning exploring the Jewish Quarter in Pest. Grab breakfast at Budapest Bagels, home of the best bagels in the city. With both innovative and classic options for eats and a variety of juices and coffees, Budapest Bagels is the best start of the day. In the warmer months, the café has beautiful outdoor seating, while the interior is decorated in a bohemian style, making it a fun vibe. After grabbing something to eat, walk around the Jewish Quarter. It’s filled with shops selling unique art, clothing, and homeware, and a great place to get friends or family souvenirs. Later, visit the largest synagogue in Europe and the second largest synagogue in the world, on Dohany street.
“Seeing the synagogue was absolutely beautiful,” said Olivia Rolnik CAS ’20. “Its enormous size and surroundings gives a great sense of the vibrant Jewish history in the area.”
11:00 AM: Next, visit the stunning Hungarian Parliament Building. After the unification of the three cities in 1873, the government commissioned an architect to create the largest building in Hungary in the neo-Gothic style. Learn about this history in a 45-minute guided tour of the building. Through visiting the old House of Lords, the main halls, and even the Hungarian Crown Jewels, you will get an understanding of the city’s long history.
“When I visited Budapest, I got to go inside of Parliament, and I loved it,” said Alex Lo (CAS ’20). “It was super interesting to compare it to British Parliament.”
12:00 PM: If you’re getting hungry, visit Szimply for a delicious avocado toast, salad, or acai bowl. Being one of the city’s hottest brunch spots, it can sometimes be hard to get a table, but it is definitely worth a visit.
1:00 PM: Head over to Buda, and visit the Szecheny Baths. Budapest has been home to thermal baths for hundreds of years. This particular one is roughly 100 years old, and has 18 thermal pools. It is one of the most popular and luxurious baths and definitely a relaxing place to be. You can enjoy a glass of wine or beer, or even get a massage. It is certainly a unique experience worth doing.
3:00 PM: If you have some energy left, visit some of the beautiful architectural sites of Buda. Outside of the baths, you can hail a golf cart for a small fee and have them drop you off at each of the main architectural sites in Buda. The drivers stop at Matthias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Royal Palace, as well as a few other destinations, making navigating the popular historical structural easy and fun.
6:00 PM: Have dinner at Dobrumba, a Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Caucasus fusion restaurant and wine bar. The menu is a beautiful medley of food all over Europe and the East, and a must stop for everyone. The chefs put a fun twist on the classics, like hummus, which has a spicy lamb ragout with marinated chickpeas, and spiced chicken that has pomegranate syrup, pine nuts, and fresh coriander. Regardless of what you order, Dobrumba will certainly be a crowd pleaser.
8:00 PM: After dinner, catch a Danube River Cruise. Only 10 Euros, the river cruise is another great way to see the city. At night, major sites of the city, like Parliament and the Fisherman’s Bastion, are lit and make for a beautiful view of the city. It is the perfect way to end the day.
Whether you’re visiting for 24 hours or a few days, Budapest is a vibrant city with great eats and extraordinary things to do. From its parks and markets to its unique shopping to its rich history, Budapest will make for the perfect getaway.