The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I spent a long weekend in Budapest in February, and I'm finally getting around to writing about it!

We had more of a slow travel experience in Budapest. After a hectic and stressful January, we both were in need of a few days of relaxation, beer, good food and a little exploring! We still managed to squeeze in quite a lot, so I thought I would do a quick post on my top things to do in Budapest for a first timer!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

1. Wander through Buda Castle

Pop your comfy shoes on and take a stroll around the Buda Castle complex (which it seems I forgot to take any photos of!). Sitting atop Castle Hill, the castle was previously the residency of the Hungarian kings and now is home to National Széchényi Library, the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian National Gallery. There is many a photo opportunity at Buda Castle, and it's definitely an interesting place to explore. You can catch the Buda Hill funicular instead of walking up Castle Hill, and get some stunning views on the way up, including the one below!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

2. Visit Fisherman's Bastion

Whilst you're paying a visit to the castle, you of course have to walk along to Fisherman's Bastion, arguably the most recognisable sight in Budapest. The architecture is absolutely stunning, and you also get gorgeous panoramic views of the city. Right by Fisherman's Bastion, you also have Matthias Church which is worth checking out!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest
Matthias Church

3. Try some Hungarian food at the Great Market Hall 

Budapest has some seriously good food spots (which I may write about at a later date!) but one thing you have to do is try some traditional Hungarian food! We visited the Great Market Hall to seek out some Lángos, a deep fried flatbread topped with (in my case) cheese and sour cream, it was delicious but my goodness was it filling. I'd advise sharing one if you are not used to big portions! You can also pick up some souvenirs at the market hall to take home - I grabbed some sweet and some spicy paprika!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

4. Relax and Unwind at the Thermal Baths

Remember to pack your cossie or trunks so you can spend a few hours (or even a full day!) at one of Budapest's famous thermal bath spas. The one you will often see on Instagram (with the yellow building) is the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, but we decided to go to the Gellért Thermal Baths. Located in the Hotel Gellért, the spa's building is gorgeous and the perfect place to rest your tired feet after a day of walking around the city!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

5. Visit the Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial

A more sombre experience but a must see is the memorial to those killed during World War II. The installation is very emotional and the shoes represent those worn by the victims that they were told to remove before being killed.

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

6. Drink Beer at a Ruin Bar

Budapest is a great, and very cheap, place for beer! We'd been recommended a visit to Szimpla Kert by a few of our friends, and we couldn't resist popping in to check out the mismatched interior and see why, after opening, it inspired a wave of similarly eclectic bars across the city. I'd definitely recommend checking it out and enjoying a beer or two!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

7. Browse some Design Shops

My travel companion Abi loves a design shop and on our weekend we popped in to a couple to check out their prints. We visited Printa and Rododendron, both had a fab range of products and really lovely assistants. I love shops that showcase local artists, and I couldn't resist picking up a couple of pieces to bring home!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

8. Take in the Breathtaking Architecture of Parliament

Whether you are looking at the Parliament Building from across the river or up close, there's no denying that it is one of the most beautiful buildings in Budapest. Whilst the across-the-river views are spectacular and an amazing photo-op, I would recommend taking a walk around the Parliament Building; it is so impressive and definitely worth seeing! 

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

9. Gaze at the Interior of St Stephens Basilica

Last on my list, and those who know me well know I love a church, is a visit to St Stephens Basilica. Despite not being religious, I love the calming atmosphere of places of worship, and on most of my city breaks in Europe, I try to pop in to a cathedral, a temple etc. The interior of St Stephens Basilica, especially the ceiling, is beautiful. You can also go up the bell tower to get an amazing view of Buda!

The 9 Things You Must Do on a Weekend in Budapest

I hope this helps you when planning your trip to Budapest and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram!

Thanks for stopping by!