To this day, Budapest might be my favorite city I’ve ever visited and I don’t think I can clearly articulate why. There wasn’t one single moment where I fell in love with the city – it was a buildup of subtle experiences. The city had a unique and distinct vibe. Edgy but chic. Ornate but worn. Ancient but lively.
So why consider Budapest for your next jet-setting expedition?
There’s not a direct answer unfortunately. Maybe it was the magic of warm mulled wine combined with light snowfall. Or the city having centuries of stories to be told through some of my favorite forms of art – jazz and murals. Possibly it was the extreme oddities found in the ruin bar Szimpla Kert. Regardless, Budapest captured my attention and has kept it since.
Things to do in Budapest
Budapest is separated into two parts – Buda and Pest – by the Danube River. Here are some of my favorite highlights from both parts of the city:
- Fisherman’s Bastion – phenomenal panorama of the city on the river
- Matthias Church – beautiful historic church that, much like Budapest, underwent various transformations throughout the years
- Parliament Building – a massive, perfectly symmetrical Gothic Revival structure (visit in daylight and admire from afar at night)
- Thermal Baths – heal a tired tourist body by soaking in the ritualistic springs (just be prepared to get naked in front of strangers)
- Ruin Bars – Local beers and spirits just taste better in a worn-down structure decked out with creativity
Each city means something different to everybody. However, I strongly suggest visiting Budapest sometime in your life. If you’ve been waiting for a sign, here it is. Book the flight!