Surprises are everywhere in the world of travels and Budapest was one of them for me.
Sometimes I think that certain cities get too much credit for how great they are when they really aren’t THAT great. Some of the most popular destinations that people never stop raving about, I travel to. After arriving at the destination, I sometimes get a bit disappointed because I can’t seem to understand, what the big deal is.
On the other hand, some cities don’t get enough credit for how amazing they truly are and that’s how I feel about Budapest. Budapest is one of the most beautiful underrated gems in all of Europe. Yup, I’m serious! Most people think of Europe as just the simple; Paris, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome and Venice. But there are so many amazing “hidden” cities that no one ever really talks about. I, as a big time traveler, never really thought too much about Budapest because I never really heard much about it. People occasionally will say that Budapest is “nice”. Those people didn’t actually experience all the amazing things Budapest has to offer.
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When I arrived at Budapest at night, I didn’t even understand why people said it was “nice”. The drive from the airport to the actual city isn’t impressive at all. But the moment the sun rises, the city turns out to be one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to! BIG SHOCKED!
To start Budapest is VERY cheap in comparison to other cities in Europe and who doesn’t love cheap. You can get a nice dinner for as little as $5-$7! I exchanged 80 USD into Hungarian Forint because I was only gonna be in the city for less than 24hrs since I missed my flight. I was left with so much Forint! I still have it and don’t really know what to do with it, but to save it for my next trip there.
Budapest architecture is absolutely gorgeous! It reminds me of Prague, Barcelona and Rome, so if you like any of these cities, you will love Budapest. The city is filled with beautiful buildings in stunning pastel colors such as yellow, pink, green like Prague. But styled like buildings in Rome and Barcelona.
My hotel (The Marriott Budapest) was located right on the Danube River, which is a beautiful and great location. Many don’t know this, but one side of the river is actually called Buda and other is called Pest. The river has 3 famous bridges, that connect both parts of the cities together and that’s where the name Budapest came from (fun fact). I took a bus all the way up to the highest point in the city, Citadella, on the Buda side and was left with a beautiful view of the whole city. Buda is also where you will find most of the castles in the city. The Pest part of the city is the most popular side of the city and is where the whole city center is located.
On my first night in Budapest, I met with a good friend who I haven’t seen in a year and got a personal tour of the city at night. That night, the weather hit a ridiculous all time low on my trip of 12’F (-11’C) degrees! I oddly enough, had no problem with it because all I wanted to do was see the city! The cold there was a different kind of cold, that I have never experienced before that night. It was the kind of cold that when you get out of the hotel, you think ‘it’s not that bad’. Only after a good 15mins, do you realize that your body is starting to literally freeze up on you and that you can’t feel your hands, let alone bend your fingers. But luckily for me, the next day brought some sunlight onto my trip, which made the 23’F (-5’C) feel a lot more like 55’F (12’C).
Nevertheless, being cold was all worth it because seeing the Parliament Building at night was amazing! It was glowing across the river like a fairy-tale castle.
Budapest is filled with beautiful castles and historical monuments. I got to see a lot, considering my tight time frame. I visited the Hungarian Parliament building, shoes on the Danube bank, Buda Castle, the opera house and I walked across the Chain Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge. I visited the Varosliget city park, enjoyed a walk through the park and watched people ice skating.
Budapest is highly known for its thermal springs baths that go as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. Currently, there are approximately 1000 natural springs in Hungary! Although I didn’t have time to enjoy the famous Baths, I’ve heard great things about them and can’t wait to go back and experience them.
As far as safety goes, I felt completely safe traveling alone as a female. The crime rate in Budapest is very low. Although you should always be aware of your surrounding. (Gypsies, Thieves and Con Artist! How To Avoid Being Scammed in Europe)
I absolutely LOVE this city and can’t wait to go back and explore more of it in the future.
Here is more of my adventure!