Currency: Hungarian Forints (also accepts Euro)
Once referred as the “Queen of the Danube,” capital of Hungary, Budapest is divided in two parts by the River Danube, Buda and Pest. Pest is a plain area that acquires 2/3 of city while Buda is a hilly area that acquires 1/3 of city and both are well connected by the 19th-century Chain Bridge.
Modern Budapest is the outcome of a historic merger of the separate cities of Buda, Obuda and Pest that now offers a unique, youthful atmosphere, a world-class classical music scene as well as a vivacious night life and an exceptionally rich offering of natural thermal baths. Budapest has stood apart from the comparatively monotonous capitals of the other Soviet-bloc countries and is currently the home of about 20 percent of Hungary’s population.
INFORMATION ABOUT BUDAPEST | BUDAPEST TRAVELING TIPS
Budapest is referred as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and its central area along with River Danube is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consist of remarkable landmarks such as Hungarian Parliament, Fisherman’s Bastion, Mathias Church, Buda Castle, Gresham Palace, Chain Bridge and few other.
CLIMATE: Budapest's summer last from May until mid-September and is generally warm while winter lasting from November until early March is usually cold with little sunshine. Spring and Autumn are mild. The best times to visit Budapest are from March to May and September through November. These shoulder seasons are when the weather is pleasant and the city isn't congested with visitors.
PEOPLE & LIFE STYLE: The capital city of Budapest is also the most populous city of Hungary. A continuous inflow of migrants in recent years has fuelled population increase in Budapest, however; the city is still entirely Hungarian speaking. Around 40 percent of Budapest population follows Christianity.
GETTING TO BUDAPEST: International travellers generally arrive at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (CODE: BUD) that is at a distance of 16 kilometers from city centre. Budapest Airport is one of the busiest Airports of Hungary that offers connection worldwide. Several international carriers ply to Budapest regularly. Nyugati, Keleti, Deli and Kelenfoldi Palyaudvarok are the main railway stations of Budapest. Budapest is well connected with other Europen cities.
VISA: Depending upon the purpose of your travel, you will be required to apply for different type of Hungary Schengen Visa. Type of visa also differs based on your nationality and length of stay.
CURRENCY: It is recommended to exchange Hungarian Forints upon arrival in Budapest, Hungary. Generally, the rate of exchange offered by banks locally is better than the rates offered by banks in your hometown. It is not suitable to change money at the Hotels as exchange rate offered is always low. Though the official currency of Hungary is Hungarian Forint (currency code: HUF), Euros (currency code: EUR) are also widely accepted.
Travel insurance is must when visiting Budapest
Beware of Pickpockets
Wear comfortable shoes as you will have to walk a lot
Carry a universal travel adapter
Appropriate clothing required
Don’t smoke in public areas
Emergency Numbers: European emergency number is 112, Fire Brigade – 105, Ambulance Service – 104
Few top destinations near Budapest:
Lake Balaton: Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake that gets largest inflow of water from the Zala River in western Hungary. This largest lake of central Europe is a major vacation spot with beaches, volcanic hills, resort towns and high-rise hotels along its 197km shoreline. The mountainous north shore is a wine-producing district, with secluded wetlands and climbing trails at Balaton Uplands National Park. The town of Veszprém has a walled Castle region, and thirteenth century frescoes at the Gizella Chapel.
Szentendre: One of the easiest day trips you can plan from Budapest is to Szentendre, a Hungarian town on the Danube River that has stayed unchanged from hundreds of years. Szentendre is a ethnically appealing destination recognized for its flamboyant architecture, churches, colorful houses and narrow, cobbled streets. The main square of town, Fő Tér, and the lanes around it are lined with art galleries, museums and shops. The town has something for all age groups.
Activities in Budapest / Attractions in Budapest
Buda Castle: Buda Castle is the historical castle and fort complex of the Hungarian kings in Budapest that offers a panoramic view of city. Also referred as Royal Palace this magnificent castle was first completed in thirteenth century, but the massive Baroque palace today occupying most of the site was built in eighteenth century. The castle complex includes Budapest History Museum along with two other Museums and a National Gallery and its more than three hundred meter long facade facing the Danube is a highlight.
Budapest Castle Hill Funicular: The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular or Budavári Sikló is a 19 century funicular railway on the side of Buda Castle in the city of Budapest, in Hungary. It runs between 0730 hours to 2200 hours daily and links the Adam Clark Square and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at river level to Buda Castle above.
Hungarian Parliament Building: The Hungarian Parliament Building, also known as the Parliament of Budapest after its location, is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary and world’s third largest Parliament building. Located on the bank of the Danube, this splendid 100 year old landmark is an example of Neo-Gothic architecture consisting of 691 rooms. Guided tours are operated while the assembly is not in session.
Fisherman's Bastion: Positioned on the Buda bank of the Danube, on the Castle hill, the Halászbástya or Fisherman's Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style offering panoramic view of city. The nineteenth century Bastion is among the most visited attractions of Budapest and on a clear day you can see landmarks such as St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Parliament, Gresham Palace and few others. It is open 24X7 and is free to walk around the ramparts and cloisters though charges apply for entering the lookout tower.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath: The Széchenyi Medicinal Bath in Budapest is the largest therapeutic bath in Europe with over 18 pools. Its water is supplied by two thermal springs, their temperature is 74 °C and 77 °C. Components of the thermal water include sulfate, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate and a significant amount of metaboric acid and fluoride. It is situated at the edge of the city’s largest park, the Varosliget and open all year around.
Heroes' Square: Located at the end of Andrassy Avenue, Hősök tere is one of the major squares in Budapest, Hungary. The nineteenth century square was erected in honor of 1000 year old history of the Magyars and since then it has been host to numerous special events.
St. Stephen's Basilica: St. Stephen's Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica and the largest church in Budapest, Hungary that can easily accommodate over 8,000 people at one time. It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary. It also hosts classical concerts all year round. The entrance to St. Stephen's Basilica is free though charges apply for Panorama Tower and Treasury.
Matthias Church: Situated in front of the Fisherman's Bastion at the heart of Buda's Castle District, Matthias Church is one of the finest churches in Budapest, Hungary. The Roman Catholic Church was founded by King Bela IV and is considered one of the most vital churches as it has witnessed coronations of several Hunagary’s Kings. Matthias Church host many events, music concerts and weddings.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge: The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. This remarkable chain bridge was the first permanent connection between Buda and Pest. The spectacular view offered by bridge during day and night will definitely charm you.
Hungarian State Opera: Situated in the heart of Budapest, the Hungarian State Opera House is one of the most stunning neo-Renaissance building in Europe. Designed by Miklós Ybl, a major figure of 19th-century Hungarian architecture, the Hungarian State Opera house quickly became one of the most prestigious musical institutions in Europe.
Margaret Island: In the middle of the Danube River, between Buda and Pest, Margaret Island Park is a peaceful getaway within the city that is popular with both local and tourist. Pedestrian walk way navigate around parkland, an art nouveau water tower, the ruins of a 13th-century Dominican convent, a musical fountain and a small zoo. Other attractions include jogging tracks, thermal spas and swimming pools. Summertime brings pop-up bars and restaurants, as well as live music.
Budapest History Museum: Situated inside the Buda Castle, the Museum is spread over four floors. The monument is also referred as Castle Museum and features exhibitions on life in Budapest from Roman times to the present day in impressive regal rooms. Budapest History Museum remains closed on Mondays.
Museum of Ethnography: The Ethnographic Museum is a national museum in Budapest that houses a collection of Hungarian traditional culture. It is located opposite to Parliament Building at Kossuth Square.
Vajdahunyad Castle: Vajdahunyad Castle is a castle in the City Park of Budapest, Hungary. Initially planned to be a temporary exhibition, it was built in 1896 and was constructed out of wood and cardboard. The castle was designed to celebrate the Hungarian State’s 1,000th birthday and its popularity with locals and visitors alike forced building of permanent structure.
Museum of Fine Arts: The Museum of Fine Arts is a museum situated opposite the Palace of Art in Heroes' Square, Budapest, Hungary. It was built in an eclectic-neoclassical style, between 1900 and 1906. The Museum's collection is made up of six departments and typically houses international works of art.
Dohány Street Synagogue: Named after the street, The Dohány Street Synagogue, also known as the Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, is a historical building in Budapest, Hungary. It is the largest synagogue in Europe, seating 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism. The buildings and the courtyards of the Synagogue include the Jewish Museum, the Heroes Temple, the Jewish Cemetery and the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park.