If you plan on coming to Budapest, here are some quick fun facts to take with you before traveling to the old city. First, Budapest is really two cities that was combined together. One half of the city is called Buda while the other half is called Pest…hence why it’s called Budapest. The city is also pronounced as Budapesh rather than Budapest. I personally made this mistake and so does everyone who visits this old city.
What to see while you are in the “Pest” side of Budapest
St. Stephen’s Basilica and surrounding area
St. Stephen’s Basilica is the iconic building that first show up when you look up Budapest online. Located in the city centre, you can take amazing pictures of this beautiful architecture.
After checking out the Basilica, you can explore the other points of interest nearby such as the Liberty Square, and fountain area.
Hungarian Parliament and surrounding area
After seeing St. Stephen’s Basilica, it’s time to check out the Hungarian Parliament building. The building is huge and quite impressive. You can also see Hungarian soldiers marching right outside the building.
After seeing the Parliament building, you can start exploring the Danube river that lies adjacent to it.
I personally had some bad luck and good luck when I decided to go sight seeing in Budapest. Bad luck because they closed down the chain bridge preventing me from crossing over and seeing the Buda side of the city. Good luck because they had an aerial show that allowed me to see an acrobatic plane contest at the Danube river. (Formally called “The Red Bull Air Race”)
Hősök tere and Széchenyi thermal bath
The final stop for me is Hősök tere and the Széchenyi thermal bath plus surrounding area. They’re quite close to each other and there are tons of beautiful monuments to see.
The Széchenyi thermal bath is quite pricy and I was running low on funds at this point of my one year trip around the world so I decided not to go inside. Looking back in hindsight, I think it would be awesome to spend an entire day in the Széchenyi thermal bath to relax and enjoy this truly unique place (even if the tourist price is borderline price gouging).
Overall, I had a great time exploring Budapest. I’m not sure if I will return anytime soon but because I did miss seeing the Buda side of the city and I’m mildly interested in spending a day in the Széchenyi thermal bath, I might return in the distant future.