How To Explore Budapest Like The Locals Do
Everyone knows about my love for etúHOME, but did you know that the company is somewhat native to Hungary? It’s true, not only is Hungary the place where every product is handcrafted, it is also where several of the etúHOME staff call home. Because of this, whenever I am considering a trip to the Paris of the East, I jump at the chance to use the etúHOME staff as a reference. Through all of my travels, the best lesson I have learned is if you want to know the best sights and attractions, there’s no better way to find out than to ask the locals.
(Parliament – source: GetYourGuide)
When you’re a history and culture connoisseur.
Parliament – Depending on how dedicated you are, a trip to parliament is recommended. The lines may be long but they have guided tours with plenty of information not known to the public. Not to mention, the outside alone is one of the most stunning and largest buildings around and a favorite for its Neo-gothic architecture.
Heroes Square – Constructed in 1896 to celebrate the 1000th year of Hungary, it is the largest and most impressive square of the city. Don’t forget, the square is flanked by two popular museums with City Park in the background for extra scenic opportunities.
Széchenyi Bath – Although there are many historical bath houses that mark the city, Széchenyi is the best, by far. Thermal baths have had a long tradition in Budapest with the Romans first making use of the natural springs and more springing up long after the Turkish invasion. Want a rather unique experience? Head to the bath house after dark, it makes for an amusing night out, especially when it’s a bit cold outside. The locals also claim the warm baths are a great way to cure your jet lag!
(Lugas – source: TripAdvisor)
When your belly starts grumbling.
Espresso Embassy – If you’re looking for a place to start your day, look no further. The small café serves up excellent espresso, macchiatos and flat whites!
TG Bistro Italiano – For lunch or dinner, there’s no other than TG Bistro Italiano. It’s at a great location with an exquisite view of St. Stephen’s Basilica, and it has a laid back atmosphere that anyone can enjoy.
Lugas – On the search for a traditional Hungarian lunch, you’ll find Lugas, also across from the Basilica. The etúHOME recommendation - order a gulyas soup and csirke paprika, better known as chicken paprikas!
Kollazs – An etúHOME favorite, located in the Four Seasons hotel, is Kollazs. The food is delicious and a bit gastronomic, however, the Lobby Bar is a step back in time. Experience the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s best days, sipping a cappuccino or a cocktail in the elegant space.
(Szimpla Kert – source: wheretogoin.net)
When life calls for a cocktail.
Szimpla Kert – In Hungary, there are several ‘ruin bars’ spread throughout the city. Known for their interesting appeal and renovated look, these bars were once fated for destruction, but now have been completely overhauled into a fun atmosphere. Szimpla Kert is by far the most popular, and the one that is most worthwhile to visit during your time in Budapest. At night, the drinks are cheap and during the weekend, the ruins transform into a market.
Doblo Wine Bar – This bar is a great place for dining after a long day. It almost always has live jazz music and affordable wine tastings. What could be better?
The Aria Hotel Rooftop Bar – If you are looking for great views of the city while enjoying a nice aperol spritz, this is the place for you. Even better, it’s right next to the Basilica.
(View of the Citadella – source: shutterstock)
When you’re ready to take it all in.
Zugligeti Libego – An easy and slightly adventurous way to get a bird’s eye view of Hungary, Zugligeti Libego is a chairlift you can hop on for incredible sights. The ride up is close to 15 minutes long but is well worth the trip, with views along the entire ride and a little café located at the top. Locals love the lift but are quick to warn to call ahead before going because weather conditions can cause it to unexpectedly close.
The Citadella - A favorite spot for panoramic views of the city and one you won’t be able to miss, the fortress is prominently known for its large statue of a woman holding a palm leaf in her hands. Like this one, and the other monuments beside it, the Citadella carries rich history and symbolizes progress. It’s an easy drive and a not so difficult walk from the Gellert Hill from Gellert Square. Day or night, when the city is sparkling with lights – you won’t regret the views you will experience from the monument.