What to expect from tourism as a first-time visitor in Budapest?
If you would like to travel Budapest, but you’ve never been there before, you may have some questions, especially you are a foreigner. Where is the city actually? What are the must-have sights? Is Budapest tourism safe? We’re trying to answer the most important tasks.
Where is Budapest?
This is the capital city and the biggest city of Hungary at the same time. Budapest is separated two parts by the Danube which is the second longest river in Europe. It’s located at the border of the Great Plain and the northern hills of the country.
Let’s see some surveys!
Foreign tourists like Budapest. According to a survey made by Euromonitor International, it’s the 6th common aim in Europe. ‘Condé Nast Traveler’ magazine shows much greater results; according to its 1.3 million respondents, Budapest is the second best city in the world. Do you like shopping? If you are, you’ll surely have a fine time in the Hungarian capital city, because most of the shopping centers in the region of Middle- and East-Europe are there. The survey of the Economist says that Budapest is one of the top 10 ‘shopping cities’ in the world.
Some practical information
The Hungarian forint is the national currency, but you can bring unlimitedly foreign currencies into (and out of) the country. Changing is possible at the airport, at hotels or at any bank.
What about transport?
Budapest is available even by airplane. In the city, public transport is quite good; so you can travel by bus, tram or even on the underground railway. You can choose a taxi, but it’ll be expensive. Hotels and hostels are the most common accommodations. Hotels are more expensive, but they offer several services and facilities, while hostels cost less, but you receive less for your money. If you choose Airb&n, you can book a private flat, and the owner probably also stay there with you.
What should you know about its history?
Its region has been inhabited since ancient times, by the Celts. After the Roman invasion, Acquincum was the part of the border, and the city has an important role in the medieval ages, too. It was actually three cities: Buda, Old-Buda and Pest. In the 19th century, they have developed culturally and economically a lot, and in 1873, they united. Most of the best-known buildings of the city were built at the end of that century in the so-called eclectic style. This style alloys the most significant elements of former art styles. The building of the Hungarian Parliament or the Fisherman’s Bastion are both excellent examples of it. Of course, there are several more ‘historical’ sights, too, e.g. Buda Castle or Matthias Church which originate from the medieval ages.
How safe is Budapest?
We can say that Budapest is a quite safe city, especially if it’s compared with the huge metropolises of the world. However, there are some districts which should be avoided such as No VIII or XIV. All in all, regions of Buda are safer than Pest.
What are the most important sights?
Some sights are the parts of the World Heritage such as the view of the bank of the River Danube, the Castle District, the Heros’ Square, or the Millennium Underground Railway. This latter one is the second oldest metro in the world! In the Dohány Street, you can find the biggest synagogue in Europe. The House of the Hungarian Parliament is the world’s third-biggest building of a parliament; the Hungarian Holy Crown is served here.
There are 14 bridges in the city, and some of them are built in the 19th century, e.g the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, which was opened as first of them in 1849. Budapest is the city of thermal baths, too. Actually, this is the only capital city in the world which has thermal springs, and here you can find the world’s biggest cave system which has thermal water.
What are the must-have programs?
It is worth visiting Budapest on the major holidays. For example, during December, there are several interesting programs for all age groups. Many fairs are organized where you can buy unique products of craftsmen or taste national food. Among national holidays, programs on 20th August are always spectacular; and at the end of the day, you can adore the fireworks, too. The best place – by the way – to adore the national firework is directly from the Danube. Join us on one of our dinner cruises with live piano or Hungarian folklore show and enjoy this magical evening with us, from the River right next to the Hungarian Parliament.
If you visit Budapest, don’t miss a pleasant Danube river cruise!
Besides the regular trips, there are usually thematic programs, such as Easter Cruise
or New Year’s Eve Cruises, but if you would like to surprise your beloved one with a unique program on Valentine’s Day, a special romantic cruise on the 14th of February can be a perfect choice.
During these programs, you can watch the beautiful panorama, enjoy the music or dance shows, and taste the delicious dinner menu. while floating on the second largest river in Europe.