Discover All the Fun Things to See and Do During Your First Trip to Budapest


I opened my Facetime app to see my friend beaming and holding back her signature guess what face.

“I’m going to Budapest! Ah, you have to tell me everything that you did there, like write it all down for me.”

I can’t blame her for the hyper excitement. Especially because I have been building up Budapest ever since I first visited the beautiful city two years ago. It is not only the fact that there are so many things to do, or the sheer beauty of each fairy tale looking street, Budapest is a city with a soul.

I roamed the city feeling as though I lived there. I walked with the sensation that I was just experiencing the city rather than being a tourist forcing it to bend over backward to fit my needs.

Every moment in the city was memorable. There was a certain peace where I felt comfortable to just see whatever I would stumble upon without planning too much ahead.


The best find from lack of planning was most definitely Gelato Rosa, which needs to be mentioned immediately. It is the best gelato I had my entire trip, and I pride myself in my experiences with gelato.

If that were not enough the gelato is in the shape of a rose and I close my argument there for why this is of such high value.

I arrived in the city quite disheveled but excited after a bumpy bus ride listening to George Ezra telling me about his house in Budapest. It was five in the morning and there was an eerie calm that covers any city at that hour.

It was the start to a trip filled with adventures, from thermal baths to plenty of bars, every moment was lived fully. I’m going to give you a few of my favorite place to go, day and night, so you can go off and have your own adventures

Explore the Buda Castle


The Buda Castle is a postcard perfect place. It boasts over the city with a proud look that you can’t help fall in love with immediately.

The Buda Castle was somewhere that drew me in during my first full day in the city. I would recommend crossing over the bridge on foot in order to get a great view of the city from the impeccably designed bridges.

The Buda Castle is located on the Buda side of Budapest so any bridge from Pest across the Danube river will guide you there. When you arrive, the full experience can be best accomplished by taking the trolley up the mountain to the top of the castle.

The ride will give you a beautiful view of the city before you step up to what seems like a tiny little city upon a mountain, filled with restaurants, churches, and tiny European streets.

Wander around the castle a bit. There is a lot of nooks and crannies filled with history.

The best piece of advice I could give with the Buda Castle would be to go to the overpriced café at the very top. The view is crazy. I bought the cheapest drink and sat there for well over an hour just taking it all in and you should do the same.

Not to mention, the Buda Castle is a World Heritage Site so you can knock one off the bucket list.

Enjoy the Thermal Baths

One of the most relaxing things is taking a nice, long bath. Now imagine doing that in an ancient, beautiful thermal bath in Budapest.  

It is easy to spend a day here, from the just relaxing in the pools to getting spa treatments. These next two were my favorite.

Gellert Bath


Relaxing in the indoor Gellert Baths felt like being a princess in her castle. There were various pools to choose from all with their own unique architectures. You can choose the pool temperature that you would like to go to, and if you are anything like me, you will immediately go to the warmest 40 degree Celsius baths.

After this, I decided to try my luck outside. It was the most ideal temperature with the sun brightly shining as I went to the outdoor bar for drinks and sunbathed outside for hours.

Széchenyi Thermal Bath





The Széchenyi is predominantly known for its outdoor pool, so it’s best to keep this one for the warmest day. Also, it is always the most fun to go to these baths with friends.

Relaxing in the pool and drinking fruity cocktails by the water is almost always a better idea with friends.

The Széchenyi is one of the largest bath complexes in Europe with 21 pools. Additionally, a one-day ticket also grants you access to the use of the saunas, gymnastics, and aqua-fitness.

The Széchenyi is basically summer packed into one location. When I was here with my cousin, she immediately exclaimed that this is the place she wants her bachelorette party. It has a certain charm that makes it perfect for a celebration or an everyday relaxation.

Sightseeing Throughout Budapest

So the way that I saw Budapest was by wandering the streets. I happened to run into quite a few breathtaking places that I recommend you stop by as well.

Hungarian Parliament Building


If you think of Budapest, this is probably the first image that comes to mind. It is worth seeing and taking a few pictures of, think of it as you would the Eiffel Tower in Paris. If you are on the Buda side at night, you can look over across the river and view the building with all its lights shining.

St. Stephens Basilica


Located only a short walk away from the Hungarian Parliament Building, St. Stephens Basilica is a grandiose church with neoclassical architecture.

The Roman Catholic church is filled with detailed paintings and gold arches. If you are in town for one. the classical music concerts are a must see here.

Ferris Wheel


What better way to see the city than through the sky? This is located close to St. Stephens Basilica and will give you bird’s eye view of the entire city.

Discover All the Cool Bars in Budapest


The nightlife in Budapest is amazing, everyone is out to have a good time. There is a place to go no matter what kind of night you are looking for. From a chill wine bars to crazy ruin pubs, there is something for everyone.

Innio Food Wine Coffee

If you are interested in a calmer evening filled with jazz music, fine wine, and a sensation that you are Ernest Hemingway, Innio is the place to go.

The interior makes you feel like you are inside a heavy, romantically designed restaurant from the early 20th century.

The wine menu is extensive and the atmosphere is a composed one. I would personally recommend this for a rainy evening.  

Szimpla Kert

This one is my personal favorite.  I walked in to find an upside down hanging bicycle above me, an abandoned car on my side, and coolest graffiti everywhere.

The concept of ruin pubs is just as cool.  The owners saw the old falling apart tenements and turned them into pubs. Instead of renovating them, they kept the crumbling charm of a European building and filled it with dancing and drinks.

Each room in the three story building is designated for different drinks with the entire first floor filled with dancing.

I comfortably plopped myself in a bath tub and observed the fun chaos. I particulate recommend this place to anyone who is a fan of Brooklyn and L.A or trendy cafes.


Kiosk is a bar along the river that is perfect for either the day or night. There is an outdoor bar surrounded by beanbag chairs and ginormous umbrellas. All of this is located on a patch of grass, creating a mini escape from the urban life surrounding you.

There is a view of the most modern of the 5 main bridges in Budapest as you relax in your bean bag.  

If you get hungry, you can make your way inside for an amazing dinner that ends with perfectly put together pastries.

I am not going to lie, I went here just to sit in the bean bag chairs 3 days in a row.  Honestly, if you do the same there is no judgment here.

Final Thoughts on Our Favorite Things to Do in Budapest

I think the reason I loved Budapest so much is the fact that I did not feel like a tourist there. On the contrary, I just felt like an admirer appreciating the beauty of the city.

From the relaxing baths by day to the interesting crowds at Szimpla Kert at night, there is no shortage of things to do in this city.

I hope you enjoy your time as much as I did. Cheers to your travels!

Paulina Smolinski

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