Budapest is not only one of my favorite cities in Europe but also a very affordable travel destinations. Find my favorite spots in the city you shouldn’t miss in my Budapest Diary!
For a weekend we decided to jump in our car to drive to Budapest. The last time we’ve been there has been three years ago and we already loved the vibes of this city during our first visit!
We stayed at the Sofitel Chain Bridge Budapest and as the name already implies this hotel is located right next to the most famous bridge in Budapest!
Since we arrived in the early evening we decided to relax a bit in the hotel lounge while enjoying the wonderful sunset behind the Chain Bridge and the Fishermans Bastion.
Later in the evening we did a little walk: We crossed the Chain Bridge and walked along the riverbank to the Margaret Bridge. What a wonderful view at the illuminated Parliament Building we had ! The complex turns into a real beauty at night!
Day one of my Budapest Diary
For the next morning we planned a trip to one of the local thermal baths. Our visit has been in August and the temperatures were about 33°C during the daytime so we were really craving for a little refreshment. During our last visit we went to the famous Gellert Bath but this time we wanted to try something new and chose the Szechenyi Bath – one of the most beautiful baths in Budapest!
Of course we haven’t been the only ones with this idea during the holiday season and on a hot summer – especially the outside area was really crowded! I can highly recommend everyone to go to the baths as early or as late as possible and to avoid crowds during the midday. The Szechenyi Bath opens at 6am till 10pm in the summertime.
Outside you have two huge basins: one with warm thermal water and another basin for swimming with cooler water. But you have to keep in mind that you are only allowed to swim in the basin with a head covering which can be a bathing cap or simply a sun hat or headscarf. Of course most of the tourists (including us) didn’t know about this rule so we could only sit on the side of the basin with our legs in the water to get some refreshment.
Insider Tipp: You get the best view over the whole Szechenyi Bath from the stands which are empty most of the times – the perfect place to take a picture!
We took the subway back to the Chain Bridge and walked through the city when we suddenly stumbled into the best rated restaurant in Budapest.
It’s the Italian restaurant ‘Comme Chez Soi’ which looks absolutely unspectacular at first sight and only has a few seats. But it’s completely booked out most of the times and we were super lucky to get a table for 1,5 hours 🙂 The food is amazing and really affordable with a great quality & quantity (I had a huge Pizza Parma for only 9 EUR) – an absolute recommendation!
Later we went up to the Fishermans Bastion on the other riverside of Danube. Especially during sunset this place is really crowded cause everyone wants to see the golden glow over the city caused by the sun which sets down behind the hill.
We really enjoyed this view but decided to return the next day early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
From here you can simply pass the Matthias Church behind the Bastion and turn left to the Royal Palace – It’s the best place if you want to see the nocturnal city lights!
It’s really beautiful if you arrive right after sunset to see how the Chain Bridge illuminates: The Bridge is covered in green light first which is changing to yellow-orange color later. Very romantic! 🙂
The Matthias Church
Night view over the Chain Bridge from the Royal Palace
Right next to the Royal Palace is the well known Budapest funicular (Sikló) located which has been built in the late 19. century. We took a ride down to the Chain Bridge for around 3 EUR per person and enjoyed the beautiful city view!
The view from the funicular station earlier this evening.
Day two of my Budapest Diary
The wake up call for the next morning was at 5am! We really wanted to enjoy the quiet Budapest before it gets crowded. Normally we are no early birds at all but it was so worth it! The Chain Bridge, which is normally super crowded, was still empty – only a few cars passed by every now and then. Especially during sunrise the bridge is one of the best photo scenes in the whole city!
The Bridge from the “Pest” side …
… and from the “Buda” side viewing the sunrise.
We walked over the bridge and up to the Fishermans Bastion where we arrived around 6.15 am. We only met a few other photographers during this time. In this moment I realized how beautiful this 120 years old monument really is! I felt like a princess overlooking the city from her castle on the hill 🙂 If you plan a trip to Budapest, visiting the Fishermans Bastion for sunrise is an absolute MUST DO for everyone!
The Matthias Church also looked amazing in the soft morning light and the colorful bricks started to glow!
After this early morning sightseeing tour we went back to the hotel to get some breakfast and a little more sleep 😉
In the afternoon we decided to explore the Royal Palace a little more which we visited the night before. Several museums and the national library are located in the building and outside you can walk along the walls to enjoy another great view over the city. The last point which you can reach is the huge statue of virgin Mary from where you have the best sight on the Parliament Building!
After a delicious dinner we already had to drive back home!
For your own trip I can highly recommend you to plan at least four days for Budapest. Our two and a half days clearly haven’t been enough to explore all of the magical places in the city – but at least that’s another reason for us to come back. 🙂