Coming back from my 50-day trip to Budapest, Minlou has just the perfect recommendations for places to go and see. It's a combo between touristy places and the spots locals usually go, but I'll lean more towards the touristy ones because.. we are tourists there and in my humblest opinion, we should appreciate it just as much even though it's not an 'indie' spot.

If you are planning to travel to Europe soon, the capital of Hungary should be in your bucket list as it is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. 

Let's dive right into the list!


1. Exploring The Hills of Buda

To my surprise, a 20 minute walk in Buda would already take me uphill. It's kinda crazy to me that you can just decide "okay I am going hiking" mid-day and do so because it's only a few minutes away. The first week I was in Budapest, me and my boyfriend walked to Kis-Sváb-hegy (picture below):

As someone who walked less than 1 km a day back in Medan, Indonesia, this hike seemed impossible at first but it turned out to be a cute small hike that I think everyone should try. You can definitely put Kis-Sváb-hegy on your first list of hike as this is a relatively small hill, and then work on your stamina by going to Gellért Hill and top it with János Hill, the highest point in Buda. Also, while you are at János Hill you might want to check the Elizabeth Lookout Tower there as well!.



2. Shopping Spree in Pest

Indulge yourself in luxury when you cross the Danube to Pest because it's your go-to place when you are looking for gifts, souvenirs, branded items, etc. Simply put, Buda is for you to discover nature's wonders and Pest is for the fancy schmancy rituals.

For this said-ritual, Váci Utca or Váci Street would be the best option. 

Váci Street - Budapest Attractions


3. Historical Sites: Buda Castle & Fishermen's Bastion

Buda Castle is the historical castle and palace complex of the Hungarian Kings in Budapest. In the past, the complex was referred to as either the Royal Palace or the Royal Castle. This is a must-visit in Budapest for sure!

Buda Castle - Budapest: Get the Detail of Buda Castle on Times of India  Travel

Just 15-minute-walk away from the castle complex is the Fishermen's Bastion (Halászbástya). The main façade, parallel to the Danube, is approximately 140 meters long, of which the southern aisle is about 40 meters long, the north is 65 meters long, and the ornate central parapet is 35 meters long. Its seven high-pitched stone towers symbolize the seven chieftains of the Hungarians who founded Hungary in 895.

Reviews - Buda Castle Fashion Hotel 4* - Budapest | Voyage Privé


4. Margaret Island

What's that in the middle of the Danube? Yes, that's the Margaret Island or Margitsziget. Beautiful, isn't it? Now, you might ask, "what is there to see in Margaret Island?"

Well, for one, there is a small zoo right in the middle of this island that you can enter for free. Also, Margaret Island is a good lunch-picnic-date idea. You can take the trams and stop at Margit hid station.

12 Things to do on Margaret Island, Budapest - The Crowded Planet


5. Parks!

Every 5 minutes you walk in Buda, there is a park (from small to big) waiting. Okay that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but seriously, there are parks EVERYWHERE in Buda. Whenever you get tired from walking, take a break in a nearby park and let your inner child out.

Budapest to add a grand-scale playground in City Park

In most parks that I have been to, there is always a children's playground and an 'adult' playground with giant monkey bars, giant swings, giant everything :D

Street Workout Park | Signs and Features | Free Sport Parks Map


1. Csirkepaprikás, Lángos, and Kürtőskalács

To be honest, almost every Hungarian food I have tried so far was a m a z i n g. But Csirkepaprikás (Chicken Paprikás), Lángos and Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake) stood out the most.

Hungary is very famous for their Chicken Paprikás where meat is typically simmered for an extended period in a sauce that begins with a paprika-infused roux. The dish is traditionally served with dumpling-like boiled egg noodles (nokedli).

10 tuti tipp, hogy tökéletes legyen a csirkepaprikás |

As for Lángos, I always get hungry just by looking at a picture of it. The traditional way to have this deep-fried flatbread is to put sour cream and cheese on top. That's it, nothing else. Of course, there are a number of options from bacon, sausages and even sweets! But sour cream and cheese is the best way to go.

Gluténmentes lángos -

Now onto the next one, Chimney Cakes! Ugh they are the cutest. You've probably guessed why it's named "Chimney"

Super Soft Homemade Chimney Cake Recipe (Kürtőskalács) - YouTube

It's shaped like a chimney :D But to be honest, for me it looks more like a Corgi's loaf-butt on a snowy day and I am saying this in the most polite and positive way possible. If you are wondering where to get Chimney Cakes, just pay attention to metro stations, busy-street intersections, or any kinds of touristy places. I saw a number of Chimney Cake stalls when I was walking around a neighborhood in Pest, you'll definitely find them too. These cakes costs around 600-1,200 HUF but there is a high chance for it to cost 2,000 HUF per piece depending on the area. My suggestion is, go down to a metro station and see if they have it there :)


2. Unicum and Pálinka

The first alcohol I had after I arrived in Budapest was a homemade Pálinka as a welcome drink from my boyfriend. Pálinka is a traditional fruit spirit in Eastern and Central Europe with origins in Carpathian Mountains basin. Pálinka is very famous here and you can easily get a shot of different types of Pálinka in a random pub you meet in the streets. 

Pálinkák – Borcentrum KFT. Bor és italnagykereskedés *

I didn't know Pálinka was that hardcore until a guy who sells souvenirs at a Christmas Market named Mario told me that it was funny how I just went straight to the strong alcohol the first time here. And this was before I told him I've also tried almost all varieties of Unicum since I have been in Budapest, he just went completely crazy after that sentence. Unicum is a Hungarian herbal liqueur or bitters, drunk as a digestif and apéritif. The liqueur was created in 1790 and is today produced by Zwack according to a secret formula of more than forty herbs.

Unicum – Wikipédia

Mario, if you are reading this, thanks for letting me know that Pálinka has over 35% of alcohol and could go as high as 80% when it comes to homemade ones. I never realized that and I somehow never looked it up.  


1. Make Use of The Public Transportation

Hands down, one of the best public transportation systems in the world! Budapest actually ranks #1 for the largest tram networks, this is no doubt considering how I could get to anywhere I want just from a combination of their public transportations. My advice is for you to download BudapestGO app from Play Store / App Store right from the moment you step in Budapest. This app provides you a number of transport options as you type down your destination on the search bar.


2. Learn Useful Phrases

One of the most important things when going overseas: try your best to not be hated by the locals, and the way to do it is by learning these simple greetings.

Okay, so, quick Hungarian alphabet lesson before we jump in:

And now comes the fun part:



Commonly used for…

Jó (Good)


Good morning

Greeting neighbors / store clerk / cashier / bus driver


Good day


Good evening


Good night

Szép (Beautiful)


Beautiful / Good day

Greeting neighbors / store clerk / cashier / bus driver.


Beautiful / Good evening

Jó / Szép + time of day + kívánok (I wish you)


Jó reggelt / napot / estét kívánok

Szép reggelt / napot / estét kívánok

I wish you a good / beautiful day / night

More formal settings. This also works perfectly when you are saying goodbye by wishing the other person to have a good day / night.

Szia! / Sziasztok!

Hello! or Goodbye! / Hello or Goodbye with two or more people

Greeting / Saying Hi

Köszönöm / Köszönöm szépen

Thank you / Thank you very much

Expressing gratitude


Thank you

Expressing gratitude for two or more people


You’re welcome

Responding to “Thank you”

Viszontlátásra / Viszlát (short version)

Literally: ‘till we see each other again

Saying goodbye / see you again


Excuse me

To excuse yourself, can be used in both formal / casual settings

Bocsánat / Bocs (short version)

Sorry / excuse me

Apologizing, commonly used in a casual way


On a typical day, this is how it goes:
You enter a store and you say "Szia!" or "Szép napot" or "Jó napot". You can also do this later at the cashier, usually they'll greet you first. When you're done shopping, you can say "Köszönöm (szépen)" and then bid them goodbye by saying "Viszlát!" which translates to: Good bye!


3. Go for Walks Along The Danube

Whether it is at night or in the morning, promenading alongside the Danube is always a good idea. The question is which side of the city do you want to walk on, if you want to look at the Buda Castle then walking from Pest is your go-to choice, vice versa. 

Buda And Pest: The City With Two Faces | Destination Guides | Corinthia  Budapest - Corinthia

Buda vs Pest: which side of the river are you on? - six-two by Contiki

December 16, 2022

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About the author

Thyra Amelinda

Thyra is a content creator. Previously a social media manager at a creative PR agency, she’s been in the creative industry for almost 4 years and is currently on a quest to empower people especially young women through her musings. As an individual who aims to live a simple life, she loves spending her time reading, writing and playing tennis—anything to be away from the hustle bustle.