When visiting Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, one cannot miss exploring the vibrant and lively Pest side. Known for its stunning architecture, bustling streets, and rich history, there are countless activities and attractions to enjoy. In this guide, we will highlight some of the must-do things on the Pest side of Budapest for absolute beginners.
1. Visit the Hungarian Parliament Building
The Hungarian Parliament Building is an iconic symbol of Budapest and a must-visit attraction. This impressive Gothic Revival-style building stands on the banks of the Danube River and offers guided tours to explore its stunning interior. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the Hungarian Crown Jewels and marvel at the intricate architecture.
2. Explore St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica, named after the first King of Hungary, is a magnificent neoclassical church. Take a guided tour to learn about its history, or simply admire the breathtaking panoramic views of Budapest from its dome. Don’t forget to see the mummified hand of St. Stephen himself, preserved as a holy relic.
3. Walk along Andrássy Avenue
Andrássy Avenue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Budapest’s most elegant boulevards. Take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the spectacular architecture, luxurious boutiques, and charming cafés along the way. The avenue leads to Heroes’ Square, where statues of famous Hungarian leaders await.
4. Soak in the Széchenyi Thermal Baths
Indulge in relaxation and wellness at the Széchenyi Thermal Baths, the largest thermal bath complex in Europe. Experience the healing properties of the thermal waters, enjoy the outdoor pools, or treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa treatment. A visit to these baths is a truly unique Budapest experience.
5. Discover the Great Market Hall
Immerse yourself in Hungarian culture and gastronomy at the Great Market Hall. This grand and bustling market is the perfect place to taste traditional Hungarian cuisine, shop for local produce, spices, and souvenirs. Don’t forget to try lángos, a famous Hungarian street food.
6. Take a Danube River Cruise
Embark on a Danube River Cruise and enjoy panoramic views of Budapest’s iconic landmarks, including the Buda Castle, Chain Bridge, and Gellért Hill. Opt for a daytime cruise to take in the city’s beauty under the sun, or join an evening cruise to witness the cityscape illuminated by lights.
7. Explore the Jewish Quarter
The Jewish Quarter is a fascinating district filled with history, vibrant street art, and trendy ruin bars. Visit the Great Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe, and explore the Jewish Museum to learn about the rich Jewish heritage in Budapest. Don’t miss the famous Szimpla Kert ruin bar for a unique nightlife experience.
8. Enjoy a stroll in City Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and unwind in City Park (Városliget). This expansive park offers serene lakes, beautiful gardens, and attractions such as Vajdahunyad Castle and the Budapest Zoo. During winter, the park transforms into a magical ice skating rink.
9. Visit the House of Terror
For history enthusiasts, the House of Terror provides haunting insights into Hungary’s dark past during the Nazi and Communist regimes. Through thought-provoking exhibits, the museum commemorates the victims and offers a glimpse into the country’s struggle for freedom.
10. Indulge in Hungarian Cuisine
Last but not least, don’t miss the opportunity to taste the delicious Hungarian cuisine. Try goulash, a hearty meat and vegetable stew, or indulge in chimney cakes (kürtőskalács) for a sweet treat. Budapest offers a wide range of restaurants and street food stalls to satisfy all taste buds.
With these amazing activities and attractions, your visit to the Pest side of Budapest will be unforgettable. Remember to plan your itinerary, wear comfortable shoes for exploring, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this enchanting city. Enjoy your trip!
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