*1 Travel notes
I still remember that day, it was wintertime and I was looking for some destinations to go and enjoy a weekend. I was looking at the globe, so I closed my eyes and pointed my finger on it: and I ended up in Budapest, Hungary.
You know that feeling, when something magical calls you: I needed less than 5 seconds and a bit of money to buy my flight tickets.
Since that day, more than 5 years have passed and I have gone back to this wonderful city other 5 times. I mean, love is love. As you know, I love sweet foods, it is not a secret anymore, actually it has never been a secret. And Budapest, as Hungary in general, brings me to paradise. But this is just one of the endless reasons for which Hungary is always in my heart.
The power of this city, charming, beautiful and historical at the same time, will make you fall in love with it quite soon as well.
It looks like living in a postcard.
*2 How to get there
Based on my personal experience (I tried to choose the best itineraries)
Airport: Budapest Liszt Ferenc Nemzetközi Repülőtér (Budapest Liszt Ferenc International Airport) – Three Terminals: 1, 2A, 2B
Distance from the city center: 16 km
To the city center
- Number: 200E
- Terminal station: Kobánya-Kispest (underground terminal, line blue, M3)
- Travel time: 30 minutes
- Frequency time: each 15 minutes
- Price: 350 HF/Hungarian forint (around 1,10 €/Euro)
- Number: 100E
- Terminal station: Deák Ferenc tér (underground terminal, lines M1, M2 and M3)
- Travel time: 35 minutes
- Frequency time: each 30 minutes
- Price: 900 HF/Hungarian Forint (around 2,80€/Euro)
By Train (from Terminal 1)
- Terminal station: Budapest Nyugati (Railway terminal)
- Travel time: 30 minutes
- Frequency time: each 30 minutes
- Price: 370 HF -Hungarian forint (around 1,20 € euro)
*3 City tour
Budapest is so wonderful that you do not even know where to start and visit it. Really. Every time I have the chance of spending a few hours or days in there, I go and walk randomly, just following my instinct: every corner looks like painted, so every single moment is a new discovery. You will be delighted any moment, by the views and by the… tasty cakes the Hungarian cuisine will offer you!
Anyway let me tell you what I have seen in my trips in this magic city and what I suggest to you for your amazing staying.
- Budavári Palota (Buda Castle)
As you surely know, Budapest is composed by Buda and Pest, which are divided by the Danube river. You can be sure both are worthy and amazing to visit, so let us start with this Castle, so massive and awesome that you will need a lot of energy for climbing (not worries, once at the Castle, there are many cakes and dessert waiting for refill your energy level): the view of Budapest from there… incredible. Stunning. To live. To enjoy.
- Andrássy út (Andrassy street)
If you are in Budapest, well… what better than take a walk into a wonderful avenue UNESCO heritage? So, all you need to do, it is just to walk and get lost into the beauty of this stunning street, that will guide you into the magical Heroes’ Square.
- Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square)
As I promised, from Andrassy street you will end up in this amazing square, which is also very close to the city park (Városliget). I mean, the first time I saw it, I could not believe to have all those beauties, statues, sculptures right in front of my eyes. To try, super super super must to go and see. Guaranteed.
- Széchenyi lánchíd (Széchenyi Chain Bridge)
Ready for walking in one the most wonderful bridges in the world? Just the idea of crossing the Danube river makes this bridge a complete flight into history… superb and magnificent.
- Margit-sziget (Margaret Island)
Are you a sports lover? Well, that is great, have some great news. There is a park, located in Margaret Island, surrounded by the Danube, which is full of trees, green fields, and places where to run, to walk and listen to the music, to chill out. Relax. Just breathe and enjoy. This is a lot, trust me. It is like an enormous space for relaxing in a big city.
- Országház (Hungarian Parliament Building)
Well, first time I saw this building I was in Buda side… and it was magnificent, stunning, along the Danube river. You just cannot avoid its view, from the Castle or from one of the bridges, you will catch it and bring in your heart, in your eyes and, why not, in your camera.
- Budapest fürdők (Budapest’s baths)
It could be spring or autumn, or of course winter, but one thing you can be sure about is that Budapest baths are always waiting for you. Need some relax? Just go there. Want to enjoy the culture, looking at some magnificent buildings while taking a bath? Yes, you can do it as well. Do not forget to pack your swimsuit when you head Budapest. Some suggestion: Széchenyi fürdő (my favourite ones), Rudas fürdő and Gellért fürdő.
- Szent István-bazilika (St Stephen Basilica)
And what about this Basilica? Located in Pest area, you can easily reach it by underground (blue line, M3, Arany Jànos stop) and you can enter for free. Wonderful inside and outside. Amazing.
- Dohány utcai zsinagóga/ nagy zsinagóga (Dohany Utca Synagogue)
This is another place that should be in your city tour list. Did you know? This is the largest synagogue in Europe. So, if you have the chance, go and take a look at this, another massive building located in Budapest.
*4 Food planet
When it comes to the food planet you can start feeling hungry. The list of delicious Hungarian dishes is endless, several kinds of soups and incredibly tasty lovely cakes and dessert and much more. I have tried quite a lot of them and these are some (as soon as I will remember more dishes I will make another special article about). Ready to eat?
Time to start this amazing cool food tour with this perfect mushrooms soup. I do love mushrooms and by discovering this soup (made with mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots and several spices like the magical paprika or cumin) I immediately fell in love with it. Before serving it, they often add some spoons of sour cream (which I love). What a delicious start of your meal!
- Hideg meggyleves
(Cold sweet soup made with sour cream and whole sour cherries)
And so, what about starting your meal with this sweet food? I tried it once, and I have to say I was surprised by its taste and fresh flavor. Did you know that Hungary is one of the biggest producer of sour cherry in Europe? You can find them pretty much everywhere, do not miss the chance to try them!
(Stew of meat with vegetables, potatoes, carrots, seasoned with paprika and other spices)
One of the most famous dishes from Hungary. The preparation time for this dish is quite long, I had the privilege to see how Hungarians make “Goulash” and it was amazing to realize the care, effort and work behind it. They needed hours to make it, but then the result was absolutely amazing.
Always in my heart. Definitely to try.
- Töltott káposzta
(Stuffed cabbage rolls filled in with meat seasoned with vegetables, rice and spices)
What can I add? This dish is a true explosion of flavors, an amazing mixture between cabbage and meat. Their taste is delicious and they are usually served with the sour cream (a sauce that I literally love and it is used quite a long in Hungary and the Eastern Europe).
- Csirkepaprikás Halászlé
(Fish soup made with mixed river fish, onions, tomato, peppers, paprika)
If you are looking for a hearty fish soup then you cannot miss this chance. The Hungarian fisherman’s stew is going to be a super pleasant discovery for your palate: it is a hot soup made with mixed river fish and contains onions, peppers and ground red paprika and last but not least, lots of love. It is usually served during Lent or on Christmas Eve, but you can easily find it all around the city throughout the year.
(Hungarian herbal liqueur)
Best way to end the meal? By trying this typical herbal liqueur, which is often drunk as a digestive. It is made with more than forty herbs and once you try it, you simply cannot forget its taste. Strong, unique, Hungarian.
- Jó étvágyat! Enjoy your meal!
- Example of Menu
1 appetizer/starte r (or dessert), 1 main course, 1 drink (beer/wine)
Around 6/7€ (euro)
And what about cakes and dessert? No, I have not forgotten them at all.
I just could not.
They belong to my heart.
To be honest we should create a page just in order to start and describe some delicious Hungarian cakes!
If you are a big fan of dessert, a crazy sweets lover like me, take a deep breath before sending yourself into the wonderful sunny world of Hungarian cakes (5 amazing cakes to try in Hungary)
*5 Hungarian keywords
And what about learning some Hungarian words before your trip?
Of course, here you go!
- Hello – Szia
- Yes / No – Igen / Nem
- Thank you – Köszönöm
- You are welcome – Szívesen
- Excuse me – Elnézést
- Good morning – Jó reggelt
- Good afternoon – Jó napot
- Good evening – Jó estét
*6 Hungary basic information
- Name: Hungary (Magyarország)
- Continent: Europe
- Location: Eastern Europe, UTC+1 (CET)
- Country code: +36
- Currency: Hungarian forint
- Capital city: Budapest
- Main airports: Budapest, Debrecen, Sármellék, Győr-Pér, Pécs-Pogány