The City of Baths is a unique experience for anyone, it is really a city of sights without equal, plus it is considered cheap, in European terms. There are organized and guaranteed leisure activities all around, but the city might also be easy to explore on your own due to its compact structure. If you’re brave enough, do not hesitate to simply grab a map and tour the city on foot, or by using public transport!
Let’s start with the river, since it can easily be called the biggest attraction of the city, almost everything that is worth visiting is located next to the river, exceptions later. The mighty Danube flows through the Hungarian capital splitting it in two easily recognizable parts with numerous different districts.
The completely flat Pest side and the districts close to the geographic center of the city is considered downtown, with most of the pubs, cultural institutes and accommodations.
The rather hilly Buda side is an adventurous region with lots to see, and places, open-air and closed alike, to relax any time of the day. Walking and cycling routes along the river are great to spend some sunny afternoons, you can rent a bike at any frequented point of the city for a small price. If you venture down south you can enjoy the amazing new theatre and sports district which is not as crowded as the downtown region, and if you go up north on the Buda side you will find yourself in Aquincum and Roman Bath area with countless places to rent kayaks and enroll in a self-organized river tour in the close countryside or chill out in one of the cool open-air pubs and clubs of the river bend,
try out the Hungarian Lángos (kind of a salty mini pizza) with some local beers or wines. Also in the middle of the city the Margaret Island with a running and cycling path around it,clubs, parks and baths in the middle, is definitely worth one of your days!
Many people coming to Budapest make the mistake of not visiting the City Park. It is basically, a remote place, almost in the middle of the city, where you can find the largest Spa of Europe, the City Circus, the Botanical Garden and Zoo of Budapest and also the medieval Vajdahunyad castle in the middle of the City Lake, where you can also rent kayaks or water bikes during the summer season for a romantic afternoon or night, while during winter season, it functions as a great ice skating ring.
If you have the time to do so, it is clearly a great choice to explore the surroundings of the capital as well. The medieval city of Szentendre is just half an hour away, and it is one of the oldest towns of Hungary unharmed by World War II. Visegrád, one of the most famous wine territories of Hungary, is also open for visitors all the time, with its many wineries, cellars and wine tasting events for ones interested.
Heading back to downtown once again, it is important to note the nightlife of the capital. Old pubs and bars from before the war, damaged and renovated, offer a warm welcome for people interested in the unique Hungarian drinks and the atmosphere of a great night. There is literally pub after pub in the Old 7th district of Budapest, fighting against cottonmouth day and night. Do not hesitate to try one of the Pub-Tours or Beer Bike events to find your way around during the night.