Taking the train from Vienna to Hungary, my family spent 36 hours in Budapest, a city with grand architecture, deep history, delicious food, and glittering thermal baths. We stayed two nights in a small Airbnb near the Jewish Quarter with a rooftop pool. Here’s what we did in Budapest.
- Cabbage roll and goulash from Panoráma Ételbár, a Hungarian stand on the second floor of the Central Market Hall, a 19th century market and food hall.
- Chimney cake from a stand within Elizabeth Square, a city park with a ferris wheel and events.
- “Hungarian Breakfast” at Lion’s Locker, a restaurant run by a brother-sister team where the chef is their mom. You can also store your luggage here.
- Pistachio croissant from VAJ, a popular bakery along a busy street.
- Sheep’s milk gnocchi at Lánchíd Söröző, a Hungarian restaurant on the Buda side.
- Bubble tea inside Asian Street Food Budapest, an Asian food hall near the main train station.
- Ice lattes from Lumen Cafe, a plant-filled cafe that also serves breakfast.
- Lattes from My Little Melbourne Cafe, a tiny cafe in the Jewish Quarter.
- Bath in Art Deco-decorated thermal baths at Gellért Thermal Bath, which is less busy than popular Szechenyi Thermal Bath.
- Reflect at the “Shoes on the Danube Bank” memorial, honoring thousands of Jews murdered by the Hungarian fascist police during World War II.
- Ride the subway, the second oldest system in the world.
- Stroll through the Castle District on the Buda side.
- Take your kids to Városliget, the main city park with a massive, enclosed playground with zip lines, a water area, swings, large slides, long rope courses, and a cafe.
- Walk along the Danube River at night to see the Parliament Building (the world’s third-largest) lit up.
- Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe built in the 19th century.
- City view from the rooftop garden at the Museum of Ethnography. Find the unique sculpture and misting station.
- Quirky statues throughout the city, especially the Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Kermit the Frog ones at Liberty Square.