While some cities have tried to become the “Paris of the East,” make no mistake, Budapest has some striking similarities, but without the expensive Parisian price tag.
As the largest city in the Republic of Hungary, Budapest is the country's political, cultural and commercial center. This magnificent city exudes a cultural sophistication that entices and enchants. Gracing both sides of the legendary Danube river with grand historic buildings, regal bridges and graceful tree-lined boulevards, it is the city's elegant beauty and romantic atmosphere that has given Budapest Parisian status among the Eastern European countries and has bestowed it with the title 'Queen of the Danube'.
Budapest was named "the world's second best city" by Condé Nast Traveler, and "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes. Each year, the city attracts around 4.4 million tourists, ranking it as the world's 25th most popular destination and Europe's 6th most popular city tour destination.
Budapest can add yet another jewel to her crown as the proud recipient of the Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards 2017 and 2018 Top-Rated European River Destinations.
A Tale of Two Cities
The Budapest you'll see today is the result of many years of rich history, which dates to the third century when it was originally a settled by the Celts. Study the place a bit, and you'll find yourself wondering: Who didn't invade the city? The Romans, Magyars, Mongols, Ottoman Turks, Austrians, Germans and Soviets have all played starring roles in Budapest's longstanding municipal drama.
The history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Hungarians (Magyarians) arrived in the territory in the 9th century. Their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241. The re-established town became one of the centers of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity, and Budapest became a global city with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank with Pest on the east bank in 1873. Budapest also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I.
Its numerous wars and invasions, with repeated destruction and rebuilding, has created the Budapest of today, with an amalgamation of styles created over time during periods of loving restoration by a proud and resilient nation of people. Thus the reason for the city's eclectic architecture, which includes everything from Neoclassical to Stalinist utilitarian. Its current skyline reflects the building programs and styles of the turn of the 20th century.
The beautiful Danube River both divides and connects peaceful, hilly Buda in the west and the flatter, lively Pest in the east. Óbuda, the oldest part of Budapest, is also on the west side of the Danube and is an extension of Buda to the north. Seven bridges and two railway bridges join Buda and Pest, and six islands on the Danube are located within city limits.
Budapest is a large city with a population of 1.7 million, and has the biggest Jewish community in the whole of Europe. Hungarian (Magyar) is the official language, but German is widely spoken. English is spoken in tourist areas and most hotels.
Port of Budapest
Budapest Port is the gateway for cruise ship passengers to Hungary. It is considered a major cruise port of the country and an important contributor to Hungary’s tourism industry. Budapest port is not only an important trading station, but is a cultural site as well. The banks of Danube where the port is situated have recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Mahart International Shipstation is where the river cruise ships dock. It is located on the Pest side of the city between the Elizabeth Bridge and the Lagymanyosi Bridge (also known as the Rakoczi Bridge). The distance between the bridges is approximately 2.5 miles. The port receives cruise ships of such well-known European cruise companies as Viking River Cruises, Uniworld, AmaWaterways, and Avalon Waterways. The port has mooring lines, so passengers have the opportunity to get off their cruise ship without using passenger boats.
Budapest port is just a short 3 miles (5 km) away from Budapest. You can take public transport from the city center to the port. The nearest airport from Budapest port is Budapest Ferihegy International Airport. It is a short 20-minute drive from the cruise port terminal.
The Budapest Card is the official tourist city card of Budapest which offers a package of services and discounts for visitors to the city of Budapest. The goal of the Budapest Card is to give visitors a selection of discount services from museums and spas to dining including:
Buying a card lets you have unlimited public transport within the city and free entry to a thermal spa, which are some of the most popular attractions in Budapest. Besides these free services, the card offers a wide variety of gastronomy and cultural options at a discount price.
Getting Around Budapest
The great thing about Budapest is it's compact, so you can pack plenty into a short break. The majority of sights are within walking distance or easily reached on the efficient tram and underground network.
Most of Budapest's city center and historic districts are suitable for walking, so walking is probably the best way to get around. However, Budapest also has an excellent public transportation system that includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, underground trains (Metro) and above-ground suburban trains (HÉV).
Tickets or passes must be bought before boarding; you cannot buy them from the driver (except on the night bus network). They are available at Metro stations, tobacconists and news agents, and from vending machines at many bus and tram stops in the city centre. Maps sited at the entrances to metro stations give a comprehensive overview of the entire public transport network in Budapest. Conditions of travel are also included in English.
Danube River Ferry Service is available between Újpest and Millenniumi Városközpont. The route provides a beautiful commute for locals as well as a great way for visitors to get around and see the city from the Danube.
Riverboats: from May to September, the Budapest Transport Company (BKV) also operates riverboats between Boráros tér and Pünkösdfürdő, with stops including Petőfi tér, Batthiány tér, Jászai Mari tér, Margaret Island and Rómaifürdő. Boats depart approximately every hour and a half between 8 am and 8 pm.
Taxis can be fast and cheap in the city, especially late at night when there is limited public transportation. Residents in Budapest rarely flag down taxis in the street. Most taxicab companies have an English-speaking telephone operator, and you may ask them to send a driver that speaks at least basic English. It is worth noting down the telephone numbers of a few bigger taxi companies in Budapest, and then calling them, because a cab ordered by telephone is less expensive than one hailed on the street.
All licensed taxicabs in Budapest are marked with the word "Taxi", often accompanied by a company name/logo such as "City Taxi". All taxi vehicles must have a yellow registration plate, as opposed to the white background on regular car plates. All taximeters are equipped with a receipt-printing function, displaying the fares charged and identification of the driver. Always insist on the meter being turned on and paying in Hungarian Forints. It is customary to tip the driver about 10% of the full fare, if you were satisfied with the service.
Avoid unmarked taxis, ones with no name or logo, those with only a taxi sign on the roof, and those queuing at hotels and railway stations as these will be unlicensed and drivers can rip off tourists. Uber is no longer licensed to operate in Budapest.
Hop On Hop Off Bus
These tours give you complete freedom to create your own itinerary and you also have the flexibility to enjoy places of your choice at your own pace. Enjoy 360-degree views from double-decker buses, jumping on and off at iconic sites, including the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Hungarian State Opera House, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square, Margaret Island, Budapest Citadel and more. These buses have about 26 stops and a decent frequency. Once aboard, you can relax and enjoy the view, get a real feel of the city life, and get acquainted with the surroundings through an informative audio commentary/guide.
Budapest is a bike-friendly city with many well-defined cycling paths. Cycling around Budapest is a preferred form of everyday exercise for both locals and sightseers. Some major roads with bike paths include Andrássy út, Bajscy-Zsilinszky út (beside the Basilica), and the Small Boulevard. Both the Buda and Pest riverbanks feature long bicycle lanes with moving views over the Danube.
The MOL Bubi bicycle-sharing network organizes numerous docking stations citywide for visitors to grab a two-wheeler and ride. Budapest Transport Company (BKK) offers an English-friendly map that reveals biking routes across the city, both online and in print versions. A digital form of the map can be downloaded for free to a mobile device. The map shows one-way streets and designated biking zones that are safe for cycling. The BKK Futár feature is also available on the subordinate website to bkk.hu and shows designated routes for cycling and lines suitable for transporting bikes. You can also download the free BKK Futár app.
Bike tours are a popular option for active sightseeing. Several tour companies offer enjoyable guided rides around main city attractions and tours beyond prominent landmarks.
What To Do In Budapest
Budapest was originally two cities built on either side of the Danube, namely Buda and Pest. The two districts are still distinct in their contrasting makeup, with the older and more charming Buda comprised of atmospheric cobbled streets, little picturesque colored houses and a medieval, neo-Classical mixture of architecture set among the gentle hills of the west bank. It is famous for its historic Castle Hill featuring the Royal Palace, museums and galleries, St Matthias Church, and the ramparts of Fisherman's Bastion. Pest lies on a flat plain and is the commercial core of the city. It bustles with fashionable shopping areas and has characteristically wide, leafy boulevards. Andrássy Boulevard is the Champs-Elysées of Budapest, lined with a typical mosaic of architectural styles and buildings with the enormous Heroes' Square at the end.
Highlights for visitors include a river cruise on the Danube and a thermal bath in one of the Turkish bathhouses.
Among Budapest's important museums and cultural institutions, the most visited art museum is the Museum of Fine Arts, which has one of the largest collections of all periods of European art and comprises more than 100,000 pieces. Other famous cultural institutions are the Hungarian National Museum, the House of Terror, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, the Hungarian State Opera House and the National Széchényi Library.
The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments, including:
Another popular tourist attraction is the St. Stephen's Basilica with its neoclassical architecture. Standing at 315 feet (96 meters) or 29 stories in height, the dome of the Basilica affords visitors a panoramic view of the city. Budapest is also famous for its many old bridges adorned with intricate designs.
The 'City of Spas' has around 118 geothermal springs which are a part of the world's largest thermal water cave system.
Budapest in 48 Hours
The hilly Buda is regarded as peaceful, residential, and prosperous, whereas Pest is thought of as the boisterous side of the city that never sleeps. With a large working class, gritty-but-grand pre-war streets, a vibrant cultural scene, and pulsating nightlife, Pest teems with energy. Most restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and tourist sites are in Pest. When visiting Budapest, it’s generally a good strategy to use Pest as your base, and selectively venture out to different pockets of Buda.
If New York is the city that never sleeps, then Budapest is the city that never stops partying. When nighttime rolls around, Budapest is transformed into a socialite's heaven. There's no specific entertainment district, as the diverse nightlife is spread all through the city. Choose from pubs, dance clubs, jazz bars, cocktail bars or casinos – Budapest has it all.
The new wave of entertainment is represented by the many 'Ruin Pubs'. Live music, charming retro décor, unique atmosphere and late opening hours make these derelict buildings turned trendy watering holes very popular with both the tourist and the locals alike.
Casinos in Budapest are not exactly 'Vegas-style', but if you're itching to try your luck, visit one of the casinos located in a luxury hotel. With a little bit of luck you may break even for the trip.
Lurking in the cellars of winding backstreets and tucked inside ruin bars, you'll find Budapest’s most exciting escape rooms. These world-famous challenges are for those who dare to break out of locked rooms using only logic puzzles and by solving a labyrinth of tasks. While this sensation has been around since 2011, the number and styles of room escape adventures are on the rise.
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: escape the everyday by getting locked up. Good luck!
While some people choose unusual and unique things to do in Budapest like visiting the hidden Hospital in the Rock museum, a spelunking adventure, or exploring a catacomb, if you are a qualified scuba diver, you’re definitely in for a treat. Consider doing this epic adventure – explore a spectacular cave system in tropically warm waters right underneath one of the great cities of Europe with cave diving at Molnár János Cave.
The “Buda” side of Budapest lies above an expansive labyrinth of caves. These caves provide Budapest with its never-ending thermal hot springs. This underground world is a great area for exploration for those who are seeking to literally go beyond the surface.
Diving Molnár János cave requires a reservation – the cave is partially booked in advance for months. All documents must be up to date, including cave diving certification, a medical certificate, dive insurance covering cave dives, and a dry suit certification. All equipment can be rented onsite.
But what if you’re not cave diving certified? No problem. An introductory dive can be booked for about $65 USD for divers without a cave-diving certification, using a wet or semi-dry suit.
The Cultural Scene
Boredom isn't in Budapest's vocabulary. If you're craving some culture, Budapest has more than enough to satisfy your appetite. Hungarian culture and Budapest's art scene is so vibrant and diverse that even the pickiest tourist will be overwhelmed with activities to fill their days and nights. The city is packed with museums, galleries, theatres, concert halls and nightclubs, not to mention Budapest's many annual festivals and events throughout the year!
Whether you're looking to discover new talent, or want to learn more about Hungarian art and culture, Budapest has a museum that's sure to suit your fancy. Take your pick from over 100 museums and galleries showcasing Budapest arts and culture.
Drama buffs won't be disappointed in Budapest's entertainment options, as the theatrical arts and classical music are highly valued in Hungary. Hungary's musical roots lie in traditional Hungarian folk, and the work of prominent composers such as Liszt, Bartók and Kodály. You'll have your pick from a number of concerts held throughout the year, especially during festivals.
You won't want to miss a performance in the Budapest Opera House. Considered one of the most prestigious musical institutions, world-class concerts, ballets and operas are still part of the repertoire. A performance at the Budapest Opera is a fantastic experience and it won't break the bank, but performances do sell out quickly, so be sure to snag tickets in advance.
Budapest also offers year-round entertainment in the form of festivals, cultural events, exhibitions, fairs, and sporting events.
Zenélő Budapest - Free Outdoor Concerts
Each year during the months of May through August, Zenélő Budapest provides free classical and folk music events for Budapest residents, as well as visiting Hungarian and foreign tourists, while connecting the concerts with the city’s most important cultural and historical sights. In 2017 alone, these mini concerts were held on some 600 occasions at 13 locations, featuring musicians of Budapest’s top-ranking orchestras. A continuously expanding repertoire is arranged for the chamber orchestras so that it perfectly blends with the past of the buildings where they play.
Zenélő Budapest has opened up and given space to magnificent chanson and jazz singers.
Popular concert locations include Vajdahunyad Castle, Kunsthalle, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Margaret Island’s Musical Fountain, the terrace of the Gerbeaud Coffee House, the Central Market Hall and the Castle Garden Bazaar, the Fisherman’s Bastion, and the National Gallery.
Budapest Spring Festival
Date: Mar 30, 2019 - Apr 22, 2019
Type: Arts and Music, Festivals
Venue: Multiple locations
Pulling together the best in classical music, opera, jazz and folk music, this annual festival is the largest and most prestigious cultural festival in Hungary. Over the past 38 years, this festival has developed into one of Europe’s major cultural events with a series of opera, concert, ballet and theatrical performances. A multitude of venues throughout the city welcome both Hungarian and international performers.
You can choose from around 120 programs at around 40 venues, including various public places, squares, parks and streets. Some other unique locales are:
Date: Jun 6, 2019 - Jun 21, 2019
Type: Arts and Music
Venue: Multiple locations - Danube Promenade, Vörösmarty Square
This annual multicultural festival presents folk, symphonic and World Music shows, alongside contemporary and traditional dance performances. Expect 1,000 or so performers from Hungary and beyond, creating a vibrant atmosphere. In addition to the many dance performances the carnival's program includes a Carnival Parade between the Danube Promenade and Vörösmarty tér, an international dance competition and a spectacular gala event.
Date: Aug 8, 2019 - Aug 15, 2019
Type: Arts and Music, Concerts, Festivals
Venue: "Old Buda Island" (Óbudai-sziget)
Sziget Festival is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in the world and certainly the best party-filled week of the year in Hungary. It is held every August on Óbudai-sziget ("Old Buda Island"), a leafy 266-acre island on the Danube. Around 400,000 people come every August to the 'Sziget' for a week of music and entertainment – an experience you will never forget. It is now being increasingly labelled as a European alternative to the Burning Man festival due to its unique features ("an electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality").
The organizers team up to present the hottest concerts of the day featuring well known international artists, the cream of Hungarian bands and rising stars. More than 1,000 performances take place each year.
Budapest Christmas Market
Date: Nov 13, 2018 - Jan 6, 2019
Type: Arts and Music, Food and Drink
Venue: Vörösmarty tér
Each year, from the end of November to the end of December, Vörösmarty Square is transformed into the annual Budapest Christmas Market. Visitors can browse over 100 stands offering unique Christmas-themed arts and crafts. Exhibitions, live entertainment and food and wine are also part of the festivities. Children’s programs include artisan courses and puppet shows.
The scent of traditional Hungarian foods like lángos (fry bread with a variety of toppings), kürtöskalács (a cone-shaped sweet hollow pastry), roasted meats, fried sausages and other delicacies like home-made strudels, töki pompos (oven-baked dough) and roasted chestnuts wafting in the air is sure to whet your appetite. Soak up the holiday atmosphere and keep yourself warm while strolling among the wooden stalls of the market with a cup of mulled wine. The magical atmosphere of the Budapest Christmas market is a truly unforgettable experience.
The Christmas market is a great place to pick up some unique hand-made gifts. All products on sale are checked for quality and certified by the Association of the Hungarian Folk Artists.
Christmas Fair by the Basilica
Date: Nov 27, 2018 - Jan 2, 2019
Type: Food and Drink
Venue: Szent István tér
From Advent to New Year the square in front of the Basilica is home to a charming Christmas fair (also known as Advent by the Basilica). There's a small ice-rink in the middle surrounded by a number of vendors selling Christmas-themed arts and crafts, mulled wine, pálinka, fried sausages and other tasty fares. Advent candles are lit each Sunday.
Eat, Drink & Be Magyar
Budapest’s food history spans centuries. There's a lot more to Hungarian cuisine than goulash, and it remains one of the most sophisticated styles of cooking in Europe. Budapest’s reputation as a food capital dates largely from the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century and, despite a fallow period under communism, the city is once again commanding attention. So, too, are Hungary's excellent wines – from Eger's complex reds and Somló’s flinty whites to honey-sweet Tokaj. Weave deep into a cave labyrinth under Budapest’s castle district for a wine tasting you’ll never forget.
The Gerbaud House is popular among tourists and locals alike. The restaurant serves delicious pastries and excellent coffee. Fatal Restaurant is known for their authentic Hungarian dishes and is located near the center of the city. Another restaurant that is acclaimed for their Hungarian cuisine menu is Karpatia Etterem. Coffee shops are also a big thing in Budapest. At one time, there were more than 400 in Budapest, so take time out to join locals for a caffeine boost and a slice of yummy cream cake.
The Great Market Hall is the biggest market in Budapest, and it’s more than 100 years old. You’ll find pretty much anything you want on its three impressive levels. Check out amazing farmers markets of fruits, veggies and pastries.
There’s more to cheers than just wine and beer in Budapest. In the city, three drinks reign supreme: pálinka, unicum and soda water. These three staple beverages have a long, storied history in Hungary. Palinka, known as “firewater,” is not a drink for the faint of heart, boasting an alcohol content between 40 and 50 percent. Next up, the bitter tasting unicum is a concoction created using 40 different herbs as per a centuries-old family recipe. Finally, the stalwart soda water, now found in every bar, restaurant and café, is a vital part of Budapest’s history and culture. In Hungary, people are wild over soda water. They mix it with wine to make fröccs (a wine-with-soda spritzer).
Traditional Hungarian cuisine is world-famous for its high fat content, with many classic dishes being rich with creamy sauces and loaded with meat. While classic Hungarian cuisine can hardly be called “health food”, modern-day Budapest features quite a few restaurants providing calorie-conscious diners with healthy dishes that just happen to taste delicious. Oh My Green is a hot spot for luscious light meals like chicken wraps with salad, Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and granola, and an assortment of fresh salads.
Although meat may be the main attraction of Hungarian cuisine, there is no need to fret if you are on a meat-free diet, as Budapest's vegetarian foodie scene has improved considerably over the past years. More and more of Budapest's restaurants serve up vegetarian dishes, and there are a growing number of dedicated veggie eateries, including Great Bistro, Las Vegan’s, and the two Napfényes locations.
A recent report analyzed 179 countries, looking at alcohol and tobacco consumption per person, per year, as well as the prevalence of obesity to give each country an overall score in order to determine which population has the unhealthiest lifestyle.
Of the top 10 unhealthiest countries in the world, all are located in Eastern Europe with the exception of the USA. The USA ranked 9th, with the highest rate of obesity in the world – 35% of the adult population is classified as dangerously overweight. Hungary ranked 6th on the list of unhealthiest countries in the world due to its prevalence of smoking – more than 10,000 children (10-14 years old) and 2,300,000 adults (15+ years old; 30% of the adult population) smoke cigarettes on a daily basis.
Smoking, drinking and following an unbalanced diet are certainly common in Budapest, although there are signs that Hungary will become a healthier country in the near future (including the increasing popularity of sporty activities and health-food restaurants). Today, everyone can find their choice of sports in Budapest.
Spas & Thermal Baths
Budapest is the largest spa city of the world, earning it the title 'City of Baths' since 1934 for its legendary spas and Turkish thermal baths. Budapest's thermal and medicinal water springs were enjoyed by the Romans as early as the 2nd century, but it was only during the Turkish occupation of Hungary in the 16th century that the bath culture really started flourishing. There are 118 springs supplying the 15 public thermal baths in Budapest, not counting the private spas established in some luxury hotels.
Some of the baths arrange special programs. The Rudas Bath, built in the 1500s, gives home to regular parties on Friday and Saturday nights, with great music and special light effects. These are very popular with young people from all over the world. Others, such as the Palatinus Bath on Margaret Island, have special pools for children with special effects (whirlpool, wave-pool, and water-chutes).
The most popular thermal bath in Budapest, Szechenyi Spa & Baths, is famous for its night spa parties, 'sparties', for short. The pool party is on most Saturdays throughout the year. The spring, summer and autumn season is in Szechenyi Baths, while the winter season is in Lukács Baths, known as 'Magic Bath Parties'.
Some baths are built in parks with green areas where one may relax and sunbathe and do sports, or just read a book (such as the Csillaghegyi Bath).
How do you like to keep fit? Whether you prefer a group exercise class, getting maximum motivation with a personal trainer, or pumping iron on the gym floor, there’s a fitness center in Budapest that has what you need.
Many gyms in Budapest cater to tourists and expats with English-language trainers and instructors. The below playlist features some of the best. These are gyms with high-quality facilities and a good selection of classes, and all in great locations – some even have added extras like a pool, sauna, yoga or Pilates classes, and other special extras as part of their offering. Now you really have no excuse not to stay fit while you stay in Budapest.
Free Street Workouts
Many people don’t wish to stop playing sports every day – even during their holiday – or specifically wish to experience an active vacation. For them, the more than 100 fitness parks and street workout courts in public spaces in Budapest offer excellent opportunities for staying active.
Budapest offers numerous parks where you can utilize diverse exercise amenities without spending a single forint. From rubberized running tracks to outdoor workout machines to illuminated basketball and soccer courts – they all offer fresh air, sunshine, and workout music provided by singing birds for no extra charge. These calisthenics street-workout area are full of high-quality fitness equipment such as pull-up bars, push-up bars, monkey bars, ab benches, horizontal and vertical ladders, wall bars, Swedish wall, low bars, and push up bars. A tennis wall welcomes anyone with a racket and ball. Several parks even offer a parkour court specifically for lovers of extreme sports.
If you’d like to get out of the concrete jungle for a bit, the proximity of water and nature makes for the best possible environment for playing sports on Margaret Island – even the Prime Minister of Hungary is often seen jogging here on some early mornings with his entourage. Budapest’s most popular open-space oasis is a daily destination for many of the city’s most dedicated runners and joggers, as the entire isle is surrounded by a rubberized track stretching over 3 miles (5 km), which features panoramic riverfront views over the Pest skyline and Buda Hills within a single jogging session. Furthermore, at the island’s southern tip (beneath the entryway from Margaret Bridge), a free street-workout facility welcomes everyone, while the island’s many paved pathways make this a beautiful destination for breezy bicycling, and the wide-open meadows are ideal for outdoor yoga.
Creating the opportunity for free outdoor sports has become a priority in most of the capital’s districts. Wherever you go, you’ll surely find an outdoor street workout court that you like where you can get active. The Free Sport Parks map provides all the help you need to find the outdoor street workout court closest to and most suitable for you. The database illustrated with photos, can be found on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Google Maps, and shows free sport facilities in Budapest.
Canoe, Kayak & SUP
One city that actually deserves to be on your paddling bucket list is the Hungarian city of Budapest. Water has always been an integral part of leisure in Budapest. The Danube River’s prominent nature in Budapest is highlighted by the fact that the city is sometimes called ‘Pearl of the Danube’.
Experiencing Budapest from a canoe, kayak or SUP (standing upright paddle board) on the Danube has its own special charm. Buildings and the surrounding hills appear taller, and seeing the city from the vantage of a being on the river adds another majestic dimension to your trip to Budapest! Paddlers get up-close views of the city’s incredible architecture while paddling down the Danube, which runs right through the heart of the city. Rental shops offer day-trips with experienced guides along the river.
Budapest's Retail Therapy
Vaci Utca is a pedestrian shopping street filled with gift shops, galleries, jewelers and boutiques. It's also home to some larger retail big-box stores, like H&M or MAC. Also not to miss is the Great Market Hall, or Nagycsarnok, a covered market near Liberty Bridge on Vamhaz Korut, on the riverside end of Vaci Utca. It's in an unmistakable building that looks like a railroad station with a distinctive yellow, green and red tiled roof.
For souvenirs and gift items, you can check out Folkart Kezmuveshaz Kft (Folk Arts Gallery), which sells handicraft items, wooden toys, and traditional dolls. Arkad is a large shopping mall that offers a wide selection of clothes, jewellery, and perfumes to name a few.
Hungarian for Travelers
Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and several neighboring countries, including parts of Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
If you want to impress the locals in Hungary, being able to use their native tongue is a great way to start! While the language is hard to learn, the essential words and phrases included in the Learn Hungarian playlist below will have you on your way to conversing in Hungarian in no time at all. Native Hungarian teachers will explain the simple phrases. You'll also learn the words for all sorts of fruits and veggies, as well as the top 20 Hungarian foods and dishes. Plus, you'll get some special tips on how to be extra authentic when interacting with native Hungarian speakers.
Experiential and Wellness Travel are where it's at. Experiential Wellness Travel is a hybrid of both. But Transformative Travel is the next evolution in travel. Like many land-based resorts, the global cruise industry has kept apace of this current trend with vacations that are fun, authentic, and meaningful by offering travelers on board and on shore fitness and wellness activities, healthy meal options, local cooking classes, culturally immersive shore excursions, participation in the local communities they visit, and a variety of tailor-made experiences that are transformative in a deep and personal way.