The east Europe golden triangle consists of Prague-Vienna-Budapest. In comparison to the big brother Prague, Budapest is often less explored and less talked about place. It is one of the most under rated tourist destinations in Eastern Europe. The bustling city nestled around the bank of Danube would be a tourism hot spot in coming days. Here are 5 things you must do in Budapest:
1.THERMAL BATH– Thermal baths are among the most unique spots in Budapest. These natural hotsprings have been there for a long time. They have been developed into tourism hot spots in past few years. Széchenyi thermal bath is the most popular one and is situated right behind the Heroes square in the garden. I visited the place in the afternoon after the walking tour of the city. There is a metro station in yellow line is at a walking distance from the area. Direct metro is available from the city center. It is the only gender neutral bath in the city. The other renowned baths are Rudas bath and Gellert bath which have fixed days for male and females. They have only one day in the week for couples.
Széchenyi thermal bath– Entry fee- 5200 Forints (approximately 1300 INR for a day). Timing is 6 am to 10 pm. There are plenty of other options for spas and massage if you are not interested in public baths. Price ranges from 6000 Forints onward for a session. Its better to check the local timings before going.
2. RUIN PUBS– Ruin pubs are one of the unique spots to hangout in the city. The abandoned and ruined buildings from second world war were used by the locals for hanging out. Slowly they have developed into party hot spots. The pubs are mainly located in the Jewish sector of the city. I have a separate blog on my to the pubs which you can check out here. Szimplakert is the old Jewish quarter is by far the most happening destination in these regard.
3. DANUBE RIVER CRUISE– Danube is the lifeline of east Europe. It traverses through most of the east European cities. River cruise is great way to experience the vibe of the city. The river separates city in to Buda- the hilly side and Pest- the cosmopolitan plain side of the city. The audio set on the cruise will guide you through all the landmarks of the city. They even provide a welcome drink- Champagne/ Beer/ Fruit juice (only one drink though per tourist). For more details click here .
4. PARLIAMENT TOUR– The Hungarian parliament is considered as one of the most attractive and well decorated parliaments in the world. Guided tours are conducted in the parliament. Unfortunately I did not get a entry ticket as it was sold out. Entry tickets- 22 Euro (I know it’s a bit expensive- but I heard it is totally worth it). Prior online booking must be done one day before to the visit.
5. GAMBLING– Las Vegas Casino is one of the biggest casinos in Europe. You can surely try your luck. I still remember the day when I won 200 Patakas after gambling with only 20 Patakas in Macau. To enter the Casino you need to be in formal attire with a collared shirt and formal shoes. There is no particular dress code for ladies ( gender discrimination at its peak). The casino is right next to the Danube river at a walking distance from the popular shopping street- Vaci street.
Food (just a add on point) is also one of the major attractions in the city. Tredlnik (a traditional bread roll with chocolate and ice cream filling made over coal) is a delight. Goulash (a meat and vegetable soup) usually served in a bread is the national dish of the country. We also tasted the yummy Jewish cake, paprika chicken among others.