Budapest City Tour
Budapest is by far one of my favourite cities in Europe. It's got a great vibe and there's plenty to see. The city is very walkable, which makes exploring super easy. The Danube River split the city, so you have the "Buda side" and the "Pest side". If you're short on time, take the funicular up to Buda Castle where you can also combine a visit to Fisherman's Bastion. You can then walk the Chain Bridge across to the Pest Side and see The Hungarian Parliament Building, and the unique memorial "Shoes on the Danube Bank". This is also a very picturesque city at night with many top attractions illuminating.
Gellert Thermal Baths Hungary are famed for their thermal baths, with the two most popular being Gellert Baths and Szechenyi Baths. I chose to visit Gellert Thermal Baths, which is part of Gellert Hotel on the Buda Side. The complex was originally built between 1912-1918, but then went under extensive renovation in 2008. There's indoor baths and saunas, as well as outdoor baths and plunge pools on the roof. There's many benefits from these thermal baths, and this is by no means a hidden spot, it's always busy with both locals and tourists.
Budapest is the first city where I ever came across Ruin Bars. These are located in the old district of the city and from the outside, look like normal houses and you could easily walk past them without realising they're a bar at all. However, they're the ruins of abandoned buildings and stores. Obviously the interior is basic, but then they also have quirky features, as well as a range of bars in multiple rooms. Overall, they're hip and trendy locations to mingle with others.
A 30 minute drive north of Budapest and you'll reach the Hungarian town of Szentendre, which is located on the Danube River. Here you'll find baroque architecture with colourful houses dotted along cobbled streets. This really is a beautiful little town with galleries, museums, and quaint coffee shops. Cakes and chocolate are also a speciality in Szentendre, so check out one of the many stores. If you don't have a car, Szentendre can also easily be reached by rail and river from Budapest.
Guns & Tanks
In recent years, Budapest has turned into a popular bachelor party location, and one reason for that is the activities on offer. Some great options are shooting ranges and tank driving. I used Cold War Park to book these excursions and can highly recommend them. The shooting was in an underground bunker with a large selection of guns to choose from ranging from AK47 to old school shotgun. As for the tank driving, this was in a neighbouring field accompanied by a guide. It's a very unique experience that definitely has a "cool factor" about it.
Visegrad is a small castle town in Pest Country, and home to Visegrad Castle, which overlooks the Danube River. Visegrad has been inhabited since the bronze age and plays a major role in Hungarian history. The castle was used as a hiding point for the Royal Family on many occasions, and also witnessed the Mongol invasion. For me, there's no better view point of the Danube River from anywhere in the country.
Memento Park is an open-air museum in Budapest that's filled with monuments and sculptures dedicated to Hungary's Communist period. You'll see statues of Lenin and many other Communist leaders spread across the complex. Some of these monuments really are monstrous in size. Majority of the info about each monument is also in English. If you book your ticket online in advance here, you'll save 20%.
I've tried a few different hotels and guest houses in Budapest, but Zenit Budapest Palace Hotel was definitely my top pick. Very central location within walking distance of many top attractions, competitively priced, and also a great breakfast included. There's also a great WiFi connection throughout the hotel, a decent gym, and a cocktail bar. I found the most competitive price booking direct.
Aszu Etterum is a Michelin Star restaurant in the centre of Budapest. The venue has a charming feel, the cuisine is modern, there's an extensive wine menu, and a very high standard of service. I've been to many Michelin restaurants throughout Europe and this is very competitively priced in comparison. If you want a peek at the menu in advance, click here.