Fondly called the ‘Paris of the East’, Budapest definitely lives up to its reputation. With elegant boulevards and beautiful architecture, this wonderful city capital of Hungary has more grit because it was under the communist era for a long time. However, one casual walk down the streets of Budapest, and you are bound to notice its dynamic and lively potential. The balanced mixture of Eastern and Western Europe gives Budapest its unique character. It is still a transitioning city with many Hungarian youths making it their home. The city’s rough edges and elements just add to its overall charm. Budapest is considered to be an important city on the backpackers’ list, and every year many tourists flock to it to explore and understand its cryptic culture.
Visiting Budapest in the summer
With pleasant temperatures, summers tend to be ideal for backpacking through Budapest. It is also the time when the city is swarming with tourists but not to an extent where it gets overrun. Spring and fall are equally great seasons to visit this city with temperatures touching the mid-60s. However, the winters are quite cold with freezing temperatures, making backpacking and trekking a difficult task. The weather is quite snowy and gloomy, unlike summers.
Sitting atop the city, Castle Hill is one of the most visited spots in Budapest. Dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, the buildings have a lot of heritage value. Take a day to explore and discover the beautiful buildings lining the cobblestoned streets. This area also houses many top attractions such as Matthias Church, Trinity Square, Buda Castle and Fishermen’s Wharf.
The Danube Promenade
As you continue on your backpacking journey through Europe, ensure that you take a walk around Danube Promenade. The banks of river Danube are recorded as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Spend a good amount of time visiting the Promenade, which is an excellent place to take in the best views of Budapest.
With a multitude of gorgeous buildings and sights, Matthias Church stands tall with its bright and colourful tiles. The roof of the church catches the eye instantly, and it is located in the Castle District. This Catholic Church is located in very close proximity to the Fishermen’s Bastion, letting you explore two places at one go. There is a small nominal fee to enter the church, but the outside is as beautiful as the inside. Contrasting coloured tiles with white stone makes for excellent photo opportunities.
The Hungarian State Opera
For those backpackers that are fans of music and wishing to experience the opera in Europe, this city is the ideal destination. Without being too expensive, the show is quite an awe-inspiring experience. For those who wish only to take the tour of the opera house, special guided tours are organised in the afternoon every day.
The communist era in Budapest saw the construction of several monuments and statues. The entire city was filled with these structures for years to come behind the Iron Curtain until communism ended. People then tore down most of these statues and eventually installed them in a park on the outskirts of the city. Get a selfie with Stalin while walking through this park. Getting on a tour is more convenient while visiting this park, rather than taking public transport.
The people of Budapest go to the City Park to escape the hustle bustle of city life. In this park that expands to over 302 acres, visitors can find a zoo and a marvellous replica of the Transylvanian Castle of Vajdahunyad.
Budapest is popular for its natural thermal baths. It has been recorded that the Romans also quite enjoyed this experience. It is said that the thermal springs, which are used to fill the baths, have numerous healing properties. It is quite an amazing way to relax and unwind on your backpacking trip. The city has a handful of thermal bathhouses, which include opulent ones as well as bare-boned ones. These bathhouses have multiple small pools, which are filled with water of different temperatures.