I’m not sure about you, but deciding on where to go on holiday can sometimes be hard work! With hundreds of places to visit, explore and venture around, there are so many choices to narrow it down to your perfect holiday, but holiday planning can be a lot of fun. That's if you and your partner can agree, of course...
After browsing various holiday destination websites, reading many a TripAdvisor review and several 'discussions' later, my partner Tom and I decided we wanted to visit beautiful Budapest - something that we did agree on was how idyllic Budapest looked. We couldn’t wait to explore this aesthetic city in the heart of Hungary!
Here are our top 5 places to explore and things to enjoy while you’re in Budapest.
When in Budapest, be sure to visit St Stephen's Basilica. It truly is a beautiful building! Located in St Stephen's Square, there are many cafés and bistros to stop at and enjoy a cup of coffee and admire the views.
It is free to visit St Stephen's Basilica, but a donation is recommended. Inside you will find precious architecture, culture and history. The beautiful stained-glass windows are utterly stunning - and don’t forget to look up at the spectacular ceilings.
1. St Stephen's Basilica
I highly recommend you go up the ’cupola’ to the top of the church, where you will get an amazing panoramic view of Budapest. It’s only 600 HUF for an adult, which works out at about £1.70 - bargain. Once you reach the top, either by lift or stairs - I recommend taking the lift - you will be pleasantly surprised, as the views are truly beautiful. This was one of my favourite memories of my trip to Budapest - pictures really don’t do it justice!
Tip: Be sure to visit Gelarto Rosa ice cream parlor in St Stephen's Square. They do amazing gelato and shape it into a rose. This is a great spot for those aesthetic holiday Instagram snaps.
2. Chimney Cake
Now this one is for those with a sweet tooth. Chimney cake, otherwise known as Kürtőskalács, is a warm, sweet dough that is often made fresh to order. You can get various flavours, such as vanilla, chocolate, cinammon and even coconut.
Tom and I aren’t the most adventurous when it comes to food, but that being said, walking past the stalls where they make this delicious treat, you just can’t resist the sweet smell! I highly recommend getting your hands on one of these while you’re in Hungary. We opted for the vanilla flavour and it was scrumptious!
3. Rent a bringo cart and explore St Margaret's Island
St Margaret’s Island, situated on the River Danube between Buda and Pest, is definitely worth visiting. With so much to explore on this small Island, Tom and I decided to rent a bringo cart to get around the island. From memory, it was about 2,500 HUF for 30 minutes which works out at about £7.10. It was so much fun and luckily we were blessed with good weather. It was nice to try something different. Tom was the designated driver, but only because I couldn’t reach the pedals!
There's lots to do and see on the Island, such as a zoo, rose garden, swimming pools and even a water park.
4. Walk along the River Danube and visit the beautiful Houses of Parliament
Be sure to go and visit the exquisite architecture of the Budapest Houses of Parliament. The building is absolutely breathtaking and most certainly a must-see. Located along the River Danube - you won’t miss it.
Tip: The Houses of Parliament are stunning during the day, but even more beautiful at night! Be sure to visit at night, it looks amazing by the river when it is all lit up.
5. Visit Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street for dinner
Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street or Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út is the perfect location for an evening meal. With a vast range of restaurants and bars, you’ll be sure to find somewhere you want to eat. Tom and I happened to stumble across this street one evening and decided to pop into one of the restaurants for dinner.
Many of the restaurants have seating areas outside with ambient lighting and candles - everything looked so idyllic - it's a great place for a date night!
After all that exploring, you’ll definitely be in need of a rest (I know we were). Why not venture out of the popular city and into the heart of Hungary for some relaxation in the countryside? Hungary is a beautiful country and there is so much to do outside of its capital city.
For those looking for the best of both worlds - exciting city fun with a relaxing countryside retreat - how about experiencing a two-centre holiday? RCI Guides and RCI Travel can help source accommodation in your two chosen destinations for the perfect getaway.
RCI offers many resorts within Hungary, in sought-after locations, such as Hévíz, home to the world's second largest thermal lake which is perfect for lazy days swimming in the healing waters. It is also a well-known spa town so there are plenty of opportunities to be pampered here.
If you're looking to get away from it all, Lake Balaton has something for everyone. Lakeside beaches offer an alternate to a seaside holiday and the calm waters are perfect for families to splash around in. There are plenty of cycle and hiking routes for active visitors to work up a sweat, and for those who want to take things at a different pace, vineyard tours come highly recommended.
If you would like to make Hungary your next holiday destination, click on the RCI Resort Directory button below to select your accommodation and start planning your next holiday adventure.
If you own timeshare but are not a member of RCI, you can join our holiday exchange community today. Click on the Join RCI button below and sign up in a few simple steps.