Budapest: Must Visit Places in 48 hours

My central Europe trip began in Budapest or The Pearl of Danube. This vibrant city has numerous World Heritage Sites; no doubt it is one of the picturesque cities in Europe. Budapest has a young, nice vibe that attracts everyone like a magnet; it’s hard to leave when you keep seeing beautiful spots one after another.


I only stayed 48 hours in Budapest; which I totally regret. I thought it’s a small city that I can see what I wanted to explore in 2 days. I was wrong. There are lots of places to discover; even random streets are worth the long walk on a sunny morning or breezy evening.

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Budapest is so magical that you’d like to see it during daytime to appreciate the architectural details of buildings and revisit it at night for a romantic vibe.

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So here are some places I believe you should not miss when in Budapest


Western Railway Station

Western Railway Station is also known as Nyugati Pályaudvar Station. This station was built by the Eiffel Company and it is one of the gateways that welcome tourists from different countries.


Hungarian Parliament Building

The grandiose structure is a sight to behold with its intricate details and flawless design. It is one of the famous landmarks and the largest building in Budapest. Admission rate is HUF6000 for non-European citizens and HUF 2400 for European citizens.

Opening hours is from 8:00 – 18:00 and 16:00 from November to March.


Shoes on the Danube Bank

Along the Danube promenade at Pest Side, you can see 60 metal shoes to commemorate thousands of people who were killed during World War II. The victims were ordered to stand at the bank and remove their shoes before they were shot by Arrow Cross militiamen. Some people leave flowers and candles in this site to honor the fallen.

shoes on danube bank

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

The famous bridge that connects Buda and Pest. See the details of the bridge in the morning and appreciate its splendor when it is illuminated at night.

Budapest bridge

Opera House

If you walk along the classy Andrassy Avenue, the Neo-Renaissance style building is not to be missed. It’s a total eye catcher with its striking architecture.

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Heroes Square (Hosök tere)

It is the largest square in Budapest that commemorates the heroes of Hungary. At the base of the column are statues of the Magyar chieftains and on top of it is Archangel Gabriel who holds the Hungarian crown.

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Margaret Island

There are lots of things to see in this island named after King Bela’s daughter, Margit/Margaret.  Check out the Japanese garden, outdoor pools, water tower, ruins, fountains or just chill at the park with friends.


Thermal Baths

Budapest is known as the City of Baths. Don’t miss Gellert or Szechenyi Thermal Baths, two popular baths with impressive architecture.


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Szechenyi Baths outdoor pools – Alvaro Jenik Photography

Great Hall Market/ Central Market Hall

The oldest market in Budapest offers a wide range of products from Hungarian sausages, wines and spices to souvenirs and toys.

You might wonder why there are lots of Rubik’s cube at the market, it’s because the inventor of the mind boggling toy is Ernõ Rubik, a Hungarian architect.

PS: The hall is open from Monday to Saturday only.

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Vajdahunyad Castle

The historic building complex showcases Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance, and Romanesque architecture. The Courtyard of the castle is free to visit while the Museum of Agriculture charges HUF1100 and is open from Tuesday – Sunday only.


Ruin Pubs

Located at the Jewish quarter, the abandoned buildings and houses during World War II were turned to pubs and clubs. You can still see bullet marks on the walls and old furniture.


St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika)

St. Stephen’s Basilica is the largest church in Budapest. It was named after the first King of Hungary, Stephen. This Basilica is also a venue for classical concerts.

St. Stephen's Basilica
View from the southeast side


Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom)

This impressive building witnessed royal weddings and several coronations. Check the cool orange rooftops with green accents.


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Fisherman’s Bastion

Fisherman’s Bastion is a UNESCO World Heritage site located at the Castle District of Buda. Wander around the neo-Gothic style terrace and see a great view of the Pest side.


Buda Castle

Buda castle cannot be unseen from the Danube river. This humongous castle now known as the Royal Palace is 300m / 1000 ft long! A castle full of style from romanesque, gothic, renaissance to baroque!

If you’re a history buff, don’t forget to visit Budapest History Museum and National Gallery which can also be found in its fortress.

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So how do you explore Budapest city? They have reliable metro, trams or buses and yellow street cars.

1 ticket 24 hrs 72 hrs
Transportation – Budapest, Hungary 350 HUF 1,650 HUF 4,150 HUF

 Though the city has lots transportation options, walking is still the best way to see the city.

You can also buy 10 tickets in advance and pay only 3000HUF (save 500HUF).


Safe travels!

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