A while back, I saw the Berlin-ABC on Marjolein’s blog Berlijnblog.nl. For each letter of the alphabet, she came up with a word relating to Berlin. I thought it would be a fun challenge for Budapest, so here it is: Budapest from A to Z!
It was a lot harder than expected, especially ‘Q’, ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’. I even used Google for a few letters!
A: Andrássy út
Andrássy út, Andrássy Boulevard, is one of the most important streets in the city. This is where high-end shops from brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton are located, but also popular sights like the Opera House and House of Terror. The Boulevard starts behind St. Stephens Basilica and ends at Heroes’ Square. Andrássy út lies on top of the oldest metro line in mainland Europe (only London’s tube is older).
One of the things that Budapest is known for are the thermal baths spread throughout the city. The most popular baths are the Széchenyi baths in Városliget, the city park in the east of the city. Also well-known are the Gellért baths next to the Gellért hill.
On top of the Gellért hill, you can visit the Citadella of Buda, a fort that takes up almost all of the space on the plateau. From here, you have a great view over Budapest.
The Danube is the river that separates Buda from Pest, the two cities that makeup (the biggest part of) Budapest. There are a few islands in the Danube, like Margit-sziget. You can do a river cruise with a dinner, this may well be one of the most popular attractions on the water.
One of the boroughs (VII) of Budapest, literally translated Elizabeth Town. This is one of the most popular areas in the city, as this is the Jewish quarter. Filled with restaurants, (ruin) bars and shops. And it’s my neighborhood, I’m (currently) living on the border of the area.
Ferihegy is one of the railway stations in Budapest. It is not centrally located in the city, but closer to the airport. Bus 200E passes by here!
I mentioned it before: the Gellért hill. From the top of the hill (at the Citadella) you have a stunning view over the city. It’s quite a climb (or a short ride with a bus tour), but it’s totally worth it. Besides the Citadella, you will also find the Hungaria Statue of Liberty on the top of the hill.
H: Hot Dog Cold Beer
A small fast food chain in Budapest where you can order American snacks, such as hot dogs, corn dogs, and twister fries. And cold beer, but that’s the Dutch brand of Heineken, not American.
Instant is one of the ruin bars in Budapest. Not as well known as Szimpla Kert, but still pretty popular among tourists and other international guests.
J: Jewish quarter
The Jewish quarter is filled with good restaurants and nightlife establishments like (ruin) bars and beer gardens. No need to be bored, there’s a ton to see and do! This also makes it one of the most loved districts among travelers.
Chimney cakes! You can just buy them on the streets, but make sure to buy fresh ones from the fire, not the ones that are already packaged when you arrived. They’re much better this way. During the summer, there are also a few places where you can get them filled with ice cream!
Another Hungarian specialty tried by many tourists (and the first one I tried!). You can buy them at street stalls, on festivals, at the Central Market Hall and a few restaurants. They are traditionally covered with sour cream and grated cheese, but you can choose from a wide selection of toppings.
I think this is one of my favorite places in Budapest. The island in the middle of the river. Margit-sziget is the perfect place for a run or to enjoy the sun. There are several sights, including the musical fountain, a petting zoo and Palatinus Strand, one of the pools in Budapest.
N: Nyugati Pályaudvar
Another railway station, and together with Keleti Pályaudvar the most centrally located. Next to Nyugati, there’s WestEnd City Center, one of the biggest shopping malls in the country.
Hungary is proud of their opera! Pay a visit to the Opera House on Andrássy út and follow a tour, or attend a show. Even just walking in to take a peek of their interior and ceiling is a good idea.
The Parliament building is my favorite building in Budapest. Gorgeous during the day, but especially during the night (certain times of the year, I haven’t figured out when exactly yet). Light on top of the building attract birds, that reflect the lights and make it look like there are lights floating over the building. Stunning together with the reflection in the water across from the Parliament.
Q: Radio Q
One of the radio channels in Budapest. This channel plays mostly Hungarian music.
R: Ruin bars
For many tourists, ruin bars are among the first things they think of when thinking of Budapest. A unique feature of the city and there’s a ton to do, more than just partying. There are markets, meet-ups, and even art exhibitions.
S: Szimpla Kert
Szimpla Kert is the most popular, best-known and oldest ruin bar in Budapest. Most tourists have Szimpla on their wish list. Besides parties in the evening, you can also visit markets on Sunday morning and they even have art exhibitions. Most locals think Szimpla Kert is too expensive and frequent other ruin bars.
T: Terror Háza
Or ‘House of Terror’ in English. This museum is situated on Andrássy út, in the former headquarters of the secret service. This is where you can learn more about the impressive and cruel communist and fascist history of Hungary.
I know, I know. ‘Views’ doesn’t start with a ‘u’. But it’s the only letter that changes in translation from Dutch to English and I just can’t handle not including the views in Budapest. It’s one of my favorite things about cities. The best views can be found in Buda, but there are also several options on the Pest-side.
– Read more: 5x the most beautiful views in Budapest
Városliget is the city park at the end of metro line 1 (yellow), right behind Heroes’ Square. The park houses a lake where you can go sailing during summer and ice skating during winter, a zoo, de Széchenyi baths and a castle.
You can fly into Budapest with several airlines. One of them is Wizzair. This Hungarian airline offers the cheapest tickets I’ve found, although it gets more expensive if you want to take more luggage.
The districts in Budapest all have a name and a number. The city center is made up of district V, VI, VII and VIII, but it goes up all the way to 23. The two middle digits of the zip-code are the number of the district.
Sorry, I can’t think of anything for ‘Y’! I have (literally) been thinking about this for two weeks, and each time I had an epiphany, it was the wrong letter. I will pay attention so maybe I can fill it later!
Z: Zing Burger
Zing Burger is a popular burger chain in Budapest. There are several restaurants spread throughout the center, and they have food trucks. They are mostly known for their creative burgers.
Pff, that really was a lot harder than I expected! I couldn’t think of anything for ‘Y’, while I had so many options for other letters. Do you have any ideas for ‘Y’ or other comments? Leave them in the comments!
What does your ‘Budapest from A to Z’ look like?
Pictures 1, 4, 10, 11 by Esther Aagtjes