3 days in Budapest: Travel Guide and Tips

Along with the travel guide, we are introducing our packing guide. It will help you plan your swoon-worthy outfit choices for each destination. We’re kicking it off with one of the most magical cities in Europe with Budapest. It is a place laden with duality split into two sides by the Danube river. On one side, there’s Buda, the swankier of the two. Here you’ll feel most comfortable in trend-driven, but classic pieces.

And, there’s Pest, where you’ll want to break out some of that Saint Laurent-inspired grunge. And since the two sides are so distinctly different, we decided to help you with your outfit planning for either side of the river with not one, but two different guides (just scroll to see!).

As we got used, we walked through Budapest in a crazy ride. Although most buildings are from XX century, the Hungarians took care of them. They even have those small details that give a special atmosphere. There are beautiful balconies decorated with iron gratings in the art nouveau style.

Budapest itself appeared by itself and by necessity. It seems that somehow towards the end of 1000 AD, two fortresses built on the sandbanks of the Danube. Buda and Pest chose to join forces, later becoming the resident place for Hungarian kings. I do not know how the traffic was at that time, but when we were there, the traffic was hellish. Even that we felt good looking at us while we wait in the column of cars on the bridges crossing the Danube.

The buildings have a charged architecture but because of the time, they become a real beauty. We saw the Parliament building with its eclectic architecture. It seems to be the most expensive building in Hungary. It is 268 meters long and 118 meters wide, with 691 rooms, 10 gardens. The Parliament building in Bucharest beats the Hungarian Parliament. Its surface is 270 meters long and 240 meters wide. It has 92 meters height and 86 meters underground, 12 surface levels and 8 ground levels!

The Parliament is in the Pest city. Here there is also St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest Roman Catholic church in Budapest. It competes with the dome of the Parliament (96 m height). Who else? Also, for the church, it has used about 50 types of marble. Sic!

Also, the Opera House got built on this side of the Danube and at the same time. Its front has statues representing some great composers and some Greek gods of arts. On the other side of the Danube, we saw Buda fortress, built by Bela IV around the XIII century. After he conquered Mongolia he thought it’s time to build a fortress on the rock.

Budapest Tourist Sights

Citadella. Located at the top of Gellert Hill it provides the best view of Budapest ‘s green hills and dense downtown. There’s also a bar, a good but over-priced restaurant, and an inexpensive hotel at the top.

Heroes Square. A spectacular entrance to the City Park, it is Budapest’s version of the Parisian Trocadero. It has marble floors and statues of Hungarian freedom-fighters. Now skateboarders zoom around the square while guards watch the National War Memorial.

Spas. Do not leave Budapest without visiting at least one of the city’s famous, therapeutic baths. A bath and a massage can be had for less than $5. There is no room for modesty. Most of the baths have unself-conscious, body-confident people, regardless of their ages. Favorites include the spas at the hotels, as well as the 15th-century Baths, built by the Turks. It features steamy, dim pools. For those uncomfortable getting naked, there’s always the $1-foot massage.

Opera House. This is entertainment even for those who don’t like opera. The building is a spectacular, neo-Renaissance style structure. It is enough to hold one’s attention well into the third act. Tickets for both the ballet and the opera are cheap, and the sets are remarkable. Between acts, sip a $2 glass of champagne in the carved-wood tearoom. Or wander out to see the beautiful view from the Opera House’s balcony.

The Castle District. Walk through the area’s many museums, from the national art gallery to the smaller music museum. Don’t buy anything from the hordes of dressed vendors. It’s at least twice as expensive as anywhere else in the city. Don’t miss the view from Fisherman’s Bastion of the Parliament, the Danube, and Margit Island.

Need to shop? Take the 154 bus from Boraros Ter, on the Pest side, to the famous Ecseri flea market, said to be the biggest in Europe. This is the perfect place to pick up old Russian medals and uniforms. As well as home-made lace tablecloths and antique furniture.

There’s always that rush of excitement when you’re planning a trip. It’s easy to get swept up in all the planning. Then once you’re close to taking off, you start to realize what on earth am I going to pack? Don’t fret, my pet we’ve got your bases covered.

Build your base around a pair of tailored, yet sexy cigarette pants. They’re the perfect packing companion since they go with everything you’ll throw on top of them. Plus, they give off that vibe of sophistication.

When it’s freezing out (as it is in Budapest during the winter), sometimes you want to wear your blanket as your coat. Since that’s not the best option, try a wool robe coat instead. It’s a win-win situation. You’ll be hitting on one of the best trends of the season while staying bundled up at the same time.

When you’re packing, it’s critical to bring versatile items, so that you can mix and match. And one of the most versatile of all the versatile items in everyone’s closet is the fisherman’s sweater. It’s cool. It’s chunky. It’s pretty. It works with pants, skirts, and jeans. So yeah, you’ll need to bring one of these bad boys.

There’s nothing that says I’m on vacay quite like a dapper hat. But remember, you’re not off to St Bart's. So skip the Panama hat (or the color white) and bring along a fedora in a rich autumnal shade.

Put down that duffel you’ve hauled through every airport with everything under the sun. Why not try a ladylike tote? It doubles as a sleek carry-on (that fits all your essentials) and acts as a gorgeous everyday purse. The trick is to find one with a long shoulder strap. Otherwise, you’ll be lugging around a heavy bag through the streets of Budapest.

It’s tough to decide which shoes to bring with you anywhere as they take up a ton of space. It’s always tricky to figure out which ones you’ll actually be donning once you get there. Save yourself the trouble and bring along a pair of pointy flats. That way, you can wear them while walking along the cobblestoned roads. And then out to your wine tasting at the Faust cellar afterward.

Casual (yet stylish) is the way to go in Budapest, but Pest isn’t the side to sport a pair of clean, polished skinnies. Instead, opt for a more rugged pair to fit in with the uber-hip locals.

It’s cold in Budapest once winter hits, so you’ll definitely need to sport a cool topper (and not to up your outfit game). A thick moto jacket works for sightseeing as well as for a fancy dinner out where you’ll need to impress.

A t-shirt is boring, and it also provides zero warmth. A button-down is comfy and snazzy at the same time, and a plaid version is even snazzier.

If Pest doesn’t scream combat boots, then I don’t know what does. Show your love for the city’s rebellious history in a rugged, but still chic, pair. Plus, since you’ll be exploring all over the city, these are more comfortable than anything. And cooler than those ubiquitous tennis shoes.

Use one of the hottest (and most convenient) trends to your advantage and sport a cute backpack. Leave the super-luxe versions for the runway, and go for one of the more affordable bags.

We’d be remiss to forget the best item you can pack on any vacation—the scarf. For this trip, you’ll want a cozy, oversized version. It can double as an actual neck warmer and cute accessory and who doesn’t love plaid-on-plaid while you’re at it?