February 17, 2018

6 Free Things to do in Budapest

For a city that has over 2,000 years of history, Budapest looks great!  Despite the years of invasion, oppression and even independence, Budapest has been able to maintain its title as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

The history of this city will make your head spin and shows how Budapest was a revolving door for invaders.  First settled by the Celts then the Romans who were followed by a pillaging at the hands of the Ottomans.  Next were the Turks, who left some great baths, and then the Hapsburg Empire.  It was during the Hapsburg rule that Buda and Pest were merged.  A free country after WWI, Budapest was declared a communist country at the end of WWII.  Later the Soviet Union came in to squash a rebellion and a people until the communist era ended in 1989-1990.

You can see the visual images of all this history on the buildings making up this city’s stunning sights.

Budapest is bisected by the Danube which is crossed by 9 bridges.  The buildings include all styles of architecture – Classic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau – sometimes even in the same building!

Budapest Hungary

Budapest by ** Maurice **, on Flickr

Music has been a part of Budapest’s history for centuries.  Music lovers, or not, will find a plethora of musically related events and sites to behold.

Budapest’s many World Heritage Sites will entice any traveler and keep you busy for days.

I will be spending a few days in Budapest later this summer and have been looking at ways to stretch the budget.  Below are a few of the free or nearly free things I have come up with.

-From the west side of the Danube take in the panorama that is Castle Hill.  This is a must-see district for any Budapest visitor as the castle walls and cobbled streets will be a vision in your mind for a long time!

Castle Hill Budapest Hungary

Castle Hill by Bruce Tuten, on Flickr

– From here you could visit the Romanesque Matthias Church.  This church reflects the history Budapest has endured and was even once transformed into a mosque during the Turkish occupation. Here you will find architecture, history and art all for about $4.

-While in the Castle district, don’t miss Holy Trinity Square.  In the center you will find the ornate Holy Trinity Column which dates back to 1713. The square was the main marketplace of Buda during medieval times and the column is a memorial to all the people who died during the plague of 1691.  Also in the square is a replica statue of Pallas Athene, protector of cities.

Fisherman's Bastion Budapest Hungary

Fisherman's Bastion by mdid, on Flickr

Fisherman’s Bastion is located at the site of the medieval fish market and is one of the most beautiful sights in Budapest.  Not only is the structure magnificent but so are the views of the Danube and the Pest side of the city.  The stunning architecture is both neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque.

Heroes’ Square is devoted to “the memory of the heroes who gave their lives for the freedom of our people and our national independence,” and is one of Budapest’s most emotional monuments. Don’t forget to take a picture of the Millennium Monument and the tall column with the archangel Gabriel on top holding the Hungarian crown in one hand.

Heroes Square Budapest Hungary

Heroes Square by mdid, on Flickr

Nagycsarnok or Great Market Hall is an architectural gem.  Its Baroque roof is just a part of this 20th century structure.  There are over 200 market stalls where you will find souvenirs as well as paprika, salami and wine.  The bottom floor is where you will see lively shopping complete with bartering.   A real  taste of Budapest in this more traditional  part of the market.


I know Budapest is full of amazing sights to see.

What did I leave off the list – free or not?

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  3. grantus says:

    hi there.
    i have been to budapest several times and i a`nit disappointed. culturaly&classically it has got it ,go up to the castle district & to the caves where the 14th century rulers kept their wines.

  4. Nancie says:

    Budapest has been on my list for a long time. Your photos make me want to visit all the more.
    Nancie recently posted..Wanderfood Wednesday — Satay Celup — A Signature Dish from Malacca

  5. Andrea says:

    SO looking forward to visiting here this year. It’s the first time for both John and me. Will have to check out the places you mentioned, thanks!
    Andrea recently posted..Montevideo’s Locks Fountain

  6. One thing I live about Europe is the beautiful castles and architecture. I bet Budapest looks awesome in the Summer. On my bucket list….
    David @ MalaysiaAsia recently posted..Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 Sarawak

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I really like castles and architecture too and am looking forward to seeing all that Budapest has to offer!

  7. robin says:

    I make a mean goulash if Isay so myself – i was shown how by a Hungarian chef no less!

    Budapest is one of those places i have never been to but somehow just know I would adore…
    robin recently posted..Tapestry

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      HA HA I have to say my goulash has gotten praises too! I am looking forward to bringing some authentic paprika home and using it in the next batch.

  8. Budapest is one of my favorite European cities! I plan to visit again this summer. Thanks for sharing …
    Cheryl Howard recently posted..Getting Lost in the Streets of Old Havana

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      The more I read and learn about Budapest, the more excited I get! I have heard from many people that Budapest is one of their favorites too.

  9. sheril says:

    Wow ..Man its great !! i never knew this !! Pic looks great
    sheril recently posted..KO

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have learned a lot about Budapest as I am researching things to do during my visit. Hopefully I will come home with some pictures that are close to the ones included in the post!

  10. Grace says:

    Great list Debbie, anything free I’m in!
    Grace recently posted..Celebrating 6 years in America a fresh off the boat’s untold story

  11. Budapest is such a beautiful city! I remember going there in 1995, while backpacking through Europe for the first time. I’m sure it has changed a lot since then. I miss the goulash 🙂
    Michael Figueiredo recently posted..A Tourist In My Own Backyard part 2-

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      Hey Michael, Goulash is one of the things I am looking forward to trying! I really like Hungarian paprika so I will look into buying some while in Budapest. Then maybe I’ll make my own goulash at home 🙂

  12. I’ve never been, but would like to one day!

  13. Jeremy B says:

    Budapest is one of my favorite cities in Europe! There are lots of great things to do there and I love the layout of the city. However, one of my favorite experience was the Szechenyi Baths. It didn’t cost that much but what a great cultural experience!
    Jeremy B recently posted..Budget travel deals of the week May 3- 2011

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I was actually thinking about enjoying one of the baths in the city. Was there a reason you selected Szechenyi?

      • Jeremy B says:

        Debbie, I read about it in a guidebook and the experience of it sounded great. It’s a beautiful place to experience a local hangout without a lot of tourists. Safe and comfortable as well. I haven’t written anything about it yet but I have some photos I can share if you want to see what it looks like.
        Jeremy B recently posted..The essential visitor’s guide to Slovenia

        • Debbie Beardsley says:

          I would be interested in seeing couple pics. It is something I am considering as I have not enjoyed baths anywhere.

  14. Laurel says:

    I had no idea that Budapest was so beautiful or that it had so many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Great photos!
    Laurel recently posted..Why I’m Quitting German Language School

  15. Adam says:

    Ahhhh, looks amazing! Since I have Hungarian heritage, I have been wanting to visit Budapest (and elsewhere in Hungary) for some time now. Great rundown of free things to do.
    Adam recently posted..It Turns Out that Walking on a Glacier is Pretty Cool

    • Debbie Beardsley says:

      I have been reading alot about Budapest lately and am very excited to visit this summer. I just wish it could be for longer and that I would be able to get into the countryside but that will have to be another trip!


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