Straddling the banks of the river Danube, Budapest is a gem not to be missed! Whether you’re visiting for a week or just a long weekend, there’s plenty to see and do, besides the regular tourist attractions.
Here are some of my favourite offbeat places to eat, some cool art spaces and sights to visit when you make the trip to the Hungarian capital
If you're looking to experience the city in its truest with the help of some locals, be sure to also check out our tour guides in Budapest.
You might not think of vegan food as being synonymous with Hungary, but there’s a surprisingly well developed vegan scene here with styles of food from all over the world, including local dishes, available with zero animal cruelty! Here are my top three picks for vegan food in Budapest.
Best hummus: Hummusbar
This chain of hummus based restaurants around Budapest is not fully vegan but has plenty of animal-free options. The flagship store is on Oktober 6 utca and bakes their own bread, definitely making for the best of the locations to visit. The menu clearly marks all dishes as containing animal products or not, and staff are friendly and knowledgeable, so you can be sure to get something vegan here.
Best Hungarian food: Napfenyes Etterem
Perhaps Budapest’s largest entirely vegan restaurant, this place has an extensive menu of many traditional Hungarian dishes made vegan, along with a few other international flavours as well, meaning there’s really something for everyone. Gluten-free options abound, and they make fresh juices, there’s a self-service salad bar and an impressive array of baked goods made on site to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best street food: Vegan Garden
Just opposite Klauzal tér, this outdoor area of five or so fully vegan food trucks and a bar is a great place to come in order to try multiple different kinds of food. With pizza, burgers, Mexican fare, cakes and more, you’re bound to find something to satisfy your vegan cravings without breaking the bank! There’s a fully stocked bar too, making it an ideal place to come with friends, have a few drinks, enjoy the jovial atmosphere on a warm evening.
Budapest has dozens of art museums, galleries and other institutions where you can see art from many different time periods, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit different than the typical museum experience, check out these places.
Also known in Hungarian as Magyar Iparművészeti Múzeum, this is the third oldest applied arts museum in the world set inside a stunning Art Nouveau building, which showcases various items of homeware and industrial design including metalwork, furniture, glass and textiles. A visit here will no doubt give you, a lover of Art Nouveau or not, a newfound appreciation for the innovation and skillfulness involved in all aspects of design from this point in art history.
Showcasing Hungarian and international photography, this small gallery with a fascinating little bookshop set over several floors inside the former home of this local photographer is a cool place to learn about this art form from a Hungarian perspective. Exhibitions change regularly so check the website to find out what’s on when you visit.
Street art in Budapest can be found everywhere, and largely it is high quality and well preserved. Some famous street artists whose work can be seen on the walls of the city’s buildings include Neopaint, Luke Embden and Fat Head. Some of the most famous or interesting pieces not to miss are Alice in Wonderland (Kertész utca 27), The Great Wall (Kazinczy utca 45) and Vasarely (Városháza Park).
Don’t miss the views of the Danube!
This iconic river that runs through Budapest is definitely one of the most overlooked sights in town. Basically anywhere you can get high up enough to get a view over the Blue Danube and see many gorgeous buildings lining both banks is worth the trip!
Some highlights include the Fishermans Bastion and Gellert Hill in Buda, the middle of the Chain Bridge going over the river itself and the green and tranquil Margaret Island sitting right in the river.
This guest post was written by Sam Wood.