Why Visit Budapest? Best Reasons You Should Add it to Your Bucket List

“Why visit Budapest, Hungary?”, you may ask.

There are plenty of great reasons you’d want to visit this historic, beautiful, and culturally rich destination in central Europe.

To whet your appetite, you’ll find what we think are the best reasons to visit Budapest, below.

why visit budapest - thermal baths

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn why visit Budapest, and reasons it should be on your bucket list, including:

  • Why Budapest Will Take Your Breath Away
  • Rich History of Budapest
  • Budapest’s Panoramic Views
  • Thermal Bath’s In Budapest
  • Budapest’s Dynamic Nightlife
  • Final Thoughts
  • Next Steps

Budapest Will Take Your Breath Away 

There is no short answer to the question, “Why visit Budapest?”

From dramatic history and spectacular architecture to therapeutic thermal springs and an unrivaled nightlife in Eastern and Central Europe, Budapest has something for everyone.

Budapest’s beauty is not solely a result of divine design. Humanity had a hand in creating this incredibly attractive city.

Budapest is a treasure trove of architectural styles.

It showcases an array of classic, unique, bohemian designs and landmarks built over hundreds of years.

These attractions sit on either side of a majestic river which cuts the city in two.

One of the best ways to see Budapest’s cultural sites is from the water on a slow-paced river cruise down the Danube.

On top of these beautiful buildings, there is a wealth of history, nightlife, and great food to be explored.

Plus there are underground caves that will fascinate you!

Discover why Budapest is sure to take your breath away and have you returning time and time again. 

Rich History of Budapest 

Budapest is a city rich in history, with many iconic monuments to visit.

Hungary’s capital was formed in 1873 with the union of three neighboring cities:

  • Buda
  • Obuda
  • Pest

But its past stretches back farther than that.

First it went from a Roman town to an independent state.

Then Budapest was enfolded into first the Ottoman and then the Austro-Hungarian Empires.

Finally it regained independence in 1989 after a grueling 33-year anti-Soviet rebellion.

Budapest’s complex heritage is reflected in landmarks both old and beautiful and new and poignant.

Highlights include the Hungarian Parliament Building, Buda Castle, and the moving modern memorial known as Shoes on the Danube Bank.

You may also want to visit the Jewish Quarter, Market Hall, Heroes Square, the Museum of Terror.

Budapest’s Panoramic Views

panoramic views budapest

As well as viewing Budapest from the water, a fantastic way to see a city is from the air.

In the absence of taking a plane ride, you can climb the hills around the city for great aerial views.

There, you’ll be treated to scenes of the river flanked by majestic monuments.

Some of the best views can be seen from Farkas-hegy.

But these other viewing points are excellent, too:

  • BudaTower
  • Buda Castle Funicular Upper Station
  • Citadel
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Garden of Philosophers at Gellért Hill
  • Matthias Church Tower
  • Royal Palace / National Gallery Dome
  • Saint Stephen’s Basilica
  • Statue of Mother Mary / Castle Garden

Plus, the countryside around Budapest holds other delights including pretty parks and untamed nature areas. 

Thermal Baths in Budapest

Budapest is notable as a wellbeing destination.

Over the last few years, it’s become favored as ‘natural’ wellness has risen in popularity.

The largest and most well-known of Budapest’s thermal baths is Szechenyi Bath. This is hailed as the grandest spa in Europe.

It features several outdoor pools and a Roman-style bath house complex with heated thermal pools and steam rooms.

Approximately 100 million people have visited these natural springs, thought to provide mental and physical healing.

Beyond Szecheni Bath, there are almost a dozen others to choose from, including:

  • Császár Baths
  • Dandár Baths
  • Gellért Baths
  • Király Baths
  • Lukács Baths
  • Rudas Baths
  • Veli Bej Baths

Be sure to check the hours of the thermal baths, and don’t forget your swimsuit!

Budapest’s Dynamic Nightlife

bar in budapest nightlife

Each year, tourists from all over the world go to Budapest to enjoy the delights of the city’s characterful nightlife.

Of particular popularity are the distinctive and affordable ‘ruin bars’ with their trendy, colorful décor.

Perhaps the most unique bars are the ruin bars. These are neglected buildings with cool bars in them.

Some can be hard to find, but the good news is, once you do, you won’t need reservations. They are first come, first served.

Some of the most popular ruin bars in Budapest include:

  • Csendes Vintage Bar & Cafe
  • Dürer Kert
  • Grandio
  • Instant & Fogas Ház
  • Mazel Tov
  • Szatyor Bar
  • Szimpla Kert
  • UdvarRom

One way to see a variety of ruin bars is to take a guided tour.

But really, numerous noteworthy bars and pubs can be found all around the city.

In fact, you’ll find some of the best in Europe located in the 6th district.

There is something in Budapest’s nightlife scene for everyone, from dimly-lit music venues to upscale rooftop restaurants. 

Final Thoughts on Why Visit Budapest

If you’re still not sure why visit Budapest, remember that this article just scratched the surface of things to see and do in Budapest.

Chances are, you’ll want to experience these things at minimum when you visit.

One you go, it’s unlikely you’ll ever ask “Why visit Budapest” again!

Next Steps

Now that you may be feeling inspired to dive deeper into Budapest, read these article next to help plan your trip:

When to Visit 36 Dreamy Destinations

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.