Visitors from all over the world are adding Budapest to their itineraries. This beautiful city has something to offer every type of traveler, from history buffs to nature lovers. One of Budapest’s biggest fans is travel expert and vice president of business development at The Travel Team, Ron Luczak. He shares his top tips for traveling to Budapest.
1. Visit both Buda and Pest.
The city of Budapest was, until 1873, two individual cities: Buda and Pest. It was not until the first bridge was built over the Danube River that the two cities became the Hungarian capital we know today.
These two neighborhoods are distinctive; you should visit them both while traveling in Budapest. Hilly Buda offers old-world charm, with sweeping views of the entire city. Flat Pest is the more modern of the two, with plenty of cafes, restaurants and nightlife, as well as shops.
2. Experience the “City of Baths.”
Budapest is referred to as the “City of Baths” due to the numerous natural hot spring baths. “We always recommend to our clients that they absolutely take their swim suits and that they do take a bath day,” says Ron. This is arguably one of the best places in the world to enjoy a thermal spring, whether at an outdoor pool dating back to the Turkish occupation or enclosed in a modern, amenity-filled bathhouse. There are beautiful, restorative baths on both side of the River.
3. Never toast with beer.
While it’s okay to clink wine glasses in celebration, Hungarians don’t toast with beer. It’s said that Hungarians vowed not to use beer when toasting because the Austrians did so after defeating the Hungarians in the Revolution of 1848.
4. Use public transportation.
There’s no need to rent a car in Budapest. The public transportation system of busses and underground trains is both affordable and easy to use. “The last time I was there… I think you could buy a train ticket on the underground for about the equivalent of $1.40,” Ron recounts. Residents are proud of their transportation system, so they’re always willing to help travelers use it!