Also known as the heart of Europe, Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and the most heavily populated, home to about 1.7 million people. The Celts built the first settlement in Budapest before 1 AD and the Romans took over and made it a major city in 106 AD.
But, enough about history, let’s talk about the fun things to do in Budapest. A girls’ trip to Budapest should be filled with spas, clubs, shopping, and eating, right? This city is the perfect place to do all of that and more. Visit one of the Budapest luggage storage spots first to drop off your bags, though.
Take a Bath
To relax after your long trip, start with a spa at one of the 125 hot springs in Budapest. There are 50 natural thermal bathhouses and spas to choose from and they are all extremely popular. Here are some of the most popular baths in Budapest.
Szechenyi Thermal Baths
Szechényi on Állatkerti is the largest and most famous bathhouse in Budapest. Being housed in a palace in the city park may be one reason why, but there are other reasons. It was built in 1913, has three outdoor pools, and 15 pools indoors. In fact, it is so big they give you a map, so you don’t get lost.
One of the oldest in the country, Rudas Baths on Döbrentei dates back to the 1500s. There is a giant octagonal bath under the dome, as well as a rooftop bath that overlooks the Danube River. They even have drinks made from the healing waters.
The stunning stained-glass windows at Gellert Baths on Kelenhegyi make swimming here a wonderful experience. The humongous Roman columns add to the beauty and make it a remarkable place to visit. They also offer massages, small tubs for couples, and an outdoor pool with a wave machine.
Get Some Retail Therapy
Whether you are looking for souvenirs for the folks back home or something fabulous for yourself, you can find it in Budapest. They have dozens of malls with hundreds of shops, giant markets, and a plethora of small boutiques and specialty shops.
The Great Market Hall (also known as Central Market Hall) on Vámház körút is a favorite with the locals as well as tourists. They have over 300 stalls selling unique items to choose from. Also try Falk Miksa Street, which is two blocks full of shops with antiques to galleries.
All girls love malls, right? They are so vibrant and full of variety. Arena Mall on Kerepesi is one of the favorites. They boast over 150 stores from Adidas to Zara. And Allee on Október huszonharmadika has 160 shops from AKH to Zing. The Westend Mall on Váci has the most variety, with over 330 stores to pick from.
If you are looking for something specific, Google will help you find it in Budapest. Browse t-shirt shops like Printa on Rumbach Sebestyén, Nanushka on Bécsi Street for fashion, or World of Souvenir on Deák Ferenc for souvenirs.
Before you head off to the clubs, try some of Budapest’s most popular eateries. After all, you cannot have drinks on an empty stomach. And you will need some energy for dancing, too. Here are a few great places to choose from.
Bambi Café on Frankel Leó is one of the most popular local hangouts and has been since 1961. They serve all sorts of food, but they are known for their frankfurters, scrambled eggs, and a delicious cup of coffee or beer. The interior is quaint and comfortable.
For a more formal affair, Onyx on Vörösmarty is the only eatery in the city with two Michelin stars. The chef is French and serves up delightful dishes like water buffalo tartare, Mangalica pork, and sturgeon soup. Desserts are a big production with hazelnut tarts and baguette ice cream.
This downtown diner on Károlyi Mihály is a meatery rather than an eatery, with a menu full of mouthwatering meats. Try the duck legs, Serbian cevapi, or sausage with paprika. Belvarosi Disznotoros makes sure each guest leaves happy and their prices are rock bottom.
You and the girls have to make time to hit the clubs while you are in Budapest. People here take their partying seriously. Well, more like the opposite of serious. They just love to party. Check out at least one of these clubs for some fun.
With the best DJs, three dance floors, live bands, and cheap drinks, ÖTKERT Night Club on Zrínyi is a popular spot for locals, so it must be awesome. Located in a building from the 1800s, ÖTKERT has been named the hippest urban club in Budapest and has been the place to party for the past decade.
Illegal Pub & Club
It is not really illegal, but maybe it should be illegal to have so much fun in one place. Not only is Illegal Pub & Club on Kazinczy a great place to party, but they also serve excellent burgers and other food. Have a seat on one of the comfy couches up in the loft or dance the night away on the dance floor downstairs.
For a techno club underground, visit the AETHER Club on (under) Király, where you can lose track of time while having a blast. With DJs like Captain Knuckles, Sobek, and Monolit running the show, you can seriously stay all night without getting bored. They also feature live music and guests.
There is much more to do in Budapest, like getting some selfies on the Chain Bridge on Széchenyi, which was the first bridge to cross the Danube River in 1849. You may also enjoy the Szamos Chocolate Museum on Kassuth Lajos, where you can get some free candy and learn something while you are there.
And you really should not leave without visiting the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden on Állatkert. Everyone likes animals and you can see thousands of them here, from Aardvarks to Zebras. Be sure to go see the butterfly garden, owl’s castle, and the crocodile house.