Budapest alternative places – The best places for a deeper look

Budapest has a lot to offer for visitors. But if you have been there many times, you can still discover new places. The best Budapest alternative places.

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Hungary’s capital Budapest is considered one of the most beautiful metropolises in Europe. Millions of tourists are attracted to the city on the Danube every year. And Budapest is also not lacking in sights. But what if you’ve already been to Budapest or you’re just looking for something different? Even then you should not be bored with the city. Budapest offers many alternative attractions that will not let you get bored during your stay. Check out these Budapest alternative places and things to do.

Chain bridge Budapest
The Chain Bridge is a beautiful photo motif in any light.

Bridge porn Budapest – Many beautiful ways across the river – and back

As is well known, Budapest consists of Buda – here comes the surprise – and Pest. Logically, the two former individual cities are separated by the Danube. Buda is in the west, Pest in the east. Clearly for me as the author of the blog Wild East, I like the East better, of course. In Berlin it is so, in Istanbul also and in Budapest anyway. But nevertheless, the bridges in Budapest are also a real highlight and it is worth to use the bridges for a walk.

I especially recommend the way there over the Chain Bridge, the classic among the bridges over the Danube and the way back over the Margaret Bridge. Friends of mine are particularly fond of the Freedom Bridge. However, I did not make it there during my visit because of a sprained foot. But maybe it will come. From the Margaret Bridge you can also go to the Margaret Island and there wonderful walk.

Budapest hungarian parliament
Viktor Orban sits in the parliament of Hungary. But that’s not the building’s fault.

The Hungarian parliament – great place with a little bummer

The Parliament building in Hungary is one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. It is modeled after the Palace of Westminster in London. But I find it even more beautiful. No matter what time of day or night – it is always a great photo opportunity. On a guided tour of Parliament, you can also see the beautiful interiors. The picture is unfortunately marred only somewhat by Viktor Orban, who also has a seat here.

budapest alternative places
The Ellato kert beer garden is one of the most beautiful in Budapest and is located in the middle of the Jewish quarter of the city.

Ruin pubs – ruining especially your liver

Budapest has a special feature, which is also known in a different form from Berlin. Those who can still remember the now closed Tacheles will surely enjoy a visit to the Szimpla and the Szimplakert, probably the most famous ruin pub in Budapest. All of the ruin pubs in Budapest are housed in old houses that are semi-derelict. Not only that, makes them probably the best alternative sights in Budapest. Some are also more just beer gardens.

Also nice: the Ellato and the Ellatokert (kert means garden in Hungarian, by the way). The best place to discover them all is in the Jewish Quarter in Budapest. But the bottom line is that because there are so many, the ruin pubs are especially ruinous for my liver. But what does one not do everything for the research.

Ikarus buses Budapest
Ikarus buses still take many people around Budapest.

Icarus, metro and streetcar – nostalgia for free

For me riding an Ikarus bus still brings back memories, as they used to be the school buses I took when I was a kid. There are still hundreds of these old Ikarus buses from Hungary here. I was pretty happy every time I saw one and could even take a ride. If you grew up in the West or abroad, you should still take a ride. The Ikarus buses are typically Hungarian, they were built here and most of them still look like they did back then – including the nut-brown leather seats.

Budapest Metro
Soviet-made subways are still running in Budapest.

However, if you are more into subways, you will find many old cars here. On some lines you can still find trains from Soviet production. They also have a special sound when driving. I like it. It sounds like the sounds of other Soviet metros, like the Kyiv Metro.

Budapest trams
The trams in Budapest still look very nostalgic. Get a city tour for as little as one euro.

Last but not least, I don’t want to leave out the Budapest trams. They look much older than the Ikarus buses. But they are still in great shape and a ride is a nostalgic experience for the price of a local transport ticket (just under one euro). Please get on board!

Gül Baba utca Budapest
Gül Baba utca is one of the most picturesque streets in Budapest and will take you straight to the Orient.

Ottoman Budapest – Gül Baba utca takes you to the Orient

The Hungarians are not particularly well disposed towards the Turks – after all, the Ottomans took the city, murdered many Hungarians, occupied it for years and had a good time here for a while. In return, they built and left behind quite a bit when the Habsburgs came and drove them out. That’s why you can still find one of the cutest streets in Hungary in the old Turkish quarter. Gül Baba utca is picturesquely located in Buda. Here it really looks like Turkey or other once Ottoman countries. A real alternative to the other sights of the city. Right next to it is the tomb of Gül Baba, an Ottoman poet. The tomb is the northernmost Muslim pilgrimage site in the world, as he is revered as a saint by many Muslims.

Right next to it is the tomb of Gül Baba, an Ottoman poet. The tomb is the northernmost Muslim pilgrimage site in the world, as he is revered as a saint by many Muslims.

Veli-Bej bath house Budapest
Veli-Bej bath is a real Budapest insider tip.

Baths in Budapest – Turks know how to build baths

But Budapest also owes probably one of the most important sights of the city to the Turks. The Turks also brought their baths with them, which can still be found in the city today. I was also bathing in one of them. The insider tip here is the Veli Bej bath right near Margaret Bridge on the Buda side. It is much smaller, but also has much fewer visitors than the Gellert bath or the Széchenyi. Here you can relax just fine for 9 euros and bask in the mineral-rich water from the springs in Budapest. If you don’t come out of there relaxed, it’s your own fault.

Goulash in Budapest
There are many different types of goulash.

Food in Budapest – Not all goulash is the same

Already during my first visit to Budapest I had to learn painfully that not all paprika is the same. But not all goulash is the same. Because what we know as goulash, is actually called Pörkölt in Hungary. But it tastes just as delicious there as it does here or in the Czech Republic. Now you might be wondering what you get instead when you order goulash in Hungary. That’s easy: a soup. While in our country goulash is eaten on flat plates with dumplings, dumplings or potatoes, in Hungary it is a soup rather with bread. But even the goulash soup is delicious and a little different in every restaurant. Only one thing must not be missing: paprika. By the way, if you are not so fond of goulash, you can also try lángos or the Hungarian stick bread, called Kürtöskalács.

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Peter Althaus is a journalist, author and blogger. In 2011, he founded the travel blog Rooksack. But his real love has always been Eastern Europe. He now lives in Lviv, Ukraine, where he runs a tour operator. But since he still loves to write, today there is Wild East – the Eastern Europe travel blog.

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