We had planned to spend more time exploring Budapest but we had sickness in the family that lasted for two days therefore we were only left with 24 hours before we had to be at our next destination.
Can Budapest be done in 24 hours? We think so.
Budapest is actually two different parts of the city and both are divided by a river. So one side is Buda and the other is Pest. We stayed at Haller Camping Ground which was only a short train ride away from Buda and Pest. We decided to use public transport to get around and it was very cheap and efficient.
Our plan was to visit Buda Old Town and walk around the area before jumping on a boat cruise to see the sites along the river and visit Margaret Island.
We loved the vibe of Budapest old town. It had the feeling of a University Town and yet the old cobbled streets told a thousand stories and the gothic and Neo-gothic buildings stood timelessly unmoved.
There is one main street that has all the shops and restaurants with a couple of Piazzas in the middle. The main Parliament building and other important structures line the river.
River Cruise on the Danube River:
We made our way to Danube river and talked to a couple of cruise companies and we found that they are all basically the same. We chose a cruise that went up the river, around Margaret Island and back again. The cruise makes several stops along the way and you can get off at any point and then get back to make the loop when you have finished.
A cruise is highly recommended as many of the important historical buildings line the river and the best views can be had on board a boat cruise on the river. The sights during the day were spectacular and I can only imagine how much more beautiful it would be at night when the buildings are all lit up.
If you do a full circle without getting off, the cruise will take about 2 hours.
Margaret Island is Budapest’s green oasis. It is a big public park on the island which is connected to the city by Margaret bridge. The island is very popular with locals who come to do exercise to relax and to have picnics.
Some cool things to do on the island include riding a Golf Cart. The island is only 2.5km long and 500 metres wide but if you are travelling with older people of babies then this is a great way to see the island.
If you don’t have extras in tow and still don’t fancy walking there are several bike hire operators on the island and riding a bicycle is also a nice way to see the island.
A water tower built in 1911 also stands on the island and it is possible to go to the top. The water tower provides water to residents and businesses on the island.
Budapest is famous for it’s thermal baths and is the only capital city in the world built on natural thermal springs. One of the best thermal baths is located on Margaret Island. Palatinus is a water wonderland with fun for the whole family. Not only is there thermal baths but also slides and other water features including a wave pool. It is very popular with locals and get crowded in Summer but still worth a visit. There is also plenty of shade to be found as Palatinus is surrounded by big leafy trees.
Buapest is a rich in history and beautiful old buildings. We enjoyed our short time visiting the city and one day hope to return to visit all the things we missed out on this trip.