Day 3 – suggested day itinerary in Budapest
This day itinerary takes you to Budapest City Park, a famous restaurant, beautiful baths, shopping tips, and where to buy tickets for a cruise down the Danube river.
1 – Heroes’ Square and more
Heroes’ Square lies at the end of Andrassy Avenue, is flanked by two art museums and has City Park behind it. The central area of Heroes’ Square is the Millennium Memorial/Monument with statues of the seven tribes that founded Hungary in the 9th century along with other historical figures. The square was completed in 1900 and was rebuilt after suffering damage in World War Two. The monument at Heroes’ Square is dedicated to those who lost their lives for national independence.
The Museum of Fine Art is located on Heroes’ Square and holds a collection of international art and is worth a visit for art lovers. Across from the Fine Art Museum is the Palace of Art (Kunsthalle Budapest), which is a contemporary art museum.
2 – Lunch at Gundel – allow for a few hours for full experience
Gundel is a famous restaurant in Budapest City Park (next to the zoo). The Gundel restaurant was started in 1910 by Karoly Gundel and his son, Janos, it soon became recognized and well-known after catering for the Hungarian party at the New York City 1939 World’s Fair. The large restaurant is popular with tour groups but you can go in small groups and enjoy an elaborate and delicious meal. The signature dish of the Gundel restaurant is their desert crepe made with a filling made of walnuts, rum, raisins, lemon zest and served with chocolate. The main courses are brought out under silver dish covers and dramatically unveiled by the waiters who clearly enjoy their jobs. The entire experience of eating at the Gundel restaurant is very fun and I would say a must!
Fun Note: The symbol of the Gundel Restaurant is a very cute pair of elephants. You can buy items at the Gundel Restaurant gift store, and if you are looking for a fun father’s day gift I recommend a tie with elephants!
3 –Szechenyi thermal baths –you can step into the entrance and get a peak at the main pools and an idea of how grandiose this bath and spa is. The front entrance is very elaborate with frescos and statues, while the side entrance gives you a view of the pools.
Szechenyi thermal baths is a beautiful neo-Baroque style building located in Budapest City Park and it is the largest medicinal bath in Europe with water supplied by two thermal springs. The bath was constructed between 1909 and 1913, it was expanded later in 1927. The baths are named after Count Istvan Szechenyi, a politician and writer. The Szechenyi thermal bath complex has 15 indoor pools and three outdoor pools.
4 – Metro to Great Synagogue – Dohany Street
The Great Synagogue or Tabakgasse Synagogue, in Budapest is the largest in Europe and the 5th largest in the world, able to seat three thousand people. The Great Synagogue was built in the 1850’s in the Moorish style. The Synagogue was damaged during World War II and restored between 1991-98. The complex actually includes the Synagogue, Heroes Temple (memorial to Hungarian Jews who gave their lives during World War I), graveyard, Jewish Museum and the Holocaust memorial (a beautiful metal weeping willow with individual leaves engraved with names).
*Interesting Note: The Central Synagogue in New York City on Lexington Avenue and 54th Street is similar in architecture to that of the Great Synagogue in Budapest, almost an exact-copy.
5 – Fashion street – Deak Ferenc St
Deak Ferenc Street and the surrounding area is great for shopping, both international brands and local brands. Also in the fashion/shopping district of Budapest are some interesting buildings and beautiful architecture.
Insider Travel Note: If you are looking to buy high quality Hungarian traditional items like pottery and embroidery visit the Folkart Craftsman’s House on the corner of Vaci and Regiposta streets. The store is very well organized and full of pottery, traditional embroidery and more. The folkart store is open Monday-Friday 10-6 and Saturday-Sunday 10-3. For more information on this wonderful store with traditional Hungarian items for sale, visit the website by clicking here.
6 – And lastly one of the “must-do” items in Budapest is to take a boat down the Danube, which you can do during the day or at night to see the lights. To get a boat, either a dinner cruise or just a ride up and down the Danube go to Pier 7 which is a ways down from the Chain Bridge. There is a small building right on the water walkway (across from the Vigado Concert Hall, on the other side of the tram tracks and across the streets). Prices vary according to the length of the boat ride and if you want dinner to be included.