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The city of Budapest has been growing in popularity over the years, not only as a tourist destination but also as a site for conferences and events in Europe. This comes as no surprise as the location on the Danube River provides breathtaking scenic views throughout the city. The interesting mix of history, architecture, and culture also makes Budapest a truly unique place with a lot to offer. There are so many things to do and see in Budapest, but we wanted to give you a list of 6 secret spots you can visit to make your stay more enjoyable. So, whether you’re on a corporate trip in Budapest or a personal vacation, check out these hidden treasures.
When it comes to secret spots in Budapest, this place is definitely one off the beaten path. The building, which is now a public library, is more than 110 years old and was once the private home of an aristocratic family. It still maintains the Hungarian neo-baroque architecture and some of the floors have preserved their original elegance and grandeur featuring chandeliers, winding staircases, and mahogany panelling. It may take a minute to find this Budapest hidden treasure on the 4th floor, but if you get confused, just ask one of the many students who are sure to be there. Bring a book or take one off the shelves and cosy up in a nice corner while being transported back in time. If you need a pick-me-up between chapters, the former horse stable is now a cafe.
Please note: there is a small tourist fee of around 3€ to enter the library, but you won’t regret it when you see this stunning treat for the eyes.
Regardless of your reason for being in Budapest, you will surely enjoy a drink or two (or three) and you should definitely make this gorgeous rooftop bar one of your destination points. Located in a luxurious hotel that was voted #1 in the world by TripAdvisor 2017, this bar will not disappoint. Kick back on the comfortable patio furniture while sipping on your favourite drink. While the prices are not the cheapest, the cocktails are delicious and the views are more than worth it. If you’re here on business, consider having your Budapest event at this unforgettable venue. You can see 6 of the big sights from this rooftop delight, making it a great place to host an event in Budapest.
When on a trip, there’s nothing like visiting a local market to get a sense of the people, culture, and most importantly, the food. This market was built in 1897 and is the biggest traditional food market in Hungary. It’s so impressive that CNN Travel gave it the first prize as the best market in Europe in 2013. It has hundreds of stalls selling all types of fresh produce, meats, and delicious traditional Hungarian foods. The upper level has various bars and restaurants and we recommend trying a langos, a common street food which is fried bread topped with garlic, sour cream and cheese, but feel free to experiment with other ingredients. If you are more in the mood for something sweet, definitely go for a kürtőskalács, which is a sweet dough in the form of a cylinder and coated with sugar and other toppings. Not only is there food in this enormous market, but there are also stands with leather products, paprika, clothing, nesting dolls, Hungarian embroidered cloth, and even souvenir shops. The atmosphere is incredible are you don’t want to miss out!
If you are out of ideas of what to do in Budapest, then check out this quirky tea house. The entrance is a cross between tiki art and a totem pole and once you step inside there is an endless abundance of stimulation. You will feel like you are in a dimly lit cave and the atmosphere is relaxing and calm. You will find various nooks and crannies with mostly Native American and Indigenous art, but there are also rooms inspired by places such as Egypt and Morocco. There is even some medieval and old western decor. We recommend trying a tea, as there are over 150 different flavours to choose from. We admit that it can be a bit peculiar, but we are confident that this secret spot in Budapest will be an experience unlike anything you’ve had before.
If you are interested in checking out a real cave, Budapest is the only capital city in the world where you will find natural caves right under your feet. Below the hustle and bustle of the city, there are over 200 caves of different sizes. The same thermal springs that supply the famous thermal baths have also formed these gorgeous caves. Once below ground, you will reap all the rewards of the healthy minerals seeping through the walls. The air is so exceptionally clean that the lowest level is used as a respiratory sanatorium. They offer guided tours that last about 40-minutes and stretch about 250m. The passages and stairs are made of concrete, making it suitable for people of all ages.
Insider tip: the temperature of the cave is 12°C (54°F) all year-round, so make sure you dress warmly to avoid the chill and don’t forget your sneakers or hiking boots.
Budapest has been referred to as "Spa City" for a reason; no other capital city in the world has more thermal baths than Budapest. These historic landmarks were first used by the Romans and later the Turks, taking advantage of the thermal springs that are natural to the region. While it’s no secret that thermal baths are a part of the lifestyle in Budapest, we wanted to highlight this 500-year-old building that was constructed during Turkish rule. It has an octagonal thermal bath as well as a swimming pool and sauna world. What makes this bath truly unique is the outdoor rooftop deck with a hot tub that overlooks the Danube and provides incredible panoramic views. In addition, it’s the only one that offers separate bathing days for men and women. If you are a person who is more comfortable bathing around people of the same sex or prefer to wear your “birthday suit”, then check out this bath. And if you want a co-ed option, then there is always the weekend, or you can just go to any of the other baths, as all the rest are entirely co-ed.
Every day: 6:00-20:00
For women: Tuesday
For men: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday until 12:45
Co-ed group use: Fridays from 13:00, Saturday, Sunday
Swimming pool and wellness section (co-ed)
Swimming pool: 6:00-20:00
Wellness-sauna world: 8:00-22:00
Friday, Saturday: 22:00-4:00
(The sauna world is not available during night bathing.)
Insider tip: Bring a pair of sandals and a towel, and if you want to use the swimming pool, make sure you have a swim cap.