For one reason it has Budapest, a city packed to the gills with things to do at an affordable price. Even with rising housing costs over the last several years, life in Hungary remains cheap to visitors from Western Europe and the U.S.
The food is great, transportation is modern, and it has a distinct European feel. After seeing a bunch of movies about Europe, the architecture, people, and food feel like what you’d expect European to be like. Here’s our itinerary for one week in Hungary.
Eger (2 days)
For the first part of our itinerary for one week in Hungary, we took a chance on visiting Eger. And boy oh boy we loved spending time there. It’s smallish with an authentic old world vibe that we found to be engaging and never became dull or boring. We saw most of what we wanted to within a day or so, which left the rest of our time there to casually roam around the town and get work done at home.
This square is so central to the downtown area that you don’t need to plan on visiting it – you’ll naturally arrive there one way or another. Typical of old European villages, the square doesn’t disappoint.
We didn’t go in this but instead opted for a walk around it. Plenty of placards exists to tell the history of the walls. You can venture inside for more of a tour but since we had already felt the vibe of the castle we opted against spending the money to go in.
Torok Kori Minaret
We saw this from the castle. It looked great, although it was covered in scaffolding.
Basilica of Eger St. John Cathedral
Plenty of churches and cathedrals in Europe, but this one was one of first since arriving.
The small town feel of Eger has got to be our favorite thing about it. For being a smallish town (reminds us a little of Winona), it has plenty of art and culture. The buildings are fantastic and they still maintain the cobblestone, narrow alleys, and stone bridges like we’re used to imagining.
Budapest (5 days)
When it came to our itinerary for one week in Hungary, we knew we had to spend most of it in Budapest. And it turns out we loved Budapest. This was the first city in Europe we’d whole heartedly recommend people visit. It has the big city feel but prices are incredibly affordable. Transportation is cheap and a big meal for two is only $16 or so. Compare that to the $60 dollars we paid in Vienna for schnitzel.
Anyway, Budapest has it all: the culture, the buildings, the history, the food, and the somewhat friendly people. Friendlier than Bucharest at least. And if we start a list of cities we must visit again, Budapest is making my (Scott’s) list – especially in late springtime.
We had so much fun here. The sign at the entrance says they have over 150 games to choose from, most of which are pinball. You pay about $12 per person to get in and play for as long as you want.
Liberty Bridge (plus others)
All the bridges are beautiful, but the green Liberty Bridge was the prettiest.
Having seen Bucharest’s (read about our time there), we saw a lot of similarities between the two’s parliament buildings. Budapest’s, however, is in the gothic style and much more visually attractive. Plus – it’s HUGE. It spanned several blocks and we couldn’t even get the entire buidling in a picture from our vantage point.
Colombo and Ronald Reagan Statues
These are just fun to see.
Urban legend says the actor who played Columbo was related to a historical Hungarian politician.
Traditional Hungarian Food
Hungarian food is hearty and savory. I (Scott) ate way too much. Meals consisted of blood sausage, chili, potato wedges, pickled vegetables, and cabbage. Delicious! We went here.
We knew Europe would tantalize our taste buds with all their bakeries but we had no idea how bad it would be. We enjoyed more than our fair share of croissants, muffins, cakes, and just about everything in between.
Just looking at all the old structures is half the fun.
In short: we’d go back to visit. We were there in the middle of March, so spring wasn’t really on the menu yet. If we did come back it would have to be in spring or early fall. The city itself was as European as it gets, but the parks we walked through left a lot to the imagination. We’d like to see it greener.
The cost of living here, although rising, has stayed incredibly affordable for the most part. Transportation is cheap and food is plentiful. So given those things, we rate Budapest…
There’s our itinerary for one week in Hungary. We had a blast and think you probably would, too. Have you been to Hungary? Did we miss something important? Less us know the comments below.