22 May Cool things to do in Buda that are not the Castle
Most tourists head over the bridge to take in the iconic Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and the charming neighborhood that surrounds it. It’s a beautiful part of the city and well worth a visit – but Buda stretches far and wide behind the castle, with plenty for the curious tourist to see and do.
If you’re planning a day on the other side of the river, here are some ideas:
Relax on Bartók Béla Street
Bartók Béla Street is a newly hip part of Buda. Historically a hangout spot for Hungary’s creatives, it’s still a cultural melting pot thanks to the students from the local BME University that frequent the area.
We recommend stopping at Hadik for lunch, Gdansk or for coffee or perhaps Kelet if you’d like to browse their bookshelf for something to read while you sip. If you’re vegan, be sure to check out Veganlove for their burgers, and if you find yourself there at sunset, be sure to grab a drink and go sit in Lake Feneketlen park, with it’s cute scenery and surroundings.
Soak in Király Bath
Most people pick Széchenyi or Gellért when they decide on a bath to visit here in Budapest. They’re both great – but big, busy and often full of tourists. If you’re looking for something more relaxed and with more of a local crowd, check out Király Baths.
It features one large communal bath, still housed in its original stone dome roof that was built in the late 16th century. Inside, aside from the bath, there are several steam rooms, hot and cold plunge pools and rooms for massages.
Location: Király Bath, II district, Fő street 84.
As one of the most popular cultural spaces in Buda, Juranyi ház hosts a range of dance and theatre performances as well as conferences and exhibitions. But if you’re not there with enough time to check one of those out, head out back to their garden bar and stop for a drink or a bite to eat even – they have great food.
Location: Jurányi Incubator House, II district, Jurányi street 1.
Enjoy the view from the Garden of Philosophy
Nestled in a part of Gellért Hill often overlooked by people heading up the hill, the Garden of Philosophy is a small monument featuring 5 historical figure – Abraham, Echnaton, Jesus, Buddha and Lao Tse. They are cast in bronze and part of 3 sets that were created. They were unveiled in 2001, with the other sets sent to Japan and US.
Once you’re done contemplating life, be sure to check out the stunning panoramic views of Buda and Pest from this part of the hill. It’s also a popular spot for kite flyers if that’s your thing.
Once an open air theatre that fell into disuse for years, Újbuda’s Feneketlen Tó, which translates as the Bottomless Lake, has got a new summer hangout since last year in its place. The old theatre has had new life injected into its amphitheatre-esque structure offering an open air complex that comes complete with a fully stocked bar as well as some Balkan bites courtesy of Montenegrói Gurman. This has become the new Kertem of Buda, especially coming to life when the multi-coloured fairy lights come on after dark.
Location: Budai Parkszínpad, XI district, Tas vezér street 7.
Retro coffee in Bambi
Before you head home for the night, take a step back in time with a coffee at Bambi Cafe. Popular with locals, they still serve coffee the way it always was – black with a little sugar – and decor is still evocative of a bygone era.
Location: Bambi Eszpresszó, II district, Frankel Leó street 2-4.