Located on the Buda side of the river, this neo-gothic viewing platform overlooks the banks of the River Danube. It takes its name from the fisherman who used to defend this stretch of the city wall in the Middle Ages. Offering stunning views of the city, this was my favourite thing I did. It was such a beautiful place to sit down and soak up the city sights. The view of the Hungarian Houses of Parliament was breathtaking. If you only have time to do one thing in Budapest, make sure it is this!
House of Terror
Communism is something I had a vague insight too but it's always Nazi Germany that you learn about in school and having spent quite a long time visiting Western Europe, it is part of history that is so prominent and you tend to visit. But since Communism had such a profound effect on Eastern Europe, I was desperate to get a better knowledge. After the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989/90, Hungary finally become independent and able to stand on its own two feet. It's hard to believe that Hungary has only become its own country and free to make its own choices for a quarter of a century. Set in a building that has a dark history, the museum focuses a lot on the 40 years of communist rule. It's harrowing, heartbreaking and intense. Lots of videos are scattered around with accounts of victims from the regime. They were so unbelievably sad and really hit home just how lucky I am to live and grow up in a country such as the UK. In the basement there is the original prison where hundreds of people were detained, tortured and murdered - I got the chills as we saw the gallows where so many people met the end of their life. It's not a cheerful morning out but one that I feel is so important to get a feel of Hungarian history and understand how the city has risen from the ashes.
St Stephen's Basilica
This Roman Catholic Basilica is absolutely stunning. The architecture blows your mind. As someone who isn't particularly religious, I always make sure to visit places of worship during trips away. They are always so ornate and feel at peace wandering aroundl. This was ridiculously busy but worth a trip anyway. I wish we had gone to the top of the dome for a view of the city but alas we didn't have time. So I'd definitely pop that in your itinerary if you visit.
Hungarian Houses of Parliament
We never got the chance to take a tour but spend many a time wandering around the outside in awe. It such a beautiful imposing building. Overlooking the Danube, it is one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings and the largest building in Budapest. There's a few cute cafes in the surrounding area that will make a great place to settle down, rest your feet and have a coffee while people watching. It looks even better when the sun has set and it's all lit up, showing off.
Shoes on the Danube Bank
Constructed in honour to the Jews who were murdered by the fascist Red Cross during WWII, this memorial located on the Pest side is worth seeing. Hundreds of men, women and children were told to line up along the river bank before being shot and falling into the river. The iron shoes represent all that was left behind. The memorial is just across the road from the Hungarian Parliament.
Located in City Park, these thermal baths are the most famous in Budapest and the largest in Europe. As you can tell by the popularity. There are probably less touristy ones but I wanted to tick these ones of my list. Opening in 1913, the baths get their water from two thermal springs. The outdoor pools reach temperatures of up to 38 degrees. It's quite expensive to visit and I'd recommend going early and making the day of it. They offer sun beds and a snack shop so you can easily spend hours dipping in and out of the 18 indoor and outdoor pools. They also have a party on a Saturday night but we didn't have the chance to visit then.
Perched in the Buda Hills, this beautiful castle over looks the river Danube. Now housing works of art, it's a beautiful, short walk up a hill offering great views of the city. Can you tell I'm a sucker for a view?! The castle district is a great place to spend an afternoon and it's not too far from Fisherman's Bastian so you can kill two birds with one stone.