In recent years, Budapest has become a really popular European city break destination. It’s beautiful, it’s inexpensive and there’s loads to do there. Much of which, thanks to the city’s intriguing past, happens to make for a unique travel experience. And you know we love those at TWISPER.
Once you’ve admired the city’s Art Nouveau, Baroque and Neo-Gothic architecture, explored Buda Castle and tasted a steaming bowl of Hungarian goulash, turn your eyes to something more unusual…
Ruin bar… or ruin a bar?
Budapest’s ruin pubs may be almost mainstream now, but that doesn’t make them any less unique. Where else could you enjoy a drink sat in a rusting bathtub or an eerie dental chair, surrounded by an eclectic mix of vintage toys, flickering TV screens and trailing plants?
You’ll find them in the abandoned factories and warehouses left behind by the former communist regime. Szimpla Kert is probably the best-known ruin pub in Budapest but there’s plenty of hidden gems, like Instant and Doboz.
Feeling inspired by these art-filled bars to get a little creative yourself? Budapest also has a bar where you’re actively encouraged to leave your mark. Almost every surface in the For Sale Pub (not actually for sale) is covered in slips of paper with messages, drawings and pictures left by years of customers. What will you write?
Swim outside on a snowy day (or spa-ty in summer)
Thermal springs have attracted tourists to Budapest since Roman times, so public baths are an important part of the city’s history and a must-do on your travels. How do you make a trip to the pool unique though?
Well, for starters Szechenyi Baths aren’t your regular pool. The palatial neo-baroque building, built in 1913 and still the largest medicinal bath complex in Europe, is a magnificent place for a dip.
But the real unique experience comes when you visit in winter. Swimming through the steam rising off a toasty warm pool while snow falls around you is truly unforgettable! Of course, if you visit in summer, you’ll miss out on the snow. Instead, just make sure to head to one of the “spa-ties” that transform the pool into the city’s most unique night out after dark. Get packing that swimsuit!
Ride a train driven by a child (seems safe)
It may not be your dream day out, but there’s no denying it’s a unique experience. Conceived as a way to give the local youth essential skills for their future – rather than just public transport using cheap child labour – this is the largest children’s railway in the world (that’s right, it’s not the only one!).
The entire train experience is staffed by kids. Once you work up the courage to hop on a train driven by a child, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of the landscapes of the leafy Buda Hills. All aboard!
Sleep on a ship
Budapest has so many beautiful hotels, you’ll be spoiled for choice when looking for a place to stay. If you really can’t pick, how about thinking outside the box? Or, more specifically, inside a boat?
Having spent several years cruising around Venice and other romantic European destinations, the MS Cézanne is now docked on the Danube in the Hungarian capital. This exclusive boat hotel is home to 51 luxurious cabins, as well as a lavish lounge, bar and restaurant where you’ll feel like a royal. This is definitely the most unique hotel in Budapest.
Go to a restaurant but make your own dinner
If you’re eating out to avoid having to make your own food, maybe this option isn’t for you. Budapest Makery is the world’s first DIY restaurant. It’s a fun, creative environment where customers are given everything they need to prepare their own meal: from fresh ingredients to a tablet with the recipe on.
They have a special experience for tourists where you’ll learn to cook Hungarian delicacies. What better souvenir to bring back from your trip than new cooking skills? 🧑🍳
Count your days in Dracula’s old prison cell
Hidden deep in Budapest’s Castle Hill is a creepy labyrinth where Vlad the Impaler – who has gone down in history as the influence behind Dracula – was imprisoned and tortured for 14 years in the 1500s 🧛
Enter the damp, dark tunnels stretching under the city and discover the history of the infamous Count. If you’re feeling really daring, go for an evening tour to find the labyrinth lit only by oil lamp.
Discover more unique experiences around the world
If concept restaurants, crazy bars and unusual hotels are your idea of an unforgettable vacation, download TWISPER. It’s a social app with only positive recommendations of places to eat, sleep and drink around the world. The ideal place to share and discover unique travel experiences!