Budapest, Hungary has thermal baths, great bars, and goulash. In this video, I travel around Budapest, cross over the Danube River into Buda and stop in at the Gellért Thermal Baths, try some goulash and chicken paprikash (chicken paprika), and stop by my favorite ruin bar, Szimpla Kert.
Central Market Hall
Budapest is known for great market halls, which are large indoor markets that sell things like fresh produce, meat, spices, souvenirs, and typically have food stands. The oldest and largest of these is Central market Hall (also known as Great Market Hall). You can find traditional Hungarian cuisine at these food stands, but it has developed a reputation for now being overpriced and a tourist trap. But I still recommend stopping in. I prefer to go for breakfast pastries and coffee.
The most famous attractions in Budapest are likely the thermal baths. The warm, mineral rich water lies beneath the surface, and bath houses have been built around them. One of the most stunning is Gellért Baths. There are several indoor thermal pools and a swimming pool, and then also an outdoor wave pool and thermal pools ~36°C/97°F). There are also two cold plunge pools if you can handle them.
Goulash is one of the national dishes of Hungary and is a traditional meat stew first made by cattle herders. In fact, the word goulash actually means “herdsman.” In medieval times, the stew was made using every part of the animal, but now use the more common cuts of beef, lamb, or pork. The red color comes from paprika.
Another favorite is chicken paprikash (chicken with paprika). Both these dishes can be found at seemingly every restaurant in Budapest, but one great spot is Gettó Gulyás. And don’t forget to try some Hungarian wine!
Budapest is famous for its ruin bars, which are bars established in abandoned and run-down buildings that were left in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union and the departure of its soldiers. A pioneer and the most iconic of these ruin bars is Simple Kert, located on the renowned Kazinczy Street. In addition to being a bar and restaurant, they host a farmers market, live music, and provide non-profit organizations a space to engage with the community. If you only had one night in Budapest, I’d recommend making this your destination.