VIDEO: Five Things to Do in Budapest
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VIDEO: Five Things to Do in Budapest

When you first arrive in Budapest, get your lay of the land by hiking up to Buda Castle. Visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of the city, including the iconic Chain Bridge and Parliament building.

History buffs will also want to spend an afternoon at the Budapest History Museum and Hungarian National Gallery, both of which are tucked inside the former home of Hungary’s royals. If arcade games are more your speed, check out the Flipper Museum, a veritable temple to pinball.

Satisfy your appetite for local food at the Central Market, which fills the space of a restored three-story, Neo-Gothic hall. Stock up on paprika, and order a lángos — deep-fried dough traditionally topped with sour cream, garlic butter, and shredded cheese.

For a full meal, head to Menza, a restaurant specializing in Hungarian classics (think: sliced pickles, boiled beef and dumplings). Jewish culture is also prominent in modern Budapest.

The city’s Seventh District (the historic Jewish quarter) is now a culinary destination for locals and travelers seeking Jewish egg (hard-boiled egg with duck fat and onions) and Israeli shakshuka.

During World War II, this neighborhood was a ghetto. But now the quaint streets and impressive synagogues are an important part of Budapest. It’s also here visitors will find the Holocaust Memorial Center.

Budapest is home to nearly 125 thermal springs, as well as the largest thermal bath in Europe: Széchenyi Baths inside the City Park. The opulent building houses 15 baths and three thermal swimming pools. One of the most fun things to do in Budapest is to spend an afternoon soaking and swimming in the steamy waters.

What to do in Budapest for a pick-me-up? The coffee houses in the city aren’t just beautiful temples to café — they’ve long been meeting grounds for Budapest’s cultural elite. Inside the Alexandra bookstore is Bookcafé, where you can enjoy live piano music while admiring the building’s frescoes.

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