Nicknamed the "Paris of the East", Budapest is one of the most charming metropolitan areas in Europe. The Danube cuts right through the city, dividing it into what were the previous towns of Buda, Óbuda and Pest. The dramatic skyline on both shores is interlinked by a series of iron bridges, but that's not all this city has to offer.
Budapest combines the old and new in a myriad cacophony of architecture and traditions. Prepare to be surprised by the pulsating beat of the city hiding behind its classical façades. From thermal spas to ruin bars, all kinds of expectations are exceeded in Budapest.
Before you travel to Budapest and explore Hungary, purchasing
travel medical insurance or
is a smart move. It can help protect your finances in case of an unplanned event. Read on to discover all the great things to explore in Budapest, and the information you need to know about getting coverage.
Things to Do for Travelers in Budapest
The Hungarian capital has much to offer to both seasoned and first-time travelers. Witness bullet holes and shrapnel pockmarks from World War II. Visit "ruin bars" in the Jewish quarter - makeshift watering holes inside pre-war ruins. Medieval architecture, healing thermal spas and a rocking nightlife only add to the charm of Budapest.
Tour the Parliament House
The Budapest Parliament boasts of being one of the largest houses of parliament in the world. It stands testament to Hungary's economic power at the beginning of the 20th century.
Explore Buda Castle
The Royal Palace atop Castle hill is on the Buda side of the Danube. The palace has been restored and updated on numerous occasions over the years. The Royal Garden Bazaar lies along the waterfront. Currently, it serves as a venue for temporary exhibitions, holiday concerts and events.
Also known as the Fisherman's Bastion, Halászbástya was constructed in the 19th century. With fairytale towers, it offers stunning panoramic views of the city. Early morning light is the perfect time to capture some amazing pictures.
Stopover at St. Stephen's Basilica
This imposing neoclassical structure is a popular attraction in Budapest. With expansive domes and turrets, the Basilica is rich in fine arts. Named after the first king of Hungary, it holds the mummified hand of the king. The relic is showcased in a glass case near the main altar.
Getaway to Margaret Island
Once a hunting reserve, this 2.5-kilometer island sits in the middle of the Danube. Its gardens and walkways offer a peaceful getaway from the bustle of the city. It's a perfect place to take a stroll and catch a few moments of tranquility.
Experience Thermal Spas
Budapest sits on a fault line, and the geothermal activity created by it allows the city to enjoy 120 hot springs. The Turkish baths along the Danube are still functional and very much in demand. Recent years have seen a rise of "Sparties". Fusing the bathing culture with ingenious trance spa parties is a novelty many may enjoy.
Have Fun at "Ruin Bars"
Your search for the hottest watering holes will eventually lead you to one of the "ruin bars". With humble beginnings and gritty backdrops, these makeshift bars have risen in popularity in recent years. The once-abandoned buildings that house them in the Jewish Quarter have been transformed with art-nouveau style.
Cruise the Danube
Navigate the Danube and take in Budapest's spectacular skyline. Enjoy a leisurely full-day river cruise, or opt for a shorter outing. The dreamy cityscape looks gorgeous during the evening when they it's fully lit.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Budapest
Budapest is a relatively safe city to visit, but crimes can occur. Take sensible precautions like carrying your wallet in your front pocket and not flashing expensive jewelry to keep your valuables safe.
If you plan to hit the road from Budapest, be aware of driving regulations and travel concerns. If traveling in the winter, be sure your car is equipped for the conditions. Use your headlights outside of town, even during the day, and always obey all traffic laws.
When dining out, be sure you can see a menu with a listed price. Always check your bill before paying to avoid the possibility of being scammed.
Budapest Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
International travel requires meticulous planning. You'll likely have a list of things you want to see and do on your trip. However, it's also important to have a contingency for when you have to do the sort of things you don't want to do; like going to the doctor or hospital. That's what travel medical insurance is for.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Budapest?
Anyone requiring a Schengen visa to travel to Hungary is required by law to have Schengen visa medical insurance. This insurance must provide a minimum of €30,000 in medical coverage, and have provisions for emergency medical evacuation and repatriation of remains.
If you're allowed to travel to Hungary without a Schengen visa, insurance may not be required, but it is highly recommended. Travel medical insurance may be your only financial safety net if you were to get sick or injured on your trip to Budapest. Remember, your domestic health insurance will likely not provide the coverage you need while traveling internationally.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Budapest?
Healthcare is always an issue when traveling. Being forced to visit a hospital without proper insurance can lead to a major financial headache. Although Budapest is known for medical tourism, you need to have proper coverage to utilize its facilities. Otherwise, the cost of treatment could take a big bite out of your budget. Buy travel medical insurance to protect your bank account in case of an unfortunate incident.
Budapest Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
When traveling internationally, trip cancellation insurance can be just as important as your passport. You can never predict when something unexpected could impact your travel plans; leading to a delay, or even cancellation. If a travel speedbump were to arise, you could find yourself responsible for big cancellation fees, or stuck with nonrefundable bookings you can't use. Get trip cancellation insurance so you can be reimbursed in these circumstances.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Budapest?
A lot of things could go wrong when planning a trip abroad. A last-minute illness or injury could leave you unable to travel. Severe weather or a world event could lead to flight cancellations. A family emergency could require you to postpone your trip. Whatever, the case, it can be a major inconvenience.
Beyond just the inconvenience, most of your tickets and reservations will have been paid for far in advance. Many of these bookings are nonrefundable, or they charge hefty cancellation fees. Trip cancellation insurance can help ease the sting of a canceled trip by providing you the opportunity to get reimbursed for your prepaid expenses.
There are many travel insurance policies available. Each one can offer different benefits. Consumers are advised to do thorough research before buying one.
What can be covered under trip cancellation insurance for Budapest?
One of the biggest benefits of travel insurance is coverage for trip cancellation. However, depending on the policy you choose, there can be a host of other benefits available to you as well. These may include:
Be sure to read your policy document carefully before purchasing. It will detail what situations are covered and what is excluded so you can make an informed purchase.
Before You Travel to Budapest - Do This
Now that you are ready with an itinerary, it is good to know what to do before you travel to Budapest. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- There is an active tipping culture in Budapest. While 10% is the usual norm, make sure to hand the bills directly to your host. Leaving tips at the table is considered rude.
- The official currency in Budapest is the Hungarian Forint. Avoid using the many Euro ATMs in Budapest, as they have dismal exchange rates. Instead, opt for currency exchange centers.
- A Budapest City Card is ideal for the traveler on a budget. It offers unlimited access to public transport, admission to some museums, and discounts to others.
- Budapest is an easily walkable city, but snow can make the roads and sidewalks slick. Be sure to bring warm, waterproof footwear with good grip if visiting in the winter.
travel medical insurance or
so you can be financially protected against unexpected incidents. It will ensure you can enjoy your trip with less stress about money.