Photo: Gabriel Hess

Budapest, Hungary is known as the Heart of Europe. It’s already at the top of the list for budget-minded travelers for being easy on the wallet, but it also offers a lot of awesome things to do for free.

Editor’s note: These spots are all taken directly from travelstoke®, a new app from Matador that connects you with fellow travelers and locals, and helps you build trip itineraries with spots that integrate seamlessly into Google Maps and Uber. Download the app to add any of the spots below directly to your future trips. All photos by author except where noted.

Jászai Mari tér

 Jászai Mari térBudapest, HungaryNavigating Budapest is as simple as bus, tram, metro. However, many don’t realize that the transportation passes cover the river ferry too. So don’t anchor yourself inland; chart the waters by zigzagging across the Duna for a fish-eyed view of the dazzling cityscapes. Start at Jázai Mari tér and make your way downstream to check off all the major sights. Who doesn’t love a free river cruise?
#culture #boattour #budapest #europe #danube #free #history

Margaret Island

 Margaret IslandBudapest, HungaryYou may choose Buda for its history and Pest for its culture, but don’t forget about Margaret Island, nestled between the two on the mighty Danube, for its relaxed vibes. You could easily spend all day here and not spend a penny (err, Forint). Whether you’re in the market for lush gardens, Franciscan ruins, a mini zoo, a running track, yoga in the forest, or even a musical fountain covering all the classics, Margaret Island will not disappoint. You’re guaranteed to leave feeling refreshed.
#garden #island #zoo #travel #budapest #margaretisland #europe #centraleurope #ruins #free

Gellért Hill

 Gellért HillBudapest, HungaryBudapest’s iconic look would not be the same without the prominence of Gellért Hill, yet it’s often overlooked by many vagabonds. Give yourself a reprieve from busy Pest and cross the mighty Duna. Pack your sneakers and opt for a quick hike. The labyrinth of trails amongst towering trees will transport you to another world, gifting you an entirely different feeling of Budapest.
But if you truly need an incentive to stretch those gams, your reward includes stellar views at the top.
#budapest #europe #outdoors #urbanparks #centraleurope #green #hiking #free #history #viewpoint

Batthyány tér

 Batthyány térBudapest, HungaryWe all know that Budapest is picture perfect, but you may be wondering where travellers snag those stellar scenes. Look no further than Batthyány tér, a perfectly positioned square located smack-dab across the Danube from the magnificent parliament building. This easy stroll also highlights the Margaret Bridge to the north and the Chain Bridge, with both Castle and Gellért hills as picturesque backdrops, to the south. Just one click will make you the envy of everyone back home. So warm up the selfie stick and get to snappin’.
#budapest #budget-friendly #europe #travel #centraleurope #views #viewpoint #architecture #selfies #free

Szabadság tér

 Szabadság térBudapest, HungaryA proper walk from the Parliament building in Budapest to the city center should take you through none other than Freedom Square (Szabadság tér). An interesting name for a place of such contention. Here, you will find various controversial nods to Hungary’s tumultuous twentieth century, including a memorial for the Soviet’s Red Army.
It’s no surprise that numerous protests have taken place within this culturally rich square. Take a stroll through its grounds to reveal an exceptionally stark recent history.
#free #statue #history #walking #centraleurope #budapest

Vajdahunyad Castle

 Vajdahunyad CastleBudapest, HungaryIn 1896 Budapest celebrated its millennial with the construction and adornment of several buildings throughout the city, Vajdahunyad Castle being one of them. It uniquely features four different architecture styles while paying homage to several famous buildings in Hungary. Pair it with a stroll through the sightseeing hub of City Park and you’ve got yourself a perfect afternoon.
#budapest #free #budgetfriendly #architecture #europe #centraleurope #history #castle #travel

Széchenyi Chain Bridge

 Széchenyi Chain BridgeBudapest, HungaryNo visit to Budapest is complete without at least two strolls across one of its bridges, the most famous being the Chain Bridge. I say two because you don’t want to miss the view upstream (of the Hungarian Parliament building) nor the one downstream (of both Castle and Gellért hills). And, the architecture itself is worth the walk.
Tip: Make it four times and go at night when the Pearl of the Danube truly sparkles. You may even find some locals sitting up on the bridge drinking beer or wine. Feel free to partake as cars whiz by and boats churn below. #casual #statue #free #history

Buda Castle

 Buda CastleBudapest, HungaryBudapest’s Castle Hill is a traveler’s dream, an architectural mecca, a cultural hub. It’s truly a one-stop-shop that perfectly bundles up the city’s historical essence into one lovely stroll. Start at the Buda Castle and enter from its less-visited southern side. Walk its historical grounds and soak in the city views before sauntering towards Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion, where the ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ahh’s’ won’t stop. Polish your promenade off with a loop around the residential area for even more expansive views into the Buda side of the city.
#budapest #europe #travel #history #architecture #churches #viewpoints #free

Bazilika

 BazilikaBudapest, HungarySt. Stephen’s Basilica is one of Budapest’s most beloved structures, named for the nation’s first king. (It even houses the king’s right hand – no joke.) Its impressive stature cannot be beat, as it looms over all other buildings (except the Parliament, its symbolic vertical equal) at 96 meters tall. Admire its facade, wander through the sanctuary, and don’t forget to look up.
Tip: “splurge” and climb the 364 stairs for a 360 degree view of the grandiose city.
#budapest #basilica #europe #centraleurope #viewpoint #free #gallery #statue #history

Kerepesi Cemetery

 Kerepesi CemeteryBudapest, HungaryNo tricks, just treats at this off-the-beaten-path spot. Not your usual Budapest must-see, but a truly unique cultural experience, Kerepesi Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Hungary’s dignitaries. It’s chock full of history and architecture (including mausoleums and arcades) and is almost perfectly preserved, spanning over 50 hectares. There may be no better way to step back in time and learn about the nation’s most beloved.
Tip: visit during the autumn season for a dazzling leaf show.
#budapest #europe #cemetery #free #statue #history #architecture

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