17th FINA World Championships and 17th FINA Masters World Championships Hungarian host cities including the capital city, Budapest and Balatonfüred providing the open water swimming venue are of uniquely rich cultural, natural and built heritage. World championships for six disciplines will be held in the middle of the high season thus those arriving in Budapest or lake Balaton for the championships will inevitably become involved in the flurry of events. Bp2017 Media has collected 100 tips on spending quality free time in the area 100 days prior to the commencement of events on July 14th.
Budapest is one of the most easily accessible European cities, thanks to its lively cultural life, welcoming character and charm it is a highly popular destination in Europe. Since it is easily accessible, in addition to athletes we expect thousands of fans and supporters attending the greatest sporting event of the history of Hungary so far. The country’s favourable location allows for the arrival of 15 thousand athletes for the Masters in August accompanied by friends, family and other attendants.
Here are 10x10 (briefly described) tips, hints and ideas 100 days prior to the opening ceremony on spending leisure time in a pleasant and meaningful way in Budapest and at Lake Balaton.
If your attention is attracted (hopefully it is), follow our website because all tips will be published in a detailed version during the upcoming weeks.
10 ideas for a nice city stroll in Pest with some added programmes:
1. Would you like to be Gulliver among the Lilliputians? This is exactly how you could feel in the Miniversum while looking at the miniatures of the sights of Hungary.
2. Do you wish to boost your downtown stroll? Do so with the help of the Budapest Eye ferris wheel in Erzsébet square. Hop on and marvel at the charming capital.
3. Wherever you are heading to it is always a good idea to stop for a playground session with the kids. Fortunately there are abundant facilities to choose from, we recommend the Olympic Park or Cirka Firka on Mount Gellért for instance.
4. Do you fancy looking at the city from above? Check out one of the numerous rooftop terraces (skybars).
5.Having a ride on tram no 2 you can see one of the most beautiful tram routes in the world. It passes by the Parliament and runs along the Danube promenade.
6. Oh, those downtown cafés in Pest! Renowned figures of literature and arts used to gather in these spots to find inspiration and to appeal to their muses. Check out artistic or literary cafés in the city!
7. Sit down on the grass in Erzsébet square greenpark downtown. The favourite meeting point of youngsters will definitely carry you away.
8. Walk along Andrássy street, probably the most fascinating boulevard of the city. It will lead you straight to Heroes’ Square.
9. Are you into some shopping? Have a walk along (both sides!) Váci street, the city’s major walking and shopping street.
10. How about getting to know some new people? Wanna get an insight into the city’s night life? Head to Gozsdu Courtyard!
10 ideas for a nice city stroll in Buda with some added programmes:
11. Follow in the footsteps of Dracula, make sure you do not miss out on the Buda Castle Labyrinth!
12. The Children’s Railway on Széchenyi Hill offers one of the most charming excursion alternatives in the city.
13. Awarded the Certificate of Excellence Award by Tripadvisor the underground network of secret bunkers features wax figures as well. This venue is called the Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum.
14. There are several places to eat some strudels, however, there is a place where it is definitely worth doing so. Off to Normafa!
15. Do not miss out on visiting the highest peak of Budapest. Erzsébet Lookout Tower is located on János Hill. Climb up and take a deep breath!
16. Who (or what) are Gellért and Margaret? They are two glass cabins of the Buda Castle Funicular, get on!
17. The Citadel on Mount Gellért is a viewpoint where the whole city unfolds in front of your eyes. You can also see the graceful Liberty Statue from here.
18. A major touristic centre in the Castle is Szentháromság square with Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion. It is a must see.
19. Are you into history? Visit Aquincum Museum for Roman heritage sites. Check out the two amphitheatres as well. It’s a nice bus ride from the city centre but once there, you can take a nice walk.
20. Bartók Béla street, a historically significant street in Buda, is becoming more and more lively nowadays. Walk along this street starting from Mount Gellért as far as Lake Feneketlen (’Bottomless’), drop in for a coffee or check out an antique book shop or gallery on the way.
10 awesome excursion spots and sites in Budapest and its vicinity:
21. Discover Korda Film Studio in Etyek, walk in the footprints of Matt Damon or Jeremy Irons for example. Your programme might as well be complemented by a glass of wine in one of the cellars.
22. Make sure to check out Kopaszi Dam, one of the coolest leisure time spots in the city. Go by bike!
23. Do you feel like getting an insight into life in Hungary before 1989? Visit Memento Park displaying statues from the Communist era.
24. Are you into some delicious ice cream or a cosy walk in Szentendre, along the riverbank of the Danube? Of course you are! Discover the narrow streets of this charming place and grab some souvenirs.
25. Silence, please! If this could be your motto sometimes, the cable car is for you: an almost 1 km wire track provides peace and quiet for 12 minutes.
26. Ever thought about petting or feeding a bear? Why not? The Bear farm in Veresegyház is the perfect choice.
27. Up tp 1100 species of animals and 2000 types of plants attract visitors to Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, one of the most beautiful zoo parks in Europe.
28. The great field on Margaret-island, the nearby zoo and the Japanese Garden on the tip of the island are always a big hit when it comes to summer programmes.
29. Gödöllő is quite close to Budapest. In this town you may want to visit Grassalkovich Palace, one of the country’s largest baroque palaces. The surrounding park is marvellous.
30. If heading west, Esztergom, if heading east, Vác are the cities to stop by. The former one is famous for its basilica while the latter one attracts visitors thanks to its cathedral. What these cities have in common is the Danube and the special atmosphere in summer.
10 gastro events in the light of Hungarian traditions:
31. Eat a hake with pickles at Római riverbank and watch the majestic flow of the Danube.
32. When it comes to Hungarians we should not forget about a specific traditional meal: langos. Drop in one of the numerous market halls and treat yourself with this freshly fried pasta.
33. Have a bowl of some delicious goulash at Liszt Ferenc square. Abundance of terraces welcome visitors there and we should not forget the great atmosphere, either.
34. Hungarians have a sweet tooth. A multitude of confectioneries are to be found in Budapest, a bowl of chestnut puree or some sponge cake Somló style will definitely do no harm.
35. The scent of Kürtőskalács (chimney cakes) fill the air in extensive areas. It is an irresistibly delicious type of dessert from Transylvania. Tasting it is a must. Nowadays there are some new wave versions, too, for instance filled with ice cream.
36. Do you have cravings for something sour? Stuffed cabbage may sound weird at first but with a little bit of sour cream you can hardly resist trying it. Visit the market hall of Fővám square and get some.
37.Fish soup: the soup in which fish are still swimming. You can have some at Buda Castle, Danube promenade or in some restaurants in the downtown or the hills, do not miss this gastronomic adventure.
38. Moderation is a keyword but once in Hungary you must get to know palinka, the traditional Hungarian fruit brandy.
39. Budapest is going crazy about street food. You can grab a Hungarian style burger at festivals or near shopping centres, as well.
40. Although it does not really fir the current trend of healthy dishes a plate of traditional stew with dumplings takes the cake. There are several traditional canteens in the city offering lower price freshly cooked dishes. The 7th district is packed with such catering units: authentic sites, genuine taste.
10 aquatic programmes you shouldn’t miss:
41. At one moment it is going in the streets then suddenly it splashes into the water. This is the floating bus, it is operating in Budapest, also. Have a bus ride on the Danube!
42. You can have great fun in one of the most fabulous baths in Europe if you get your ticket to Széchenyi Thermal Bath. You can even come across old men playing chess in the pool.
43. Listen to the music in early evening at the Music Fountain on Margit Island. Sit down on a bench and enjoy the summer!
44. Rudas, Lukács, Gellért – baths earning a worldwide reputation for Budapest. Visit one of them, they are developing continuously and provide a variety of services.
45. Let us highlight Király Thermal Bath. Why? Because this is the only bath built by the Turkish themselves back in the 1600s.
46. You can travel by boat not only within the city, but outside as well, indeed, during the world championships there will be boats cruising between Margaret-island and the Duna Arena.
47. Speaking about open-air baths let’s see Palatinus. Next to the venue of the world championships in Margaret-island the buzzling open-air bath welcomes you with lots of fun.
48. Lupa Lake: a new leisure centre has been opened recently and it is becoming more and more popular. Let us discover it together!
49. See some deep sea fish and animals in Tropicarium! It is on the outskirts of the city yet worth visiting.
50. Gold fish and turtles in the city! Where? For example in Millenaris Park, in the Lake of City Park or in the Botanical Garden, too.
10 museums or institutions you won’t regret paying for visiting:
51. Keen on mystery? For sure, why not! Children and adults kid-at-heart, open-minded adults, CSOPA Science Centre is waiting for you all!
52. Sit down on the stairs of the National Museum! A fine stroll in the park and visit the exhibition!
53. Hungarian state emblems are displayed in the Parliament. Visiting Budapest you must see the Parliament and Kossuth Square. Do not miss it!
54. Have no fear of entering St Stephen’s Cathedral and going up to the edge of the dome. Be amazed by the panorama!
55. One of the most significant museums of Hungary is the House of Terror Museum in Andrássy Street which commemorates the victims of the communist regime and shows how oppressive regimes worked.
56. Feel like putting yourself in the shoes of a blind person? It is a unique exhibition even in Europe, we highly recommend it.
57. Have you ever played pinball? We are living in the new renaissance of this game and you can have a taste of the pub-style fun in Pinball Museum.
58. The Great Synagogue in Dohány Street is the biggest Jewish synagogue in Europe. It is open for visitors, just like the Hungarian Jewish Museum.
59. The Hungarian National Gallery is awaiting visitors including you in the Buda Castle.
60. Any idea who Robert Capa was? A renowned Hungarian photographer. A museum commemorates him. Knock on!
10 programmes at Lake Balaton:
61. Visit the port of Balatonfüred and take a boat to Tihany! It is one of the most beautiful areas near the largest lake in Central Europe with lavender fields, great wine and the graceful view of the Abbey.
62. Rent a paddle boat and enjoy the summer floating on the lake.
63. Visit one of the free beaches (or pay one, the tickets are not expensive and safety is guaranteed), lay down beneath a willow-tree or splash in the water!
64. If you are brave and persistent enough, you can even go on a round-the-lake bicycle tour. The bicycle path network around Balaton is perfect for discovery.
65. Do you want to indulge in ‘beach atmosphere’, young people, parties and music? Visit Siófok, the party centre of Balaton!
66. If your arrival is due at the beginning of July and you are a member of the younger generation, get your ticket to Balaton Sound taking place between 5-9th July. It rocks!
67. Visit the Aquarium in Tagore street in Balatonfüred and get to know the wildlife of Balaton.
68. The castles are awaiting you. Around Balaton there are several well-known castles and fortresses such as Szigliget, Csobánc, Sümeg or Kinizsi Castle. Don’t miss them!
69. Would you visit one of the biggest baroque palaces in Hungary? You should visit Keszthely and discover Festetics Palace.
70. If you have children with you, choose the southern side as the water is quite shallow there (Fonyód, Balatonlelle and Zamárdi are very popular), the northern side requires more courage!
10 extreme or cool programmes, if you dare:
71. Have you seen the Danube Bend? Probably you have! But definitely not like this! Try the canopy in Visegrád and feel the adrenaline!
72. Would you lock yourself and then try to break free? Choose from the increasing range of ‘fearparks’!
73. Run around Margaret-island! Thousands of people do so. They must be right!
74. Rent a Trabant! Or two or three! If it is too risky, change to a Segway!
75. Would you try a bob in the middle of the summer? You can do so in Visegrád or at Balaton, not far from Balatonfűzfő, 10km from Veszprém.
76. Wanna test your courage? Do it at a challenge park! Visit Csillebérc in Budapest or try it in Zamárdi at Balaton.
77. An air soft track is waiting for you in Szentendre with obstacles and adrenaline bomb!
78. Would you go by kart? There are several options in Budapest and at Lake Balaton.
79. Do you mind getting some bruises? If not, you must try paintball with your friends!
80. If you are bicycle fan and have no fear, try downhill. There are some tracks in Budapest.
10 more destinations to discover during your stay:
81. If you are at Lake Balaton during the world championships, get on a bus and visit one of the most popular cultural events of the country, the Festival of Arts in Káli Basin and in and around Kapolcs. You will not be bored.
82. There is no bigger biologically active natural thermal lake than Hévíz. It is not far from Balaton. If you have enough time, highly recommended.
83. You are lucky, if you have more free days during the world championships. You can even get to Eger and taste some of the best wines of the country.
84. In the second weekend of the world championship the F1 race will take place in Mogyoród. Go and watch Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel!
85. Do you wish to see the third biggest lake of Hungary as well? Lake Velence is halfway between Budapest and Balatonfüred, the two venues of the world championships, easily accessible.
86. Are you craving for mountaineering? There are no extremely high hills in the country, but Dobogókő is an excellent destination located in Visegrád Hills.
87. Are you interested in automotive industry? Do you like retro feeling? Visit Csepel Car Factory Museum in Szigetszentmiklós.
88. Get a Rubik Cube! Do you know what it is? It is a famous Hungaricum. You can play with this strategic toy anytime, anywhere. It is so cool!
89. Are you into some cooling? Visit one of the caves in Hungary. Pálvölgyi Cave is the nearest one in Buda.
90. The city of Queens! It sounds elegant, doesn’t it? Veszprém is only 20 km from Balatonfüred. It is worth seeing and walking along the streets. Do not miss visiting the Zoo, either.
10 other leisure time activities you would definitely enjoy doing:
91. Ride a bike in the city! In addition to the number of bike rental facilities the local public bike sharing network, Bubi is a great choice.
92. If you are keen on equestrian traditions from the past you will definitely get a kick out of Kincsem Park. This unique equestrian centre houses galopping and trotting races at weekends.
93. Look up! The architectural heritage of Budapest is remarkable. Even locals marvel at the peculiarities of classic buildings every now and then.
94. Drop in a ruin pub in Pest downtown. These sites are becoming top attractions of today, no wonder, nothing compares to their milieu.
95. Take a break at Gul Baba’s tomb. Located on Rózsa Hill this tomb marks the heritage of hundreds of years of occupation.
96. Reach for the top of Széchenyi Hill by hopping on the cog-wheel railway. Yet another peculiarity of Budapest worth trying.
97. Marvel at the bridges of the city! Chain Bridge, Liberty Bridge, Elizabeth Bridge and Margaret bridge do not only look great in photos but will certainly amaze you crossing them on foot or by public transport.
98. Visit an outdoor gig or show! Venues offering such programmes include Margaret-island, Városmajor, Budapest Park and several outdoor terraces. The list of programmes in summer is endless.
99. Get on the first subway line in continental Europe. The Millenium Underground is only a few steps down.
100. After having lunch or eating a langos in the Market hall, have a coffee or a glass of wine in Bálna, enjoy the sunshine and the view of the Danube and Mount Gellért.