Filipa, our travelling content creator, continues her playful city exploration in Budapest.

Budapest was one of the cities I was particularly excited to visit during this trip. My friends who lived there told me the city has a perfect balance of culture, nightlife and everyday joy. As soon as I arrived, I felt Budapest is a way of living and a form of expression.

I know it may sound weird, so let me explain: I found a lot of different people, with different styles (sometimes fascinatingly extravagant) and cultures, and everyone seemed to be peacefully enjoying just being themselves.

There seems to be a different side to Budapest around every corner, so let me tell you about some of the places that impressed me the most. Of course my stay in the city was very brief and I have so much to explore when I return there, but local discovery games in Budapest were a great way to get started with an inspiring exploration.


Travelling Content Creator, Secret City Trails

Our top hidden gems in Budapest:

Ring a bell to enter a secret statue garden

The tiny Koller Gallery is the perfect refuge from the hustle and bustle of the castle district, and a truly enchanted place. It is the oldest private gallery in Hungary, was founded in 1953 and has free entry… You just have to ring the doorbell! Inside you’ll find a wide variety of art pieces, from statues and sculptures to paintings and pictures. Just beyond the entrance you’ll find the sculpture garden, which has some amazingly creative pieces. Also, they let you take pictures of your favourite artworks 🙂  

Listen to the shimmering song of the Matthias church

The Matthias Church, now part of the UNESCO world heritage, dates back to the 14th century, and went through many remodelations during the times. I discovered that the church bells toll everyday at noon to commemorate the victory of Christian Hungarian troops against the Ottoman Turks in 1456 but they were special to me already, even before I knew it; when I heard the beautiful sound of the bells I had to stop what I was doing to pay attention to it. I had never heard anything like it!

Enter a hidden subterranean museum

You read well! The Hospital in the Rock underneath the Buda Castle is for sure one of the most unique museums in the city. It was built to be a secret military hospital and a bunker, and served its purpose well during World War II and the Hungarian revolution of 1956. It’s a surprisingly big structure that you wouldn’t know looking from the outside – it was built in a 10km long natural cave system. 

Find the “lucky horse” – as we do (almost) everything for luck

If you love local legends as much as I do, you’ll find the one about the Statue of Mounted András Hadik a small delight. The equestrian statue was erected in 1937 and, apparently the locals, mostly the success-hungry Hungarian university students, used to touch the horse’s shiny bronze testicles for luck. The horse is still used to be rubbed for its superstitious visitors. After all, you never know when you’ll need some luck.

Take a walk over the Danube

Crossing the Széchenyi Chain Bridge at night was a magical moment for me, and one of the highlights of my short trip to Budapest! How special it is to cross the oldest permanent bridge across the Danube, linking Buda and Pest. It dates back to 1849 and offers a beautiful view of the Parliament building, since its stunning exterior is bathed in light at night!

Contemplate a special medieval tower

Mary Magdalene’s Tower (often called Buda Tower) is a special monument in the city since it is the only public medieval building maintained in its original form in all of the Castle Hill District! In 1686 most of the church of St Mary Magdalene’s was demolished and rebuilt in a new style, except for the gothic style tower; later in history, the church’s nave was demolished as it was very damaged by the second World War episodes, but the Gothic style tower was restored and remained until today to tell the story.  

Spot the Statue of The Running Angel at the Vienna’s Gate

I was admiring the statue next to the Vienna’s Gate for some time, as I loved its dramatic expression and movement frozen in time. The angel statue figure standing on a pedestal dates back to 1936. On the right of the pedestal is an inscription in Latin that says: “BUDA REGIA + EX SERVITVTE – IN LIBERTATEM – RESTITVTA – A [nno] D[omini] MDCLXXXVI”; which means: “The royal castle of Buda, delivered from slavery into liberty in the year of Our Lord 1686”.

Ready for an adventure in Budapest?

Time to get playful!