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If you’re planning on coming to Budapest, you’d do well to give yourself a little introduction to the city so you know what to expect and have an idea about what you want to see and do. You’ll find plenty of advice on Budapest Local if you check out our stories and videos or if you browse through our experiences, but if you’re someone who likes to have something to flick through, here are a few books worth buying. And if you’re looking for some great fiction to read, make sure you take a loot at our recommended books with great stories – all set in Budapest.
1. Rick Steves Budapest
The American author and television personality brings his wisdom to Budapest in this handy guide to everything worth seeing and doing in the city. Through the course of the book, he lays out several self-guided walking routes that, among other highlights, include taking a dip in one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths, some food tasting at the Great Market Hall, and a twilight cruise on the Danube.
Who’s this for: If you like to see the city on foot and want to know roughly where you’re going beforehand – Rick Steve’s got your back!
Number of pages: 552
Size: 4.5 x 0.9 x 8 inches (11.43 x 2.29 x 20.32 cm)
Weight: 14.4 ounces (0.41 kg)
3. Lonely Planet Hungary
The heavyweight champion of traveling brings you Hungary in all its glory. As well as extensive coverage of Budapest, including what to see, eat, do – and indeed, what not to do – this guide also covers stuff outside the city which is great if you’re planning on expanding your horizons a little while you’re here. Each point of interest has a description, practical information and a little contextual history. just circle what you’re interested in ready for your arrival.
Who’s this for: If you’re someone who likes to see everything a neighborhood has to offer before diving in to explore, Lonely Planet is the guide for you.
Number of pages: 336
Size: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches (12.7 x 1.78 x 19.9 cm)
Weight: 13.4 ounces (0.38 kg)
3. 101 Coolest Things to Do in Budapest
This guide takes a different approach to laying out Budapest for the incoming traveller. In its own words it’s written for those that are “tired of long-winded, boring guides”, and keeps things simple by presenting 101 ideas on things to do in the city. This includes local food tips, suggestions on how to indulge in local culture, ideas on where to party and “adrenaline pumping adventure activities”.
Who’s this for: For the ‘let’s just do it’ among you, this is the perfect guide to Budapest for people that just like to jump in and go.
Number of pages: 52
Size: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches (15.24 x 0.25 x 22.86 cm)
Weight: 2.9 ounces (0.08 kg)
4. Budapest By Locals
Let’s face it, the best way to see a city is with a local. But, just in case you don’t know any (come on one of our tours if you want to change that), this book is the next best thing – a guide written by actual locals for the aspiring ones. The book takes Budapest piece by piece, telling you about its layout, historical sights, music, food and natural wonders. It’s a little heavier compared to the other guidebooks – but a must have for anyone that really wants to get to know the city.
Who’s this for: This book was made for those that like to get the inside scoop on the city and cut past the tourist stuff.
Number of pages: 174
Size: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches (13.21 x 1.02 x 20.32 cm)
Weight: 9.1 ounces (0.26 kg)
5. Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture
If you’re a history buff, you’ll probably want to know a little more about Budapest’s back story – and this is the best book to cure your curiosity. In the early 1900’s, Budapest was a city of great writers and intellectuals and their creative output helped shaped the city you see today. Through expert analysis, you’ll learn all about this period in Hungarian history and come away with a little context you can apply when touring the city.
Who’s this for: This is the perfect companion for everybody who likes to buff up on the history of a place before diving in to explore its present.
Number of pages: 288
Size: 6.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches (17.27 x 2.03 x 21.84 cm)
Weight: 12 ounces (0.34 kg)
6. Budapest Through My Lens: A Solitary Perspective
To finish things off we present to you some visual indulgence in the form of a photo essay of Budapest, complete with 130 evocative black and white shots of some of the city’s main sights. The author offers a “unique view, a turn-of-the-century sense of history, and the multitude of architectural styles in Budapest from Neo-Classical façades and Gothic spires to turrets and towers of medieval castles”. Taken by renowned photographer Stephen Spinder, the book includes photos taken since 1991 and show the city’s fast changing face since that time.
Who’s this for: For people that get their inspiration visually, this guide will give you just enough of a glimpse into Budapest to get you excited for your trip.
Number of pages: 160
Size: 12.3 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches (31.24 x 21.6 x 2.27 cm)
Weight: 2.7 pounds (1.22 kg)