Budapest is one of the largest cities in the European Union and is the largest city and the capital of Hungary. It is Hungary’s political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation hub. Budapest is packed with sites and attractions and is a beautiful city that won’t disappoint. It is home to some hidden gems, some breathtaking sights, historical buildings and monuments, green slopes, old churches and so much more. Budapest is also home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site- the view of the Danube embankments and the Buda Castle District. Because Budapest was once under Turkish occupation, the city does have quite a few buildings and structures that are fine examples of Ottoman architecture. Today, Muslim visitors will be able to locate Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal restaurants and prayer facilities in Budapest.
First-time visitors must take a walking tour of the iconic Castle Hill in the Castle District. The district is popular for its Baroque, Medieval, and 19th-century churches, houses, and public buildings. Castle Hill is also home to some of the most popular attractions in Budapest; the Royal Palace or Buda Castle, and Matthias Church. Located atop Castle Hill, the Buda Castle has a stunning view of the Danube and is a part of the listed UNESCO World Heritage Site in Budapest. Those visiting the castle will learn so much about Hungary’s past as it reflects the ups and downs of the country’s history. The castle now houses numerous cultural institutions, like the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum, as well as numerous fountains, statues, and even the National Library. It is visible from anywhere in Budapest and should be on every visitor’s itinerary.
Budapest is also home to Turkish bathhouses which date back to the 16th century and is one of the few places in the world that has original Turkish bathhouses that actually function. This is why Budapest is also known as the ‘City of Baths'. This capital city is rich in thermal waters with healing qualities and is the ideal place for those looking to relax and have some soothing treatments done. Tourists must experience one of Budapest’s famous thermal baths and visit one of the many unique health spa resorts when in the city. Some of the more popular baths in Budapest include; Széchenyi, Lukács, Rudas, Király, and Császár.
Visitors to Budapest must also visit the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Budapest Eye; which is a Ferris Wheel that offers a panoramic view of the entire city, the Roman City of Aquincum, and Margaret Island; which is a recreational park located in the center of the Danube River.
For those looking to get in a bit of shopping when in Budapest, a visit to Váci Utca is a must. This is a popular shopping street where visitors will be able to find fashion boutiques as well as souvenir shops. Another must-visit is one of the city’s newest attractions; The Budapest Whale Cultural and Shopping Centre. This shopping center is home to restaurants, shops, and cafes and is also known to host exhibitions and cultural programs and events.
The nearest airport to Budapest is Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, located approximately 21 kilometers from the center of Budapest. It is one of the busiest airports in Central and Eastern Europe and handles almost all of the air passenger traffic that Hungary receives. The airport is easily accessible and can be reached via private and public transportation; which includes the metro and bus.
There are quite a few Halal restaurants in Budapest that Muslim tourists can dine at. These restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, ranging from; Pakistani to Persian, Turkish, and Middle Eastern. However, there are numerous Turkish Kebab restaurants, in Budapest, that claim to be Halal and are sadly not. It is, therefore, best for Muslim visitors to ensure that the restaurant they are dining at has some sort of Halal certification or that it is owned by Muslims. Al-Amir, Meraat, Antalya Kebab, Szeraj, and Mughal Shahi are just a few of the many Halal restaurants in Budapest. There are also a couple of Halal meat shops within Budapest; ideal for tourists who have the facilities to prepare their own meals.
Search for halal food and restaurants near you, here.
There are a couple of well-known mosques, prayer rooms, and Islamic centers in Budapest. The most prominent mosque in the city is the Darussalam Masjid - located near Bertalan Lajos Street, towards the right of the Chinese restaurant. The mosque sees a good number of people and is the sole mosque in the city to offer the assistance of an English-speaking caretaker for travelers who do not speak Arabic or Hungarian. The mosque holds all prayers including formal Jumaa and offers a separate prayer area for women. Muslim tourists can also make use of the facilities offered at the Hungarian Islamic Community, the Masjid Taubah, and the Budapest Masjid.
Search for Mosques (Masjids), and Surau (Prayer rooms and Musallah) near you, here.