Well, it has been nearly 1 whole month since I last posted a blog! That is madness, and I’m not quite sure where those 4 weeks have gone… but I am back and have this fabulous blog about my long weekend in Budapest.
Budapest is one of those cities that I had heard so much about and after spotting a super amazing deal for return flights for £39, I could not resist but travel there myself. I went for a total of 3 nights and 4 days which I think is just the right amount for a city break. These kind of getaways are normally pretty full on trying to explore every part of the city in a few days, but if you wanted to stay for longer that would also be fine.
This trip was also the first time I have ever stayed in an Airbnb, and I was pleasantly surprised. The gorgeous apartment was ideally situated in the center of Budapest with everything I could possibly want within 10 minutes walking. It was well worth the time researching where the best place to stay is and how much you want to spend.
So, now to the best bits. I have listed my favourite 5 things that I did whilst in Budapest, but there was so much more I loved which I have documented on my Instagram – so take a peak here.
- New York Café
This magnificent place is known for being the “Most Beautiful Coffee House in the World” and definitely lived up to the reputation. Built in an eclectic Italian Renaissance-style, this wonderful Cafe is so beautiful when I sat down it took me a moment to take in all of the beautiful art and architecture. From extravagant paintings, to high ceilings and beautiful sculptures, this place was like nothing I had ever seen before.
Out in the courtyard area, the decor was more bright and airy yet still following this grand style. I popped in here at 11 am, so once taking in the surroundings, I ordered a Cappuccino which came with some cute little shortbread and fizzy water. I love coffee, so a good coffee is very important to me – and this was superb.
I was a little early for lunch, but I did take a peak at the menu and it looked divine. For those of you interested in dining here, have a look at the menu for yourself here.
The address to this Coffee House is: 1073 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11
Opening hours: from Monday to Sunday 8:00 – 24:00
2. Gellért Hill
On my second day, I braced the freezing cold and walked up Gellért Hill. This is a 235 m high hill overlooking the Danube in Budapest, Hungary. Whilst walking up to the hill there is a large statue, holding a cross in his right hand, which commemorates the bishop on the northeastern slope of the hill, facing Erzsébet híd (Elizabeth Bridge).
All the way up this hill there are multiple points where you can just stop and take in the views. Unfortunately the day I went up was not the clearest, but on a bright summers day you would be able to see for miles.
The climb itself was delightful, with a mixture of tarmac slopes and steps. Altogether it took about 20/25 minutes to climb at a steady pace, which is really manageable. On the way up there are plenty of benches and hand rails if the climb may be a bit harder, or if you just want to enjoy the views.
3. Budapest Christmas Markets at Vörösmarty Square
I was really worried that I may have been too early for the Christmas markets this year, but luckily I was in time – just! The location for these markets are ideal, with the square being in the heart of the city at the end of Váci utca.
The beautiful cottage-style wooden stalls and two outdoor stages take over one of Budapest’s most attractive spots during the Christmas build up. Walking up to the markets, you can smell the scent of mulled wine, cinnamon and fresh hot dogs from afar. The rich fragrant simply lures you to the market.
These markets are open now until 6th January 2017.
A little tip – you must try hot Palinka. This is a traditional drink that is known for being ‘magic’. At around 50% proof, the magical element is that this drop of alcohol is enough to warm you up for a little while. It is very strong… Perhaps like shotting pure vodka, but a must do in the chilly nights.
4. Széchenyi Thermal Bath
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe and was such a fun experience. I went when the temperature outside was 5 degrees, so nipping from the outdoor pools in just my bikini was a shock to the system. But stepping into the warm water was lovely and very relaxing.
The thermal baths ranged in size and temperature ranging from 18°C to 40°C, and cost 47oo Ft (approx. £14) per person for a week day ticket with locker usage. There was also a fair few saunas, but these are so hot I can never bring myself to go in!
I thoroughly enjoyed it but wish I had taken flip flops and perhaps a spare towel/dressing gown. If you go in the summer, the spare towel is not necessary as it will dry, but I used mine so much moving from pool to pool that when I came to get dry it was really wet.
5. The Mazel Tov Restaurant & Bar
I tried some wonderful food in Budapest, but the food at Mazel Tov mixed with the atmosphere of this fantastic atmosphere made it’s place into my top 5. This relaxed restaurant is based on the creating a cosy, open approach to dining where diners can sit back and relax. I was lucky enough to enjoy my food whilst a singer played some acoustic tunes in the background.
This place is great for a pre-night out meal or just someone to go to eat. It caters for all which makes it so worth while visiting.
The food is reasonably priced and offers a wide range, whether you are looking for sharing platters, loads of meat or just a bar snack. See the menu here.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Budapest and definitely recommend heading here for a few days away. There are museums, architecture, quirky bars and so much amazing food to try.
Whilst this blog highlights my favourite 5 things to do, I would also recommend these two bars:
Szimpla Bar http://szimpla.hu/
Instant nightclub http://instant.co.hu/en
Both of these are really quirky nights out and famous on the clubbing scene.
I must also add the people in Budapest are lovely (especially my Airbnb hosts!)
Let me know your favourite short getaway destination in the comments below…