Our final stop on our mini vacation was Budapest, Hungary. We had heard and read that it was a “must see” city, and so we had to see what the hype was all about. I was not prepared for what was to come. What we discovered was that the hype didn’t even do this city justice. Throughout the 2 1/2 days we spent in Budapest we experienced the most magical place. It was full of gorgeous buildings, delicious food, and friendly people. If I ever had the funds, I would buy a small apartment there where I would spend part of my year. I’m not kidding.
We didn’t make finite plans before we arrived in Budapest, instead choosing to play it by ear. The first day we went to the Szechenyi Baths where we spent the day in bathing suits and lime green bath robes. Budapest is known for these thermal spas where locals and tourists go to unwind. We were there literally all day. We treated ourselves to massages and enjoyed the many saunas, steam rooms, and pools available. Unfortunately we just have camera phone photos as we didn’t want to tote a massive camera all day. You’ll have to take my word for it.
When dinner rolled around we went to a the Ring Cafe and Burger Bar (a suggestion from friends) where I had the most delicious burger I’ve ever had in my life. If you’re ever in Budapest, you must go. We ended the night with a trip to Divino Wine Bar in Gozsdu Court, a lively area of the city filled with small bars, restaurants, and cafes. There we discovered amazing Hungarian wine – the only type of wine the bar serves. Even though I knew Hungary had wine regions, I had no idea how delicious the wine was. If you ever get a chance you must try the Furmint variety – a grape almost exclusively grown in Hungary. It is unreal.
The second day was our day to do sightseeing activities. We had heard Castle Hill offered the best view of the city, so we made the trek up the hill on Saturday. On the way, Jeff and I saw a stand for Chimney Cake (first photo), a traditional Hungarian baked doughy treat rolled in sugar, so we had to stop and get some. Eating healthy was not the theme of our trip, to say the least.
Castle Hill was incredible. The buildings looked like they were plucked from a fairytale, and the view was breathtaking. Even through the fog the Parliament building looked stunning in the distance. It’s easy to see why it is often considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Europe. I have no idea how long we stayed on Castle Hill, but it seemed everywhere we turned offered a stunning view or building to oogle over.
From Castle Hill we crossed the Chain Bridge back to the Pest side, making our way to the House of Terror. Walks through the city were my favorite part of our trip. Every single building was beautiful, and when you would turn a corner there would always be some magnificent structure staring at you. I’ve heard Budapest referred to as “Paris of the East,” and I can easily see why. It oozes romance.
We made it to the House of Terror with just an hour to spare before closing. We learned about the hardships Hungary faced when they were occupied by the Nazi and Communist parties. We saw heartbreaking photos and videos of the beautiful city we had just walked through, reduced to piles of rubble. It was quite somber, and I think I may have shed a tear (something I never do) while watching some of the videos.
We grabbed a quick dinner while walking home, but sat down for a dessert at Gerbeaud, a ritzy cafe next to the apartment we were staying at. There are no words to describe the sundae we ate. It consisted of the richest ice cream and cake and was topped with a chocolate macaroon, caramel cake, and whipped cream. I’m pretty sure if I lived in Budapest I would be 300 lbs. We also checked out the Szimpla Ruin Pub, the most well known of it’s kind in Budapest. The ruin pubs are literally bars built in the ruins of the Jewish Quarter of the city, and are so incredible. Since it was so dark I couldn’t get a good photo, but certainly worth a Google search.
If you can’t tell by now, there’s a special place in my heart for Budapest, and I wished we had more time to explore. Two days was not nearly enough. I’ve already told Jeff that we need to make another trip back sometime in our lives and spend at least a week. Until then I will have to rely on my memories, photos, and the bottle of wine we brought home.
Have you ever been to Budapest? Is it on your travel bucket list?
Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest