Back in March I went to Budapest with Phil and our good friends Emma and Richard. Although I shared some iPhone snapshots of the city and a list of 6 places I think you should eat at it’s simply not enough. I really enjoyed my time in the city and I’m here to share more about it.
We stayed at the beautiful Continental Hotel Zara (full review later this week) which is situated in the Jewish Quarter. The staff were friendly, the rooms were clean and chic and the breakfast is very very good. It’s a fab location with lots of good restaurants surrounding it and it only takes a few minutes to walk to the metro stop.
I found it very easy to get around Budapest by public transport. You can switch between the vintage yellow trams, bus and metro with ease. It’s worth looking into the Budapest City Card just before your make your trip. Some of the hotels will give them to you with one days credit so you can top them up to cover your visit. The cards give you access to all transport as well as discounts into many attractions, including the Széchenyi thermal baths.
Although the public transport is simple to use it’s also good to make your way around the city by foot. Walking as much as you can in a new city is the best way to experience it. Not only will you build up those Fitbit points but you’re more likely to find hidden coffee shops and see the beautiful architecture this way.
As I mentioned before, I dedicated a whole post on places to eat in Budapest. I think it’s always good to do a little research before you go away but it’s important to still explore and see what you come across. I recommend adding places to eat, drink and see to a Google Map. Don’t forget to add your hotel on there too and then you can easily see what’s nearby if you get lost or stuck on places to eat.
I was really pleased that we visited Budapest when the weather was cold, it gave us a true experience of using the thermal baths. The air was so so cold as we walked between baths and saunas. The walk out to the large outdoor bath was freezing but as soon as we stepped in it was truly relaxing. Watching the steam float up to the sky was quite the experience.
We went to the Széchenyi Baths which was a 25 minute walk from our hotel. There are 15 thermal baths and 3 swimming pools to pick from within Széchenyi. You can explore the beautiful buildings and pools as you please and there are also many saunas, steam rooms and plunge pools. I particularly enjoyed the eucalyptus steam room. The pools and changing rooms were very clean when we went (March) but I’ve heard it’s not quite the same during the summer.
The Central Market Hall is an indoor market with 3 floors of fresh food, Hungarian snacks, all the paprika you could ever want, gifts, locally made products and much more. The building is huge so make sure sure you have enough time to explore. Imagine living near by and doing your weekly grocery shop somewhere like this.
It’s worth visiting even if you just grab a drink and people watch for a while.
I mentioned in my previous post that walking up to the Fisherman’s Bastion is a must do during your time in Budapest. You can see out across the entire city and it’s truly beautiful. There are many different paths you can take to Castle Hill. It’s an enjoyable walk but alternatively you could get on the funicular which looked like it’d been taken straight out of a Wes Anderson film.
Budapest is just as beautiful at night as it is by day, maybe even more so. If you go during the colder months make sure you wrap up warm, arm yourself with your camera and go out for a good walk before dinner.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my postcards and memories from Budapest. It seems like a lot of people on my Twitter timeline are heading to Budapest over the next couple of weeks. Feel free to leave a comment below or drop me a message for any specific tips.
I’m planning another trip to Budapest in 2017 because I’d really like to visit the city with my family. I think we’re also planning another adventure with Richard and Emma which could potentially be Japan but I’ll keep you updated with our plans!