I have been in Budapest already to years ago and it didn’t really cached my attention. But this time they had the 2Cellos concert there, that I really wanted to go to. I left then towards the pre-Christmas Budapest with my traveller friend David.
We used the night train on Friday, that allowed us to be in Budapest by Saturday morning. The concert was not until the evening and we were supposed to accommodate through AirBnB only at 3 pm.
Városliget – The City wood
A park where ends the oldest and also prettiest metro line in Budapest – M1. One can also find there the most significant Budapest’s Spa Széchényi, Apostel castle, a zoo and a botanic garden… Moreover it is nearby the Heroes Square. You definitely shouldn’t leave out this place.
Széchényi thermal health resort
Even if, neither one of us is a beach or food type of person, we decided that we will find out what was the matter with everyone about spas. The closer to the rail station were also the most famous – the Széchényi Spa. It was an excellent choice! We have never been in a health resort before, but I still dare saying they are one of the bests. For 400 CZK you can lounge around in a dozen healing pools with water in various temperatures and effects. If water is not enough for you, you can space it out with the numerous local saunas. All of this is furthermore embedded in a beautiful historical building.
The best awaits for you outside though. There, surrounded by beautiful buildings of the health resort and hidden in hot steam, is around 120 cm deep pool with 38°C hot thermal water. Hungarian pensioners play chess all day in it, and tourists take selfies in it. Even I didn’t resist.
The castle Hill
The nicest part of Budapest is the Castle Hill that lies on the right side of Danube. Besides Budin Castle, you can’t miss Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church – overwhelming buildings made of white bricks and colourful roofs. The surrounding painted streets also worth a walk.
A look at the Castle Hill at night is a must – from the riverside. It’s wonderful.
The Parliament building is the most impressive building in Budapest and one of the most impressive in Europe. The look at it is breathtaking day and night. I recommend also to visit it inside. Among other things, you will be able to see the Hungarian crown jewels. But it is necessary to buy visit tickets in advance. They did not let us in because visits were too full already.
I was disappointed by the Christmas market. Unbelievable amount of people, overpriced and kitschy assortment. Christmas atmosphere close to zero.
Hungarian cuisine exclusively uses pepper spices. I could not resist the local Goulash soup and chicken on pepper with something that looked like potato dumplings. The soup was nicely surprising. The soup looked completely differently (worse) than the Czech one, but its taste was perfect. We wanted to try the Hungarian goulash as well, but she did not manage to find it anywhere on Sunday (most of the restaurants are closed on Sundays).
I you want to eat cheap and traditionally, you can try the restaurant Hana Róza under the Rybářskou baštou. If you prefer quality over price, a very good restaurant is Tüköry Restaurant. We chose, out of the huge amount of choices not only from local dishes, some very good steaks.
I have also an other dish linked to Budapest: crêpes from Nagyi Palacsintázója. In fact, it is better not to look at how they are made, but the price and the selection out of around 60 different sweet and salty variety of contents… During both visits I overate with them. And what best ? They are open 24 hours a day and there is a view on the parliament from the top floor.
The night life
If the day doesn’t end for you by the night visit of the city, but you like to „ride“ until the morning, go to the part of the city which is north from the Astoria station and east from Deák Ferenc Square station. Right there it lives 24 hours a day. If you like underground and various hipster clubs visit the club Ellato kert & taqueria or even more famous club Szimpla.
Budapest is a beautiful and relatively cheap city. You find there beautiful historical sights, divine thermal resort and interesting clubs. You will certainly not get bored there.
Translated by Klára