What do you do when you have a long trip planned in July and you need to save some pennies? Book a citytrip somewhere in Europe, right? To a place where it seems both nice and cheap. The Berlin of Eastern Europe: Budapest.
One fairly long weekend later I’d dare to say: Budapest you rock! What a lovely town! That mix between old and new, culture and architecture. Such fun. Hipster restaurants with organic products on the one hand and the pure Hungarian food on the other. Side by side. And at 19 degrees with a beautiful sunshine.
Where to stay?
We chose the Lánchíd, a design hotel along the water in Pest that at its opening late 2000 won a lot of design awards. Big plus is the phenomenal view of the ‘The Budapest Royal Castle ‘, UNESCO World Heritage. More about the hotel soon in the review of connoisseur extraordinaire Dorien.
What to visit?
Actually, we got a map showing five walks and we ‘ve just tested all five. And I must say that all were well worth it. Therefore I’ll split up my post of Budapest into two. One about the culture and one on food and drinks. Because there is so much to tell.
1. Heroes’ Square
Just at the top of Budapest there is Heroes’ Square, a large open square with Archangel Gabriel high and dry. Left and right you have two museums and wraparound a lot of statues. What struck me about Budapest is that there are enormous sculptures in the city.
2. Vajdahunyad Castle
The castle is actually located at Heroes’ Square. The crazy thing in Budapest is that many places and buildings are advertised as being the biggest or the oldest in Europe or even the world. For example, Heroes’ Square is the largest ice rink in Europe, opened in 1870. And in that castle is the largest museum of agriculture in Europe. So it’s like Bruges, only bigger.
3. Szechenyi Baths
Who thinks of Budapest thinks baths. Right? Big advantage of staying at the Lanchid is that you get a free baths visit. We chose Gellert, as that was the one the hotel staff recommended. Little tip: do not go there. Gellert was dirty and greasy. It stank of sweaty feet, it was ridiculously crowded and really not pleasant at all. No idea if Szenchenyi is any better, but I sure hope so. Funny detail: a few years ago the baths were turned into mixed areas and now everyone is therefore obliged to wear a bathing suit. There is quite some complaining about that in Budapest. Boooeee #freethenipple!
4. Gellert Hill
So, don’t go to the Gellert Baths but do walk up the hill. You not only have a spectacular view of Budapest but also get to see the statue of St. Gellert. The legend tells that Mr. Bishop was stabbed in the 11th century, stuffed in a barrel and thrown into the Danube. Quite an extraordinary way to be remembered.
5. St. Stephen’s Basilica
There are some serious amount of churches are in Budapest. Beautiful ones. The one of St. Stephen’s being the most impressive.
6. Dohany Street Synagogue
Tip: do not go on a Saturday walk through the Jewish Quarter. As then it’s their day of rest. And then you can not see Dohany Synagogue from within. Shame, as it is the largest Byzantine-Moorish synagogue in Europe and the second largest in the world. Not bad eh!
7. The Jewish Quarter
When you’re there, feel free to walk around in the Jewish Quarter. You will discover very handsome streetart (Puskas ftw), mega tasty (hipster) eateries and a great shops here and there.
8. the Castle
Well, this was the view we have from inside our room. Amazing, right? Ideal for a selfie moment!
Sorrrrrrrry, we didn’t go to the opera. I truly believe, however, that this is a must in Budapest. Therefore, we should definitely come back.
10. Dark Art Tattoo
When traveling, get a tattoo. That’s pretty much become my motto. Nothing’s better than being able to say about your tattoo: Oh, and this one comes from Budapest. And this one from New York. Dark Art Tattoo is situated in the center, run by super cool guys and a TOP CHICK and tosses in top quality at a low price. What does a man need more?
Yes Budapest, we’ll come back. Most def!