Budapest

Posted by on Jun 18, 2015 in Europe, Hungary, Travel | 0 comments

Budapest

Budapest is the capital of Hungary, but doesn’t feel like the capital cities I know.  There’s no hustle and bustle, no anxious need to get everywhere quickly, no peak hour road rage, and no crowds of people pulsing down the streets.

Instead, Budapest offers a calm and laid back pace more like that of a quaint town, you can slow down and relax.
But there’s still a plethora of excellent cafes, bars and restaurants as well as romantic European buildings.

My favourite coffee spot was My Little Melbourne, which prides itself on amazing coffee and definitely delivers.  My little melbourneAcross the road on the corner is Konyha a great spot to stop for lunch, I had a delicious quinoa, apricot and goats cheese salad.

Another recommended cafe would have to be Cafe Alibi, situated in a small square where you can sit outside and people watch.  I had grilled salmon here for lunch and it was cooked perfectly.

Gerloczy Cafe provides a lovely atmosphere for dinner with outdoor seating, the food is good but not exceptional.  I heard wonderful things about Zeller Bistro, unfortunately they were not open when we were there.

Fruccola is the place to go for a fresh juice and to make your own salad, it’s also a convenient place to stop for a bite while shopping up a storm.  My tip is check out H&M, they seemed to have cheaper and nicer clothes than many other locations, I got some cute tops for less than 10 euro each.

 

Beautiful outdoor seating area of Fruccola

Charming outdoor seating area of Fruccola

 

A Table is a french style boulangerie where you can get all manner of pastries and coffee, we went to the Wesselényi location as it was on the street we were staying.

The Market Hall is fun to wander through, full of vendors selling produce like vegetables, herbs and spices, cheeses and meats (and souvenirs on the second floor).

Budapest is renowned for having “ruin bars” where old dilapidated buildings rather than being rennovated have been left as is and turned into bars.  We spent an afternoon in Szimpla Kert, one of the more famous ones.  It’s a pretty cool experience that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

 

Szimpla Kert

Ruins Bar Szimpla Kert

 

Budapest is also known for its bathhouses, however from what we heard they are basically just large swimming pool complexes and the cheapest one starts at 15 euro per person, so we decided to skip it.

Isis day spa is the place to go if you want a bit of pampering and are looking to get a massage or facial.  Located on a main road, once you get inside it’s like an oasis.

We did a free walking tour on our first morning which was a great way to get acquainted with the city and understand some of the history.  My personal favourite sites would have to be the ancient chain bridge connecting Buda and Pest, and the stunning parliament building.

 

The Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge

 

Parliament Building

Parliament Building

 

If you want to head up to Buda Castle there is a funicular that will take you up for a few euro, or just make your way up the stairs on the righthand side to walk up (it’s in the shade so not too hot!)

We stayed in an apartment in the Jewish quarter which was a really great location, I would definitely stay there again.  Easy to walk everywhere and surrounded by bars and restaurants.

I loved walking past the beautiful Great Synagogue each morning, birds chirping and sun shining.  If you get up early and go for a walk you’ll have the streets to yourself.

 

The top of the Great Synagogue

The top of the Great Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe

 

We got a taxi to and from the airport, the system at the airport is really easy to use, initially line up and tell them where you are going, this is printed on a ticket with an estimate of how much it should cost (so you know you’re not getting ripped off!)  We paid about 6,500 HUF (less than 25 euro), and the driver knew exactly where he was going and literally dropped us off at the door to the apartment – too easy!

Budapest struck me as a very liveable city, with old world charm and new world convenience.  I really enjoyed my time in the city and would definitely recommend a visit.

 

St. Stephen's Basilica

St. Stephen’s Basilica, named in honour of the first king of Hungary

 

One of the many beautiful parks

One of the many beautiful parks

 

Matthias Church

Matthias Church

 

The Danube, dividing Buda & Pest

The Danube, dividing Buda & Pest

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