I went to Budapest two years ago and while we saw the quaint beauty of the Hungarian capital we didn’t explore very much so the weekend just gone saw me spend three days in the city and really find out why people fall in love. Heading there in almost mid-September I was expecting sunshine but nothing prepared me for the 30+ degree heat around the city. While it was lovely I find too much heat can make it a little tough exploring.
When we arrived we opted to get a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus (The Big Bus) because it had one line (so no awkward changing for different routes) and it meant we could get a good view of the city. This was a great way to see everything and work out where we wanted to return to. When you buy a ticket for Big Bus you get the second day for free, a free river cruise and a free night bus tour so it’s great value for money.
When we finished the bus tour in the late afternoon we went to an ice-cream store I’d read a lot about – Gelato Rosa – which creates beautiful rose style ice-creams from between two and four flavours. I spent a lot of time working out what to get and ended up thinking as much about what the ice cream would look like as to what it would taste like (had to think of the photos). The centre of mine is cinnamon, with passionfruit in the middle and chocolate outside. A strange combination of flavours but it worked.
After dinner in a little Italian restaurant we walked all along the river taking in the sites of Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion across the river in Buda and my absolute favourite the Parliament building on the Pest side. We walked up to Margaret’s Island which is a small island in the middle of the Danube which is mainly recreational and green land but there’s a really cool foundation which at 9pm in the evening plays music with a foundation and light show. It’s really clever and a lovely way to end the evening.
Our second day was pretty relaxing with our morning spent at one of the cities baths. I had been to Szechenyi Baths last time so this time we headed to Rudas Baths which is on the Buda side just over the Elizabeth Bridge. With our pass we got access to the indoor pools of which there were 5 ranging from 20 degrees to 42 degrees (I couldn’t go in this one!) Sauna’s, Stream Rooms and a freezing cold plunge pool. We opted to have an aroma massage which was so relaxing and was a great way to spend the morning.
We jumped on the river cruise afterward which was great as you can get fantastic views of all the landmarks and once we got off we had to get another ice-cream as it was so hot. This time, I opted for a very monochrome ice-cream of nutella, basil and lemon and oreo’s which was so good! Shortly after we took the vertical cable car up to Buda Castle to see the stunning views. From here we walked across to Fisherman’s Bastion before walking all the way down to the river edge and across the Chain Bridge back to Pest where we had dinner.
Sunday was a far more relaxed day as we walked along and saw the stunning Dohany Street Synagogue which is the largest and main Synagogue in Budapest and it’s just completely stunning. From here we walked to the Great Market where we sampled some Hungarian food and bought some souvenirs. After a slow walk back up along the river, stopping for a snack on the way it was time to make our way back to the airport for our flight home.
Overall I managed to see so much during my trip to Budapest and I know there’s still a whole lot more to do on my return. If you’re heading to the city here’s eight things you have to do.
Have you ever been to Budapest?