Budapest! The city of Hungarian glory and power, the city of splendid traditional Hungarian food and of course the most important one for me, The city of thermal baths.
I have to admit though, Budapest holiday wasn’t on my list until I stumbled upon a vlog about Budapest thermal baths. I checked the tickets from the nearest airport and I hit the jackpot. 20 euros from Germany to Budapest, and without a second thought I knew I was visiting Budapest.
I and my husband visited Budapest in November 2017, & at every step, Budapest kept on surprising us. The first and most the important surprise was our stay on Pest side. Centrally located fully equipped apartment with welcoming host. The apartment with the kitchen was something I needed to try my hands on Gulosh and Hungarian Paprika dishes, which I did was not less fun! you would be amazed to know how paprika is not only the loved ingredient of hungry, but they use it in almost every single preparation, even in their morning eggs.
Budapest is Hungarian capital having two sides, Buda and Pest connected by the iconic bridges on famous Danube River. On the very first day of arrival at the airport, We grabbed the 48-hour Buda card- the pass for all type of transport with additional benefits like discounts on a bunch of eateries and thermal baths. Budapest is a walkable city if you decide to explore the elegant boulevards on foot, but having access to all type of transport was always helpful for me.
With rattling yellow trams, astonishing architecture around and rustling Danube (river) in the middle, Budapest was such an eye candy.
Small early morning hike to the liberty statue on Gellert hill and Cittadella, a tram to Buda castle and evening spent perfectly exploring the royal castle district, my first day was a blast. Cave church, Fishermen’s Bastion, Royal Buda Palace, St Mattias church, Trinity-square and much more on the Buda side wherein Parliament of Budapest, St Stephen’s Basilica, Hero’s square on the pest side– The endless architectural and historic treats in Budapest!
If you visit Budapest during the winter season, nothing feels better than a hot soak while it’s chilly outside. Budapest is blessed with curative thermal water running through its grounds and a culture involving get-togethers at the thermal bath houses! Moreover, Budapest has a great history with Roman, Turkish and Ottoman rulers. The thermal Baths in Budapest are hence built by different dynasties at different times! Turkish baths, Roman baths, Ottoman baths, modern baths! basically B for baths! I had great evenings exploring different thermal baths and swimming deep into Budapest’s bath culture! like literally!
Széchenyi thermal bath with 18 pools was a treat to all my senses. I did not know that thermal baths are the places for business talks and love hunting until I visited this place. If you are not interested in dating or if you are already taken, be sure you put on your ring 😛
I was amazed to see local grandpa groups playing chess in the thermal pool. This bath is a must visit but if you hate crowed you might want to check some other options.
I loved the Gellért baths as well, Turquoise blue architecture and less crowd, this option is expensive but exquisite.With a Buda card, you get discounts on baths of your choice, that was a bit helpful for more expensive options. The baths have two options – with cabin or with the locker. If you are traveling couple like us, opt for one locker and one cabin ticket, you can use the same cabin to change into your swimwear, and save some Hungarian Forints!
If you are a foodie, Budapest is the place! Goulash, Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken), Dobos torte (Hungarian layered cake), krémes the list is endless. I did not plan to visit a specific restaurant, no matter where I went, I was never disappointed. The Ruzwurm cafe at the Buda castle is hard to miss and the Fakanal restaurant at the Central market hall was a real surprise. Hungarian band, delicious food, and light on the pocket, Oh la la!
Takeaway points for your trip to Budapest:
1. Pack your bathing suits and swimming caps for a Hungary trip, even when it’s snowing out, you would need them for a hot soak. Also, have a check on only men and only women days at the bathhouses, and plan accordingly.
2. Have a guided tour of both, Buda and pest side- The city has the glorious history, you would never regret this decision. If you decide to buy a Buda card, you get a free guided tour of Buda and Pest!
3. Pre-book your inside tour for a parliament of Budapest, It’s expensive but worth it.
4. Spend at least one evening on Buda castle, you will have astonishing night views of the city, I had an amazing couple photoshoot here. You can also have a glimpse of my photoshoot in the embedded vlog.
If at this point, if you are convinced to visit Budapest, Hungary- I think, it is a right time to go through another important checklist. Its all about what you should not do while in Hungary- The don’ts of visiting Budapest, Hungary, extracted exclusively for you from my personal experiences.