Travel Diaries: Your Guide to Budapest


 
Budapest is the largest city in Hungary and has a history that has visually shaped the Budapest we love and see today. The City is famous for its monuments and the relics that became a part of its culture and which was moulded by the settlers that moved into the city throughout history.
In Budapest you will find ruins from when the Romans once settled here and evidence of the Ottoman Empire, evidential through the architecture seen in Budapest today. The City is split into Buda and Pest, which sit on either side of the monumental Danube River.
 
‘Buda’ is a historical haven, often described as the peaceful side of the city, where you can walk through cobbled streets to find Roman ruins and medieval houses, whilst ‘Pest’ is home to the largest Parliament building in Europe, cafés, bookstores and bars.
If you fancy a last-minute weekend away or are still searching for your summer destination- look no further, cause we’ve got your back.
 
Castle Hill: Budapest
 Image: Planetware.com
Castle Hill is at the top of all lists when visiting this beautiful city. This castle district is full of monuments and landmarks that can fill up an afternoon. Attractions on Castle Hill include, Buda Castle which is home to the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.
The Neo-Gothic Matthias Church is also a must see due to its rich history and stunning architecture. Surrounding Matthias Church is the Fisherman’s Bastion known for its elaborate turrets and spires that offer stunning views over Budapest. Instead of taking the strangely out of place escalator, why not travel up Castle Hill on the Funicular Railway (go on give it a google as they also make for super Instagram friendly holiday snaps).
 
In Leopold Town, Pest, you will find the St Stephen’s Basilica, known as the largest Church in Budapest. This Catholic Church is named after the first king of Hungary, Saint Stephen I. As well as the stunning Neo-Classical architecture and panorama views from the Cupola, this church also houses St Stephens mummified hand. Why not have a coffee in St Stephen Square after and watch the world go by.
 
Get your creative juices flowing and take a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts. Here you will gaze in awe at the works from the Classical and Egyptian antiquities, prints and drawings from artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
 
 Szechenyi Bath
And now it is time to relax. Whether its Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, you better pack your swimwear because the thermal baths are waiting, and it is time for you to get mindful. Szechenyi Bath is probably the most famous thermal baths in Budapest as well as one of the biggest natural hot spring spas in Europe. The site is now 106 years old and is home to 18 pools in total. The outside geothermal pool is a must and why not book yourself a massage or enjoy the saunas to truly get that holiday feeling.
 
Another great location is the Rudas Bath. This thermal bath was established around the 16th century. The showstopper is the main Turkish octagonal pool, which is covered by a beautiful 10-metre dome. Surrounding the main pool are smaller pools differing in temperature. If you’re feeling extra brave why not sit in the sauna and finally cool yourself off with a bucket of ice water- which truly is a traumatic sight to behold! Alongside this, Rudas Thermal Baths also have a therapeutic swimming facility, a swimming pool, immersion pool and a stunning rooftop pool for you to take in the Budapest views.
 
 Mazel Tof
Image: silverspoonlondon.co.uk
This is a VERY important topic to cover and to start off, let us introduce you to Mazel Tov. Mazel Tov is a large open spaced courtyard, lined with plant life and seriously good mood lighting. Located within the Jewish quarter, Mazel Tov is a place for food, drinks and great nightlife.
Choose from a menu of authentic salads, street food and grill and Israeli cuisine. The Hummus bowls will put your Marks and sparks hummus to shame. Try the Share the Bowl which includes shawarma, kebab scones, merguez sausages and lentil rice. Their food is packed with flavour and will leave you wanting more. They also have a great selection of vegetarian dishes and a very long list of cocktails!
 
Rosenstein Budapest
Image: Timeout.com
Rosenstein is the place to go if you want traditional Hungarian and Hungarian-Jewish food. Here you can sample goulash, beef stew, stuffed cabbage and paprikash. Think hearty, big meals, made with love in this family-run restaurant. Booking in advance is a must!
 
Ruin bars Budapest
 
Budapest nightlife is known for its ruin bars which are an assortment of abandoned factories, warehouses and old Soviet buildings turned into bars, dance floors and game rooms. Ruin bars are like walking through a bazaar filled with items you wish you could take home with you! The Szimpla Kert, in particular, has a lot of character. Here you can have a drink in an East German Trabant or chill in a converted bathtub. Some call it a surreal experience, but one you definitely should try! Another top Ruin bar is Instant. This is located in an apartment building and is the biggest ruin bar you will find in the city. The night tends to end in club-like scenes and goes on until 6am.
 
You can also kill two birds with one stone at the Szechenyi Baths Party. So once you’re done being mindful, why not join the summer night spa party…or sparty for short. These parties tend to take place on Saturdays but for bookings and dates you should check their website before you go away as they do tend to book up quickly.