Our arrival to Budapest started in Zagreb (Croatia) by train, bus, then train. It felt like we had gone back in time as we moved through the countryside with train stops at Koprivnica and Gyekenyes. It took time adjusting to the city buzz of Budapest with the cold rainy weather, but nonetheless we bought ourselves boots and weatherproof jackets ready for the next two days of exploring.
Where we stayed: the ‘Pest’ side of Budapest, in the heart of the Jewish Quarter well known for the endless variety of food on offer!
Day One – Be A Tourist
Usually my partner and I aren’t the tour group type, but we heard and read so many great things about the Free Budapest Walking Tours. Seeing as we only had two days here, it seemed like the best way to go sightseeing. We got to explore the two parts of Budapest: Pest and Buda which are divided by River Danube but connected by the Chain Bridge. The best way to describe each part of Budapest is that Pest is the city side where you want shop and eat, and Buda is side where you want to live and enjoy the scenic views.
Academy of Hungarian Sciences
Budapest Castle Hill Funicular
St. Stephen’s Basilica
After the tour ended we made our way back to the apartment, stopping to pay our respects at the Shoes on the Danube Bank sculpture. Created in honour of the people who were killed by the fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II.
There are endless options of places to eat in Pest, in particular, food trucks in courtyard areas. Conveniently, our apartment was on the same street as one called Karavan. We seized the opportunity to try Kürtőskalács, also known as chimney cakes, which are a spit roasted cakes that taste AMAZING.
Shoes on the Danube Bank
The rain kicked in and we were in desperate need of r&r, so we packed our bathers and headed to the Széchenyi Baths. Like you would brunch with friends and chat over food and coffee, gathering at the baths is the thing to do in Budapest. I was happy we chose Széchenyi as it offers 15 indoor and 3 outdoor baths – all with different temperatures. We hunted down the hottest thermal bath and instantly felt all the tension disappear.
The 12 degree weather called for goulash and luckily one particular food truck near us just so happened to offer a vegetarian option. Win! Post dinner we strolled the streets making our way to the inner city and taking in the nightlife.
Goulash @ Karavan
Day Two – Me Time
I was beyond excited to secure a last minute booking at Omorovicza Boutique & Spa. No better way to start the day than treating yourself with a beautiful facial! I’ll be sharing a full blog post on the facial and products very soon.
After a morning coffee then lunch at Perfetto Italian Kitchen, I felt recharged and ready for some retail therapy. Looking back on all the places we visited, Budapest inner city had the best shopping on offer. As the afternoon drifted, we decided to try one of Hungary’s traditional dishes. Langos: suitable for vegetarians and not for the lactose intolerant.
Bringing out our inner foodie, we found a place called Hummus Bar. Here you can thoroughly enjoy delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and also get your falafel fix. We called it a night early to prepare for the 5am train trip. Next stop, Slovakia!
Fisherman’s Bastion x 3
And that’s was how I spent my 48 hours in Budapest! Travelling by foot everywhere allowed us to see and explore what I think to be the most beautiful city in Europe. We didn’t quite get to see all the sights, but Budapest is without a doubt a must see if you’re planning a European adventure.