Budapest is an age old city tucked into the heart of Hungary and adorned grandiose architecture in the Neo-Renaissance style. Most recently Budapest has captivated the attention of world travelers with its renowned Turkish baths, delectable food, and refined I was lucky enough to stumble upon this picturesque city for a day on a layover from Prague to Dublin. 24 hours was too short a time to indulge myself in all the Budapest had to offer. Knowing this, I comprised a list of the top things I had to do while stopping in the Hungarian capital.
Before we landed in Budapest my mom and I spent a few days in Prague. We decided it was a very nice city, but our experience there was slighted by our inability to sleep due to the plethora of bars dotting the street below our Airbnb. Keeping this in mind we were head over heals when we discovered Hotel Parliament in Budapest was tucked away on a quiet road yet still in an excellent location to walk to almost all of must-see spots. As we arrived in Budapest around 9 am with check-in at 3 pm we were so grateful to the amazing staff for allowing us to store our bags while we explored.
By far the best part of our experience at Hotel Parlament was how attentive the staff was. In Budapest, there are no rideshare apps like Uber or MyTaxi and tourists are often at the mercy of the taxi services who have a reputation for taking advantage of foreigners. The desk staff not only were essential in hailing cabs for us, but they also gave us some helpful tips to keep from being milked by the cab drivers.
The continental breakfast was a huge lifesaver when mom and I got a later than expected start to our day before headed to the airport. The spread included an assortment of fresh juices, teas and coffee, meats, cheeses, and traditional breakfast foods from around Europe.
Straight out of a dream is my best way to portray the age-old elegance of the Turkish baths in Budapest. While the city boasts several bath houses my mom and I chose to go with the popular Gellert Baths. Aside from the array of pools adorned with awe-inspiring mosaics the baths offer a variety of spa services and refreshments to help you make the most of you visit.
I have a soft spot for skyline views and the perfect place to capture the amazing skyline of the “Pest” side of Budapest is from Fisherman’s Bastion. Allocate an hour to explore this area during the day.
As a self-proclaimed art fanatic, I am always intrigued to seek out cultural treasures in each place I visit. Thusly, I was thrilled to have the chance to encounter the marble halls boasting immaculately preserved Medieval carvings and the enchanting works of Monet and Gauguin. The building housing all these wonders, the Buda Castle, is an intricate work of art in and of itself.
One of the best meals I’ve ever had was at Zeller Bistro. Zeller’s food is locally sourced and many of the ingredients come from the owner’s family’s farm and vineyard. Favorites of our meal at Zeller included a duck entrée and a sparkling elderberry wine. Make sure you book a reservation in advance. This is not a meal you want to miss.
Sarah and I absolutely LOVE finding cute clothing pieces from local designers around the world. Sarah previously visited Budapest and discovered a charming local brand called Nubu, which when I visited Budapest had expanded to two labels: Nubu and Nubu Nude. The brand boasts modern classics and contemporary cuts guaranteed to freshen up your wardrobe. At times like these I was so thankful I remembered to pack an extra bag to store my purchases for the trip home!
Budapest is known for its ruin bars so naturally, we could not pass up the chance to experience it first hand. We loved one bar, in particular, Szimpla Kert, which had a completely unique vibe. The building was filled with abandoned relics and was designed to look like a ruin. I would highly recommend grabbing a drink here.