Currency – Forents
Climate – February – Its cold. Bring a decent coat, scarves & hats this time of year
This enchanting city is divided by the River Danube that runs straight through its centre creating beautiful scenery – the Buda side is hilly providing stunning views across the city. The Pest side is flat and also the livelier half of the city for those looking for nightlife.We spent just two nights here as a quick weekend city break and definitely want to go back to see more. Accommodation options are plentiful and we stayed in a very cute boutique style hotel on the Buda side of the city called Lanchid 19 Design Hotel – it had beautiful bold art pieces around and open glass walkways to the rooms. The hotel overlooks the Danube River and is just a short walk away from the Buda Castle funicular taking you higher for panoramic views across the city – it’s worth grabbing a coffee on the way up before taking in the Castle, the statues of the Citadel and Fisherman’s Bastion.
We opted to visit towards the end of February (to avoid the crowds) and, although winter, and therefore out of season, the weather was fresh and crisp with sunshine in the daytime which made for a beautiful day ice skating on a frozen section of lake next to Vajdahunyad Castle & Heroes Square. We then walked through the food markets next to Vajdahunyad Castle and ate local street food for lunch – highly recommend trying their local cuisines – before taking in the sights of Heroes Square. We chose to do a hop on hop off bus tour for one day to help speed us up and see more in a short space of time, that being said a lot can be seen easily on foot which we did the second day. The bus enabled us to quickly get to the top the Citadel in time for golden hour to soak up the stunning views.
There are approximately 125 baths in and around Budapest and we chose to visit Rudas Baths on the Buda side which was a short walk from our hotel, making it the perfect way to spend an evening unwinding after a long day of sightseeing. Rudas Thermal Baths are a 16th century spa complex made up of two sections – the modern complex complete with rooftop jacuzzi pool with views along the Danube and over to Pest, and the traditional Turkish complex with swimming pools, hammam and sauna. We relaxed in the baths and had 70-minute massages before strolling back to our hotel alongside the Danube at night time where Parliament can be seen beautifully lit up over on the Pest side of the city.
In the daytime strolling along the Danube on the Pest side of the river (between Szechenyi Istvan Ter and Parliament) you will find yourself among a simple yet poignant display of 60 pairs of old style boots and shoes known as the ‘Shoes on the Danube’ – this sculpture was created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay and is a monument to Hungarian Jews that were shot and thrown into the Danube by members of the fascist Arrow Cross Parry in 1944. You will see people lighting candles and placing them in the shoes in remembrance.
Budapest is an immaculate eastern-European city full of gothic architecture and cultural sites to soak up, our visit was brief and what the city had to offer certainly made us keen to return to see more.
Tide Knot Travellers Tips & Facts
– As with any city break ensure comfy walking shoes, this city is fairly compact so sightseeing on foot is a great way to see everything & keep costs low- Don’t forget to bring swimwear on a trip to Budapest – even if visiting in the winter – a trip to the city would not be complete without ‘taking the waters’ in one of the city’s 125 thermal baths