The weekend after Copenhagen, my friend and I travelled to Budapest. The sole reason I chose Budapest was for the Széchenyi thermal bath—it’s all over Instagram. It’s a “must-Insta,” if you’re studying abroad in Europe. It may have been a shallow reason to go to Hungary, but Budapest was surprisingly fun.
I found this place on Google Maps, but was delighted to find out it was also featured in this 2015 Vogue article. I sat upstairs and ordered scrambled eggs and bacon and a chai latte with soya milk (I still don’t know why Europe had to add an “a” to “soy.”) The food in Budapest is so cheap, but so good. They also brought a huge piece of sourdough bread, which made my heart and stomach happy.
One of the prettiest interiors in Budapest is at this cafe. I recommend making a reservation on the weekends, as it helped us skip an annoying line at the front. My friend Raj and I went for coffee and dessert. They have soya milk and they had a lactose-free option for dessert, which was one of the best desserts I’ve had so far. I forget the name of it, but there’s only one lactose-free dessert available, so it’s not hard to find. Prices are high for Budapest, but average for London and metropolitan, European cities.
I would come back to Hungary just to eat at this restaurant again. I made a reservation for a Sunday night, as this is a popular place. The interior design (the only reason I go to restaurants) was v cute, the cocktail list was long (I got the Jewish punch), and the food was sooooo good (I go the hummus plate and the shawarma pita sandwich), and reasonably priced. 10/10 would have them cater my wedding. Also, the waiters were nice to look at—if you needed more convincing before you make a res.
SEE & DO:
For around 20 Euros per person, we got “skip the line” tickets with a private cabin. When we arrived, there was a line to get wristbands for “skip the line” ticket holders—it went fast, but still…the irony. Private cabins allow one person to change at a time, but the benches near the cabins are heated, making waiting bearable after bathing in February. Bring flip flops! We didn’t, because we didn’t pack them…because it was winter. But walking to and from the baths outside can get chilly. Also, it’s smart to bring a non-white towel, or one that you can easily distinguish. I definitely did not take back the same one that I brought. Only one bath was open outdoors, but there are a couple more inside too. We went an hour before sunset (to get good pics, duh) on a Saturday, and it was crowded.
This is the largest synagogue in Europe, so my dad stressed that I should visit. It’s around $16 for entrance to the synagogue and surrounding gardens, but I don’t regret paying that much. The interior is stunning, and there are photos outside explaining the history of the structure. The silver tree sculpture/memorial is especially beautiful.
Named in honor of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, the basilica is a must-do. We climbed the steps to the lookout point, where you had a 360 view of Budapest. Tickets are less than $10 per person, and it’s a great location for pictures!
I went for the neon sign in the back of the store, but this streetwear shop actually has a really good selection of apparel and shoes. I wish I had the money to buy more Adidas, but I’m slowly going broke from all this traveling. #noregrets
Budapest is known for its ruin bars, which look like post-apocalyptic garage sales. They’re strange, but the most famous one is Szimpla Kert, so we went on Saturday night. There were a lot of English speakers there, which is usually annoying, but in Budapest, it’s a comfort. We grabbed a drink, walked around the two-story, multiple roomed space and decided on smoking hookah too. We got a nicotine-free flavor (you’re welcome, mom) and just people watched the whole time. It was a vibe I was not used to. Pour moi, it was a one-and-done night. They also passed out full-sized carrots for sale. *shrugs*
Featured Image: hadesblood.tumblr.com