August 24th, 2018
3 Days in a new city.
Every year, for our anniversary, Felix and I travel somewhere we haven’t seen been before.
This year we went to Budapest, because the photos from there looked so magical I knew I wanted to see the place in person.
Here is what we did!
The first day there, it was our 7th year anniversary, so we wanted to do something somewhat romantic: the Gellért Bath seemed out of this world, so we booked some tickets in advance and spent the entire afternoon there.
Budapest has quite a few baths around the city, and the Széchenyi thermal bath seemed stunning, but because we went during the weekend, we opted for a smaller (which was still huge) bath complex.
There is this indoor pool with cooler water, in the middle of the most scenic room; but there are also some more things on the outside.
This swimming pool seemed just like any other, but at one point everybody started getting in. Felix and I were confused by why everyone just stood there, waiting, but we did the same…
Pretty soon we realised it was one of those pools with wave machines! It was really fun, even if we weren’t expecting it and got totally covered by the waves.
A lucky find was this particular ice cream place called Gelarto Rosa: Felix and I were looking for some food and looked up a place with veggie options. Not only we ate the sandwiches, but also tried the ice cream (of course!). The vegan pistachio flavour was incredible… so good that we kept coming back for more.
In the evening we went to Mazel Tov, a really cool restaurant I had seen photos of, and looked too pretty to pass on.
The food was great, so if you are ever in the area, do grab a bite here!
After dinner we walked back to the hotel, and admired the pretty buildings.
Both Felix and I agree that Budapest is just as pretty as Paris, in our opinion: anywhere you look there are incredibly intricate buildings and the way the city is lit up at night makes it so romantic.
The only complaint we have about the city, is about the taxi service: we tried 3 times, in 3 different occasions, to grab a taxi. The first time we were denied, we were 10 minutes from the hotel so we thought it was just not far enough; the second time we were 20-30 minutes and the taxi driver was doing nothing, so we asked for a ride and he waved us away; the final time we tried, we had a long way to go and 3 taxis were empty, waiting for customers… Felix and I expected an excuse, and in fact we did get one. The driver, at first, tried to tell us that where we were going was too close – Felix pointed out that he wasn’t correct as the place we were actually going to was in fact pretty far, on the opposite direction he was indicating; so then he said ‘oh no, I can’t drive you there’. Felix questioned why, and the man simply replied ‘I don’t want to turn around’.
Right after us, a group of 3 people approached the taxi, but the driver had already thought about a way to send them away – he told them he could only fit 2 people.
So then an elderly couple asked him to drive them to their hotel, about 10 minutes away. The taxi driver said it was too close and he wasn’t going to move the car for that.
This was so bizarre! So we just ended up moving around by foot, bike or public transports.
The second day was a National Holiday – the Foundation of Hungary.
Saying that the city was crowded would be an understatement. Everybody seemed to be out, but we were set on visiting the busiest area: Buda Castle.
After an extremely slow bike ride, we queued up for the funicular.
The sun was burning us but it was worth waiting in line, as the view was spectacular.
We spent most of the afternoon up there, looking at the cute stands propped up around the castle, and admiring the city from up high.
But the best bit of the day was beginning at 9pm…
They lasted about 30 minutes, and we made sure to be there plenty of time in advance to secure a nice spot.
Being there during the national holiday was messy, but made this trip really incredible, as we got to experience something completely new and unexpected.
Seeing all the people gather in the squares to watch the show was such a cool experience.
I’m glad we got to be a part of that.
On our final day, we checked out the Central Market, which was packed with foods and traditional crafts.
At this point, from all the walking, I had 7 blisters on my feet and I had run out of bandaids, so excuse the cotton coming out of my shoe!
In the afternoon, we needed a change of pace so we headed a bit out of the centre and strolled around the ELTE Botanical Gardens.
This area was much more calm, so we took our time to relax and look at all the pretty plants.
Plus, I have a thing for glasshouses and orangery style buildings, and the one in this park was so stunning.
Just look at how idyllic this place is.
Later in the afternoon, the bad weather approached and we could hear thunders from far away getting closer.
We knew we had a bit of a walk ahead of us, so we made our way back to the centre.
We ended the evening with walking along the Danube river.
Eventually we reached the shoe monument that commemorates the lives of the people that were shot in this spot, during Wold War II. People were forced to remove their shoes before being killed, so the iron sculptures symbolise the shoes left behind from all the victims.
Sorry to end it on a sad note, but that was it for our trip. The day after we hopped on the plane back to the UK.
I see a lot of people confused by why Felix and I decided to visit this city for our holiday (to be fair, we always get asked that type of question no matter where we are) but to be honest, Budapest is simply beautiful. I’m glad we got to see it!
Have you ever been there?