It feels kind of naughty blogging retrospectively about my travels, especially because this trip happened all the way back in 2011… But everything mentioned in this post is still up to date and relevant (according to the Internet), I promise! I went to Budapest with my friend Sophie when we were living in Austria, just before starting our winter semester at the University of Vienna. After one short train ride we arrived in Hungary for a long weekend. You’ve got to love Europe in that regard. These 3 things are what I enjoyed most about our short sojourn.
Watch the sunset from the Danube Promenade
I’m a fan of most sunsets anywhere, but the Hungarians really know how to light up their beautiful buildings and bridges. Standing on the Pest side of the Danube, you get amazing views of Buda Castle, Matthias Church and the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.
If you get a nice clear evening like we did, the colours of the sky and their reflection on the water are really beautiful.
As the darkness falls the skyline really lights up, excuse the pun.
The Shoes on the Danube Bank are a memorial to the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank. Pretty moving.
Visit a thermal spa
There are about 15 different public thermal baths around Budapest. We went to Széchenyi Baths in City Park. I have no idea what the actual health benefits of thermal baths are… It really just seemed like a warm pool, but it was really beautiful.
And quite popular amongst Budapest’s older citizens.
Eat at Szeraj
I’m all for trying the local food, and honestly Soph and I did give Hungarian food a go. We found a small restaurant and had some kind of lukewarm lentil soup with a miscellaneous deep fried accompaniment (there were no English menus or English speaking staff) and it was ok.
Buuuuut, right across from where we were staying (The Groove Hostel) was a fantastic Turkish diner called Szeraj. I think we ate there 3 times. It was some of the most delicious felafel I’d ever had. Here’s a really bad photo:
We ate so much felafel there and decided it was the training for our NYE trip to Turkey, which is funny because once we got to Turkey we couldn’t find felafel ANYWHERE. Turns out it’s more of a Middle Eastern thing. Shame.
They also had delicious baklava and other desserts.
Such a lovely little trip. Have you been to Budapest?