Add Budapest to your Bucket List

My younger sister messaged me “Budapest is on my bucket list!”.

And it had been in mine too.  Maybe sister’s think alike?

Firstly – it is pronounced “buddah – pesht”. So practice that now.  Got it? Good. We can go on.

We have been here in Budapest housesitting – about 20 km out.  Catching up on a lot of technical dramas, and getting our car fixed, so we didn’t venture out much for most of the 2 weeks.

Our first Sunday we drove through the city. It was such a glorious day, but I had so many technical issues to attend to, we never stopped for long to look around – first big mistake!

Then on the second Sunday we decided to find the thermal pools.  On the way we were so caught up in driving around the city, we were literally ‘gobsmacked’.  Awestruck by the beauty.  We posted a You Tube and you can here the excitement in our voices.

As we drove over the Chain Bridge or Iron Bridge we knew there was going to a lot to see.

First we headed to Heroes Square.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Heroes Square

Right by this is ice-skating, but we decided we would come back another day as the session ended soon. Sadly we never got back.

We miraculously found a park and saw a market – we thought it was a Sunday or antique market.  It was so groovy.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – the Sunday market

But little did we know there a Fish Festival on that day in the park.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Fish Festival

It was absolutely packed. It might be the middle of winter, and even though there was the faintest amount of snow in piles around on the ground, this wasn’t stopping anyone.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – crowds out for the festival of fish

There was music, entertainment, and of course a LOT of food.  Set by the castle and church area, it just seemed to be stall after stall in what seemed to be forever. The parks on both sides were packed with stalls too. Bars, sweet and savourily food and a lot of other items were all for sale.

We enjoyed the hot food. Here Explorason is threading hot chips from his pack on a skewer.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – stopping for a bite

And of course, I had to try the mulled wine!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – mulled wine

We then headed across the road to Szechenyi Thermal Pools.

The building itself is so grand it is just worth going to see that alone.  A majestic feature statue awaits the grand entrance.  This fabulous complex goes for a whole block, and there are two entrances.  It is best to go in on the other side as there are lockers and change cubicles that side.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Szechenyi front

There are several outdoor pools to choose from. If you want to use the lap pool, remember to bring a swim cap.  you can buy or rent swimwear and towels.

We wished we had brought our nice fluffy robes and also some slip on wet shoes as it was cold and rugged on our feet after a while, and the towels we brought were dripping wet trying to stay warm as we walked between pools was impossible, and a challenge to say the least.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Szechenyi whirlpool

Men playing chess. The Whirlpool. Fountains. Massage jets, and more. There is so much to do in one of the outdoor hot pools on a cold day. And imagine how awesome it would be to be here on a snowy day!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – This pool is the hotter one

And the best bit. Your skin and hair feels just AMAZING when you are finally done.

But wait.  There is more.  Numerous different thermal pools of all kinds await inside.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Szechenyi – steamy inside

As evening comes, we wish we could stay longer. Had it not been that it started to softly rain, we would have.

So what is next?

At the end of that week, we head into Budapest again.

We take the train in, then a bus to the Chain Bridge.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Iron / Chain Bridge

From there we take another bus up to the castle. Really you could spend a good half a day up in the castle area. There are loads of places to go. Antiques, and quaint stores line the cobblestone streets.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Castle area

We stop for coffee and the most incredible pastry from a small bakery.  It was peach with cottage cheese.  Little candles and warm rugs made it feel cosy on this chilly day.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – coffee time

Opposite is the wall you can walk along the top of. We just had to do that!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – walking the walls

We strolled back down, but this time we decided to walk and not use the transportation that seemed so readily available. There is a tunnel under the wall, you can walk through easily to commence the decent.

So it was off to the Jewish Quarter. This is a really hip and arty place. Loved it and enjoyed lunch here too.

On the way we saw the Michael Jackson Remembrance Tree.  Explorason says “it was not Thriller” !

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Michael Jackson tree

We were really impressed with the painted murals. You could hardly say graffiti. But you could say wall art.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Jewish Quarter

Then it was time for our River Danube Cruise.

Budapest comes from the 2 sides of the river. One side is Buda and guess what the other side is?

Legenda River Cruises were running 2 daily cruises. One at 2:00 pm and the other at 6:00pm.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Legenda Danube Cruise

First off was the most amazing hot orange tea. I really loved it.

We were given headsets with countless languages on, so we all had the change to know what was going on.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Orange Tea on the Legenda Cruise

The cruise went for around an hour and a half I think, but it went both ways along the river Danube, and there was a lot to see, and learn.  We enjoyed the plentiful beverages too, like the bubbly for me.

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Champagne and travel passes

If you go to Budapest, I’d recommend one of the Budapest Cards.  We had the 72 hour card – 3 days of buses, trains, trolley cards etc.  It also gave us entrance into Museums and other great discounts.

I’d suggest checking out http://www.budapest.com

There are so many Thermal Baths, Turkish Baths, Stunning shopping area and Restaurants. Too many to mention here.

Budapest – you are a beautiful city, even when it buckets down with rain. I am still glad you were on my bucket list!

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©Exploramum and Explorason – Budapest, Hungary – Szechenyi as the night falls

Click here – Check out this amazing slide show on YouTube about Budapest too

To read about Budapest by the Wyld traveling family please click here.

 

 

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16 comments

  1. Brrr! Budapest seems wet and cold at this time of year. I’m used to seeing it in late spring and fall. Make the best of your stay. It’s a great city.

  2. I have always wanted to visit Budapest—since learning my grandmother’s family was Hungarian. This were actually from the area around Timisoara, Romania (which WAS Hungarian before 1920), but still, Hungary IS Hungary.

    Great tip about the pronunciation. I already feel like a local.

    And housesitting! That sounds glorious.

  3. Budapest is definitely on my bucket list — it’s the only major Central European city I haven’t visited yet! I love antique markets, so I’ll have to check out the one you mention when I finally visit.

    1. I was shocked at how gorgeous it was. I do regret not buying a couple of things now. Willpower won, and I realise now there would have been doe great keepsakes in that market. Happy travels from us.

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