Hello from one of my new favorite places on earth! I wasn't too sure what to expect of Budapest. It's city brimming with history, culture, and natural beauty. I was surprised by the laid back attitude and eclectic mix of tourists. There is a huge bar/nightlife scene and some of the most amazing food in Europe.
The other amazing thing about Budapest is that it is super affordable (especially after Paris haha). We stayed in this Airbnb penthouse with a panoramic view of the city for the same price as our little studio in Paris.
Public transportation is clean, easy, and practical. We took the metro from the airport right into the heart of the city, a block away from our apartment. We walked almost everywhere (I love walking to familiarize yourself with a city) and only hopped a trolley when we got too tired to walk home.
Here are some highlights of things we did in Budapest
Gellért Thermal Baths (Art Nouveau bath complex built in the early 1900s with an array of services including hot lava stone massage. The baths are built on a thermal spring, and references to its "healing waters" date back to the 13th century, and are medically indicated to help a number of circulatory, spinal, and respiratory conditions. The complex includes an outdoor rooftop tidal pool, main effervescent swimming pool indoors, and 4 heated mineral pools. Everything is covered in ornate decorative tiles.) If I lived in Budapest, this is where you would find me on my day off.
Cat Cafe (Need I say more? This café is populated by a bunch of GIANT cats that I'm pretty sure are Norwegian Forest Cats. I would have never left this place if Taylor wasn't with me.)
Walk across the chain bridge into the old part of the city. Take the Funicular up to the top of mountain to see the castle. Explore the little side paths to find more ancient fortress buildings and breathtaking views of the city. We stumbled on a garden full of lavender, rosemary, and lazy bumblebees.
Retrock vintage clothing
Blue Bird Café (get your morning coffee here! Legit "craft" coffee and if I remember correctly also a roastery.)
Szimpla Kert (this is the most popular of Budapest's ruin pubs. You can get a drink or hookah from one of their several separate bars.
Borsz Gastropub (I never knew a sandwich could be this good. Don't sleep on the soups, either! Entire cafe is decked out in Star Wars memorabilia. I ordered the Thai Massage (green curry chicken, cilantro, zucchini) and their carrot-coconut-lime soup. It was all like $5)
Great Market Hall Nagycsarnok (built in 1897, a gorgeous neogothic building with tons of street food (you better try at least a plate of cabbage. Who knew a cruciferous green could taste so good!) and souvenirs upstairs. There is also more pepper-themed things than you can shake a stick at. We eventually realized that Hungary is one of the largest suppliers of paprika, hence all the pepper keychains, t-shirts, and postcards.
Opera house (Gorgeous building. if we had more time in Budapest I was going to book tickets for a show)
Sunset drinks at 360 bar (just like it sounds, 360 degree view of the city. DJ playing trendy drum & bass music, full bar, and little clusters of instagram-worthy lounges and tables)
dinner at Belvárosi Lugas Etterem (I asked our Airbnb host to recommend some authentic Hungarian food and he told us about this place. I ordered their "tourist menu" which was 3 courses including goulash and chicken paprikash. Taylor got a ratatouille dish. Definitely one of the top 5 meals I've eaten in my entire life, and not just because I was famished and giddy with excitement at how beautiful Budapest is.)
Boutiq' Bar (craft cocktail bar. Amazing drinks, impeccable service. One of their cocktails (Hungarian BBQ, I think) comes on fire with a tiny marshmallow for you to toast.)
New York Cafe (this place is like a mini Versailles, everything is gilded and beautiful. There was an orchestra playing when we went and had dessert. Finish off the meal with a Tokaji and you're golden)
Outfit details: vintage linen dress, Soludos lace up espadrilles, Celine Anna sunglasses, Palais de Tokyo tote.