Budapest is one of my favourite cities in Europe. The food is delicious, the architecture is amazing and if I could spend all day soaking in the thermal baths I would be very happy indeed.
You’ve probably seen photos of the Hungarian Parliament on the banks of the Danube. It’s stunning in the day time but even more beautiful when it’s lit up in the evening. Well what if I told you you could wake up to that view every morning from the comfort of your hotel room? All you have to do is check into the Novotel Budapest Danube. Staying there (with bargain winter prices..) was honestly a highlight of my time in Budapest. Watching the sunrise and sunset over the river was beautiful and the hotel was everything I needed and more. There’s a fabulous buffet breakfast too, which is always a plus. You can read a full review of my stay here.
You should start any visit in Budapest with a walk down the Danube. It will enable you to get nicely situated and take in a number of sites. Start on the Pest side of the river (the East side) and have a look at the Hungarian Parliament. If you keep walking you’ll also find the Shoes on the Danube memorial. Sixty pairs of shoes made out of iron line the river bank. The memorial is to honour the memory of the Jewish people who, during World War II, were forced to remove their shoes before they were shot and fell into the river.
Crossing the beautiful Széchenyi Chain Bridge to the Buda side of the city you may then like to head up the Fisherman’s Bastion for a beautiful view across the entire city.
One does not simply go to Budapest without eating several serves of paprika chicken. That’s all I have to say on the topic.
You MUST go to the Széchenyi thermal baths when you’re in Budapest. It was one of my favourite experiences in the city and you will feel truly relaxed and refreshed afterwards. There are 15 indoor baths, all at different temperatures and 3 outdoor pools. The water in the baths comes from two thermal springs and is rich in sulfate, magnesium, calcium and a whole bunch of other good stuff. If you’re in the outdoor pools be sure to go up to the waterfall like area where the water spurts from and you’ll actually see a mineral build up. The water is meant to help with joints and inflammation, and you’ll notice groups of older gentleman sitting in the outdoor baths playing chess. If you walk to the other large pool outside there is also a whirlpool… which yes, is as fun as you think it’s going to be.