To celebrate my 32nd birthday, Piet and I took a long weekend trip to see the culturally rich city of Budapest. Unfortunately mother nature gave me a cold just before the trip, but that didn’t stop us from racking in around 18,000 steps per day!
We only spent a couple of days wandeling about, which we both agree is not enough time to really experience this wonderful city. However, I can make a couple of recomendations based on our favorite walking areas. First I should note that the city is actually split into two parts. Divided by the River Danube, Buda to the west and Pest to the east are actually two parts of the city that developed separately and eventually connected in 1849 by the construction of the Chain Bridge. The two parts both have their own vibes, and both are definitely worth spending time in.
Buda is where you can find all the amazing palaces, grand churches and hilly views of the city. In our short time there, we followed a walk Piet found in the Lonely Planet guidebook that took us up into the Old Town of Buda. This is the area I can imagine the fictitious Grand Budapest Hotel being located. The colors and the adorable architectural details made me swoon. When we first arrived, the peaks of the Matthias Church were covered by fog – which was an exciting photo op for me. It later cleared and we were able to take in a clearer view of the city.
Heading back to Pest where our amazing B&B, Brody House is located, we also enjoyed the sights in the Jewish Quarter, also known as the Ghetto. I won’t get into the history here, but it is worth reading up on. There are plenty of self guided walking tours you can find online, but you needn’t look too hard to find more than a few beautiful synagogues. My favorite part was again, the architecture.
Now, back to Brody House. We couldn’t recommend it enough to complete your stay in Budapest. Located in the Palace District, you can easily walk to many cafes, shops, and the underground metro. The building was constructed in 1896 for a pioneering medical practitioner, who used it as his home, office and practice. Now it operates as a guest house with a strong dedication to the emerging art scene in Budapest.
One last small recommendation to top off a short visit. Be sure to Brunch at Szimpla Kert Sunday Farmers Market. This is an impressive indoor market with around 30-40 vendors, a bar, live music, and more. A serious must-see for any market, foodie, or locally grown produce lover out there. The building alone is a sign to see. There is room upon room of spaces to gather with friends, have a private conversation, or play a little foosball.
Then there is the brunch itself! For around 10 euro each you can enjoy an amazing spread of all you can eat produce from the market bustling downstairs. Including fresh baked breads, farmers’ cheese, mangalitza sausage, honey, organic juices, and unlimited coffee and tea. Seriously worth it!
Well that about covers it! Oh and this dog!