Foodie Finds: A Weekend Getaway to Budapest

by Talia Klundt / Feb 27, 2012 /
Talia Klundt's picture

So last weekend I had the opportunity to get away from chilly Stockholm and spend a long week in the capital of Hungary, Budapest!!  Thanks to Ryan Air and its cheap airfare offers, my boyfriend and I were able to grab a ticket for $45 round trip each, an offer we could not pass up.  I had previously been to Budapest before, but that was nearly ten years ago so I was very much looking forward to spending a long weekend there and experiencing all it had to offer.  We also found a very affordable hotel, Bo18 Hotel Budapest. I can highly recommend it, it was on the side of Pest in a very well located neighborhood, just a five minute walk from the metro stop and a fifteen minute walk to Gellert and the indoor food market/hall.  They even provided a champagne (Hungarian) breakfast to start of your day!

 

Budapest

 

 

Budapest is made up of the two cities -  Buda (West bank) and Pest (East bank), which are separated by the Danube River.  It is sometimes referred to as the "Paris of Eastern Europe" and I would say I agree, as it is an amazing and beautiful city.  I would also say that it is a very romantic city as the city is filled with beautiful gardens, a castle, medieval architecture, fantastic viewpoints and much more!  There is so much to see in Budapest and two days was not enough to see it all but I am happy to say I did get to see many beautiful sites.

 

The Liberty Bridge

The Liberty Bridge

 

Cave Church

Cave Church

 

 

Another great reason to visit Budapest is that it is very affordable, which allows you to do more because it won't set you back much.  For example, the cost of a local beer was about $2 and a local glass of their champagne $2-3. And, the food is delicious!  We enjoyed a very nice dinner at Il Terzo Cerchio (can highly recommend it) for about $20 a person, including two drinks, a starter and a main course.  A few other restaurant recommendations I can give are: Taj Mahal for good cheap Indian food, a little off the beaten track but well worth it. Stex, a large restaurant where you find a little something for everyone, mostly locals that are eating here, it is also very cheap and serve generous portions. Paprika, near the castle, is a traditional Hungarian restaurant serving up local specialties, be prepared to wait as it seems to be always packed, also cheap. And last but not least for the vegetarian (me), I enjoyed a very reasonably priced and delicious lunch at Napfenyes Etterem, also near the castle.

 

The Royal Palace & Buda Castle

The Royal Palace & Buda Castle

 

The Chain Bridge

The Chain Bridge

 

 

Castle Hill, which is located on Buda, is easily reached by walking up the hill for about twenty minutes or you can opt to take a little cable car up to The Royal Palace and then continue your walk from there.  We decided that a nice walk up the hill would do us some good and along the way we were able to get great pictures by doing so.  Once we reached the top we were greeted by The Royal Palace and further on at the other side of the hill was the Vienna Gate and a very old rococo church, Matthias Church.  My favorite spot up there was the Fisherman's Bastion, which is a large white lookout tower.  From there you have a magnificent view of Parliament.

 

The view of Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion

The view of Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion

 

Fisherman's Bastion

Matthias Church 

 

Matthias Church

Fisherman's Bastion

 

Fisherman's Bastion

Fisherman's Bastion 

 

Parliament

Parliament

 

 

On Pest, there were also many beautiful sites and places to visit.  One of my favorites being The Great Market Hall, which is an indoor market selling everything from fruits and vegetables, meats, spices, pickled items and handicrafts/clothes on the second floor.  It is well worth a visit, despite it being a bit touristy at times. 

 

Great Market Hall, Budapest

 

Great Market Hall, Budapest

 

Great Market Hall, Budapest

 

Great Market Hall, Budapest

 

 

After the market, we decided to go to City Park.  In City Park, there are numerous attractions, which were not as busy as the main attractions, maybe due to it being a little further out than the other centrally located places.  While there we watched ice skaters skate on the lake with lots of music to keep the beat going.  Heroe's Square is also located here, which has the Millennium Monument in the middle and The Museum of Fine Arts on one side and The Art Hall on the second.  It is a spectacular and enormous monument right in the center of the busy streets. 

 

Heroe's Square

Heroe's Square

 

Ice Skaters on the lake and Vajdahundyad Castle

Ice Skaters on the lake and Vajdahundyad Castle

 

Vajdahundyad Castle

Vajdahundyad Castle

 

 

Within City Park you will find Vajdahundyad Castle located.  The castle was loosely modeled after a Translyvanian fortress and has three different wings made up of one Gothic, one Romanesque and one Baroque.  This was one of my favorite attractions in the entire city.  At last but not least in order to conclude our weekend, we spent a lazy Sunday afternoon at Gellért Hotel & Spa and relaxed in the many thermal baths and swimming pool beautifully decorated in Art Nouveau.  Beautiful mosaic tiles decorate the inside of the thermal baths, truly an experience!

 

Gellert Hotel and Spa, Budapest

Gellert Hotel and Spa, Budapest

 

 

 

Talia Klundt is the Sweden Editor for Wandering Educators

 

 

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Talia Klundt