Hungary no more
A long weekend calls for a short trip overseas and with Christmas fast approaching, Europe is the place that is most festive with Christmas Markets popping up over all the major cities.
Hungary was missed on my last European trip, so we decided to pack the thermals and winter woolies and jump on a 6hr direct flight straight into BUD.
Little did I know the capital city of Budapest was 60% destroyed in the second world war by bombs. Most of the bridges, the parliment and the castles were destroyed as they stood by their German allies. This meant the water supply to ‘the hospital on the rock’ which was built to treat survivors meant they ended up dying from diseases.
Since the 1950’s most of the bridges and buildings have been re-built. It’s hard to fathom the past but I am grateful for the present and to experience such a beautiful city, especially this time of year.
We paid a visit to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths, what a cool (or should i say warm) experience! It was my first time visiting a thermal bath and my UAE friends thought I was mad for even packing a bikini for a Winter vacation, little did they know! Even though it was around 2 degrees outside, the water temperature inside the baths is 28 degrees so it feels like a warm bath. Pro tip: hire a cabin between a few people for ease of changing and you can also lock your stuff inside.
I’d highly recommend visiting the Flipper Muzeum if you’re a bit of a big kid. It has pinball machines dating back to the 1940’s and everything is on free play, you just have to pay an entrance fee. It’s a great way to escape the cold and re-lease your inner child. Talk about nostalgia!
You can’t visit a new country and not try the local food. So I made sure to try goulash, a Hungarian soup made with veggies, paprika and meat. A hearty warming dish. My absolute favorite was langos though. The best way to describe it is a deep fried savory donut base topped with various options but the most delicious is paprika chicken. Chunky pieces of chopped chicken breast with a cream and paprika sauce. Mmmm. Not to mention we sampled bottles of the local vino and I must say it’s up there with some of the best.
What I realized on this trip is how obsessed I am with Snow. Maybe because I’m not exposed to such natural phenomas having grown up in Sydney and now residing in Dubai but I got that excited that I jumped out of bed and got all my layers on as fast as I could so I could go outside and play in it.
Szimply Kert – There’s no way to describe this place fully in words. It’s a collection of ruin bars filled with kitsch objects but that’s all one can say. You really need to visit and experience it fo yourself.
We decided to surprise our friend by taking her to 360 bar which has igloos set up for the Winter. It was a fun & unique experience but it was a bit too chilly to stay longer than one drink.
There’s mulitple Christmas Markets around the Pest side of the city. All with similar offerings of knick knacks, ginger bread, wooden carvings, mulled wine and street food.
If you love donuts you’re in for a treat. There’s loads of donut shops dotted around be city but I couldn’t resist trying Mr Funks. Besides super cute and deliciously fresh donuts they also make a variation of bagels.
DO make sure to pack appropriately for the weather.
DO make sure to carry EURO’s but also exchange into the local currency when you arrive. Some places only Hungarian Forint.
DON’T forget to take some flip flops if you plan on going to the Szechenyi Thermal Baths.
We traveled in November 2017.
We took the local airline Wizz Air which is the cheaper alternative to Emirates buts till a direct flight. Our flights were was 1010 AED return.
We stayed at Lanchid 19 Design Hotel (Chain Bridge Hotel) which we booked in advance via booking.com. For 4 nights our total was 420 Euros. Even though we were on the Buda side of the Danube River, it was only a short walk across the Chain bridge into the Pest side. Most of the tourist attractions were actually on the Buda side so that worked out well for us. The hotel was modern & clean and I loved the radiator inside the bathroom which heated the whole room which ensured we we never felt the cold.