And happy belated Valentine’s Day!
Which is the whole reason we went for a short city break in Budapest, Hungary! Last year, we went to Prague, which happned to fall roughly on Valentine’s day. Shane and I aren’t really big gift-givers to one another, but that trip felt like a nice way to celebrate the occasion.
So, on to the 2nd Annual Valentine’s Day trip!
(maybe I should work on a catchier name…)
To be honest, we really didnt know anything about Budapest before we went, and the main reason I wanted to go was becuase we could get there for pretty cheap. We arrived pretty clueless, but left feeling like we actually had a good sense of the history of the city, and like we should have paid more attention during history in high school.
…speaking of arriving. We didn’t until 2:30am due to a 3 HOUR delay on the runway. Ice in Amserdam… (insert eye roll). But, the hotel must have felt bad for us because we got a free room upgrade, which included this fancy chair which we dubbed as “the coffee chair”.
And here is where the shamelss plug for the “Budapest Card” starts. I think that every major European city has one of these, but when I’ve looked I never felt like they were worth the money. Not this one! For 25 euros per person we didn’t pay another entrance fee the entire weekend and had full access to all the public transportation! I’ll start from the beginning.
Pest Walking Tour:
Budapest is actually split into two sides, Buda & Pest (pronounced ‘pescht’ – as we learned). The card actually gives you access to two walking tours; one in Buda, one in Pest. Convienently enough, our hotel was literally just around the corner from the starting location of the Pest tour, so we kicked off our Saturday with a tour.
Ya find Americans everywhere!
St. Stephen’s Bascillica
And you know we went up the dome….300 more stairs under the belt.
The Hungarian National Museum
Lukács Thermal Baths
We don’t have any pictures from here… but there really wans’t much to see. One of the things Budapest is known for are their thermal baths so we were excited to give it a whirl, especially after a day of walking. Three things to note about this particular one.
- It’s free with the card which is why we picked it.
- It’s not flashy… at all, unlike (apparently) some of the other more well-known baths. (Probably why it’s included on the card).
- The whole place is a damn maze! The complex has multiple wellness areas, and seriously took us 20 minutes and some directions from a local to find the indoor baths.
- No, they aren’t naked baths. We confirmed this before we went.
I didn’t really know what to expect here, but it was a series of different sized pools heated to different temperatures. You just hop from pool to pool whenever you feel like it, and let the magical hotsprings water make your skin glow! If you’re like me… an hour here was more than enough.
Shane did take some really nice night shots on our walk home though.
We capped off the night at one of the famous ‘ruin bars’. After WWII, and Budapest had been bombed, a lot of the ‘Jewish Quarter’ was left ruined. See where I’m going here? These bars are built in the ruins of the bombed buildings. It’s hard to describe this bar, but it was probably the coolest one I’ve ever been in! Two levels with a main corridor on each level, and small mini-bars all along the main corridor. And the most random, insane, yet coherent decorations! These pictures won’t do it justice. (Needless to say, these weren’t included in the Budapest Card lol).
And that about sums up our short time in Budapest! There is a lot more to do than we expected, so it will definitely require a follow-up visit. 😉