Discovering the world with relentless curiosity

Category: Budapest

Thermal Baths in Budapest

Our days in Europe have been spent walking, jumping, hobbling and dragging our feet in the most tired of hours. Nothing could remedy this better than a hot thermal bath…

Our days in Europe have been spent walking, jumping, hobbling and dragging our feet in the most tired of hours. Nothing could remedy this better than a hot thermal bath in one of the many thermal pools within Budapest. Since the city literally sits on inactive volcanoes, hot springs and thermal pools sprung to existence. We packed our bags as if heading to the beach, except that it was a cold wintery day. We chose Szechenyi Bath as it attracts a younger clientele, not wanting to be swimming with old aunties and old uncles with big beer bellies. The day was soon getting dark and the temperature had dropped even further, now at -4c. The thermal pool incidentally was an outdoor one. Taking up the challenged, we rushed from indoors to outdoors in our swimming gear and nothing more than a thin towel. The run proved worthwhile; in a mere few seconds we found ourselves submerged in soothing warm water. Steam blurred our vision and I was guessing there were at least 50 people in the pool with us. We sank into bliss and watched the playful activity around us. White star dust gently disappeared into the water. I looked up and realized it was snowing!

Whether it was psychological or real physical evidence, all aches and joints disappeared after 2 full hours of soaking.

Thermal Bath Budapest Thermal Bath Budapest

No Comments on Thermal Baths in Budapest

10 Tips When Visiting Budapest

Here’s 10 tips if you have plans to travel to Budapest. By far, it’s probably one of the best European cities we’ve been to. Judging from the size of the…

Here’s 10 tips if you have plans to travel to Budapest. By far, it’s probably one of the best European cities we’ve been to.

  1. Judging from the size of the map, Budapest can look like a large city. If you like to walk, traveling by foot is the best option as you get to see more. It is possible to walk from the Buda side to the Pest side in 30 minutes.
  2. However, if you would like to take the metro (there are 3 metro lines, and the 4th one is being build), a rough guide is that – should you take more than 5 times a day, it’s best to get the one day pass. But what we did was to get a set of 10 tickets. Tickets are transferable. So, when we felt we were dead tired, we took a metro. Much more cost effective and you definitely see more on foot.
  3. Go for the free Budapest Walk Tour. It’ll give you a great orientation of the city plus the guides provide useful tips to “survive” in Budapest. Also, get some tips on how to choose the perfect accommodation in Budapest because it is quite a big area to explore and you want to get the most of your moolah spent.
  4. And mentioning about free tour, if you have more days in the city, take the Communism Walk and the Jewish Quarter Walk Tour.
  5. If you’re unsure with hot baths to go (as they are a few to choose from), take note that Szechenyi Baths has a younger clientele than the Gellert Baths. Rudas bath (Turkish) has only a same-sex pool. However, on Saturdays, it’s open for unisex.
  6. There is a cave church when you cross Szabadsag bridge (from Pest to Buda). It’s really worth the visit.
  7. Take a walk up to Castle Hill in Buda side. The best view of the entire city up there. The climb isn’t that tough, takes approximately 10-15 minutes from the base of the hill.
  8. Goulash soup is a tourist trap! An average Hungarian never drinks Goulash soup. Go for their authentic food. Ask the folks of Budapest Walk Tour for tips.
  9. Budapest is beautiful at night! Photographers especially must make a trip after dark to take those spectacular shots! Heroes Square is worth the mention though.
  10. And lastly, never take a taxi! Taxi men rip you off big time!
No Comments on 10 Tips When Visiting Budapest

Whirlwind Introduction To Budapest

Frustrated with the heavy backpacks we had been lugging for almost an hour after arriving at one of the many Budapest train stations, I muttered under my breath, “Urgh, I…

Budapest (43)

Frustrated with the heavy backpacks we had been lugging for almost an hour after arriving at one of the many Budapest train stations, I muttered under my breath, “Urgh, I hate this city already!” The weather wasn’t helping either as it was downcast with light showers now dampening my scarf. We trotted on a bit more with the only map we had of the city and finally arrived at our hostel – the Mandarin Hostel. Dark as ever the hallway leading up to the even darker staircase was uninviting. We knocked on the door that seemed like it had a reception table on the side. No response. Bang a little harder and realized the door wasn’t locked. But there was no one at the reception, unlike all the other hotels we have been staying at. We found a note telling us to call on the phone for the receptionist. Loud footsteps entered the room behind the counter and staring at us with his magnifying glass spectacles he speaks with a sing-songy accent in English. We finally stepped into our bedroom only to be greeted with a musky smell and drippy old curtains. The hallways to the toilet outside of our room were dark and eerie. Instantly we turned to each other and nodded in agreement that bolting right out was the best solution. By then the sun had already set and mentally we had no place to stay for the night (however technically we still had a room we cringed to even stay for the night).
5pm – We checked-out lugged our backpacks in search for a place closer to the city after an online search on Hostel World.

6pm – We were now climbing the stairways to a place called Lavender Circus. The stairways were again not properly lighted (maybe it’s just a Budapest thing we thought!). By the fourth flight of stairs a guy from the 5th floor yells down at us, “Do you have reservations?” We shook our heads and said, “No!” He sympathetically responded, “Sorry, we’re fully booked.” At this point we were this close to giving up. Seeing our pathetic postures and sorry faces he invited us in to use the computer for yet another search. Meantime, we persistently pestered if there were any available rooms. “Sorry, no rooms” But within 15 minutes, he must have sensed our desperation and immediately made a few phone calls. That was when we found Andrea extremely helpful. He made some changes with the bookings and offered us a room for 4 nights.

It was also then that I joyously remarked, “I think I’m beginning to like Budapest” salvaging my initial thoughts of this city.

No Comments on Whirlwind Introduction To Budapest

Buda And Pest

Did you know that Budapest is a city divided by the Danube? On one side is Pest – the flat, busy, central district while on the other side is Buda,…

Did you know that Budapest is a city divided by the Danube? On one side is Pest – the flat, busy, central district while on the other side is Buda, the hilly and more residential part of the city. Budapest is a young country that has a past of Communist ruler ship. Its current post-communist state brings about an interesting discussion of pro’s and con’s of the communist regime. Tourist who traverse this city in a few days would find it incredibly refreshing, in all sense; culturally, architecturally, traditions and its cuisines. There’s a tinge of Turkish, a tad of Russian and a slight flair of its current surfacing Budapestian flavor.

Once again filled with cathedrals and monuments throughout the city, the familiar gothic, neo-western style of buildings seemed to have disappeared. Instead sculptures of angels, saints and milder looking domes formed the shape of its edifices. I was drawn to the structural design of the city, and indeed appreciating it more than the previous European buildings seen in the last few weeks.

Budapest (29)

To add to these man-made beauties is the Danube; a massive river that sat magnificently between Buda & Pest. On either side was a guaranteed view to behold. Buda had rolling hills – one of which was the famous Castle Hill and the fairy-tale looking Fisherman’s Bastion, 200 mysterious labyrinths beneath, cathedrals atop and the Parliament on one end. Whilst standing on Buda’s side, Pest is brightly lit, buzzing with life and the old St. Stephen’s church in all its grandeur. Beneath the awesome western-European, our Hungarian guide plaintively explained that its post-communist governance has many rippling effects the people are left to face with. Nonetheless this beautiful city has a lot to look forward too.

Budapest (32)Budapest (25)

The massive neo-classic structure of St. Stephen’s Basilica is not to be missed. We’ve been into dozens of churches around Europe, but this one knocks your socks off. The exterior is a grand statement in itself, however stepping inside will leave you awe struck. The mosaic pictures intricately lined the dome within and 24 carat gold trimmings gently framed each mosaic. Everything in the church looked costly and almost delicate to behold. The only bizarre thing about the basilica was it housed a highly regarded religious treasure – the right hand of St. Stephen’s. This mummified shrunken hand lay in a gold trimmed glass box and people were allowed to see it when you drop a few coins into a machine that would lit the box up for 2 minutes. I found it totally bizarre!

Budapest (1)Budapest (4)
One of our favourite “hang-outs” – The Heroes’ Square (Hősök tere) down Andrassy Main Road. Somehow, you get the feeling of patriotism when you see this.

Budapest (13) Budapest (15)Budapest (14)

No Comments on Buda And Pest

Type on the field below and hit Enter/Return to search