One gloomy, September morning, Jack text me whilst at work asking if I fancied a trip to Germany in December to visit the Christmas markets. With the thought of winter drawing in I jumped at the idea and booked the needed four days off work. He said we’d be going with friends of friends and would arrange the whole trip for us – what more could a girl want!
Come the morning when we were about to set off, Jack decided to reveal the secret that we were actually going away to Budapest – just the two of us. With the joker that he is, I couldn’t quite tell if he was being serious. I welled up a bit at the whole surprise but was so unbelievably excited!
So lets cut to the chase, we arrived in Budapest and I couldn’t have been more chuffed with our apartment – the boy did good!
Click here for the Air bnb link. We were in an ideal location, between a 2 and 10 min walk away from most things. A pharmacy, supermarket, café and bars all on the same street but as the apartment was tucked away in the block it was lovely and quiet. I couldn’t recommend this apartment enough!
Here is a list of some of the things I’d recommend doing if you are planning on visiting Budapest…
We went to the Szechenyi thermal baths, which was an amazing experience! It was pretty busy even in 5 degree weather. Wonderful when you’re in the water, but pretty painful when running to the next pool on the freezing concrete! We had limited time in the baths before our dinner reservation and didn’t want to spend it in the lengthy queue waiting for a towel. (we found a dry one left on the side and shared it between us). So just a tip if you don’t want to spend ages in the mahooosive queue – take your own bloody towel!
Jack went to Budapest a few years ago so had some knowledge of the city. He told me all about the kooky ruin bars so in the day we took a stroll to his favourite one from last time, Szimpla. It was crazy cool with a huge range of rooms to explore, full to the brim with random objects and odd things to goggle at. After a day at the Christmas markets we went again in the evening when it became a bustling night club. The prices were the same, if not more than a double G&T back in England, but it was totally worth it to spend our evening in a place with so much character. The ruin bars are tourist hot spots so be prepared to meet people from all over the world.
Jack had a recommendation from a friend to visit Sir Lancelot’s, a medieval themed restaurant. All the waiting staff were dressed in appropriate fashion, the décor was certainly on point and the portion sizes were wastefully huge! There was entertainment which included fire dancing, belly dancing and a sword fight all carried out while the guests pig out. You could really get into the spirit here but as we were pretty hungover from our night out in the ruin pubs, we were struggling to eat (this never happens when I order a dominos on a hungover Sunday!).
After a slowly eaten, soupy bread bowl, we received our sharing main. What were we thinking?! The silver platter was humungous and covered in all your expected medieval meats and veggies. I think I had two bites of a duck leg and then we had to take everything else home in a doggy bag. (Which worked well in the end for our airport pack lunches!)
Fashion Street / Christmas Market
These speak for themselves…
Ecseri Flea Market
At 9am we took a 10 min cab journey to the Ecseri vintage market. We only left so early as advised by Trip advisor, but we noticed that most of the stalls didn’t start setting up until at least 10am. Maybe it was the time of year!? If you like antiques and finding weird and wonderful bits of history – this market is definitely worth a visit! I bought a small silver, moon and star necklace for 5000 HUF, around £14.
My favourite ‘food based’ meal we had in Budapest was at the Asian cuisine restaurant, Khan. We read some good reviews on trip advisor and as Thai food is my absolute favourite we decided to visit. Khan is still a very new restaurant and although on the small side, all the tables were full when we arrived at 7pm. The menu is small but everything we ordered was absolutely d-e-licious!! The staff couldn’t have been more accommodating and they spoke fluently in a range of different languages to communicate with all of their guests – very impressive.
New York Cafe
On our last morning we went for breakfast in The New York Café – I wasn’t even aware it was a thing but Jack organised it with ‘photo opportunities’ in mind. My photos are of awful quality but it the whole place was just stunning. Half of the New York Café is also a very fancy hotel with a lot of history. Visiting here would be my biggest recommendation if your going to Budapest. Jack opted for an omelette and I had a traditional Hungarian breakfast which consisted of a ton of paprika sausages with mustard. The ice cream style, smoothie coffees were too die for… *dribbling face emoji*
Danube River Cruise
On our last evening Jack took me for dinner on the Danube River Cruise and we had the most enjoyable time. The views were amazing, the complimentary champagne was fab and the buffet food was delicious. The live gypsy music really made the whole experience. The band were great and were happy to go round taking requests. Hearing ‘If I was a rich girl…’ on the violin made our night! The perfect end to our lovely Christmas holiday.