Budapest was on my bucket list for a while. With the prettiest streets, the coolest ruin bars, the cutest cafés, and not to mention the biggest thermal spa in Europe, it is definitely one to visit.
Where did I go?
The first day we visited Heroes Square, we ironically could not even see the square because it had been taken over by a concert; the one and only…Sting and Shaggy! We had no idea Sting and Shaggy were going to be playing until the day we arrived and we were convinced it was just going to be a tribute act at first (lol). But to our surprise, it was actually them performing, so we had a FREE Sting and Shaggy concert only 15 minutes away from our flat the night we arrived which was IN-SANE. The atmosphere was great, everyone was having such a good time! And Sting and Shaggy are definitely one of the best performers I have ever seen; I 100% recommend!
The next day, when the concert had been cleared and there were no stages in sight, we went around the square to look at the tremendous statues which stand over it. Seven chieftains of the Magyars and other important Hungarian national leaders are the faces of these statues, which surround the Memorial Stone of Heroes.
Grand Café Budapest
Our first sit-down meal was at Grand Café Budapest. When you walk in the café, the first thing that catches your eye are the massive loafs of fresh bread they have on the counter. They offer a slice of this Grand bread with every meal you order, which I think is amaaaazing. We visited the café in the morning and were therefore looking for something for breakfast, and the menu did not disappoint. They had great breakfast options which included British/ American style breakfasts, for example eggs and bagels, with a Hungarian twist such as adding Hungarian sausage to the eggs.
Grand Café Budapest is also home of the best latté I have ever tried (showed clearly by my face in the following picture)
Hands down the most beautiful restaurant I have ever visited. Fairy lights, hanging plants and so much natural light from the glass ceiling. What initially attracted us to this restaurant was their brunch menu, with modern British meals such as eggs and avocado. However the brunch menu was not available when we visited, which I believe was a blessing in disguise as it gave us the opportunity to try the authentic Jewish food they had to offer.
Széchenyi Baths are the largest medicinal baths in Europe. Medical studies have found that the baths potentially have curative properties for joint issues and inflammation! With city breaks, a holiday does not always feel like a holiday, as we try and pack as much activities into a day as we can and stay up later than we usually do, making us exhausted. Although it sounds ironic, this is why I think it is always important to find time to rest when on holiday, as city escapes like this can sometimes lead us to feeling more tired when we get back than what we did before we left! Therefore, a spa is always a great idea when there is not a beach or pool close-by (or if you are not the biggest fan of these), or if you are travelling during winter. The spa has indoor and outdoor pools. The outdoor pool was a gigantic, warm bath which had a water fountain in the centre spraying refreshing cool water. This pool was definitely my favourite. The thought of being in an outdoor pool wearing a bikini mid winter, when it was 5 degrees Celsius outside was beyond belief.
Szimpla Kert is one of the most popular ruin bars in Budapest. Known for its funky décor and ‘wrecked’ vibes, it is a hotspot for backpackers and tourists. We visited Szimpla Kert for dinner and decided to go back for drinks later on. They offer a food menu during the day and evening which consists mainly of burgers, and at night it turns into a really cool cocktail bar. We met the most amazing people there and everyone agreed that it was the best place for a night out in Budapest.
Central Market Hall
Everyone who knows me knows I am the BIGGEST fan of food markets, so this was a place I was veeeery very excited to visit. Central Market Hall is the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. The market has an impressive three floors of stalls, with a huge variety of food, clothes and souvenirs. I noticed the market had a lot of stalls that sold paprika, which is a staple ingredient in Hungarian cuisine.
What did I eat?
Grand Café Budapest
I had eggs, potato and Hungarian sausage. It reminded of a smashed Spanish omelette or ‘Huevos Rotos’. It tasted delicious, however I personally find Hungarian sausage a bit too salty for my palette. My friend Racheal went for the bagels with poached eggs and cheese sauce, which came with Hungarian sausage and lettuce.
I opted for the chicken thigh fillet seasoned with secret spices which came with traditional matbucha salad, beetroot salad, parsley tahini and a freshly grilled pita topped with parsley and pomegranate seeds. The chicken was seasoned to perfection and the dips went so well with the main dish. Very filling as well!
Racheal went for the Shakshuka; fresh tomato sauce, pepper, onion and authentic spices cooked with egg, feta cheese and eggplant. All served in a traditional hot pan.
At Szimpla Kert we had some big, juicy BBQ burgers with a beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato and a dollop of BBQ sauce. YUM! I had sweet potato fries as my side and Racheal had onion rings. I think burgers are a safe bet on holiday if you feel scared to try the traditional cuisine. A worldwide meal known over all cultures…can’t go wrong!
Central Market Hall
I picked up these goodies at Central Market Hall. Little chocolate truffles, filled with different flavoured chocolate, such as champagne chocolate or tiramisu chocolate. Cause who doesn’t love chocolate?!
Random things I ate or saw
Lángos. A Hungarian food speciality, which is a deep fried dough topped usually with cheese and any other toppings you fancy such as ham, sausage, onions or tomato sauce. This was the first thing we ate the day we arrived. REALITY BEHIND TRAVELLING: We hadn’t eaten since breakfast and didn’t arrive to our final destination till the evening so we were STAR-VING. We needed something quick and filling and a massive savoury doughnut would do just the trick! I went for cheese, onion, cream sauce and Hungarian sausage as my toppings. It was sooooo good and I think everyone should try a Lángos if visiting Hungary.
These cool sausage bread rolls
We found so many cute little fruit stores which sold the BIGGEST fruit I have ever seen. I was so impressed with their size, I took an orange with me back to the UK (lol)
This was my last meal before leaving for the airport. A veggie wrap with cheese, lettuce, rice and beans. The warm cheese melted into the rice, turning into a sauce and making the wrap ten times tastier!
Budapest airport provides a great salad bar. You have the option of a small, medium or large salad bowl depending on the amount of toppings you would like in your bowl. They had a large variety of toppings available including chickpeas, hummus, egg, lentils, chicken, and a choice of sauces such as Caesar or balsamic. I went for a medium salad bowl and chose lettuce, lentils, carrots, egg, chickpeas, tomato, hummus and Greek dressing. You could have the salad in a takeaway bowl to take on the plane which I thought would be very handy. However, it wasn’t the best packaging design as my dressing leaked out of the container! I think salad bars should be more available in UK airports to provide people with a healthier option for lunch or dinner when travelling.
I hope you enjoyed this read,
Sarah – x