Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, wow, you took us by surprise and amazed us. We had a relaxing week taking our time with the sights and sounds this city had to offer. The Danube River splits this intriguing city in two the ‘Buda’ side and the ‘Pest’ side. The free walking tour was a great way for us to learn the history of the Communist period, Jewish communities and how they came to their current Democrat state after many invasions and occupations over the years. On the tour we also rubbed the appropriate statues around the city that were believed to give good luck and good food!

View of 'Pest' from 'Buda'

View of ‘Pest’ from ‘Buda’

Prince Apartments was our proper home for the week with lots of Zane cooking, sleeping in, grocery shopping and laundry. It is surprising what a bit of routine and normalcy can do for the soul! Included in our stay were free passes at a gym where we got much-needed workouts and pool swims. Dangerously close was an H & M and we finally gave in and bought some new clothes. Thinking of all of you month after month seeing us in the same clothes in every picture we went shopping for your sake, so your welcome! (That’s Katie always justifying a purchase)

Because of the natural thermal waters throughout the city there are many bathhouses and fountains with drinkable water. Near Hero’s Square and City Park, we spent the day at the Szechenyi Thermal Baths. It had 11 healing bathes, cooling bathes, multiple saunas, and steam rooms. For almost 4 hours we confused our bodies by sitting in extreme heat then dunking into a freezing cold bathes over and over. Finishing in the huge outdoor pools in the sun, our muscles felt amazing. We observed a weird and disturbing correlation with the male bathers, the larger the man the smaller their bathing suit. Let’s just say we were very motivated for our workout and had salads for dinner.

Chimney Cakes

Chimney Cakes



Our apartment offered free cruiser bikers which we took advantage of. Biking around all the beautiful architecture and open green space stopping for greasy Hungarian food such as Langos and Chimney cakes, along the way was one of our favorite days. The Parliament, a massive gothic church-style building, along with St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Palace are some of the main structures to visit but every street consists of the most picturesque building in multiple styles of architecture. Zigzagging across the various bridges crossing the river we made our way to Margaret Island then biked the length of the island and stopping for people watching breaks. Then onto a small hike up to the Liberty Lady to take in a panoramic view of the city.


In the early 2000’s a number of ruin bars were opened in the city. People took sections of old, abandoned buildings and turned them into multiple room bars paired with really eccentric, bizarre decorations. Nowadays there is one street that houses all these unique bars opposite many excellent restaurants. Szimpla is the ruin bar we checked out since Lonely Planet voted it the 3rd best bar in the world.   We had no idea Budapest was known for such nightlife and dining.

More pics:

Budapest was the most livable city we have visited thus far for many reasons listed below which also made it a great place to visit.   Another place to add to your list!

  • Many open green spaces
  • Clean/No Littering/No Stray animals
  • Easy and accessible public transportation
  • Bike Friendly and easy to walk everywhere
  • Responsible public drinking
  • Beautiful architecture
  • All types of food available
  • Ruin bars with night life
  • Peaceful/No Riots
  • Friendly locals with English spoken everywhere
The Parliament Building

The Parliament Building

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