Two Days in Budapest

For spring break we spent a week and a half in central Europe. Our first stop was Budapest, Hungary. We took a red eye.. it's our new way of travelling. Since our trip to Morocco last year we have started to take evening flights that enable us to sleep on the plane and get to our destinations bright and early in the morning ready to start the day.

Budapest is divided into two sides with the river Danube running through it, there is the hilly Buda and the flat but bustling Pest. We found a hotel, D8 (yup that's its name) on the Pest side close to the river and the famous Chain Bridge. The hotel was wonderful. Highly recommended. We got there around 9am and while check in was hours away they said they could have it ready in half and hour. We left our bags in their care and headed out to grab some breakfast.

We ate at À la Maison which was a short walk away. The breakfast was delectable!

After breakfast we came back to the hotel to check in. Afterwards our first stop was Dohany Street Synagogue. We are walkers and wanders.. so on our way there we wandered to a square that had set up stalls and shops.

We purchased a beautiful dried fruit wreath from here the next day. 

The synagogue was closed so we headed towards St. Stephan's Basilica. On our way there we stumbled upon Gozsdu-udvar a sort of covered street market. 

We finally made it to St. Stephan's Basilica and got in line to go inside. There was an entrance fee and we paid to go up to the tower. While there was an elevator to take you half way up my crazy kids wanted to climb the 364 steps.. else it would just be boring, D exclaimed! We huffed and puffed all way up to find ourselves starting at a stunning view.

After that we decided to skip the interior of the basilica and headed straight to the gelato place, Gelarto Rose across the street. There was a line. Now the questions was, is the line crazy long because Instgram made this place and their pretty rose gelato's famous or is this gelato going to blow my mind.. we took a chance and it...  

blew our minds.. so so so good. The flavors were so.. flavorful! We tried the lemon, strawberry, cinnamon, chocolate, pistachio and raspberry. Amazing!

Next we crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge and headed over to the Buda side of Budapest.

That's me on the Buda side with the bridge behind me. It was not as impressive as I had imagined.. and so so crowded there was barely any room to walk. It was our mistake in not grabbing some lunch before we left Pest as the options on the Buda side were a lot more limited. In the end we sat down to grab a meal at YBL Bistro. The whole experience was okay. The service was so slow. The food was fine.. not bad. We were able to try a Hungarian specialty, chicken paprikash. 

Afterwards we headed to Buda Palace. We skipped the funicular, the walk up wasn't hard.. we didn't go inside the palace.. we wandered around for a bit then walked a short distance to Matthias Church which has a lovely tiled roof. We didn't go inside. Right around the corner was the Fisherman's Bastion (Halaszbastya) a panoramic viewing terrace with fairy tale towers. It was very picturesque. But thanks to the age of the selfie it becomes so much more difficult to get a decent picture.

We headed back to the Pest side of town. It was our first day and we had planned on having an early dinner. We ate at the Aurum Bistro close to St. Stephan's Basilica. We had another chicken paprakish and a beef goulash with buttered noddles and the most amazing lemonades I have ever had.

The next day we headed to one of Budapest's main shopping streets, Vaci which was minutes away from the hotel and had breakfast at Cyrano Etterem.

After breakfast we continued to walk along Vaci st. which was lined with eateries and branded stores. Not too interesting.. we walked till be reached the Central Market Hall. It was mostly meat and cheese vendors, some produce and lots of touristy souvenirs. Meh.

We didn't spend too much time there and soon found ourselves heading towards the Liberty Bridge. A much better bridge than the Chain Bridge.. still picturesque and without the hordes of tourists.

The rest of the morning we spent exploring the Gellert Hill breathlessly walking the many many steps to the Citadel and the other various scenic view points. Many many steps!

And look we found a playground too

With our stomachs grumbling and I craving some more of that magical Budapest lemonade we made our way down the hill.. walked over Elizabeth Bridge and back to Vaci St. We ate pizza's at Vendetta Pasta e Basta and lemonades!!

Bellies happy and full we grabbed a taxi to Margaret Island. Its a small island situated on the Danube just 1.6 miles long. It is a recreational island with a musical water fountain, parks, a pool etc. We opted to rent a surrey bike and took a tour of the whole island.

Instead of a taxi we opted to walk back from Margaret Island enabling us to walk by the Hungarian Parliament Building. The building is enormous and magnificent. There are millions of photographs of it on the internet but they can not convey the grandness of this building.

For dinner we came back to Vaci St. and had Italian food at Cucina. The next morning we were catching a train to our next destination!

Notes -
The is no Uber in Budapest.
There are plenty of taxi's who are supposed to take payments via credit card but refuse to.. so you need to have cash.
Hungary has its own currency for Hungarian Forint and it's a little discerning because everything costs hundreds of fornit.
All the menu's list allergens in the food which is great when you are travelling with someone who has allergies but they also will tell you that they cook openly and particles may transfer. So eat at your own risk. Thankfully D's allergies are mild and we were able to get through all the meals problem free.
The portion sizes were refreshing.. it was enough food to finish in one sitting. But we did miss the unlimited coffee refills at breakfast time. The teeny tiny cups of delicious cappuccino just didn't pack enough of a kick.
While it seems like we walked back and forth and all over the place but all the main touristy places are very close to each other and very walkable.

We had one regret.. we couldn't find enough time to be able to visit one of Budapest infamous thermal baths. I thought we would be able squeeze in a few hours but we couldn't. :(

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We are planning to go to Budapest this summer. Your photos are lovely, thank you for sharing.
Have a wonderful day!

Oh how cool to get to Budapest!! I would love to go here one day. Love your photos and your lucky you can sleep on plane. I generally do not sleep much on plane.

Allie of
Veronica Lee said…
Thank you, thank you, Hena for sharing all your amazing adventures. Your photos reignited my passion to travel again. The hubs and I travelled quite a bit before we had kids but life kept getting in the way and we had to to our travel plans on the backburner. Now that my boys are all grown up, I want to see the world again and your travels have been such a great inspiration to me.
Sandi said…
Wonderful pictures!
Emmylou said…
I love how you guys are always so adventurous with your vacays! So awesome that your kids are such world travellers at a young age. The pics are lovely as always and now, I'm craving for gelato:D
Kelly said…
I loved seeing all your photos! (and I'm thirsty for one of those lemonades now!!) My brother and his wife might have been there at the same time as y'all. They recently took a cruise that began in Budapest. He's using a spectacular night photo he took of that Parliament building on his social media right now.
Stefanie said…
What an amazing trip. Those gelato roses are awesome. Can you adopt me so I can travel with you?
Joyful said…
This place is on my list of places to travel.
What a fabulous time. My grandparents are Hungarian, and I was there about 30 years ago visiting relatives. Not in the city though. I would just love to go back.
As for that chicken looks exactly like the recipe of my grandmas that I still make.
Debbie said…
this looks like such a wonderful i really enjoyed reading about!! your pictures are really beautiful and the food looks AMAZING!!!

your boys are so cute, but not cute enough to get me to climb 350+ stairs!! hehehehe

i have found that when there is a's worth the wait!!

and it sounds like you have found the perfect way to fly with young guys!!
Mica said…
Oh wow, what a fun time you had! You fit a lot in and got to see a lot of nice things even if you didn't get to the baths like you wanted!

Hope that your week is off to a good start! The next weekday wear linkup is live on my blog, I'd love you to join!

Away From Blue
Mica said…
IT looks like you had a great time! You managed to see a lot, even if you didn't get to the Baths like you wanted!

Hope that your week is off to a good start! The next weekday wear linkup is live on my blog, I'd love you to join!

Away From Blue
Jackie Harrison said…
The food looks delish an awesome place to visit
Linda Starr said…
seems like every time I visit your blog you are visiting a different city, looks like fun and good weather too
NotJessFashion said…
What a charming place indeed. Looks like you guys are having a blast, lovely photos!

Jessica |
awhite said…
Such a fun trip- and YUM, that breakfast! I'm drooling!

Le Stylo Rouge
Carrie said…
Wow! I've never seen gelato in the shape of a rose before. I would have wanted to try more than one flavor, too!

Your trip really looked amazing! The dried fruit wreath, gorgeous views, unbelievable looking gelato and lemonades! Wow! Thank you for sharing. What a special trip for you all!
Wow the architecture, the views and the food in Budapest all look incredible.
karen said…
Thank you for sharing your trip (well beginning of your trip). You all look so happy and the weather looked fantastic based on the blue skies!! The food, well it looks super delicious!
Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful photos from your trip. I've always wanted to travel to Budapest but so far it's hasn't happened yet. You have a beautiful family too. :)
What a cool trip! The architecture looks amazing and the food looks delicious! I would love to visit one day!

Jill - Doused in Pink
I love the photos! I am glad you had fun :)

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Sasha said…
Wow! What an amazing trip! I love your photos! ;) XXX
Hello! Great enty, very nice to read your post! Your blog is wonderful, so inspiring and interesting, I will be happy to look here!
Greetings from Poland !
Nice travel guide!! You look like a beautiful family!!
Oh wow what beautiful pictures and a fabulous trip. You have a gorgeous family thanks for sharing your trip with us!
Marie said…
What beautiful pictures!!! I have wanted to go to Budapest for like forever!! All that food looks so good! Glad you had a nice trip.
Looks amazing! Budapest is a city I really have to visit soon :)

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