Have you been thinking about booking your next city break? Make it Budapest! It’s a beautiful city, full of the most gorgeous architecture and there are plenty of things to do in Hungary’s capital.
I’ve already shown you a glimpse of Budapest’s Castle Hill in my first post and I’ve reviewed the 5* Hilton Hotel…so, now here’s a run down of what my top 5 things to do on a Budapest City Break are (not in any particular order!):
#1: Go to one of the thermal baths or book into a spa
Budapest is famous for it’s thermal baths, with Szechenyi Baths being one of the most well known. The other guys on the Budapest city break went to Szechenyi Baths (£14.75 for a personal cabin or £13.40 for communal changing rooms) and had a fantastic time. I sadly couldn’t make it because my bad cold was in full swing and I felt awful. Bit gutted I didn’t get to go, but it’s a lovely excuse to take James with me next time and we can go together for the first time. It looks fantastic from the others’ photos (check out Aftab’s photo in his blog post).
I did get to go on a spa afternoon at the Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget on Margaret Island in Budapest which was lovely. Thermal indoor pools and aromatic saunas. It definitely made me feel much better! (apols for no photo of the inside of the spa…I figured it might be rude to take photos of folk in their dressing gowns, hehe).
#2: Go on a wine tour
Who knew you could go on a city wine tour (rather than the traditional vineyard tours)?! Not me anyway. We went on a tour to a few different wine bars in the city. As I wasn’t well the days before, I couldn’t take the antihistamine I need to take before drinking wine (worst allergy ever, right?!), so I couldn’t have any…but I did really enjoy hearing about the history and the wines smelt (and apparently were!) great quality.
We visited Baltazár first which (is apparently is owned by Jamie Oliver) and is a fab boutique hotel/restaurant in the Castle Hill district. Second up was Glass / House. They have some of the best artisan wine-cellars and delicacy manufacturers of Hungary and they are all about wine and design. You can browse the beautiful pieces of jewellery whilst you’re in there. Last, but certainly not least, was Cultivini. Cultivini is a sophisticated wine bar with Enomatic Elite wine dispensers which let you try small amounts of different wines or have full glasses – it’s a fab system…I tried it out in Tuscany a few years ago and thought it was a great way to learn more about regions of wine.
Watch this 5min vlog to see more about the wine bars we visited:
#3: Go on a dinner cruise down the Danube
This isn’t something I’d usually do, ever…dinner…on a big boat? Do you know what though, I really enjoyed it! Decent food (I was pleased to finally try Hungarian strudel), but the real draw for me was the views from the first-floor deck and the top-floor deck of the boat. I showed you how gorgeous the night time view is from the Hilton Hotel in my last post, well…this gave it to us close up. It was breathtaking.
It’s roughly £32 per person for a buffet dinner with three drinks on the Europa.
#4: Watch some Hungarian dancing then go to a few Ruin pubs
OK, Hungarian dancing is pretty damn impressive. Those guys and gals have to be super fit for all that movement!
We caught some of them dancing at the Araz Restaurant at the Continental Hotel (buffet dinner, 3 x Hungarian wines and entertainment, roughly £25 per person).
After you’ve lined your stomachs with food and seen some dancing, go check out the Ruin pubs. We went to Szimpla Kert in the Jewish Quarter, but there are lots more to find at www.ruinpubs.com. Beer is approx. £2.50 a pint.
#5: Go on a guided tour of the city
I don’t usually go on guided tours. I like to be a bit of a free spirit when on holiday so I wouldn’t usually book onto something where I have to follow someone…but this one, well this one was actually great.
We were picked up by CityRama for a three-hour tour (approx. £21 per person) including Gellért Hill with a spectacular view of Budapest, a walking tour in the Castle District and we saw a few other sights like the ice skating and Andrássy Avenue.
Why was he good? He kept the pace up! I didn’t get bored for even one minute! Actually, he kept the pace up so much that I was often trailing behind (as usual trying to grab the perfect photo) and then running to catch up. I much prefer it that way though than dawdling around in one place for too long.
…and, if it’s November/December, visit the Christmas Markets!
We were lucky enough to go on the Budapest city break towards the end of November, so the Christmas Markets were in town…
We visited the Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market and had some fantastic hot chocolate, mulled wine, hot lemon tea and lots of food. We then visited the St. Stephen’s Basilica Christmas Market and gazed at them putting the Christmas lights on the tree for a while. Magical.
Here’s another quick 5 min vlog to give you a taster:
We had a fantastic long weekend on our Budapest city break. Thanks so much to Jet2CityBreaks for the opportunity to go and for arranging a jam-packed itinerary, meaning we got to see so much of the city and do different activities than we normally might. Staying at The Hilton Hotel on Budapest’s Castle Hill was lovely (5* views all the way) and the company throughout the trip was pretty damn good too. Loved spending time with my fellow Budapest Bloggers…Ellie and Aftab. Thanks also to Nick for looking after us splendidly and the other journalists for being fab company too.
Want to read more about Budapest? I’d recommend reading Best 8 Scenic Viewpoints in Budapest by Aftab.
* Please note that the trip was courtesy of Jet2 for review purposes. My opinions, as ever, as all my own.