While Berlin remains my favorite city in the world to live in (see why I moved to Berlin), Budapest is my favorite city in the world to visit.
Over the course of 2012, I travelled to Budapest three times – once with a man friend, another time with my best friend, and finally on my own. In fact, it was the last place I visited in Europe before moving home to Toronto.
These Instagram photos of Budapest were taken during those three trips, representing some of the things I love most about the city.
The Thermal Baths
The thermal baths are at the top of my Budapest “to do” list.
Széchenyi was the first thermal bath site I ever visited. It was winter, close to Christmas, and I dropped my robe, running out into the cold night and jumping into one of the heated pools as quickly as possible, screaming with delight the entire way.
Standing there alone, I took in the scene around me: a combination of the neoclassical architecture, bright stars shining above, spewing fountains and thick puffs of white steam whirling around. It all made for one of the happiest moments of my life.
I’ve been to Széchenyi many times since, and finally on a hot, summer day when I sipped cold beer with my best friend from Germany.
Another highly recommended bath is Gellert Spa where I went with my man friend. It’s much more refined and upscale than Széchenyi and you can also stay at the adjoining Danubius Hotel Gellért (a property on my radar when I visit next).
Panoramic City Views
Luxurious Old-World Accommodations
It’s easy to see why my photo of the luxurious Four Seasons lobby got me featured on the main page of afar.com. The design of this renovated art nouveau landmark is absolutely stunning.
Another high-end property, the Buddha-Bar Hotel Budapest Klotild Palace boasts a similar but more understated lobby.
As if the posh hotels weren’t enough, the historical homes of Budapest are just as beautiful. Take a peek into a residential courtyard.
This is the front door of a flat I booked through Roomorama (operates much like Airbnb).
On the other side of that door lies a hallway shrouded in a mysterious haze.
Millenaris Park, located in Buda, is a bit out of the way but well worth the visit as there are reflective ponds, theaters and exhibit halls.
It was here that I took in the Invisible Exhibition, where you can learn about what life is like for the blind.
This building was not officially open the day I went in as my entry earned me a stern scolding from a security guard when he swiftly kicked me out.
At least I scored this photo of the interior before having to leave!
Tourist Hot Spots
Of course, no visit to Budapest is complete without taking in some of the city’s more notorious tourist sites. Be sure to check out my Weekend Guide to Budapest for even more information.
The ever-pretty Buda Castle is always a favorite.
Heroes Square, also worth viewing on a foggy day.
A statue behind St. Terez Church.
The Chain Bridge at night where I had a special moment – here’s an excerpt from a previous post:
Breaking my reverie, my friend suddenly exclaimed, “Isn’t Budapest romantic? This city is beautiful. In fact, I think it’s even nicer than Prague.”
I stopped, turned and looked at him smiling. It was as if he read my mind and even my heart. I’d never met someone who felt the same way as I did about Budapest!
My favourite ruin bar in Budapest is Szimpla, where you can drink cheap beer while sitting in the comfort of a bathtub or even watch a movie in their open air theatre.
Did you know there’s also a Szimpla in Berlin?
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