We selected Hungary, Budapest as our starting point of our 2-week long honeymoon. We have long wanted to explore a different side of a Europe and have decided on the 4 countries – Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Czechia. The main highlights that we’d like to visit were Hallstatt and Lake Bled. So we weaved in Budapest and Prague into our honeymoon to see more places along the way. So I’ll focus this post and the next post, on our 4 days in Budapest.
To be honest, I didn’t have much expectations of Budapest except to look forward to their famous thermal bath. We were deciding between Szechenyi Thermal Bath and Gellert Thermal Bath and we chose the former.
We stayed at Prestige Hotel Budapest which offers the perfect location – 3 mins walk away from the Szechenyi chain bridge, central location to Christmas market and St. Stephen’s Basilica. Both of us agreed that Prestige Hotel Budapest is the best accommodations that we have stayed during our honeymoon. We were spoilt at the beginning but at least we were off to a good start!
We were given a free bottle of red wine as Hubby is Expedia VIP. Too bad we don’t drink alcohol haha. And they gave delish chocs to us Everyday with hand-written notes on weather forecast Everyday. That’s a very thoughtful gesture. Did I mention they do housekeeping twice a day? Thumbs up Prestige Hotel!
And yes I brought this Giambattistavalli x hm tulle dress along! Buy it so must wear it when I feel like it. 🙂
Well, back to thermal bath. As we were combatting jet lag on the first day, we only put thermal bath as the main activity for the day. We were told to bring slippers and towels, of course our own swimsuits as well, for the basic entry to the thermal baths. It was really quite an experience to soak yourself into the outdoor hot pool during winter time. But the running towards the indoor pool was not that fun and we were shivering and running. Unforgettable.
Taking photos was challenging due to the mist and slight drizzle. Soon after 4pm, it turned dark pretty soon. We were deliberating if we can tolerate the cold and ran a distance to check out their indoor pool. And so we did. The indoor pool was huge and there’s many for you to choose. They even have beer thermal bath!
Before heading the the thermal bath, we decided to get some caffeine into our system to perk us up and we went to Espresso Embassy, that’s just a corner away from our hotel. Very hipster vibes and seemed like everyone was there to hang out.
The next day, we took a Bolt (aka their Uber/Grab) to New York Palace Cafe for breakfast. OMG. Don’t underestimate the popularity of this IG-famous place and we were so Glad that we made it early for breakfast as the queue got so long that people were queuing in the cold.
Their ala carte items esp main dish is around 15 euros. So we opted for their breakfast buffet which is 30euros – looks like a better deal with a good spread. We then took the train to Hungarian Opera House but the main hall was closed for renovation. So there was no point to wait for their tour visit. We then visited St Stephen Basilica.
We have booked Central Cafe and Restaurant 1887 for lunch, which is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Budapest. We tried their Hungarian food – Chicken Paprika and Goulash Soup. Highly recommended for you to drop by and try their food if you are in Budapest.
Across the street is a highly-raved cafe named Madal Cafe. I have to say their coffee was pretty mind blowing. The aftertaste of their coffee has this seaweed savoury taste, which as I typed now, I can still remember it. The first sip gave me a good impression and I was telling Ben their coffee was really unique.
We spent the evening walking around the city, and took the tram to see the city lights. We experienced the Christmas market and it was quite fun. However, initially we thought that Budapest is an affordable place to tour but it was not the case. The Christmas market food items were overpriced with a main dish costing 18 euros. For a normal meal at an eatery/restaurant, it can easily cost 15-20 euros per pax.
The chimney cakes are usually wrapped around a spit and held above the open fire. Usually comes with many sweet flavours such as cinnamon, sugar, walnut etc. Watching the vendors cooking them was quite a spectacular! The flat langos, which look like fried dough “youtiao”, comes in plain or with savoury toppings such as sausages, beef etc. We tried the plain lango and really tasted like those fried chinese “youtiao”.
For dinner, we had this awesome and affordable hummus meal at The Hummus Bar near our hotel. A main and a drink cost us only 12-15 euros, with such a generous portion that we were struggling to finish them.
Another lunch spot that we went for authentic Hungarian was this restaurant named Hungry? We tried the fisherman soup which was light in texture, the beef goulash which was rich in flavour.
In general, we can be quite a foodie so we do lookout and search for good food options. We love their traditional food especially Chicken Paprika and Goulash Soup. Drinking good coffee in Budapest is attainable and affordable at 3 euros per cuppa.
Part 2 shall be continued as we ventured the other side of Budapest. Stay tuned.