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Sunday 3 December 2017

Budapest Christmas markets

Hey Everyone,

Happy Sunday, hope you all had a lovely weekend.

So I arrived back from Budapest last night and had lots of requests for a blog post on it so thought I would get it done as soon as possible while its still fresh in my mind. I got the trip for Damien as a birthday present so I booked our flights with Aer Lingus back in August. We take a trip around this time every year as I love the Christmas markets and we like to get a little time to ourselves before the mad Christmas rush begins here. Last year we visited Prague which I also have a post on if anybody is looking for some information on there. We went for 5 nights and 6 days which was plenty of time, 3 - 4 days would definitely be enough if you wanted to do it in a shorter time.

Where to stay...

I booked us an apartment in the 7seasons central suites on the pest side of Budapest.
This is the area you want to stay in, its where all the bars and restaurants are and a couple of the tourist attractions. We have never stayed in an apartment on a city break before but seen as this one was going to be a bit longer than usual I wanted a bigger space for us. The location was ideal, we were within walking distance of nearly everywhere we went. Our apartment was spacious and beautifully decorated and they were cleaned every day. I booked on as I always find they give the best deals.

How to get around..

On our first day we bought hop on hop off bus tour tickets which included a boat cruise down the river Danube. We were within walking distance of nearly every where we went but was nice to see the landmarks from the open top bus ( even though it was utterly baltic). If you are central I would probably skip the bus and just walk around or use their tram system instead.

Where to go...

First stop has to be the christmas markets. There are two different locations for the markets, one at the end of fashion street and the other in front of St. Stephens Basilica. These markets are one of the main reasons we chose to visit Budapest. They go all out with stalls of food, drink and christmas decorations. In the evenings at the St Stephens Basilica they project a short Christmas video onto the building on the hour. Try the mulled wine and chimney cakes!!

Castle Hill
Take the Cable car ride up for some beautiful views of the river Danube and opposite side of the city. This is where Buda castle is located and is definitely a must see. For most of these places you can do guided walking tours to talk you through the history but we just strolled around ourselves. I had done a lot of research on the landmarks before I left and I like to take my time and take photos so thats why we didn't do one.

Fishermans Bastian
It is one of Budapests top attractions and once you visit it you will see why. With its panoramic views of Budapest and pretty architecture this is a must see and my favourite spot. From the foot of the steps it looks like the castle from the opening of all of the Walt Disney movies.
Don't forget your camera to capture the most amazing photos.

The Széchenyi Chain bridge

It connects Buda and Pest and spans the width of the River Danube. It was the first permanent bridge to run across the river and you can see breathtaking views from it.

The Széchenyi thermal bath
You cant visit Budapest and not take a trip to the thermal baths. There is a couple of different ones to choose from but we went to these because they were along the route that our hop on hop off bus drove through. It was bloody freezing the day we went but the place was still packed. Most people spend the full day here but we only stayed for about an hour as I hate sitting around when we could be visiting other places. You have to pay for a full day unless you go between the hours of 7-9am but you might like to stay here or use the spa facilities for a couple of hours anyway.

The hospital in the rock
We also done a guided tour around the Hospital in the rock nuclear bunker museum. A girl recommended it to me through snapchat and I'm really glad we did this one because it was really interesting even though it was quite sombre. It was a hospital created in the tunnels under Buda castle in preperation for the second world war and then repurposed to be a nuclear bunker. We learned a lot about the history of Budapest in general on this tour.

Shoes on the Danube
The shoes on the danube are a memorial along the the pest side of the riverbank to honor the people that were killed by fascist military men during the second world war. They were told to take their shoes off were shot at the edge of the water so they bodies would fall into the water and be swept away by the river. Its so sad to imagine this happening but its definitely another place you have to go. I would have liked to know more about this so maybe get a walking tour where this is one of the stops along the way if you have the time.

Where to eat...

The food in Budapest is amazing, I couldn't fault any place we ate at they were all lovely but the service and hospitality of waiters etc is definitely not like the Irish or other countries I have visited. It was probably the only thing I didn't like about Budapest.

The Vintage Garden ( lunch or dinner)
This was my favourite spot to eat at in Budapest. The decor is amazing and the food was lovely too. We ate here for lunch and dinner a number of times mainly because the place was so gorgeous. You might have noticed from my many snapchats and insta stories about it.

The blue bird cafe ( brunch)
Another very cute cafe. The decor is so pretty and the food comes out like masterpieces so its very insta worthy of a snap.

New york cafe (afternoon tea or dinner)
This is one of the most famous places in Budapest. Its very fancy so we went for our anniversary meal there. It was really nice and if you go walk through the hotel for a look too, its gorge!!

Attaboy (burger heaven)
This place does the best burgers!

A la maison (brunch)
Waffles, pancakes and full english breakfasts it has it all in a cute little parisian cafe.

Mr Funk ( for the sweet tooth)
If you were following my instagram posts you will see the donut milkshake. Word one "unreal".

We also ate at the market stalls one evening and at an Italian restaurant in Godza Udvar too which was lovely.

Where to drink..

Aria hotel sky bar is fab. There are two sky bars but this is definitely the better one. Cocktails are expensive here though so might be a stop just for one or two.

The ruin bars are definitely a must see as they are an experience like no other. They are basically old buildings which have been abandoned or ruined and have been turned into bars. We went to both of the ruin bars in the jewish quarter so we got the full experience.

Rumpus Tiki is amazing for cocktails and they come out in really cute little chests and cool glasses.

Grab a mulled wine at the market stalls too!!

I hope this covers most of your questions and you liked the post. If theres anything you think I left out you can message me on instagram or snapchat I will leave my handles below. Oh and enjoy Budapest if you are going or planning on taking a trip there.

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Dominique xx

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