Budapest, frozen city lights

I guess you can say that I have a thing for winter citybreaks, or you can simply call it masochism. Budapest in January was such a beautiful way to start 2017. The city offers breath-taking views, with ice floating in the mirror-like Danube and diffuse cosy lights highlighting its buildings and bridges. Once again, we did nothing more than long chilly walks, questing after local cuisine, ending up eating burgers, pizza and nachos like the mainstream tourist we are.

My ‘to do’ advice would be to stroll over every bridge in a zig-zag walk between Buda and Pest. Buda shelters the old Citadella fortress, Buda Castle and the dreamy Fisherman’s Bastion that felt like going (back) to Hogwarts, while on the other side of the Danube you must visit the Parliament, Saint Stephen’s Basilica, Andrássy Avenue, Vaci Street and the Great Market Hall. I love to seek this kind of food market halls everywhere I go, and Nagycsarnok offers everything from liquors, honey, chocolate or raw food products to ready-to-eat traditional dishes.

BB’Z BAR & GRILL (It’s cool to be nice)            

Such a hospitable pub!  After wandering up and down Király street for quite a while, we found BB’z and it instantly felt like the place to be. A cosy bar that had it all: nice and knowledgeable staff, modern décor, murals on the walls, good music and… dogs. Good selection of food and drinks, from the very basic – nachos and beers to high quality cocktails (they use Grey Goose for their vodka mixed drinks) and pumpkin-pie desserts. We stayed for quite a while, and I strongly recommend you to pay it a visit, either to chill on their couch playing with the dogs or to have fun with friends eating/drinking and playing board games. Don’t forget to order some cheddar-salsa-guacamole nachos and Hofbräuhaus beers with lime.

JAMIE’S ITALIAN

Sounds funny to go to Budapest for Italian food, but otherwise it would have been… regular food for my significant other. We had Seasonal Vegetable Bruschetta and Crispy Squid as starters, followed by Chicken Cacciatore and Funghi Misti, a pizza topped with wild mushrooms and… tarragon. Although my hate for tarragon goes a long way, the overall dinner experience was a lovely combination of flavors. It’s easy to have a vegetarian meal without even realizing it. Spacious and bright, Jamie’s Italian feels like the perfect lunch after visiting Buda Castle and its surroundings.

BURGER MARKET

A quick and casual place serving Burgers and Pasta in the same building. Juicy burgers with sweet potato fries, just that type of guilty snack you take in your neighborhood before going to bed. You get to choose the size, the meat, the sauce and extras – from crispy onion to Camembert cheese. Gluten-free buns and vegetarian options available (The last one is for you, Nora…)

The city is a gem for a hospitality passionate. Budapest has it all, from luxurious, dreamy properties like Four Seasons and Boscolo Autograph Collection, a must see in terms of design and architecture, to cozy, youth-friendly hotels. We stayed at Roombach hotel, a  lovely property in the heart of the city, in a neighborhood filled with restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Highly recommending it.

Budapest is the perfect destination for those seeking relaxation, with a lot of Spas and Thermal baths. Gellert and Szechenyi Baths are only two of the places worth trying. For those of you looking for bubbles with a twist, some spas offer red wine or beer baths.

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Smartly booked flights from Bucharest to Budapest can go as low as 20 € roundtrip, and a three days citybreak is enough to explore all that the town has to offer. There was no traditional Hungarian cuisine in our runaway, but you should take into consideration trying a goulash soup at Baltazár or at Onyx if you’re looking for a Michelin-starred restaurant experience.

More adventures coming soon.

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