All about Budapest
The lights are on, the city sparkles, and you feel it in the air: Christmas is near. At Vörösmarty tér the Christmas Market is already busy with shoppers from all over the world, and the cinnamon scent of mulled wine fills up the air. Little children, holding kürtöskalács, run about, from one toys stall to another. The ice rink beckons, promising lots of fun. This market sets the mood for Christmas magic in the city.
And it’s good, because Kézműves Magyar Ízek Vására (Flavors of Hungary Gastro Fair) follows on November 27 at Erzsébet tér, with almost a month of foodie treats for young and old. Hungarian and foreign food lovers will find a wide variety of festive dishes, as well as traditional Hungarian cheeses, meats, beer, mulled wine, sausages, salami, smoked fish, honey, handmade candies, handmade chocolates, and much more. 60 vendors will exhibit here. There’s also a children’s corner, with interesting activities designed just for them.
Szent István tér will get festive beginning November 27 too, when the Christmas Fair by the Basilica kicks off, surrounding the ice-rink with a variety of stalls selling Christmas decorations, toys, arts and crafts, and all the typical Christmas foods and drinks.
Speaking of drinks, don’t miss the New Wine and Cheese Festival, which only lasts two days, on November 28 and 29. To attend, go to the Vajdahunyad Castle, a winter fairy tale, with Christmas concerts, traditional handmade arts and crafts, a “Live Bethlehem” with living animals in the Christmas petting zoo, and many other fun things to do for young and old.
The WAMP Christmas Design Fair is quite worth it, too: it will take place for three weekends in a row, starting December 6th, at Millenáris Park. This year, the event will also include a gastro fair, offering a selection of a chocolates, truffles, cookies, jams, wines, spirits and more.
Last but not least, the Christmas Market at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, at its second edition, promises to be as exciting as last year: an enchanting winter escape with heartwarming Christmas melodies, exclusive Nutcracker-inspired decoration and a collection of items that cannot be found anywhere else.
And, of course, there will be Christmas magic with your two Mamaison hotels in Budapest too: Hotel Andrassy and Residence Izabella. Come celebrate Christmas in Budapest: magnificent architecture gets dressed in a lace of shining lights; hundreds of Christmas trees sprout from nowhere lining up the imperial arteries, and even pedestrian alleys and markets; department-store window displays remind of the land of fairies and elves; and many other holiday attractions pop up around the city, spreading contagious cheer among locals and visitors.
October 23rd celebrates the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which lasted from October 23rd till the 10th of November. It was a student demonstration that begun the revolt, then thousands marched through the heart of Budapest to the Parliament, calling out against the government of the Hungarian People’s Republic. The peaceful demonstrators were fired upon by the State Security Police (ÁVH) and a student died. What followed was a blood bath. More than 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict. The sacrifice of the people was recognized only in 1989, after the fall of communism, when at the inauguration of the Third Hungarian Republic 23 October was declared a national holiday, and it has been celebrated ever since all over the country, with cultural and artistic events, music, fireworks and more.
As important as it is for the locals, the day is equally interesting for tourists, as there are festivities organized all over the country. In Budapest, specifically, the festivities begin in the morning, with the raising of the Hungarian flag in Kossuth Square, at 09:00 local time. There will be interesting activities all around the city, but one of the most interesting happens in front of the House of Terror Museum, at Andrássy út 60: a candle light ceremony, commemorating the victims of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Do visit the museum when you are there: it contains interesting exhibits, relating the cruel history of the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th-century Hungary.
From there, do walk over the river, for a free live concert in front of the University of Technology and Economics, at Műegyetem rkp. 3.
October 23 is also the day when the Parliament building can be visited by the public for free, between 10:00 and 16:00. The Hungarian Parliament Building is a popular tourist destination, but very few tourists know that this is also one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings. It is an imposing Gothic Revival architectural gem, with a Renaissance Revival dome, overlooking the Danube. The building is the work of Imre Steindl, a famous Hungarian architect, who is also known for his work at the Hunyad Castle, in Hunedoara, Romania – one of the “seven wonders” of this country.
If you are in Budapest on October 23rd, don’t miss the photo exhibition at Széna Square, which will show cult places of the revolution “then and now.” Any other day, you can visit the Anna Kéthly Square, which commemorates the 1956 Revolution against Soviet oppression. Anna Kéthly was a Hungarian social democratic politician, and an important personality of the revolution.
October is that time of the year when most of the world celebrates harvest, and everything that goes with it. Budapest joins in, with popular food and art festivals, from the first days of the month, till the last. The celebrations begin with the famous Budapest Pálinka and Sausage Festival, at Castle Hill, where pálinka distilleries join to bring you the best of their libations, and local farmers come to pair their homemade sausages with the national drink of Hungary.
The guest spirit of the Pálinka and Sausage Festival 2015 is the gin. Desserts made with pálinka will have their own special place at the festival, including pálinka bonbons and cream desserts. The festival lasts from October 2, till October 4.
The Budapest Design Week is an occasion for city visitors to find authentic local fashion and designs at the Design Terminál and several galleries and fashion shops. The festival begins October 3rd, 2015, and lasts till October 12. The program features exhibitions, conferences and fashion shows, with both local and international participation. Particularly, Dutch designers will be present in the festival this year, as Netherlands is the guest country of the festival. And don’t think food will be absent from this celebration of local tradition: Design Week Gastro brings unique food design projects into the series of events with special Design Week delicacies that are available only during the ten days of the event.
Oktoberfest, a festival celebrated around the world, comes to Budapest from 9 to 12 of October, and takes place at Műjégpálya, the City Park Ice Rink. Although not traditionally a beer festival in Bavaria, where it all started, the festival is today recognized as the main annual event for beer lovers. About 100 domestic and international beer types will be available at Oktoberfest Budapest this year, but the event will also feature an agricultural fair.
The Chimney Cake Festival, a new local tradition, celebrates the Hungarian pastries known as kürtőskalács. The purpose of the festival is to promote the kürtőskalács as a Hungarian pastry; but also to present its original, traditional way of preparation, preserving and promoting Hungarian traditions.
The festival will present various technique of preparing chimney cakes, prepared over charcoal or fried in oil, in many sizes, and different flavors.The highlight of the festival is the great chimney cake bake-off, where participants from the public will learn how to bake these amazing delicacies at home.
For the Budapest Restaurant Week, which lasts from October 12 till October 18, you can expect over 30 restaurants to showcase the best of local and international gourmet cuisine. Each restaurant will offer a special, three course prix fixe dinner and lunch menu for HUF 3,300. You can also dine at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy’s own gourmet establishment, La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge, where fine dining cuisine is available daily, at affordable prices.
The Budapest Restaurant Week is the last food festival of the month, but you will discover many other exciting things to do in October when you visit the city. And, if you book your stay at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy or at Mamaison Residence Izabella, check out our special Colours of Autumn offer, for 15% off of our Standard Rate when staying 2 nights.
September is the month to be in Budapest, especially if you are a foodie. Yes, the city has several food and cuisine festivals every season, but no other month is so “cluttered” with gourmet opportunities. Plus, when you stay at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest you have the opportunity to dine at La Perle Noire Restaurant & Lounge, with its beautiful summer grill terrace overlooking Andrássy Avenue (Reservations at +36 1 555 1545).
The first food festival of September was suggestively called Septemberfest (SzeptEmber Feszt) and used to take place the first weekend of the month at Népliget for the past 15 years. Unfortunately, this year’s festival was cancelled, because of lack of funds. Foodies can still enjoy the first weekend of the month at the Foie Gras Festival (Libamáj Fesztivál), which is organized by the Hungarian Goose Association at Erzsébet tér. It is a gourmet event, however with very affordable treats. Even kids will enjoy it, as there are several programs designed for their entertainment.
The event is followed by the Budapest Wine Festival, which begins September 9th, and lasts till September 13th, 2015, at Castle Hill. 200 wine cellars from 15 countries will participate, giving you the opportunity to enjoy more than just local wines. The cuisine is designed to pair well with this popular drink: cauldron-cooked stews, grilled meats and sausages, sandwiches, cheeses, and more can be found at various food stalls, at bargain prices. Over 60 different cultural events complete the program, including jazz performances, folk dances and music, a Harvest Parade with some 800 people, representing the folk and the Hungarian wine regions.
Last, but not least, who would want to miss the Sweet Days – Chocolate and Candy Festival?
This takes place at the Buda Castle from September 18, till September 20. There are child-friendly programs, but also cooking classes and chocolate-making workshops for adults, tasting events, and live entertainment accompanied by fine liquors and fine artisan wines.
And, if you want an less ordinary gourmet experience, Fridays you can dine in the dark (Láthatatlan vacsora Budapest) at Millennium Népliget, building B, address 1024 Budapest II. kerület , Millenáris Park, Kis Rókus u. 16–20. (B épület).
And remember, La Perle Noire Restaurant is one of Budapest’s finest dining establishments, characteristic of the surroundings. Whether it’s a tangy barbecue in the comfortable garden that appeals to you, or a chef created culinary masterpiece, the restaurant is attuned to gastronomical pleasures.
Noted for its contrasting style, the restaurant beckons guests to partake of a burst of color and flavor against a black and white contemporary backdrop. The effect of fresh culinary creation, so delicately prepared, rising from those level and crisp design surfaces, mimics budding life itself. La Perle Noire Restaurant is a perfect canvas onto which life’s best dining experience is painted each day.
Traditional Hungarian to gourmet French fare, if distinction, La Perle Noire’s chef and staff deliver on vibrant creativity, along with unforgettable service. Seasonal favorites are incorporated into a diverse menu, boasting wonderful staples of timeless tastefulness such as marinated foie gras with quince and boudin noir on toast. Venison and winter asparagus, down to the homemade breads and pastries countless guests have so enjoyed, our fine dining experience is second to none.
August is a full month in Budapest, and one of the busiest times of the year: several festivals make the city a center stage for song, laughter and fun. The largest music festival in the country, and counting among the largest in the world, Sziget Island of Freedom will feature this year stellar names like Robbie Williams, Florence + The Machine, Kings Of Leon, Avicii, Ellie Goulding, Kasabian, Marina and the Diamonds, Interpol, Gogol Bordello, Alesso, Paloma Faith, Rudimental, Hollywood Undead, Gentleman & the Evolution, Passenger, The Ting Tings, Nero, Foxes, The Maccabees, and many others. You can camp at the festival to enjoy its unique atmosphere. If you camp on the area you will definitely need a tent. If you don’t want to come all the way with your own, just get the Sziget Camping set. There are showers on the island, and many other facilities. The festival takes place at Shipyard Island (Hajógyári sziget) between August 10, August 17.
The Festival of Folk Arts (Mesterségek Ünnepe) between August 20-23 is another opportunity to party in Budapest. You will enjoy the best of Hungarian gastronomy, delicious home-made pastries, as well as wine and palinka tasting. The festival is timed to coincide with the St. Stephen’s Day celebrations, the greatest national holiday of Hungary, celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the country. Expect open air concerts, spectacular fireworks, and other surprises.
The ‘Junibor’ Wine Festival is another event that you shouldn’t miss in Budapest this August. It takes place at Szent István tér – in front of the Basilica – on August 27 till August 30, and brings in front of connoisseurs and the general public over 100 varieties of wine from 30 winemakers. Hungarian and international specialties designed to pair with the wines will complete the offer.
Finally, the Jewish Summer Festival at the Great Synagogue ends the stellar line of August events, taking up the first 6 days of September, too: programs include concerts at the Rumbach Street Synagogue and at the Great Synagogue, movie screenings at Uránia Theatre and much more.
If you are in Budapest these days, chances are that you are looking for a place to escape the heat. Beyond popular tourist hangouts, there are also the places favored by locals, and we are going to introduce you to some of them in the following lines. First, a concierge tip from Mamaison Residence Izabella: Mandala Day SPA offers unforgettable experiences for all your senses in the hearth of the 13th district. With body rituals, hammam and a variety of massages, this spa is a must after a day of exploring the city, and, if you stay at one of the two Mamaison hotels in Budapest, ask the concierge for additional information and how you can benefit from a discount.
The Omszk Wakeboard Centrum in OMSZK Park is a wakeboarding practice center in Budakalász, not far from Budapest. It is well worth the trip, for its exceptional services, and programmes designed for both beginners and seasoned practitioners of the sport. Wakeboards and appropriate safety equipment are provided, too. Beginners are advised to book a class in advance by calling +36-70-380-3506. The facility is open from April to late October.
The famous Széchenyi Thermal Bath needs no introduction. It is favored by residents and tourists alike, not only for swimming, but also for its spa services. You can come here any time of the year, as they offer both indoor and outdoor pools with thermal water. Kids will love the outdoor amusement pool with jacuzzi and whirlpool. Medical services available only with a medical prescription, include, among others, underwater jet massage, mud treatment, underwater curative gymnastics, and complex balneotherapy treatment.
Margitsziget, in English Margaret Island, is the green oasis at the heart of Budapest, a beautiful stretch of land on the Danube, covered with parks, and favored by the locals as an outdoors activity haven year round. To escape the heat, you will find here the Alfréd Hajós sports pool, or, for those romantically inclined, a small Japanese Garden with a mildly thermal fish pond. There are also many things to do for children: the “Music Well” and the “Music Fountain,” a tiny zoo featuring a wide range of exotic waterfowl, and several playgrounds. Last, but not least, the Palatinus water park on Margitsziget is the largest open-air swimming complex in Budapest.
For a bit of history, and a healthy retreat, Király Baths are a must: this is a traditional Turkish bath, built by Arslan, the Pasha of Buda in 1565, and his successor, Sokoli Mustafa. The bath offers excellent services, including steam bath, sauna, underwater water jet massage, medical massages, and more. Note that for some of these services you need a medical prescription. Other similar baths you could visit in Budapest include Rudas Baths, Lukács Baths, Gellért Baths, Dandár Bath and Dagály Bath. The later offers 10 pools of various forms and temperatures, as well as children’s pool, thermal sitting pool, fancy pool and teaching pool.
Last, but not least, don’t miss the Oázis Wellness Park, a winter and summer facility, with attractions for all ages. It offers an aqua park with slides and jumping-board (free fall of 2,5 meters into the 3 meters deep water); Jacuzzi; therapeutic pools; indoor swimming pool with heated water; swimming training for nursery-school children, school children, and adults; an aerobic hall; spinning room; and fitness room. They also have courts for tennis, foot-tennis, basketball and handball; indoors tennis and squash halls; and other facilities.
And open-air bath Római Strandfürdő on Rozgonyi Piroska u. 2. offers three pools, filled with karst water with calcium-magnesium-hydrogen-carbonate. The open-air pool was transformed in 2000 in a fancy pool with chute, neck shower and effervescing facility and the children’s basin became a playing paradise.
Guests at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy and Mamaison Residence Izabella who book accommodation for the summer season in our Budapest hotels, as well as visitors to the city who did not find availability in our hotels for the period of their stays, will enjoy this update on the most exciting event coming up to Budapest in the very near future.
From all events scheduled for the summer, the Danube Carnival is, perhaps, the most popular. This is the 20th anniversary of this prestigious events, and you can expect it to be spectacular.
It takes place at several locations around the city: : Vörösmarty Square, Castle Yard Bazaar, Margaret Island Open Air Theatre, Erkel Theatre, Pesti Vigadó, Duna Palace, Heritage House, Mátyásföld – Erzsébetliget Theatre, Óbuda – Békásmegyer, Budafok – Wine City, Yunus Emre Turkish Culture Centre. The carnival will be featuring a Carnival Parade between the Danube Promenade and Vörösmarty tér, international dance competitions and a spectacular gala event. The parade can be witnessed, free of charge, on Sunday, June 14, at 15:00, when more than 1000 people will march the streets from Vigadó tér through Váci utca to Vörösmarty tér.
For dance, head over to the Kobuci Garden the next day, at 20:00 local time. You can watch the professional dancers (many from international groups), and even join them in a borders-free celebration of dance and tradition.
There’s also a photo exhibition on June 15, with photos by Béla Kanyó and Tamás Végh, evoking the history of the carnival. It will open at midnight, at the Duna Palace. Next day, the Záborszky Cellar will host international dance and music shows, starting at 15:00.
More dance, this time in a prestigious international competition, takes place June 18 at the Erzsébetliget Theatre, beginning with 18:00 local time. The Chain Bridge International Folk Dance Competition in Mátyásföld promotes intercultural dialogue, creativity and innovation, and promises to be an unforgettable event.
A must see is also the European Dance Caravan, a unique full-night dance theatre co-production, at Erkel Theatre, on Friday, June 19th, beginning at 20:00 local time. Participants from nine European countries will take place. Hungarian, Transylvanian, Greek, Italian, Polish, Bulgarian, Finnish, Turkish and Spanish art companies joined the international troupe lead by the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble and the Duna Art Ensemble.
The Gala of the Carnival takes place at the Margaret Island Open Air Stage, featuring nearly 400 Hungarian and international dancers and musicians, on Saturday, June 20, at 20:00.
Budapest is an exciting place to be in May: many food, culture, and art festivals attract both residents and foreign tourists to some landmark venues, but also to lesser known locations. Although it started April 27, the Budapest Dance Festival still keeps its doors open till May 3rd: enough time for you to enjoy outstanding performances at the MOM Kulturális, Palace of Arts, Központ, and the Royal Garden Pavilion. Tomorrow you can see the passionate Rojas&Rodriguez in Titanium (pictured below): a show in which flamenco and hip hop meet and fuse, at the Palace of Arts − Festival Theatre.
After May 1st, when the world celebrates May Day (or Labor Day), the locals look forward to the popular Budapest Pálinka Festival 2015 in Városháza Park: same like the previous years, the festival will bring together family-run distilleries from all over the country, with a display of over 300 different types of pálinka, the national Hungarian spirit. This is your chance to taste the best apple pálinkas of the country, as well as several apple related foods, especially selected to pair well with the fine pálinkas. The festival and the concerts are free of charge, food and drinks, however are charged individually by each vendor. The dates of the festival: May 7-10, 2015.
Another interesting festival dedicated to a popular drink is Rosalia, the Rosé Festival: Hungary’s only festival dedicated to rosé wines, sparkling wines and champagnes takes place May 8-10 at Gesztenyés kert.
Mayfest at the Opera House begins May 15 and lasts till the 1st of June. This year, the festival coincides with the Faust225 Festival, therefore, the programme will feature five splendid works based on the theme of Faust, including the premier of Gounod’s opera and the Hungarian premiere of Busoni’s work, with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra giving a concert of rarities to close this gem of a series.
Budapest’s Belgian Beer Festival kicks off May 17, too last till May 19, 2015: the venue is Bálna, a new commercial, cultural, entertaining and service center, which also hosts Korzó, the weekly fair where you can find handpicked antiques as well as products of Hungarian designers.
Floralia, the yearly Roman spring festival, so beloved by the locals, takes May 16 and 17, at the Aquincum Museum. At its 26th edition, the festival features flower arrangements inspired by the Roman past, as well as presentations reviving the Roman lifestyle and handicrafts. Roman soldiers, gladiators, and Celtic warriors will display their art of war and scenes from their daily life.
More than 100 museums come together this May 16 and 17 for the prestigious Festival of Museums held inside the garden of the Hungarian National Museum: art displays will be accompanied by live music, theater and dance shows. Free admission.
The gastro festival Budai Gourmet at Millenáris, which this year lasts from May 21 to 24, is organized by the same team behind the Sziget Festival in collaboration with Costes Restaurant. The festival aims to bring together excellent wine makers, pálinka distillers, restaurants and confectioners along with producers who will sell homemade cheese, ham, sausage, jam, honey, chocolate and other delicacies at the festival market.
Of course, there are many other festivals programmed for this month. Keep up with us on Facebook and we will let you know. Book early your room at your favorite Mamaison Hotel in Budapest, as the season can get pretty busy.
Budapest celebrates Easter with passion: a wide range of events are organize to showcase local traditions, folklore, and cuisine. Many venues around the city prepare special programmes, which include special entertainment, fit for the occasion. The Easter Market on Vörösmarty tér, officially the Spring Fair on Vörösmarty Square, opened March 27, and will remain open till April 26, 2015, giving you enough time to buy gifts and souvenirs, and to sample traditional Hungarian delicacies, like chimney cakes, lángos, sausages, and other specialty produce.
There’s also an annual market at the Museum of Ethnography. It is a great place to bring your kids, for workshops and special events designed to educate and entertain, but it is also a good place to go shopping, knowing that the arts and crafts on display are 100% authentic, by Hungarian artisans. If you are interested in learning about the Hungarian Jewry rural culture, there’s a special event on April 7, celebrating the Jewish Easter, with tours of the museum, presentation of the long holiday preparations, traditions and rituals, and more. At 17:00 a lecture on the topic will be held at the museum.
If you visit the Budapest City Park, don’t miss the Easter celebrations at the Budapest Zoo, with folklore dances, a Hungarian wooden folklore playground, and plenty of little bunnies to pet.
Remain in the City Park for a visit at the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture, where in the Castle of Vajdahunyad on the Széchenyi-island. Their annual Easter Exhibit and Spring Celebrations are well organized, and excellent for families with kids.
Perhaps the most interesting Easter celebration will be held at the Buda Castle: Budavári Húsvéti Sokadalom, with sights, concerts, dance shows, foods like milkbread, Easter hams, eggs, and more, as well as many kid friendly games. The festival is a perfect program for those who are on an Easter holiday in Budapest, Hungary. With the festival ticket you are also entitled to visit the two major attractions inside the Buda Castle buildings: the Hungarian National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum.
If you want to escape Budapest, to enjoy Easter celebration in rural areas, we recommend The Valley of the Beautiful Women, Szépasszony-völgy, in Eger, where you can visit the local folk art fair, or you can learn how to decorate Easter eggs according to Hungarian traditions, or taste the famous regional Bull’s Blood wines. The Easter festival takes place Sunday, April 5. Bring your kids along: there will be sheep and bunny petting, a wooden carousel, peasant comedy, and much more.
Remember that accommodation is 20% off at any Mamaison hotel in this period, with our Easter Egg Hunt special offer. Finally, dine at La Perle Noire, for a special Easter menu.
Staring down at the ebony ribbon of water, seemingly endless to the horizon, two lovers stand entranced by ten thousand dancing lights. Transfixed as statues, looking out over the ever present Danube, the sight of couples on the Chain Bridge in the evening reveals just why Budapest is for lovers, and for falling in love.
Understanding just why Budapest is so attractive for romance is not really difficult. This is a dual city, after all, with “Buda” on the west bank of the Danube, and “Pest” to the east. The two opposing styles an essential symbol of the masculine and the feminine, linked inextricably by the Széchenyi Lánchíd suspension bridge. At once ancient and modern, refined and earthy as well, the distinct cultural and architectural differences here can really be taken to heart. If Andrássy Avenue is the symbol of “Pest’s” modernity, then Castle Hill rises to symbolize “Buda’s” medieval character. For our visiting couples though, Mamaison Hotel Andrassy and Mamaison Residence Izabella, being set in the midst of this grandiose affair, perfect any fantasy interlude. But beyond spectacular boudoirs and stunning dinners for two, Budapest is entreating otherwise.
Hand in hand, strolling in and out of time
Walking along in this UNESCO wonder, the historic and natural beauty of Budapest stirs the spirit, conjures emotions, titillates the imagination, and calms simultaneously for the twain that can be one. Strolling down the sidewalks and alleyways of Budapest, no thing or place could be more illusory, or more real. Day or night, this city stirs with excitement, and solitude too.
From the cafes and bars along the promenade, to out of the way nooks and crannies, and finally amidst the rollicking nightlife of the notorious 7th District, couples are entreated to love this city, and each other’s company. Be alone and one with nature amid the greenery and floral majesty of Margaret Island, window shop along the northern part of the pedestrian avenue Váci utca, or like those two lovers you saw in your mind’s eye, stare together into the handsome rivlet of dancing lights on the Danube. Wherever you want to go, or whatever you want to do in Budapest, you’ll never forget the moments.
Wrapped up together, in the arms of the Danube
No mental image with your significant other in Budapest could ever be without the panorama of Buda Castle passing in the night, astern of a river barge or boat, beneath you. The city from the water, declares the real romantic heart of Hungary, and the essence of what we all dream in togetherness. For a dinner cruise, sightseeing, a floating wine tasting event, or even an opera afloat, the river is a quintessential part of all that the city has to offer.
Whether you envision a party boat all night extravaganza, or a private charter with immutable personal niceties, the Danube is the center of everything. The August fireworks display above the Parliament leads into numerous fall festivities, and culminates at New Year’s Eve, where old acquaintances may be forgotten and tossed into the river. But you feel the idea, we know. Share being in the midst, for once in both your lives, and cruise this magical waterway. Share it wrapped in one another’s arms too.
Savour Budapest, at a table for two
What could be more perfect, than two hands touching meaningfully across a crisp, white-linen tablecloth? Only the deep red of the rose completes and accentuates this vision. Well, and the lights, smells, and sounds of the “Pearl of the Danube” in the background. Romantic dining here are the rule.
Whether your getaway is the first visit to the city, an anniversary, or a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, there’s a culinary adventure around every corner. You can dine where Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do, at Arany Kaviár, if Russian and caviar are your taste.
Or maybe the upstairs gallery at cozy and intimate Borssó, and French-Hungarian flavors seem more appealing?
And what about our own La Perle Noire Restaurant, with the most beautiful urban terrace in Budapest, for traditional local favorites?
Breakfast, brunch, or lunch at the world famous New York Cafe, or at any of two dozen coffee houses like the Book Cafe, appeal just as nicely for locals and visitors in love. You see, morning in Budapest is as enchanting as the evening, when the city stirs back to life, after a long day’s night.
All the way from the Castle District to the City park and District XIV, romance is awakened with those same two hands knitted together lovingly across paired classics like Kávé tejszínhabbal (Espresso with whipped cream). Dining in daylight-like mated bookends, this is part of the novella of the city too.
A warm, romantic ending
Sightseeing in a city like Budapest is a foregone conclusion. Dining? The city is all but made out of gastronomical wonders like some fairy tale children’s fantasy. Cliché, or unique and awe inspiring, everyone who comes here falls in love, one way or another. But what really powers the “Heart of Europe” is the water flowing through, in, and around this ancient city. And the warmth affairs of the heart always thrive on, this can be felt literally at Budapest’s much celebrated thermal spas.
If you’ve never shared the healing properties of a Turkish bath, the regenerative powers mineral waters, then you and your mate have a sensual inundation to experience. Being initially sapped of energy, then elevated to a higher plane of acute sensitivity, this is how some describe the transitive effects of places like the Gellert Baths, so embellished in the Art Nouveau style of the turn of the last century.
Gellért Bath (Image © Horváth Botond – Fotolia.com)
Then there’s the collective immensity of world famous Széchenyi Baths, the largest in all Europe. Imagine sharing beneath the octagon roof of Király fürdő, a more intimate submerging in eternal waters. Remarkable architecturally, Rudas Baths and some of the more obscure ones, they offer visual and soul cleansing qualities. Dating back to Roman times, the thermal spas of this part of Hungary are perhaps the area’s most famous attractions overall. And for loving couples, a foremost romantic possibility.
With so much to experience, it is easy to see how Budapest has earned its nickname, “Paris of the east,” and has earned it romantically.
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