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#TFReflections – BUDAPEST

19th December 2017

One of the best times to visit Budapest? Definitely in the run-up to Christmas, the lights that are rolled out across the city are glorious and the Christmas Markets offer fabulous festive cheer (and they do rival the ones in the German cities!). It is clear, however, that there is a booming cafe society over the Summer months, and that it must get pretty warm (judging by the fans in our apartment!). It feels like a city that has something to offer all year long.


The Christmas Market at St Stephen’s Basilica

Budapest is a city with immense and tangible history, that has more than its fair share of invaders over the centuries, but each culture has left a pronounced mark on the city. This is what in part makes it a cosmopolitan and interesting place to visit. It is however, very cold and the wind blowing off the Danube means you must wear layers and thermals!


Then there is the architecture, and around virtually every corner there is a nod to Art Nouveau in doorways, at roof height and around the windows.

Art Nouveau – Secession – doorway chosen at random

Many of the facades, still crested with sculptures and beautiful detail are crumbling, supported by wooden scaffolding. It will be a race against time to re-instate these buildings but if it is indeed possible, a renovated Budapest will rival Paris.

Skating at Heroes’ Square

Coffee and tea houses are at the heart of the city and offer wonderful respite from the chilly winds rising off the river. The quality of both is wonderful and probably one of the best sticky buns I have ever had was at Bite

The city has a very young feel, there are a lot of quirky bars – Szimpla for one, a ruin bar housed in the crumbling ruins of an old house, dark, brooding, a good beat and some fabulous beer.

Szimpla Ruin Bar

A pizza restaurant with just a single table and quality pizza Local Korner, where you can add your thoughts on (or off) the wall

And no visit to Budapest is complete without a visit to the Citadel and then onto Budapest Castle and Ruszwurm, a 200 year old institution for amazing hot chocolate or coffee and cake.

Go whilst it still has a crumbling charm. There is more than enough to do over four days: museums, trips on the Danube, the thermal baths or just relaxing and watching the world go by in a Teaház.

And what books should you take? We took “District VIII” by Adam LeBor and you can find out more about our literary travels with this thriller in hand on this link. Over on our database, there are many more titles to peruse. Happy travels!

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