• the sunday guide to // budapest

budapest // mahabis journal photo: emma lavelle

 

Our collection of Sunday Guides demonstrate how to get the most out of a city break by taking the trip at a slow and relaxed pace. Rather than rushing to tick off everything in your guidebook, allow yourself to slowly meander around your new destination, soaking in the scenery and trying some of our suggestions below. This week: Budapest.

 

budapest //

Known as ‘the city of spas’, Budapest boasts more thermal and medicinal spas than any other capital city in the world. If you’re seeking a truly relaxing getaway, you could easily spend several days trying out the waters of a handful of the baths, as each one offers a completely different experience.

Don’t limit yourself to the spas, however, as Budapest has much more to offer. Although its nightlife is legendary due to the eclectic collection of Ruins Bars (or kerts), there are an array of serene candlelit venues where you can escape the hordes. During the day, it’s possible to simply wander around the streets and the banks of the river, admiring the scenery and the baroque architecture.

Tempted to visit? Read on to discover our top tips for a slow and relaxing getaway in Hungary’s picturesque capital.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

relax //

What better way to relax than submerging yourself in the healing waters of one of Budapest’s 15 public spas? There’s something for everyone, but our top choices have to be Szechenyi and Gellert Baths. Housed within a striking yellow-domed baroque building in the middle of the city park, Szechenyi Baths offers the opportunity to bathe outdoors beside the locals. The smaller and hotter pools are usually occupied by local men playing games of chess as they bathe, whilst the larger pools are kept cooler for swimming. Gellert Baths are located on the other side of the Danube in Buda, within a luxurious hotel. These indoors baths offer more of an opulent bathing opportunity within a Turkish-inspired spa.

 

stay //

Book a stay in one of the river-facing rooms at Art’otel to enjoy the views of Pest from your bed. Dedicated to art, the hotel proudly displays several artworks by painter Donald Sultan and doesn’t shy away from colour, with bold hues dominating the interior. For a quiet respite from exploring the city, spend time relaxing in the hotel’s garden or browsing its art shop.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

explore //

Catch a glimpse of Hungary’s communist past by visiting the peculiar Memento Park. Here, visitors can walk amongst gigantic statues and memorials profiling the likes of Stalin and Lenin, most of which used to stand in public spaces throughout the city. Telephones are set up so that you can listen to famous speeches ‘over the phone’ and there are film screenings demonstrating how the secret police recruited spies.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

visit //

Budapest thrives on creativity, with colourful street art decorating the streets of Pest, in particular. There are an abundance of small contemporary galleries to visit, displaying an array of photography, local art and emerging Hungarian artists. Vintage Galeria is the best destination for photography fans, showcasing work by local photographers and a diverse collection of work that experiments with new media. Concept art is rife at 2B Galeria, unusual exhibitions can always be admired at Kisterem and INDA Galeria boasts a constantly changing collective of young and inspiring curators.

 

wander //

Although Budapest has an easy-to-navigate transport system, slowly wandering around its streets has a certain charm. Hilly Buda on the western bank of the river offers more challenging strolls thanks to its steep inclines, but the view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place to watch the sun set. Wandering around Pest, on the east of the Danube offers an opportunity to admire the dramatic Art Nouveau architecture that is seemingly everywhere. To cool off, head to Margit-Sziget, one of the islands in the middle of the river, and sit on the rocky bank of the Danube watching the boats sail past.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via tookapic

 

drink //

Many visitors flock to Budapest for the nightlife, as the Ruin Bars have gained a reputation as being some of the best bars in the world. Offering labyrinths of small rooms to explore, filled with eclectic art, unusual seating and usually lit by fairy light and candlelight, the kerts are unlike your usual city nightlife spots. Housed in the courtyards of condemned buildings and in the gaps revealed between buildings after apartment blocks have been torn down, the kerts are scattered all across Pest, but are especially concentrated around Terezvaros and Erzebetvaros. Szimpla Kert and Instant may be the most popular kerts, but they attract a vibrant party atmosphere and hordes of backpackers. To experience the Ruin Bars without the crowds, try Fogashaz or Lokal, where you’ll have a similar experience but with quieter music and a more peaceful atmosphere. Alternatively, visit some of the more popular bars during the day, when you can admire the art and sip a cocktail but are likely to be one of only a handful of visitors.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

the sunday guide to // budapest

budapest // mahabis journal photo: emma lavelle

 

Our collection of Sunday Guides demonstrate how to get the most out of a city break by taking the trip at a slow and relaxed pace. Rather than rushing to tick off everything in your guidebook, allow yourself to slowly meander around your new destination, soaking in the scenery and trying some of our suggestions below. This week: Budapest.

 

budapest //

Known as ‘the city of spas’, Budapest boasts more thermal and medicinal spas than any other capital city in the world. If you’re seeking a truly relaxing getaway, you could easily spend several days trying out the waters of a handful of the baths, as each one offers a completely different experience.

Don’t limit yourself to the spas, however, as Budapest has much more to offer. Although its nightlife is legendary due to the eclectic collection of Ruins Bars (or kerts), there are an array of serene candlelit venues where you can escape the hordes. During the day, it’s possible to simply wander around the streets and the banks of the river, admiring the scenery and the baroque architecture.

Tempted to visit? Read on to discover our top tips for a slow and relaxing getaway in Hungary’s picturesque capital.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

relax //

What better way to relax than submerging yourself in the healing waters of one of Budapest’s 15 public spas? There’s something for everyone, but our top choices have to be Szechenyi and Gellert Baths. Housed within a striking yellow-domed baroque building in the middle of the city park, Szechenyi Baths offers the opportunity to bathe outdoors beside the locals. The smaller and hotter pools are usually occupied by local men playing games of chess as they bathe, whilst the larger pools are kept cooler for swimming. Gellert Baths are located on the other side of the Danube in Buda, within a luxurious hotel. These indoors baths offer more of an opulent bathing opportunity within a Turkish-inspired spa.

 

stay //

Book a stay in one of the river-facing rooms at Art’otel to enjoy the views of Pest from your bed. Dedicated to art, the hotel proudly displays several artworks by painter Donald Sultan and doesn’t shy away from colour, with bold hues dominating the interior. For a quiet respite from exploring the city, spend time relaxing in the hotel’s garden or browsing its art shop.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle

 

explore //

Catch a glimpse of Hungary’s communist past by visiting the peculiar Memento Park. Here, visitors can walk amongst gigantic statues and memorials profiling the likes of Stalin and Lenin, most of which used to stand in public spaces throughout the city. Telephones are set up so that you can listen to famous speeches ‘over the phone’ and there are film screenings demonstrating how the secret police recruited spies.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via wikipedia

 

visit //

Budapest thrives on creativity, with colourful street art decorating the streets of Pest, in particular. There are an abundance of small contemporary galleries to visit, displaying an array of photography, local art and emerging Hungarian artists. Vintage Galeria is the best destination for photography fans, showcasing work by local photographers and a diverse collection of work that experiments with new media. Concept art is rife at 2B Galeria, unusual exhibitions can always be admired at Kisterem and INDA Galeria boasts a constantly changing collective of young and inspiring curators.

 

wander //

Although Budapest has an easy-to-navigate transport system, slowly wandering around its streets has a certain charm. Hilly Buda on the western bank of the river offers more challenging strolls thanks to its steep inclines, but the view of the city from Fisherman’s Bastion is the best place to watch the sun set. Wandering around Pest, on the east of the Danube offers an opportunity to admire the dramatic Art Nouveau architecture that is seemingly everywhere. To cool off, head to Margit-Sziget, one of the islands in the middle of the river, and sit on the rocky bank of the Danube watching the boats sail past.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: via tookapic

 

drink //

Many visitors flock to Budapest for the nightlife, as the Ruin Bars have gained a reputation as being some of the best bars in the world. Offering labyrinths of small rooms to explore, filled with eclectic art, unusual seating and usually lit by fairy light and candlelight, the kerts are unlike your usual city nightlife spots. Housed in the courtyards of condemned buildings and in the gaps revealed between buildings after apartment blocks have been torn down, the kerts are scattered all across Pest, but are especially concentrated around Terezvaros and Erzebetvaros. Szimpla Kert and Instant may be the most popular kerts, but they attract a vibrant party atmosphere and hordes of backpackers. To experience the Ruin Bars without the crowds, try Fogashaz or Lokal, where you’ll have a similar experience but with quieter music and a more peaceful atmosphere. Alternatively, visit some of the more popular bars during the day, when you can admire the art and sip a cocktail but are likely to be one of only a handful of visitors.

 

budapest // mahabis journalphoto: emma lavelle
  • Emma Lavelle
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