thirty eight hours in budapest


budapest! we had just a day and a half there after road-tripping through slovenia (and bits of slovakia, austria and croatia). the weather was pretty dreary, but the city was still an absolute stunner under those grey skys. we both are big-time budapest fans now and heartily recommend visiting there.

our approach into and initial introduction of budapest on saturday night was pretty epic. we drove into the heart of the city close to midnight and were kind of freaking out at the magic of the buildings and bridges along the danube, all lit up and glowing in the black night sky. we immediately knew we were gonna like this place.


click through to see our day and a half itinerary in budapest!
{thanks to our friend mairin for many recommendations!}
nine a.m.
walked to the subway (delighted by the sights on the way), rode a few stops under the danube, got a bit lost, but found the church.IMG_1766
ten a.m.
attempted to sing hymns in hungarian, met some awesome people, enjoyed some spiritual edification (luckily some kind bilingual new friends translated for us during the meetings!).
one p.m.
walked to castle hill and started falling in love with budapest’s signature tiled rooftops.
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one thirty p.m.
ate some pretty divine chicken paprika and swooned over these delicious dumpling-like noodles:IMG_1775
two thirty p.m.
strolled down to matthais church and fisherman’s bastion, joined the crowds overlooking the city (there was an airshow with some pretty amazing plane stunts randomly going on over the river!), took about one thousand photos of the church - enamored by its rooftop - and of that achingly gorgeous parliament building across the water! IMG_1782IMG_1783IMG_1804IMG_1791IMG_1811IMG_1814 IMG_1818
three p.m.
went inside matthias church and immediately whispered “wooooow!” to each other, then proceeded to marvel at the walls and pillars and arches and ceiling – every single inch covered in pattern in colour. decided that this is officially my favourite church in europe.
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three thirty p.m.
continued walking towards buda castle, admiring the gorgeous handicrafts in the market along the way, and then the views further down the river over chain bridge. (and saw a full-size jet fly along the danube!)
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four p.m.
walked back toward the church along the other crest of castle hill, under flowering trees and overlooking the buda hills. then, stopped at ruszwurm to try some hungarian cakes (which did not disappoint!).
five p.m.
left castle hill via the fisherman’s bastion steps and walked along the river to get a straight-shot view of the hungarian parliament building. then, continued our (long and wonderful!) sunday walk towards gellert hill, stopping to try some traditional langos (fried dough with garlic, sour cream and cheese – okay!).
six p.m.
slooowly (thanks to baby boy!) hiked up the stairs to the top of gellert hill to take in the sweeping views over both buda (the castle side of the river) and pest (the other side of the river).
seven p.m.
walked across the danube to check out the museum of applied arts, for no other reason than to admire its tiled roof (no idea what is actually in the museum – it was closed!). admired the bridges and other neat buildings along the way. (okay, seriously, ins’t that green and gold rooftop just the best?!)
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seven thirty p.m.
headed back to the apartment we were staying in and rested our tired feet!
eight thirty p.m.
headed back out to get some food and stroll along the river to enjoy the wonders of budapest-by-night that we had only caught a glimpse of the night before. IMG_2025IMG_2015
nine a.m.
rode a cute yellow subway car (part of the second-oldest subway system in the world!) to szechenyi thermal baths! {this was the number one thing i wanted to do in budapest, and it lived up to my high expectations. world’s most beautiful hot tub, for sure!} soaked in the pools (in the occasionally drizzling rain and with lots of cool hungarians) for an hour or so.
eleven a.m.
took the subway back towards the river and hopped off to see the hungarian state opera house and st. stephen’s basilica – both are pretty spectacular inside! (and always fun to see a bride and groom!)
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eleven thirty a.m.
scurried up to the top of st. stephen’s dome (we had a scheduled tour at twelve thirty at the hungarian parliament building, so we had to hurry!) and quickly enjoyed the views, which provided a unique perspective over the city. then, walked briskly to parliament!
twelve fifteen p.m.
appreciated the parliament building up close and then went inside on our tour! i couldn’t believe it, because i love the exterior so much!, but the inside rivaled the outside in beauty. how about that great hall?! it’s seriously staggering to see in real life.
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one thirty p.m.
walked back to our apartment/car, stopping to get some lunch on the way, and then headed back to bratislava.

budapest rules.


  1. Looks like I need to move Budapest up on my list!

  2. I have been reading you blog for a while and always wondered whether your travel days only seem to be very busy (and I just don't know the place you are writing about so much) or if they actually are this busy. Well, I AM from Budapest and these two days must have been crazy busy! I am so glad you liked our city! Anita