Can you imagine a massive restaurant inside a huge museum? Well that’s Budapest – a city of food and history. You will fall in love with it right away, after just a leisurely stroll along the Danube embankment, with its magnificent views of the Buda Castle , the Parliament and other historical buildings or after walking down the pedestrian street Vaci Utca, full of tempting mouth-watering smells from hundreds of cafes and restaurants.
Budapest – is a city of dozens of historical buildings, art museums and art galleries, of 7 magnificent bridges across the Danube connecting Pest and Buda parts, hundreds of restaurants and cafes. The capital of Hungary is also the only city in the world, which has more than 120 thermal springs, so there is a considerable choice of thermal SPAs.
You could spend a month here and not get enough of it, but what if you have just one day? Today I want to tell you how to spend a perfect day in the city of beauty and gastronomy – in Budapest.
It seems that local people are more proud of their restaurants than of their museums, though both are worth visiting while in Budapest. But your day should start with breakfast, and I suggest you to have it at the most beautiful café in the world – The New York Café. It is located in the historical building of the Boscolo Hotel, built in 1894. It has the official status of the most beautiful café in the world. For me, entering the New York Café was like taking a step back into the past. I was overwhelmed by the opulence and refinement of the place. And of course live piano music together with a wonderful latte completed this perfect morning.
After breakfast I suggest you to take hip on hip off tourist bus to explore the city (the green line is the best). It will provide you a two day opportunity to ride around the town accompanied by a radio-guide, to get off at any stop and then go on again. And more than that – you will be given a boat trip along the Danube and a lunch at the Citadella – a famous restaurant with a gorgeous view – and a lot of discounts at different places. Here I suggest you to take Porkolt, a real Hungarian goulash – meat chopped into small pieces and cooked in tomato sauce with plenty of onion and wine. Or if you prefer being light on your feet, you might consider Mamaison Hotel Andrassy’s La Perle Noire (image above) for a delicate perch fillet with spicy spinach in coriander potato veloutee.
Be sure to take a walk along Andrássy Avenue – the local Champs-Elysees. Here you can sit on a bench in the form of a piano, which was built in honor of the Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt, have coffee at cafes near the Opera, buy some trendy stuff at branded boutiques, or visit the House of Terror (Terror Háza), the museum that tells about horrors of the totalitarian regimes (both the fascist and Communist) in Hungary.
After lunch I suggest you to head to Szechenyi Baths and Pool. Budapest is the only capital in the world with 120 thermal springs. Use your chance to relax and heal yourself! Lovely warm waters and the amazing architecture of the Szechenyi Baths and Pool is what qualifies this place for my top must-do’s list for a perfect day in Budapest.
Before the sunset go to the Embankment and take a boat trip along the Danube. This city looks completely different from the river.
And finally have a perfect dinner of your life on one of the terraces at Halászbástya restaurant (as above). The restaurant is located in the picturesque Fisherman’s Bastion, which Walt Disney took as a prototype for his Aladdin cartoon. It provides amazing views of the Danube and the Parliament. Here they serve absolutely the best foie gras ( In Hungary they call it libamai) that can be enjoyed together with live music and amazing views. And make sure that for dessert you take pancakes a la Gundel (Gundel Palacsinta), traditionally topped with sour cream and dried fruits. The pancake is served generously poured with chocolate and a sprinkle of spirit. Having a dinner here, you understand that you definitely will return to Budapest again!
About the author: Alina Lasina is a world traveller, travel journalist, and Founder of the luxury travel site TripTemptation. Alina is also a web entrepreneur, copywriter, and internet marketer. She lives in Riga, Lativia, and has so far visited 15% of the world, according to her TripTemptations profile.