Immediately, after getting off the train in Budapest, I could feel the tension in the air. From Romain that is!
At this point in our trip, he is soooo tired of me. He literally can stand to see my shadow at this point. I mean, to my Hugh Jackman, Wolverine mini me LMAO, I could see the claws coming out of his knuckles!
And I know why! There’s a reason why I’m still single folks. Like most millennials in my generation, I have commitment issues. Like a hungry confused woman who can’t pick something to eat. FUCK, I get pissed thinking about it writing this very sentence and I’m still fucking single!
I couldn’t decide on what I wanted to eat. Why? Cause I wanted to eat everything! And Romain just wanted to get to our AirBnB.
Anyways, enough about my sad, empty abyss of personal life.
The feel of Budapest was extremely quiet. But this was a peaceful quiet and much-needed. Budapest was not overcrowded or hot. Streets were very wide open, the buildings castle-like, tall and leveled, framed with medieval architecture.
Unbeknownst to me, the city has a rich history, including separatism and war.
The Celtic people first occupied the plains of Hungary from the 4th century BC until they were conquered by the Roman Empire, who established a fortress on the current location of Budapest. The Magyars (the Hungarian people) conquered the region at the end of the 9th century and established the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. A statue of the first King, Stephen 1, can be admired between Fisherman’s Bastion and Matthias Church, a popular tourist site. The city of Budapest was officially created in 1873 by the merger of the cities on both sides of the Danube river, Buda and Pest.
Extremely hungry, Romain and I decided to head out to the city and grab some grub. All this exercising and moving around really put a strain on our appetite. We decided to hit up the best burger joint in town, Bamba Marha Burger Bar.
These burgers had a savory, juicy, mouth watering flavor. Just the right combination of sweet and salty! The buns were crisp crunchy and warm like mama’s womb 🙂
I don’t know how that analogy correlates but you can wrap your imagination around it.
After some food, we decided to walk to our first attraction and and we crossed the famous “Chain Bridge” which is significant for connecting the two cities Buda and Pest in 1849.
Adjacent to the bridge was our first attraction the “Rudas Bath House” which was built in 1550 by the Turks during the rules of the Ottoman Empire.
This was my first ever experience in a thermal bath house and boy was it one to remember! Just to give you an idea of this place, it was built in the 16th century. The water of the thermal bath are filled with natural “sulfur” – yes it smells like rotten eggs. 500 years of rotten eggs or as I like to put it, Romain’s under arms when he forgot his deodorant in Italy LMAO!
Just to paint a picture for you, as soon as you walk down below, there’s one gigantic pool in the middle and four separate pools diagonal to the center pool. Each pool has a different temperature ranging from 20°C to 42°C (70°F to 110°F). There are also a pool which reaches a chilling heart stopping temperature of 13°C. Romain and I decided to to quickly jump into the 13° pool and immediately hop into the 40°C pool!
On to our next challenge which was the sauna. What I truly enjoyed about this place was there were three sauna rooms connected to each other, which were increasingly hotter. Temperature increased 45°C –> 55°–> 75°C!!!! That’s about 150°F!
We stayed in each room for about five minutes challenging the might of our exoskeletons, boy was it HOT, then immediately got into the 13°C pool, slowly.
- Bring your own towel & flip-flops
- Bring a jacket for the walk home
Romain’s note: That night, we went on a pub crawl. Budapest is world famous for its ruin bars, which are old communist buildings converted into bars and nightclubs. For this reason, they all look very unique. Jarelle was bored so went home early, but I stayed until the grand finale, the Instant nightclub which is one of the best I’ve been in! This place is truly a maze, going on 2 floors up and 1 level underground with a good 8-10 rooms. I got lost at least 3 times, but every time I found myself in a room with a fantastic DJ. I don’t particularly like Electronic music, but when you’ve got an expert on the turntables in an awesome underground room, then I’m 100% in!
Other blogs know more about these bars than us, so if you’re interested, I would recommend these articles:
- Budapest’s Ruin Bars Are Worth a Trip to Hungary
- Budapest’s best ‘ruin bars’
- A Guide to Budapest’s Ruin Pubs
The following day, we were hungry. Instead of having that cliché American cuisine aka burgers (which I like to call high blood pressure, serve with a slice of diabetes wrapped together with cardiovascular disease). I was in the mood for some authentic Hungarian food.
Romain’s note: LIES, LIES, LIES! Jarelle was whining the whole time because he wanted to eat American pancakes at 1pm, while I was trying to convince him that he didn’t come all the way to Hungary to eat American breakfast food for lunch.
And Gulyás or “Goulash” was on my menu.
Surprisingly this is very tasty and the restaurant we went to serve great portion sizes! It was filled with chunks of beef, vegetables, potatoes, paprika and spices! If you’re into cultural cuisines this is definitely a must have when you come to Budapest.
We then crossed the river to visit the Buda Castle hill. We saw the beautiful architecture of Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church and the Buda Castle:
The very next day we made our way to the biggest bathhouse in Budapest! This bathhouse is internationally famous for its night pool parties! But thanks to Romain and wanting to go on a pub crawl, the only night we had in Budapest we couldn’t experience international fiesta.
Anyways the Szechenyi Bath House was massive!
Wide open space to indulge in either pool you wanted, tons of foreigners and international travelers coming to soak their bodies in history, so the culture here is rich as well. Not an outdoor pool type of person? There’re about three different corridors of indoor Jacuzzis, steam rooms and saunas galore! Romain and I were surprised at how big this place was!
Each different area has its own majestic and colorful theme to it, be to add some flavor to these old relics! At least 3 saunas were for aroma therapy, each with a different aroma. Another sauna had volcano rocks and it was around 72°C!
Overall, Budapest was memorable city full of hidden treasures and rich history. Definitely a city I plan on visiting again and even potentially investing in some real-estate in the near future (Pro-Tip: Housing prices there are CHEAP!)