There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.
Back in 2012 I was working and living in Los Angeles for a year. During that year I lived together with three Germans and Barbara, a Hungarian sweetheart that always told me these great stories about her hometown Budapest.
Once I returned home to Belgium it didn’t take me long until I decided to bring her a visit and have visited her three times so far. Flights with Ryanair or Wizzair from Brussels South to Budapest are luckily pretty affordable.
The first time I visited I quickly realised Barbara wasn’t lying about the capital of the land of pálinka. After three visits I can say I had a fair share of pàlinka, great nights (which I sometimes barely remember) and got to know some of the most kind of people of Europe.
Yesterday, a 93-year-old lady grabbed my arm on the bus and asked me ‘English ?’ because she heard me talking to Barbara. She told us her story about her life in England and revealed us the true secret to a long life : Don’t worry too much about it all, that’s how you get old.
Basically, Budapest is divided into two major parts : Buda, the historical and royal part. And Pest, the more lively part with its numerous restaurants and bars. And you got a big ass river running right through it, the Danube and a handful of bridges holding the city together.
In Buda you will most likely make some time for the typical highlights of this city like the Buda Castle with its Fisherman’s Bastion, the Citadel and newly renovated Castle Garden Bazaar. Great place to wander at night with your lovebird. But, Buda is way more than that !
If you want to escape the busy streets for a bit you can seek some rest in Normafa and enjoy some delicious strudels and walk to the Eszsebet kilato to have a great view over the city. After that you can take a skilift at Jànos-hegy back to the city.
Another great place to enjoy your visit is Római part where you can unwind along the shore overlooking the Danube.
And don’t forget to stop at the Batthyány tér to take some photos of the Parliament to immortalize your memories of your visit to Budapest.
You can cross from Buda to Pest over the famous Chain Bridge, the oldest bridge in Budapest that suspends over the Danube.
In Pest you can visit Heroes’ Square before you get some drinks in the neighbourhood.
The first and most famous place to get drinks is Szimpla Kert, the oldest ruin pub in the city with a very cool interior.
Some other personal favourites are Fröccsterasz (open air bar), Vak éger (underground club), iSkola (for those who like to dance), the 360 bar (rooftop bar) and many more…
Got a couple extra days ? Then you should definitely plan a visit to Szentendre (a little village along the Danube) or to Balaton Lake.
Also, from Budapest you can take the train to Vienna for only 30 euro (return ticket) – The perfect way to combine two great cities in one vacation.