I did promise you more Budapest so here it is.
Did you know the city was actually broken into 2 parts, Buda and Pest before it was united? The Danube river splits the two parts right down the middle. Although there are buildings and things that are thousands of years old, many were damaged between the World Wars and the occupation of the Communists and had to be rebuilt. The architecture is gorgeous. The view on the Danube is beautiful but unfortunately, most of our weekend was foggy and couldn’t see the views.
Anywho, after our burgers on Christmas Eve, we awoke to a quiet city on Christmas morning. Our target was the Széchneyi thermal baths. Hungary sits on natural thermal springs so spas and baths were built upon them over the years. Most of the baths are outdoors and luckily it wasn’t super cold, maybe in the 40’s. After extreme confusion on buying tickets, finding our changing cabins, and getting to the baths, we made it! It was 100% worth it. We were there at about 11am and missed the major crowds. Score!
We highly recommend it! It was so relaxing and made for great people watching. There are two large baths with a swimming pool in between.
This was our wicked cool Christmas selfie.
One of the best things we could ever do on a Christmas away from home. We spent a couple of hours there before moving on.
On the way to the baths, we visited Heroes’ Square which is so large and grand.
Then it was time for a (late) lunch so we meandered over to the Christmas markets. Our first stop was for chimney cakes also known as Kürtoskalács (PS – the Hungarian language, or Magyar, is notoriously difficult. Luckily English and German is prevalent).
Chimney cakes are pieces of dough wrapped around a cylinder then cooked over a coal fire. Flavors such as vanilla or chocolate are added. They are SUPER hot as we found out. We opted for the almond one.
So good. Sweet, warm, crunchy, and cheap. Dessert was before lunch though today. We continued on through the markets and marveled at all the treats and lights.
Gorgeous, right? We chose a stand selling a variety of Hungarian foods.
They have their own version of mulled wine and we chose a blueberry mulled wine and mulled wine with Pálinka which is a fruit brandy (of any flavor that you can think of and all over Budapest/Hungary).
We also had these roasted potato wedges most likely with paprika (it’s everywheres) and then a large sausage with toppings. It was such a late and big lunch, I just had a Greek salad at a kebap place for dinner.
All in a all, a very successful Christmas where a lot of stores, museums, and other places were not open but we were able to find our own fun!