There are three cities that I felt quite ashamed about not having visited them until very lately: one was Barcelona that I finally visited last year, another one was Prague where I went two years ago and the last one was Budapest where I spent a weekend with my friends in May. I don’t know why but they looked so obvious to me that I never felt like organizing a weekend there! They are not far from Milan, not expensive, I had to wait for someone to ask me to go there to eventually go there (except for Barcelona, that was my idea!). And I was wrong about them being obvious, because I loved the three of them.
For sure going to Budapest when I had still Jordan in my mind and heart was not easy but I really enjoyed this beautiful city on the Danube river, often called “Paris of the East”.
The city can be split in two big areas: Buda on the southern side of the Danube river and Pest on the northern side. We decided to dedicate one day to each of them as we had to full days to spend in town. We had the chance to have an apartment in the Gozsdu area where there is a lovely vintage and handmade weekend market during the weekends so we started the day with some local shopping before heading to the first vintage shop on my list: Jajcica, definitely one my favorite vintage shops in town. I spent hours trying amazing ethnic tunics and 60s dresses and I started my day with a bag full of incredible vintage pieces for bargain prices. Not too far is Lovebug Vintage, a concept store with mixed and contemporary pieces where I found some cute stuff and a beautiful vintage tapestry bag. This was just the beginning of the vintage experience in Budapest, I really didn’t expect all this wonderful vintage here, so be prepared with a lot of space in your luggage for your vintage finds. Budapest is for me the capital of Vintage of the East!!
After this great vintage preview we started our serious tour of the city along the river in Buda with a long walk to admire the incredible Budapest Parliament (it is better to see it from the other side of the river so that you can admire this amazing building in all its beauty) and all the beautiful buildings along the street before heading to the Castle, like the wonderful Szilagyi Dezso Teri Reformatus Templom.
We then reached the Castle with the Budavari Siklo, The Budapest Castle Hill Funicular opened 1870 and still running to admire the most beautiful view of Budapest from the hill. Don’t expect to find a real Castle there but enjoy the monuments that are part of the Castle district like the Royal Palace, the Matthias Church and, my very favorite, the Fisherman’s Bastion.
After a long day of walking and visiting we decided to have a proper relaxing evening at the famous Géllert Thermal Baths. This is one of the most interesting art nouveau buildings in Budapest (I was madly in love with the inside) and also a must-see if you want to understand how important is the thermal baths habit in Budapest. There are of course a lot of tourists but the many services offered (external and internal pools with different thermal waters, massages, sauna and iced water) make you understand how important it is in the city culture. Gellért is not the only historical thermal bath in Budapest, you can find many, maybe a bit less touristic but this is an institution and you cannot miss it!
Second day of the weekend we spent it in Pest, my favorite area because of its many vintage shops, hipster bars and, more than everything, my adored Jewish Ghetto. But let’s start from the beginning: after a second tour at the Gozsdu Weekend market (where I decided to buy two beautiful vintage amber brooches!) we visited a couple of interesting vintage shops of Buda: Szputnyik is a mix of modern and vintage pieces (especially modern though) but they have a very vintage second store in the Jewish Ghetto (in Kiraly St.) that has incredible pieces (little bag from there with a skirt and a dress!); Retrock my favorite shop of day 2 with two floors of amazing vintage at very good prices (my second big bag this time!!), PSTR store where I spotted a lovely vintage skirt and shirt.
With my hands full of vintage like the day before, we started a proper visit of Buda starting with St. Sthepen’s Basilica and getting lost in the wonderful Jewish Ghetto with its decadent buildings, and beautiful synagogues, especially Dohany Street Synagogue, possibly my favorite building in town.
This is also the area of incredible places like Szimpla kert, one of the most famous bars of Budapest where there are so many things everywhere that it is almost impossible to describe it: I can only tell you that we didn’t even stop for a beer but spent a long moment there observing all the wall decorations and furniture because it was really mad!
If you are vegetarian there is not a lot to eat in town, I went for hummus and Langosh in the Jewish ghetto but also for different tastes of chimney cakes every time that I spotted a seller!!!
One last interesting tip: even if you can easily hang around in Budapest by walk or public transportation, we used a lot Taxify from/to the airport and to reach some vintage shops that were not very close. As in Bucharest it is super cheap and it works very well. So download the app if you don’t have it yet!