A Late Summer Trip to Budapest

Budapest Castle

Back in October,  P. and I traveled to Budapest. I had heard so much about this city so I was very happy that we finally decided to make the trip. It was our only late summer holiday this year and we were so lucky that the weather cooperated. A sudden heat wave hit Europe during the first week of October, the week we were soaking up the beauty and indulging in culinary delicacies of Hungary's capital city.

I planned to post some photos from our trip and share foodie places with you, but the last two months went by so quickly I almost gave up any chance of writing this post. It took me two months, but I finally managed to edit and sort out hundreds of photos. I hope you are ready for a photo heavy post.

St. Istvan Basilica
St. Istvan Basilica Dome

We spent the first three days in a small hotel in the centre, ideally located for exploring the city. St. Stephen's Basilica was literally ten minutes walk away from our hotel. Standing under its magnificent dome decorated with mosaics I felt so small. Then we climbed up to a viewing platform above the cupola to admire the view of both sides of the river Danube -  hilly Buda and flat Pest.

Buda View
Pest View

Budapest is a city rich in historical sights, and it's even more charming at night when the entire city is beautifully lit.

Chain Bridge at night
Chain Bridge day and night
Parliament at night
Budapest Castle at night
Parlament at night
Parlament at night

The shoes on the bank of the Danube river are a sad memorial to Jews who were shot  into the river during World War II.

Shoes on the Danube Promenade
Shoes on the Danube Promenade
Underground Budapest

Food was obviously very important part of our trip and we were not disappointed. We had our first Hungarian meal at Pesti Disznó, choosing a traditional lecsó and chicken paprika. My mum used to make a czech version of lecsó when I was a kid, but I must say this was the best lecsó I've ever had.

There's probably no better place to sample on local delicacies than the Central Market Hall. This gorgeous three-storey building is packed with stalls selling local produce and the top floor offers hot food ready to devour. The presence of locals crowded around the stalls and eating food indicates this place is more than just a tourist attraction. We alway want to taste local food so we ordered stuffed paprika and spicy sausage served with white bread and mustard. 

Hungarian Food
Market Hall
Budapest Tram

Zizi was our lovely host for the rest of our trip. She took us to her favourite organic farmers market on Saturday morning. I finally understand why she wakes up early every Saturday to stock up on all the wonderful fruits and vegetables. I wish we had this market in London.

Potatoes and Dill
Organic Market

Recycle T-shirt

After the early morning start coffee was in order. Another Zizi's favourite place, Villa Bagatelle was luckily just a short walk from the market. A three-storey villa converted to a charming cafe with their own bakery and a small home decor shop looked like my dream house.

Villa Bagatelle

Sunday trip to Visegrad started with fresh hot langos. A deep fried flat bread served traditionally with garlic, grated cheese or sour cream brought back so many memories of my summer holidays spent at my aunt's summer house in the Slovak Republic.

Visegrád climbing up

Freshly made Kürtőskalács was the perfect touch to our trip. We have a similar pastry baked over an open fire in the Czech Republic, but the original Hungarian version is the best.

Baking kurtoskalacs
Making kurtoskalacs
Kurtoskalacs stall

We spent the last two days enjoying Budapest's numerous little cafes and wine bars. The beautiful sunny weather was perfect for sitting outside with a cup of coffee and homemade ginger lemonade from Sarki Fuszeres. This place is a very cute little cafe and deli with an outdoor seating area.

Sarki Fuszeres
Sarki Fuszeres
Bicycle light

Perfectly located in front of the St. Stephen's Basilica was our favourite gelato shop Gelarto Rosa selling their gelato formed into the shape of a rose. I went back for my pumpkin and pistachio rose more than once!

Rose Ice cream
DiVino wine bar
DiVino bar Budapest
DiVino Wine Board

This trip had everything we could have asked for - great food, friends and fun! I can't complain. My big thanks go to Zizi for being the best host, sharing her favourite places to eat and making our trip so pleasant and memorable.

I close this massive photo post with a self portrait picture taken at our favourite Divino wine bar.

DiVino self portrait