Perched on the banks of the Danube river are the two cities that combine to make Budapest. It has quickly become one of our fave travel destinations. Budapest is a perfect couple travel destination. A wonderful combination of history, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking vistas make it top of our list. We put together a list of ideas for you to consider on your next trip. We didn’t put them in any particular order. Timing will depend a lot on where you stay. Lets begin!
Tour of Parliament–
The Capitol of Hungary has the third largest Parliament building in the world. Tours of the huge building are a must for any visit to Budapest. At the heart of the building are the Hungary’s crown jewels which are guarded by two handsome and a bit unfriendly guards. The building is equality grand for the inside as it is from the outside. The ticketing process is a bit time consuming. Allow some extra time as this is an extremely popular tourist stop.
The largest medicinal bath in Europe, Széchenyi Bath, is also located in Budapest. There are over 80 geothermal springs throughout the city. Szechenyi Baths Budapest is in our opinion the best for couples. (Some baths do not allow coed bathing… apparently Budapest women like to bathe without men?) Make sure you get the details on with whom, and when you can, bathe. Széchenyi has several indoor and outdoor pools. After a hard day of sightseeing, letting the warm/hot water sooth your weary legs is heavenly!
Make a Love Lock—
Are you looking for something really romantic to do as a couple in Hungary? No…not that. The second best thing to do as a couple in Budapest is to make a “Love Lock”. Simply find a store that sells locks and head to the love lock park (Erzsébet square) not far from the Chain Bridge along the Danube. Couples declare their love here with inscribed love locks. Write your names on the lock and walk hand in hand across the Danube and toss the key into the river.
Eat some Goulash—
One of the must do’s in Budapest is to eat the national dish: Goulash. Our favorite purveyor of this yummy goodness is located just down from the Synagogue: Kadar Restaurant. A warning, this place is uber popular with the locals, be prepared for a crowd. Trust us, the wait will be soooo worth it. Goulash is a sort of stew with meat and vegetables. Then a truck load of spices are added, with emphasis on paprika. Delish! Please let us know what you think. Are you scared of trying a new food? Check out our post: “I am a Menu Coward.”
Our next stop in our little tour of Budapest is the second largest synagogue in the world the Dohány Street Synagogue. It can accommodate 3,000 worshipers and was a built between 1854 and 1859. You can take thought provoking tour with an English speaking guide for a small fee. You are required to dress modestly and men must dawn the cap, one is provided for you.
If you have a car, an interesting stop is located a few minutes from downtown Budapest: Memento Park. When the communists left Budapest, the locals wanted to change things up a bit, so they took down most of the Soviet themed décor. They ended up putting it all in a park just outside of city. There are statues large and small. Memento park can easily be seen in an hour. The designer of the park, Ákos Eleőd, said this about his creation: “This park is about dictatorship. And at the same time, because it can be talked about, described, built, this park is about democracy. After all, only democracy is able to give the opportunity to let us think freely about dictatorship.” Seeing these statues helps give insight into the communist chapter of Hungarian history.
Hospital in the Rock—
One of the off the beaten path sites is located on the backside of Castle Hill, the Hospital in the Rock (Sziklakórház Múzeum). The hospital doubled as a nuclear bunker and was created for use in WWII. I then say extensive renovation and use during the Cold War. There are over 6 miles of tunnels and rooms. On display are the original surgical tools in the makeshift emergency rooms. The hospital was completely self-sufficient. There are water storage tanks, ventilation systems and nuclear decontamination rooms. There is a quality guided tour every hour on the hour. It was fascinating. Well worth the hike up castle hill. One bummer is that they don’t let you take pics inside. Not sure why?
If you can came all of this into three days without a couple fights….we salute you! Have you been to Budapest? Did we miss something? Please leave us a kind comment below. See you in Budapest!