I’ve heard so many great things about Budapest that my expectations before this trip were very high. I ordered my favorite Wallpaper* guidebook in advance, made an elaborated list of must-visit places and thoughtfully chose a hotel. And you know what? I wasn’t disappointed ! Together with my bestie Mikhail we had the best time in the capital of Hungary, did quality sightseeing and discovered plenty of hidden gems, enjoyed a fantastic view over Danube from our Governor Suite at Hotel Vision Budapest and drank sparkling wine for breakfast… We were extremely lucky with the weather, too : three perfectly sunny warm days in the middle of February in Budapest, such a nice surprise! We walked a lot around the city, took hundreds of photos and felt spring in the air… I think everyone can find in Budapest something which corresponds his interests : the city has beautiful architecture, excellent restaurants and exciting nightlife.
If you’re planning a trip to the Hungarian capital, here’re some tips and ideas :
- Where to stay : Hotel Vision Budapest
This brand-new contemporary hotel has an extraordinary location on the World Heritage Site Danube bank (the hotel’s address is H-1056 Budapest, Belgrád rakpart 24), just a short walk from the historical center. Large hall with a glass roof letting daylight in, stylish lounge bar with unlimited consumption of tea and coffee, separate entrance to the suites area and cozy restaurant Tapas Fino with a panoramic river view are just a few reasons why you will immediately like Hotel Vision.
We stayed in a luxury 80m2 Governor Suite with a perfectly equipped kitchen, separate dining area, spacious bathroom and king size bed. The ceiling high was absolutely incredible – combined with enormous panoramic windows it made the room look so large and aesthetically appealing ! I loved the interior design, modern and minimalistic, with natural color palette and textures. And a deep-soaker platform tub just in front of the window was the truest quintessence of the hotel indulgence !
I also appreciated a walk-in dressing room with iron and ironing board – the details which matter for a fashionista like me.
As a big connoisseur of the hotel breakfasts, I can assure you that mornings at Hotel Vision Budapest are a foodie’s dream. Guests can choose between classical buffet options and made-to-order dishes, such as eggs Benedict, omelette, pancakes… I adored the idea to place a juicer at the disposal of the guests – it’s so nice to make yourself a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice ! Well, I should say sparkling wine served for breakfast tempting as well – even if certainly less healthy than grapefruit juice.
We didn’t have dinner at Tapas Fino restaurant but we went there for aperitif, and I confirm that cocktails were excellent, especially when sipped in front of the gorgeous panoramic view over Danube.
To sum up, Hotel Vision Budapest which is currently classified as a 4-stars hotel offers a five star experience and the best price-quality ratio in the city. A few photos to illustrate my conclusion :
- The coziest lobby at Hotel Vision Budapest
2. Our Governor Suite
3. Breakfast moments at Hotel Vision Budapest
4. Stylish bar at Hotel Vision Budapest
2. Where to eat : Local food and international cuisine
When choosing bars, restaurants and coffee shops during the trip, I always take into consideration two criterias : food and interior. As someone passionate about design, I love discovering aestetically inspiring places offering quality meal in a beautiful framing. In Budapest we found some really nice addresses :
Dining : Borbíróság and Ipanema. The first one is a restaurant with the spirit of an original Hungarian bistro. The dishes are made of the seasonal ingridients from local markets and accompanied by Hungarian wines (Borbíróság has a really impressive selection!). The second one, Ipanema, is located at Ritz Carlton Budapest and as you might guess from the name, offers authentic yet contemporary Brasilian food in the splendid sober interiors.
Coffee and desserts : New York Cafe is an absolute must-visit in Budapest. Palace-worthy interiors, live music and creative cuisine are the sufficient reasons to make at this historical place, popular among writers and editors. Put on your best outfit and be ready to take hundreds of photos, since New York Café is simply gorgeous!
Drinks : Butiq Bar and Kollazs. The concepts of these two bars are completely different, but coctails are excellent in both of them. Butiq Bar’s extravagant interior reminded me the Red Room from Twin Peaks series. The cocktail menu looks like a brochure with cartoon illustrations, each cocktail has a story and served in a funny and creative way. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxing and the barmen are very friendly. Kollazs is not just a bar, it’s a contemporary brassery where you also can dine or have a dessert. It’s very chic and beautifully decorated, a nice place to have an aperitif before dinner.
3. What to see : Must-visit only
During my first visit to the city, I always start by visiting the most famous monuments and places of interest. Some may call it a “touristic approach” but I’m convinced that the most famous places don’t become famous without a good reason. I love to check all the must-see before starting to look for the hidden gems.
Three days are enough to discover Budapest but obviously too short to immerse into the city. The Hungurian capital is large, or rather extended along the Danube. Be ready to walk a lot if you want to enjoy the best views from the Danube Promenade – and also be ready to get back in the evening, since the iconic Hungarian Parliament Building looks even more beautiful during sunset.
We walked all the way up to thetFisherman’s Bastion, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited attractions of Budapest, and were recompensed by the amazing panoramic view over the city. Located on the Castle Hill in the Buda district, the Fisherman’s Bastion looks like a medieval fortress but it was actually created in the 20th century with a purely decorative purpose! This architectural complex is a mix of Gothic and Neo-Romanesque styles, with a touch of Classicism. I loved how eclectic it looked !
The thermal baths of Budapest are definitely an experience not to be missed. There’re several hystorical spa complexes in the city, some of them century-old and architecturally stunning. We chose Szechenyi Thermal Bath, the most popular one, and planned our visit for Monday morning when, we hoped, it wouldn’t be very crowded. Even if our hope was vain – there were still many visitors in the Baths – we adored this experience: bright sunshine, fresh winter air and hot thermal water were a winning combo ! The complex is very picturesque, and I could imagine people one hundred years ago enjoying their bath day exactly like we did in the 21st century…
I usually don’t share negative experience but if I can give you a piece of advice, I just don’t recommend you to go to the famous ruin bars – the waiting lines are crazy ! There’re few things I dislike more than queueing to get a drink, so we skipped the ruin bar and went for excellent cocktails at Butiq Bar instead.
I’m sure we haven’t seen even a half of things worth a visit in Budapest but we preferred to keep our trip cool and relaxed. One can probably do more in three days, so it’s up to you to choose your rhythm and enjoy the city !