Finally it was time for me to visit a new country and I couldn’t wait to visit a city I’d seen and heard so much about and been told by numerous people that I would fall in love with the city immediately.
We left Dubai at 9am and landed into Budapest a lovely five and a half hours later. As we made our way into the city to check in, I wasn’t feeling my best and decided to explore alone and at my own pace. Everyone but me had done the flight before and had seen the sights and wasn’t really bothered for lots of wandering around in the cold, so I changed quickly and went to grab a coffee to go to keep me warm on my walk around the city.
First stop of the day was to Fisherman’s Bastion. It was a beautiful day and an equally beautiful walk. The sun was shining and there were only a few sporadic clouds in the sky. A really crisp winters day, my favourite sort of day. I walked along the River Danube and crossed the Széchenyi Chain Bridge that was just filled with tourists taking pictures.
Fisherman’s Bastion is one of the best known monuments in Budapest, located in the Buda Castle, in the 1st district of Budapest. It is one of the most important tourist attractions due to the unique panorama of Budapest from the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces.
It was built between 1895 and 1902, in Neo-Romanesque style, on the base of a stretch of the Buda Castle walls, by architect Frigyes Schulek, who was also responsible for the restoration of the Matthias Church. Several historians say that in the Middle Ages this part of the castle walls was protected by the guild of fishermen, who lived under the walls in the so called Fishtown. Since 1987 it has been part of Budapest’s World Heritage Sites.
I spent a good half hour wandering around the beautiful bastion, it was such an impressive view back over the city and if it was much warmer I could have easily sat here for hours. I can only begin to imagine the sunset here.
There were little huts selling mugs of mulled wine and it felt so festive despite the lack of Christmas decorations here. I sat for a short while admiring the impressive architecture before I started to get a little chilly and continued on with my day.
I walked back down into the city through the charming narrow streets. You never knew what kind of street or alleyway you were going to turn onto, there’s a real hidden charm about this city.
Feeling peckish and with the sun going down I had wanted to try some Hungarian cuisine. When googling, I didn’t realise that the national dish of Hungary was in fact goulash! A dish I absolutely love and you’ve probably seen pop up in a few of my ski holiday posts. There was also something called Töltött Kaposzta which I was desperate to try so I googled some places for both and set off walking in that direction.
It was a good 45 minute walk and it took me right back over the river and across the city, and what was so sad when I arrived they actually had neither on their menu! Feeling a little disheartened, I saw that the Christmas market wasn’t that far away now so I set off in that direction and I was not disappointed.
What a fabulous Christmas market Budapest has! An abundance of stalls and wooden huts selling everything and anything you can think of. The Christmas music was playing, the lights were twinkling and with it being a Friday night there were people absolutely everywhere. It felt so magical especially with Christmas only being five days away.
After a browse of some of the stalls I came across a huge food tent and the first thing I spotted was Töltött Kaposzta. It looked delicious and I couldn’t wait to try it!! I ordered a portion and it was absolutely ginormous, so I held off on the goulash for the moment and grabbed a table and tucked in.
Oh my word. This was incredible. It was absolutely everything I wanted and more. The textures, the flavours, I think Hungarian cuisine might be the one for me! The entire food stall looked incredible, but this was phenomenal. I can’t wait to return to Budapest just to eat this again.
Feeling stuffed I continued my stroll and came across the tradition Hungarian tunnel cakes called Kürtőskalács. I’d seen a lot about these online and how delicious they were and I couldn’t resist to try one. Especially as they were being made fresh in front of my eyes and piping hot. Perfect for this chilly winters evening.
It made for an excellent hand warmer and tasted FANTASTIC. I went for a plain vanilla one and it was soooo good, and also ginormous! The portions in Budapest are crazy big.
Not feeling one hundred percent, cold and tired, I wandered back to the hotel and got into bed ready for a long sleep.
I woke earlyish the next morning and opted for breakfast in bed, hard not to when this is the view from your bedroom!
It wasn’t long before the phone was ringing for my wake up call to head back to Dubai.
A fabulous layover, I so loved ticking off country 71 and I absolutely adored Budapest! Cannot wait to return here in summer to tick more things off my bucket list! As always, feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube: