A Winter Holiday in Budapest at Baltzar
While visiting my family in Germany over Christmas, I had organised a trip for my mum and myself to Budapest. I had heard so many great things about the city, and couldn’t wait to experience its beauty in person. And it absolutely delivered.
I would describe Budapest as a mix between Paris and Vienna. Better than Paris and better than Vienna. Calmer than Paris, less touristy (even though it was a rather busy time to go - right between Christmas and New Years), and at least just as charming.
Before going I had this idea in my mind that I would prefer Pest (the more quirky, “hipster” side of the city) - however, staying at Baltazar Budapest on the Buda side completely changed my mind. I absolutely fell in love with Buda, its architecture, old city charm, the views, the castle, the church, the Fisherman’s Bastion and the baths.
Baltazar Budapest played a huge part in making me fall in love with Buda straight away. It was the perfect spot to stay at for our first couple of nights, with a wonderful and warm welcome to the city. We had the French breakfast two days in a row, and I could have easily eaten the same breakfast for the rest of the holidays.
We had the best room we could have possibly had, on the top floor with balcony, overlooking the square outside. The room came with L’Occitane bath products, a coffee machine (yes! So good!), and unique artwork. Each room is inspired by a different artist, and the attention put into designing the hotel shows in the little details (e.g. our room had a Chiquita banana sign outside the door with the room number on it - matching the piece of artwork inside).
We spent our days in Budapest visiting one of the traditional and beautiful baths, eating our way through the Hungarian cuisine, and indulging in way too many delicious cakes at a number of traditional and absolutely stunning cafe houses (they are so grand and majestic (even if touristy, it’s so worth it!)). My favourites were Central cafe and the artist cafe (Muvesz). We also had cocktails with lunch, walked along the river, admired all the beautiful buildings and architecture, visited the Christmas market a few days and night in a row, and ended up doing too much shopping.
In terms of food, you have to try Goulash soup (of course) ;) The most well-known Hungarian meal there is. On top of that, I loved the strudels and “potato scones” - there’s a small bakery stall inside the market hall which makes the absolute best Hungarian “scones”. You’ll easily find the place, there’s always a queue. Try their fresh strudels as well, so so good! And don’t miss Flodni at the famous, original, tiny Jewish bakery called Noah’s Patisserie.
Whatever time of the year you go, just spend a good amount of time wandering around Budapest (especially Buda, for a charming and relaxing city holiday), visiting its cafe houses, and absorb all its beauty.