This month, our travel writer explores the magic of Budapest.
Budapest has long competed in the top ranks as one of Europe’s best city breaks – but what is it about the city that gives it such a distinctive flavour? The answer – though not always glaringly obvious – can be found in the echoes of Budapest’s turquoise-tinted pools, in the acoustics of the Hungarian State Opera House’s arches, and in the wood panel walls of some of Europe’s oldest cafés. Budapest doesn’t boast the self-assuredness that can be felt in Paris, Berlin or Rome; rather, its magic and charm awaits patiently to be unearthed by its visitors, on their own accord, bit by bit.
Where to stay
Established to contribute and cater for Budapest’s rich creative scene, Brodyland’s four luxury hospitality venues offer boutique accommodation to meet a myriad of needs and tastes: from Brody House’s award-winning hotel, the serviced Paulay House apartments to the nineteenth century ‘The Writer’s Villa’, nestled in the Buda hills of Budapest. A stay at any of Brodyland’s locations affords guests complimentary private membership to the facilities during their stay in the city, which includes access to social and cultural events and Brody Clublife, all of which tend to be frequented by local and international creatives alike.
What to see
There’s certainly no shortage of things to see in Budapest, it is after all a city that has built a glowing reputation thanks to its grandiose architecture and pretty pastel facades. There are, however, a few must-see spots that can’t be missed. St. Stephen’s Basilica is one of them, its neo-classical design and opulent interior symbolise its status as the most important church building in Hungary. Down on the Danube river, (and almost impossible to miss), sits Hungary’s palatial Parliament Building, built with a symmetrical front and a renaissance revival dome, and its gothic-revival anatomy is a sight to take in – if only from outside.
What to do
The city is blessed with an underground network of more than 100 hot springs, so going for a soak in one of Budapest’s famed thermal baths is a must. Visiting the city without taking a dip in one them is unthinkable villainy. Do it right (with an added touch of extravagance) at the Széchenvi Baths with a glass of champagne in hand or enjoy some quality down time admiring the art nouveau at the Géllert Baths. Private massages are bookable at almost all of the city’s baths.
Where to eat
Often easy to miss, the Hungarian capital is blessed with a vast array of old world cafes. These sacred spots, most notably Central Café and Restaurant 1887, New York Café and Gerbaud, boast rich historic backgrounds, hosted many a celebrated Hungarian writer and ooze grandeur. Try Gerbaud’s chicken paprika stew served with traditional Hungarian dumplings at dusk or usher in the morning light at Central Café with a croissant or weinerwurst.
Words By Hannah Sargeant