As the end of 2015 approached, we decided it was high time that we went on a little city break – somewhere not too far from Dubai (i.e not as far as Ireland) and somewhere that wouldn’t take us all day to get to either, as Charlie has the attention span of, well – a three-year-old. So, hello Budapest!
An airline called Wizz Air flies direct to Budapest from the new airport in Dubai, Al Maktoum International, and the flights were pretty reasonable so we decided that’s where we would go (plus the flight time is only five hours).
I filmed a vlog during our trip, which you can watch here – but I also wanted to write-up a little blog post with the highlights of our trip, and perhaps give you a few suggestions of places to go and where to stay if you find yourself in this beautiful city.
We parked ourselves at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest for four nights, and let me tell you – it was pretty incredible. Built in 1896, the Hotel is steeped in history, in the most incredible location and probably has the most stunning interior of any hotel I have ever stayed in (you can check out some other snaps I took on Instagram here and here). It manages to maintain that old world vibe of days gone by, and equally – be very chic, modern and comfortable.
The rooms are beautifully appointed, and the friendly room service team deliver bottled water and gourmet chocolates to your room every day. Yes, that’s right – gourmet chocolates are delivered to your door – every day.
The hotel was also great for Charlie, lots of space for him to run around and everyone knew him on a first-name basis by the time we left. When we return to Budapest later this year, we’ll be staying here again because we enjoyed it so much and the location is ideal for exploring the city.
Obviously, I hunted down a few specialty coffee venues in the city, because I am a bit obsessed with coffee, so if you’re not into that kind of thing look away now. I probably visited four or five in total, but one really stood out to me – My Little Melbourne. It’s an Aussie concept cafe about 15-20 minutes walk from the Corinthia Hotel. It’s super tiny, with just enough room to order, and a few seats squished into the mezzanine space upstairs.
The coffee was very good, and so was the selection of homemade cookies and brownies. I sank two coffees in record time here, as I was absolutely frozen. They also have My Little Brew Bar next door, a slightly more spacious area that serves up brewed coffee only.
In the five days we were in Budapest, we walked about 40km in total. We walked everywhere. Apart from one morning when we stepped outside, and it was 5 degrees, and we just thought – no. This is not happening right now.
This city is best seen on foot I feel, there’s so much to take in; incredible architecture, beautiful streets, dinky little cafes and restaurants and these fantastic beer stands, where you can get a cup of beer for about 60 cents in Euro. Incredible! We visited Eiffel Square, took a boat tour of the Danube, hopped on a city tour, wandered through the oldest market in the city and hung out in the XI District, probably one of the coolest parts of the city. The best advice I can give you if you ever find yourself in Budapest is to just get out on the streets, go for a wander and see where you end up. Take in the sights, grab a takeaway coffee and stroll around the city. You’ll be amazed at how much you see.
Out of all the city breaks I’ve been on over the years, this was probably one of my favourites. I just loved Budapest. I loved the vibe, the people, the atmosphere – I loved everything.