Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


February 12, 2013


Budapest is one of those great cities in Europe that you can see all the sights within a weekend albeit you will probably have sore feet and need a massage at one of the cities many spas.  And you need to have a massage in Budapest as it will be probably be a great dining out story for years to come!

On arriving into Budapest on a Friday night you come to realise that Budapest is truly a stag weekend destination for the Brits.  As we came through Passport Control my friend and I had a giggle as a stag party was pulled aside and the groom told to put on clothes as the diaper and large dummy was not appropriate for entering a foreign country.

These are some of my highlights of Budapest

Fisherman’s Bastion – this is the best look out point in Budapest situated on the top of Castle Hill and overlooking Budapest and the beautiful Parliament Building.  This is a popular tourist site and you can either walk to the top or take the Funicular which is money well spent!  The views are to die for.

St. Stephen’s Basilica – this is truly the most imposing building and when you are walking down the street towards the Basilica it truly is the most magnificent sight to behold as you don’t actually realise how big the church is going to be. 

The Dohany Street Synagogue and Hungarian Jewish Museum – this is the most amazing Synagogue however you do have to pay to enter however don’t let this put you off visiting.  The interior is just gorgeous and one of the prettiest Synagogue’s I have visited in Europe and the Remembrance Tree is truly an impressive memorial to the Hungarian victims of the Holocaust.

Budapest at Night time – Walking along the Danube at night time is truly breathtaking as all the buildings are lit up at night time.  If you love photography then make sure to bring your tripod and best camera to photgraph Budapest at it’s most prettiest otherwise you will regret it.

One of our favourite places to eat in Budapest was Cafe Gerbeaud which is Mecca if you have a sweet tooth.  The Cafe is in the 1000 places to visit book so it was another tick!  We sat outside in the square and ate cake, watched the tourists and locals conversing with one another.

On the weekend that we visited Budapest there was a market been held just in front of the Cafe that had great hand made souvenirs including these cute cookies.  I ended up picking up G a really cool fur lined hat to wear over winter.

Now when it comes to visiting the spa – like Budapest which is split between Buda and Pest you will find most of the spa’s will have a Women’s and Men only section.

After wandering around Budapest for most of Saturday, we booked ourselves in for a massage at Gellert Thermal Bath which is one of the most famous spa’s in Budapest. 

I am not sure if our massage experience is what others have also experienced but I will let you into our adventure at the Gellert Baths as I still giggle about it now.

Firstly, we got changed in the Ladies section and then we were taken to the Men’s section for our massage – this was strange as we were told we weren’t allowed in this section. 

I was shown into my room first with my masseuse and my friend followed, my guy turned up in white trousers and top and looked rather professional, my friend’s masseuse then turned up – he was rather large, all oiled up and wearing only a skimpy little towel around his waist and didn’t speak a word of English.  At this point my friend’s lip started to wobble and I took one for the team and swapped masseuse.

I went into my room, for some reason the door wasn’t closed which meant a lot of the other staff walked in and out constantly; my masseuse ended up sitting on the table that I was lying on massaging my legs and feet – he didn’t understand English but think he grasped “Gentle” every time I squealed in pain.  I had my face in the other direction of the masseuse as I wasn’t sure where to look, thinking could things really get any worse!

Well I was just started to relax and still had my gaze averted out the open door when I saw a man getting led into the room across the hall, once again the door wasn’t shut so I am lying on my table getting kneading to high heaven and then get a full frontal of a guy in the room across the hall – then the masseuse from that room comes across and tells me to relax umm hello, by this point I didn’t know what to think or do apart from giggle.

After our massages were finished we went back over to the ladies section of the Baths and shared our stories – needless to say we couldn’t stop giggling.  Apparently her masseuse talked the whole time and never shut up. 

I have heard similar stories about the Baths and think its just one of the many funny experiences you have when you are travelling!

We stayed at the Hotel Palazzo Zichy in Budapest which used to be a beautiful residence of an Hungarian Count; you feel like a Princess staying at the hotel.  The customer service is top notch and nothing was ever a problem.  Would highly recommend.


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