Being Tourist in Budapest
It’s been several years since we’ve been in Budapest and it is truly a really lovely city at night which is when we arrived. We’re at a hotel somewhat on the outskirts (has a big carpark which is essential for a vehicle rally!) but we spent Wednesday doing a bit of well-deserved sightseeing. I am a keen fan of public transport systems and no matter how confusing or in a language I don’t understand, it’s always a challenge for me to figure it out. Budapest’s was no exception and Lance and I spent several hours on trams circling the city trying to get home! But we made it so I’m calling that a win!
Budapest is a great city for walking too. It has the wonderful Pest district with the castle overlooking Buda and the Danube (we stayed in part of the castle when we came several years ago) it has wonderful museums—we always go to National Museums as it gives a really good overview of the history and culture so when we’re walking around things make more sense. The Hungarian National Museum is no exception and I recommend it. We also like the Jewish quarter and the Jewish Museum which gives a very different perspective.
Spice Market Fun
And of course, there is a Central Market essentially a food hall with lovely vegetables and more sausages than I have ever seen in my life. One of the exhibits in the National Museum said that when a 3-4th-century settlement was excavated approximately 60% of the animal bones found were pigs. I don’t think anything has changed. The market had solid offerings of pork products, some chook but no beef or fish. Hungary also has great paprika (national spice) and there were plenty of options so I stocked up because you can never have too many sweet or hot or smoked choices. We did, however, refrain from any sausage purchases as the choices were just overwhelming.
Budapest is also known for its thermal baths. We went to the Gellert baths which is an art deco ‘bath house’ with pools ranging from 17C to 38C. There are plenty of others but these are a bit less crowded than I have always wanted to go there as it is a bit less crowded than public ones. Some of the pools are really ‘minerally’, others not so much but the best one is outside where there is a Finnish sauna and a really cold plunge pool. With all that deep soaking I don’t think we’ll feel bad if we miss a few baths while we’re in the desert. Definitely an experience not to be missed.