Postcard from: Romantic Budapest
Budapest is the tale of two ancient cities (Buda and Pest) united by bridges to create the bustling metropolis known today. With its gorgeous architecture and stunning vista views, you don't have to walk far in Budapest to be totally captivated by its beauty.
Whether travelling with a special someone, a group of friends or as a solo traveller, Budapest makes for a truly magical destination to visit in mid-Februray. Here's my recommendations for how to spend the perfect day in supremely romantic Budapest.
AN EARLY MORNING DIP AT GELLERT SPA
Known as the 'City of Baths', Budapest is well-known for its 'healing' thermal waters and there are many locations across the city in which to enjoy them. To truly experience the baths at their best, I highly recommend taking an early morning dip, locals-style.
The elegant Gellért bath and spa is rated one of the most beautiful in Budapest, mosaiced in the Art Nouveau style and featuring classical Roman columns. From 6am in the morning is when you'll really get to appreciate the surroundings undisturbed by anyone else, a truly intimate experience.
CATCH THE SUNRISE AT LIBERTY BRIDGE
Upon leaving the Gellért spa, refreshed from your morning dip, you're in good stead to catch the sunrise over the verdant green Liberty bridge, another Art Nouveau gem (of which there are many in Budapest) that offers a spectacular vista of the river, and a rare chance to catch this popular walking spot undisturbed by traffic or pedestrians.
WANDER ALONG THE DANUBE
Any sort of riverside stroll is undeniably romantic, and walking by the Danube is no exception. On a beautiful day, a slow amble along its banks, or a trip on one of the riverside trams on the Pest side of the city, offers the best opportunity to take in the enchanting scenery of Budapest.
If you're walking, pause for quiet reflection at the Shoes on the Danube monument, a stark portrayal of a dark moment in the city's history. It's a truly moving and unforgettable experience and a must-see sight in the city.
Walking on, you'll eventually find yourself at the landmark Széchenyi Chain Bridge, one of the first major bridges to permanently connect the cities of Buda and Pest. It reaches between the extravagant, neo-gothic Fisherman's Bastion on the Buda side, and the spectacular, Art Nouveau Gresham Palace on the Pest side.
COFFEE + A SLICE AT GERBEAUD CAFE
Tempting treats await at Budapest's grandest historic cafe, Cafe Gerbeaud. The long-time experts in confectionary and coffee provide a luxury experience, where you can indulge in delicacies such as the extremely chocolate-y Gerbeaud slice (pictured above) while soaking up the original lavish interiors.
A LIGHT LUNCH
If you're looking for something a little more substantial to eat for lunch, then without a doubt head to the charming neighbourhood canteen Mazel Tov situated in the Jewish Quarter. Walking in, you're greeted with a vast glass-roofed courtyard that connects the buildings at each side, decorated with impressive tumbling vines that creates an impossibly romantic setting.
The hearty menu is exceptionally good, focussing authentic Israeli food and fusion cooking. Be prepared to join a queue for the lunchtime rush!