Budapest Baths If there is one thing Budapest is known for it is its baths. In fact, Budapest is the only capital city in the world that is blessed with such healing thermal waters. The Széchenyi Baths are visited by both tourists and locals alike. This in itself is a sign that it is worthwhile. As at today, there are 18 pools making it one of the most expansive baths in Europe. The main entrance is an old Baroque domed building that backs on to City Park, the Central Park if you will, of this Eastern European capital. There are saunas, steam baths, lockers, changing rooms, a gym and even chess board that the local men play whilst sitting in the water. In the summer time, they even have pool parties with music and DJs. There are many other baths throughout the city to be visited as Rudas, Király and Gellért, each with their own flair. If you have an extended period of time in this magnificent city, I would suggest visiting as many as possible throughout your stay and get a feel for what Budapest is really about from people watching the local visitors.
Second to thermal baths, the bars in Budapest are what makes this city a little quirky. Throughout the city are what are called 'Ruin Pubs'. 'Ruin Pubs' are old buildings which were abandoned during the war which have been converted into eclectic bars for local hipsters and tourists alike. My favourite is Szimpla Kert, the oldest ruin pub in Budapest. Szimpla has a really cool vibe with bare brick walls, pipes running across the ceiling and hanging plants. On a Sunday, Szimpla also hosts one of the best farmer's markets in Budapest with abounds of local produce. I visited another bar in Budapest which I can't for the life of me remember the name of it (if you know of it, please chime in!). It was an open air bar and most of the seating was in old row boats that had been placed on the grounds. Budapest's bar scene is very up and coming! See it before the crowds do!
Budapest Cruises on the Danube
The biggest thing to do in Budapest is to take a cruise down the Danube past the Hungarian Parliament Building. And if you can't afford a luxury river cruise, there are many day, sunset or night cruises you can do from Budapest itself. We did a sunset cruise taking in the sights of the river city whilst sipping on a glass of wine. The sun lights up the Parliament Building so it absolutely glows. There is something for everyone with romantic dinner cruises for the couples and party cruises for the young ones. Whichever way you do it, make sure this is on top of your Eastern European bucket list!