Falling in love with Budapest

I've never quite understood how people can claim to have 'fallen in love' with a city, how a single place can capture a heart and impress someone so much... until I visited Budapest. A place of beauty, history and culture, there's so much to it that it's difficult not to be amazed.
To be able to take myself off and wander around a city for a day, not tiring or wanting to return is something I rarely, if ever, find. To not have any real aim other than to explore and hopefully stumble across the city park and the river made it exciting. To not be constrained by time or another person's wishes and to just freely walk or rest... whichever I fancied, was quite refreshing. Of course, it's great to have someone to explore with, to discuss the sites and to share the experience with but occasionally, it's nice to have that change and Budapest is one of the only places I've felt that way about.

Set in a grid like design, it's easy to navigate and to venture off randomly but still find your way back, map or no map- unfortunately (or fortunately), I was the no map option. The architecture is stunning and makes the simplest of buildings seem so grand and exciting. The park is massive but beautiful and great to walk around; bringing you close to the castle with yet another stunning sight to admire and walk through or to sit and relax by, maybe even with a book in hand- it makes for a peaceful reading setting!
The Danube splitting Buda and Pest is beautiful to walk down or across in the day but even prettier at night with the city lit up and glistening! Whichever side of the city you find yourself on, you're sure to find a gorgeous view and something great to explore. Parliament and the Palace are both very impressive buildings, well worth a visit, simply to admire the beauty and in the Palace's case, to perhaps look around (although I'm yet to try this!).

The bustling night life is great for those who love an evening or night out but there's also plenty for those less keen too. A particular place I recommend is the Rumpus Tiki Bar, which has a fun atmosphere; with reggae remixed music that can't help but make you move, not to mention the most aesthetically pleasing and delicious tasting cocktails- great to go earlier in the evening if you fancy a quieter, more relaxed drink or later on for a bustling and lively experience.

Sziget was my first festival experience and one of the best I could have asked for. It had everything you'd imagine and more: a variety of cuisines, arts to delve into, dance tents, no end of stages, a chillout zone by its own beach, a sports zone, a circus and so much more... it would be hard not to find something you'll love! Even with a day ticket, I got to see and do a lot and can see how people can spend a week at the 'island of freedom'. It's easy to get to with public transport links across the city and well worth the trip!

Known for the thermal baths, it's a custom worth trying whilst you're out there but may be better to go to in the evening for the party, if that's your scene, as in my experience, they tend to get quite crowded in the day, with judging looks following you everywhere and pools that don't seem particularly clean. However, I'm glad I gave it a visit and perhaps someone else might enjoy them more than myself.
All in all, I had an incredible time in Budapest, experiencing so many things in so little time but still only scratching the surface. It's a city I will definitely be returning to and look forward to what the next exploration unveils.

Have you been to Budapest? What were your favourite things about the city?

Love, Steph x

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