From Budapest with Love
by Lucas Aresin
Valentine's day might be just around the corner when you are reading this, or it might have already passed - either way, this entry remains relevant. You want to take out the love of your life, a date, or 'just a friend' on a romantic evening? Or are you single and simply falling in love with Budapest? Then get up, go out, and have some cheesy, romantic fun!
If that special day is a rapidly approaching and you're still looking for the perfect place to go, we're offering you five ideas for places and activities that are so beautiful and lovely that they will even make the city of love jealous. I know, forgive me for all the cheesiness, but this blog entry is about love and Valentine's day. I got in the mood.
Gellért Bath - A Moonlit Swim
We've been here before, but now you can bring your better half along! Gellért Bath is an ancient thermal bath that looks stunning with its embellished floor mosaics and arched hallways. The bath offers a pool to swim lanes, but let's be honest, that's the boring part. There are hot thermal baths to sink into, a steam chamber, and an outdoor pool. At this time of the year, this is particularly important, because nothing cools down fiery love than wading through snow to reach the boiling basin. This works especially well after dark, when the moon's reflection dances on the water surface.
If you had enough of soaking, you can head up to the café on the balcony, where you can watch the other guests paddle and relax while you eat.
Romantic Walks – Two Suggestions For Two People
If you are on a tight budget, try a romantic walk. What sounds like a tired, beaten cliché becomes a very valid alternative since Budapest is such a nice city to look at.
Take, for example, a walk down the Danube promenade, especially the part between the Chain Bridge and the Elisabeth Bridge. By day or by night, this route should send you on your way to a perfect evening. The warm lights of the street lamps and the bridge will reflect on the river's surface, and on the other side of the water you'll marvel at Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament towering above the river bank.
If the city is too crowded, give the National Blue Trail around Buda a chance. Budapest is surrounded by hills, and the National Blue Trail leads right across them, granting you an amazing panorama of the city. The trail itself is more than 1,100 kilometres long and traverses the country, but the part we want you to check out is only 14-kilometers in length. A good place to start is the Children's Railway – and then just go as long as your feet will carry you.
River Cruise - Jack and Rose Without the Iceberg
For those who enjoy the finer things in life, the Candlelit Dinner Cruise on the striking Legenda cruise ship can be a great way to spend Valentine's day. The cruise takes about 2.5 hours and will take you along the river for sightseeing, including a view on the UNESCO World Heritage site. In the winter, the ship is properly heated, and you won't have to fight for the food at a buffet – waiters will serve you. A la carte dinners include roasted trout with blue cheese sauce or juicy veal stew with curd dumpling and cucumber salad. Hungry? Yeah, me too.
Be aware of the scheduling – although the cruise season technically starts with March, February 14th is an exception, but you have to book in advance. So, while this might be too late for the actual Valentine's day this year, feel free to book a cruise at any other time. Birthdays, anniversaries – you name it.
Japanese Garden on Margaret Island - Beauty in Nature
Flowers have been symbols of the romantic and undying love for centuries. Colourful, fragile, and with a pleasant scent, they turn into the perfect metaphor. Enter Margaret Island. The little piece of land in the middle of the Danube hosts the Japanese Garden. Bubbly fountains, serene waterfalls, and an oriental flora will make your date's heart beat in sync with nature. Wildlife includes lovebirds, of course.
Once you've immersed yourself in this Garden Eden, you'll likely forget that you're in the heart of Hungary's capital. Forgotten are all the everyday noises and the smell of car-frequented multi-lane roads – this is a getaway gem in the very heart of the city. And what better place to confess your love than next to a lily-covered pond? Or on a bench in front of a waterfall? Or under a cherry blossom tree? Your imagination is your limit.
Jásdi Winery - Wine Is The Beverage of Love
How could we have a blog entry on romantic sites and activities in Budapest without mentioning the delicious wines that this city has in store for you? Although we don't necessarily condone drugs, they do say that being in love is like a good high. Well, high up in the hills above Budapest, Jásdi Winery's fairy-tale wine garden can be your hyper-romantic princess-cottage in the forest with wine tastings and dinners (appointment only). Among Italian Rieslings and French wines, the wine garden also offers – obviously – great wines from Hungary's revered Lake Balaton wine region.
Aroma – Amore – and more.
What do to do in Budapest when you are single on Valentine's day as well: coming up in another post ;)
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