We had spent our first day in Budapest exploring the Pest side of the river so on the second day we caught the metro to the far end of the Buda bank and entered the Castle Hill area from the North side. This brought us up through the Vienna Gate and from here we carried on to the main hubbub of the area.
We eventually arrived back at Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastion. This area is very picturesque if a little crowded. We had time to stop for a morning brew and take in the sights whilst we were up here but it certainly wasn’t peaceful amongst the hordes. From here there are certainly some pretty awesome views over the Danube across towards the Hungarian Parliament building.
We then tried to visit the Hospital in the Rock museum however the tours were booked up for the next couple of hours so we decided to skip this but it would have been interesting to see the nuclear bunker that was built for if there was a siege in the Second World War. Instead we continued on to wander around Buda Castle, look down upon the labyrinth and generally take in the southern end of the hill.
We then descended down to the rivers edge and continued south where we came across the Gerard of Csanad Monument which we climbed up to however the view was mainly obscured by the vegetation and were possibly not any better than across at Castle Hill.
Before crossing back over to the other side of the Danube we decided we wanted another thermal bath experience. After a stop at the café for a sweet bite to eat we then headed round the corner to the Gellert Baths. The large outdoor swimming pool was drained however there were plenty of other baths for us to explore. We began in the outdoor heated pool which wasn’t much to look at itself but it did overlook the local rooftops. Inside there was another swimming pool which you had to wear a swim hat to get in but we went to the heated and plunge pools situated in various rooms around the place. These baths may not have the outdoor appeal of the Szechenyi baths but the inner areas are far more beautiful and so both are well worth visiting.
After a quick dinner back over in Pest we set off for one of the most popular activities when in Budapest as we boarded a river cruise. Ours was the night cruise so we spent an hour floating past all the main sites that were all glowing bright along the banks providing a pretty spectacular show. Whilst we were sailing along we listened to an audio commentary about what we were seeing. This was definitely a highlight of the trip.
Before heading back to the hostel we decided to check out some of the ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter. We tried a couple that we had seen recommended as a bar crawl before finally arriving at Szimpla Kert, the original ruin bar. This quirky establishment is filled with mismatched furniture and various bits of bric-a-brac, each room had a different vibe.
We then made our way back to the hostel and then caught our flight home the next morning. Budapest is a gorgeous and interesting city and 2 days is perfect for seeing the highlights although to get under the surface you probably need a bit longer there. Personally I loved both the thermal baths we visited and the night river cruise the most and so would say they should not be missed. But more than that it is just an ideal city to just wander around the streets.
Which was your favourite thermal baths to visit in Budapest? What was your favourite activity/ site to visit whilst you were there?