Budapest is one of those places I had had on my bucket list for years but always postponed in my travel plans for the one or other reason. A lover of crisp cold with some lack of snow home in Barcelona, I decided to finally pay the Hungarian capital a visit for a weekend in January.
Arriving late on a Friday night, I began my strolls through -12°C (I wanted cold, I got cold!) Budapest early on Saturday morning. I have this thing for washed-out facade colours, abandoned places and everything fin de siècle so it was pretty obvious this city would take my travel heart by storm.
In an unremarkable backyard I came across fekete, a lovely café in Erzsébetváros, the 7th district of Budapest. Excellent coffee and a soothingly hot shakshuka awaited me here.
Warmed up, I continued walking through the city with music on my ears and first little snowflakes falling onto my face.
And while it was getting colder and colder outside, I found countless cozy shelters around. A particularly charming one: Zoska Reggeliző Kávézó. Three coffees later I was still peering hard at the fluffy pancakes they serve, which I didn’t take because I had just had the shakshuka, which I now regret profoundly. Not taking the pancakes that is.
It was getting dark outside, so I continued my walk through the city not without one last coffee for the day at My Little Melbourne.
Tired from the cold, I headed back to my snug apartment which I had rented for little money from Souper Apartments.
Dinner time led me to Mazel Tov, homemade lemonade, amazing red wine, beautiful lighting and oh, the very best shwarma!
More than satisfied I went on to Szimpla Kert, one of Budapest’s popular ruin bars. Szimpla Kert is one of those places where you can’t decide where to look at first. A wine bar, café, concert venue, creative hub, shisha bar and most of all: a smorgasbord of charmingly bizarre objects and details.
After some pálinkas (you can’t leave this city without having tried this fruit brandy), I headed back to my cozy bed and got some restful sleep just to wake up to the most sunny Sunday.
I had passed by STIKA, another breakfast spot, the day before and was eager to try it out – alongside some dozens of others. A big advantage of travelling on your own however is that you mostly always get a seat somewhere and not uncommonly that’s the bar. I absolutely enjoy those conversations shared across a bar or restaurant counter. That’s where all the stories happen. And me spilling half of my coffee over the only pants I had with me. It was all good again though when the waiter told me they had accidentally made me bacon with eggs instead of ham & eggs.
Sometimes I get the feeling I develop crushes on places. I had one on Szimpla Kert at least and their Sunday Farmer’s Market was the best excuse to go back and explore the pub in day light.
One last stroll before heading to the airport led me to the Danube and its surroundings in shimmering sunlight. So much for nostalgia.