Allgemein, travel
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Budapest – The Brittle Beauty

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.

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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.

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Fekete Budapest © Janine Juna Grafe

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Warmed up, I continued walking through the city with music on my ears and first little snowflakes falling onto my face.

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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.

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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.

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My Little Melbourne Budapest © Janine Juna Grafe

Tired from the cold, I headed back to my snug apartment which I had rented for little money from Souper Apartments.

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Dinner time led me to Mazel Tov, homemade lemonade, amazing red wine, beautiful lighting and oh, the very best shwarma!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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One last stroll before heading to the airport led me to the Danube and its surroundings in shimmering sunlight. So much for nostalgia.

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Alexandra Book Café Budapest © Janine Juna Grafe

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