My Weekend In Budapest

Port of Embarkment

Story and Photography by David Lewis Taylor.

 

My first glance at the Danube River was from a Belle Epoque palace built in 1902, which is now home to the stunning Hotel Matilid, A Luxury Collection Hotel. From my guestroom, the view of Elisabeth Bridge, the Danube, and the Buda side of Budapest aggrandized the elegance around me while triggering a sense of urgent discovery matched with the excited anticipation for my Danube excursion. The AmaWaterways flagship river cruiser, the award-winning AmaMagna, which will be my home base for the next week will depart at the weekend’s end.

From friends and fellow travelers, I received countless recommendations of experiences not to be missed in this beloved tourist town. My extensive to-see list included visiting the top historical sights and experiencing the notorious and beautiful mineral baths, ruin bars, exceptional bakeries, unique shops, and the cosmopolitan dining scene, all major attractions in Budapest.

 

Passing shops and cafes along Vaci Utca, I arrived at the Great Market Hall for my first taste of authentic Hungarian cuisine. With Buda Castle in sight, I walk along the Danube Promenade, awed by the stunning architecture and river views. I secured tickets to visit the historical, beautiful, ornate church and the panoramic terrace at St. Stephen’s Basilica. Taking the steps, I ascend 65 meters for a 360-degree view of the city.

 

 

 

 
 

The view from the terrace at historic St. Stephen's Basilica.

 
 

Inside St. Stephen's Basilica.

 

Even More Beautiful At Night.

The setting sun brings long shadows and a warm glow to the city below. Best seen from Buda Castle, a Royal Palace first completed in 1265, is one of the world’s most beautiful buildings, the neo-gothic style Hungarian Parliament Building. Masterfully illuminated at night, as are many of the city’s most beautiful buildings, the Parliament Building is a sight to behold.

 

 

Buda Castle.

 
 

Hungarian Parliament Building.

 

Just down the hill, I join friends at the happening Felix Kitchen and Bar for a multi-course fine dining experience. There are exceptional dining venues in Budapest, the latest addition being a Spago by Wolfgang Puck. We end the night and welcome the new day at one of the most interesting and lively ruin bars, Szimpla Kert, in the heart of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter. After waiting in line for entrance, the somewhat imposing doorman enthusiastically greeted us with a  welcoming history of the place, which sprawls over two floors and features multiple bars including a hip jazz room. He extended an invitation to their weekend flea market.

 

Felix Kitchen and Bar.

 
 

Budapest at night. (clockwise) On the way to Buda Castle, The Hungarian Parliament from Buda Castle, DJ at Szimpla Kert.

 

Go Clubbing

Eat Cake

The following morning I walk with no specific agenda. Lured by a delectable array of cakes and croissants in their window, I take a delightful hour break at Muse Artisan Cafe for coffee and breakfast. Along the riverwalk, l pause at ‘Shoes on the Danube,’ a moving memorial to Hungarian Jews killed during the Holocaust.
Sadly a weekend is not enough time to see this vibrant city. More time was needed to visit all the attractions, sit in cafes, sample the specialties, and experience the nightlife, but the time I had was magnificent.

 

 

Muse Artisan Cafe - one of many not-to-be-missed bakeries and cafe in Budapest.

 
 

Clockwise: "Shoes on the Danube," Dohány Street Synagogue, Parisi Udvar Hotel, Sunset at St. Stephen's Basilica.

 
 

Architectural detail at the Hungarian Parliament.

 
 

The Belmond Hiram Bingham Train

Los Cabos Pedregal

Waldorf Astoria

Inn at Diamond Cove

Naviva® Four Seasons Resort

Blancaneaux Lodge Resort

Riverside Luxury In Belize.

Four Seasons Private Jet

The Vintage Hotel & Spa Lisbon, Portugal

TAP Air Portugal

Front of Cabin Executive Class Service

Memmo Príncipe Real, Lisbon

Aggressor Adventures Bird watching

Maybourne Riviera

Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel

Fulfill Your Desire At The Ultimate OG

Monaco The Largefeld Way

San Miguel de Allende World's Best City

World's Best City

Yucatan Adventures

Hotel Excelsior Dubrovnik

Picture perfect luxury.

A Weekend In Budapest

Matild Palace, Budapest

Jade Mountain - St. Lucia

Villa Nanne Saint Barthélemy

Myconian Korali Relais & Chateaux

Iconic Santorini

Overlook the Aegean Sea

Etihad Airways A380 - NYC

An Eco-Adventure The Four Seasons Way

Aboard The AmaMagna

Queen Mary Two Remastered - A New Level Of Luxury

A new level of luxury on the Queen Mary 2

Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady

Scarlet Lady

HondaJet Elite S

Virgin's A350

New Comforts Same Glamour

Acqualina
Resort and Spa

Sunny Isles Beach

Hotel Manapany St. Barths

Hotel Manapany St. Barths

Royalton Antigua

Casa Las Olas Costa Rica

L'Horizon Resort and Spa In Palm Springs

Desert Chic

The Delamar Southport

Luxury Retreat

Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat

Woodside California

Seahorse Telchac

Seahorse Telchac

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

On the Saint Lawrence River.

Delta's New A321neo

Hotel Bel Ami Apartments

Parisian Chic

White Desert's Echo Camp

Ritz-Carlton Mexico City

Gather Greene

Serenity

EROSANTORINI - Valentine's Escape

Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun

All-Inclusive

Delamar West Hartford

The Fine Art Of Hospitality

Four Seasons Resort and Residences

Valef Yachts

Yucatan Eco Tours

Eden Rock
St. Barths

White Elephant Palm Beach

An Insider Spotlight

Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya

Villa Premiere In PV

The Perfect Weekend Escape

Getaway to Puerto Vallarta

Chocolate From Puerto Vallarta This Valentine's Day

The Goodtime Hotel

David Grutman & Pharrell Williams

Tradewind at 20

Travel with Ease

Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

W View - St Barths

Chic

B Signature Hotels & Resorts

This Fall - Welcome Back To Chic Travels