Photo: Friends at Chain Bridge © iStock/ Kajdi Szabolcs
With stylish ruin bars, eclectic markets and relaxing thermal baths, Budapest has the perfect recipe for a girls’ weekend away. Whether you’re planning a reunion, a birthday celebration, or just a fun city break, the Czech capital is a great destination. From brunches to sightseeing and retail therapy to cocktails, here are five on the best things to do on a girls’ weekend in Budapest.
1. Brunch at Szimply
What better way to start your first day in the city than with a laidback brunch? All-day breakfast café Szimply plates up some seriously Instagrammable food. The menu changes monthly but tends to be filled with fun twists on sweet and savoury brunch classics, like avocado on sourdough with sundried tomato and a dollop of hummus. Top it off with a fresh juice or smoothie. Stika is ten minutes up the road and a good alternative if you can’t nab a table at Szimply.
2. Soak up the sights on Castle Hill
Walk off that brunch with a stroll through the city. Budapest has a long history and loads of amazing buildings. One of the best views you’ll get is from the towers of Fisherman’s Bastion; the short trek up Castle Hill is totally worth it for the panoramic snaps you’ll get from the top. Whilst you’re there, check out the rest of Buda Castle too – it’s like a huge palace straight out of a fairy tale.
3. Take a dip in the thermal baths
Budapest’s thermal baths are a must-visit and the ideal place to pamper yourself after a morning’s walk. Széchenyi Bath is the biggest and most popular, with three naturally heated outdoor pools and twice as many inside. If you’re after more of a chilled-out experience, take a dip at the pretty Rudas Bath. It’s a cheaper option and has a rooftop pool that’s just as amazing in winter as in summer – imagine soaking in a steaming bath with snow falling around you!
4. Dinner and cocktails at Mazel Tov
For the perfect end to the day, head to the ruin bars in Budapest’s edgy 7th District. They’re quirkier than the average drinking spots and unique to the city. Mazel Tov is one of the classier options. Fill up on delicious Israeli cooking in the twinkling restaurant – think plates of creamy hummus with warm pitta, veggie burgers and grilled kebabs – then enjoy the nightly garden party. There are some great cocktails on offer, but if you’re feeling brave, try Unicum, a potent herbal Hungarian liqueur.
5. Go market shopping
After a much-needed lie in at the Aquincum Hotel, treat yourself to some shopping. Budapest is packed with cool markets where you can pick up everything from tasty local food to amazing vintage fashion. Just a short bus ride from the city centre is the huge Esceri Flea Market. Try a bit of haggling for bargain vintage jewellery and clothes, books and homeware. For something more central, try the Vegan Sunday Market at Anker’t, where you can pick up juices, burgers and yummy cakes.