Weekend Edit: How to Spend 24 Hours in Budapest

I felt a rush of excitement when I landed in Budapest, ready for a spontaneous night away in a country I had never been to before, and knew little about. I felt inspired to explore and capture as much of the city as I could in 24 hours.

The taxi ride from the airport opened my eyes to just how different Eastern European architecture was to the West. I was drawn to the deep reds against sandstone. The lush greens and busy roads.

We booked a night at The Four Seasons Hotel, titled “the number one hotel” by our taxi driver. And number one it was. The lobby alone was a vision of beauty. Classic eastern architecture, a high, dome ceiling, patterned bricks, lush carpet, a mix of colour, and warm lighting. We stayed in one of the Deluxe Rooms which had plenty of room and a view of the interior the courtyard.

After dropping our bags we began to explore the city. The great thing about The Four Seasons is it’s central location. With easy access on foot to sights such as St. Stephen’s Basilica, The Hungarian Parliament Building, bars, cafes, and boutique stores, there is little need for a taxi. We headed in the direction of St Stephens, took a few pictures and found an outdoor cafe to have some lunch and a cocktail with a view.

After lunch we wandered over to St. Stephen’s Basilica, and climbed the 364 steps up to the top of the bell tower. Once reaching the top we were treated to stunning 360 views of Budapest, and stayed until the sun began to set. 

We watched the rest of the sunset from a rooftop bar called High Note Skybar. It was movie themed, with cocktails such as “Mr Big”. We also shared some fries and starters. The food and drinks were delicious, and the view was incredible.

We decided to have a late dinner at Nobu, a high end Japanese restaurant within walking distance from the hotel. It was my first time eating at Nobu, and I loved it all. The flavours, the dishes, the atmosphere, the interiors.  

The next day we checked out of the hotel and walked to The New York Cafe for brunch. The New York Cafe is an incredibly beautiful cafe with a rich history. A popular and beloved coffee house for writers and editors during wartime, today the cafe has been restored to its original splendour. We waited in the queue to be seated and marvelled at the interiors. Gold trimming, high pillars, high backed red velvet seats and a vast menu, eating here was definitely an experience worth waiting for. 

After brunch we walked through the city to the Hungarian Parliament Building. Hungarian guards dressed in brown patrolled the area. The parliament was another magnificent architectural sight, with the deep Burgundy colouring providing a beautiful contrast against the classic sandstone. We took pictures and walked over to the River Danube, before it was time to head back to the hotel and off to the airport.

Overall, Budapest was a beautiful location for a weekend getaway. 24 hours felt like the perfect amount of time to see some sights and relax. I look forward to going back someday, but for now I feel content and fulfilled with my time in the beautiful city.

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