Dublin to Amsterdam to Budapest. We arrived in Budapest at dinner time on December 24. Christmas eve. It was the city we wanted to spend the holiday in, because it’s beautiful and supposedly has a great outdoor Christmas market. It lived up to the hype.
We got a shared van from the airport and rode into the city to our hotel. We stayed at the Marriott, which is cleverly set up to have all rooms facing the river for a view across to the old castle.
After the free apple cider on arrival and dropping our bags, we were off to explore and find some dinner.
Let’s say we had a rough time finding something for dinner. With the holidays, all of the smaller / independent restaurants were closed. Only fancy places / geared towards tourists / restaurants inside hotels were open. We kept walking.
We eventually stumbled on the old tried-and-true: an Asian restaurant. They had a mix of Vietnamese and Chinese food, and of course they were open on Christmas eve. Spring rolls and tofu. We told them there was a good chance we’d be back the next day, since they said they’d be open.
We walked down to the parliament building and along the river.
It was cold and we were tired, so we headed back to the room. Walking along the Danube is super scenic.
In the morning, we headed out early unsure of what would be open on Christmas. Luckily, the major tourist sites were open.
We started by heading to the Christmas market for some roasted chestnuts to snack on while doing our Christmas shopping.
After we were done, we dropped our stuff at the hotel and went across this beautiful bridge over toward the old castle.
You could take a crazy-looking funicular, but we went up the steps.
The view from the top was amazing.
From here, we went in and explored the grounds
It was beyond amazing. After this main area, we followed the crowd over to another area that I’m not sure what it leads to.
From here, we walked towards the indoor Turkish baths, thinking about swimming. As we got closer, we realized that even after drying off we’d have wet hair and weren’t really in the mood for walking in the cold air like that. So, we nixed it.
We continued walking with no real plan, just seeing what we stumbled upon.
Dinner was back at the Asian restaurant. They laughed when they saw us.
We walked aimlessly through the market area and got more free apple cider from our hotel. Budapest was a really cool city.
Back in the room, we packed up because my Christmas present to my wife was a surprise trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia for a day, leaving the next morning. We didn’t see the Grand Budapest Hotel (which isn’t actually a real hotel and the spot used for the movie isn’t even in Hungary), but we fulfilled some curiosity about the city after seeing the movie and had a great time.This entry was posted in Budapest, Europe, Hungary