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Mags and Teri recently had a weekend trip to Budapest Christmas Markets in Hungary to sample the sights and sounds (and smells and tastes!), of this wonderful festive destination.....
You are not going to go hungry at the Christmas market in Vörösmarty Square in Budapest! Set just a few minutes walk from the banks of the Danube, the square is a picture postcard scene with the stalls selling all manner of Christmas paraphernalia and gifts. We could have filled a couple of suitcases with quirky gifts for everyone from children to grannies but we were on a flying visit with hand luggage only.
In the central area of the square there are more food stalls than you could possibly get around in a day – or a week - selling everything you can think of... plus some things no-one should ever think of –
May contain ... nuts?!
We flew RyanAir form Stansted (don’t get me started on the daft new layout for the shops there – it's as if they don’t want you to buy anything at all.) and were picked up by a cab sent from our hotel, the Gerloczy Rooms - what a lovely, quirky place. Really friendly, helpful staff and in a great location. Our room had a lovely old bath - claw feet and old style mixer taps - and a black floor with glittery bits. The attached restaurant/cafe does a good breakfast and we also had lunch there - but it is a French cafe style place, not 'proper' Hungarian. The staff are very helpful and everyone, but everyone, seems to speak perfect English (better than mine most of the time...)
A must see is Buda Castle – you can walk across the Chain Bridge and take the funicular railway or, as we did, take a taxi and walk the route back down. There are spectacular views over the city and along the Danube. There's a very poignant memorial of the Holocaust on the bank opposite, nearby the parliament building on the Pest side. It's called simply 'Shoes On the Danube Bank' and is just that – it's really quite moving. Apropos of that, a walk around the Jewish quarter is worth doing, taking in along the way the covered side street Kazinczy utca where all manner of stalls and 'ruin pubs' (the term for a pop-up bar/restaurant in disused shop premises) can be found.
The best, but not exactly cheapest, coffee and cake stop is to be had at the Café Gerbeaud – very grand, chandeliers and furniture made from exotic woods. We had a great, if short, weekend city break in Budapest and I'd recommend it to anyone – just ask Magsie and she'll tell you all about it, then book it for you!
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