2 Days in Budapest: Best Things to Do

Budapest Hungary is an incredibly beautiful place to visit.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica

Upon our arrival, we were taxied to the Regency Suites Hotel Budapest which is located downtown on the Pest side which is home to some of the cities best nightlife, culture and other main sights. Hotel services include free wireless, breakfast buffet, fitness room, hotel bar, and more. We stayed in a suite style room which has a living area separate from the bedroom – they are the largest suites in Budapest’s 4-star hotel category.

Things to do in Budapest

Budapest, Hungary’s Capital, is split into two by the Danube River. The city’s 19th-century Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest.

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What Can I Do on the Pest Side?

The Pest side of Budapest is most city-like. It’s busier and home to many of the touristy attractions the city has to offer.

Check out Chain Bridge

You must walk across and along Chain Bridge. The views of and from the bridge and stunning and the Shoes on the Danube Memorial are incredibly moving. Chain Bridge was the first to connect Buda and Pest. It is a stunning 375 meter suspension bridge that you must, and you will, walk over at least once during your stay in Budapest.

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Take a Sightseeing Cruise on the Danube

Another great way to see the city and the river is on Danube sightseeing cruise. We took a night cruise which allowed us to the see the city as the sun set and all lit up. The cruises run daily and provide a wide range of options for all kinds of viewers and cost anywhere from 11 Euros to 88 Euros.

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Visit the Dohány Street Synagogue

Bring tissues on this one. Another emotionally moving stop in Budapest is the Dohány Street Synagogue. This lavish Moorish Revival style synagogue provides visitors with a museum, cemetery & Holocaust memorial experience. It is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The Holocaust memorial represents over 400,000 Hungarian Jews who were murdered by the Nazis; it resembles a weeping willow with each victims name inscribed on each leaf.

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Great Market Hall

Another place you cannot miss is the Great Market Hall. This indoor market houses a variety of stalls on three different floors. The first-floor offers produce, meats, pastries, candies, spices, and spirits; mainly eateries and souvenirs can be found on the second floor; and the basement contains butcher shops, fish market, and various pickled goods. The highlight of the market can be found on the second floor, the Lángos stand. Lángos is a Hungarian food speciality, a deep fried flat bread made of a dough with flour, yeast, salt and water. They are served a variety of different ways and the line is WELL worth the wait!

Things To Do on the Buda Side of Budapest

The Buda, or west side of the city, offers a different type of atmosphere from the Pest (or East of the Danube). Buda is hilly, and more suburban then the flat, bustling streets of Pest. Buda provides a stunning view of the bustling city of Pest including the Hungarian parliament building, Chain Bridge and the distant Transdanubian Mountains.

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Ride the Funicular

After crossing Chain Bridge we rode the funicular up to Castle Hill. Riding the funicular provides really beautiful views of Pest that were only topped by the view from Fisherman’s Bastion which looks like a series of real life, stone sandcastles.

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Enjoy A Wine Tasting

While in Buda we enjoyed a wine tasting at the Faust Wine Cellar. I was skeptical after walking through the Hilton Hotel and then down a long flight of winding stone stairs – I felt almost as if I was setting myself up for the Taken 2 – but at the bottom of our descent we were met with a stunning, but quaint seating area. 

Our host was knowledgeable and entertaining, taking us through a number of great regional wines. I thoroughly enjoyed our tasting but would suggest bringing a sweater along! It can get quite chilly down there. Another suggestion is to make a reservation! There are only 5 tables for each seating, 5:30 being the latest, and they fill up quickly.

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 Go Caving

Feeling Adventurous? Go Caving! Due to the abundance of thermal water coursing under the city, there are around 200 caves in Budapest alone. Buda’s hills are full of caves, which means tourists can go Caving without having to leave the city. There are two showcaves up in the hills, and you can also go caving in the honeycomb tunnels running under Mátyáshegy for a three hour subterranean adventure with a guide in a group.

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Check Out a Church in a Cave

Hike up Gellért Hill and go inside of it… to a subterranean spiritual sanctuary. Pay a visit to Gellért’s cave church. Most of the church lies inside the natural cavern located opposite the Gellért Thermal Baths. As long as there is not mass going on, it’s open for visitors and you can learn all about its history and construction.

Best Dining Experience in Budapest

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Our best dining experience of our time in Budapest was at Comme Chez Soi, a quaint restaurant that has earned a trip advisor rating of 5 stars. We had a 6 PM reservation where we were promptly greeted and seated by a wonderful waiter.

The place is small but cozy and the staff is very attentive and work together in perfect harmony. After ordering two Proseccos to start, we were brought a complimentary treat from the kitchen, Parma ham with cheese, tomato and bread. Soon after our starters arrived, mozzarella caprese and the seasonal salad, both wonderfully fresh and generous. For mains, we had the pasta trio and the tagliatelle with salmon. Both meals were tasty and quite filling.

My mom passed on dessert and opted for a cappuccino while I thoroughly enjoyed the crepe Suzette. While we waited on dessert we were given a glass of Tokay wine and when we paid the check we were given a sampling of homemade limoncello and chocolates to take away.

As if our perfect meal wasn’t enough, the bill was so reasonable for all that we had! Our three alcoholic beverages, 3 bottled glasses of water, 2 starters, 2 mains, a dessert and cappuccino was under 10,000 forints with tip (@ $95). Please keep in mind that they only accept cash payments!


Köszönöm, hogy elolvasta!

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If you’re looking for places to eat or things to see in Budapest you have come to the right place. There is plenty of adventure to be had between the bustling city of Pest and the quiet hills of Buda as long as you know where to look! Simply walking around the city can provide you with many Oohs and Ahs but there are a number of activities that are hidden just enough that you might miss them! If you don’t want to miss a night cruise on the Danube, a cozy wine tasting in the hills of Buda or an amazing indoor market full of great local food and gifts, check out my newest page: Best of Budapest. There you can find detailed information and/or links to each activity I’ve done along the way and pictures of all the amazing places and views we experienced.

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Köszönöm, hogy elolvasta!

Start the Season Off in Shape

As a physical education teacher and a slightly washed-up collegiate athlete, I spend a significant amount of my day participating in, teaching or thinking about physical activity. Despite my gym membership and active lifestyle I still find the first few high elevation hikes of the season the toughest.

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If you’re looking to get into your best mountain shape before the summer hiking season is in full swing, you have come to the right place. I’m going to share with you the top 5 exercises to help kick your butt into its best high elevation hiking shape!

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  1. STRENGTHEN YOUR LOWER BODY. If you do nothing else to prepare for a serious season of hiking, do these: squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Please click the links to view a video of how to complete the exercises. The main muscles propelling you (and generally some kind of pack) higher and higher are your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and gastrocnemius. The stronger these muscles are the easier you will find it to maneuver the uneven, vertical terrain. If you’re new to these exercises, begin using just your body weight. As this gets easier, first add repetitions and then add weight to create a greater challenge.
  2. DEVELOP A STRONG CORE. Your core holds the rest of your body together and is arguably one of the more important groups of muscles for any athletes success. A strong core does not necessarily mean you have a ripped 6 pack, although that would be nice. You spend a majority of your climb leaning forwards, for forward propulsion, balance, and stability purposes – often this motion is accompanied by a 10 to 40 point pack depending on your needs. Your midsection bares the brunt of this weight and needs to be conditioned to do so. Completing daily exercises for the lower back, obliques, and abdominals such as sit-ups, back extensions, Russian twists, leg raises, planks and side planks, and more will help to create a strong core!
  3. BASIC UPPER BODY STRENGTH. The back and shoulders carry a significant amount of weight over a long period of time while you’re hiking. Making sure the muscles associated with this region and prepared will prevent back pain and fatigue throughout your hike. Push-ups, shoulder press, bent over rows (barbell or dumbbell), reverse fly’s, lat pull-downs, face pull’s and high pulls, and their many variations, can all strengthen the upper body appropriately for carrying a few extra pounds up a mountain. You also never know when you might need a little help up those steeper rock faces; your upper body might be the only assistance for miles.
  4. ENDURANCE. Hikes involving elevation change tend to take a couple of hours – depending on where you’re starting from, they can also take a short 25-ish minutes – and although short breaks are a necessity, the more you stop the longer it takes to get to the summit. Also, depending on the hike or backpacking route you have planned you may or may not have the time to take so many breaks. Basic endurance is incredibly helpful in preparing yourself for a day of climbing. The easiest way this can be achieved, and probably the most relevant activity, is distance running. This can be done a variety of way and can be more or less challenging depending on your personal level of fitness as a runner. If anyone wants any personal endurance workout suggestions, please feel free to contact me and I can provide you with some suggestions (reminder: I have two degrees in this kind of stuff).
  5. SPECIFIC ENDURANCE. What sets mountain endurance apart from the rest is the nature of the climb. Using a stair master to practice endurance is probably the best way to embody the true nature of ascending a mountain. If this is not an option, throw a pack on and find a place with a lot of stairs (hotel tower, office building, etc.).  Vary your step length, pack weight and speed up and back down each flight to get the most out of your endurance training.

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Being physically prepared for your hike is just as important as having the necessary equipment and supplies to complete the trip. A mountain hike is never easy but the more prepared your body is for the physical demands of the hike, the more enjoyable you will find it!

Thank you for reading! Please share your thoughts below!

Shenandoah National Park, VA

Again, my apologies for the lack of posts! I’ve spent the last two Sundays, my blogging days, in the mountains. My most recent page and this post review an amazing mini-vacation to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Dining, lodging, and hiking are all covered with photo’s and helpful tips for anyone looking to spend an adventurous weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are many hikes I didn’t get to due to a forest fire in the southern district of the park and some trail maintenance; if you have hiked Old Rag, Black Rock or Whiteoak Canyon please share your experience in the comments! I hope my Spring Break adventures inspire you to get outside and enjoy nature wherever suits you best.

Click Here to get to the page!

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Oahu Excursions

Last week I wrote a review of Disney’s Aulani and if you read it you would understand why it was tough to leave that paradise, however, we did sneak out a few times to explore the island. If you’re interested in where we decided to explore follow the link at the bottom of this post to my most recent Hawaiian Travel page! It includes everything from day trips to dinners and fun stops in between! Mahalo for reading loves.

Click Here!

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Aulani Resort Review

If you love Disney and you want to experience Hawaii, the Aulani is the Resort for you. Not a single detail will go unnoticed and you will be pampered as a guest of the lovable Hawaiian Disney Characters, Lilo and Stitch, from the moment you step out of your rent-a-car or shuttle for the remainder of your stay.

In my newest page, I review the Aulani. I will forewarn you, I don’t have a single bad thing to say about the resort. It’s beautiful and magical no matter your age! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and ask. There were so many memorable experiences that I couldn’t possibly include them all. Please check it out!

Aulani Resort Review 

(Click Above!)

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