Love is in the air, and our coupled-up customers are heading to Hungary. Check out our tips for some of the most romantic things to do in Budapest
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and according to our statistics, it seems that a lot of you lovebirds want to spend it in the Hungarian capital. (There must be something in the Danube…) So, to play Cupid just a little bit, we’ve come up with some of the most romantic places to go and things to do in Budapest.
Gardens and parks
Is there really anything better than going for a serene stroll through the trees and the flowers, hand in hand with your significant other? Take some time out at one of Budapest’s numerous romantic gardens and parks.
Füvészkert at Eötvös Loránd University
Eötvös Loránd University’s Füvészkert is Hungary’s oldest botanical garden, tucked away in Budapest’s eighth district. If you want to catch the cherry blossom trees in full bloom, plan your visit for April, but you’ll certainly catch some wonderful flora on Valentine’s Day, too. The greenhouses are full of exotic plants all year round, and you won’t be able to miss the giant water lilies, supposedly able to support the weight of an adult woman. We don’t recommend that you put this to the test, though.
Slap-bang in the city center on the Danube is Margaret Island. At 2.5 kilometers long, it’s a sizeable wooded area popular with tourists and locals alike in pursuit of relaxation, with its meandering paths, landscape parks and secluded monuments. The most romantic of these monuments by far is the Margaret Island Water Tower. Climb to the “kissing hall” at the top to make the most of the view and, well, each other.
The Japanese gardens on Margaret Island and at Budapest Zoo are much frequented by tourists, but the comparatively little-known Japánkert in Zugló is the locals’ favorite. Escape from the noise of the city to this 100-year-old romantic paradise, to be at one in complete tranquility with your special someone.
If you don’t have time to make it right the way around Margaret Island, consider Károlyi-kert as a manageable alternative. Not far from the Astoria metro station, this is the oldest city garden in Budapest and promises water features, flower beds, oversized ornaments, and lots of benches awaiting Valentine’s Day snugglers.
The tomb of Gül Baba
The site of a tomb doesn’t sound like the ideal date spot, but Gül Baba’s is a tidy, aesthetically-pleasing complex on the Buda side of the river. It’s famous in the Islamic world for being the northernmost pilgrimage site, but it’s also well-known in Budapest for the grounds’ truly beautiful beds of roses. What’s more, from the colonnade in front of the tomb itself, you get a great panoramic view of the city. Not too shabby a spot for you and your sweetheart.
Places of cultural interest
Relationships are all about mutual learning and personal growth, right? Broaden your horizons together by visiting one of Budapest’s cultural spots. You’re on vacation, after all.
The Hungarian State Opera House
In the heart of Budapest lies Andrássy Avenue, a grandiose boulevard of neo-Renaissance architecture, of which the Hungarian State Opera House is a shining example. Get dressed up to the nines and accompany each other to a performance in the lavishly-decorated main hall — a Valentine’s date doesn’t get much more sophisticated than this.
The House of Music
The much-anticipated House of Music in Budapest’s City Park just opened its doors to the public last month, and it’s quite the contemporary spectacle. Designed by the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto, it has an undulating, perforated roof and a facade made entirely of glass — you won’t be able to miss it. The interior comprises concert halls, classrooms, a library, offices, and exhibition spaces that showcase a comprehensive history of European music. If you’re a couple with a penchant for music and pretty things, this place is for you.
Mai Manó House
Taking a relaxed look around an art gallery can be a very inspiring couples’ activity. Inside a distinctively ornate building on Nagymező street is Mai Manó House — a gallery full of thought-provoking images taken by mostly Hungarian photographers, complete with a bookshop. Its “daylight studio” on the second floor basks completely in natural light, and as such, is said to be the best photography studio in the city.
And finally, it just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a romantic meal out (or three). Here are some atmospheric picks that are bound to get your hearts throbbing and stomachs rumbling.
Villa Bagatelle, a characterful Buda villa built in 1929, opened in 2010 as a high-end eatery and has since become one of the city’s most popular breakfast spots. It boasts an artisan bakery on the ground floor, and a bistro on the first. With every detail refined, this is the perfect place for a cozy brunch or a light lunch, and perhaps even a dreamy lovers’ snap for Instagram.
Always at a warm 26°C, every day of the year is a summer’s day at Twentysix — “the greenest restaurant in Budapest”, located not far from the Opera House. The “jungle” — which covers a total of 1800 square meters — doubles as an event space, and houses 34 different types of plants, including banana trees, ficuses, begonias, and kentia palms. In keeping with the atmosphere, the venue serves nutritious Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine all day long, which is great for the more health-conscious pair.
Just one street down from Twentysix, you’ll find Vintage Garden. A truly romantic restaurant, once you and your significant other step through the door, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into your own, yet quite particular little world; you’re essentially dining in a French country house, adorned from top to bottom with baby pink lampshades, baby pink awning and hundreds of baby pink roses and blossom petals. Enjoy your lunch or dinner in this greatly gimmicky setting, amidst an exchange of suitably sweet and shy glances across the table.
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