Baths, Books & Buda // Exploring Budapest, Hungary

Baths, Books & Buda // Exploring Budapest, Hungary

Sintra, Portugal

Dan sang high praises when I allotted one full day during our visit to Budapest to do absolutely nothing. “Whatever our hearts desire” was the only plan. That’s certainly not a typical Margo agenda. If you’ve seen my trip planning guide, you know. But, in the midst of making our decision to move home (detailed in my first Vlog a few days ago) we were in somewhat of an emotional crisis. We needed to just unwind. Not evaluate, chart or pro/con things for awhile.

The morning of fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants day in Budapest arrived. We drank our coffee and perused a Budapest travel guide we had found under a dusty pile books in our Airbnb apartment. Hmm, a visit to the thermal baths, yes that’d work perfectly.

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Fast forward 1 hour later and we were quickly tiptoeing across cold concrete towards one of the 18 thermal pools at Szechenyi Baths, the largest baths in Budapest. It was still February so the air was incredibly crisp despite a glaring sun above. Wading into the warm water was pure bliss.

A huge exhale and we both grinned ear to ear. Spring-fed lethargy is precisely what we needed. 

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Fast forward another ninety minutes later – cool, sedate Margo began to erode back into that list-loving, Type A blogger you know well. Dan proceeded in his meditation despite my pleas for a whale ride around the pool. (Not kidding!)

After a rather confusing locker room experience, I resolved to return to my street clothes and wandered around the pools, collecting the photos you see here. 

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After our rejuvenating visit to the baths, it only seemed logical to continue with our laid back pace. Following the guidance in the dusty guide book, we moved on to the Alexandra Book Store for lunch in their stunning Neo-Renaissance ballroom turned cafe (full disclosure). 

The meal was honestly fantastic – a Cesar salad for me, sandwich for him, and a pair of teas. Reasonably priced, too!

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Our fingers no longer pruned and our tummies full, we made our way across the Danube to the former Buda side and home of Buda Castle, Matthias Church and Fisherman’s Bastian.

The ornate roof of Matthias Church immediately caught our attention and I spent the better part of 15 minutes wishing that I had a drone to get a better angle of it.

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Fisherman’s Bastian is only a few steps further and provides an expansive viewpoint of former Pest and the wandering Danube. Across the river we spotted the famous and fabulous Hungarian Parliament building (see this baby at night and you’ll fall in love, believe me). 

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Making our way towards Buda Castle we sneaked a peek at their changing of the guard presentation and wandered, rather aimlessly, around the castle grounds. Buda Castle is certainly a tourist favorite with it’s mighty position, elevated high above the city. I immediately understood the fuss. 

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The day slowly wore by and concluded with an undocumented but delightful meal (the nerve, I know!) and a nearly perfect glass of Hungarian wine. I’m not going to commit to this no plan business, but honestly, it was pretty darn perfect.