About Jennifer W
Lives in Budapest, Hungary
Since Jun 2007
25-34 year old female
I'm a serial expat, I love to travel slow and really get to know a city. I grew up in Budapest, but moved back a couple of years ago. Returning to the city as an adult has made me fall in love with Budapest once again and I love exploring and discovering new secrets about the city. I work as a travel writer specialising in Budapest, both at home and abroad. I'm a staff writer at We Love Budapest (www.welovebudapest.com) and I'm a restaurant critic and culture writer for the Budapest Times. I'm passionate about architecture, local life, quirky stories about the city, and this is often reflected in my writing. I've written about the story of Budapest's Yellow Star Houses (BBC Travel), its subterranean world of caves, underground churches and nuclear bunkers (CNN Travel), a Transylvanian-style garden city inside the city limits (Huffington Post), an abandoned art deco powerstation (Atlas Obscura/Slate), behind Bauhaus doors (Untapped Cities) and Budapest's ruin pubs (Viator Travel).
Historic Walking Areas
Operas, Architectural Buildings
Gift & Speciality Shops
Historic Sites, Thermal Spas
Points of Interest & Landmarks, Monuments & Statues, Historic Sites
Bars & Clubs
No trip to Budapest is complete without a visit to Castle Hill (Varhegy). Take a walk around the cobbled streets of this historic part of the city, and make sure you head up to Fisherman's Bastion, one of my favorite lookout points in the whole city. It's a nice area to simply wander, but if you want to step inside for a while, you can visit the Hungarian National Gallery in Buda Castle.
A must-see while in Budapest — Chain Bridge (Szechenyi Lanchid) is easily the city's most beautiful bridge, with stunning views over the Danube and up to Castle Hill. Pedestrian-friendly, it's definitely worth walking across and taking the time to savor the view.
For a taste of the modern Hungarian kitchen, Kantin is the place where I like to take my friends. The set menu here is a good price, and you can mix and match your starters. The dishes are seasonal and made with fresh local ingredients. The chic industrial interior might lack the romantic feel other restaurants have, but you can't really beat it for location as it's right in the heart of the city.
One of my favorite buildings in Budapest, the Hungarian State Opera House is one of the city's most beautiful monuments and a must-see on your trip to the Hungarian capital. If you have more time then make sure you catch a show, otherwise you can simply take a guided tour of the interior. And if you're really in a hurry, then just stop by and snap a photo!
If you're hankering for a spot of coffee, then the Book Cafe (Lotz Terem) on Andrassy Avenue is a must. Entering the art deco building, you'll first find yourself in a modern bookstore, but keep going and take the escalator up to the top and you'll discover a cafe that looks like a Venetian Palace. I love stopping by here for a cup of coffee when I want to treat myself.
Walking around the city can be tiring and sometimes you need a good pick-me-up. An afternoon at the Széchenyi Baths is the ideal way to enjoy the city and relax at the same time. The thermal waters here hold curative properties and bubble up warm, making them perfect to bathe in all year round. You can either splash about in the main area or soak yourself in the steaming hot pool where the old men sit around and play chess for hours.
The City Park (Varosliget) is Budapest's green lung and a popular spot for a stroll, with the Vajdahunyad Castle as the highlight. The romantic turreted building is actually inspired by the castle of the same name in Transylvania. It's one of my favorite places in the city, and while I wouldn't recommend the museum inside — unless you're a fan of taxidermy — the grounds are easily worth at least a short walk.
Heroes' Square sits right up between the City Park and Andrassy Avenue. It's one of Budapest's most visited sites and an optimal place to snap a photo. Take a look at the statues of Hungarian kings up along the colonnades!
Budapest has an amazing nightlife thanks to its ruin-style bar scene. Szimpla Kert was the original ruin-style bar that started life as a squat-cum-bar in the dilapidated VII District downtown, and which has since turned into a cultural phenomenon. If you haven't been to a ruin-style bar before, then stepping into Szimpla will feel like being transported into a surreal world housed in a crumbling apartment block.