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).
Scenic Railroads, Railways
Flea & Street Markets
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Room Escape Games
Adrenaline junkies should head underground for a spot of caving under the city. Budapest is abundant in natural caverns, and while you can explore the show caves in Pálvölgy, if you like getting dirty and fancy something more adventurous, join a caving group for a spot of spelunking.
Whenever I travel to a city, I love visiting the local cemetery. Cemeteries are often sanctuaries of peace and quiet, abundant in local history, and in my opinion they are also very beautiful — Budapest's Kerepesi Cemetery is no exception. With iconic monuments and tombs erected to commemorate Hungary's greatest writers, historical figures, and artists, you can learn a lot about the city's past from a walk around the cemetery grounds.
Art nouveau lovers in search of a chic little cafe should check out this peaceful oasis in the Bedo House museum. Its secessionist lounge is one of my favorite spots for a cup of coffee in the city. Even though it's close to Parliament, it still feels hidden away from the tourist track.
When the weather is good, get out and escape the hustle and bustle with a trip to the Buda Hills. The route is over 11km long, and is staffed by children aged 10-14 (under adult supervision, of course). It's the largest children's railway in the world and it is a fun way to go up into the hills.
Forget the famous Central Market and shop like a local in the Lehel Market Hall. The building might look like a nightmare crossed with a ship mixed up with communist architectural styles with a little neoclassicism thrown in, but this local market hall will give you insight into local life in Budapest. Drop in here for a spot of lunch and a little shopping, or simply to do a bit of people watching.
If you want to enjoy Budapest's famous spas, but you're also looking to escape the crowds and the price tag, then you should head down to the Veli Bej Baths. Like its more famous contemporary, the Rudas Baths, the Veli Bej Baths also date back to the Ottoman era. This Turkish spa complex is compact and a fraction of the cost when compared to the city's more famous spas.
Craft beer fans should head out to District IX for Eleszto, one of Budapest's iconic ruin bars, but with a hoppy twist. This specialized bar dedicated to Hungarian craft beer was once off the beaten track, but has been steadily gaining popularity, although mostly with Hungarians.
While it's quite a hike up from the city center, Gul Baba's Tomb (Gul Baba turbeje) from the Turkish occupation offers a fascinating glimpse into Budapest's history. It might be in need of some maintenance, but you won't find a more unusual place in the city, and if you're interested in Turkish Budapest beyond the baths, it's definitely worth the walk up.
If you'd like to try an unusual activity in Budapest, give the Hungarian craze of 'exit games' a go at Escape House. There are four rooms you have to break out of in an hour, and there are plenty of other live action room escape games to try out. Test your wits with a series of logic puzzles you have to solve in order to get out the room.