Romantic Winter Getaway in Budapest: A Couple's Guide

בודפשט תכנון טיול בהתאמה אישית יעדים לטיול

As March drew near, the enticing thought of celebrating my 40th birthday with a first-time romantic weekend getaway abroad began to take shape. Once we had arranged care for the kids (always a bit of a complex task for us 🙂 ), I shifted focus to selecting the ideal destination. I sought a location that would be perfect for a three-day excursion, filled with fun and delightful experiences. Ultimately, Budapest emerged as the chosen city to mark this special celebration

Planning Your Romantic Trip to Budapest: Essential Tips

Flights to Budapest: We booked our flights with Wizz Air, opting for priority service. The airline was remarkably punctual, even arriving ahead of schedule. From the airport, we used the E100 bus line to reach the city center. This line departs every 20 minutes from the airport and is very affordable.

Budapest's Winter Charm: Must-See Sites for Lovebirds

Our Vacation Experience in Budapest

From the outset, we decided this wouldn’t be a typical ‘checklist’ vacation. Instead, we focused on enjoying delightful experiences such as exploring local restaurants, cafes, and shops, while also visiting some of the city’s renowned landmarks.

Day One - Oh, How Delicious It Is Here!

We arrived at our hotel around 3 PM. The first thing we did was visit the famous ‘Iranian’ money changer on Király Street. Known among Israelis for offering the best exchange rates and lowest fees, the ‘Iranian’ has become a go-to spot for currency exchange.

From there, we embarked on a leisurely stroll through the city, walking along Fashion Street. This street is a beautiful and upscale fashion hub, albeit quite expensive. It’s lined with brand-name stores and local luxury boutiques, some selling genuine fur coats for thousands of euros…

At the end of Fashion Street, we turned onto the famous Váci Street. Váci is a gorgeous pedestrian street running parallel to the Danube, filled with well-known brand stores and, of course, restaurants. After a brief stroll and realizing that the store prices were similar to those in Israel, we turned around and headed towards the highlight of the evening – the Hot Stone Steak House.

On our way to the restaurant, we stopped for a ride on the giant Ferris wheel. During the ride, we could see the city’s important buildings illuminated at night. It was a delightful experience.

בודפשט גלגל ענק טיול זוגי

Dining at the Hot Stone Steak House is an experience in itself. You’re presented with a 400-degree hot stone and a slice of meat. The diner themselves slices and grills the meat on the stone. It’s an amazing experience with excellent quality meat. We gave it a five-star Google rating!

After our meal at the Hot Stone Steak House, we walked towards the Jewish Quarter to visit one of the well-known pubs: Rampage Tiki Bar in Budapest. This bar features an African design and serves cool cocktails.

Day 2 in Budapest: Exploring Architecture, Shopping, and a Fabulous Michelin-Starred Restaurant

We started our day with a tour around the hotel area.

First stop: The Budapest Opera House, which was completely covered for renovations.

Second stop: St. Stephen’s Basilica – an especially beautiful and impressive building, towering exactly 96 meters high, the same height as the dome of the Parliament building. Named after Stephen, who was crowned King of Hungary in the year 1000 and officially recognized by Pope Sylvester II, the basilica features stunning mosaics decorating its dome and ceiling. It’s recommended to climb to the lookout tower for a panoramic view of the city, although it’s closed during the winter months.

English guided tours are available in the church, including a visit to the tower, which offers a panoramic view of the entire city:

Another equally special way to visit the church is by attending an organ concert there. It’s a wonderful experience!

בודפשט כנסיה טיול זוגי

Third stop: The Jewish Quarter in Budapest. The Great Synagogue is the largest in Europe, with a capacity of about 3,000 worshippers across three floors. Renowned musicians like Franz Liszt have played the organ located inside, which is used by the community during holidays. The building is uniquely beautiful, and adjacent to it is a small museum dedicated to the city’s Jewish community during the Holocaust. In the museum’s courtyard stands ‘The Weeping Willow’ – the ‘Tree of Life’ memorial commemorating Holocaust victims.

בודפשט תכנון ל תאמה אישית

In the vicinity of the synagogue, there are several side streets adorned with charming murals!

בודפשט בית הכנסת חופשה זוגית

It was time for shopping – we decided to check out the famous Adidas outlet. On our way there, we stopped at another excellent culinary spot – Múlnar’s Kürtőskalács! Kürtőskalács is a Transylvanian pastry made from sweet yeast dough in a spiral shape. It was delicious!

After my successful visit to the Adidas outlet (less so for my husband…), we moved on to our next culinary attraction: the Michelin-starred Costes Downtown restaurant. It’s essential to book well in advance, which can be done via their website. The restaurant itself is uniquely designed, and its dishes are even more impressive! Highly recommended and delicious, a true experience!

It was a huge ‘wow’ moment. From then on, my husband couldn’t stop searching for more Michelin-starred restaurants… but needless to say, these also require booking well in advance 🙁

Another important site visit, very close to the restaurant, was the ‘Shoes on the Danube Bank’ – a unique memorial established in 2005. It commemorates the hundreds of Jews who were murdered by the Hungarian Arrow Cross militiamen during the Holocaust. They were shot and thrown into the Danube River. It’s a must-visit site.

From there, we continued to the nearby Parliament building. Located in Lajos Kossuth Square on the banks of the Danube, this impressive building was completed in 1904 in a Gothic style with a high central dome. In the evening, the building is illuminated with lights visible from the Fisherman’s Bastion and Gellért Hill on the Buda side. It’s the third largest parliament building in the world!

Due to a national holiday the next day, with all shops and businesses expected to be closed, we decided to check out one of the malls in the afternoon – Arkad Shopping Center.

The mall is located on the outskirts of the city but sits on a metro line from Deák Ferenc Square, close to our hotel, and is relatively cheaper than others. We quickly reached the mall and spent about two hours there. It’s filled with brand-name stores. The prices didn’t impress me much – again, similar to those in Israel, with occasional discounts.

From the mall, naturally, we headed to another restaurant for dinner. This time, we opted for local cuisine at one of the famous Hungarian restaurants – Menza. Everything was delicious: the famous pumpkin soup, various goose dishes, goulash, and of course, the desserts… that’s it, we were completely full.

To round off our general knowledge, I dragged us to Gozsdu Court. An entire pedestrian street filled with small bars and restaurants that stay open until the early hours. It’s a famous and renovated area in the Jewish Quarter, known for its nightlife.

Day 3: A Delightful Surprise: Celebrating Hungary's National Day in Budapest

The Surprise Day of Our Vacation! After booking the flights, I discovered that March 15th is a Hungarian national holiday, meaning most businesses would be closed.

Initially, I was a bit disappointed, but eventually, I decided to go with the flow and see what would happen. We left the hotel in the morning for Deák Ferenc Square and soon heard the sound of a brass band!! Looking to the right, we saw a huge parade with brass instruments, horses, soldiers, drums, and more… it was charming!! We joined the crowd and walked with them to the rhythm of the music all the way to the National Museum. The main streets were filled with stalls, vibrant colors, and joy. It was a delightful experience!

While the Prime Minister began his speech, we decided to move on and headed towards Buda. To cross to Buda, we walked over the Chain Bridge – an impressive structure spanning the Danube River, connecting the two sides of the city, Buda and Pest.

Due to the long queue for the funicular, we decided to walk up to Buda Castle. The ascent up the hill was relatively easy, with more of Pest revealing itself at each step. Eventually, we reached the terrace of the castle.

From Buda Castle, we continued towards Matthias Church and the Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest. This is a beautiful Catholic church located on the Buda side, a unique Gothic structure. It’s part of a large viewing terrace, with high turrets known as the Fisherman’s Bastion.

Here too, a surprise awaited us – another focal point of the Hungarian National Day celebrations. There were many stalls and dance stages!

In Buda, we visited the well-known Ruszwurm confectionery, famous primarily for its cream cake and the long queue to get a table. Somehow, I managed to convince my husband to wait, and eventually, we got a table. The cream cake was excellent, but that was about it. The coffee was quite weak, and the other cakes weren’t extraordinary.

Descending back from Buda to Pest, we stumbled upon the Strudel House. I had read several recommendations about it, and since we wanted something for lunch, we decided to give it a try. They prepare fresh strudel in front of the diners. The strudel was indeed successful, but the rest of the meal was less exciting. Also, there was a lingering smell that stuck with us for the rest of the day…

We had pre-booked a Danube cruise on the Legenda for 6:30 PM, but it was still early, so we walked to the bike rental shop near our hotel. We rented bikes and rode towards Margaret Island. This island, 2.5 km long and located in the middle of the Danube, is a very pleasant and relaxing place. It’s a unique tranquil center in the capital, partly because motor vehicles are not allowed on the island. Due to winter, the park wasn’t at its best, but it was still very pleasant to cycle around the Danube and the large lawns in the afternoon.

When we returned the bikes, we realized we still had an hour and a half left and decided to try another Budapest specialty – Thai massage. After a thorough Google search near our hotel, we found Erawan Thai Massage, highly rated with many excellent reviews.

We started with a special herbal tea. Then, we had an hour of Thai massage, and to finish, we were served blue tea with fruits. We were completely relaxed, but now we had to head to Pier 7 for our Danube cruise…

We arrived just in time for the cruise. The hour-long journey included audio explanations, available in Hebrew too. We sailed south and north along both banks of the Danube, viewing all the famous buildings beautifully lit up.

It was a very lovely experience, though a bit long.

The company I recommend for the cruise is Legenda. The journey is accompanied by a glass of champagne, adding to the wonderful atmosphere.

Another recommended company for a Danube cruise is Portum Lines Cruising.

Final Day of Our Budapest Vacation

Our flight was scheduled for 4 PM, so we decided to make the most of the morning hours by strolling along Andrássy Avenue, where our hotel was located. Andrássy Avenue in Pest stretches from the city center to City Park, measuring 2.3 km in length. It is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list due to its continuous line of buildings showcasing eclectic and impressive architectural styles. Some of these buildings feature intimate and splendid inner courtyards, sculptures, and fountains.

At the end of the avenue lies Heroes’ Square, a truly beautiful square! The Millennium Monument, with a 36-meter-tall stone column, is surrounded by bronze statues of the seven chieftains of the Magyars who conquered Hungary in 896, with Árpád prominently featured at the forefront. The arches around the monument display statues of significant figures from a thousand years of Hungarian history.

On our way back along Andrássy Avenue, the street was suddenly closed for a flag parade. It was a procession carrying an extremely long Hungarian flag, a remarkable and patriotic display.

What We Didn't Manage to See in Budapest

♥ The Museum of Illusions: A fun experience for the whole family, featuring three-dimensional photography experiences.

♥ Széchenyi Baths: One of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It features a variety of indoor and outdoor pools, jacuzzis, saunas, massage services, and other luxurious amenities. The waters in the baths are mineral-rich spring waters. Advance ticket booking is recommended.

♥ Underground Cave Tour: This adventure involves climbing and crawling through an extensive network of caves that are the source of Budapest’s hot springs. Visitors can witness fascinating rock formations created by geological activity. The tour lasts approximately 3.5 hours.

♥ Kürtőskalács Baking Workshop: Kürtőskalács is a unique, dairy-based yeast pastry, hollow inside and coated with caramel, available in various flavors and toppings. It is a traditional Hungarian delicacy. During the workshop, participants will learn about its history and cultural significance.

♥ Electric Scooter Tour: Various options for guided scooter tours in Budapest. These tours offer a fun and efficient way to explore the city’s sights and attractions.

Top Recommended Accommodations in Budapest


Budapest is surprising and enjoyable! It’s a simply fun and pleasant city. Visiting it offers a delicious and unique culinary experience. The restaurants are of high quality yet affordably priced, with an excellent atmosphere. There’s no doubt we’ll return there

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