Sunsets, happening creative hangouts, independent boutique boltholes, a Bohemian vibe (literally) and sweet sweet booze (literally)… it’s a hackneyed meme, sure, but: what’s not to like about Budapest?
Don’t just take our word for it: check out this city-guide-cum-diary from roving reporter Robin Reetz.
This travel-lovin’ Atlanta gal is a London-based lifestyle and fashion writer who has put pen to paper (and fingers to keys) for Refinery29, Teen Vogue and now Suitcase Magazine as digital editor – here she shares a photo journal from her Smithy sojourn at the ever-brilliant Brody House hotel in Budapest.
If you can arrange it, arrive to Budapest at dusk. Weather dependent, you’ll exit the plane as the pink sun sets, which is not a bad way to greet any city. From Budapest Airport, make your way from to Brody House in Pest, located just steps from the Hungarian National Museum. I’d heard a lot about Brody House before I arrived – mainly how this hotel and member’s club had become the epicentre of Budapest’s creative scene. Turns out it’s all true, which was confirmed at first glance of my room, designed by French artist Ludovic Thiriez. The Hungarian Tokaji wine from Brody’s honesty bar didn’t exactly hurt their case either.
Budapest is known for its nightlife, and many bars and pubs are open into the early hours. Experience some local culture while sampling more of the Brody empire by starting the evening at Brody Studios – a bar and restaurant that houses a recording studio and artists’ residency program. Remember the whole ‘epicentre of Budapest culture’ thing?
This is where it happens.
To see Budapest at play, spend the rest of the night at a ruin pub. Drinks flow freely at these grungy, bohemian bars housed in old, slightly deteriorating buildings all over the city. Do not leave Budapest without having a drink at a ruin pub – I’d recommend Szimpla Kert – but be wary of the traditional Hungarian liquor Unicum…
Waking up to discover Brody House bathed in heartbreakingly gorgeous daylight was nothing short of magic. If you’re lucky enough to stay in a room that opens to Brody’s glorious courtyard, then this will be your morning view.
Post Brody breakfast, introduce yourself to the city properly by exploring on foot. Explore the city centre while you’re in Pest, then cross the famous Chain Bridge to experience quieter Buda. If you find yourself with time, stop by one of Hungary’s famous thermal baths – Budapest is filled with them, but go for Gellert Bath and Spa in Buda.
Spend a sophisticated evening at the Hungarian State Opera House, located on busy Andrássy út. Even if you don’t have tickets, pay a visit to the building if for nothing but for a quick walk around the lobby – the gilded fixtures and classical architecture are breathtaking.
Once you’ve bid farewell to Brody House, before you head back to the airport, stop off for some cakes. After all, what better way to finish a short stay in Budapest (or anywhere for that matter) than with cake? Try a sampling of some traditional Hungarian pastries and cakes at the delicious Auguszt, a café with three locations throughout the city.