Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.55.46 PMWe sent lnstagrammer Kiara Schwartz (@tobruckAve), to Budapest in search of some of city’s top spas, adding her very own polish to Hungary’s Pearl of the Danube. Take off with our non-stop service from Toronto, starting June 10.

VIBE

Budapest is a case of twin cities that could not be more different. Buda, with its rolling hills and regal lookouts sits on the west bank while bustling Pest sits to the east. Together they tell a unique story––one full of energy, proud locals and curious tourists. Kiara describes how from food to nightlife, sightseeing and shooting the breeze, Budapest has it all––and does it all––with ease.

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MUSTS

Budapest has been dubbed the City of Spas––metropolitan oases that offer absolute relaxation and are often unexpected finds.  For a unique thermal experience, head to the Szechenyi Baths––the largest in Europe! “If budget affords, purchase the upgraded entry which allows you access to a dreamy little relaxation area that others do not have access to.” For those looking to stay awhile, the spa offers a nighttime experience with music, drinks and dancing in the outdoor space.

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Take it all in at Fisherman’s Bastion in the Castle District of Buda, Kiara’s top pick for the ultimate lookout. “The view is breathtaking, as is the castle––without a doubt the most memorable place we visited.” For a different point-of-view (and a sun-kissed ‘gram), Kiara suggests heading to the Chain Bridge at sunset: “The views were magical, and it felt totally surreal to be standing in such a perfect spot, with views of the castle and Parliament, basked in perfect light.” Insider tip: head to the bridge 30 minutes before your weather app announces sunset, to avoid missing it as it disappears behind Gellért Hill.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 2.55.26 PMLike any true lifestyler, Kiara’s finger is on the pulse in every city she visits, and with that in mind, created her perfect itinerary, easily plugged into Google Maps. “Continuously mapping out our next destination resulted in a walking tour which mapped out our best day.” Check out her top picks:

  • Castle District à Gellert Thermal Spa
    • Head down the Danube River.
    • Pop into Meat Boutique for delicious bites.
    • Walk past Castle Garden.
  • Museum of Applied Artsà Vörösmarty tér (square)
    • Head down the main shopping street that runs parallel to the Danube river called Váci utca for great finds.
  • Gellért Spa à Museum of Applied Arts (the third oldest in the world!)
    • Head across Szabadság híd(Liberty Bridge).
    • Discover the Great Market Hall, the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest.
  • Vorosmarty SquareàMazel Tov
    • Pop back past Váci utca towards Mazel Tov Restaurant, in the historic Jewish Quarter. Mazel Tov is a cultural space focusing on great food and curated experiences. 

PRO TIPS

For a memorable Budapest experience, there are a few key pointers to keep in mind. Kiara’s tips from the ground:

  • Everything is closed on Sundays, except the spas!
  • A walk along the river is the ideal way to experience the waterfront.
  • Double check that cabs are officially marked before getting in one, especially in the city center. UBER is usually less expensive, and quite reliable.
  • For the best captured memories, use a disposable camera over digital. Every part of Budapest is photogenic.

Travellers take note! We had eyes on the ground in 4 more international locations, all launching this summer. Check out Prague (May 29), Casablanca (June 3), Glasgow (June 13) and Warsaw (June 14) for more.