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The Spa Capital Known for Its Thermal Baths・温浴で知られるスパの都・以温泉浴场著称的温泉之都

Updated: May 18, 2023

@Budapest, Hungary

My next stop after stopping by Bratislava, Slovakia was Budapest, Hungary.

If you arrive at a location in the city where it is convenient to buy a 24hr travel card, I definitely recommend buying it since it was only about $5 dollars.

I was welcomed by the Hungarian Parliament Building and Buda Castle across the River Danube, which looks gorgeous regardless of if it’s nighttime or daytime.

After traveling to 5 countries in 3 days, I was incredibly happy to soak myself in the thermal baths known for their many health benefits. The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is located a little north of the main part of the city. Make sure to take a hair tie, sandals, a towel, and a change of clothes. They have hairdryers and give you a key for a locker that you can use. There is a huge lap pool in the middle of two thermal baths. On the day I went, one thermal bath was hotter than the other, so I suggest checking them both out during your visit.

What I didn't realize before heading to the thermal bath was that I had forgotten my 24hr Budapest travel card at my hotel. I only noticed this after getting off the subway when I was asked to show my ticket by two staff members. One guy couldn't even speak English and kept yelling in Hungarian how he didn't trust that I had bought it. A picture of my ticket wasn't enough; I had to have the actual paper ticket with me. Me going to get a new ticket was also not okay, so they wouldn't let me purchase a new one. I even tried to purchase the ticket online, but the website was not working. The staff did not care and wanted 8000 Hungarian Forint (~ $26) as a penalty fine.

In a time and place where countries were hurting for tourists, it blew my mind that they could not be understanding of people's circumstances. They seemed to find pleasure in ganging up on me as a tourist traveling by myself. Needless to say, this experience did not make me feel like Hungary is very kind to tourists.

Sometimes the ticket vending machines are on ground level and sometimes they are underground. If you do ride public transport and purchase a single ticket, make sure you validate your ticket. You do not need to validate your ticket if you get the 24hr travel card, just don’t forget it in your hotel room.

After the thermal baths, I visited the quaint Vajdahunyad Castle and even got to check out the Millennium Monument before enjoying a mouth-watering lunch of Gulyás (Goulash), paprika veal stew with egg dumplings, and a black mojito. The beef in both dishes fell apart and melted in my mouth since it was so soft.

I didn’t get the chance to, but if you do, try eating a Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake). It is a popular dessert made with yeast and rolled in granulated sugar.

Random thoughts:

Store all your important travel insurance information, flight tickets, and accommodation confirmations in cloud storage or send them to your email. This way, if you need to access these documents, you will have backup options even if something happens to your phone or laptop.

Take note of the address of your lodging, either as a digital memo on your phone or in a small notebook because you always need this information for customs or entry forms.

Next stop: Bucharest, Romania




























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