It’s the fierceness of the Hungarian Heros that is most striking. They gather in a tight circle beneath the Archangel Gabriel; who rises high above them all. These are the sevan leaders of the seven Magyar tribes that conquered the Carpathian Basin in 896 and founded Hungary in the 9th century (Arpad, Elod, Ond, Kond, Tas, Huba, Tohotom).
These statues are magical and powerful and captivating
Cradeling the column, we find a nod to modern Hungary. A two part semicircular colonnade displaying the rulers of the Habsburg dynasty in chronological order..
Build for the Hungarian Millenium in 1896 to conmemorate 1000 years of Hungarian history, the Hősök Tere lays between the Műcsarnok (Palace of Arts) and the Szepmuveszeti Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Just behind the square is the Varosliget (City Park), The Vajdahunoy Castle and a bit further on are the Szechenyi Baths (A nice walk will take you between them all).
Try to get here eary in the morning to avoid the tour buses or visit at the end of the day. We were there once after dark and it was quite another magical scene.
Dating from 1905, Philanthia, which translates as the love of flowers, is a more then just a floral store; it is a window into the land of the ferries. Decorated with original Art Nouevau murals and carved moldings, Philanthia seems pulled directly out of a fantasy tale. Just peer into the small iron gazebo in the center where all the fresh flowers are displayed,
Philanthia represents a long tradition in travel. It is why you go to visit other cities and cultures in the first place. We do not travel to Europe to shop at Benetton or any of the other factory outlets that dot our world now. We search out the unique, the keen, the thoughts on life that emerge from years and years of natural contemplation. We travel for places like Philanthia!
Be sure to look in the back room, where you will find hyper-realistic silk flowers, gardening accesories, candles and vases in all sizes, shapes and colours. All over the shop, you will discover fairies. Spirits hidden in flowers , sprites sitting on shelves, pixies camouflaged on a mirror frame……. keep your wits about you – or you may lost beyond the mists in this true wonderland..
OPENING HOURS: 6:00am – 7:00pm Monday – Friday 6:00am – 6:00pm Saturday & Sunday (between 30th of April and 30th of September)
The baths at the Hotel Gellert may be the most famous of the Budapest bath houses and it is certainly a good example of Hungarian Secession Art Nouveau being constructed between 1912 and 1918.
The Baths at the Gellert are delightful from the entrance hall on. Once you enter, your first stop is a large pool surrounded by columns surrounded by a Solarium overlooking from the second floor balcony. Past the pool, there are the woman’s and man’s thermal bath areas. These baths are rich with mineral waters and are situated in magnificently high ceilinged tile rooms. These areas are definitely a bit more interesting and relaxing.
In the warmer months there are three outdoor pools; unfortunately they were closed for our visit in winter.
As with all the bath houses, you can also enjoy a massage or any of the many treatments offered. You can even join the local ladies with their Healing Aqua-Gymnastics class in the main pool; though while visually stunning the main pool was not large enough to accommodate the crowds the days we were there. Perhaps in the summer when the outdoor pools can draw off a bit of the crowd.
The baths at the Hotel Gellert are truly astounding in their design and scope. Yes they are a bit touristic, but they are also easy to visit and staffed with English speakers who are ready to hold your hand if needed.
OPEN HOURS: 9:00am – 9:00pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday 6:30am – 7:00pm Tuestays & Thursdays 6:30am – 1:00pm Saturday there are different days for men and women
Built in 1563 by the The Pasha of Buda during the Ottoman occupation
As you settle into the main pool and tilt your head back, you gaze up at the octagonal domed roof and the tiny circular windows that filter gentle rays of sunlight onto the stone and water. If you ever saw the original 3d modeled video game MYST, you can imagine the lighting gives and its magical atmosphere.
The main pool is surrounded by smaller baths, each with different water temperatures. The divine thermal water is piped directly from the Lukács Baths. This is a truly relaxing bathhouse – with no crowds or stress. 400+ years of stress washed away.
Getting around Budapest is a joy in itself. The old world decor fuzes alongside sci-fi inspired stations to create a mix of atmospheres perfect for a time-travel film! The subway is simple yet efficient, with each station having a feel of its own.
The main Keleti Train Station is another in a great tradition of grand stations along the European Rail lines; and a wonderful way to enter the city.