Budapest offers endless possibilities when it comes to celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or another event. Even if it’s not the image that normally comes to mind when we think of the capital of Hungary, it’s a very exciting and lively city with a variety of options to choose from. You can start the day out in a traditional spa, watch the sunset over dinner while cruising on the Danube, and then finish with drinks in the bohemian neighborhood of Budapest: the Jewish Quarter. Let the party begin!
An afternoon of relaxation in the baths of Budapest
Although the Széchenyi Baths may have a more authentic clientele, the Gellert spa is the city’s most famous, built in the neo-Gothic style. It features 15 outdoor pools and 12 indoor. It’s common to see locals chatting there, playing chess or just relaxing a bit. The Turkish bath and sauna are especially good. Afterwards, your skin will be as soft as that of a baby’s bottom. And if you want a bit more, you can also have a massage in a private cabin. It’s a great way to celebrate a birthday, which can then be made complete with dinner at the nearby Plaza de Los Heroes.
Party aboard a cruise on the Danube
Since there are numerous boats offering nighttime cruises along the river, there are several companies to choose from. Some only offer rides, some include dinner and others, dinner and drinks. Of course, the latter are usually the most fun, since these cruises are popular among young people wanting to party. The goal is to have fun while dancing the night away with amazing views of this beautiful Hungarian city at night. If you want even more, some companies offer transportation to a bar-filled area of Budapest at the end of the cruise. For those who prefer a quiet, and especially a romantic birthday, I recommend a cruise with dinner and live music. These can all be reserved on the banks of the river or via the cruise company’s websites. Here are a few of the companies you should consider: Programcentrum, Eurama, MAHART Passnave, Legenda or Hungária Koncert Kft.
Drinks in the Jewish quarter of Budapest
This is one of the most vibrant and bohemian areas of the city and the bars there are really authentic. They are known as the “ruin bar” or “ruin bars” because they are located in old and run-down buildings that are now occupied. And this is what makes them charming. Their philosophy is one of recycling and proof of this is the bar Szimplakert, one of the best in Europe according to the prestigious Lonely Planet guide. It’s also known as the “Cathedral of Recycling.” Don’t leave Szimplakert without trying the famous Hungarian Pálinka (brandy) or Unicum, a bitter liqueur made from herbs.
Round out the evening at A38 Hajö
The most curious thing about this pub is its location, which is on ancient ship seized 50 years ago from the Ukrainian army that has been reinvented as a nightclub. You shouldn’t miss it, because according to Lonely Planet, it’s the best bar in Europe. In addition to being very interesting, it’s also a live music venue. Where? You can’t miss it, since it’s located close to the Petön Bridge in the Buda area.