Skip to Content

A Romantic Getaway

If its architecture, gardens and views of the Danube weren’t enough to make your heart skip a beat, Budapest’s fine cuisine, arts and culture might do the trick. This romantic city is a wonderful place to walk, talk and get caught up in a bit of European magic. Whether you’re inspired by a castle tour or a walk through a botanic garden, you’re bound to find a little szerelem on the streets of Budapest.

Day

1

MORNING
  • Make a Toast.

    Oft considered one of Budapest’s most romantic restaurants, Villa Bagatelle is a must-stop for breakfast. This airy, beautiful space serves a champagne breakfast featuring brioche, smoked salmon, goat cheese, citrus mascarpone spread and, of course, a glass of champagne. Should you opt for a lighter option, there are fresh fruits, light pastries and egg dishes to choose from, too.

  • Museum Stroll.

    The Museum of Fine Arts will reopen in spring 2018 after a three-year renovation. When it does, you and your love can walk among its more than 100,000-item collection, including paintings by old masters, modern art, statues and an extensive graphics collection. The building, designed from plans created by Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog, was built in 1906 in the neo-classical style.

MIDDAY
  • Animal Attraction.

    The Budapest Zoo and Botanic Garden is one of the oldest such zoos in the world, opened in 1866. The natural reserve is home to more than 1,000 species and is centrally situated in Városliget Park. Set aside some time to linger on “the magical hill.” The zoo’s newest attraction, it reflects the relationship between humans and nature through interactive exhibits and the display of more than 100 species.

AFTERNOON
  • Fit for a Queen.

    There’s something inherently romantic about a castle. Maybe it’s the elegance or the sense of tradition and reverence they invoke. Regardless of the reasons, Vajdahunyad Castle is one romantic building. Constructed in 1896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition, it overlooks a beautiful lake and features a variety of architectural styles, from Romanesque to baroque. The castle also houses the Museum of Hungarian Agriculture.

  • Royal Treatment.

    The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Budapest pays appropriate tribute to Budapest’s label as the “city of baths” with a uniquely designed indoor swimming pool. Schedule the “royal palace ritual” to continue with your theme for the afternoon, and enjoy warm aromatic oils and a hot stone massage designed to ease away travel tension and make your body feel loose and light.

EVENING
  • Candlelit Cruise.

    Book a Danube River dinner cruise to experience pure romance on the water. These 2.5-hour tours typically depart around 7:30 p.m. and include an a la carte menu, live music and plenty of candlelight. Tours occur aboard a glass-encased boat, perfect for sightseeing. Book through the hotel’s concierge or online.

  • A Nightcap.

    Return to The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest for a stylish wrap-up of your day at Kupola Bar. Live music and a champagne bar and delicious cakes make it easy to plan a sweet goodnight.

862809684

Day

2

MORNING
  • Catch the Sunrise.

    Wake early to watch the sun rise from Fisherman’s Bastion. This frequently visited Budapest attraction was built in the 19th century to serve as a lookout tower. Today, it’s one of the most romantic places to take in panoramic views of beautiful Budapest and the Danube River. Its seven turrets represent the seven Hungarian tribes that formed the modern country, and the building that once stood here was protected by local fishermen during the Middle Ages — thus its name.

MIDDAY
  • International Brunch.

    After your early morning, enjoy a healthy, internationally inspired brunch at Fruccola. From a Mexican tortilla to eggs Benedict on a bagel, the menu is fresh and delicious. What’s more, the service is speedy, meaning you’ll be on to your next destination in a heartbeat.

  • A Place of Honor.

    During World War II, Swiss diplomat Carl Lutz was credited with helping nearly 3,000 Jews find refuge from the Holocaust in what’s now known as the Glass House, a
    former glass factory. In total, though, Lutz might have saved as many as 62,000 people by issuing letters of protection, a lifesaving diplomatic device. The Glass House, 29 Vadász St., is now a memorial to Lutz and his efforts and a place of quiet reflection and peace.

AFTERNOON
  • Sweet Tooth.

    Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to the Szamos Chocolate Museum. For decades, the Szamos Family has gifted Budapest with wonderful chocolate creations, and now their efforts are documented in a museum bearing the family name. A guided tour of the facility runs through six rooms, each focused on a phase of chocolate-making. And, of course, there’s a tasting in each room. The tour ends with a sweet cup of hot chocolate and a lovely piece of marzipan.

  • Penny for Your Thoughts.

    The Garden of Philosophy, tucked into a corner of Gellért Hill, is a cluster of statues designed by Hungarian sculptor Nándor Wagner. The sculpture’s inner circle features the founders of the world’s five main religions, gathered around an orb. It is intended, according to the artist, to represent the similarities in all people. Quiet and serene, the sculpture garden is a fine place to read a bit of poetry and snap a few photographs.

EVENING
  • Take a Hike.

    After resting in the Garden of Philosophy for a bit, climb to the Citadel on Gellért Hill to watch the sunset. The fortress, built after the 1848–49 Revolution, has been a prison camp, a sanctuary for the homeless and an antiaircraft battery. Today, though, it’s best known for its panoramic views of the city and river, and it’s a perfect place to watch the sun sink below the horizon.

  • A Michelin Meal.

    Baraka restaurant has two Michelin stars — and with good reason. Even its motto is “the art of fine dining,” and its seasonal menu constantly evolves. On any given evening, a six-course degustation menu might include a blue lobster duo, Hungarian venison tataki or smoked eel. No matter what’s on the menu, the service is top-notch, the space impressive and the cocktail offerings inspired. Baraka is the place for a romantic meal in Budapest.