If Budapest were a child, it surely won the genetic lottery. It’s where classic meets modern architecture, royal buildings neighbor ruin pubs, and majestic hills overlook the dramatic Danube. I always found Budapest beautiful – a dainty pearl, a stark contrast to my adoptive city Berlin – and this impression has only gotten stronger. Now, three visits in, I’ve gone past the obligatory tourist rounds of going to thermal baths and posing in front of the Fisherman’s Bastion, to notice the little details that make Budapest the classy yet quirky destination I love to explore.
I’ve had lángos before at Christmas markets and music festivals, but on this Third Visit I tasted the real deal. It was complete serendipity. One drunken evening, we passed by a row of closed snack stands near a metro station and didn’t think much of it, until hunger pangs struck the following afternoon.
Little did we know, we stumbled upon a sort-of Budapest lángos institution. At 2pm on a Sunday afternoon, Retró Büfé‘s only table was packed and the queue was teeming with tourists and locals, vying for the attention of the serious-looking lángos lady.
Retró Büfé – somewhat retro, 100% langos
For those of you who haven’t tried lángos, it is deep fried-dough typically topped with cheese and sour cream. At Retró Büfé you can go wild with toppings like Hungarian sausage, garlic cream, onion, bacon, hot dogs and spicy peppers. They even sell stuffed versions!
Lángos any way you want it
Strolling around Budapest on this Third Visit, it’s clear that street art peppers the city. The statues and sculptures of rich, hilly Buda complement Pest’s trendy murals and graffiti, all of which are a welcome discovery.
An homage to the Rubik’s cube and Budapest-born inventor Ernő Rubik
Sculptures are everywhere in Budapest
It pays off to look up
This little man guards a rather big house
I thought the escalator at Porter Square in Boston was the deepest escalator ever back in the day, then I visited Prague and that changed it all. But in Budapest, not only are they deep: they’re freaking fast. Pictures don’t do the experience justice, but just multiply your average escalator speed and length by 10.
Spot the human
Futuristic feels in a foreign land